Liverpool flop Ryan Babel has said poor coaching by Rafa Benitez and the technical team is the main reason he failed to excel at Anfield.
Babel scored 22 goals in 146 appearances for us after a £11.5 million move from Ajax in the summer of 2007.
He played for us four years, and despite some vital goals and fleeting moments of brilliance, there was always a nagging feeling that he failed to live up to the expectations we all had for him.
He was eventually sold to Hoffenheim and now plays for Deportivo La Coruna in Spain’s La Liga.
However, rather than taking the responsibility for his own development and shortcomings, Babel has instead chosen to pin the blame on Liverpool managerial legend, Rafa Benitez.
“I think I was badly coached. Neither the coach nor the technical team gave me good advice,” he said (AS, cited on Echo).
“I was 20 when I arrived to the Premier League. When you are that age, people have to help you, talk to you. When I arrived, no-one helped me. I was alone. It’s difficult for any young player. Not everyone is (Lionel) Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo.
“Even Ronaldo’s first two years at Manchester were difficult. But Alex Ferguson helped him. He was on top of him, he was able to grow up and now he is one of the best players in the world. But had Ferguson not taken care of Ronaldo, he may not be the Ronaldo we know now.”
We don’t think it’s fair to pin the blame on Rafa. Could he have done more off the pitch with Babel? Perhaps, we’ll never know. But 146 games in four years is more than enough time and opportunity to fulfil his potential.