‘I used to be mistaken to ask to depart Liverpool – however I blame Rafa Benitez for my profession’

Anthony Le Tallec has slammed his previous Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez – regardless of admitting he was foolish for asking to depart.

Le Tallec defined how the Spaniard decreased him to tears along with his remedy after requesting a mortgage transfer. Gerard Houllier had introduced him and buddy Florent Sinama-Pongolle to Anfield from Le Havre in 2001.

They stayed with their French membership for 2 extra years earlier than heading to Merseyside once they had been simply 18. Le Tallec performed 23 instances for the Reds in his first yr, scoring just one aim. Then he went on mortgage to Saint-Etienne after Benitez took over from Houllier.

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He wished to return to France as a result of the nation’s under-21s coach wasn’t proud of how little he and Pongolle had been enjoying. “It is abnormal for boys of their age to play so rarely. It is a true problem,” the coach stated again then.

“When I think their coach is a former coach from the national team! He is not allowed to sign them and not play them. It is a mess.”

Benitez stated sure to the mortgage and talked about he had wished to signal each gamers when he was at Valencia, stories the Liverpool Echo. “We tried to sign Sinama and Le Tallec for Valencia,” he defined.

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Le Tallec (2L) was dropped at Anfield by Gerrard Houllier

“My scout said that he had seen two very good players – but Liverpool paid a lot of money for them so it came to nothing. We knew Le Tallec was the best player in the Under-17 World Cup, and Sinama was the top scorer.

“There’s undoubtedly the potential there – they’re each good gamers. They have to play at this degree after which they are going to get extra confidence.”

However, that did not stop Benitez from being unimpressed with Le Tallec for asking to leave. Recalled by Liverpool in January 2005, the forward admitted at the time that he should have stayed put at Anfield.

He loved a promising begin to life on Merseyside

“Looking back now it was the wrong decision for me to have made,” he stated. “I should have stayed here and fought for my place. I’m young and I just wanted to play. I have taken over the number 13 shirt – hopefully it won’t be unlucky for me!”

But whereas he would go on to make seven appearances for the Reds throughout the second half of 2004/05 season, most memorably aiding Luis Garcia’s spectacular strike in opposition to Juventus within the Champions League quarter-finals, the 39-year-old has now revealed how asking to depart led a breakdown in his relationship with Benitez – and believes it proved deadly to his general profession.

“For having asked Rafael Benitez to leave on loan (in July 2004),” he instructed L’Equipe when requested what his largest remorse in his profession was. “I used to be silly and he was mad at me.

France's Anthony Le Tallec vies with Sweden's Andreas Dahl during their final match of the International Under 21 Football Festival of Toulon
His France under-21s boss wished him to get extra recreation time

“I came back from Saint-Etienne in January because there were injuries at Liverpool and, at the end of the season, Benitez said to me: ”For me, you are crazy. You were one of the three attackers, now I put you in eighth place’.

“I used to be younger, however he did not need to know something and lent me yearly. I blame him. My profession may have been completely different, however that one factor was deadly for me.”

Le Tallec moved to St-Etienne in August 2004 when it seemed Michael Owen might leave amidst talks with Real Madrid. When England’s star participant left, solely Milan Baros and Djibril Cisse had been Benitez’s main forwards, with younger gamers Pongolle and Neil Mellor additionally on the workforce.

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez shows his dejection
Asking Benitez to depart noticed Le Tallec fall down the pecking order

Benitez had purchased Fernando Morientes from Real Madrid for a whopping £6.3m in January 2005 when Le Tallec got here again, though Morientes could not play within the Champions League and Cisse was out with accidents.

Le Tallec defined how heartbroken he felt when Benitez did not decide him to play within the Liverpool squad in opposition to AC Milan for the thrilling 2005 Champions League ultimate triumph.

“In 2005, Benitez didn’t include me in the squad for the Champions League final. It made me cry,” he remembered.

Anthony Le Tallec of Liverpool
His Reds profession was by no means the identical

Harry Kewell acquired injured once more after getting back from an harm 20 minutes into the sport. Though Le Tallec watched the match from the stands, he did not really feel glad on the win in Istanbul or take part within the victorious parade via Liverpool.

He stated: “Harry Kewell came back from injury but was injured again after 20 minutes. I was in the stands during the final, but I didn’t celebrate the title in Istanbul or take part in the parade through Liverpool. I stayed at home, I was too sad.”

Benitez signed Peter Crouch from Southampton for £7m in the summertime of 2005, pushing Le Tallec additional down the Liverpool pecking order.

Anthony Le Tallec of Liverpool
Being unnoticed of the 2005 Champions League ultimate squad was an enormous blow

Before Crouch’s arrival, the French participant made his final two appearances for Liverpool in opposition to TNS within the Champions League qualifiers. He was then loaned to Sunderland for the 2005/06 season, which led to relegation.

He additionally had mortgage spells again in France with Sochaux and Le Mans earlier than completely leaving Anfield for Le Mans in a £1.1m deal in the summertime of 2008.

Sunderland's Anthony Le Tallec scores
He had a mortgage spell at Sunderland earlier than returning to France for good

Le Tallec performed a complete of 32 video games for Liverpool, scoring as soon as and aiding twice. He by no means fulfilled his early promise at Anfield, retiring in 2021.

He spent most of his profession in France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 with Auxerre, Valenciennes, Orleans, and Annecy. He additionally had transient stints in Greece and Romania with Atromitos and Astra Giurgiu.

While Le Tallec may blame Benitez for the way his profession unfolded at Anfield and past, we’ll by no means know if issues may have been completely different for the previous Liverpool ahead if he hadn’t requested him to let him depart in the summertime of 2004.