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Topics - barticus

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1
I think we can all agree that he's done a fairly decent job and to be in the mix until the last game of the season was a great achievement.
Citeh, Spurs and Chelsea spent massive amounts of money and i think if it had been anyone other than Pellegrini then i think we would have got the title.
There have been great signs of encouragement but still signs of worry.
Brendan has shown signs of adapting his game when he got rid of all the possession is king milarky.
But he has to now go one further and mix the attacking flair that he actively encourages and achieves with a more tactical defensive balance. Quite bizarre how Agger who can attack and defend in equal measure was underused for those final 3 games. He might have been injured i know not.
Next season, other sides will park the bus in many games against us, and so we will have to learn to be patient and calm, to stroke the ball around and not panic. He needs to know when to kill a game, when to accept 3 points with open arms and not hope to rebalance goal difference in the penultimate game of the season.
This is another crucial summer season to buy and ideally we should get them all signed before the world cup, but fat chance of that.
He deserves the award as he's taken us from 7th to 2nd. His decisions in the summer will be crucial and as long as he just doesn't buy attacking players and redress the balance we need, then i for one greatly look forward to next season and the champions league.


http://www.football365.com/news/21554/9309462/Rodgers-And-Pulis-Win-Manager-Awards

2
Now being the cynic and witnessing and shuddering at Brendan's first year... i can see quite a difference this season...gone are the 'yes we can win the league, this is our year, we're da best.' statements...

and in its place comes 'let's wait and see, we've proven nothing yet' which is a far better position and one that doesn't get giddy and more importantly tempt fate...

i think realism is key....and apart from edward 224 (aka 'see I told you he was the messiah') the forum members are beginning to come together and reach middle ground and a certain uneasy truce...

We bought suarez, coutinho and sturridge in january...and if we could get at least one class midfielder in 2 weeks time then who knows...top 4 may even be possible...

keep calm brendan, no more nonsense statements and don't always try to outscore the other team as that will end in disaster...

i see signs of progress...and more importantly learning...but still a way to go...



 

3
Liverpool FC, football, sport / 2013-2014 Season
« on: June 19, 2013, 12:17:42 PM »
Here we go....

Liverpool's 2013-14 calendar:

AUGUST

17 Stoke City (H)
24 Aston Villa (A)
28 Capital One Cup second round
31 Manchester United (H)

SEPTEMBER

14 Swansea City (A)
21 Southampton (H)
25 Capital One Cup third round
28 Sunderland (A)

OCTOBER

5 Crystal Palace (H)
19 Newcastle United (A)
26 West Bromwich Albion (H)

NOVEMBER

2 Arsenal (A)
9 Fulham (H)
23 Everton (A)
30 Hull City (A)

DECEMBER

3 Norwich City (H)
7 West Ham (H)
14 Tottenham Hotspur (A)
21 Cardiff City (H)
26 Manchester City (A)
28 Chelsea (A)

JANUARY 2014

1 Hull City (H)
4 FA Cup third round
11 Stoke City (A)
18 Aston Villa (H)
28 Everton (H)

FEBRUARY

1 West Bromwich Albion (A)
8 Arsenal (H)
12 Fulham (A)
22 Swansea City (H)

MARCH

1 Southampton (A)
8 Sunderland  (H)
15 Manchester United (A)
22 Cardiff City (A)
29 Tottenham Hotspur (H)

APRIL

5 West Ham (A)
12 Manchester City (H)
19 Norwich City (A)
26 Chelsea (H)

MAY

3 Crystal Palace (A)
11 Newcastle United (H)
17 FA Cup final

4
Liverpool FC, football, sport / Rodgers out?
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:24:30 PM »
Call me Mr Picky...
but being beaten by the mighty Swansea in the Carling cup..
being beaten by the mighty Oldham in the FA cup...
And being a mighty 7th (TM) in the league...

IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH...

oh well at least we're 4th in the amount spent in the league...that must count for something...

5
Liverpool FC, football, sport / Liverpool the nice...
« on: January 11, 2013, 07:03:37 PM »
It's been bothering me for many a year...but reading crap like that new bascombe piece and the veiled 'suarez is off in the summer' article just set it off...

Liverpool Football Club has become nice.

