4/05/2012 03:37:00 pm

Rafa: It's not my fault! £11m LFC flop "didn't understand" English football...

When Ryan Babel was a Liverpool player, I regularly argued that Rafa Benitez's mismanagement (i.e. the 'Benitez Effect'**), had a major negative impact on the the Dutchman's form. In December last year, Babel admitted in public that he felt he had 'not properly managed' by Benitez, and whilst I still believe that is still true to an extent, his underwhelming impact at Hoffenheim seems to suggest that Benitez's man-management was not the only reason for Babel's failure at Anfield.

In a frank interview with Sport1 Voetbalmagazine, Babel revealed that he was not impressed with the way he was managed at Liverpool:

"I was never played in my favoured position, and that broke me at Liverpool. I was not properly managed, and I felt I was often alone. It's a pity that I could not have been more important for Liverpool."

Benitez recently refuted Babel's claims, and laid the blame squarely at the Dutch attacker's feet. He told Sports Illustrated:

"Babel played in a 4-3-3 system at Ajax, but he didn't do well as a winger at the end. We were trying to find his best position but it was not going well. Babel was a young player that needed to understand the English game and he didn't."

As I showed in several articles, Benitez's management had a detrimental impact on Babel. I still feel that is true, but after seeing how Babel has failed at Hoffenheim, I concede that Benitez's was probably less culpable that I first thought.

The reality seems to be that Babel just doesn't have the mentality to succeed at the highest level (or indeed any level). Let's look at the facts:

* No goals and only 1 assist in his last 25 games for Hoffenheim.
* 23 of the those were starts, so it's not like Babel hasn't had a run of games.
* Babel hasn't scored a goal since September 2011.
* Hoffenheim have only four wins in the last twenty games.

You would think that Babel would be a world-beater at a smaller club like Hoffenheim, but his underwhelming impact just shows (IMO) that he has a mentality problem. In that respect, he's very similar to current Liverpool players Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll, who've also struggled to score and create goals since arriving at Anfield.

Babel recently made the dubious claim that he had 'improved' since being at Hoffenheim, and clearly unaware of the irony, he threatened to quit the club if results didn't pick up (!)

Clearly, he has an over-inflated view of his own importance to the team. An attacking player's job is simple: create and/or score goals, and in that regard, Babel has failed. Who would sign him anyway? From where I'm standing, the only way is down for Babel.

--------

** Benitez Effect (noun) – Negligent misuse of - and/or - alienation of football players, to the detriment of the team, resulting in demotivation, recrimination and, ultimately, a desire to (prematurely) leave the club.

Characteristics of the 'Benitez Effect': Can include some or all of the following:

* Inexplicably (and regularly) being dumped on the bench.
* Inexplicably (and regularly) being substituted for no good reason.
* Inexplicably (and regularly) being dropped after scoring/creating goals.
* Regularly being sidelined despite having a consistent positive impact.
* Regularly being played out of position.
* Never being given a fair run in the team.
* Not being allowed to build an effective understanding with team-mates.
* Being treated shabbily at the end of an LFC career (i.e. Riise/Hyypia)
* Occasionally being subject to unfair public criticism.
* Regularly being ignoring in favour of on-field yes-men.

Jaimie Kanwar


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105 Comments :

gabweb said...

With those stats, we should sign him!!

I always thought that Babel showed enough to prove that he could play. He scored some fantastic goals for us, only Gerrard was scoing goals anywhere near as good at the time, and he played some important roles, usually off the bench, in a couple of games that i remember, namely Arsenal in the champions league and away to West Ham, where Torres credited him for two great assists. Clearly an attempt to boost the guys confidence. His goal at Lyon should have got us through to the next stage of the champions league, amazing strike, but the defenders managed to mess that up in the last few minutes so we went out. Unlike our new signings, he showed an eye for goal and had pace. I actually think his downfall was that he didn't have the attitude to turn it around when things went wrong for him here and would be a huge work in progress for any manager now to turn things around for him.

But he is still better than Henderson, Adam or Downing and if the first two, of those three, ever have half the impact in the champions league as Babel did in the games he played for us, or even in the Europa League, I'll be amazed.

Philip Dean said...

he was reminds me of some lad in work. moans all of the time, never wants to put an honest shift in. if something goes wrong he blames everyone else and then wonders why when promotion comes around he is overlook. utter gobshite!

