It’s been suggested that the beginning of the end for Rafa Benitez at Liverpool followed his rant about Alex Ferguson and Manchester United. At the time Benitez’s side were clear at the top of the English Premier League, yet he still seemed to lose control during his verbal assault on one of the many enemies he made during his time in English football.
However, surely the biggest error in judgement from the Spaniard came when he had the ridiculous idea of selling Xabi Alonso to fund a deal for Gareth Barry.
On one hand you have Alonso – World Cup winner, exquisite passer of the ball and fine all-round midfielder still starring for Real Madrid. Then you have Barry – a fairly solid performer for Aston Villa over the years but nothing more. Decent defensively, he also chipped in with the odd important goal, but far too slow to be considered a top-drawer player and in no way a match-winner.
To be fair to Liverpool, they obviously weren’t the only club who rated Barry, as he is now at Manchester City. However, their bizarre attempts to land the inferior Barry cost them an outstanding footballer, as there was no way that Alonso could remain at Anfield.