Here's a post I wrote on 28/01/2010. It was left in draft form till today. I was gonna finish, then post. Somehow I didn't get round to it. Anyhow here it is:I haven't posted anything on Liverpool Football Club or Benitez for some time. I kinda consigned the club and management to the back burner and got on with other things.
The few weeks back I came across a blog-azine called the tomkins times. It has well researched pieces on many aspects of Liverpool FC. Their management, players, and a few other topics.
The blog is mostly closed and available by subscription. A number of posts have been made available for free. If you go to the site and look for free you can read several blogs without paying.
Tomkins argues the case for Benitez since he took the helms at the club in 2005. Tomkins looks at many points, including results, player transfers, defensive stategy, game analysis, and quite a few other things.
I have some sympathy for Benitez. He's at a club in management and financial turmoil. Benitez didn't see eye to eye with Rick Parry who resigned. Benitez argued with the American owners. The club carries massive debts dumped on it by the Americans when they took over. Benitez has little money for transfers. He frequently has to sell players before he can buy.
Tomkins highlights many points and fights for Benitez in all the free blogs I read.
I can agree with some points Tomkins makes, but I cannot agree with all.
Tomkins suggests Benitez has been a success and provides statistics to support this. In a recent post he showed how successful Benitez has been. The statistics show Benitez is Liverpool's 2nd best Manager of "All Time" on many fronts. The statistics support it.
In truth, this is playing with numbers. If you have a grasp of such things you can massage the numbers to show pretty much what you like.
If you look at Benitez record on transfers, it is not "great". Benitez bought many "also rans" instead of class beating athletes. Jermaine Pennant anyone?
In 5 years at the club Benitez has managed a Champions League win in his first year - 2005. In 2006 Liverpool won the FA Cup. 3-3 after extra time they beat West Ham in the penalty shoot out. 2007 saw Liverpool progress to the Champions League Final and were beaten by AC Milan.
In 2009 they were runners up in the Premier League finishing behind Manchester United, and beating Chelsea into third place.
They have won nothing apart from two cups in five years. Both cups were won on penalty shoot out and not by inspired classy football. Liverpool do not match Arsenal when it comes to the passing game.
At times Liverpool play a scrappy clueless game with little attention to tactics or game plan. Maybe the troops ain't listening to the general. Isn't it the general's job to ensure they do? Sometimes Liverpool play inspired football that it's hard to accept it's the same team. Other times they can't scrap with the likes of Wolves, Stoke or Sunderland.
The Benitez revolution has stalled.
Benitez has spent a bucket load of money on players. This Daily Mail article suggests Benitez spent £229 million on 76 players. The article dated 22nd October and does not include any additional signings since then.
Simply look at Bolton when Sam Allerdyce was manager. Allerdyce spent nowhere near as much, but took Bolton into Europe and finished a ???? (6th, 7th, 8th). He did it by building a team with team spirit and with a definite game plan.