The stronger Benitez becomes, the more fragile is the influence of Gerrard and Carragher, Liverpool men through and through.
For years, the notion of a Liverpool team without them has been unthinkable. But neither has stood up for Benitez this season, while other players have.
The pair are still great players but no longer untouchable. Torres is a Kop hero to rank alongside Gerrard and the Spaniard outsells the local man in the club shop.