In 2004, Rafa Benitez decamped from success at Valencia CF to become manager of Liverpool, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club's first league title since 1990. In his first season in England Benitez 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, they 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 Benitez's attempt to bring the Premiership title to Anfield in the 2005-06 season. It also uniquely offers a detailed account from Spanish academic Ramon Llopis of Benitez's rise in the Spanish game, including his terrific work at Valencia.
Rafa Benitez has brought a distinctly Iberian flavour to Liverpool Football Club, and this engrossing book reveals all you need to know about the man, his football philosophy and the new Spanish fury at Anfield.
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.