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Hatchet Man


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At last a writer who does not get sucked in to the bulls*** ........

Envoking memories of Istanbul cannot help Liverpool chase down Chelsea tonight

By HATCHET MAN

Last updated at 9:14 AM on 14th April 2009

All the talk of Istanbul around Liverpool is ridiculous when it comes to tonight's Champions League match against Chelsea and even Rafael Benitez knows it.

The manager insists he doesn't raise the subject with his players and only answers questions about their amazing night against AC Milan when he is asked, but if he is growing tired of it, he only has himself to blame.

After all, he is the manager of a club who are still living off former glories.

There must be some sympathy for Benitez about the clumsy attempts to draw parallels regardless of how spurious they are.

A half-time deficit in a one-off match at a neutral stadium is totally different to a two-leg tie where away goals count double being played at the home of Liverpool's opponents.

The players are different too: only four of Liverpool's likely line-up to face Chelsea played on that historic night.

Still some people bang on about it though and the only way to move on is to write a new chapter in the club's great history.

To do that after conceding a 3-1 deficit in the first leg will depend on the form of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard, like most of Liverpool's matches.

Benitez is preparing to gamble with his captain's fitness, such is their need for a miracle, and if it backfires tonight their once promising season will be over.

If the midfielder aggravates his groin problem and is sidelined it will not only be Liverpool's slim Champions League hopes which are dashed but their Premier League ones too...and Istanbul will still be on the agenda.

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This is Rafa's biggest problem:

Benitez is preparing to gamble with his captain's fitness, such is their need for a miracle, and if it backfires tonight their once promising season will be over.

If the midfielder aggravates his groin problem and is sidelined it will not only be Liverpool's slim Champions League hopes which are dashed but their Premier League ones too...

Stick or twist Rafa? - You're season could depend on it.

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After all, he is the manager of a club who are still living off former glories.

That's exactly what Liverpool are doing. They haven't won anything for, what, 4 years now?

Everyone are calling Liverpool a world-beating side, but have they actually got to show for it? A Champions League trophy they won 4 years ago? 3rd or 4th place in the league every season since 2004? World beaters my backside.

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