Shouldn't United Lose At Anfield To Save Rafa?
The Liverpool comedy has reached new levels of hilariousness - they failed to create chances against a team that lost its single fit and recognised central defender in the first half to an injury and played with midfielders in the heart of the defence. Lyon punished them, cruelly and now they have lost their last four games in a row.
The priceless moment was when Benitez decided to take off Yossi Benayoun, easily the dippers' most impressive player yesterday night, and replace him with Voronin. Oh yes, Voronin. In the 85th minute, with the score at 1-1. They duly lost the game.
Now, however, us United fans should be a little concerned. Not because of the almighty backlash that could see us being handed our head on a plate on Sunday - although it's a real danger that we'll become victims of the last hurrah of Rafa's reign, after some emotional teamtalk by Carragher and Gerrard, rising defiantly against the criticism raining down on them at the moment. Our defence looks dodgy and central midfield is still not perfectly sorted so it's a possibility that we'll lose, even against such a crap team.
However, the real concern is what happens if we win. One of the American owners, George Gillett, had criticised Benitez before and they would probably pull the trigger if a fifth successive defeat in all competitions would leave Liverpool 10 points off top in the league and in serious danger of missing out on the knockout stages of the Champions League. They would sack Rafa.
Now that could well be a disaster. Imagine a proper manager, like Mourinho or Hiddink (though hopefully they would not take the job), given the sort of money that Benitez wasted on the likes of Dossena, Babel, Pennant, Riera, Bellamy, Keane or Morientes. They might even become a force to be reckoned with in the title race. We cannot let that happen.
Therefore I venture to suggest the unthinkable: the campaign to save Rafa should start at Anfield, with a loss. That would lull them into a false sense of securite, the FSW's deluded backers among the Scouse crowd (and there are many of them) would put pressure on the owners to keep their 'great manager' and he would keep wasting money, ranting bizarrely against opposing managers and making inexplicable substitutions. At what does it cost for United? We would lose our place on the top but would be only two points behind a not exaclty invincible Chelsea team. Plenty of time to turn that around.
So, my fellows, if we happen to lose at Anfield because of our lack of steel and their emotional backlash, you must see the bigger picture. Yes, a win would be nice - but the potential consequences are dire. We cannot afford that kind of short-termism. Save Our Rafa!