Little Fernando turned 30 over the weekend. They grow up so fast. *sniff* That's 30 goals, not 30 years. At this point the £26 million to bring him over is seems like a bargain. So you might think, "This is going to be another we all have man crushes on Torres post." Well, we do love El Niño, but this is not about him. As good as he is, he's not currently Liverpool most dangerous man. That spot is reserved for Rafa Benitez.
As Parry is trying to patch things up with Rafa, Liverpool's boss is rumored to be lining up some major transfers for this summer. Gareth Barry from Aston Villa and Michael Johnson from Manchester City top the list. The rumors are also brewing that Rafa, who has quit over board problems before, might be looking at leaving the Reds at the end of the season.
So why on earth would Rafa want to boost a lineup if he has no intention of being around? Leverage; and so far, he has plenty of it. Sure, the Reds sit in 4th, but he's the guy that brought in Torres. He's the guy that led the club to a Champions League victory not so long ago and have them right back in the semi-finals. If Liverpool wins the Champions League this season, look out.
Any transfers that Rafa would like to make have to be approved by the board which basically means that Hicks, Gillett, and Parry have to agree on something. By leaking who he would like to go after, Rafa can setup a huge fan backlash against the board if those transfers do not happen. That creates an incentive to give him what he wants, and then if he sticks around next season, he has the team he wants.
If the Reds win the CL, it will create a nightmare for the board. Everyone will look at them to take care of Rafa. If he's denied a transfer or if he's mistreated, then you will really see some protesting. Our love for Torres and thirst for another sip out of the Champions League cup will erase any pains we had over winning the league. Rafa's recent request to meet with Parry to clear up some unresolved issue about the Jürgen Klinsmann row reminds me of the many episodes of I Love Lucy where Ricky declares, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin to do."
The board definitely does have some 'splainin to do and the worst thing right now for them is to have to 'splain it to a manager who has just delivered another big piece of silverware to the club.