Can someone please try to explain to me what is going on? Rafa Benitez bought a footballer who was suffering from a long term injury, in fact he invested £20m (albeit in installments) in said player, and yet when he finally gets himself fit and ready for action, he isn’t picked!
Now if we were performing out of out skin, if we were moving upwards on mount Premier League, if we were playing fantastic football week in, week out, then I could just about stomach the decision making process. However we are 7th in the table, SEVENTH! We are out of the Champions League. Fulham could be above us next weekend, that’s how bad things are.
Yet Rafa decides that he will have Alberto Aquilani warming the bench? Madness, sheer madness! The argument for slowly bringing the Italian into the first team picture may have been relevant for a while but its now been six weeks since he was given his first run out, a ten minute cameo against Arsenal in the Carling Cup, and since then has found himself waiting on the sidelines probably as dumbstruck as the rest of us.
Some have been hoping the former Roma man could spark our season back into life but how can he hope to do so by occasionally being thrown on for the last few minutes of a match? I am not one to usually have a go at Rafa but I have to say I am just plain baffled by Rafa’s stance on Aquilani, a player he clearly values but appears unwilling to give a chance to.
The idea that right now our midfield is performing far too well to be altered is clearly, like Alberto, a non starter. Yes Lucas and Javier have been plaining far better than at the very start of the season but the fact we continually fail to inspire the creativity needed to break down sides likes Blackburn, Fulham, Birmingham City and Sunderland is exactly the reason the Italian international needs to be playing. The need for a more attacking option, as opposed to playing both Lucas and Javier, is even more apparent when we don’t have Fernando Torres to bail us out.
If now isn’t the time to give the midfielder a start, then when exactly is?