Duncthepunk said...

Mentality was that boys problem, he thought he was the next Henry, yeah ... Karl Henry.

Colin Mallia said...

Babel wasn't good enough for THAT Liverpool team. The main mistake which Benitez did, and I cannot believe he made it, was that of selling Alonso. 

Fchahinmd said...

What we hv now is NOT much better!! Let us face this fact...

Lion Heart said...

Every characteristic you have mentioned in Benitez effect, everything is applicable to Kenny too right now.

Sheepytoo said...

Damn .....that benitez effect is strong, it even effects players of other clubs.
Or maybe , just maybe, you could have been wrong all these years jaimie

Zulu said...

Rafa did mis-manage Babel, just like he did with Keane. Once you'd lost the trust of Rafa their was no way back. Good players such as Keane, Bellamy, Crouch and eventually Alonso were forced out whilst Rafa let lesser players stay. I truly believe that if Babel had signed for Arsenal and played under Wenger he would of been a great player.

gabweb said...

other people thought he was going to be the next Henry as well. Wherever he goes next will get a decent player that will need a fair bit of working on. Not sure we worked on him that well, dropping him when he did have a decent game, and not sure we are working on our young signings that well this time either. Whatever the attributes of our last three manager, man management has not been one of their strong points. Maybe that is why we seem to have a problem trusting/signing flair players who are creative.

He can't tackle/foul like Karl Henry!

Paddywacked said...

Jamie why don't you post something relevant like liverpool's tactics or possesion, instead of endless pointless past player stories or stupid transfer links

Michael said...

True but the selling of Alonso was not entirely his fault because of the agreement in place for it to be Alonso's last season and as soon as the biggest club in history came he went. Another time another place would have been great if he'd stay and if we'd had better owners at time things would have been different.
Same thing happened in Roy Evan's era, he wanted to sign the best at time Keane, Desailly, etc and build a team with the best british players with a few of the best foreign players at time but never had backing of the board. When Hollier came in he was given 3 times the amount Evans had received and followed departure of McManaman to Madrid same as Alonso told to stay one more year before going.

gabweb said...

totally agree. Unfortunately, once it did not work out here he hasn't been able to regain the potential that he had before he joined us.

It's an interesting comment, to say that someone just doesn't understand the english game. It makes me wonder, what is there to understand? Why did he appear to understand it well enough to put our under 21s to the sword? And if he didn't understand it, surely the coach is there to explain it to him?

I think that Benitez had a choice, keep faith in an attacking player who was not going to track back, which i think is the understanding he meant, or use Kuyt. He preferred Kuyt. Still think that with the run of games, Babel would have been ok for us. Better than what we are currently looking at anyway. Wenger would have given him a run out in certain games against lower level clubs, and in cup games, and he would have found a way to get his message across. And he wouldn't be demanded graft, he would have been demanding quality.

PatrickTheRed said...

I found this article and many others like it quite interesting. You should write your own about tactics and possession.

I think Babel should look at himself and stop blaming others. He always had the talent, just no desire what so ever.

TheRealRafiek said...

Rafa is good. But the question marks he left due to the "Benitez Effect" adds a very sour taste if he is ever to be back at Liverpool. Remember the CL Final when he subbed Mascherano when he was dominating AC midfield? It was a cringe moment in LFC history!

Damo71 said...

Really trying to get this in common usage aren't you Jaimie, although how you think a two-word phrase can be classed as a noun?! Although, your lack of understanding of irony points to an underlying problem with language, that rivals your problem with Liverpool managers.

Hakeem Mills said...

Its incredible how everything Rafa has done it seems not to be his fault, never heard him once saying hey I got that one wrong, sorry, no he keeps defending his innocence like hes done absolutely nothing wrong but the facts speak differently, looks like for every mistake it happened in his time it was only and only yanks fault, not rafa's at all, rafa is being very immature hes just like kenny and roy, he accepts nothing he just put the blame on different things or people, this is sadness.

RedChica said...

Accusing Rafa of poor man management is a bit primitive. He had his philosophy, his tacticts, his know-how, etc. If he didn't see players respond well to it, he played those who did. It's not about the Yes-man stuff, it's about players who share the manager's philosophy. Also squad rotation, etc.

