After watching Liverpool's dismal FA Cup defeat against Reading last night, the first thing that crossed my mind was not "oh no, we're out the cup," or "my god, we were awful," or "Rafa out." No, I actually thought "the media are going to have a field day with this."
Why am I bothered about the media? Well, the sheer ignorance and stupidity of some football journalism today is enough to bring me to tears.
The hyperbolic headlines, the knee-jerk reactions and obvious agenda against Liverpool's manager, Rafa Benitez, is swallowed up readily by fans who are stupid enough to believe it all.
Yet, more than ever, the team needs our support. The manager needs our support.
Let me ask you this, Liverpool fans, if Rafa goes, who will take his place?
Jose Mourinho? Guus Huddink? Steve Coppell?
Would any of those (even Steve Coppell) go to a club where there is zero to spend on transfers and two absolute idiots in ownership?
Do the owners have enough money to buy Rafa out of his contract?
The only way the anti-Rafa brigade can get their wish is if he resigns. I wish he would for his own sake because I feel sorry for him and all he has to put up with. He is a good man and a good manager, but that isn't enough for fans nowadays.
He is the best manager we can currently hope for, and I am supporting him and the team 100 percent.
If other fans want instant (yet not guaranteed) success, star names, and a new manager every year, I wish they would go and support Chelsea.
Last night was awful, don't get me wrong. It was painful and horrible to watch, but it happens. To put things in perspective, however, I'm going to deal in some FACTS, Rafa-style:
- The season is not over. In fact, it could still turn out to be much better than last season. A good run in the Europa League and the Premiership and the last three horrible months will be forgotten about.
- This is virtually the same team that blew away the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United last season and finished top scorers in the league. Minus Alonso and Arbeloa, step in Aquilani, Johnson, and Rodriguez.
- Gerrard and Torres have been playing with injuries all season. They are playing through their pain for us, yet you still get fans saying "oh Gerrard looks as if he can't be bothered."
- Lucas has been our best player this season. He was outstanding last night and broke up a lot of Reading's attacks.
- We seriously lack pace in defence, but a more consistent back line though would address this, as with last season.
- We can't take a corner or free kick to save our lives and need to be practised. (Maybe Maxi Rodriguez knows?)
- Aquilani looks class and is adjusting well.
- The players are seriously lacking confidence and composure in front of goal. It happened last season (remember when Gerrard hit the post against Middlesbrough in stoppage time?). It's a phase they will get through. Just think, last night...if Aquilani's header had gone in, if Agger's thumping volley had gone in...we would have gone on to win comfortably.
- We have been struck with injuries since the beginning of the season, resulting in an unsettled defence which has been leaking goals. Hang on, isn't that the case at Manchester United too?
- We are not a two-man team. Our fluency at the beginning of the second half was brilliant to watch, and it was without Gerrard and Torres. Again, all that was lacking was composure in front of goal.
- Rafa has made some poor signings and every fan knows that (Voronin, Dossena and Keane). Unlike Houllier though, he's not afraid to offload them (Voronin, Dossena and Keane). By the way, Robbie Keane is doing a good job of warming the Spurs bench, isn't he?