Is it me or has Rafa lost his pen? He keeps saying he’s going to sign that new Liverpool contract but never quite seems to get round to it. Either his biro has run out of ink or the Spaniard is winding everyone up.
I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s said he’s ‘on the verge’ of putting pen to paper. He loves the club, he’s got no plans to go anywhere else and yet the new deal remains unsigned. It’s a saga that’s been going on for months but shows no sign of being resolved.
Rafa is playing a dangerous game. To be fair, he’s nobody’s fool but the longer he leaves it, the weaker his position will become — assuming Liverpool can’t overhaul United in the title race and they don’t lift the Champions League trophy again.
It was canny of him to come out and talk about the delay in sorting out the deal the day after his side beat Real Madrid but if the Reds end the season potless, maybe the Americans will finally decide to look elsewhere for the man to return the club to the glory days.
I know Liverpool fans say they’re all behind Rafa but would you really be devastated if you got a new manager? Are you really any nearer winning the title today than you were five years ago when he arrived at Anfield to replace Monsieur Houllier?
The truth is, after the season which saw the end of the ill-fated partnership with Roy Evans, Houllier took the side to fourth, third, second, fifth and fourth in his seasons as sole manager. Rafa’s done fifth, third, third, fourth. From where I’m looking, there’s no real difference between the two records.
Of course, Benitez can always point to the 2005 Champions League final. It was a great achievement but four years on, he should be careful of relying too heavily on past glories.
Written by Iain Spragg from Sport Media Solutions and previously published on 4sportsake.com.