For the last 3 years we've brought in managers who are eminently nice people. They will never rock the boat or offend anyone. They will never damage the LFC (TM) image, they will never offend other teams, they will never offend other supporters and they will never ever offend the media who has been whispering lies about us for the past 20 years since Hillsborough. AKA they will never ever be a threat to win anything ever again. Nice.

The reason the media have a go at Benitez is because he wasn't nice. He wanted to win. He couldn't give a flying feck what others thought. The supposed 'rant' was pure truth and wanted to even up the playing field and stop Manchester United's dominance in favourable decisions. No other gutless wonder amongst the managers in the past 10 years have ever spoken the truth and stopped being nice. In fact you could argue that the only real winners in the last decade have been those who aren't particularly nice and who want to win (Fergie obviously and Mourinho to a lesser extent).

The reason the criticism about Suarez is so vehement is that he isn't nice. He wants to win. He will play until the last moment of his breath to make sure that we get that fecking win. I'm not talking about dodgy handballs and bs nonracist southamerican cultural stuff...i'm talking about the whole pantomime villain thing...He's ostracised because he's class and a threat. Ergo he'll be gone in the summer and the owners will talk about damaging our brand name (whatever that is).

So what is our brand name? Maybe we can go the same way as ILM and Star Wars and be sold out to Disney...at least Disney have money. Maybe we could have a little video at thanksgiving and Christmas where all the squad sit around a campfire, dressed as val doonican and sing 'kumbaya, my lord' and be thoroughly nice.

But there's a problem with being nice.

It means we win feck all.

It means we put up with season after season of tepid signings, owners getting away with crappy ill thought policies that most of us simple folk on a simple forum like this can see right through. What is it with Americans? Were the Brits soooooo grateful for their help against jerry in WW2 that we are no longer capable of rational critical thought? I mean FSG supposedly got the finest brains of experts and supporters to chip in their ideas when they bought the club...did our lot just drool and look in wonder at the Yankee saviours???

We need to stop being nice. It did us no good for the past 20 years because the media (and through them the majority of other teams supporters) still continued their snide comments.

To coin an American term, 'Enough already'.

We need to think about our game and not how it's perceived. Do you think for one moment that Shankly or Paisley gave a feck about others??
If it's a case of bringing more Suarez's (or Tommy Smith's/Souness'/Mcmahon's) into the club then so be it. Fill it full of the finest nasty arsed bounders this side of the Pecos.

If we continue in our current vein of niceness then the only way is down. We need to draw a line in the sand. Whether Rodgers can do it remains to be seen but he can certainly go out trying. Better to meet your fate with your head held high than to whimper out through the side gate.

No more niceness. No more worrying about what others say or think. We sign skilled fighters no matter what Greek/Spanish/wherever backwater they come from. We no longer rely on fancy dans more worried about their image rights that the game that they play. We sign players who growl at their opposition and that opposition think 'dear lord' and they are fearful. There can be no more half measures and no more niceness.

We do our thing as we are Liverpool. For if we don't we are lost.

6
Liverpool FC, football, sport / Gor bless us all said tiny tim...
« on: December 24, 2012, 10:35:54 PM »
And on a personal note....we may all have our differences......but at the end of the day we love our club....Merry Christmas to Tes, Dude, Ed, Martin, Edward, Gurdeep, et al....

7
dip.lo.mat [dip-luh-mat]
noun
1. 'someone who will say fork off to your face and you'll look forward to hearing it'.



I went down to Torrox Costa today and came across a book called 'Shankly' by Bill Shankly...if anything's a sign then that's it...so that got me thinking...
we can have fun at Rodgers expense cos let's face it if you say ridiculous things then you let yourself open to ridicule...
we can get irritated at each other for our points of view....
but we're mostly intelligent who give a fork and let's put something together between us that can combine the greatest minds of the forum world to come up as potential guidelines to the FSG owners who sadly look as if they're wearing the emperor's new clothes and know nowt...

If Rodgers is to survive, then he has to realise that 'positive thinking' as tactics (basically sums up the villa result) is about as likely to win football matches as 'russian roulette'...

he needs to do what fergie has based his entire football philosophy around aka building a boot room full of people who know football and more importantly know this club through and through.
At the moment we're like a boat without a paddle and a new boot room would ground out and silence the nonsense that we've been listening to for the past 4 years or so. (Ideally this would be done behind the scenes...even talking about it breaks that contract but hey someone's got to mention it).

