I’m baffled, are you?
If there is one thing that I truly believe Rafa needs to resolve it’s the issue of Yossi’s place within the Liverpool set-up. Luckily it appears that the Israeli is happy at Anfield.
However, Benayoun’s representative Ronen Katsav insists the player is happy at Liverpool, having only signed a new deal in the summer.
“Naturally a player playing well at Liverpool will always have other teams interested in him,” said Katsav
“It is a great compliment that there is interest from high level teams across Europe, but Yossi is very happy at Liverpool and only in the summer agreed a new four-year contract.” (Sky Sports)
The point is however that Benitez doesn’t seem to value him half as much as the fans do. In much the same way as last summer when our gaffer was contemplating offloading Xabi Alonso in order to finance a deal for Gareth Barry, Rafa is not on the right page in my view.
Now I very rarely call into question the actions of our Spanish leader, he is without doubt the right man for the job, but his insistence to only call upon Benayoun when others are injured or off form is baffling to say the least. Arguably Yossi deserves to be ahead of Albert Riera on the left and if needed would also be my choice for a place across the midfield in place of the likes of Lucas (dependent on whether Javier Mascherano was firing on all cylinders).
For the best part of two and a half seasons the former West Ham man has looked on and waited patiently, then got himself into the groove with a few games on the trot then he is unceremoniously pulled from the starting line-up, as he was at Chelsea, and for what reason? I am damned if I know.
Again, I am not one of those who makes a habit out of criticising Rafa, take a look at the previous articles I have written and you will see I have nothing but respect and admiration for him, but on this issue I am deeply confused.
Hopefully the reported interest shown by Mark Hughes’s Man City side may work in our number 15’s favour and perhaps help swing the balance back in his favour.