Liverpool are going to play in the Europa cup, their embattled manager Rafael Benitez is under siege with fans frustrated that they have not won the Premier League title ever. Yet the stats suggest that Benitez is the most successful manager of Liverpool compared to his predecessors in terms of match winning percentages over 200 matches in top flight competitions
Rafa Benitez 56.8%
Bill Shankly 53%
Alex Ferguson 43.5%
Arsene Wenger 55%
Benitez has won an FA Cup and the Champions League, yet his relationship with the faithful at Anfield is on borrowed time it seems. This may be part due to the Spaniard’s buying policies. Have spent on average around net £15million each season, has he really made a difference? Arsenal were linked with Torres before Rafa paid the very high fee demanded by Athletico Madrid. Torres is world class and worth every penny, however Arsenal chose not to spend silly money and stuck to it’s youth policy.
The result? We have consistently out performed Liverpool and along with Man Utd and Real Madrid, we are the only teams in Europe who have qualified every season for the Champions league over the last 12 years. If we take into account our net spend, then compared with Liverpool’s position behind Chelsea and Man Utd, we lie between 10th (1992 – 2010) to 18th (2004-2009) in the net spend per season on players. What a return for such consistency. This is why I will never support those who call for the head of Arsene Wenger. If Liverpool had to deliver a brand new stadium onto of the current financial situation, I am betting that the most successful team in English football history would probably be close to administration.
Arsene Wenger’s youth policy and rebuild of teams spells efficiency with a capital E! In terms of return per pound, Arsenal is the most successful team in England as we currently stand. So the next time you get frustrated about the lack of trophies compared to the beautiful football being played by Arsene Wenger’s teams, please spare a thought for the Liverpool experience. I am willing to bet that they would trade two of their Champions League successes to be half as successful as we have been. Whilst I have moments of frustration with Arsene Wenger’s tactics, sometimes it pays to look long and hard at the facts before shooting from the hip. Yes we could do with a keeper and a striker, do you not think that Wenger would have provided these assets if they were absolutely vital? We have had some luck along the way yes, and hopefully there will be purchases in January, so be patient and enjoy what we have. Long Live Arsene Wenger, and Long Live Arsenal Football Club!