The more one reads Steven Gerrard’s autobiography the more clear it becomes how poor his relationship was with former manager Rafa Benitez.
“I don’t think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person. I’m not sure why, but that’s the feeling I got from him,” the former Anfield legend revealed.
“I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers. Except for Rafa.
“It’s a shame because we probably shared the biggest night of both our careers — the 2005 Champions League victory in Istanbul — and yet there is no bond between us,”
“I had a hunger to earn a compliment from him (Benitez) — but also a hunger to let him know he really needed me as a player. We were like fire and ice,”
“It would not be my style if I were to ever become a manager — I’d try to fuse the best of Rafa’s tactical thinking with Brendan’s skill as a man-manager,”
“Rafa kept saying ‘fact, fact, fact’ and I could not believe what I was hearing,” Gerrard said. “I was grabbing the couch, digging my fingers into the arms, feeling embarrassed for him.
“When I met up with England, all the Manchester United players told me Fergie was just laughing at Rafa, saying:
‘I’ve got him, I’ve got him’.”
“Rafa made a lot of decisions with himself in mind. He wanted power and control. I didn’t like it. Fighting with the board, other managers and the press wasn’t the Liverpool way.
“Rafa broke the focus of the team,”
Ouch, that is rather damning.