There is a time under the disastrous final season under Rafa Benitez that Pepe Reina actually thought that Liverpool could have been relegated due to their poor form. Reina has revealed in his autobiography that Rafa’s time was up at Liverpool and he had to go.
“When Rafa left Liverpool at the end of the 2009-10 season, I knew that it was the right time for him to go.
“It hurts me to say that, but the wheels had come off by then and there was no guarantee that he was going to be able to put them back on.
“I know that I will be for ever in his debt for what he has done for my football career, and it is never nice when a manager leaves or loses his job, but there are times when, for whatever reason, the methods that have been bringing a manager so much success just stop working.
“When this happens, the club has to make a decision about whether you will be able to get back to winning ways again, or if it is time to look for a new manager who might be able to freshen things up, just by having a different approach.
“Liverpool wanted to go down the latter route and it was probably the right decision.
“I was upset, obviously, because it is always sad when a manager loses his job, but even more so when he has been as important to your career as Rafa has been to mine.
“But I also thought half of the dressing room was not happy and so, probably, for the club if not for me personally, it was the best outcome for everyone.
“I first began to realise we were in trouble when we played against Espanyol in a pre-season friendly at the start of August 2009.
“They beat us 3-0 and could have scored more. When I came off the pitch there was a part of me that thought, ‘If we carry on like this, we are going to get relegated.’
“It was as if someone had flicked a switch at the end of the previous season and we had gone from being a really strong team to a really weak one.
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