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  • OldBill OldBill Jan 31, 2009 08:12 Flag

    Papering Over the Cracks (Benitez..)

    ..If we all cast our minds back to the 2004-2005 'campaign' it was hardly convincing.

    We finished 3 points behind Everton, who had a -1 goal difference in 4th place - and a long,long way behind the 'big 3'.
    (In fact we were 37 points behind Chelsea).

    While this was very disappointing - we had 'Istanbul'.....

    At the time I was delighted (of course) but did say to my mates 'I hope this doesn't paper over the cracks'...

    It was apparent then - as it is now - that Benitez has an almost stubborn, self-destructive attitude.

    He cannot have been deaf to the supporters, pundits, media, other managers and ex-players constantly bringing up his rotation policy, his tactics, substitutions & man-management (by this I include his blatent 'disrespect' of professionals like Keane, Crouch & Pennant) , his transfer dealings - ie was/is Luis Garcia better than Babel/Lucas ?

    This attitude is not only destroying him but the club - I doubt if he takes 'council' from Lee...

    Anyway, back to the point I am going to make - I believe he has lived off the Istanbul victory for long enough now - he said he had a 5 year plan and it is almost up.

    I don't see the reserves doing any better - I don't see any youth players getting a run out, consistently..

    How are the likes of Darby, Plessis, Spearing, Nemeth, El Zhar going to be inspired when they see players like Babel/Lucas getting games week-in, week-out.

    I'm probably more disappointed now even though we are 'challenging' at the top in February - than I have been at any time in the past - the reason being is he has had a great chance to build a big lead at the top of the table - and then decides to 'play safe' against the 'lesser' teams (no disrespect to anyone intended).

    If we manage to beat Chelsea on Sunday & if Everton can play as well against United as they did against us - then I may be slated for posting this article....
    (I honestly don't see better than a draw for us and a win for Utd)

    ...but will we still be papering over the cracks ?

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    • no need for me to comment, but well done for a very good post.

    • Bill, not going to go through every point you make here, as think some maybe valid. But, think the key point is where we were 5 years ago (37 points behind Chelsea) compared to where we are now.

      You maybe right we may have some cracks, but don't you think Rafa has filled in many of those cracks to give us the progression over those 5 years?

      Now I'll eat my words if we end up as far off the pace as we were back in 2005, but so long as we are still in the title race (which dispite a bad January we are, unless people want to tell me the table lies!) its way to early to say the club is made full of cracks.

      • 2 Replies to dsteer_lfc_68
      • Hi dsteer,

        I probably did raise too many points...

        Whilst I said I'm pleased about us actually being in contention at this stage of the season, I think the point I'm making is that I get the feeling Rafa is like the 'immovable object..'

        True, we've closed the gap on the other 3 - but we seem to regard them as the only teams we need to beat - we still struggle against the likes of Stoke, Wigan, Hull etc...
        (Remember the team he put out against Reading last year - beat 3-1, downward after that..)

        He is frustrating the hell out of a lot of us.

        To analyse everything he does would take so long - but let's take Wednesdays game as a case in point.

        No Alonso, no Keane, one up front, Lucas and Babel with 'starts'.

        Reira on for Torres, Keane on for Gerrard, Kuyt for Benayoun (my man-of-the-match to that point) - why didn't he wait for a couple of mins - Benni looked ok to me ?

        Anyway, match-winners taken off and a lot of square pegs in round holes.

        I would like to see him put a strong, balanced, side out - attack from the start (not just keep the ball) - play with width & see how it goes.

        If we fail to win and get a draw then so be it - I'd rather lose one and win one than draw two...

        I don't expect we will be 30 odd points behind anyone this season - but 1st is 1st and 2nd is nowhere as the great man once said.

        He needs to be bold.

      • No doubting that Rafa has taken us a long way Dave but is this as far as he can take us. Perhaps we should sell our souls and get in Mourinho, proven winner even if he is a complete tosser

    • Bill, not going to go through every point you make here, as think some maybe valid. But, think the key point is where we were 5 years ago (37 points behind Chelsea) compared to where we are now.

      You maybe right we may have some cracks, but don't you think Rafa has filled in many of those cracks to give us the progression over those 5 years?

      Now I'll eat my words if we end up as far off the pace as we were back in 2005, but so long as we are still in the title race (which dispite a bad January we are, unless people want to tell me the table lies!) its way to early to say the club is made full of cracks.

    • I really hoped that this year was going to be something special and was giving Rafa time. But in the last few weeks I am seriously questioning his decisions. I am still backing him but it is certainly not 100% any more. A lot of people are losing patience....quickly