Rafa: Kromkamp is none of van Basten’s business

Marco van Basten was out of order with his public criticism of Jan Kromkamp according to Rafael Benítez. The former Ajax player is now manager of the Dutch national team and said Kromkamp had made bad decisions for his career by moving to Villareal and then Liverpool. At the same time he complained about not having enough time to work with his players before he names his final 23 for the World Cup final, yet left Kromkamp out of his squad for the midweek friendly.

Van Basten’s arrogance was astounding. He said: “It is annoying Kromkamp, who is a good player, made the wrong choices for his career. It seems to us Jan is more busy with peripheral events. Jan has to make choices. I have no influence on that but, if he wanted my advice, that was possible.”

According to Rafa, whether the comments are correct or not the Dutch manager should have made them in private, not through the media: “I have seen the comments. If you want to say something like this you should talk directly to the player, not to the press. If you want to control the career of the player, talk to him, not to the newspapers. In football now you expect to hear agents talk like this, but not people with no daily relationship with the player.”

Even if he’d made the comments in private though Rafa is not convinced
they would have been valid. The Spaniard was clearly unhappy with van
Basten: “It’s not his business. We’re talking about the future of a
player and his family. I don’t see how joining Liverpool can be
negative. Kromkamp was not playing in Villarreal and we decided to make
a good swap.”

Perhaps van Basten is unhappy at how little football Kromkamp has
played. What went on at Villareal can’t be helped, but now he’s at
Anfield Rafa has been working on getting him ready for the Premiership.
Last weekend he played the full match and looks likely to start being
used heavily as the season goes on – especially in light of Steven
Gerrard moving back to his central role in the absence of Momo Sissoko:
“He started for Liverpool last weekend and worked hard as a right
winger. We used him because we need a solution and he showed he is a
good player.”

Kromkamp may need to start further back tomorrow against Charlton if
Steve Finnan can’t overcome a neck injury. If Finnan is fit then
Kromkamp could find himself being used regularly in the right-wing
position. Rafa isn’t expecting Sissoko back before the end of the
season, but is hopeful he’ll be ready for pre-season training: “Momo is
much better. I spoke to him on Wednesday. He’s progressing and we are
very happy with him. If everything goes to plan we can see him in
pre-season. I’d like it to be sooner, but I’m not sure. The most
important thing now is for Momo to rest.”