Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ian Rush: Rafa Benitez Needs International Stars To Return In Top Condition

International breaks are the bane of a manager’s life and never more was that evident in the weekend just gone – if anything, Rafa Benitez could not have scripted it to go any worse.

Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt all picked up injuries to some degree and with a crucial run of fixtures set to begin this Saturday, it goes without saying that all three men will be needed to play a part.

Kuyt, thankfully, will be back at Melwood in plenty of time to receive treatment on his damaged ankle but Benitez will be worried as to what happens to Gerrard and Torres tomorrow evening.

You would hope, therefore, that Fabio Capello and Vincente Del Bosque – both of whom have been club managers – will exercise some commonsense.

England and Spain are both assured of their place in South Africa and their games against Belarus and Bosnia have nothing riding on them, so why would they risk two star men?

There is a chance, after all, of it being counter productive.

Capello and Del Bosque will want Gerrard and Torres fit to fire their World Cup bids and they won’t want them exhausted by the time or out of condition before the tournament starts.

So, all being well, they will give Liverpool’s star men a chance to draw breath tomorrow and allow them to be in top form for the trip to the Stadium of Light, where a confident Sunderland side will be waiting.

It’s a game that Liverpool must win, to get a massive week off on the right note.

Big characters will be needed to turn the situation around and who are bigger than Gerrard and Torres?

No comments: