Football FanCast guest columnist James Marsh would hate to see Rafa leave Liverpool, but wouldn’t be surprised if he quit for Madrid.
As one of my colleague pointed out earlier today that with Manuel Pellegrini under increasing pressure at Real Madrid, then it is obvious that Rafa Benitez’s name will be touted as a potential successor should Florentino Perez bow down to media pressure and make the change. I doubt many would be surprised if he in fact does pull the trigger, almost as much as I wouldn’t be if Rafa decides to call it a day at Anfield if the job was offered.
I have to confess that the way Benitez has been treated by the media, the owners and so called experts and pundits has been nothing short of a disgrace and the sheer ignorance of them astounds me. Why they seem to bring out the stats and how many games have been lost this season, how much money Benitez has spent etc….the one thing that they fail to have pointed out is that is that the football club has actually improved year on year and the fact that he has lifted the FA Cup and Champions League in the last five years. That may not seem much to most people, but you ask whether someone like Arsene Wenger, or Arsenal fans whether they would like to have seen themselves win a couple of trophies after the four years without winning a thing. The very fact we also reached another Champions League final, as well as the Carling Cup seems to go unnoticed as well.
It is the year on year improvement that must be the definitive argument in this and have we gone backwards under Rafa; the answer is no, however it doesn’t stop this negative picture that has been painted and why after every game has seemingly become a Rafa cup final where the Press are just waiting in the wings to shoot him down at every opportunity. You only had to look at the emotion in Rafa’s face after Sunday’s win to know that he is a man being put under extreme pressure.
So could anyone blame him if he turned his back on us if Madrid come calling? Although Martinez claimed he was misquoted, the sentiments of what was said does show that the world and his wife in English football is against Benitez and although Rafa has shown a remarkable amount of thick skin and an incredible amount of class in the way he has stood up to them and never ducked away from any press conference or post match interview, but surely there is only so much a man can take.
I would hate to see Rafa leave as I think he is doing a fantastic job at Liverpool. Results have been indifferent, but we have been on the end of some rotten luck in recent weeks and certainly haven’t deserved to get beaten like we have, however that isn’t reported and instead a picture has been painted of a dead man walking. Rafa doesn’t deserve it, and as much as I hope he’ll spurn any potential advances from Madrid, I wonder if any Liverpool fan would be surprised if he did quit Merseyside, given what he has to take from all angles, on what is seemingly a weekly basis.