As a recent example of what happens when the players don't buy into the manager and what he is trying to do shows (Chelsea) even a successful young energetic manager will fail if he doesn't have a choice but to play those who don't like his methods for whatever reasons.

And one more thing:  while players may seem more content to have a manager who is their buddy, or like their favorite uncle who will forgive them for poor behavior, and will still buy them prezzies, the well-known examples show that football manager should be ruthless and prioritise success of the team over everything else.

RedChica said...

Babel is a very technically skillful player, no doubt. When Xabi Alonso was asked in an interview - who is the most skillful player at Liverpool, he answered without any hesitation - Ryan Babel!
To some extent I felt sorry when Babel left the club. I think I'd take him back any time over Downing. Ha! I'd actually take Alonso back too, and Mascherano, and Meireles, and TORRES over those who we have in their positions now. What a decline in quality, unbelievable! And I don't even want to mention the money paid!

But, back to Babel - to be honest, I think his lack of success at Liverpool and at Hoffenheim is because he's a big-mouth, he thinks too high of himself and is 'too cool' to work at his own improvement, he thinks more about rap and all that gangsta stuff than his football (that's just my opinion though).

Paddywacked said...

why delete every comment who doesnt agree with you

OriginalChan said...

Yep, nothing is ever your fault, Rafa(!)

Its always the owners, Parry, Purslow, Babel, etc

Bekim said...

Benitez effect. Didnt he have good effect on SG. B4 came to the club he was scoring ten goals a season. When Benitez took over I think he scored 23 in one season. You can't really have any effect on poor players. Take Caroll, Henderson, Adam and Downing to Barca with Giardiola and they will all fail cos they're average. So I don't think sometimes it matters who the mngr is it comes to players not being good enough.

Annie M said...

Jamie, your definition of the Benitez effect, is not too dissimilar to our current boss, Kenny Dalglish's tactics this season.  I'm sure Henderson, Carroll, Maxi, Kuyt etc could all argue they've been played out of position/not allowed a run of games etc.

Interestingly though, regardless of what players thought of Rafa's management style, we performed consistently in the league under his leadership, until we had suffer the indignity of having to buy bargain-basement priced players in his final season.

As for Babel, if he'd applied even a fraction of Dirk Kuyt's work ethic to his own game, he would have been a world beater for sure.  I just don't think Ryan wanted to work hard enough.  
He figured his talent was enough.  It's not.  Look how hard Messi works for Barcelona when they don't have the ball.  Ryan and the idea of work just never collided enough IMO.

comebackRafa said...

If we are dealing in facts and not trying to stop people knowing the truth,then here goes the truth is,different temperament and attitudes in different groups.Ince,Babbel,Anelka,Pennant allkicked out the club due to ther disgarceful attitudes.Then look at Evra,Van Hooydonk,haiiselbaaink, more dutch B@@ck people whos attitudes are disgraceful.Then during euro 96 Davids,Seedorf etc all threatened mutiny,its definitely an attitude and cultural difference even though you are probably not allowed to voice this factual opinion.

Simon said...

I've always argued that Babel slacked off once he got the bumper move and £70k per week

Waste of space

Everything prob came easy to him all his football career and once a challenge he gave up

Waster

Bekim said...

Just can't believe some comments in here. Benitez miss managed Babel, R Keane bla bla bla. How well did R Keane do when HR took him back to Spurs. Did he miss manage him cos he didn't stay to long in there did he. Cos HR is the best mngr in the world even though he won shit (one FA cup) and he managed for about 100yrs. What About Taggart at MU. How did he manage one of the best midfielders in the world in Veron. What about Taibi, Bartez, Kleberson, Bosnich and fuck knows how many more. Slag off Benitez as much as u like people the FACT is that he made LFC NUMBER ONE INEUROPE.

lowee78 said...

he was a lot better than downing. good player in there somewhere

Mitzsu said...

What bugged me about Babel was that we kept him for so long, i've never seen a player so comfortable sitting on the bench......

Not a very good signing by Rafa, why he kept him for so long was baffling, but then again Rafa did baffling better than anyone.

Damo71 said...

Of course, now Alonso was forced out. This rewriting history is exhausting, 'Rafa out, bring back Kenny'! Oh, hang on?

