Yesterday Yossi Benayoun looked, like being the first “post Rafa” departure with a move to Chelsea. The club has since denied this however, it appears to be certain that the Israeli will go if not to Chelsea then somewhere such as Roma who he has been linked with quite strongly.
Perhaps this is not a surprise. For all the talk about the futures of Gerrard, Torres and Mascherano Benayoun throughout his time at Anfield has shown regular signs of wanting to leave. In 2007-08 after playing only 59 minutes in three games at the start of the season his agent, speaking on Israeli TV, basically issued a scarcely concealed warning to Rafa to pick his man or he was off, the same happened in 2008-09. On each occasion Rafa rightly ignored the moaning. and Benayoun’s concern wasn’t serious enough to stop him signing a new contract.
Although these outbursts have come from his agent, who will no doubt eventually pick up the fee he was hoping these earlier utterings of discontent would lead to, there is surely no smoke without fire? Clearly Benayoun is less patient that other players who might be prepared to work hard and ensure that Rafa, oops the new manager, has to pick them every week. No doubt the attraction of the Champions League Football at Stamford Bridge, as opposed to “slumming” it in the UEFA Cup was also another factor in him deciding that he wants to go?
Benayoun’s time at Liverpool has been a mixed one. Although possessing undoubted skills, not to mention pace, he could be frustrating player. When Rafa played him wide he appeared to have a difficult time, being unable to curb his natural inclination to cut inside and have a go at goal rather go to the by line and cross. This seemed to cramp the middle leading to frequent comments about the side lacking width. Rafa must take some of the blame for this for playing him out of position and when he did play in a more central role he was much more effective to the point that at the end of last season he was one of our better players.
Perhaps the new manager can persuade Benayoun to stay? However, I suspect he might be one of the players used to raise funds to strengthen the side and at thirty realistically the move would the last big pay day Yossi can expect? Of course it would have been far more interesting had Yossi gone now as it would prompt the questions about who made the decision to sell him now that Rafa isn’t there and we have yet to appoint a new manager! However, if a player doesn’t want to play for this club then it is right that they should be shown the door, regardless of the circumstances?
To South Africa and well done to New Zealand for the point against Martin Skrtel’s Slovakia. We’ve a stack of Kiwis in the office and Reid’s last minute equalizer was “celebrated” in a variety of ways. One just laughed, another didn’t even know it was on but he soon did as he was greeting by another of his fellow country indulging in a highly vocal lap of honour around the office. The rest simply preferred to smugly remind us that New Zealand’s record in this tournament is now the same as England’s!
Finally I was watching Colin Murray’s BBC World Cup highlights show. Oh how I was laughing at the highly original, irreverent, sideways look at the tournament this programme takes. Then, shock horror of horrors, all this stopped and for a fleeting moment they decided to show a game of football which I suspect most people, having been working or out for the day, had tuned in to see in the first place! Still at least it’s not James Corden’s World Cup Live, Should Corden ever fall ill and not be able to make the next show I’d like volunteer my six year old son to take his place as, although love him dearly, on his day can be just as loud and just as annoying!