25 Dec 2015

'I Want To Play': £140k-a-week Liverpool 'powerhouse' reveals LFC frustration after Klopp's surprise decision to drop him

Earlier this week, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made it explicitly clear that Christian Benteke's place in the first team is under threat, and with a vital, must-win game against Leicester City on the horizon, the £32m 'powerhouse' has publicly urged Klopp to restore him to the starting lineup.

When asked on Sunday about Benteke's omission against Watford, Klopp told reporters:

Today I decided not to start with Christian. It is up to the player to change this.”

When asked on Thursday about the Leicester game, Benteke - who is reportedly on £140k-a-week - confirmed he's fit for the game, and made it clear that he wants to play:

“I'm feeling good and I want to play because it's a big game. But it's up to the manager and I respect his decision.”

Prior to being dropped against Watford, Benteke had gone 221 minutes without a goal (2.4 games), which, comparatively speaking, isn't so bad.

As a comparison: Adam Lallana hasn't scored a league/domestic cup goal in 18 hours of football this season, yet he still plays practically every game.

Conversely, Benteke - who has 7 goals/assists so far this season - gets dumped after just a couple of games without contributing.

If Benteke doesn't perform for Liverpool on a consistent basis, then I maintain it's (mostly) Klopp's fault:

* Like Rodgers with Balotelli, Klopp is not getting the best out of the Belgian, and when it comes to the crunch, the buck stops with the manager.

* If Benteke is in the starting line-up, then the team has to play to his strengths, and that's not happening.

* There's rarely any genuine width in the team; crossing is lamentable (18% accuracy this season), and the overall level of service from Lallana, Milner, Can, Ibe, Firmino etc is laughably poor.

* Benteke may not press like a madman, but not every player in the team needs to do that. There are countless examples of top strikers who don't/didn't engage in the high press (Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie, Berbatov, Ibrahimovic, Sturridge etc).

* A striker's job is to SCORE, and if Benteke gets the service, he will score. Let Lucas, Can, Milner at al do the donkey work; after all, how many defensive-minded players does one team need?

Bottom line: With 142 goals/assists in 252 career games (One every 129 minutes) Benteke is a PROVEN goalscorer, and if Klopp can't get him firing for Liverpool, it's his failing, not Benteke's.

And please don't give me the excuse that Benteke 'doesn't fit Liverpool's style of play'. Klopp tried to sign him for Dortmund (this is a stone-cold fact), so he clearly knows his strengths and weaknesses.

As such, if Benteke doesn't fit Klopp's style of player, why did he try and sign him in the past?

Author: Jaimie K


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