Agent: Yossi will move if not used enough

Football agents don’t always act in their clients’ best interests, and it looks like Yossi Benayoun’s is the latest one to speak out in a way that could be damaging for his player.

Rafa Benítez has a reputation for rotating his players, and this summer he took steps to ensure he had at least two decent-quality players for every position. When the games are coming thick and fast the changes will be more apparent than ever as Rafa tries to ensure that the eleven players on the pitch at any one time are as close to 100% fit as possible. In quieter times his selection will be based on a mixture of how well a player has been performing, and which players he feels are best suited to the opposition. Nobody, perhaps except the goalkeeper Pepe Reina, can expect to start all the major games.

That rule applies to the more expensive signings like Fernando Torres and the longer-established players like Steven Gerrard. So Yossi Benayoun has quite a disappointment in store if he thinks he’ll be starting every game.

His agent – Ronan Katzav -has made the mistake of giving Rafa an ultimatum: Play Yossi or he’ll be leaving. Rafa’s answer is likely to be along the lines of ‘Shut up or he’ll be leaving anyway.’

Katzav was interviewed on Israeli radio and said: “If Yossi won’t be involved enough he will think of moving to a medium-sized team. When we first met with Rafa Benítez, he asked for a lot of patience since there is a huge squad at Liverpool.”

So far Yossi has been involved in one of the three matches since the start of the season. Katzav went on: “We don’t analyse each match. Yossi has patience and motivation and he will get his chance. When you are taking a decision to move to Liverpool, you are prepared for all possibilities and Yossi decided to follow his heart. The target was to try and integrate in the team and I’m sure he will play a lot. Naturally, Yossi wants to be in the squad and knows he has a lot of work to do but if he won’t play for a long period we will think again.”

It’s important to point out that this was the player’s agent, not the player, making these ultimatums, but no doubt Rafa will mention the quotes to Yossi at some point. The agent was speaking about the situation because it seems the media in Israel assumed their hero Benayoun was good enough to walk straight into Liverpool’s first team.  In fact Yossi’s chance for that still has time to come to fruition – Rafa has made it clear that he doesn’t want to introduce too many new players at a time this season, preferring instead to introduce them slowly.

6 thoughts on “Agent: Yossi will move if not used enough”

  1. Better players than Yossi have tried to mess with this manager and come badly unstuck so he needs to get on the phone to his agent and tell him to keep his stupid mouth shut before he jeopardises Yossi’s career at the biggest club he will ever play for.

    Benayoun is a good player and I am delighted he has joined us but he is in competition for a place with Pennant and Babel, two other class players. He must accept that he can expect to play in a maximum of half the games this season or should consider why he signed a 4 year contract with Liverpool, knowing as he did that he would be rotated like all the rest.

    There were no false pretences in bringing him to the club but if he tries to lay down demands about being played then he will find himself on the move sooner than he expected or wanted.

    I do however think this is about an over-eager agent who needs to learn the Liverpool way…. and fast!

  2. This came form a Sports radio in Israel (99FM), owned by a certain sports website (ONE) who’s, how should I put it, the worst one there is when it comes to reporting ‘news’. I’ve learned about it yesterday, but decided not to translate it here, for obvious reasons (I’m an Israeli LFC fan btw).

    They’ve had a panel with Berkovitz, who kept asking Katzav ‘what if Benayoun doesn’t play for the rest of the season? ‘what if Benayoun doesn’t play for the rest of the season?’. Katzav replied: ‘we’ll see there and then’. That was enough for this quote to start gathering pace, and there you have it – Israeli reporter Adar got it on the Guardian.

    The ONE website actually has a more objective report:

    Katzav: Although Benayoun is not in the starting XI, we’re optimistic.

    Benayoun’s agent is not carried away because the Captain of the Israeli national team is yet to play with Liverpool in the premier league: “On our first meeting, he asked us to be patient. Yossi followed his heart (by coming to Liverpool).”

    “If Yossi Benayoun won’t be involved enough, we’ll consider a move to ‘medium-sized’ clubs”, said Katzav on the Radio99 sports show, in cooperation with ONE.

    The Israeli national team captain who moved to Liverpool this summer after tow years playing for WH, is yet to play with the Merseysiders on their league campaign. After playing in pre-season, Benayoun fell victim (yep, fell victim) to Rafa Benitez’ rotation policy, who did not include the Israeli in the squad for the Aston Villa and Chelsea games.

    On the other hand, the midfielder started against Toulouse in the CL qualifier and helped the reds beat them 1:0 on the first match in France.

    “When we’ve sat for the first time with Rafa Benitez, he asked for a lot of patience,” Katzav added. “There’s a huge squad in Liverpool. We don’t Analise each game. Yossi has a lot of patience and a lot of will to succeed. At the end of the year we’ll decide if Yossi was good or not.”

    “It was not a mistake to take Yossi to Liverpool. He will get his chance. When you make a decision to join Liverpool, you need to take everything into account. The goal was to try and get settled in Liverpool. I’m sure Yossi will play a lot.”

    The Reds’ next match would be against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, against Roy Keane’s men and three days later Fernando Torres and his teammates will host Toulouse for the 2nd match against Toulouse, the 3rd round CL qualifier.

    “Yossi feels absolutely great and he has patience,”Katzav explained.”It’s clear he wants to be in the squad. He knows he has a lot of work to do. IF he doesn’t play for a long while we’ll think again. Yossi decided to follow his heart.”

    So – much a do about nuffin.

  3. i think the guy needs a haircut personally and thats about all i have to say on the matter…….

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