Liverpool FC in the hands of Rafa Benitez were the ultimate knockout team. The Spanish technician never brought the league title to Merseyside, but he gave Liverpool one Champions League victory out of two finals.
There is no question, his Liverpool vintage of 2004-2006 were a sight to behold.
World-class quality players were not short in supply. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was named UEFA's Footballer of the Year for his key role in the final and throughout the Champions League season.
Xabi Alonso left Liverpool for Real Madrid where he won Copa Del Rey 2010, Liga 2012 and Euro 2012, in addition to his World Cup winners medal.
Arbeloa did same with one less silver. Mascherano joined FC Barcelona, where he won the Champions League and La Liga in 2011.
These stats prove one thing; a top club can be successful at domestic and and Euro level only if it possesses footballing and managerial talent that it's rivals do not. There's just a handful of talent that is capable of guaranteeing a dominant showing in the Champions League.
Fastforward to 2012. Liverpool is the only Champions League winning side of the past seven years that employs a manager who has never won a domestic trophy - Brendan Rodgers.
Even Roberto Di Matteo won an FA Cup with Chelsea, while Tito Vilanova has been a key part of Barcelona's success under Guardiola as the number two, and has earned his promotion. He received medals each time Barcelona won with Guardiola's stewardship and is flying in La Liga already this season.
I have nothing against the Liverpool manager, but his best is not good enough for a team who harbours Champions League ambitions.
If you want to defend history, come with history. Rodgers has got history, but it's in the lower leagues.
Do you agree? Let us know whether you think Rodgers appointment is the right statement of ambition by Liverpool?
image: © Bernard C