Peter Crouch had the best spell of his career, whilst playing for Liverpool and despite having the utmost respect for the club and Rafa Benitez – our former forward shared a story of a time he was less than impressed.
Speaking on ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’ (from 41:04), the 41-year-old said: “I remember going away with England, scoring three goals in two games and coming back. Rafa said to me ‘don’t get carried away’ and I was like ‘what!?’.
“He put me on the bench for like three games and I don’t get that mentality, I’m not that sort of person to get carried away with my own success – that would never even cross my mind, I was just buzzing and confident.
“I think he was trying to bring me back down to earth and I was thinking, actually I need to play – I’m flying, I’m so confident…
“I don’t think it was right at all, I think you’ve got to know your characters… I love Rafa and I wouldn’t have a bad word to say about him as a manager, he gave me the opportunity to play for the best club in the world and I’ll always thank him for that and he’s a great person but he wasn’t very good with people… dealing with you on a human level – he wasn’t very good”.
It’s no surprise to hear that Rafa Benitez was cold with his players, as this is something that has been repeatedly mentioned about the Spaniard and especially by former Reds who played under him.
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The former England striker saw that his good form was punished by the Istanbul-winning coach and that must be such a confusing and frustrating position to be in.
There are some players that would benefit from being brought down to earth after an impressive international break but others, like our former No.15, don’t need to be reminded not to get ahead of themselves.
His CV and especially the periods of success at Anfield will speak for the former Everton boss but there were certainly periods of his career that show he hasn’t got everything right.
This insight from former players is always really interesting and it’s safe to say that one asset that Jurgen Klopp will certainly have over the ex-Real Madrid manager is his people skills.