Fuwee said...

Its exactly what Kenny is doing with the likes of Maxi and a few who does well n even scores. Bench them and demotivate these players and eventually losee belief in themselves that has long negative impact. Still Rafa has ba**s to get rid the non performers even bought by hinself while Kenny is denial and even tries to justify when its obvious and sadly at the expense of the match, points and moral of other players. He has to go and take his old job if still available .

Ooh Banana said...

Anyone who sat in the pissing down rain, watching the reds going out of the cup against mighty Northampton will understand that Babbels attitude stunk! I always wanted him to come good, but that game made me realise that he wasnt good enough for LFC!

guest said...

Near £20m on Aquilani is bargain basement??

Hjsjwj said...

You forgot to mention the CL finals, cup wins and our highest league finish in years under "the Benitez effect" how exactly is it rafa's fault if an ex player fails to make an impact years later at another club?

Simon said...

Trust is earned, once it's lost it stays lost

Michael said...

I think we need to move on as Liverpool supporters. I think you can be fairly confident that Rafa won't be back.

James Cooper said...

Babel looked fantastic in his first season. i remember his double against Derby, one of which he sold 2 defenders into sliding in before letting the ball roll across him before calmly side footing acorss the keeper. Other moments were there, his goal against Arsenal in the champions League quarter final being one of them. He had the ability to change games and be a force from the outset. Then it seemed to go downhill for him. I can only put it down to confidence. He probably thought he was ready to start but kept being benched, probably got fed-up but was loathe to leave a club as big as Liverpool and prove himself elsewhere. It's a shame. He had/has all the ability in the world. He just needs to learn the correct mentality.

Bekim said...

U R SPOT ON MATE.

Mitzsu said...

Babel just about sums up why i wanted Rafa gone from the Club, in all the time Rafa was here, he never bought what i would consider to be proper wingers......

He bought Kuyt who i thought was a striker and after giving him a few games up front decided to turn him into a RW....which is the same thing he did with Babel but for the left wing......

Whilst Kuyt managed to adapt albeit at times awkwardly.....Babel just couldn't.

I did wonder if even Rafa himself realised his shortcomings...and then tinkered with their positions so that it looked intentional.....which i don't think it was...

I'd like to see the stats for total games played for 90mins by Babel whilst at the Club, its seemed that Rafa wouldn't let him go because that would be like conceding he'd fucked up by buying him........

Badly handled, always felt that Babel and Kuyt would have benefitted more if Rafa had played a 4-4-2 at times, allowing them time to develop etc, but that was never going to happen with the defensive set up that Rafa preferred.....

What i find odd is that Kenny seems intent on duplicating many of the errors that Rafa made.....

Me said...

Under rafa we had the strongest spine I can remember. Reina carra agger masch Alonso gerrard torres. All and a ridiculously low spend. After purslow Roy and now Kenny have slowly dismantled the assets and philosophy are people realizing rafa's success. You can talk your keane and aquilani or masch Torres agger skrtel reina. Or veron Jeffers djema djema taibi and bebe.

The benetez effect as you call it is insulting. All managers have the same trait. Find me a manager who says he was wrong and I'll find you a loser. Last time slur

Waterbunny said...

Yup. But you'd never see Beni cultist admit that.

Shanklys_sons said...

I believe he will be back one day but it will be interesting to see what the owners do from here onwards. If Kenny steps down after another season of mediocrity are the owners going to bring in a "proven manager" like Benitez or gamble on a young manager like AVB that got walked all over by players. The only managers I would want coming to Liverpool if Kenny has to leave is Rafa, Hiddink, Klopp, Loew. Managers that can command respect, have a proven track record, tactical nous and vision.  

Liampark said...

Benitez effect eh?

Why don't you run down the list of players that "suddenly" become world class under Rafa?

Players like Aimar, Ayala, Torres, Mascherano and even Gerrard and Carra. All world class under Rafa, but arguably anonymous on the world stage after.

No doubt, Alonso is the exception, but all the rest are above average at best, but no where near the best in their positions even in their individual leagues. 

Look at how Mourinho handled Eto'o, and compare to the free scoring Eto'o under Rafa in his brief stint there.

Facts are simple, some players do not thrive under Rafa. Others become absolutely world class under him, and never recover their form since after him.

