Is Benitez going to go?

In the last few weeks there’s been a ‘will-he-won’t-he’ saga unfolding at Liverpool as to whether or not Rafael Benitez will leave to become manager of Juventus.
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Despite all kinds of denials, it certainly looks as though Benitez’s agent, Manuel Garcia Quilon, has been talking to Juventus and the obvious assumption is that Benitez has given him the green light to talk on his behalf.
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The plot some what thickened further today, as it has emerged that Benitez has cancelled two meetings with new Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton in the two previous weeks. The club has given no official reason for these cancellations.
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This revelation comes as Benitez on Monday (3rd May) claimed that he was anxious to "meet with the chairman sooner rather than later". A meeting has been scheduled for later this week. I’m going to assume that this meeting will be about Benitez’s future, the future of the club with respect to the sale and transfer funds. >>
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There may well be perfectly legitimate reasons for these meeting being cancelled, and it must be stressed that the first meeting fell on the week where Liverpool had to make that land journey to Madrid, so it’s perfectly understandable why that meeting was cancelled. The other cancellation is a mystery.>>
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Stories about Benitez taking over at Juventus have been circulating since January. There were reports last week that an offer was on the table and there was a fresh round of rumours at the weekend that he has verbally agreed to take the reins. The sticking point seems to be money. >>
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According to reports, Juve are going to offer Benitez the same contract that he is currently on, but due to the high rates of taxes here in England, he’ll actually make more money in Turin. The sticking points to this move financially at least, seem to be the level of compensation Juventus would have to pay Liverpool, and Benitez’s alleged request for a golden handshake.>>
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Now if that’s true, I find that to be pretty disgraceful. If you or I chose to quit our jobs to move to another company, would we get paid off? There’s talk of this payment being a sort of loyalty bonus, because he’s had the chance to previously leave and hasn’t. How does that work? How can you leave the club and claim loyalty? Sports has to be one of the only fields of employment where you can quit or get fired from a job, and you get your contract paid up in full. >>
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The other sticking point to his move is Benitez himself. He seems to be dangling the job offer in front of Liverpool like a girl trying to make a guy jealous by threatening to go out with someone else in the hopes that he’ll suddenly see what he’s missing out on. Today some of the papers are carrying stories that Juve have given him a deadline to make a decision as they’re getting fed up with his noncommittal attitude. >>
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Personally I believe the biggest obstacle to this move is Benitez’s ego. If he leaves, it is almost an acceptance that he can’t succeed at Liverpool, something he’ll never admit. He still believes firmly in his football philosophy and honestly thinks he can still win trophies. In the latter part of this season, when Champions League qualification was still very much a possibility, he definitely seemed to focus on winning the Europa League instead, showing once again his priorities are feathering his own C.V. rather than focussing on the league, and the 4th place that would have allowed us to escape the disaster of this season with something to build on in the summer, the same 4ht place he “guaranteed” we’d get..>>
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He may also be trying to stall for a bit of time, to see what the ownership situation is going to be. Despite having over £290m to spend, Benitez has publicly bemoaned the amount of money he’s had to spend compared to other clubs (I don’t accept the net spend argument as to his performance in the transfer market, I’ll address this in a later post). New ownership should mean money to spend and if that money is coming sooner rather than later, he’ll want to be here to spend it. >>
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The game against Chelsea exposed all the failings of Benitez and his team this season. Despite a good performance against Atletico Madrid, where it was only a quirk of the rules that put us out (as well as a bad refereeing decision and total negativity from Benitez in the away leg), we reverted to the same old dour, negative tactics that have served us so badly this season. We have a squad that is heavy in central midfielders and central defenders but with no cover out wide or up front. We played well without really threatening early on and after Gerrard rediscovered his ability to pass the ball back without looking to see if a strikers waiting, our heads collectively dropped.>>
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Of course Benitez wouldn’t do anything as radical as change the formation, even when we were 0-2 down and were playing all with the positivity of Eeyore. We still stuck to the same old tired ideas and just hoped one would work. Gerrard looks totally demotivated and many others in the team look as if they just don’t want to play this way any more.>>
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We are now reduced to depending on Aston Villa not winning their last game, and assuming we can (or even we’ll try to) beat Hull, to avoid the ignominy of having to play in the qualifying stage of the Europa league, meaning we’d have to start our season very early. Just think in August we were dreaming of a league title! >>
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This season has been downhill from the moment in the first game when Carragher executed a perfect header on Skrtel and it’s just got worse. We’re going to rack up the worst points total we’ve had since Benitez’s first season, where he at least had the excuse of inheriting a poor squad from Houllier. After six years, what we’re seeing is just not good enough. >>
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It'll surprise no-one who reads my posts regularly that I want him to go. I genuinely think Juventus will be a good fit for Benitez and vice-versa. Serie A is known for being a more defensively minded league, so Benitez’s tactics will fit in well. Him leaving is the best possible solution as the club can’t really afford to sack him and he won’t resign.>>
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By the way, I don’t for one second believe that this is the start of a tailspin for Liverpool like a lot the media make it out to be. We’ve missed out on the Champions League before and came back stronger for it. I’d be surprised if we weren’t in the top 4 next season. Also I can’t see either of Gerrard or Torres leaving, and even if they did we’d be able to command astronomical fees for both of them and I don’t believe there’s such a thing as an irreplaceable player.