Soccer manager Rafael Benitez always looked for somebody else to blame when he was managing English Premier League (EPL) club Liverpool and Italian Serie A team Inter Milan. It was no surprise that he was fired from both clubs in the space of about seven months in 2010. Benitez hasn’t changed and it’s interesting he likes to take all of the credit for his successes in the game, but wants to point to others when it comes to all of his shortcomings.
Benitez recently spoke with the British press and said he’d like to head back to the EPL to manage. But here’s a guy who was so inept at his job that he’s actually making more money not to manage this year than the top manager in the EPL is making. Liverpool and Inter were so desperate to get rid of him they had to pay huge severance packages, which is their own fault though. But he’s making millions this year to stay away from the game and is earning more than Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini.
Benitez managed or mismanaged Liverpool for six years and inherited a strong side left by former boss Gerard Houllier. He made it to the Champions League final in 2005 and was trailing 3-0 in the first half due to his tactics and team selection. Captain Steven Gerrard then took the game by the scruff off the neck and inspired his teammates to a 4-3 win in a penalty shootout.
He won the FA Cup in 2006, and was a runner up in the Champions League in 2007 and the Premier League in 2008-09. However, the league was there for the taking in 08/09, but Liverpool choked in the big games. Last season the club ended up in seventh place and missed the Champions League completely.
Liverpool owners got rid of him in the summer and he was then hired by Inter Milan, who were the Italian league and Cup winners as well as Champions League winners under manager Jose Mourinho. Inter hired Benitez to the dismay of most fans and he somehow managed to ruin the most successful club team from 2009/10 in just a matter of seven months before being fired again.
He won the Italian Super Cup and the Mickey Mouse World Club Championship, but was brutal in the league and had Inter in seventh place. His constant whining and blaming of others grated the nerves of the Inter Hierarchy and was let go because of it just a couple days before Christmas. It was an ideal present for Inter supporters.
Benitez left Liverpool in a state of shambles with his constant signing of mediocre players that cost the owners millions of pounds. Roy Hodgson was brought in to help out the sinking ship, but couldn’t manage to do it. After he was fired, Kenny Dalglish, a former Liverpool star player and manager was brought in. However, he just won his first game with the club on Jan. 22. Dalglish managed to win eight league titles in his time as a manager and player at Liverpool from 1977 to 1991.
When the quality of the current squad was brought up, Benitez refused to take the blame by saying “me” and turned everything into “we.” For example he said: “We know that we made some mistakes,” and, “We are not happy with some of the signings.” To this day he still refuses to take responsibility for the mess he left the team in even though he was solely responsible for the signings.
He then pointed to some of the current players that he brought in, such as Pepe Reina, Martin Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Lucas, Fabio Aurelio, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt, and Maxi Rodriguez and said it’s an excellent team. But most knowledgeable soccer fans realize these players are nowhere near good enough to be called anything other than mediocre and the team was just seven points above the relegation zone on Jan. 23.
Benitez then said, “The team is good, the value of the squad is really good and we were making mistakes but signing fantastic players. We signed Xabi Alonso, Javier Mascherano, Luis Garcia, and Yossi Benayoun.” But these last four players were sold off to buy others who weren’t nearly as good.
Benitez also fails to add that he spent hundreds of millions of pounds of the owners’ money on dozens of players nobody’s heard of. The man is clearly as delusional as he’s always been and for the life of me I hope he never sets foot back in England again for any soccer related matters.