We need to recreate what made Liverpool successful. We need to keep it simple. We need technical nous and experienced heads who can steer this doomed ship. Because at the moment we're in dead calm on the jolly rodgers and i won't even mention the FSG as a potential jonah...

What's Roy Evans doing at the mo? He is Liverpool through and through and knows exactly how it worked. Phil Thompson? Can they be given advisory roles?
Can we start this day, keep some dignity and 'know' when to shut the fork up?
We need to pick people who dispense with their ego...who place the club infront of themselves...
Our downfall started when the ego souness changed things around...and for some bizarre reason we have never recreated it...

Some may say that the days of the boot room are gone, but i would say that these times are ripe for it in an adapted form...

i shake my head at a guy 3 years younger than me who's spouting on about 2nd and then a day later blaming everybody else...
i shake my head at some media chairman representing our club getting into a slanging match with someone taking the mickey...
i shake my head when i remember the last time we went down 3-0 in the league at anfield was under souness but at least nigel clough pulled it back that night...that was 20 years ago...

first and foremost, bring in experienced heads...
start to play effective football...we can pass and move...but we need an end result...
and finally ignore the media...fork them...they've been slagging us off for 20 years since hillsborough...keep it direct and get a diplomat in...


8
Liverpool FC, football, sport / 'Being Liverpool' TM
« on: September 17, 2012, 06:52:52 PM »
The new fly on the wall documentary 'Being Liverpool' is exclusively on Channel 5 starting Friday 21st September at 9pm.

11
Liverpool FC, football, sport / The 2011-2012 League fixture list....
« on: June 17, 2011, 01:29:32 PM »
Saturday 13th August 2011    
Liverpool     v     Sunderland    15:00

Saturday 20th August 2011    
Arsenal     v     Liverpool                        15:00

Saturday 27th August 2011    
Liverpool     v     Bolton Wanderers    15:00

Saturday 10th September 2011    
Stoke City     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 17th September 2011    
Tottenham Hotspur     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 24th September 2011    
Liverpool     v  Wolverhampton Wanderers    15:00

Saturday 01st October 2011    
Everton     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 15th October 2011    
Liverpool     v     Manchester United    15:00

Saturday 22nd October 2011    
Liverpool     v     Norwich City    15:00

Saturday 29th October 2011    
West Bromwich Albion v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 05th November 2011    
Liverpool     v     Swansea City    15:00

Saturday 19th November 2011    
Chelsea     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 26th November 2011    
Liverpool     v     Manchester City    15:00

Saturday 03rd December 2011    
Fulham     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 10th December 2011    
Liverpool     v  Queens Park Rangers    15:00

Saturday 17th December 2011    
Aston Villa     v     Liverpool    15:00

Tuesday 20th December 2011    
Wigan Athletic     v     Liverpool    19:45

Monday 26th December 2011    
Liverpool     v     Blackburn Rovers    15:00

Saturday 31st December 2011    
Liverpool     v     Newcastle United    15:00

Monday 02nd January 2012    
Manchester City     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 14th January 2012    
Liverpool     v     Stoke City    15:00

Saturday 21st January 2012    
Bolton Wanderers     v     Liverpool    15:00

Tuesday 31st January 2012    
Wolverhampton Wanderers  v     Liverpool    19:45

Saturday 04th February 2012    
Liverpool     v     Tottenham Hotspur    15:00

Saturday 11th February 2012    
Manchester United     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 25th February 2012    
Liverpool     v     Everton    15:00

Saturday 03rd March 2012    
Liverpool     v     Arsenal    15:00

Saturday 10th March 2012    
Sunderland     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 17th March 2012    
Queens Park Rangers v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 24th March 2012    
Liverpool     v     Wigan Athletic    15:00

Saturday 31st March 2012    
Newcastle United     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 07th April 2012    
Liverpool     v     Aston Villa    15:00

Monday 09th April 2012    
Blackburn Rovers     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 14th April 2012    
Liverpool     v     Fulham    15:00

Saturday 21st April 2012    
Liverpool     v  West Bromwich Albion    15:00

Saturday 28th April 2012    
Norwich City     v     Liverpool    15:00

Saturday 05th May 2012    
Liverpool     v                   Chelsea    15:00

Sunday 13th May 2012    
Swansea City     v     Liverpool    15:00

12
Liverpool FC, football, sport / Nice guy Roy...
« on: April 01, 2011, 01:11:36 PM »
ROY NEVER FELT 'WANTED' AT ANFIELD

Roy Hodgson believes he did not stand a chance at Liverpool as he was never accepted by Reds fans who wanted Kenny Dalglish at the helm.

