The biggest debate in the Premiership right now.
Has Rafa made mistakes? Yes, many. It was a huge mistake hawking Alonso in that cheap and tawdry fashion. Rafa does have a reputation of giving short shrift to the personal touch. His use of Benayoun, a creative and clever spark is an after thought. His tactic of rotating strikers have been unsettling and at times unproductive. We have seen some questionable buys in Fernando Morientes, Mark Gonzalez, Jermain Pennant, Andrea Dossena, and Ryan Babel. So we know his faults. Every manager has them. I am an Arsenal fan and in Wenger we trust but there have been moments of real exasperation and second guessing.
But.... the season is early and a few wins later and this could blow over. The best thing going this season is the open look of the league. The Sunderlands and the Stoke Cities have proven real thorns. They can stick it to the best teams who look vulnerable.
Rafa has a track record and it is an enviable one. Liverpool has the best CL record under him in Europe. Last year, they pushed Man Utd hard and if it was not for a series of draws (11) they could have won their first title. They have steadily increased their goal output leading the league with 77 goals. It has become attractive watching Liverpool with Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres play at full tilt and one remembers that classic 4-4 shootout with Arsenal at Anfield.
How Alberto Aquilani performs will be crucial to Rafa's future. After all Rafa spent £20m for him and he is slated as Liverpool's playmaker, so it is only fair to reserve judgment till then. He has been cleared to play and should start by the end of the month. He could be the game changer Liverpool need and Rafa would then look like a genius. If he does not deliver, then yes, the calls for him to resign gain legitimacy. But any new manager coming to Liverpool knows he comes to a club facing economic uncertainty and two unloved owners.
Here is a spirited defense of Rafa >>