A player who gives 100% and could represent the difference between success and failure at Anfield.
Someone remarked to me, midway through last term, whilst I saw in my Anfield seat that Yossi Benayoun is a player that just about everyone values, except for Rafa Benitez. Now whilst the statement was a little over the top it did have some resonance in reality and hopefully now our boss realises just how important the Israeli utility man can be for the club.
Since he arrived at the club he has been a determined customer who has tried his hardest to secure himself a regular place in the starting eleven. Some players would have given in or perhaps mouthed off, but on the whole Yossi has stood by his task and done so with a great deal of character and respect.
The former West Ham man has the ability to make up for many short falls in our squad. He has the ability to effectively link midfield to attack, an ability that is damned important. You see when the slightly built midfielder receives the ball his first instinct always seems to be to move it forward and that is a very good attribute to posses, especially when coupled with the fact that on the occasions when he does lose possession due to this insistence to move forwards, he is always there to fight his way back to retrieve the ball or to at least make it as hard as possible for the opposition to move the ball on.
He is as useful out on the left as Albert Riera or Ryan Babel as he doesn’t waste the ball needlessly and knows how to bring in other players intelligently. He is also a very good replacement for Stevie G when he is not available for selection. This more central role is probably where he would like to play more regularly but I feel it is out on the flanks where he does the most damage.
However the most important skill he has is probably one that in a way he appears to have little control over and is more and instinctive part of his game and that is the way that when he is on the field of play, something seems to happen. There is something about his desire to really push towards goal that seems to just generate an urgency and pattern to the teams play that just seems to gel at times perfectly.
I also love the desire he displays. When he loses the ball or misses an opportunity you can see the anger and frustration written all over his face, and its the kind of emotional connection to Liverpool Football Club he has that will always mean that he is a fans favourite.