Looking back on the Hicks and Gillett era for Liverpool supporters can bring about a lot of anxiety and depressive thoughts. Perhaps a microcosm of that era is Ryan Babel’s time playing for Liverpool. Babel, who recently returned to the Premier League when he signed for Fulham, opened up to Sky Sports about why he thinks his Liverpool career didn’t pan out... And it’s a bit weird.
“There were situations in my career where I played much better than another player in my position, but that player had a better name in terms of commercial appeal,” Babel said. “At that time, I didn’t really take it seriously, I thought it was just about who was training better, and the manager told me ‘We have to play him, because of this reason’.”
“That was a big slap in the face to understand and think you need to be a little more lucky to survive in football.” He continued, “I guess it is what it is, but if you know that up front, you can make better decisions by knowing not to join certain teams.”
I think you’d be hard pressed to find a Reds fan that would call that period of time a success for Liverpool, but Babel was given every opportunity to succeed and didn’t. That’s okay! Not every player realizes their potential, and Babel’s career turned out pretty decently.