What a "courageous" post, Dave. This early in the season. You are really asking people to stand up and be counted, aren't you? For my two bobs worth, it is more than just the manager's performance that has put us in our current position. I think a combination of issues came together and totally undermined us early in the season and we just haven't recovered. 1) The loss of Alonso was ENORMOUS. The whole Barry affair was a fiasco from start to finish. Maybe if Rafa was more of a people person Alonso could have been coaxed to stay. 2) The number of injuries to key personnel in October. We lost 5 of our 6 games that month and drew the first 3 in November.Four of those EPL games we WOULD/SHOULD have expected to win normally. That's 10 points lost. And Europe, basically, too. Look at some of the team lineups we were forced to field in October and you can see why it got so bad. According to "The Physio Room" our injury list for late Sept through October included Masch, Benny, Torres, Kuyt, Gerrard ,Riera, Johnson, Aurelio and of course Aqua. That's pretty much our first team. Now, some of our posters on here will say Rafa should have bought decent players to make sure we could cover any injuries. I respond "What with?" We now all know the owners will not release big sums of money for Rafa to buy decent players. Look at the Barry saga as a prime example. All it needed was 18mill - a bargain in today's market. And we might have kept Alonso into the bargain when he reminded us all just how good he really was last season. Just think, Alonso, Gerrard, Barry and Masch as our core midfielders and Lucas as their understudy. Aqua? Who needs him? What happened to all of the Alonso money, anyway? Where is the Voronin/Doessena money going? Just how long has this been going on? I bet Rafa doesn't get 20+ mill to spend on one player in January. Hence the continual arrival of "squad players" at the club. Is that really the managers fault? See next post for more.