In the last few days a number of Liverpool fan websites have run polls on who should be the next manager.
The answer on every one has been clear: Rafa Benitez.
On one site the proportion that supported Benitez was over 70%. Yet, Benitez seems to be the one obvious choice not being chosen, or even considered. Why?
It could be that the owners feel that bringing one past manager back was one too many. However, the decision to bring back Dalglish in the first place should never have been made.
His record as a manager did not justify it. The fact he’d been out of management for so long made the decision worse.
It looks like a decision that was made in good-will, but was based on sentiment and hope.
Considering Benitez as a candidate would be justified on his record, not sentiment. In fact, on these grounds, he is arguably one of the best candidates around.
He took over an under-performing Liverpool and led them to two successive Champions’ League titles. He won the FA Cup, and came second in the Premiership with a points-total that deserved to win it.
When he had funds, instead of having to wheel and deal and be a Del Boy in the transfer market, he did very well.
A clear majority of Liverpool fans want Benitez back. Not because of sentiment, but because he never should have been sacked.
It was not for incompetence, but for insubordination. He would not keep his mouth shut about the activities of Hicks and Gillett.
One Liverpool fan suggested to me that the reason he is not in the frame is because the new owners want a yes man. Perhaps a bit harsh, but Rafa does have a reputation for being his own person.
FSG are not showing good judgement. Most Liverpool fans want Benitez back, so not even interviewing him comes across as a snub to him and to them.
If whoever they appoint doesn’t succeed, then the fans reaction could be significant. Liverpool Football Club is at a crossroads.
The wrong decision now could leave it as a mid-table side for years to come, and the owners hated.
Martinez may be a good choice, but are you unhappy at Benitez being 'snubbed'?
image: © kong niffe