Amind moderate fan unrest, The Times is reporting that although Liverpoolâ€™s co-owner Tom Hicks has given Rafa Benitez his â€œtotal supportâ€, he believes that Liverpool should be challenging for honours both at home and abroad, especially after blowing roughly 4 Yakubus (nearly Â£45 million) in the summer. So what better time for the Arsenal game to come than next Sunday. Win, and all is forgiven – Rafa’s boys will climb within sniffing distance of the Gooners. Lose – and the temperature in the Anfield Pressure Cooker will be turned up a few notches.
Hicks said, in customary two faced owner style:
â€œI totally support Rafa… Nobody wants to win more than Rafa. Heâ€™s the right manager. Rafaâ€™s rotation has been his policy for three years. His ability to coach and manage in the Champions League should be unquestioned.”
Hicks also explained his thinking with regards to Premier League success, namely he wants to win it, and pronto:
â€œWhen we committed the financial resources that we did in the summer, the whole idea was to have a team that could compete for the Premiership. We havenâ€™t had the depth in past years to do that. Our fans want to win the Premier League. One of the reasons we made the signings we did was to create the depth that we now have. Rafa explained to George and me that this is how you win in the Premier League.â€
Rafa has generally lived off his European successes, since he hasn’t done much more in the league than Houllier managed. So if it all goes pear shaped on the continent, can he have any excuses if they fail to win the Premier League?