Note to all ex-Liverpool players who didn’t do very much at the club: don’t pick a fight with Rafa Benitez, because in the eyes of the fans, you won’t win.
Former Red Jermaine Pennant has ignored this advice and instead gone in on the man that managed him during his Liverpool tenure, Rafa Benitez.
Pennant played for us between 2006 and 2009, putting in a good performance in our Champions League Final defeat in 2007.
“On the pitch, often I can see what’s best. Ultimately you have to trust the players once they cross the white line. But with Rafa, it was constant directions,” he wrote, serialised in the Mirror.
“Just sometimes, he might as well have turned a player into an Xbox, dressed me up like RoboCop and put a picture of my face on it. I’m not a defensive midfielder. I’m not James Milner, who keeps it simple. I’m a flair player and do my own thing. But his constant instructions really restricted me. They stopped me from being free. He could never let me do my thing.
“When you have so many instructions, it makes it so difficult. You’ve got some instructions and tactics in your mind and yet he’s shouting even more at you. All of a sudden you’re confused. You’ve got two sets of instructions in your mind and you’re left wondering what to do. It means that, suddenly, you mess up with a simple pass because your mind is all over the place.
“Honestly, Rafa was a nightmare like that.”
Pennant though played more league games for Liverpool (55) than any other club.
This perhaps suggests that Benitez maybe wasn’t as bad for him as he’s making out, especially considering the 35-year-old is now at Billericay, following failed spells at Pune City, Tampines Rovers and Bury.
By the sounds of it, we’re not sure Pennant would have done so well under Jurgen Klopp, either!
A sure sign that no matter how talented you are, without hard-work, humility and dedication, you’ll never become an elite footballer.