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Dominic King: Rafa Benitez needs to stop sniping at Liverpool to move forward
Published : 06 Nov 2010 03:00:00
Rafa Benitez 300 A NEW daytime drama started on the BBC this week; produced by Liverpool's own Jimmy McGovern and set over five parts, it is titled 'Moving On'. The series ran on consecutive days and, according to the synopsis which was distributed about it, the shows were linked to one central issue, namely how to 'move on' after you have reached a turning point in your life. With hindsight, maybe a sixth programme could have been commissioned and based on recent events at Anfield - if ever the time has come to close a chapter on a certain period in Liverpool's history it is now. No prizes for guessing where this is going. Certain events over the last seven days may have been manna from heaven for headline writers and news crews but for the majority of Liverpool supporters, it has made for uncomfortable viewing. When Rafa Benitez snapped in a Champions League press conference on Monday evening, proclaiming Roy Hodgson had been 'talking about things that he did not know' you saw a glimpse of how much the leaving of Liverpool in June affected him. Benitez is trying to make the best of his new life with Inter Milan but, clearly, he cannot help looking back at what he has left behind; equally, there are fans who hanker to see him return in Anfield's technical area, overseeing operations. Everybody knows why. Benitez was the man who brought the European Cup back to Anfield after a 21-year absence, made Champions League football a regular occurrence and signed some magnificent players who went on to become Liverpool legends. Now a number of those favourites have gone, the team has struggled in the opening part of the campaign and, regardless of a three-game winning run, there remains an ambivalence towards Hodgson. Benitez's popularity among the masses, meanwhile, is assured and anyone who thinks the club are trying to expunge him from the history books should take a look at the new mural that has been erected on one of the walls at Melwood. There at the top, not far from Bill Shankly, is an iconic image of Benitez, smiling with utter contentment as he proudly shows the European Cup to delirious fans at the end of a magical night in Istanbul.