This Is Why Liverpool Fans Still Love Rafa Benitez

Newcastle will play a Liverpool side today in top form at the moment, and they are scoring a lot of goals.


It will be another test of Rafa’s Newcastle side today.

But if we can play as well as we did against Manchester United and for the first 70 minutes last week at Bournemouth, we could even take something from this game.

But that would be a surprise – although you never know what Rafa has in store for his former club.

Rafa will get another great welcome at Anfield this afternoon in a game that is being televised live around the world.

A smiling and confident Rafa Benitez 

We were browsing some the Liverpool top blogs and saw this piece by Henry Jackson, a writer for This Is Anfield.

Henry brilliantly sums up why Rafa is still so revered by Scousers everywhere:

“Rafa is still loved by the majority of Liverpool supporters and if you don’t hold a special place for him in your heart as a Red, something’s a bit off.”

“First and foremost, he won the Champions League in his first season at the club, which immediately cemented legendary status.”

“He then turned the Reds into one of Europe’s best and most respected sides between 2006 and 2009.”

“Perhaps the main reason we love him, though, is because he just ‘got’, and still ‘gets’, the club.”

“He embraced the culture and the city – his family still lives on the Wirral – and just knew what was required of a manager of such a prestigious club.”

“He was anti-establishment, like Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, and Kenny Dalglish, and had the balls to take on Fergie and Mourinho.”

“His tears at one of the Hillsborough services also showed another side to his character.”

We are hoping that when (and if) Rafa stays long term at Newcastle he can build another great team so the two Newcastle – Liverpool games each season will be extremely competitive.

If Rafa can do that we should be fighting for a top-six position again and it’s been a long time since we did that.

A win at Anfield today will show we may be closer to that than we think.

Here’s hoping, although not many Geordies think we can do this today against the in-form Reds.

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Comments welcome.

47 comments so far

  • Veltman

    Mar 3, 2018 at 9:51 AM

    Comment #1

    Heavy snow lately across Europe and I think it was unusual and didn’t happen before in the month of march.Does that mean it will be snowing/raining in Liverpool? If that’s the case, they may not play flow football as they like and we might have a chance to snatch something. The game will be televised thankfully and I’ll be home stretching my legs watching,
    Instead of the bar mingling with drunken vulgar individuals ha ha.

  • Tsunki

    Mar 3, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #2

    Hope we can continue our party pooper antics but i fear we will lose by a couple. They want revenge for that draw i think.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 3, 2018 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #3

    Ashley, if you stay, just give the man a proper kitty and let him get on with it. Strangely I think the club theoretically could run quite well that way. The tv money will be available if we survive….get a decent MD In, get rid of the henchman. I even trust charnley to get the deals done if he has a proper fund. I don’t even object to the French model once rafa oversees the whole thing. I just hope the collapse at Bournemouth doesn’t relegate us.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 3, 2018 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #4

    Not sure I can put myself through watching the match in the pub surrounded by Scouse fans and then have to face an icy walk home will pints on board 🙁 . The road conditions are so bad I won’t even be able to drive to a decent hotel to watch it in peace

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #5

    Yeah, just give Rafa and Charnley full responsibility, no need for an over draught if we survive, and kick in for the advertising. It surely is that straightforward, with Rafa in situ.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #6

    Nicky it seems silly given how bad Ashley has been but I think his worst days were back at renaming the ground etc. Now I think he is happy if he doesn’t make much money directly provided sky keep the club funded and his sports shop is splattered everywhere.

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:10 AM

    Comment #7

    Thanks for the continued suggestions. Colin Bell has to get in the team, probably at the expense of Steve Stone. That’s a huge amount of talent we’ve missed out on over the years. Add in Shearer who found his way back eventually you wonder what has been going on.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #8

    Yeah I’d agree, once the telly money starts coming in all he has to do is keep his word regarding his “every last penny” and “Rafa can spend it however he likes” public commitments, and all stakeholders should then be happy enough.

    But I’d also certainly like to see SD start to pay for all that advertising now. Why hold the club back, the club he owns, by continuing to allow that revenue stream to flow out of the club?

    Surely an increasingly false economy, all things considered.

  • Jib

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:22 AM

    Comment #9

    Nicky the ball tosser
    SD start to pay for all that advertising now.

