IN RAFA we trust. This was the resounding message by local Liverpool fans.
The Straits Times conducted a straw poll on Tuesday with 24 Reds fans to see if manager Rafael Benitez should be sacked. None were in favour of removing him.
This after the club's co-owner, George Gillett, blamed the Spaniard for Liverpool's difficult start to the English Premier League football season - three losses in eight games.
Civil servant Christopher Gan was adamant that Benitez be given more time to salvage the season. He said: 'It would be harsh to sack him now. The season has just started and he needs more time.'
He commands the respect of all the fans and it would be a crazy decision to dismiss him, said consultant Meyrick De Souza in exasperation. Added businessman James Lim: 'You need continuity in a football club. Sacking your manager after eight games is not the answer.'
But one thorny issue with more than half the fans was Benitez's decision to persist with Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva. Said senior account manager Lester Lim: 'Leiva's simply not good enough to play for us. Everyone knows this, but Rafa is just too stubborn to admit his mistake.'