Aston Villa manager sticks up for Liverpool opposite number

With a formal offer from DIC failing to materialise at Anfield, it appears the writing’s on the wall for Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. Although the Spaniard looks set to stay on for the rest of the season, his days are surely numbered under the current regime. This is despite having the club fans fighting his corner, with Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill also singing his praises in The Sun.

The teams meet at Anfield tonight and O’Neill said: “It would be nice to be criticised like Benitez for only winning the Champions League and not the Premier League. I wouldn’t mind that sort of criticism.

“I know Alex Ferguson is disappointed he’s only won it once at Manchester United — but once would be nice.”

A win at Anfield this evening would lift Aston Villa above Liverpool in the Premier League table and level on points with fourth-placed Everton. Surely by failing to finish in the Champions League places this season, Benitez would give the club’s American owners sufficient ammunition with which to fire him? Or have they already made their mind up?

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