I don't get it. Liverpool were top of the premiership. The team were rampant, strong and confident. They were unbeaten. Had not conceded a goal in open play since the start of the season. The two goals conceded were from penalties and one of the penalties (against Chelsea was a non-penalty) it was so poor a decision by the referee that he was suspended for the next game by the football authorities. Everyone agrees it was not a penalty.
Liverpool travelled to Portsmouth today to do battle. Liverpool are No. 1. Portsmouth are No. 13.
Everyone (except Portsmouth fans) expect Liverpool to win. Final result result: it's a draw.
What went wrong?
Benitez will say something like we played well, created many chances, dominated the game, but were unlucky not to win... That's a stock quote. He says something similar after every poor result.
He seems to be missing the obvious. If you have a winning team. Don't worry about the reserves. Worry about the team. Keep the team together to build "team spirit" and cultivate understanding. Benitez does not seem to understand this part of the equation.
There is no doubting Benitez abilities as a coach and as a strategist. He is without doubt of the highest calibre. But there seems to be a worrying part of his game plan... namely his dependency on squad rotation.
Squad rotation will probably work if you have a number of players that are underperforming. Its a kick up the back-side, get your arse in gear. Get out there and perform to the level that is expected of you. But when a team is on a roll, why change it?
I don't get it. I have my doubts about Benitez. He may not be the right man for the job. Watch this space.