It has been quite a while since I last posted but fortunately the hectic weeks are behind me now. I did manage to catch all the live games of LFC on the telly here, even the one last night that kicked off at 3.45AM, and also got to always keep in touch with the news over my mobile but mostly from the more 'sane' sites.
If my past weeks were damning, I cannot start to imagine what it was like for Rafa Benitez. And I am glad I am just a fan and not the manager of LFC because I do not think I would have survived the horrifying ordeal he had to undergo. It looked like, and still looks like, every Tom, Dick, And Harry is going after his jugular.
But that is not the truth altogether, because there are quite a number of santuaries, if you may call it that, where the fans get to discuss matters related to LFC mostly with proper facts and figures, where almost everyone is level-headed and would take whatever that is reported in the news with a pinch of salt.
Some people call these fans the rafalogists, as if Rafa Benitez needs to apologise for anything, while some call them rafatollahs, a term that makes quite a number of us squirm for obvious reasons. The fans, some of them have been following LFC for decades through the thicks and thins, are given these names because apparently they are the ones who are wrongly making 'excuses' for Rafa Benitez, as we all know Rafa is not one of those managers who give excuses that easily. And Rafa is taking them for a ride and they are so stupid (half-a-brainers as some put it) they cannot see the obvious. Fortunately, I can say that I belong to this group of fans that supports Rafa all the way.
This is not to say that Rafa is beyond criticism, because we all know that managers come and go, just like players come and go, but the fans (the actual ones at least) are here to stay and all of us want LFC to be as successful as possible. Then again, there is the term 'supporter' that I feel is sometimes taken too lightly by some quarters. As I cannot speak for these fans, I will just leave it at that but would like to state that some of the crap that comes out from some ex-players and ex-managers is really really disheartening. I just wish that there were a way we could disassociate ourselves from these morons. And the worse part of it all is some of these morons never did really achieve any sorts of greatness at the club neither as a player nor as a manager. And I am sure we fans can pinpoint them all and their 'achievements'.
The least some of these people could do is to take stock of the problems we have had since Rafa took over until now. We still hope that our team is still up there challenging for glory but somehow I feel the great expectations that was brought upon us by Rafa Benitez himself last season needs to be reassesed. It hurts to see a great team that ended last season with so much potential seems to have deteriorated over night, which is just impossible.
It is so easy to criticise, especially after a game with the benefit of hindsight, but I would like these people to show us which manager could have done better than Rafa Benitez with all the circumstances that have been surrounding him. Which team could afford to challenge strongly with almost half of the squad out injured (never have we seen such bad luck of injuries before) and those who get to play are either still nursing with injury or thrown into the pitch and given such huge responsibilities when at best they should be playing in the reserve league?
Or show us the manager who would have done a better job than Rafa Benitez with the players he had to buy and sell because of the lack of funds, when one player on the bench of our rivals is more expensive than 3 of ours playing their hearts out on the pitch? Or show us the manager who could have stopped the beachball from scoring against us? Or show us the manager who could have stopped the goals from leaking in when our back four is forced to being rotated so very often? You get my drift here and if it sounds like being an apologist for Rafa, then so be it.
I used to make fun of ARSEnal and ARSEne Wenger. But after what he told the press the other day about Rafa and the circumstances he is in, I now have more respect for him, a rival manager, than for people like Souness and Jamie Redknapp and gazillions of other morons and the so-called pundits.
I personally still believe that when we have all the injured players available to Rafa, which would not be that long in the future and if there is no other injuries (touch wood) and when all the players at last get back their confidence, and if we get to be back in the top 4 at the end of December, then we would still have a decent shot at the title. And with Aquailani almost fully fit to play now and maybe one or two additions to the squad during the January break, we get to at last show the form we are capable of, displayed so effectively not too long ago. Until then, I will continue to cross my fingers.
In Rafa we trust.