In 2004, Rafa Ben tez decamped from success at Valencia to become manager of Liverpool, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club s first Premiership title since 1990. In his first season in England, Ben tez offered both hope and misery to Liverpool supporters. In Europe, the club battled to the final of the Champions League in 2005 and, against all expectations, won. Domestically, though, the club faltered. Could he yet turn Liverpool around and learn from his early mistakes? And could Liverpool overcome its own structural and funding problems to deliver a new stadium, new investors and a team to match its supporters ambitions? Groove Armada examines the developing connections between the English and Spanish game and focuses on Ben tez as he tries to bring the Premiership title to Anfield in season 2005 06. But it also uniquely offers a detailed account from Spanish academic Ramon Llopis of Ben tez s rise in the Spanish game, including his terrific work at Valencia. Llopis also comments on the reaction in Spain to the trials of the Reds new manager in England and analyses the fortunes of the recent English exports to La Liga, such as one-time Live
John Williams is an academic at the University of Leicester who has written widely about football and football culture. Ramon Llopis is an academic at the University of Valencia who has been involved in recent research comparing football and football cultures in England and Spain.