And yes, that includes Gerrard. 

Carra is world class in the zonal system, which hides his flaws. Man to man, he's a liability, and thats clear for everyone to see now.

Thats the real Benitez effect, and the players that have come and gone under him are proof

ROSSO67 said...

Well Babel has shown he is not up to it and a few nice goals never was enough to stand him in stead as a quality player.
He has failed in Germany thus actually proving Rafa right in not playing him more he should have sold him sooner.

Adam said...

Trouble with babel is he spends all his time on twitter and not enough time working on his game

Kopology said...

Incorrect. He has publicly stated that he made mistakes. 

And the facts are actually quite favourable for Benitez. A relatively average group of players achieved some amazing feats under his tactical control. 

Kopology said...

Agree totally.

Kopology said...

Babel has the lowest game intelligence of any Liverpool player in living memory. No amount of skill is going to compensate for being clueless. Everyone keeps saying he was a slacker. Maybe. But he just made awful decisions with and without the ball. Passing too late, head-down over the ball, shooting at the wrong time, cutting back onto his right-foot and into traffic all the time...

Kopology said...

Fully agree. And really, how much does anyone here genuinely know about how Rafa man-managed him? Babel failed and blamed Rafa and that is supposed to be sufficient evidence?

Kopology said...

Where does Kuyt play for Holland? And where does Kenny play him? And Hodgson? 

And where did Holland play Babel? 

Maybe all of these managers are wrong or maybe you are?

Kopology said...

Excellent points. 

Rafa had some flaws but you would think that he was a useless nutter if you accepted everything that JK and the anti-Rafa brigade spew forth. He is quite obviously an awesome manager and his qualities and achievements are glaringly ignored by those who don't like him. 

Sure, he confused and befuddled me at times and I disagreed with some of his decisions but unlike many other managers there was inordinate amounts of thought and planning behind most of these decisions that most of us were obliviously to and the results against Barca, Real, AC, Juventus, Inter all demonstrated his amazing understanding of football.

Jay said...

If a player is worse after several years at a club than when he first arrived, then it the fault of the club/manager as far as I'm concerned.

And Babel was a better player in his first year at Liverpool than in his final year.

yahoo-X5CX25AU3ROVDAHOAWU2IX7DHI said...

Putting words into Rafa's mouth again? He did NOT say "Not my Fault!" but what's that to get in the way of a quick dig at him hey?

Jay said...

lol what disgraceful attitude did Babel, Anelka or Pennant display at Liverpool? 

And I guess their attitudes were in stark contrast to the likes of Bellamy, Suarez or Riera right? Or how about the attitudes of the likes of Gerrard, Reina, Kuyt, Mascherano etc who would be sniffing around for opportunities to better themselves in spite of having EVERYTHING handed to them at Liverpool?? Was that just their B@@ck sides poking out??My 'factual opinion' is that there's definitely an attitude problem with you. What a frigging douche!

Jay said...

Babel probably gave up once he accepted the fact that he would always be the scapegoat at LFC, even when he only was given 20 mins in a game.

Liverpool have stuck with plenty of wasters in recent years. Babel was one of the few that actually had legitimate talent to develop though. 

Jay said...

How was Babel comfortable on the bench if he kept begging to be allowed to go out on loan to prove himself??

Jay said...

Kuyt was turned into a winger at LFC after failing miserably as a striker. He had an entire season scoring a just ONE single league goal from open play!! That goal and his two pens were oh so important in that campaign though I guess(!)

Jay said...

Funny enough, I've never seen anybody complain about the amount of time that the likes of Suarez and Lucas spend on twitter...

scallyryan said...

Babel was never going to succeed at LFC. Mentality just wasnt there. He was given plenty of opportunities but just didnt progress as all good young players should, Blaming Benitez just pointless, players have to earn the right to play and not be spoon fed.
Benitez runs his ship based on the tactical side of the game, arm around the shoulder man management does work with motivational and psychological aspect of players but Benitez always insisted the team and club comes 1st. He was not the manager to be their friend, our best player in the last 20 years, Stevie Gee knows that!!!!

scallyryan said...

True, Carragher was (IMO) the best centre half in Europe 2005-2006, tactically astute and loving playing under a manager so tactically minded as Benitez.

