Brendan Rodgers is banishing the Liverpool ghost of Rafa Benitez

No longer can Liverpool fans pine for Rafa Benitez, surely?

There are many superlatives with which to describe Liverpool's recent form - and let's face it, we are quickly running out of them.

But perhaps his greatest achievement - in just under two seasons at the club, is how the ghosts of Rafa Benitez' recent achievements are being laid to rest.

The Spaniard is still held in high regard on Merseyside, and the football his side played in 2008/09 seen as the benchmark for the club to try to emulate ever since.

That season Liverpool narrowly missed out on winning the Premier League, defeating eventual champions Manchester United 4-1, and Real Madrid 4-0 in the Champions League.

When Benitez' side were unable to live up to those standards the following season, he left the club; but what he achieved; or so very nearly did - remains held in high regard.

Roy Hodgson instantly failed to replace the Spaniard, and despite a bright start, Kenny Dalglish also was unable to reach the same heights as Benitez.

When Dalglish was sacked, opinion polls of Liverpool fans across supporter websites revealed Rafa Benitez was the clear number one choice to replace him.

Owners FSG had already looked backwards once with Dalglish, and were reluctant to do the same again despite Benitez' availability - making the intriguing choice to bring in the highly rated Rodgers.

His first season was a case of steadying the ship and untangling the mess left before him, but when Chelsea hired Benitez, it's fair to say there were a few eyes on Merseyside looking on jealously wondering what may have been.

Well that will be the case in the future no more; because what Brendan Rodgers is putting together now, is a team which is eclipsing any title challenging side Benitez put together.

Nobody will ever be able to take away the Spaniard's 2005 Champions League win, but when it came to winning the Premier League, in five years, the 2008/09 season was as close as he got.

Right now Liverpool are considered by many to be the favourites for the title due to their winning run and home advantage against their title rivals, and their form is a sight to behold.

They netted six at the weekend against Cardiff and nobody batted an eyelid in surprise; it's become routine to expect such results from the club - even if the enjoyment at watching such football will never diminish.

Their 3-0 win at Old Trafford last week was even described by Jamie Carragher as better than the 2009 victory, and the goalscoring records just keep on tumbling.

After this season nobody will be able to look back on Benitez' best season as the standard; this will be the new benchmark for Brendan Rodgers to attempt to re-create.

Now it may become a tough ask to repeat year after year as rivals adapt, but for now, fans should just enjoy the ride and worry about that later. With the club likely to strengthen in the transfer market over the summer, should they reach the summit and lift the title - there's plenty of reason to believe Liverpool can stay at the top and this will be no flash in the pan.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch