Reds - Business as usual

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Reds - Business as usual

Benitez: Business as usual

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Sky Bet have cut Rafa Benitez's odds of vacating the Liverpool hotseat by the start of next season following a flurry of bets on the Spaniard's departure.

They have also chalked up former boss Kenny Dalgilsh as a 3/1 shot to succeed the Spaniard. Click here for more.

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Sky Sports News understands it is 'business as usual' for Liverpool following rumours about Rafa Benitez's future.

Leading bookmakers had suspended betting on the next Premier League manager to go market amid speculation Benitez could leave his position as Reds manager after Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League tie at Real Madrid.

Benitez is also odds-on not to be in charge at Anfield for the start of next season as talks regarding a contract extension continue to stall.

The Spaniard's current deal expires at the end of next term and he has yet to agree a control to prolong his tenure on Merseyside.

Speaking ahead of the first leg of the last 16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu, Benitez stated that the game against Real would have no bearing on his future.

Reports claimed that knocking Real out of the Champions League would strengthen his position, but Benitez suggested it would be wrong to judge a manager on the basis of two games.


And Sky Sports News sources understands that Liverpool's final preparations for the game, which can be seen live on Sky Sports 2, have continued as normal.

A source close to the club said: "Rafa is not going to be sacked, such suggestions are ridiculous.

"We are aware of the rumours and speculation that has been buzzing around in Madrid but it is just not true.

"This has not bothered the manager or the team. Everything we have done since we arrived in Madrid has been spot on.

"Nobody has even mentioned this and we are surprised that such suggestions have been raised. Rafa Benitez is not about to be sacked by Liverpool."

Comments (18)

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Robbie Herd says...

I am not surprised that the board don't want to give Rafa control of signings. Only Torres, Mashcerano and Alonso are worth talking about. There is a huge list of duckeggs (apart from Crouch who should not have been sold) that he has signed, got rid of, or is currently playing. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realise that Rafa is not firing on all cylinders that would make him great. Yes he has progressed with the reds but is clearly taking us no further..............Beunos nachos Rafa

Posted 22:46 25th February 2009

Kace Clarke (Liverpool fan) says...

I reckon that this was a ploy by Real Madrid to put off Liverpool in this very important match that had obviously backfired...

Posted 22:45 25th February 2009

Anthony Brophy (Liverpool fan) says...

I'm a Liverpool fan all my life, and I have seen some really brilliant teams over the years. The 87,88,89 team was a real gem. We where always great to watch and got the results, it was inspiring. Now, we are dull, and uninspiring. Functional and methodical. Yes we have grafters (kuyt etc) who give 100% always and it is admirable. But football should be more than that. It should rise above the average, with pace, and purpose and control. Benitez , can only coach one way, tactically and methodically. The players are asked to play a system and stick to it with no freedom of expression. It should be obvious for any fan of the beautiful game that if this type of approach succeeds it spells the death for the game we all love. I for one would much prefer to see us play with more flare as of old. Arsene Wenger is an intelligent football man and he is never far wrong.

Posted 22:44 25th February 2009

Shaun Grainger (Liverpool fan) says...

Lets just say 2 champions league finals won 1 lost 1 say no more Rafa to lead us till the time we eventually claim OUR rightfull place as the best team in England.Fear our wrath you shall kneel before us and we shall be your masters.

Posted 20:36 25th February 2009

Leigh Hayward (Liverpool fan) says...

Whilst I agree with some of the things mentioned in this thread, I whole heartedly disagree that we will never win the title under Rafa. Keane was sold back to Spurs because he didn't want him. It was clear that all summer Rafa wanted Barry and I think he would have been an excellent signingas Barry has been the driving force for Aston Villa all season, and would have cost £2 million less than Keane cost. Not exactly sure why Keane came in the first place, but so much hype was put on someone that is not even in the same league as Torres, yet he cost the same amount of money (how does that work) As for Dossena, he is the first choice Italian national team left back. Since when as a football team, have we not wanted world class players. He has to get used to playing in England as it is a completely different style of football to Italy. Lucas may not be the finished article at the moment, but I think he has the potential to be close to the same potential as Maschareno. Liverpool might not be the complete team we all want them to be, but they are not too far away and given sole responsibility of transfers, I think we would see a team that Rafa wants to build, and not one that he is forced to use. If then he still doesn't deliver the title, we can say, bye bye Rafa, you were given the chance to succeed in your own way and you didn't. As the old saying goes, give someone enough rope and they might hang themselves. In Rafa I don't think he would!

Posted 19:50 25th February 2009

Yard Dog says...

Typical of the anti-Liverpool media to make a story out of nothing. Rafa will be the manager for the commencement of the next season, and beyond. I anticipate that after tonight his contract will be finally signed and sealed.

Posted 19:24 25th February 2009

Bali Rai (Liverpool fan) says...

To all the so-called LFC fans who want Rafa out and are contributing to this tired and media-influenced debate - time to get a new team cos you don't understand the Liverpool Way. I'm ashamed to be associated with such fickle, two-faced morons. The ones who lauded Rafa and now believe only what they read. To lose Rafa would be a disaster for our club. Time to read the words of our anthem people and apply them to our manager, who is having to walk through a storm...

Posted 19:17 25th February 2009

Jonathan Richardson says...

