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The Vote: Rafa Benitez - European hero or domestic failure?

After Liverpool's 4-0 drubbing of Real Madrid in the Champions League, is manager Rafa Benitez finally silencing his critics?

Published on March 11th 2009.

The Vote: Rafa Benitez - European hero or domestic failure?

....OR does he still have to go because he will never deliver the Premiership title?

Questionable signings, a stubborn adherence to a controversial rotation system, an odd positioning of players and a failure to make a serious assault on the Premiership title. These are all accusations that have been levelled at the Spaniard. And despite a hugely impressive record in Europe since his appointment as Liverpool FC boss, including lifting the trophy in 2005 and taking them to the final two years later.

But Reds fans are desperate for that major domestic success which has eluded them for the past 19 years, and as the odds get longer for success in 2009, the detractors gather.

Four days after their stunning defeat over Real Madrid on Tuesday, Liverpool will play Manchester United in the Premier League.

Liverpool trail United, who have a game in hand, by seven points, but still cling to faint hopes of overturning the deficit and reclaiming a top spot they held for much of the first half of the season.

The Liverpool boss feels this is overshadowing his success in Europe and he has not been given the credit he deserves for his side's performances in the Champions League in recent years.

"We have the best record in Europe over the last five years,” he says, “Yet some messages coming my way are not the best.

"The facts are there to see. Anyone can see what I have done here," he told the BBC.

"Maybe some people don't realise how difficult it is to keep succeeding in the Champions League."

And yet many say that it's the Premiership title that, deep in their hearts, is the trophy that Reds fans really want to win the most.

The same people also say that Benitez, who knows the European game inside out, believes the Champions League is more important and that every season the detrimental effect this has on the club's league form is there for all to see.

But are some people never satisfied? Are they, in fact, wrong? And would you prefer to swap the prospect of European glory for the chance to be the top of the table? Go ahead, vote on the homepage!

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12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

What are ewes looking at?March 11th 2009.

They all need to stop moaning. Can you imagine what it's like being a blue. And yet we're not bitter.

stuntreds7March 11th 2009.

Rafa will not have my support until he abandons his safety first approach in domestic games, particularly at home. Last night showed what the team is capable if it plays with an attacking zest rather than to an ultra defensive - "we must not lose" plan.

Larry O'HaraMarch 11th 2009.

As an Everton fan, I love him! Rafa must stay...In Moyes we trust.

Panto QueenMarch 11th 2009.

To What are ewes looking at? Millions of schoolchildren can't all be wrong. So, as they tend to say at the annual screamfest each December. "Oh yes you are."

scorpioMarch 11th 2009.

Not a hero until he has delivered the next cup and defeated Manu.He appears to be more worried about what Fergy does or does not, and the internal sqabbles in the club, than how the team is playing. Where were top of thre Premier then we lost it again,we have to be consistant winning before he ever becomes a hero.Heros earn that title I have not seen anything that makes him that special.

BeatlesGuruMarch 11th 2009.

Of course the real heros are the players, although clearly have spurred on encouraged by the manager/coach, such as Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres.But I would think that Rafa could still be seen as a hero with Liverpool lifting the Premier League trophy as well as European Champions League.But they are definitely going to win the European Champions league.

BlueyMarch 11th 2009.

Course, if you had the Special One you could have your cake and eat it.

DigMarch 11th 2009.

We have steadily progressed in the league under Rafa. Don't forget Man United and Chelsea have been spending 20-30 million plus on players for over 5 years now. Our 1st 20 million plus player was Torres less than 2 years ago. With a bit more time, spending and with the dithering clown Coco Parry out of the way we'll win the league under Rafa. Although I do agree we do need to be less defensive against lesser teams. Tuesday being case and point. The 1st hour was the best football I've seen from any team anywhere this season.

blueyMarch 11th 2009.

HA HA HA HA HA HA. it is so funny to watch redscum squirming under the might of the great MANCHESTER UNITED FC - CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD!

Bluey with a brainMarch 11th 2009.

Er, United are losing aren't they? Stop making your club look thick.

DigMarch 11th 2009.

Didn't some blues chant 'United' at the last derby? How utterly embarrassing. That rant by Bluey is even worse. The level to which some blues will stoop beggars belief. I can understand if your jealous but why embarrass yourself and your club to make a point? I'm glad my blue friends are reasonable, well balanced, rational supporters and not idiots like you Bluey.

marshMarch 11th 2009.

The Man u fan is not laughing now is he, ha, ha,ha,ha,ha and a big fat HA!!!F***k U!!!

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