Shanklys_sons said...

Rafa couldn't buy 'Proper' wingers?!?! I suppose we can ignore that with the little money he had to strengthen all the positions that needed strengthening he did an amazing job sorting out the spine of the team first and bringing in attacking fullbacks who were a lot cheaper than your traditional, classic winger you speak of. I suppose you are ignoring attempts to bring in rough diamonds like Mark Gonzalez, Leto and Riera all either promising talents or national team players.
Rafa was gearing us up to play total football (In the Rinus Michells mould) with intelligent players that can slot in and play in more than one position. While Kuyt tirelessly ran around, tracking back as well as contributing in the final third he was one of our most invaluable midfielders. Benayoun likewise was a clever player that can run into space, thread balls through or ghost into the box.
After sorting out the spine and it was soon evident Rafa would not get the funding to buy his first choice winger targets Simao, Alves, Silva, Vargas, Elia, Lavezzi, Mata, Affelay, Adam Johnson to name a few he had to go for cheaper options and hope they would come good and investing in attacking fullbacks that were a little less expensive.
Rafa’s scouting network was pretty extensive and while we were after the Alves’s, Bosingwa’s and shock horror (Evras) before Man u, Chelsea, Barca picked them up, either the lack of ambition or speed in getting the deals sealed ensured we had to bring in 2nd, 3rd choices hence the reason we brought in Kromkamp and Dossena that unfortunately failed. In this instance young Insua from the reserves was given ago. It wasn’t until we sold Alonso that we had the funds to get Glen Johnson who may not be the finished product defensively but was like a winger when he went forwards. While it would have been great to go for anything other than British, we also had to boost the homegrown count which as everybody knows is a money sapper.
Attacking fullbacks are part of the modern game now. While they overlap, the right sided MF sits back and makes us less susceptible to counter attacks. Look at Daniel Alves for example at Barcelona. The football they play is fluid but there is a lot of effort whenever they lose the ball to close down the opposition quickly before they retain possession again. In the end Rafa never had 30-40 million to splash out on a couple of players like Man U and Chelsea did so he had to bring in players that may or may not come good and invest in the academy.
So where does Babel fall in. He was a useful, pacey option to have but never one with enough discipline or effort to start. He was a rough diamond that could have become great but never managed to grasp his role/function. Maybe he would have improved more in a different league or a different setup but he never really excelled in his favoured position up front.

Bekim said...

Exactly. And as Jamie pointed out he's done nothing where ever he's playing now.

Bekim said...

Totally agree mate. Forgot Djemba Djemba the new Roy Keane they called it.

Roythe Red said...

Of the players mentioned here as world class, two of them came from the academy, i.e. Stevie and Carra. The rest were made up from around 80 tranfers that Rafa made and around £200 million. If i were to spend that much and make so many transfers, surely i'm going to have a few gems amongst them.

Roythe Red said...

True.

Roythe Red said...

How many overseas players struggle in their first year, before finding their feet?

Roythe Red said...

EXACTLY. Kuyt played against England a few weeks ago, looked far better than we had, yet can't play ahead of Hendeson, what a joke!

Felix Saha said...

jamie should come out with stats of players that were affected by the so called "benitez effect" and compare with wen they were at anfield and lets see which is better. "benitez effect" ha i just hate dat phrase

Roythe Red said...

Kenny has bought in players and now has to play them, even if they're not good enough. That's why Kuyt and Maxi are down in the pecking order, and why academy players don't get a chance. You're right Kenny should go back to ambassador.

Roythe Red said...

He almost conceeded once that he made a mistake with Crouchie. well i did say almost!

Roythe Red said...

Rafa did'nt want Keane, he wanted Barry, to replace Alonso ( i know ) and being stubborn did'nt give him a chance, as usual.

Roythe Red said...

Interesting that, i always though Babel signed for the wrong club.

Roythe Red said...

Alonso and Rafa fell out when Paccio ( who looked after the first team, when we were raining goals ) went back to Spain, after a fall out with Rafa ( no surprise there ) so Rafa plots to replace Alonso with Garreth Barry. ( i'm sure theres a joke in there somewhere). Real was the big winner though, Alonso is'nt doing so bad either.

Roythe Red said...

