Balague pledges support to Rafa

Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague has told of how he is backing Rafa Benitez to turn Liverpool’s fortune around as growing pressure mounts on the boss’ shoulders.

The Reds have won just 4 times in their last 16 games and go to bottom of the table Portsmouth this weekend looking to close the gap on the top four.

But Balague says Benitez cannot be blamed for Liverpool’s recent poor run of form and says that considering the club’s financial problems, Benitez can’t be expected to be doing any better.

Speaking of his official web site, Balague said, “Results are the consequence of a complex set of circumstances behind the scenes, but the majority cannot see beyond the surface and what they wrongly perceive as simple failings at managerial level.

“Voices in the media have decided in unison that Benitez is to blame and the Liverpool fans are starting to repeat that mantra – despite spending months accusing the press of an anti-Liverpool bias. Aside from the odd exception, the media is not anti-Rafa, nor are they to blame for the difficulties at Anfield. But they can lead opinion and have Benitez in their sights.

“I’m afraid I cannot agree with the majority. Primarily, it’s worth remembering that Liverpool has one of the top managers in the world at the helm.

“The figure of £280million that gets repeatedly churned out is deliberately misleading – and the fact is, Rafa has spent an average of £16m net for every year in charge at the club. It is absurd to think that Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho would be able to compete for a Premier League title with that expenditure.

“Liverpool has no money for January transfers, so Rafa’s target is to get key players – Gerrard, Torres and Aquilani – fit enough to contribute in a run of matches: allowing him to play his first choice team and notch up the four or five consecutive wins that will silence the critics.”

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