Liverpool on the European Precipice; the beginning of the end for Rafa?

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Rafa Benitez, what a few months. First you lose your assistant and gain abeard. Then your team fails to perform in the league and now you are looking at the Uefa Cup with a sense of hope. But at least you still have a job, and that won’t be going anywhere will it?
The Times is today reporting that Rafa Benitez, who has already admitted that if he thinks about Europe too much he’ll go loco, has further pressure in the shape of the two American owners of Liverpool, Hicks and Gillet, who want something, anything to show for their summer outlay.
The Times reports that money is tight for the Anfield outfit: ”

Since the club was bought by Gillett and Hicks just nine months ago, the construction cost of the proposed new stadium in Stanley Park has risen from £230 million to more than £400 million, prompting the Americans to contemplate a £698 million refinancing plan that would take the club £500 million into debt.”

Such things are only likely to drive Rafa into even more mentalism – to say that tonight’s game against Besiktas is a must-win, is a giant understatement. Benitez remains calm (on the outside at least) and told journalists that all this money talk is a load of balderdash. Benitez said:

“When you talk about a £400 million stadium and the amount you get for reaching the final [as opposed to merely the group stage], then an extra £10 million is not a big difference. How many teams have been in the Champions League final twice in three seasons? And what does that mean in terms of money? Of course, the owners want the money, but is there a big difference between £400 million and £410 million?”

So will Rafa’s hold on the Liverpool job be anymore tenuous if they lose tonight? Do bears crap in woods? Can :iverpool really hope to progress? Really? Harry Kewell is back from injury, does that count? It sounds a little to us like the man doth protest too much about his very quiet owners faith.