Babel had so much promise, saw him win the under 21 championship, and was regarded as europe hot property. getting him seemed, at the time great for us. As they say though hindsight is a wonderful thing. As Babel moved into the real world of football though, could'nt hack it. The problem with Babel is he's a chicken! never before have i seen anyone back out of tackles like him, if you don't have the physical side, the EPL is not the place to be.

Liampark said...

Actually, those mentioned that became world class were the few actual expensive buys, meaning those were actual targets, unlike your mentioned 80 or so cheap to free transfers who everyone knows are only to fill the gaps until more money becomes available.

Stevie and Carra are only world class under Rafa's system. Carra was above average at best under Houllier, and Stevie... well many managers have managed him, but he only reached his full potential under Rafa, notably on the right, and behind Torres. NOT in the centre, where no manager seems to trust him. 

Roythe Red... I post under Benitour in one of the many forums where I'm sure I've seen you. Cheers

Moocher said...

And that's why we should never want Rafa back at Anfield. 

joe said...

Not surprised Benitez destroyed Babel's confidence.. he did the same to Robbie Keane who was experienced and scored goals for fun at a lot of clubs

Samlowther2004 said...

If you can't see how good Rafa was as a manager you shouldn't be writing a blog as you obviously don't have a clue about the sport.

Ashfah Ngog said...

Chi Bai lu, Rafa ! Why did you buy in in the first place ? My Puki Mak tells me you dont use your head.

Obiy2k said...

Jaimie, why haven't you removed this comment, it is clearly racist?  So, it's only black players who kick up a fuss or have bad attitudes? So Lampard, Terry, Rooney, Mascherano, Sayrez, Tevez, Mihilovic, Ibrahimovic to name but a few have never caused problems. As far as I know we are all human beings with faults and goodness within us all. The colour of your skin has nothing to do with tempermant or attitude. You sound like one of those racists who used to say black people cannot play football in England as we couldn't deal with the cold! Alarming attitude and I'm surprised Jaimie hasn't bought you up on this as this is clearly offensive.

gabweb said...

Totally agree. Some of our current players seem to be suffering the same loss of ability. I notice that many of our international players play better for their countries than us as well.

gabweb said...

Yes, that is a shocking assessment. Totally ridiculous! Carlos Tevez anyone?

gabweb said...

Maybe that is the club's recruitment stance with supporters like him?

Phil Timpton said...

It's easy to criticize individual mistakes with hindsight but I would remind you of the bigger picture. We were in our second CL final and were ranked number 1 club in europe ...that's the big picture. What is the big picture under you beloved KD....if KD stays for 5 years (and let's be clear I don't think he will be here after next season at best) what do you think he will have achieved.

h8utd said...

typical dutch attitude really,shame.

Hasnain said...

He had to sell Crouch. Couch wanted to be the sole striker and wanted £120k a year. Not gonna happen when you have Torres!  If we had sack loads of money we'd of kept him!

Hasnain said...

Well Benitez did get him back to fitness and now he plays in the champions league while you have Adam and Spearing as well as Henderson to drool over......ha ha ha

ynwa_sg said...

Benitez won the CL with Houllier's team. When he started facing personal issues with the previous owners, he started taking apart the team.. the fall out between him and Alonso was not a coincidence either.

Madness said...

Inferiority complex?

Madness said...

Second that mate, to be honest the comment although completley absurd has racial undertones.... but then again comebackrafa usually speaks out of his arse so at least its consistent with his posts

Madness said...

make a list of all the other managers that have won something with another managers signings and then consider how silly your opinion is.

Madness said...

did he cut it at Liverpool? - I seem to recall between August and January we won 6 CL group games, and were top of the league without Keane's goals - he didnt fit in and had no place because europe's deadliest pairing of torres and gerrard that year were in full force.

Madness said...

I remember that U21 - saw four players that had promise. Chiellini, Drenthe, Babel and Aquilani.

Madness said...

Whilst I agree Carra was good in those years I cannot understand how the best centre half in Europe was nt part of the International team set up - he clearly wasnt the best in Europe or he would have cemented his place in the team

Madness said...

The point about Stevie in the middle gets missed by so many people and I cannot understand as it is so obvious - Stevie's best years were down to the way he was utilised in arguably free roles which was down to Rafa understanding he has no tactical disclipine.

