What is going on?
Reports surfacing today suggest that Rafa Benitez and Javier Mascherano are going to clash over the Argentine midfielders demands for a new improved contract, something our boss is unlikely to give in to, mainly because the Liverpool boss doesn’t believe the former West Ham man deserves an increased offer given his very average start to the season.
I am not sure what is wrong with Javier but he isn’t a fraction of the player he was last term and the idea that he would choose this moment in time to try to justify a hefty pay increase if bizarre to say the least.
Whichever way you look at is Mascherano is not in a good place right now. He needs to earn the right to start every game whereas at this moment in time he is being picked more for reputation than actual recent form. Last season he was fantastic and I still believe that on his day he is one of the best defensive midfielders in Europe but in all honesty this season his performances has been such that in many ways he deserves to be dropped and when Alberto Aquilani finally gets fully fit Rafa will have to make some tough decisions.
Many will state that Lucas is the weak link in the midfield and whilst he is by no means the finished article, and last season he was woeful, this season he hasn’t been all that bad. Many fans believe that the interest shown in our midfielder by Barcelona in the summer may have had an effect on his attitude and its hard to argue against that strand of thought, especially if you have seen Javier in action for Argentina in World Cup qualifying matches, where he has been even worse than when wearing our colours.
If his agent has fooled him into thinking that by demanding a new improved deal at such an inappropriate moment will somehow force the issue of a possible transfer then he has been ill advised. Benitez has already stated very vehemently that he would not sell him and he will not be forced into a corner.
Javier just needs to get his head down and start to get his game back in gear then maybe after a few months of hard work if he asks for a better deal then he may just get it because right at this moment in time he deserves a pay cut and not a pay rise.