Is it finally time for Liverpool to sack manager Rafael Benitez?

Rafael Benitez has been under pressure for some time due to Liverpool’s poor performance this season. Sure enough Manchester United thrashed them on Sunday. However he seems to stubbornly holding on. It is not like Liverpool are doing really badly, just not up to standard. Benitez has managed Liverpool for a long time and it seems harsh to consider firing him for a poor season.

Is it finally time for Liverpool to sack manager Rafael Benitez?

Yes because... No because...

Liverpool have had a poor season

Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages, their worst performance in recent years. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by Reading, a team which is struggling in the Championship. They are also nearly 20 points behind the league leaders, Manchester United, having played one more game and four points away from fourth place Tottenham having played one more game and scored less goals.

They have lost 10 matches this season so far, with 6 more to go, one of which is against Chelsea, a game which does not promise victory. The sides that they have lost to outside of the top four: Portsmouth, Wigan and Fulham are not exactly the league's strongest teams.

The only hope they have of salvaging their season is to win the Europa League, no small feat considering some of the more in form sides like Valencia and Benfica who are still left in it.

Liverpool have not won a major trophy for nearly four years now, it is only recently that this has become an issue. Arsenal have not won a trophy for five years, yet their manager does not seem to suffer from the constant speculation about his job that Benitez does.

Liverpool still have a good chance of finishing fourth as Tottenham have to play Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City in their last 7 games. If Tottenham lose these three, which is not highly unlikely, and Liverpool manage to win all of their remaining games they will easily finish fourth.

Is it finally time for Liverpool to sack manager Rafael Benitez?

Yes because... No because...

He has failed to replace key players sold in the summer

In the summer Benitez sold Xabi Alonso, Liverpool's best player after Torres and Gerrard. Benitez failed to replace him with a player of similar quality. Benitez bought Alberto Aquilani, an injured player, who has failed to make a significant impact in his first season due to his time on the sidelines. He also failed to sign another striker after selling Robbie Keane back to Tottenham in January of last year, at a loss, but has not given Ryan Babel many chances to develop his game alongside Torres. A side cannot be expected to challenge for the title or any other trophy with only one well-recognised striker.

This cannot be blamed entirely on the manager. If he is not given the funds to attract star players by the board of directors, because of Liverpool's financial problems, he cannot be blamed. Talent costs money, and money is needed to pay superstar wages. If Liverpool do not have the money they cannot expect to attract the players, no matter who their manager is.

Is it finally time for Liverpool to sack manager Rafael Benitez?

Yes because... No because...

The players have lost confidence in him.

Albert Riera spoke to the media saying that communication between the players and the manager was poor and that Benitez had never sorted out an issue with a player by speaking to them personally. This is not how a manager in the top flight should deal with his players. Some of the most successful managers like Ferguson and Mourinho did not shy away from confronting players about issues that they may have had and this is what has allowed them to produce good and consistent teams.

Is it finally time for Liverpool to sack manager Rafael Benitez?

Yes because... No because...

Liverpool cannot afford to sack him

The owners of Liverpool football club already have a lot of financial problems. They owe RBS £237 million and have had to suspend plans for a new stadium because of this. Benitez recently signed a five-year contract with the club and it is rumoured that he will have to be paid his full salary (£4 million) if he is fired before the end of his contract.

Debates > Is it finally time for Liverpool to sack manager Rafael Benitez?
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