The now West Brom boss is preparing to be reunited with the Anfield club on Saturday - two months after being sacked and replaced by Dalglish.

Hodgson's brief spell in charge of Liverpool was accompanied by the fans calling for Dalglish to take charge, and he says he knew that his time was up once former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett left the club.

He told the Daily Mirror: "The people who employed me didn't stay too long. I think for the new owners they obviously found themselves in a difficult situation because we weren't winning enough games.

"The fans were making it clear they wanted me gone and someone else in. Everyone knows for one minute I can't suggest I felt wanted at Liverpool.

"It is not exactly a secret I wasn't perceived by a lot of people as the manager they wanted at Liverpool. They wanted somebody else and that makes life a lot more difficult.

"It was my misfortune to be at a club where the fans made it pretty clear early on they really wanted the manager they have got now."

http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6845358,00.html

Hmmm so he continues his bemoaning...

all i can say is that for the first 3 months or so every liverpool supporter was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt...
the problem was:
his reliance on being happy with a draw...
his defensive outlook..
not defending torres against fergie...
blaming all players and never his own failings...
konchesky..
konchesky!

everyone of us wanted roy to succeed (even the doubters) because let's face it we all want our club to do well (or at least have a go)...but we're also not mugs and not willing to go down titanic like, blind to the iceberg bleeding obvious....make no doubt we would be 4 points or so away from the relegation mix even now under Roy...and you make all you like about the players having no heart etc but when you're being hamstrung by a manager who was so clearly out of his depth, then relegation would have been a clear possibility......

get over it Roy...kenny has been excellent so far and ideally if Rafa doesn't get the Real job then bring him in as a tactical number 2...when kenny retires, rafa takes over...both learning from each other...

 

13
Liverpool FC, football, sport / Rafa Benitez exclusive....
« on: March 06, 2011, 07:43:52 PM »
Rafa Benitez will get up this morning, take in the magnificent views of the Dee estuary from his home on the Wirral and spend time with his wife, Montse, and daughters, Claudia and Agata. Then he will sit down in his living room to watch Liverpool take on Manchester United in the Premier League - and spend the entire match analysing his former team. It is a habit that, for Benitez, is impossible to break.

Having been an intrinsic part of the biggest fixture in English football for six years, his absence from the cast list seems odd but Benitez, who has returned with his family to England after what became an acrimonious six-month stint at Inter Milan, is adjusting to a new life. When he watches Liverpool, however, he reverts to type.

'The other day I was watching a Liverpool game with my wife and I was saying, "Now this player will kick the ball long, this one short",' he says, as he nurses a soft drink at his local restaurant. 'With one player, I was right four times in a row. But it was very easy because I know the team so well.'

It is eight months since he left Liverpool following six years at the club that are still the cause of contention. A glorious Champions League victory, another final, an FA Cup win and a UEFA Super Cup and consistent qualification for the Champions League are to his credit; some dubious signings and a backdrop of endless infighting between owners and the executives register on the debit side.

Yet, for now, the Spaniard is content with his life.

With his family back in their English home - eightyear- old Agata barely knows any other - he is enjoying his first extended break from the game in 13 years. Even so, the job is never truly far away. As he talks in the restaurant, he appropriates salt and pepper pots to demonstrate the virtues of zonal marking.

'It's really strange to be relaxed but now I'm watching games in a different way,' he says. 'You are trying to take notes, analyse things, but it is not the same as when you need to be ready for the next game. You can enjoy the football a little bit more. But you know you have to be ready, because we have had some offers from abroad, though for now it is better to be calm and choose the right team.'

There are, of course, constant reminders of his status in English football. On Tuesday night he took in Chelsea's game against Manchester United and witnessed Sir Alex Ferguson's verbal assault of referee Martin Atkinson. For a man almost as famous for what became known as Rafa's rant as for his Champions League heroics, it was a familiar moment.

When Benitez launched his now notorious attack on Ferguson, just over two years ago, his side were top of the table, mounting the club's most credible title challenge for 18 years.

