22 Dec 2011

Angry midfielder blasts: I was MISMANAGED by Liverpool FC...

After a promising first season at Liverpool, Ryan Babel found himself continually warming the bench during his time at Anfield, and the Dutch International - who currently plays for Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga - has now accused his former club of 'mismanagement'.

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

"For most English clubs the players are not out and out wingers.

"I was never played in my favoured position, and that broke me at Liverpool.

"I was not properly managed. I felt I was often alone, but generally I behaved nicely.

"It's a pity that I could not have been more important for Liverpool."

When Babel was at Liverpool, I repeatedly highlighted how he suffered from something I call 'the Benitez effect'.

Benitez Effect (noun) – Negligent misuse of - and/or - alienation of Liverpool FC 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 Benitez's on-field yes-men - i.e. 'athletes' who run 50 miles a game; do what they're told to the letter but contribute next no nothing for large stretches of the season.

I don't condone Babel's public criticism of the club but it appears that there was merit to my assertion that Rafa Benitez mismanaged Babel.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Well in defence to Benitez, Babel had pace to burn which we needed on the wing, Babel also got a chance to play up front on several occasions and failed miserably... At Hoffenheim he has scored 4 goals in 17 games this season! Not exactly a prolific goalscorer is he?

  2. jaimie your a twat

  3. Characteristics of the Benitez Effect:

    * Liverpool achieving their highest points total in the Premier League era 

  4. The Benitez Effect = Champions League success, No1 Team in Europe.

    Jaimie- Care to speculate on when you think KD will achieve this?

  5. I agree that Benitez mismanaged players (Benayoun, Alonso come to mind amongst others) but, in Babel's case, it was more that he is a crap player - evidenced by how he is doing at Hoffenheim. After a brightish start, he now runs head down into blind alleys, and has no end product. Sound familiar?

    Babel should worry more about what he does on the pitch, rather than how badly he was treated in the past, which has no relevance on his future unless he wants it to. He needs to move on.

  6. Forget the past

  7. This Benitez guy...Two CL finals...Three CL semi finals  FA Cup Winners EPL runners up and highest points total achieved by LFC in history of EPL.....not very good was he ???

  8. Boo hoo Babel, more than a handful of players were forced to play in positions they weren't used to...You should have taken your chances everytime they were given...You just did not try hard enough despite your obvious talents !

  9. Hmm mismanaged Gerrard, Alonso, Masch, Momo, Garcia, Hamman etc... I think its you that suffers from the Benitez Effect mate!

  10. I had this discussion with my pal once. he posed the question to me? Maybe what we (Liverpool) all thought was potential, was actually Babel's peak as a footballer. That's certainly up for debate. At the end of the day, I believe you have to take your chances when they come. I parallel his situation with Benayoun's. In 08-09 Youssi wasn't a starter at the beginning of the season, but played his way into the starting line-up with continuous productive displays scoring against Madrid, and creating many chances for others. Babel on the other hand when given a chance to start centrally against WBA missed a ball squared to him in the box under no real pressure, and sorely mistimed a header. I do also remember in that season he was having a decent run until he picked up an injury against Man City. I believe no matter what the manager does. If you take your chances it would be impossible for him not to play you. The onus is on the player to make himself undroppable

  11. thats untill he broke the whole team

  12. raffa won the euro and fa cup with someone elses team ! fact !! wat did he win after spending millions on crap players,, and the good ones he did buy he ended up selling them !! fact !! he still hangs around club like a bad smell.. he that good of a manager hes been sacked twice now.. and NO job offers...... thank god we got rid of that coward manager..

  13. Read again Babel didnt critisize LFC he did Rafa, which i agree upon.

    I don't think LFC will have a talent like Babel for ages so thanks to Rafa for going safe...

    IMO Babel should have been played as a striker not as a winger or sub.

    We had a great talent but Rafa wasted him on the defensive side, although he had greater speed than FT and simular finishing skills...

    Get him back Kenny as a replacement for Luis ... and when the "dark" side comes they will smash pl together ...


  14. Yet another anti Rafa rant.
    Look I believed in Babel he had undoubted abilities but he was soccer stupid, he had no tactical nous at all. He only played well when given green light to score as a sub when all else had failed. He often misfired even then. Worse still when he was started .
    It's also worth noting that Woy didn't start him either after giving him a c bunch of chances.
    He cudnt play in a team. End of story

  15. Enough of sour grappes, Babel. You are not good enough for Liverpool. Even the small Lucas performs better. Shame on you.

  16. What rubbish .. LFC won't see another talent like Babel? Clearly you don't know what talent is. Have you ever watched Babel at Hoffenheim? No, didn't think so ..

  17. Hi Kraken,

    I'm being objective. You are right about our highest ever league standing but I believe Jaimie has a valid point. only benitez understands the logic of benching on-form players.

  18. Babel is and will never be an out and out goalscorer, his record is:
    1 in 5.2 games at Ajax
    1 in 7.58 games at Liverpool
    1 in 5.6 games at Hoffenheim

    He is not a player that will lay on alot of chances for others as his crossing is poor and he tends to run with his head down when often there are players in good positions (a poor mans Bellamy imo as Bellamy has pace, goalscoring and good vision).

    The fact that no major european side came in for Babel when he was up for grabs says volumes. If he was half the player he believes he was then there would have alot of major european sides lining up to sign him from Liverpool.

