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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

What Liverpool Must Do Next

So, that’s it then: another year’s title challenge has faded away.  Well, at least this year it really was a challengee.  Trawling through the message boards, you’ll find many who want a clean sweep which includes getting rid of the manager.  It is an understandable, if far fetched reaction, but in reality Liverpool can still take a lot from this season: it is a step in the right direction.  One which can be bettered by doing the following things:

Sort out Benitez’s Contract
One of the more unseemly squabbles that have undermined the team’s progress has been the publicly played out issue regarding Benitez’s contract.  Whatever the issues might be, the owners have to ask themselves whether they believe that Benitez is the man they want managing the club over the next four years or not.  If that is their wish then they have to give in to his requests, whatever they might be.

Sort out Players’ Contracts
Daniel Agger’s is the most high profile case but he’s not the only player whose contract is running out.  Again, someone must step up and take responsibility of sorting this mess out.  How can Agger fully concentrate on playing for the club when, despite their publicly stated willingness to stay, they keep getting rejected?

Have Fun
Let’s face it, these past few weeks have been quite drab.  At least, that’s how I’ve been feeling: living in fear of every game and the potential impact of dropped points.  And I’m sure that the players have been feeling it even more.  Now that the chance of winning the league has diminished to practically zero, perhaps they can start playing with less anxiety which should help boost results.

It would be disrespectful to expect Benitez to install anyone from the reserves into the first team but clearly some of them are good enough to learn from the sidelines. The likes of Pacheco, Spearing, Darby and Kelly would learn a lot simply by watching it at close range.  And, who knows, maybe an easy win might prompt someone of them being told to go out and play.


Andrew Martin

Liverpool has a great second half of the season record under Benitez - but this time the pressure has really hurt the team; could Benitez have done something else, I wonder, to divert attention away from the players?

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