Jaimie K said...

Sorry I missed that one. Deleted now.

Liampark said...

I absolutely agree. Playing in the middle requires discipline which he just does not have, and at his age, its too late for him to learn. 

However, to have a free role, you need the rest of the team to be solid. Didi was good, but by himself was overrun by the better teams when Gerrard played beside him. 
Alonso and Mascherano, now theres a central partnership that I fear we may never see the likes of again. They dominated the midfield, and allowed Gerrard to go and do wherever they want.Adam, Spearing, Henderson, none of them can partner Gerrard by themselves in the middle. We get overrun so easily. 

Lucas probably could do a decent job, but him alone with Gerrard against better passing teams and we're screwed as well. 

Looking at the rumours that Kuyt and Maxi are leaving, it really makes me fear for the future.

If only Dalglish kept playing Kuyt, Maxi, Suarez, Lucas, and kept Mereiles and arguably even Aquilani and maybe Cole. There's a team of passing and moving, and they were the reason we did so well when Dalglish took over last season (bar Aquilani and Cole).

Now we are getting rid of nearly all of them, and replacing them with more dross. I really fear for our future. 

Liampark said...

Again, I believe Carra is able to hide his flaws in the zonal marking system. England doesn't play zonal

Man for man, everyone remembers Henry and Zola running rings around him. These days, it doesn't even require players of that calibre, simply any pacey striker would do

gabweb said...

Exactly, if you can win something with someone else's players that makes you a better manager, probably, than the person who bought them.

Obiy2k said...

 Cheers!

FsL said...

i didn read all posts, but all i can say about rafa, is that he is 1 of the bests, but moody, just wanted to share my op.

OriginalChan said...

'total football'? Rafa? Oh that gave me a giggle.

In relation to wingers, well he ended up spending £18m on a attacking full back (Glen Johnson) instead, after failure after failure. He had money but chose to spend big on other positions such as Johnson, Aquaman, Robbie Keane, etc. Maybe buying a top winger wasn't that important to Rafa.

Shanklys_sons said...

Well we had ro replace Alonso and Arbeloa. Robbie Keane was a Parry signing whih Rafa had no say in. Rafa wanted Barry and Parry bought Keane and for a stupid amount of money which doesn't say much about Parry's dealings/ negotiation skills.

As for total football, Rafa was mentored by Del Bosque and he also respected and wanted to emulate Arrigo Sacchi's successful Milan side.
If you rember Rafa's Valencia's side and the way they dominated Liverpool in one tie

Dave_obo said...

I think that Liverpool ruined Babels career! He wasnt head strong and didnt really play to what Rafa wanted!

However a better manager would of met down the middle with him, support him and harness his talent.

Not scapegoat him when the whole team plays shocking, isolate him when he has a cracking game and publicly speak out at him!

I think after those years of not playing football and being isolated has contributed to his demise!

MARKREEVES247 said...

ITS NOT REALLY THAT HARD TO BE BETTER THAN DOWNING


IF I WAS GIVEN HIS GAMES IM SURE ID OF ACCIDENTLY PROVIDED AT LEAST ONE ASSIST AND MAYBE A GOAL 

MARKREEVES247 said...

I WUDNT BET AGAINST IT....LOOK AT THE STATS WHO ELSE WUD COME BACK TO THIS SINKING SHIP ???

OH I FORGOT MOURINIO CANT WAIT TO GET HERE N HAVE HIS NAME SANG FROM THE KOP BY US FANS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAHAHAHAHA

Mark Qualiti Reeves said...

FAILING MISERABLY AS A STRIKER ???

ARE U FUCKIN SERIOUS

HE WAS TOP SCORER IN THE DUTCH LEAGUE TWO YEARS ON THE TROTT

MAYBE KUYT WAS A GUD FINISHER MEANING HIS CROSSES AND THRU BALLS WUD ALSO BE EXCELLANT....HE CUD HOLD THE BALL UP WELL N PLAY WITH HIS BACK TO GOAL

ALSO IF UR PLAYING TORRES UPFRONT WUD U SWAP THEM AROUND ????

USE UR NOUSE KUYT WAS LIKE AN EXTRA ATTACKER AND WINGER ROLLED INTO ONE

MAKES SENSE EH ???????

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