Back-firing Benitez

22 February 2009 01:52
Rafa Benitez is in danger of not only costing Liverpool the title, but also costing himself a job.

That was the verdict of John Richardson as the Sunday Supplement looked at the Spaniard's latest threat to walk out of Anfield.

Benitez has told the Sunday papers he is ready to leave unless chief executive Rick Parry and American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks meet his demands - which are believed to mean him having total control of football affairs,

It is believed to be the fifth time he has brought his new contract problems up in the press and Richardson believes this might be one time too many.

Freak"This is the best opportunity in years and years to do that and all this is going on bebind the scenes with the American owners," he told the Sunday Supplement.

"You've got Rafa, will he sign, won't he sign? He's a control freak and wants to do everything, like the transfers.

He's also got this on-going battle with Rick Parry and it's an absolute mess. Why they're still second, I don't know because things that are going on are disturbing everything.

"Even the players are starting to worry about the manager and whether he's going or whether he's staying. One week he's going to sign his contract, the next week he's briefing journalists saying 'we're miles apart'.

"He's happy it's out there because it puts pressure on the club. He's using the media to try and get what he wants, but I think it will end up a disaster for him. It's a dangerous game to play.

"The important thing is that he thinks he has got the fans behind him and mostly he has. But now some of them are starting to turn, saying they've had enough of this, all we want to do is win three points every week, we want to snatch the title back for the first time since 1990."

AnimalRichardson and his fellow guests suggested that maybe it was time to call Benitez's bluff.

They also pointed out that he is unlikely to sign any new deal until the outcome of the Champions League tie with Real Madrid, where victory would send his stock soaring even higher.

But, even if that should happen said Richardson, he needs to worry about winning the league.

"Rafa is a political animal, you can't take that away from him," he said.

"But the thing is, Liverpool fans - as we know - are desperate for the league title to be won.

"Rafa, as I said, is playing a dangerous game. I've read his book and it's a carbon copy of what happened at Valencia. Fair enough he won two titles but this is going down a dangerous for Liverpool and Rafa Benitez.

"He does know the strength of feeling about (winning) the Premier League, he's not that stupid. But I do think he has been stupid the way he has been going on."

Source: SKY_Sports