Okay, long story short, because I’m still catching up on all the information. Evidently, one of the Liverpool board members anonymously came out with a scathing attack of Rafa Benitez to Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror. Big clubs have to deal these whispers and smears in the media frequently, it just comes with the territory, but to have a board member come out with comments like these is completely out of the ordinary. Liverpool does not air its dirty laundry in public.
Not to mention the attack is completely idiotic in substance. Les Lawson, of the Liverpool Supporters Club said it best:
"I find it totally unbelievable a member of the Liverpool board would criticise the manager who won the Champions League in his first season, with the worst squad since Bill Shankly arrived at the club.
"He then won the FA Cup in his second season and won more league points in a season for Liverpool since the Premiership began last year.
"Whoever is responsible for these comments is completely out of touch with how Liverpool fans think, and I would have thought he'd be more concerned with working towards attracting the investment which would help Rafa build a team to challenge Chelsea."
The last thing the club needs now is backroom drama. There are enough problems on the pitch, no one wants to see a public hissing match over the state of the club. Not to mention that Rafa should have the support of the board. When Real Madrid and Inter Milan were sniffing around last summer, all the board could do was whisper sweet nothings towards Benitez, and less than 2 months later, someone has the gall to try and undercut him in the press when things are going less than perfect.
It’s not crisis time by any stretch of the imagination, no matter what the media or the unnamed director would have us believe. Liverpool are 2 points behind where they were at this stage the last two seasons. Yes, they are going through a tough stretch, but Rafa is rebuilding the team in his image, and despite things not going the way we want at the moment, Liverpool is progressing. Drama in the media will not solve the on field problems. Firing Benitez certainly won’t solve them. Heads down, back to work, no talking to the media, and get on with improving the team.
Granted, it is the Daily Mirror, which has been known to print utter nonsense on the regular, but the breadth of the quotes from the unnamed board member leads me to believe that they were actually said. Hopefully the club will pursue an internal investigation, and this director will soon be stepping down.
The Mirror hogwash:
"Rough for Rafa"
"How patience is finally wearing thin at Anfield"
Rick Parry/Official Club Statement
Bascombe - "Rafa Knifed in the Back"
Bascombe - "Reds Rocked"