By Gareth Freeman
he Liverpool players and Benitez might claim they still have a shot at the title but I think deep down they know they’re chasing a lost cause now. After that great start I think the last couple of months have demonstrated why the board need to put more money into the team to get them challenging for the league.
In terms of a best eleven Liverpool are probably on a par with Chelsea and Manchester United but in terms of squad depth they’re a long way behind. I think the tiredness is starting to show on a lot of the Liverpool players and it was almost a good thing getting knocked out of the FA Cup as it means the players have the weekend off to prepare for the Real Madrid game.
Rafa is an absolute master when it comes to European football and the Champions League is Liverpool’s last chance to pick up any silverware this season. With Benitez in charge there is always going to be a decent chance of winning a cup competition but in the league tactical ability can only get you so far. When players are tired and a similar level of quality isn’t there to back them up the side are going to suffer and that is what is happening to Liverpool at the moment.
Whether the board will back Benitez remains to be seen. They wouldn’t fork out the £18million Aston Villa wanted for Gareth Barry, which may seem like an inflated price but when you consider the impact he has for Villa it is probably quite reasonable in the modern game. I also couldn’t imagine the Man Utd or Chelsea board telling the manager they couldn’t have that amount of money for a player the manager obviously feels will benefit the team. The fact is if Liverpool had won the league this season it would have been a mammoth achievement and Benitez needs the backing of the board to give Liverpool the best chance of taking the title.
If you’re planning on having an online football bet on the FA Cup action I can’t see any upsets and I expect Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton to progress. There is only on Premier League game this weekend between Sunderland and Tottenham so whatever the outcome it will have no bearing on Liverpool, though you should get decent odds on Spurs winning at the Stadium of Light so it might be a worthwhile soccer bet.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
By Gareth Freeman