Thursday, June 3, 2010

Rafa's imminent departure looms

Speculations surrounding Rafa's move from Liverpool may finally come to an end. The latest news suggest that Rafael Benitez's departure from Anfield is imminent as Liverpool plan to come to an agreement with the Spaniard on a severance deal, which if he accepts, will have immediate effect. Liverpool look to avoid the mega bucks on Benitez's contract by offering him a walkaway fee of around 3M pounds as per several sources. The large sum of money currently present on Rafa's contract may not have to be paid if the man takes a job somewhere else after he quits Merseyside. Rumors are that Rafa might succeed Jose Mourinho as the new Inter Milan boss. Well, let's hope these reports are genuine.

Benitez's head was under the knife since Liverpool finished 7th in the PL. There was just a delay releasing the rope. Benitez's tenure at Liverpool since 6 years has seen a relationship deterioration with players. This explains the poor season by Steven Gerrard. Whenever he would play, you could see on his face there was a sign of frustration and unhappiness. For me, the club has provided Rafa with an easy way out for the sake of preserving both Gerrard and Torres.

Fairclough told Sky Sports:

After a difficult season, in which Liverpool finished seventh, Fairclough believes Gerrard might be tempted to walk away from Anfield unless a new manager is put in place.

"There does need to be a change, there's no doubt about that," Fairclough added.

"You need to progress, you need to keep hold of your best players and clearly I think Steven Gerrard has a major part to play in the future of Liverpool Football Club.

"I think he is perhaps unhappy at the way things have been moving along and there are signs maybe that he wasn't entirely happy with Rafa himself.

"You have to have Steven here and I think their only hope probably was to try and restructure a change with a new name at the top to try and make Steven commit.

"I think he wants to be a Liverpool player for the future but I think he has to be clear in the ways Liverpool are moving forwards."

With Liverpool's current financial status, top managers like Guus Hiddink and Roy Hodgson may not be tempted to come and manage the team. Money restraints would mean hitting a compromise by not buying first choice players. The current Liverpool squad is only short of two quality players to start challenging for top honours. What's more interesting is to see how well a new manager manages the current Liverpool squad. Personally, I think Dalglish would be the ideal replacement for the short term. He is an absolute legend and is still at the club. So, Liverpool would be spared from shopping around. Kenny Dalglish under his first spell as manager for Liverpool FC brought three league titles from 1985-1991. Yes he's been out from the circuit for quite a while now. But he is certainly someone worth considering.

I wish to thank Rafa for his 6 years in charge of Liverpool FC. The memorable win in Istanbul;against Man Utd, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Besiktas among many others will always live in the memories of Liverpool supporters. I also thank Rafa for bringing Torres and transforming him into one of the world's finest strikers. Thank You Rafa for establishing Liverpool as one of Europe's elite clubs. Thank you for all the contribution you have made to better Liverpool Football Club. I wish you the best of luck and lots of success for the future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Player's Profile - Nathan Eccleston

Nathan Eccleston is yet another English player to feature in the Liverpool squad sheet. Eccleston was born in Manchester on December 30, 1990 and guess what, he wears the Liverpool red! He is 1.78m and plays as striker. He is fast and has bags of ability. I haven't seen much of him but from what I have heard he has tons of potential.

He scored on his second string debut against Bolton during the 2007/08 season. The same campaign was fruitful for him as he settled down to make a reputation for himself. That said, he found the net against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup and scored against Manchester Utd in the Lancashire FA Cup Final. Along with medals, he got pride and a reputation.

That reputation earned him a full time promotion to Melwood ahead of the 2009/10 campaign. His senior debut came against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on October 28, 2009 when he was deployed as a substitute during the Carling Cup Fourth Round tie. He looked lively on that occasion but time wasn't on his side because he was substituted around 10 minutes away from the final whistle.

His first ever PL appearance arrived 3 days afterwards when he was again sent as a substitute late into the game which saw Liverpool lose the match to Fulham at Craven Cottage. To further blood the youngster, Liverpool sent him on loan as from January 2010 to League One club, Huddersfield Town.