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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
Forget the Champions League. Forget the Europa League. Forget the FA Cup. For Liverpool, nothing now is more important than the Premier League. The very future of the football club depends on where they finish in the table in May.

The crass stupidity of the leveraged buy-out that gave control of the club to George Gillett and Tom Hicks is now laid bare for all to see. Liverpool are at least GBP350m in debt and there are already doubts at the bank about the ability of the club to continue as a going concern. Any profits made by the club are instantly swallowed up to pay the interest incurred when the Americans borrowed money from the club to...erm...buy the club. Take the Champions League money out of the equation and those interest payments will swamp them. Sell the big-name players to make the payments and the club will slide out of contention for even the Europa League.

Want some more bad news? Champions League qualification isn't even as simple as just finishing fourth anymore. Michel Platini's restructuring of the competition means that only the top three will automatically qualify. The fourth-placed team drop into a nightmarish play-off with any number of big clubs from the other top leagues in Europe. Would you back Liverpool in a play-off with AC Milan? Valencia? Bayern Munich? In one two-legged tie to make or break the football club for ever, would you even back them against Celtic right now?

And yet, this is not the time to change the manager. Of the squad that finished second last campaign, only Xabi Alonso has departed. For all the accusations that players like Dirk Kuyt and Fabio Aurelio are limited talents, they certainly seemed to do alright last season. Liverpool's abject start to the season is due to a combination of factors, not all of which are Rafa Benitez's fault. Injuries to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres have been critical. The lengthy rehabilitation of Alberto Aquilani has hampered efforts to replace the creativity of Alonso. Jamie Carragher has dropped out of form. Beachballs have deflected footballs. Teams like Birmingham have withstood batterings to scamper away with a share of the spoils. With two wins in eleven games, there is little for Liverpool fans to be proud of, but equally there isn't much to beat the manager over the head with either. This is football and it doesn't always go according to plan. The only difference is that, thanks to the Yanks, Liverpool can't slip up.

The club can't even afford to sack Benitez anyway. They can't afford to lure an already-employed big-name manager to Anfield and, even if they could, they couldn't afford to fund a transfer kitty for him either. And, of the free agents, who would you hire? Kenny Dalglish? Kevin Keegan? Don't be silly. Besides, Benitez has been here before. If anything, Liverpool were even worse than this in 2007/08 when they were languishing in mid-table as late as January. The Spaniard galvanised them, they went on a long run losing only one more game all season and finshing fourth with distance to spare. You couldn't pick a better manager for a situation like this.

Right now, they have more chance of survival with Benitez than they do with anyone else, but make no mistake; the situation is desperate. If Liverpool don't recover, if they do drop out of the Champions League, it won't just mean the end of Rafa. It will mean the end of Liverpool FC as we know it.


mine to stay the same please
Aug 30, 2005
You're being very charitable on Rafa over the Aquilani situation, Slip - everyone knew he was a sick-note when Benitez bought him...

and the fact that after Torres he doesnt really have a decent striker. Why spend that much money on a full back when you are so short up front?


Moderator of Moderators
Sep 22, 2005
Southend On Sea
Whenever i've seen Liverpool they always seem to have 2 left backs on because neither is good enough on their own to be able to do the job .. WTF is that all about ??


Life President
Oct 27, 2003
Liverpool <<<<<<< hahahahahahaha!!

Forget Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal, as a child of the 80's I remember just how single mindedly arrogant the Liverpool 'fans' up and down the country were back then. I don't much care for the comings and goings of the Premiership these days but one thing that will always put a smile on my face is seeing Liverpool lose. Now I just pray that one of City, Villa or Spurs get their anus in gear and stop them getting 4th place.

Scouse *****.