Benitez faces must win Portsmouth clash; West Ham in serious relegation trouble

Benitez faces must win Portsmouth clash

Liverpool’s 2-1 midweek victory against Wigan at Anfield may have gone some way to easing the pressure on Rafa Benitez but anything less than all three points at basement boys Portsmouth on Saturday will spell trouble for the Spaniard.

The Kop have already lost six games this season (having lost just two for the entire campaign last time out), including four on their travels and a further defeat could see them slip below the top eight.

The majority of critics are adamant that Benitez will be kept at Anfield as the American owners – Tom Hicks and George Gillett – can not afford to sever his contract.

But with Guus Hiddink and the increasingly disillusioned Jose Mourinho rumoured to be seeking new posts Benitez will have to turn things round if he wants to save himself.

West Ham in serious relegation trouble

Last September Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke rode into Upton Park on the crest of a wave with West Ham fans believing they finally had the dream management ticket.

With the help of a decent squad inherited from Alan Curbishley, the duo were able to guide the Hammers to a respectable ninth placed finish.

But what a difference, 15 months makes, with Carlton Cole injured and the team leaking like a colander at the back, they are in the relegation zone and are playing like a team bereft of confidence.

While they are clearly a club with very little money, the sacking of Curbishley – much like Charlton’s sacking of the same man – looks even more ridiculous in hindsight.

Premier League the most exciting?

There has been a long standing debate over which national league is the best in the world and the argument looks set to rumble on for some time.

But from the last week of games in the Premier League, it is safe to say that the English top flight is certainly the most exciting.

It may not be the most technically gifted league in the world, I think that accolade goes to La Liga, and it may not have the world’s greatest players, which again can be found in the Spanish top division.

But where else can you see three teams, in the space of just a few days, score four times and still not win.

Reading came out on the wrong side of a 7-4 hammering at the hands of the impressive Portsmouth and Aston Villa and Tottenham finished all square at the Lane in a thrilling 4-4 draw.

Admittedly the teams are not the most tactically astute and it may an over physical, frenetic form of the beautiful game but there is no other league on the planet that can match it for pure enjoyment.