    I disagree
    If he lets Rafa get on with it and
    use the majority of the TV money

    Free SD publicity is a small price to pay

    He’s the sort of guy that needs to
    feel he’s getting something out of it.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #10

    Jib, I think what he he gets out of it is a solvent and successful football club that will increase accordingly in net worth. So to me paying for the advertising is fair and appropriate. Other clubs are putting advertising earnings back in, earnings that continue to go up, so if we don’t then we aren’t competing to our full potential. He’s had 11 years of it, how long can that ethically continue?

  • Jib

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #11

    Ethics doesn’t come into it
    As long as he pays his taxes

    Folk can huff and puff as much as they like
    It’s his club and he can do as he sees fit.

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #12

    Ethics certainly should come into it. I don’t think too many fans would agree with the notion that as owner he can do what he likes, and equally few would let him without putting up a fight. Most would view him as custodian with certain responsibilities and obligations. I think he should now require SD to pay for that advertising.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #13

    Job I tend to agree. I can live with the SD ads everywhere if the club is solvent and decent bucks are made available to rafa who will keep improving the club from ground level. I’m still surprised rafa let beardo stay when he arrived though, or till Now, given how poor a coach he is.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:53 AM

    Comment #14

    It just depends what money is made available. Will we get, say, 50mill to play with if we stay up? Plus player sales?

  • RobLeenio

    Mar 3, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #15

    Nicky, I’ve seen a few people argue similar points with Jib. It’s not really worth your time, Jib is correct in what he says, the fat man owns the club and where he places catering contracts, how he handles advertising and who he employs are all within his control. This will not change unless he sells up and he will not be influenced by outside agencies, including the fans, in how he makes his decisions.

    I agree with Jib on the above – if he will release funds for transfers and allow Rafa to bring in who he wants when he wants, that will be a massive step forward and will be worth him keeping the SD tat hanging from every available rafter at SJP, if that’s something he sees as essential

    Ideally, he’ll sell up before the Summer and this whole post becomes moot

  • Nicky the ball tosser

    Mar 3, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #16

    Well, I’m not saying he must or has to, obviously he doesn’t, saimply that he should. That on balance it’s in everyone’s best interests that he does.

  • giimps

    Mar 3, 2018 at 11:06 AM

    Comment #17

    If you take into account the various revenue streams once held by the club and now in Cashley s other companies, the land behind the gallowgate sale and the free advertising, the least he should do is start to reduce the money owes to him by the amount Sd should be paying for the advertising.
    He won’t do that though as any profit made by the club is offset by the debt owed to him, therefore having no tax liability from them profits .
    Keeping the debt serves 2 purposes, increases the price he wants for the club and means the club won’t pay tax on profitable income.
    We’re stuck with him I’m afraid , in this ever increasing circle of minimal outlay and maximum exposure for his tat shop

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 3, 2018 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #18


    I have no desire to take your google crown. I’ve actually spoken Spanish for 40 years.

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 3, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Comment #19

    It’s a strange one. It’s almost unprecedented the amount of control Ash has allowed Rafa in re defining the club set up.
    If Ash could just stay out of things and provide a decent amount of funds each season for a world class manager, we wouldn’t need this constant state of flux and tension. It’s just Ash’s self destruct button is almost a default setting for NUFC.

  • L Toon

    Mar 3, 2018 at 11:39 AM

    Comment #20

    I think we can all accept a modicum of tat provided he keeps his big fat nose out of everything as well as barnes’s, gives a good transfer kitty to rafa,gives power back to charnley and lets them get on with it. Hopefully though he takes his greed out the equation and forks off. As for the game, hopefully with salah, mane and firminho arriving half cut from the night before and with a alot of luck maybe we can get something. Failing that, as liverpool are one of the best pressing and counter pressing sides in europe, give them the ball, let then have it and get men behind the ball and get them to break us down. Then when we have the ball, bypass the press by going long and hopefully joselu can win flick ons, hold the ball up and we can build from there. Hopefully liverpool knacker themselves out by 65 mins which there known to do when fingers crossed were either level or only a goal down bring gayle on and let him run them ragged. We need to mix it up though and keep them guessing as to when we press and when we sit in. Hopefully thats enough. HWTL HWTF

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 3, 2018 at 11:49 AM

    Comment #21

    I think we’ll get something. Fancy 1-1 or 2-1 to us. The bad weather and injuries should disrupt Liverpool’s play and they don’t like playing defensive teams. Benitez and Lascelles should have the team up for this it just depends if the boys upfront can do anything.