And Benitez's principal fear was that Ferguson was escaping punishment for undermining referees.

'I knew that they [United] had some problems, that we were winning and top of the league and they were under pressure,' says Benitez. 'I just wanted a level playing field until the end of the season. But, now in football, the more you shout the more famous and more important you become and the more people seem to take notice of you.

'I think we have to have respect. The example we give to the children is really important. If you are a referee, it's not easy because everyone wants to win and so there will be cheating. The problem is that the people who are doing the right thing [by respecting referees] have to have some benefit. And to the people who are not doing this, someone has to say: "Enough is enough".'

Pointing out the dominance of Ferguson in English football - and the fear the authorities appear to have of punishing him - can be a dangerous business, inviting further hostility. Benitez dismisses the theory that his attack on United's manager marked a turning point in the race for the league title that season, which in the end saw Liverpool finish second, four points behind United. But he adds wryly: 'Before then, I had a good relationship with him.'

That, of course, was before Benitez became a threat. Yet it was a threat that could not be sustained. Following Liverpoool's second place, hopes were raised higher than at any time since Liverpool's last title win in 1990. But the club endured a debacle of a season, finishing seventh, their lowest position for 11 years. Now, with the benefit of hindsight, Benitez attempts to address the myriad issues that undermined that campaign.

A persistent complaint throughout his reign was his managerial style, which was reputedly cool towards his players. Benitez is genuinely bemused by that claim. Yet the tales have become legend.

Steven Gerrard, having produced a performance in an FA Cup final comparable to Stanley Matthews, joked that he still failed to get a 'well done' from Benitez. Fernando Torres wrote that a day after the birth of his first daughter he received belated congratulations from Benitez, only to realise the praise was for attacking the post at a corner rather than for his new fatherhood.

'I was surprised that they said I was too distant,' says Benitez. 'Every day at Liverpool I spent 15 minutes in the physio room talking to players who were injured. I know what it means to be injured and spend six months training on your own.

'But I [also] say, "You can do better". I push, I push, I push. It's my style and I think that Gerrard, Torres, Reina, these players can always give something more because they are top-class players, mentally, physically and technically. So I try to push them. The approach with other players is different. When they don't have that level you have to say, "OK, fine, well done". But with top players you have to push them.'

The Torres anecdote upsets Benitez. 'It's not true,' he insists. 'We had been practising a movement, where we attacked the near post. Then against Chelsea, he attacked the near post and we scored. Straight after the game - straight after the game, not a day later - I went to see him and said, "Well done. Attacking the near post!"

'In his book, he says it was a day later, not after the game. I asked Fernando, "Why did you write this?" They changed the time of when I said this but it gets repeated and repeated and people think it's true.'

Of the team he left, the one inherited first by Roy Hodgson and now by Kenny Dalglish, he is bullish.

Although he admits there were mistakes in the transfer market, he says they were due to the risks he had to take because of the financial squeeze on the club. In 2008 Liverpool's interest payments on the club's debt had risen to £36.5million; by the next year they were £41m. The club were making huge losses.

Benitez says: 'We had the confidence we could win the league but you have to wheel and deal. You cannot bring in two or three top-class players if you don't have the money. You have to sell. We sold Xabi Alonso and bought Glen Johnson, Alberto Aquilani and Sotirios Kyrgiakos. We [should have] had money but I couldn't use it because we had to meet the interest payments.

'We had one top-class player who was our target, Fiorentina's Stevan Jovetic. As far as I was concerned, we had the money for him in our budget. But then the owners said: "No, no, we don't have the money". Then he scored against us in the Champions League to help knock us out!

'If you have your budget and you know that is happening, fine. But my budget was always given to me as a net figure [after taxes] for wage negotiation. But in the last year it was gross - a massive difference - but I didn't know. No one told me it had changed.'

Senior players quickly cottoned on to the financial restraints and some became disillusioned. Torres, whose form collapsed because of injury and frustration, was among them. 'I was very clear and honest with him,' says Benitez. 'And to be fair, he was telling me, "If we don't spend money, we cannot compete against the top sides".'

Torres has since spoken of broken promises that drove him to leave Liverpool for Chelsea and Benitez says: 'Obviously the things that the owners were telling me, I'm sure that they were telling to Fernando and Gerrard. If they have this feeling it must be because someone was telling them something.'

