Top six Rafa Benitez right-back flops

Posted by - June 16, 2009 - Lists, Liverpool

With Liverpool tipped to make a bid for Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson, OTP looks at Rafa’s problem position

1. Jan Kromkamp
Plucked from Villarreal where he was struggling to come to terms with the Spanish language, the Dutchman came to Liverpool where he struggled to come to terms with English football. Spent around six months watching Steve Finnan play before returning to Holland.

2. Josemi
His brief stint at Anfield came to an abrupt halt when he was exchanged with Kromkamp and returned to sunny Spain due to being completely crap language difficulties. He is still fondly remembered on Merseyside as Benitez’s worst signing to date and happily quoted by rival fans taking a pop at Benitez’s transfer dealings.

3. Philipp Degen
The Swiss international signed last summer but you could be forgiven for forgetting that. He has endured an injury-ravaged first season in the Premier League (or out of the Premier League, to be more precise), including a broken metatarsal for which he blamed both Gareth Bale and sins committed in a previous life.

4. Steve Finnan
Not a Benitez signing, but a regular throughout his tenure. As competitors came and went, Finnan remained most Liverpool fans preferred right-back. Rafa always seemed to have a bit of a problem with him though and he was allowed to join Espanyol last summer.

5. Álvaro Arbeloa
Has fared better than some of Rafa’s other right-backs, but the fact that he seems to be in the market again confirms what most Liverpool fans are saying: Arbeloa is good, but not good enough to be first-choice right-back.

6. Antonio Barragan
One of the earliest exhibits in Rafa’s Young Footballer Collection. Barragan became the youngest foreigner to play for Liverpool in 2005. He was shipped back to Spain shortly afterwards with a buy-back clause that is unlikely to ever be activated.

Is Glen Johnson next?

  • dicky

    So we can fully expect a “Fergusons left winger top flops” when he replaces Ronaldo then ?
    Thought not . . .

  • bob

    how are arbeloa and finnan flops?

    horrid article

  • willo

    Finnin and Arbeloa are good, so is johnson but not worth £17m

  • RafaTheRed

    1. Jan Kromkamp – Swap deal for Josemi _ temp cover

    2. Josemi – £2m needer a right back quickly as when Rafa arrived Finnan was playing like a drain! Josemi was a cheap stop gap and he served his purpose.

    3. Philipp Degen – Free transfer! We had little money and needed cover a rightback. Always injured but how is that Rafas fault?

    4. Steve Finnan – Houllier buy! Served the club well after Rafa arrived definitely not a flop!

    5. Álvaro Arbeloa – £2.5m Rafa made this lad into a Spanish international! Good right back with a European Championship winners medal!!! Bargain!!!!

    6. Antonio Barragan – Youth player (17)!!! Home sick and return to Deportivo.

    Rafa has spent less than £5m on 5 right backs average £1m!!!

    Glen Johnson will be the only player he’s spent any amount of real money on!!!

    Ill conceived and poorly researched article!

  • http://fdsf WRF

    Worst list ever. Haha Arbeloa flop, say no more…

  • james

    what a stupid article.

    clearly he has traded up every time to get a better player!

    RafaTheRed you’re spot on.

    Load of shit!

  • Rob Parker

    @dicky Yep, you can definitely expect that article if it takes him so long to find a decent replacement.

    @bob If you read the article you will see the two you mention don’t get criticised quite as much as some of the others, but Finnan was clearly not rated particularly highly by Rafa (he kept trying to by replacements and then sold him). As for Arbeloa, I know Liverpool fans are very split on whether he is a decent player or not, but once again Rafa is looking for a replacement.

    @RafaTheRed Don’t think Kromkamp was intended to be short-term. I don’t think Josemi served his purpose! I think that was the problem. Degen: didn’t say it was Rafa’s fault he was injured, but he has hardly been a huge success so far, has he? Finnan: Yep, I said in the article that Rafa didn’t buy him. And he obviously didn’t rate him too highly (see comments to bob above). Arbeloa: as I said above, opinion is split. I he was so great then Rafa wouldn’t want Johnson… Barragan: Yep, what you said is true. He was still a flop.

    @james He’s spent a fortune elsewhere in the team so why praise him for treating the right-back slot like a second hand motor? Is Arbeloa really that much better than Finnan, which is what he started with?

  • Usama

    Excellent article, agree with every word. Keep up the good work.

  • Dave Moriarty

    This is idiot journalisim at its very worst, Degan hasn’t even played a game yet is branded a failure,
    barragan hasn’t played for the first team & is branded a fialure.
    Steve Finnan was the best right abck in the league for 3 or 4 years & was a failure?
    Arbeloa has marked Messi out of games & had an excellent season yet is a failure. Come on mate stop trying too hard to make an article out of nothing!
    If you got paid for this dross you should give the money back, it is as abd a piece as I have ever read, its moronic!

  • Mal McCann

    Finnan a flop! What a load of bull. A brilliant defender harshly treated by Benitez. Good in the tackle and positionally.

  • Dave Moriarty

    Ever heard about rafa & his concept of options?
    i think we need both Arbeloa & Johnson so Who said anything about Arbeloa being sold?
    I think your take on Degen is ill informed, unfair & a bit crass, although I loved the use of the strikethrough on the description of Josemi that was incredibly fresh & outrageously funny!

  • megaman789

    Hey Rob I just wanna ask you and plz tell the truth that which team do you support in the premier League.
    So far I have yet to figure it out!!!
    By the way I’m a Liverpool fan and iI’d say looking for replacements doesn’t means that the guy is flop and so Arbeloa is NOT flop.
    Ronaldo is sold and will probably be replaced so does it make him a flop too???
    But I really love ur other articles no matter what team you rip on!!!

  • megaman789

    And Usama is the biggest moaner I’ve ever seen in my life!!!
    Have a life Usama!!!!
    You always write biased things and I’ve seen it in the other comments too!!!!

  • Usama Waheed

    Get a sense of humor!

  • Imran

    Finnan was definitely not a flop.. Has been our problem position though.. Glen Johnson will sort that hopefully

  • Matthew Bailey

    Until last year, the RB and LB spots were routinely bandied around as our weak areas. They’d been filled by two long-serving, cracking players (Finnan and Riise) who then moved on and left us in fairly a tight spot. When Arbeloa and Aurélio first came in they were patchy at best (apart from the whole nullifying Messi job), but over the last season people have stopped talking about those positions and started talking about wingers and back-up strikers for the reasons as to why we didn’t win the league. Or anything.

    With Insua and Johnson in and Arbeloa and Aurélio as back-up, the defense is starting to look fully patched-up and solid for the coming years. Ignoring Carra(!), Agger and Skrtel look like they’re going to start troubling Rio & VDS for defensive partnership of the season soon enough. With Kuyt in his tried and tested defensive forward role allowing Johnson to go forward, Alonso and Mascherano mopping up, etc. League, cups and nearlies and also rans…

    Hopefully next year everyone will be at the top of their game so we can give Blatter worms.

  • Naethyn

    This article is pathetic, some of the worst “journalism” I’ve ever suffered. is a cunt.