Over recent months there has been many claims that Kenny is not the right man for the club as manager. This is a belief that long term I agree with, despite who he is. Kenny has done his job in restoring some form of team spirit at Liverpool but our league position, after all the money he has spent, shows he is not the greatest choice we could have - even if he has had cup success. It is obvious that the fans want consistent league performances and I do not believe Kenny will bring this, but it is the rumours of his replacement that scare me.
Rafa Benitez was Liverpool's manager between the years 2004 and 2010 in which time he won Liverpool's fifth European cup in 2005 and an FA cup in 2006. Throughout his time at the club there was many lovers and many haters of his management style as a lot of the time his own structure did not fit into the rest of the club. But whatever people say about his coaching he was manager of one of the most looked at clubs in England and made them finish in the top 4 in 5 of his 6 seasons, something which can not be ignored. Things he done during his time here will make him go down in the clubs history but I will never understand why fans want him back and that is what I am going to try and put across.
Firstly I was never a fan of a lot of his signings. He spent around £175 million in his time in charge which is a modest figure in comparison to recent markets and he often complained how John Moores and then the American duo of Hicks and Gillet didn't give him enough money to spend. This is something that I will give to him as if he would of had the money players like Dani Alves, David Villa and Javi Martinez who we where linked with could of been at the club. But when Rafa did spend big he didn't always get what was needed and shown his stubborn side. He sold Xabi Alonso after an unnecessary fall out over his place in the team and replaced him with Alberto Aquilanni who was injury prone and more importantly a different style of player. Furthermore when Peter Crouch was sold after never getting a fair chance of starts at the club despite being one of our most prolific strikers at the time, we replaced him with Robbie Keane even though Liverpool's scouts had reportedly told him his best was behind him. After these transfers the bank balance was at about the same but Liverpool had worse players than they had which could of been avoided if Rafa had changed his management style. To add to this there was a fair few flops signed in Rafa's time; Alberto Aquilanni, Gabriel Palleta, Andriy Voronin, Andrea Dossena, Charles Itandje, Robbie Keane, Mark Gonzalez, Jan Kromkamp, Fernando Morientes, Antonio Nunez, Josemi, Sebastian Leto to name a few. But to be fair to him some did turn out okay. - Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina, Lucas Leiva, Javier Mascherano, Dirk Kuyt, Peter Crouch, Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Yossi Benayoun and Luis Garcia all in my opinion have influenced the team enough to back up their price tag. But they did cost £90 million in all. Furthermore if you add up all the 'flops' prices it makes a figure around £45 million. Which equals a Nani, Fellaini and Bale all of which we where linked to. If we where short of cash Rafa I know which one I'd rather have, let the numbers be filled with the Academy lads.
This leads me onto my next point of why Rafa would not be my first choice and that is no academy players got a fair crack of the whip in my opinion. During his time here he let go many promising youngsters which included Danny Guthrie, Kristian Nemeth, Adam Hammill and Stephen Warnock could even fit into this category. The positions these players left open where replaced by the likes of Sebastian Leto, Phillip Degen and Andriy Voronin which makes you wonder why we would do it. It's a strange question and in many ways a pointless one but would you rather have a Scouser who mightn't make it on the bench or a foreigner who never will? I believe giving a boy hood red the chance to sit next to his heroes is a much better proposition than sourcing from abroad for squad players. But this was something Rafa never did do and never looked like doing. Jay Spearing and Martin Kelly where half way out the door when he was there and now are first team members (something Roy Hodgson done well) so where would they be if he came back?
As well as these it is easy to question how much of Rafa's success was down to him. Only one of the starters in the Champions league final where his signings, Gerard Houlier left the club as his two favourite Scousers where hitting their peak (both of which carried the team on countless occasions throughout Rafa's reign) and at the end of the day he had a good start that didn't come into much success. When push comes to shove he spent around £35 million in his last summer at the club to push on from a good last season, but he cracked, made mistakes and cost us our champions league place. Whether you love him or hate him he broken up the start of a good squad that could of pushed onto something special and rode his luck too much with his comments on the team in the media.
So to sum it all up I would not like Rafa back in charge at the Anfield dugout. At a massive club like Liverpool you only get so many chances to make something happen and each success will buy you more time. Rafa is one of the most stubborn managers in the modern game and I don't think he would of learnt from his last stint so why would we want him back in the role? People need to remember the reasons he wasn't wanted instead of sitting on the past glories which is starting to become the Liverpool way. He done a good job and led the club brilliantly at times but I think the Benitez era has passed and we need something new when the King leaves the management.