Inter Milan have, reportedly, sacked Rafa Benitez on Tuesday. The news might be bad for Rafa himself, while he was on holiday in Liverpool, yet it might be more than bad news for his successor at Liverpool, Roy Hodgson.
The news of Rafa getting the sack from Inter president Massimo Moratti quickly spread away in the whole of Europe with few cheerful faces welcoming the news and the rest quite unhappy ones.
Was Rafa's little tenure judged in a timely manner at Inter? That's the question to be left alone. The more imperative question from Liverpool's perspective would be was it the coincidence that Rafa was at Merseyside when he got the sack or was he rooting for a comeback at Liverpool the way the club did in Istanbul in 2005?
A poll on This is Anfield website conducted this week showed a 68 percent of Liverpool fans want Rafa back at the club. A figure Roy Hodgson would want to forget is a mere 3 percent of fans in his own support. The rest want neither of Roy or Rafa, they want King Kenny back.
If Rafa was appointed as Liverpool manager, again, it would be a consummate Christmas gift for a lot of fans, like me, after getting a favourable draw in the last 32 of Europa League.
Why Rafa should come back to Liverpool? Or a better question would be why Liverpool should turn back to Rafa Benitez?
Rafa's successful years and memorable glory days for Liverpool
Firstly, Rafa was wrongly sacked at Liverpool and also at Inter. When you leave your job or get the sack, people usually judge you or remember you on what you did in your last few months and tend to forget your glory days when you made the company progress exponentially.
Rafa will be remembered the one who brought back the Champions League trophy in 2005, the Istanbul story perhaps being the greatest ever Champions League final. He should not be remembered for finishing at seventh position in 2009.
I am not suffering from obsessive affection for Rafa Benitez, also not a member of Rafa-brigade.
However, I am an admirer of the European tactician who delivered us the European glory in his first season back in 2005. I am a fan of the Spanish one who gave us the sixth FA cup in 2006 and I am extremely respectful to the man who made Liverpool Europe's No. 1 team by 2008-09.
Say what you have to say but one thing is for sure, Roy Hodgson can not deliver any trophies to the club. Roy is out of his depth at this bigger stage called Liverpool FC with no disrespect to Fulham fans.
Rafa Benitez's worst is Roy Hodgson's best, simple. And for those reasons I would choose Rafa over Roy.
In the last year of Rafa's regime at Liverpool, in 2009, he had lost support from the owners, which was a world-known fact. How could anyone work under George Gillett and Tom Hicks? The only thing the Americans cared about was getting their money back in their pockets and they let the club suffer its humiliation in front of the world.
John Henry and Tom Werner look sensible until now, at least, in the way they have conducted and presented themselves in front of the club's supporters. Wouldn't it be perfect that Rafa was still in charge when NESV took over?
Now, they have appointed Damien Comolli to oversee the transfers so Rafa would not have much to say there and that would mean he would not do another Robbie Keane.
Also the owners will be providing money to Roy Hodgson to buy and make it his team in January. That means Rafa will not have to do a Voronin and Pennant deals anymore and we could be in for bigger names in football like Torres, Reina and Johnson.
Rafa should be given a second chance under new owners who are more credible, sensible and patient. Rafa will have no distraction in terms of takeover saga, the future of the club, a managing director in the name of Christian Purslow and he would be more focused to finally bring the elusive premier league triumph back.
Attracting bigger and better players
It's a no brainer that Rafa would attract better players as compared to Roy.
Would Fernando Torres, the greatest modern Liverpool striker, have come to join the club if it was not for Rafa Benitez? Perhaps not. Would he have come had Roy Hodgson been in charge in 2007? Definitely not.
With Roy Hodgson in charge Liverpool is in for a mega-star striker like Carton Cole or a supersonic one in Stocker. Why we did not hear those names when Rafa was in charge?
Rafa is simply a better manager then Roy and players do not forget that. Rafa's CV speaks for himself and same goes for Roy Hodgson.
Rafa brought Torres, Roy's in for Carlton Cole. Rafa got Mascherano, Roy's replacement was Poulsen. Rafa made Pacheco come to the club and Roy's planning his departure.
The Spaniard did make a few miscalculations in transfers too, but he eventually balanced it out with the world class players he bought. Which manager have not made mistakes? Everyone does.
Now, when Liverpool are through to the last 32 of Europa League, it stages perfectly for the European mastermind to come and take Liverpool to its Europa League glory.
Arguably, Rafa is the kind of person who, according to many, never tried to pull his weight to win the League as much as he did to win Europe. This might be just what the club needs right now.
No doubt, Roy took his Fulham to the finals of Europa League last year but with Liverpool this year his road have been shaky. I for one would trust the one who made it possible and shown us how to win Europe then the one who never won European trophy in his 34-year career.
Standing up for his players and the esteem of the club
Since his arrival at the club, Roy has never given any satisfactory press interview where he did not make the club look idiotic and players look nothing.
Didn't we enjoy Rafa's rants over the years? Didn't we feel proud as Liverpool fans when Rafa stood up against the likes of Sir Alex, Harry Redknepp and Big Sam?
I could imagine Rafa going mad and tearing apart Sir Alex with his facts when the latter accused Torres being a cheat a few weeks ago.
I could see that standing up for his best player instilling loads of confidence in the players themselves knowing they have a manager who will stand up for them rather then having a manager who is more interested in making friends with rival managers at the cost of breaking up with his own players.
Does Rafa deserve a second chance right now?
Roy Hodgson cares more about how his friendships with Sir Alex and Harry Redknepp would look if he said something against their comments to protect his own players. Total rubbish. Rafa was more interested in making the club go further then making friendships with rival managers.
Sir Alex, Harry Redknepp and co always took Rafa as a threat. Rafa respected the history Liverpool share with arch rivals Manchester United; Roy seems to forget that when he is busy making friends with Sir Alex.
Rafa connected us, fans, with him, players and the club. That is the reason why we, fans, loved Rafa for his bold and mature stance against our arch rivals.
As Duncan Oldham said in his article on kop-talk.co.uk, we all have gone back to our ex girl friends for that one last session and perhaps this is worth giving Rafa his last session too.
A few fans would call me crazy for the thought of going back to Rafa but be honest here. Would Rafa do a worse job then Roy have been doing? Do you honestly think Roy is a better long term manager then Rafa? Would Rafa leave us limping in the relegation zone?
I would leave those questions to you to answer and please feel free to comment your thoughts about bringing back the Spanish one to steer the club in right direction.