Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

Smith tells Rafa to end Liverpool exit rumours

Liverpool legend Tommy Smith has labelled the Reds' current campaign as “the season from hell” and pleaded with manager Rafael Benitez to clarify his future at the club.

Liverpool are in turmoil on and off the pitch, having failed to qualify for the Champions League and with uncertainty regarding the Anfield outfit's future ownership.

And speculation continues to link Benitez with a move to Juventus at the end of a season that delivered another hard blow with Liverpool's elimination from the Europa League in the semi-finals last week.

“Rafa has always said he loves the club, the fans and the city. For the sake of all three, he must now come out and make his intentions clear — one way or the other,” Smith said. “Rafa has said nothing publicly to suggest he is still up for the challenge, ready to try and sort out the problems and go again. That is only adding to the anxiety and fuelling more controversy.

“We all know the problems the American ownership has brought — and at times caused the manager. It can't have been easy for him to a degree but in truth he has made mistakes which cannot be blamed on (Tom) Hicks and (George) Gillett.

“Not only has this campaign been the season from hell, with 19 defeats, the manager is giving every indication he has had enough and wants out.

“One word sums up the whole, sorry state of affairs at Liverpool these days — embarrassing.

“Granted, Rafa's bought some really good players — but others seem happy to pull on the red shirt yet have no idea what it means to wear it.

“This squad isn't good enough.”

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