It's not really an epic prediction, but I'll go ahead and say that you heard it here first: Liverpool may have never fired a manager midseason before, but that will change and Rafael Benitez will be gone before the end of the season. Oh hell, let's go for it: he'll be gone by the weekend. More? Sacked by tomorrow morning. (OK, now I'm just getting carried away.)
Coming off a string of draws in the league and an FA Cup appearance where they gave up two first half goals to a pub team (no joke, we're talking cab drivers and high school teachers), it was imperative that Liverpool win against West Ham. Well, not only did they not win, they lost in dramatic fashion with a foolish penalty at the very end. Combine this with Rafa's poor relationship with Laurel and Hardy, and you've got a recipe for a good ol' fashioned firing.
This has to be a major blow for Reds around the globe who were expecting a legitimate title challenge this season and seemed to be off to a great start. Instead, they find themselves 7th in the League and saddled with two greedy and mismanaging American owners, a possible sale to the government of Dubai, an underperforming side that's being dragged along by two stars (three, if you count Yossi Benayoun's inspired form), and (we predict) the loss of one of Europe's finest managerial minds. Yikes, how the mighty have fallen.
I, for one, have always been a big fan of Rafa Benitez. I feel in many ways he has been the architect of his own downfall. Really, though, it's the absurd expectations and pressure placed on him by Liverpool supporters. When he leaves, along with Jose Mourinho, the Premier League will have lost two of its finest managers this season. Something tells me, though, that once gone, it won't be the last we hear from him.