Football FanCast guest columnist Dan Rolfe hopes that Rafa Benitez hasn’t lost the Liverpool dressing room.
One of my pet hates in football and something that never seizes to amaze me is how the introduction of a new manager can galvanise a team and make it perform to a level that had otherwise been missing in the previous weeks. It only serves to highlight as to how players had been cheating their previous and recently sacked manager, not to mention the fans.
What normally precede managers before they get the push are the rumours that he has perhaps lost the dressing room; a statement I have always found a little strange and further evidence that footballers have the inability to take responsibility for themselves and their own performance both on and off the pitch. Perhaps if they realised that it was their poor displays that was the root of the problem, which was heaping the pressure on their manager, then perhaps clubs can get themselves out of this mess.
The reason I have brought this up was reading our former star Craig Johnstone’s view that Rafa Benitez may have possibly lost the Liverpool dressing room, in light of our poor run of form.
“You see one win in nine games, six defeats in the space of eight games; you see a dejected look on players’ faces. Has he lost the dressing room? Six defeats in eight games would say that he has,
“Has he lost a bit of the board’s backing? Well you hear what Liverpool co- owner George Gillett’s saying about him in the papers. He actually said that he’s made bad signings, the team’s not playing well and there’s no youth coming through. And this is from your employer.
“I think people think Rafa is a genuine and sincere bloke and that goes a long way with Scousers – but there are things going against him now.” (Star)
I genuinely hope that isn’t the case and I hope the players aren’t heaping the pressure on the manager by underperforming. It is a shame that a voice of some authority doesn’t come out in support of the manager and let the players (some of who are failing to give 100%) know that Benitez will still remain in charge of the football club come what may at the end of the season. I am personally of the view that the players are letting Rafa down and failing the football club as a consequence, which I find incredibly discerning, considering what the same manager achieved with them in the past few seasons and the progress that has been made during this time. Benitez is still the right man to take control of the football club, regardless of what has been a desperate poor run of results. I hope the players wake up and realise this soon, rather than hide behind their manager and allowing him to take the heat for their own failings.