Rafael Benítez: 10 mistakes that have cost Liverpool

Giulio Romano, 1526-1534
“This summer’s transfer strategy. Rafael Benítez has purposely avoided conflict with Liverpool’s owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, this season but there are signs diplomacy over their budget restrictions is beginning to wane as pressure mounts. “We signed three players and we wanted four,” he said before Lyon. The fourth, it is safe to assume, was a forward. Not signing quality cover for Fernando Torres, and being so short of strikers that David Ngog started the critical game against the French and Andriy Voronin was reluctantly brought back from loan at Hertha Berlin, is proving catastrophic.” (Guardian)

Liverpool could be counting the cost of European failure for years to come
“It is never a happy prospect to be staring at a possible Champions League exit and bonfire of title hopes even before 5 November but for Liverpool this autumn’s struggle for form is particularly ill-timed. Pride, history and the nagging sense of unfulfilled promise soak Anfield with highly-strung, permanent expectation, but at a time like this, to put it bluntly, they cannot afford to fail.” (Guardian – David Conn)

James Lawton: Rafa show is ready for the final curtain
“If there was any mystery to the question now being asked in open panic on Merseyside, the situation might not seem quite so hopeless. Unfortunately there isn’t. We know well enough, and have done so for some time, the answer to ‘What’s it all about, Rafa?’ It is almost entirely about Rafa, and no team has prospered long term under such egocentric control.” (Independent)

Red for danger: Liverpool empire could be one defeat from crumbling
“Four consecutive losses have left Liverpool seemingly at the risk of implosion. After defeat by Lyons in the Champions League on Tuesday, their next opponents are Manchester United and Rafael Benítez’s side will take to the pitch at Anfield on Sunday in the knowledge that another loss would all but end their Barclays Premier League title hopes with seven months of the campaign remaining.” (TimesOnline)

Liverpool v Manchester United: top 10 video moments
“Watch YouTube clips of classic matches between Liverpool and Manchester United as English football’s fiercest rivalry is renewed in the Premier League at Anfield on Sunday.” (Telegraph)

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