TRUE KOPITES WE ARE THE REDS COMMUNITY PAGE
Monday, 7 June 2010
Just thought i would write a post about Rafa. Personally I had never heard of him when he arrived at Anfield but when I heard about where he had came from and what he had done I was understandbly inpressed. To win the Spanish League twice with Valencia was a tremendous achievement especially in such a strong league which is invariably won by either Barcelona or Real Madrid. These credentials really did impress.
Rafa's first season was amazing he took Liverpool to the final of the Carling Cup only to lose 3-2 after extra time against Chelsea. Rafa engineered revenge against Chelsea beating them over two legs with a highly contreversial Luis Garcia goal taking them to the Champions League Final. Well we all know what miracle was witnessed in that final in Istanbul it capped off an amazing first season for Rafa.
Liverpool finished third the following season and qualified for the Champions League in doiing so. But more remarkably was Liverpool's run in the FA Cup dispatching of Man Utd. and Chelsea along the way before beating West Ham in penalties in an amazing final which saw Gerrard score a spectacular late late equaliser.
The next season Rafa took Liverpool back to the Champions League Final beating Barcelona and Chelsea on the way before this time losine 2-1 to AC Milan, but still a tremendous achievement.
The first three seasons were certainly his golden years but then with new owners coming in and money starting to become a problem to strengthen the squad things started to turn he did take us back to another Champions League Semi-Final before going down to Chelsea. But last year saw his best performance in the Premiership finishing only four point behind Champions Man Utd. losing only two games all season in the league. But this season past has been a disaster failing to qualify from the group stages of the Champions League and losing to Reading at home in the FA Cup, Rafa did take us to the Europa League Semi-Final before losing to eventual winners Athletico Madrid. But the biggest disappointment came with losing so many League games and finishing a lowly seventh place in the League and failing to qualify for the Champions League. All this disappointment certainly resulted in the departure of Rafa last week. So the end of an era.
I felt Rafa did really well for us and was very unlucky to go after one really poor season. I felt he made great strides in previous years topped off with his Champions League and FA Cup triumphs. But I felt that when he signed his new contract last year he was given promises and those promises have been broken and he has managed the team this season with his hands tied, also the amount of injuries he has had to deal with has also been a major problem. But with Rafa not being a "yes" man and constantly rowing internally may have been his downfall. I thought he brought in some really good players in his time but he also made some bad signings, and I felt he let some really good players go with the likes of Bellamy, Crouch, Rise, Hyppia, Garcia but the biggest obvious loss was the departure of Xabi Alonso last summer.But I do think Rafa has been given time to gel his own squad in six years so he can't blame inheriting a team as its his squad and this season it has been proved that it is so not strong enough. I think Rafa's time was up and I think we need a change and fresh ideas a new manager coming in brings but the worrying thing is will he be given money to bring his own players.
I would like to end by thanking Rafa for his time and wish him all the best in the future, but most of all I would like to thank Rafa for giving us so many memorable times and for those we will never forget.
Rafa Benitez You'll Never Walk Alone
Posted by james walker at 08:52