Like the rest before me said:Liverpool FC News: Gerard Houllier puts the boot into Benitez
GERARD HOULLIER has launched an astonishing attack on former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez by claiming it was he that was largely responsible for the club’s Champions League final triumph in 2005.
And the 63-year-old Frenchman believes the Spaniard was lucky to inherit a club in good health but has ultimately destroyed that legacy for new manager and close friend Roy Hodgson. Speaking of Liverpool’s memorable win over AC Milan five years ago, Houllier said: “Twelve out of 14 in Istanbul were players I had signed or developed. I left Liverpool with a team and in the Champions League. But when you finish seventh with Torres and Gerrard…
“When I came into the changing room in Istanbul some of the players said: ‘Boss, it’s your team’. After Rafa Benitez left this summer, one of the players sent me a message. He said, ‘Boss, he hasn’t beaten you’.”
Houllier believes his pioneering approach during six years at Anfield made life easier when Benitez took over in June 2004. The Frenchman said: “One, the pattern of getting a foreign coach was already accepted. Two, he had a Champions League winning team. Three, the team were already in the Champions League. Four, we had built new facilities. And five, it was a different training routine, different attitude and mentality.
“I claim that we – Phil Thompson, Sammy Lee and the staff – definitely turned it round. The chairman, when I left, said ‘You put the club into the 21st Century’.”