Yes I said cult. Although Rafa Benitez had many detractors whilst in the job, he has never been more popular with Liverpool fans since he left Anfield.
The problem for Rafa was that he raised the bar so much, so quickly at Liverpool. He made the biggest trophies realistic targets for Liverpool FC for the first time in years. In so doing, he became a victim of his own success. The board and the fans expected the same results year on year and, with top players expressing a desire to leave the club, things unravelled pretty quickly for the Spaniard.
Benitez remains something of an enigma – let’s not forget he had a disastrous spell at Inter immediately after he left Merseyside – but he retains the affections of most Liverpool fans and with good reason. During his time at the club Liverpool won the biggest prize of all and competed, most years, in the title race.
In a recent interview with The Irish Independent, Rafa has expressed disappointment at not being considered as the successor for Kenny Dalglish. They say you should never go back but Rafa was clearly up for it.
“It was strange,” ….. “We know the club, the players, the Academy and we have even more experience now. The fans were positive about the idea and if you read the book you will understand why. So it was strange not to be approached.”
Liverpool fans are some of the most loyal that you will find. Brendan Rodgers will be given an ample chance to succeed by those fans. But if it all goes Pete Tong for the young Irishman, then Rafa would have to be on the short list to succeed him.
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