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Rafa Benitez got this Liverpool team to a Champions League final – So what could he achieve at Newcastle?

5 years ago

It will be 10 years ago tomorrow when Rafa Benitez led Liverpool to a second Champions League final in three seasons against AC Milan.

When analysing the Liverpool team and squad of that era, it had very similar traits to the Newcastle United one we have just watched this season.

Liverpool, of course, had a very good team of players – but few stunning ones, apart from Mr Gerrard.

Rafa played 4-4-1-1 with Gerrard as the number 10 behind Kuyt.

He started with two wide men and Alonso in the Shelvey-type role, Mascherano in the holding midfield and a solid back four with energetic and tough players.

He also had a decent keeper.

Even the bench looked similar in make-up with a big guy (Crouch) sitting there.

On paper, that 2007 Liverpool Champions League final team does not look like one. However, Rafa can make average players look good and good ones look great.

He gets the best out of everyone associated with the club, people love him and he knows his system works. His presence has an aura and people respect him.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2007 model at Liverpool and the Toon model last season will not be changed, it is about signing players to play in that model.

Does this make any difference to what we think Rafa will recruit in the summer?

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])


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