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Ryan Babel criticises Liverpool coaches for failing to realise his potential

Ryan Babel criticises Liverpool coaches for failing to realise his potential as he returns to English football

Ryan Babel only wanted guidance at Liverpool but it didn't happen

20 JAN 2019

Ryan Babel has aimed a withering broadside at his former Liverpool coaches and managers, ahead of his return to English football for Fulham today.

The Dutch winger was 20 when he became the third most expensive player in Liverpool's history in August 2007.

Signed by Rafa Benitez he started brightly but quickly faded and when Kenny Dalglish took over in January 2011 he had become an inconsistent, peripheral figure and was quickly offloaded to Hoffenheim for almost half his origiinal £11.5m fee.

But after signing for Fulham he criticised the manner in which he was handled at Anfield.

Babel said: "I wasn’t hoping for ­anything when I joined Liverpool , just to develop well as they promised me.

"Give me the guidance to become a ­better player. That didn’t happen.

"For ­different reasons I didn’t fulfil my ­potential, I guess. I was young. Maybe I should have stayed in Holland a bit longer, perhaps one or two years. In Holland I was also living with my parents. So this was the first time I lived abroad and by myself.

“So a lot of things are ­coming at you at the same time, different country, ­different culture. You are by yourself and you have to make sure you deal with it. That wasn’t always the case.

“I also never got the ­guidance at ­Liverpool from the coaches, that extra work to help me improve. I came from Ajax, where they played 4-3-3, and as a winger at that time they didn’t want you to defend too far."

Babel found it difficult to slot into Benitez's often rigid team plan but suggests, ironically, Liverpool's current system under Jurgen Klopp would have been perfect for his talents.

“When you come to the English game and they play 4-4-2 and a line, you have to change your mentality," he added. "You are no ­longer a winger, more left midfielder. Those are the things I was struggling with.

“I wasn’t managed properly. I had to find out myself and that is why I wasn’t always playing. The Premier League only saw glimpses of me.

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“I had to find myself again. That is why I went to Germany. The irony is I could adapt to the system Liverpool play now.”

Babel admits that his ­attitude and ­ c ontroversial use of social media , particularly Twitter, did not help his cause at Anfield.

He became the first professional footballer to be censured for comments made on the ­social networking site after posting a mock-up picture of ­referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.

He pleaded guilty and was fined £10,000 for making ­remarks about Webb after Liverpool’s 1-0 FA Cup loss at Old ­Trafford in 2011.

The new Fulham ­arrival, his hair dyed ­Liverpool red, said: “I didn’t expect my words to spread too quickly. Now I urge ­youngsters to ­beware.”

Babel’s social media output also got him into trouble at UAE Arabian Gulf League side Al-Ain where he was ­virtually kicked out over it.

On his Twitter home page he introduces himself with the message "I won't always say the right thing but my heart is in the right place."

Sort comments

253 days ago
ExpatPaul
I actually think he has a point. At the time he was with us I was always frustrated at the apparent lack of opportunities in his prefered position. He always seemed to have a lot of potential.
I don't think his comments are an attempt to blame everything on Liverpool either, he's answering a question about why it didn't work out. He admits his attitude wasn't right, but points out that he didn't get much guidance. Only he and those at the club know if that is true or not.
Anyway, I hope he does well at Fulham, except against us.

Doyoun
It was clear he needed an arm around his shoulder when with us. He wasn't going to get that with Rafa. Sad.

Block207
You was a grown man,and are a grown any success or failings you've had are down to you.your not a child

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