Still, he believes the players he had were capable of challenging for the top four. Hodgson's suggestion, when he took over the job, that they were not annoys Benitez. 'You should defend what you have or will have, not attack the former manager,' he says.

'Everything was "Blame Rafa". But now, with Dalglish in charge, and without new players, because Carroll hasn't played and Suarez has hardly played, the same group of players are doing much better [than under Hodgson].

'Two years ago they were finishing second. In football it is a question sometimes of the mentality, understanding the players, the atmosphere, the confidence.'

Throughout the latter part of his reign he had to maintain an often Kafkaesque dialogue with the owners. He says: 'Sometimes you were talking with [co-owner] George Gillett and it was fine; sometimes you were talking with Tom Hicks and it was fine. Sometimes one was saying the opposite of the other. The problem was when they say to you one thing and then it changes.'

His regrets are limited: some signings perhaps, but principally that he did not take full control of the club's youth academy for the final year. It is a mistake that he would like to rectify when he works again.

He is eager for a project where he can demonstrate that he can build a club combining a thriving academy with the transfer market. Given his record - even his mixed six months at Inter gained him the Italian Super Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup - he will not be waiting long.

'My job is to analyse clubs and say, "I know how we can improve this team, we can spend money here or spend money there". Right now I'm preparing projects for different options and different clubs because it could be this one, it could be that one. The main thing will be the transfer targets, as it depends on the potential of the club. But I want to work in England.'

For now, though, there is the diversion of this afternoon's match and a possible debut for a £35m Liverpool signing. Benitez is optimistic for Carroll.

'If he is there, even on the bench, he will be a massive presence because he's a different player,' says Benitez. 'He will have the passion and the fans will all be behind him.'

And the prospect of another famous Liverpool victory? 'Always I say the 11 starters of Liverpool are at the same level as the others,' he says.

'Over nine months, it's not easy if you have injuries and you can suffer more than the other top sides. But for me Liverpool are a top side in terms of their 11 starters.'

He will not be there, of course. His television will have to suffice for now. It will be a while before Benitez takes charge of a game at Anfield again. But perhaps not that long.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1363373/Rafa-Benitez-exclusive-blame-lies-broken-promises-Liverpool.html#ixzz1FqljsfbS


14
Birmingham 0 Liverpool 0

Thought we looked knackered yesterday....
not surprised to see Torres looking fragged as the night before i watched newly promoted Hercules murder Barca 2-0...10 of the Barca team were in Argentina on wednesday/thursday...as was Torres...reina was magnificent though...so maybe the previous was just an excuse...
Meirieles looked like a good signing and i'm hoping it was merely match fitness that he didnt play from the starts and lucas did...
bit of a pity that we didnt take full advantage of the man citeh, spurs and the manure slip ups...but there will be other times...

15
Liverpool FC, football, sport / Benayoun speaks...
« on: July 11, 2010, 05:18:26 AM »
Yossi Benayoun has accused Rafa Benítez of trying to break him at Liverpool. The midfielder said the former Liverpool manager was the sole reason for him wanting to leave Anfield.

"Everyone asks me why I left Liverpool," said Benayoun. "There is only one reason – Rafa Benítez."

The midfielder says the Spaniard, who left Liverpool to manage Internazionale, never treated him with respect he felt he deserved.

"If I played well, I never felt he gave me credit," he told the News of the World.

"When I scored, I still expected to be out of the team the next game. On two occasions early last season, against Fulham and Lyon, the fans booed when I was subbed. They thought I was playing well but Benítez told me he was surprised the fans booed because I was not good enough.

"He tried to destroy my confidence. You can't treat a player like this and expect him to be happy."

Benayoun said he was very unhappy but out of respect for the club he did not speak out. He said the players and people at the club know how he felt.

"I don't want to speak on behalf of other players at Liverpool, but people know what happened to Albert Riera and Xabi Alonso. It was the same for me. Benítez tried to break me like he broke Riera."

The 30-year-old said before the final game of the season Benítez pulled him aside in training and said: "You will not be in the squad for this game. Thank you for your three years of service, now you can call your agent to do a deal with another club."

"That's when Chelsea made an offer," said Benayoun, "and the deal was done before Benítez left."



So this would explain the bizarre goings on when Benayoun was taken off in that semi final when he was playing out of his skin....


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