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Taxi For Rafa ?

Heading for the door?

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is again coming under increasing pressure after his team’s 1-0 loss to Wigan last night.

The Spaniard manager who gained Champions League glory with Liverpool in 2005 is under huge pressure to gain the coveted fourth place Champions League spot after a majorly disappointing season. Last night’s game at the DW stadium against Wigan was an example of Liverpool’s shortcomings the season. A lack of ideas and even the returning Fernando Torres looked a peripheral figure. Rafa Benitez’s ‘promise’ of a Champions League spot for Liverpool is looking less likely by the week.

In all fairness to Wigan, they had one of their good days as opposed to their bad ones, when they are diabolical. They deserved the win. Liverpool’s frustration was evident following Fernando Torres running half the length of the pitch to tackle Emmerson Boyce and receive a caution. Liverpool could be caused further problems with Steven Gerrard maybe facing a ban after looking like giving referee Andrew Marriner the V sign upon being booked. It just demonstrates further how frustrated Liverpool was last night with their performance.

Rafa Benitez pulled no punches in his post game press conference Sometimes you play badly but it is not a question of remembering too many games, it is a question of analysing why we didn’t show the character. The first half was very poor. We didn’t show character or attitude, nothing. There were too many mistakes. We gave the ball away, we didn’t win any first or second ball, and that is difficult to explain. I think it was a question of attitude in the first half.’

Liverpool have now lost nine games in the Premier League this season. That is just not good enough. After last season really looking like Premier League contenders, Liverpool have slipped back into a chasing pack way off the pace. Despite only being a point off fourth spot, Manchester City and Aston Villa have two games in hand and Tottenham Hotspur the one. It is looking an ominous task for Liverpool. There is some hope though. Aston Villa are culpable to burn out and with two fantastic cup runs this season, they could wither as we turn the final bend. Tottenham have some very difficult games in Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United. Manchester City are very inconsistent and will drop points. If Liverpool can muster their experience and grind out victories no matter what the style, they could still nick fourth spot.

I would not like to guess who will take fourth spot, but if Liverpool does not, it could be time for Rafa Benitez to get his coat. It appears to me something is lost at Liverpool, the spark, the thrill of the chase, a run in for glory. All disappeared at the turn of the year. Liverpool look void of ideas and confidence. It’s as if they cannot wait to get this season over and start the next one. If they don’t wake up to the fact that they won’t be no Champions League next season unless they apply themselves then this team could very well be broken up. Rafa Benitez must take ultimate responsibility.

Do you think Rafa Benitez should be sacked at the end of the season?

You can follow all Matthew Balmforth’s blogs on twitter:http://twitter.com/Soccer_Opinion


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Article title: Taxi For Rafa ?

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