AS a liverpool season ticket holder, i think most of these critics are clueless and fools. Just look at chelsea they brought in a world cup winning manager and got nothin sackin benni would be the worst thing for the club. We HAVE progressed each season in the league and in our worst season in the league finishing fifth we won the champions league. Just like every supporter i want the league of course i do but if he goes who would do a better job mourinho i dont think so like i said it could all go wrong like it did at chelsea . ps i bet half of these fans are blues!!!!

Posted 19:15 25th February 2009

Martin Lee says...

Benetiz should leave at the end of the season because we will never win the league with him in charge he is always changing the team even when they are winning there are also players at the club who totally crap its time for a real manager to do the job and to clear out the crap and get real players in who are proud to wear the liverpool shirt and then will we only win the league

Posted 19:03 25th February 2009

Kevin Lloyd (Liverpool fan) says...

It's not the manager thats the issue...the owners and the board are the problem! Rafa has been good but the team selections have left us all scratching our heads, I don't want to see him go...but I feel the board do! I don't normally listen to most reports, 90% turn out to be incorrect, but things at Liverpool are bad.....the 2 owners don't like each other, Rick Parry seems to be making most of the transfer deals and lord knows what else....In fact it's great credit to the lads on the pitch that there 2nd in the Prem and still in the CL!!! I think alot will happen during the summer.......and most of it bad.

Posted 19:02 25th February 2009

David Barnes (Liverpool fan) says...

Why does this surprise any Liverpool fan that the media have brought this up now before a big game. It happens often. If I were any fan i'd take it with the distaste it deserves as its more Man Ure loving stirring.

Posted 16:32 25th February 2009

Steven Lowery (Liverpool fan) says...

my honest opinion is it must be Goodbye Rafa !!! bad tactics, bad decisions and bad signings, yes he has bought Torres and Alonso but he sold Owen, Crouch and Keane he failed to replace with decent players Ngog is good but not first team yeat and why oh why does he insist on playing Lucas and Dossena i would personally drive them home. If Liverpool do not win the title it is down to bad decicions made by Rafa nothing else we should not be drawing with lower teams, how many points have Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United dropped if we had won the games we had drawn we would not be 7 points behind..Bye Bye Benitez !!! lets bring in a decent manager Mourinho, Scolari, Klinsmann, Rijkaard all decent managers lets do it now before we lose the plot! Liverpool should be there every year Rafa you overstayed your welcome. This Club is bigger than you, and its time you remembered that

Posted 16:13 25th February 2009

Matty Barton says...

I'm a Liverpool Fan, have been all my life, i have a season ticket in Anfield Road and have done for 5 years now, and i agree with Tom, it should be discussed after the Madrid game. However, i no longer want to see Rafa Benitez ruin liverpool's chances of a 19th title, i think at the end of the season Rafa should go to Madrid while they want him, hopefully Mourinho will win the Series A and come back to the EPL, Liverpool to be more exact. Its time for change, bring in the special one. YNWA

Posted 16:12 25th February 2009

Craig Sutton (Farsley Celtic fan) says...

The sooner Rafa leaves Liverpool, the sooner Liverpool will win the title.... simple as

Posted 15:42 25th February 2009

Michael C (Chelsea fan) says...

On the eve of a monumental tie at the Bernabeu, Rafa's contract is sensationally thrust into the spotlight. Liverpool fans must be at the end of their tether.

Posted 15:40 25th February 2009

Alex Lockett (Liverpool fan) says...

To be honest i don't care if Rafa does leave because he hasn't won what all the Liverpool fans want and we have been a bit closer this year but we still aren't good enough. Houllier only got 5 seasons so that is how long Benitez should get.

Posted 15:39 25th February 2009

Graeme Aitken (Liverpool fan) says...

For years now, Benitez has been able to do no wrong after winning the champions league in his first season. I have been a staunch Rafa fan all this time...until fairly recently. I'd like to pin his mismanagement as a big reason for Liverpool's title challenge falling flat. As far as I can see, there are four reasons Liverpool's season has faded: 1) Benitez's inappropriate timing for a contract dispute is a constant distraction to the players and gives them no sense of security 2) Benitez's treatment of Robbie Keane was ridiculous towards the end of his time there. If he didn't rate the player, fair enough, but at least have him on the bench so that we have that extra option at least. Omitting him from the entire squad was plain silly and I would bet the rest of the team thought something similar therefore probably losing confidence in the gaffer. Never a good way to get performances out of the lads! 3) Selling Keane at all! If he wasn't a Benitez signing, then still, please don't sacrifice the club's prospects because of some childish stubbornness! Ngog's performance alone upfront against Portsmouth proved that he has no secret weapon up his sleeve and now we have only 2 recognized strikers. 4) I don't think there was anything wrong with Benitez's rant against Ferguson but his job should be to keep the pressure on the players to a minimum, whilst in top spot, but he magnified the spotlight on the forthcoming games, and with Man U winning everything in sight, they simply culdn't hack it. Thanks Rafa. Genius! To sum up, I think Benitez has made far too many errors of judgment, not to mention too many poor signings. I think his time is up and we need a fresh face so lets stop banging on about the contract and say our goodbyes. I still appreciate that holy 2005 triumph in Istanbul, where Benitez proved himself tactical genius in Europe, but i was a long time ago now and we need to move forward

Posted 15:11 25th February 2009

Kavi Pabari (Arsenal fan) says...

I can't see him staying at Liverpool for long. Its a great shame because he is right up there with the Mourinhos, Ferigies and Arsene Wengers of this world. One thing is for certain and that is he won't be out of work for long if he leaves Liverpool, he will end up replacing Juande Ramos at Madrid.

Posted 15:09 25th February 2009

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