Time Ben­itez faced facts

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODWINES -

RAFAEL BEN­ITEZ, as he has been re­minded all too of­ten by crit­ics and apol­o­gists alike, deals in facts.

The facts are plain. Out of the Cham­pi­ons League, out of the Premier League ti­tle race and now out of the FA Cup, the Liver­pool man­ager is star­ing at a sea­son in ru­ins.

The blame game will start. Ben­itez needs to shoul­der much of the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Time, Rafa, to stand tall. Take a lead. It is said he is al­most un­sack­able be­cause of the long, lu­cra­tive con­tract he signed last sea­son and be­cause of the tu­mult over the club’s de­spised Amer­i­can own­ers.

But you can’t blame Tom Hicks – se­nior or ju­nior – for this one.

There is some­thing rot­ten, and rot­ten be­yond the board room in a team that sur­ren­ders a goal ad­van­tage at home at An­field to a Cham­pi­onship out­fit who have been in dire straits them­selves all sea­son.

This was a new low point. Con­fi­dence is smashed, the team frac­tured, the man­ager ap­pears to have, in that time-old phrase, lost the dress­ing room.

Maybe, also, it’s time for all at Liver­pool just to step back and ex­am­ine what Ben­itez has achieved.

Take away that in­cred­i­ble first year, the un­be­liev­able come­back in Is­tan­bul and have they re­ally, truly pro­gressed?

Ben­itez is very good at rail­ing against his de­trac­tors, against the per­ceived in­jus­tices he has faced and very good at play­ing the sen­si­tive vic­tim.

On Thurs­day he needed to look in the mir­ror and ac­cept where the re­spon­si­bil­ity lies.

Ben­itez needs to earn his money – rather than com­plain about a short­age of cash. Liver­pool need new own­ers, for sure, but maybe, also, a new man­ager. – The Tele­graph

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