Steven Gerrard was one of the best club players we have ever seen during the 15 seasons he played for Liverpool and he became their captain and with Rafa Benitez in charge, Liverpool won the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul against AC Milan.
Steven is now a BT Sports pundit, and after the game yesterday at Anfield, he summed up the (sorry) plight at Newcastle quite brilliantly.
Not for the first time, he said Newcastle have a Championship club with a Premier League class manager in Rafa Benitez.
Newcastle were only in this game yesterday with a chance until Salah scored after 40 minutes.
And the second goal from Mane early in the second half was it, and Newcastle never looked like getting back into the game.
Rafa Benitez – at Anfield yesterday
The class that Liverpool have in their team was too simply much for Newcastle yesterday.
This is how Steven summed up Newcastle and how we have dropped down the ladder of football after being one of the best teams in England under Kevin Keegan and then Sir Bobby Robson:
“It’s the gulf between your Manchester Citys, your Liverpools, and Newcastle.”
“Years ago, you played Newcastle here – the 4-3 games and all the battles Liverpool had – and it was a lot closer than that.”
“You can see now in the Premier League the top four sides are going so far ahead of the middle sides and the teams at the bottom.”
“The likes of Rafa Benitez has got no choice but to set up a low block because if they go toe-to-toe with Liverpool it’s a mismatch.”
“I don’t think Rafa will be that disappointed because he would have known it was a big ask to come here and win.”
“It was not a fixture he’d have said he’d have to get something from. It’s the next couple – against Southampton and Huddersfield – that will define whether Newcastle stay up or go down.
And it will be Rafa Benitez who keeps Newcastle up, because he is capable of setting a team up that organized that can get results.”
“They’d be bottom without him – yes – and they are a Championship team with a Premier League manager.”
We have to hope that Newcastle can come back with a win against Southampton next Saturday, but it’s a win we need – only the Saints will be happy with a draw.