Reds are go­ing back un­der Rafa

The Jewish Chronicle - - Sport -

JOSE MOUR­INHO, the man­ager of In­ter Mi­lan, made an in­ter­est­ing ob­ser­va­tion the other day. He was hav­ing his usual pop at Arsene Wenger, say­ing he was lucky to be at Arse­nal where he could get away with not winning any­thing, and he ex­panded his rant to in­clude Rafael Ben­itez, man­ager of Liver­pool.

He said Ben­itez could keep his job without suc­cess, too. Carry on like this and Mour­inho’s the­ory may be tested sooner than he thinks.

There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween not winning any­thing, and not looking likely to win any­thing. Wenger drew an­other blank last sea­son, but he reached the last four of the Cham­pi­ons League. He didn’t win any­thing in sea­son 2005-06, ei­ther, but lost in the fi­nal of that tour­na­ment to Barcelona.

Liver­pool lost to Chelsea in the semi-fi­nal of the Cham­pi­ons League in 2008 and nar­rowly missed out on the ti­tle last sea­son, hav­ing taken up a strong po­si­tion af­ter winning 4-1 against Manch­ester United at Old Traf­ford. There would have been up­roar if Ben­itez had been sacked in the sum­mer, and rightly so.

This sea­son brings a new de­vel­op­ment, how­ever. Here is a Liver­pool team that no longer looks ca­pa­ble of beat­ing good op­po­nents, in­deed has not beaten what would be termed a se­ri­ous ri­val all sea­son. With no draws, Liver­pool have de­feated Stoke City, Bolton Wan­der­ers, Burn­ley, De­bre­cen, West Ham United, Leeds United and Hull City, and lost to Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur, As­ton Villa, Fiorentina, Chelsea, Sun­der­land and Lyons. In the sport of cricket, they would be termed flat track bul­lies, the name given to bats­men who plun­der big scores on easy

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