Oh Rafa Benitez, why do you tinker so?
Look at the more successful managers in the league at the moment (Ferguson, Wenger, even O’Neill) and they appear to have one thing in common – they build their teams, slowly introducing players, always maintaining a good balance of old and new.
At United, wise old heads like Scholes and Giggs know that they won’t play every game, but their importance to the team is never underestimated. Other newer faces like Nani, Hargreaves and Anderson are happy to wait their turn. Likewise, Wenger manages to keep his bench pretty happy, and it’s rare that you’ll see a thunderous face fidgeting in the dugout.
Not so over at Liverpool. Those on the sidelines appear constantly in the dark – Voronin has been slagging everyone off, even placid Peter Crouch is getting eggy. And now there is speculation that Benitez is going to spend the summer hurling some of the bigger names onto the bonfire. Crouch is destined to go, Pennant (despite showing some decent form) is surplus to requirements, and the whisper is that even Alonso, a player in the classic Liverpool mould, is set to be flung out onto the streets.
What is Benitez playing at? He spent half the season tinkering around before stumbling across a system that works, and now he looks set to dismantle everything and start again. Would he be wiser to take a leaf out of the Wenger school of management and work on the decent players that he already has?