  19. Still talking crap I see Kanwar!

  20. Jamie Kanwar please can you leave Liverpool alone? I like positive criticism(s) but I will bet that right in the core of your mind, you dont have Liverpool at heart.You are like a spy in our mist.
    I dont know why you are permitted to write articles (not) on our behalf.
    Please I have asked a question on your other detrimental article concerning us complaining about Evra persistent racial complaints.Can you go there and answer me?

  21. Babel was half interested at best, while picking up over £3 million a year

    I always wished we had played him on the right wing, he had buckets of pace, and we have been crying out for a fast winger playing on the "correct" wing

    We are still obsessed with playing wingers on reverse wing, Downing on the right

    Look at Bale, Lennon, Walcott, Valencia, Nani (both footed), Adam Johnson etc - all absolute flyers

    Tired of seeing Kuyt, and more recently Downing, turning back when in a position

    We need fast wingers, nothing scares defences more - and then we may actually be able to supply the kind of pass Carroll needs

    We should snap up Jarvis and Nathan Dyer in January

    Hope that we don't draft in a specialist to fill in for Lucas

  22. as opposed to 5 goals in 17 games for our current prolific goalscorer?

  23. Don't you feel a bit silly calling us the best team in Europe when we were never even the best team in England?

  24. Does the fact that Benitez was sacked by Inter after 6 months and not picked up by anybody else since prove anything about his abilities too?

    Babel DID lay on chances for his teammates, and we would've been FAR better served by giving him the faith and game time that we kept handing out to Mr. "Big game" Kuyt but oh well.
    (Babel also contributed in a number of "big games" btw but whatever)

  25. Can anybody explain why Kuyt played for Holland and Babel slept?

  26. The facts are there for all to see, many liverpool fans where bemused at the treatment of Babel and the press being what they were, deemed him a flop and inconsistent, would you not be if not featured regularly even after doing well,  when Torres was injured you would think he would opt for pace and trickery up front to give Babel is chance, but instead we got the workhorse who effort is sadly not matched by quality.   The player Babel would have been was never seen by Liverpool and thanks to the draw merchant Benitez we may never see. 

  27. I have to say that Babel was one of the least intelligent team players I've ever seen pull on the Liverpool shirt.  His decision-making was moreover poor and it never improved over the years even with the game time he had.  Babel is the anti-Lucas.  

  28. All managers at liverpool seam to bench players in form, so it should be called the LFC manager effect not the Benitez effect. 

    Prime example, Kenny with maxi, Bellamy, Carroll. They score or have a decent game, next game there on the bench.

    Plus football is a team game, you do what is best for the team, not the individual.

    Till babel sets the footy world alight with his ability he should keep his mouth shut. 

  29. Good luck in the future to both Ryan and Rafa. If things did not go your way you both need to get over it. You have done what others only dream of doing and more over you have both been paid hansomely for the privalege. You should reflect on your good fortune and smile at the wonderful experiences you have been given and the benefits it has given you and your family. Ryan, keep your head up when pacing down the wing and pass more to your teammates. Practice crossing the ball too as it can only enrich your game and team success. Rafa, talk to your players , embracing their qualities and sharing your thoughts. If they are the right players they will work with you as they will be better understand and exectute your requirements...no man is an island.
    Remember that neither of you can to LFC to take take take, you both contributed to the success and history of our great club and the true fans understand the value you have both added in your time...may the force be with you both.

    Dean Sykwalker
    Age cannot wither us nor custom stale our infinite variety

  30. So your comparing Babels ability to that of Suarez?? Good luck with that one!

  31. Can you point out where I said anything about ability? Good luck with that one!

  32. Babel got injured on the eve of the world cup. And he STILL was selected as part of the squad. Despite being a mere sub for his club all season. Just saying...

  33. We stuck with Lucas game in, game out even while the team fell apart around him and dropped into midtable, and with all of that experience and faith in him he has eventually developed into a good defensive midfielder.
    We really did do well with that eh!

  34. Babel was not good enough. By the way, i find it very funny that Rafa was/is criticized for benching on form players... what about Kenny???? It's the exact same thing in my opinion (Maxi, Bellamy).

  35. Jamie...sorry, I mean "Jay": doesn't the fact that Benitez brought us the champions league when we clearly weren't even the best team in England speak volumes? Love him or hate him Rafa got results and was (and is) one of the best tactical managers in football. You can make lots of arguments about Rafa (didn't follow the liverpool way, not a great scout, bit grumpy etc.) but his style of management - which sometimes meant selecting favorites and playing players off of one another - resulted in extended unbeaten runs in every season that kept Liverpool right at the top of the table.

  36. Why is Babbel at a mid table Budesliga team shouting about Liverpool.  He had more than enough time to shine and I remember many times where he had avergage footwork and bumped off the ball.  He was only good for those once in a moon goals where you swing the boot and it comes off right.  This is not about Benitez and Babbel will continue to be in mediocre teams because he is a mediocre player.  Jaimie thanks for raising these topics but I suggest you choose a horse to back and not a donkey.

  37. His performances now don't invite clubs like Liverpool to come for him so he should keep his mouth shut until he (if he ever) proves himself worthy of playing in one of the greatest clubs.  

  38. I give Benitez respect where it is due but unfortunately have to usually end up being a killjoy irt him due to the over the top statements regarding his legacy.
    Ultimately the priority for LFC is (apparently?!) to win the league. Benitez had 6 years in charge and came 2nd once. That is not keeping us at the top of the table.