    Looking at our fixtures, we need to get at the very least 4 points from the next 4 games, although we should be aiming for 7. I can see us beating at least one of Huddersfield, Soton, or Leicester. 2 wins and I think with our goal difference we are safe.

  • Alinufc

    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:36 PM

    Comment #22

    Hey guys long time since I’ve been on for the chat thread but Liverpool based can who failed to get tickets. Anyone know of any spare tickets going around because of the white weather?

  • jane

    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:47 PM

    Comment #23

    SAM predicts Newcastle will finish 14th with 41 points.

    “Professor Ian McHale and Dr Tarak Kharrat at the University of Liverpool created SAM, which predicts the outcome of football matches based on results, teams, players and every event in every match, and then simulates sequences of games.”

  • kimbo

    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:49 PM

    Comment #24

    History tells us we will get beat today. I am afraid our goal difference will get a hammering, don’t know where the goals are coming from but hope Perez is dropped.

  • kimbo

    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:50 PM

    Comment #25

    Tosun just scored for Everton , what have we got today Joselu?

  • jane

    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:55 PM

    Comment #26

    is that the Joselu who scored against Liverpool in the reverse fixture?

  • jane

    Mar 3, 2018 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #27

    should image Rafa will play defensive so 1) our goal difference won’t take a hammering 2) Perez is likely to play.

  • jane

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:01 PM

    Comment #28

    the frame that used to be to the left of the comments (News Now, Search, polls, league table etc) is now below the comments on my PC 🙁

  • Jib

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:07 PM

    Comment #29

    Jordan Pickford is a fine instinctive goalie
    but he’s another one that likes to stand posing
    with the ball instead of moving it quickly to
    his players.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #30

    Yes Jane. I pointed out yesterday morning that SAM predicted the final league positions will be exactly as they are today with the exception of us changing places with Huddersfield. Highly unlikely.

    RobLeenio replied that “They’ve predicted ALL of the bottom 7 to gain between 10 and 12 points, with NUFC, Palace, Saints, West Brom, Stoke gaining 12, Swansea getting 11 and Hudds getting 10. If that happens, I’ll be getting the binoculars out as pigs will be soaring overhead.”

    I don’t think this was the University of Liverpool’s finest hour.

  • Rotonda heights

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:27 PM

    Comment #31


    Didn’t you think we were great v Manu? We don’t seem to have heard much from Catchy and others since then.

  • Ron Knee

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #32
  • Geremi's Prosthetic Leg Fund

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:54 PM

    Comment #33

    Not been on a while what with the excitement of the weather this week knocking out my internet.

    Today for me is all about protecting that goal difference as best we can. Anything more is a bonus.

    Without Shelvey I can’t see us having the creativity to break quickly unfortunately. Merino would have to have a game like he did against West Ham back at the start of the season, when everything ran for him. If he starts and does his trademark holding onto the ball in no mans land, we will be crushed on the break.

    Interesting to see Rafa’s plan for today. A seemingly impossible task but who knows.

  • lesh

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:58 PM

    Comment #34

    ‘Burnley are the subject of a £180m takeover from rival American and Middle Eastern investors’ says The Times – according to the Beeb.

    Might that prompt Ashley to reflect on his greed?

  • AncientC

    Mar 3, 2018 at 1:59 PM

    Comment #35

    Should be different wingers today without Shelvey playing.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 3, 2018 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #36

    Finally managed to find time to get on the Atari 400. With just over three and a half hours to KO.

    Outguess Rafa team


    Yedlin Lascelles Lejeune Dummett

    Merino Diame

    Ritchie Perez Kenedy


    2-1 to us

  • Bladey

    Mar 3, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #37

    RAFA has asked the driver of the snow plough to leave it in front of the goal because he just wanted a change from parking the bus

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 3, 2018 at 2:08 PM

    Comment #38

    I recorded the Boro match last night and nearly didn’t bother to watch it as someone said it was boring.

    I thought it was a good game with plenty of action and Traore is a bloody good player, can’t see him staying at Boro even if they do get promoted.

  • A Pain in the Blog

    Mar 3, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #39


    I agree with your line up except that I think he’ll start Hayden instead of Merino.

    And I’m afraid it won’t be 2-1 to us.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Mar 3, 2018 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #40


    Is Amanda involved in the Burnley deal?


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