In the last few minutes (it’s 1630 BST as I’m writing this), Rafael Benitez has left his position as manager of Liverpool.
He’s left by mutual consent, he’s not been fired, as a statement on the club website attests to.
Last night, the media got hold of the fact that talks were underway between the club and Benitez (who is believed to be on holiday) and his agents, with respect to negotiating a financial settlement.
It looks as though Benitez had finally realised that whilst he still maintains considerable support from the fans, he has lost all support in the boardroom; reports were that his last remaining supporter washed his hands of him a while ago.
It looks as though the club has realised that the stance they were taking of hoping a club would try and poach Benitez and they would get considerable compensation, wasn’t feasible, in fact it was putting clubs off, so they’ve decided to cut their losses.
For now, it looks as though Kenny Dalglish and Sammy Lee will oversee the day-to-day running of the club until a new manager is named, I’ll state my preferences in another post.
I’ve heard a lot of rumours (one from a VERY reliable source, that Benitez had completely lost the dressing room, with some senior players in almost open revolt over his tactics and methods. In fact, I have it on good authority that some players were so disgruntled it got to ‘he goes or I go’.
I’ve been a critic of Benitez for years, I don’t like the defensive tactics he employs, I don’t like the way he’s aired the club’s dirty laundry in public and I don’t like the way he’s undermines the confidence of players by pointless rotation and substution and by playing them out of position.
None of what I’ve said is personal. I don’t know the man. There are things that he needs to be thanked for, and I will thank him for them in another post.
I've not long got home so apologies if this seems a bit rushed! I’m going to take some time and digest some information, try and sort the fact and the fiction out and I’ll do a more thorough post later on.