Rafa Benitez For Liverpool? Anybody?

Roy Hodgson has dismissed Rafa Benitez as a threat to his job and insisted the Spaniard’s return to Merseyside has not placed him under any extra pressure. The former Liverpool manager returned to his family home on the Wirral after Inter’s success in the Club World Cup and his presence has created a huge stir among supporters at Anfield, who have been ambivalent towards Hodgson.

Banners were spotted around Liverpool city centre reading: ‘All I want 4 Xmas is Rafa’ and ‘Rafa you belong in Liverpool’.

But Hodgson, who succeeded Benitez in July, is not concerned that his predecessor is out of work and brushed off the idea the man who led Liverpool to Champions League success in 2005 has become a thorn in his side. Hodgson said, "If Rafa Benitez was the right man for the job, it would have been wiser not to let him go and then after six months bring him back again. This job will always have lots of people linked with it. When you are in one of the top jobs in the country, it would be very strange if other people were not linked with your job. I’m sure a lot of people are very envious of my position at this club and would like to take my place."

This is not the first time Hodgson has found a former Anfield manager casting a huge shadow over him. When Liverpool suffered an ignominious home defeat by Blackpool in October — and when they meekly surrendered to Stoke a month later — a section of the fans chanted for the return of club legend Kenny Dalglish as manager. However, Hodgson remains unfazed and is adamant Liverpool’s fortunes will pick up over what he describes as ‘the season-changing’ Christmas period — starting, weather-permitting, on Boxing Day at Blackpool.

Steven Gerrard will return to the starting line-up at Bloomfield Road now he has fully recovered from the hamstring injury which kept him out for a month but there will be no place for Joe Cole. The England midfielder’s dream move from Chelsea has turned sour as Cole has experienced what he described as ‘the worst run of form of my career’.

Related Articles:

Rafa Benitez Is Out With £4M Pay-Off
Calm Down Anfield! Hodgson Deserves Better!
Sacked! Benitez's Italian Job Comes To An End!

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