Ryan Babel: Don't label me the next Reds 'supersub'

Startbeitrag von Oliver Kahles am 13.12.2007 12:33

RYAN BABEL does not want to become labelled a new Liverpool supersub.

The young Dutch striker came off the bench to score again in Marseille on Tuesday night, his fifth goal as a substitute in just over a month.

But he is keen not to become typecast as an impact player only capable of influencing matches when defenders are tired.

“When you join a club you have to get used to the way they play and to the manager’s rotation policy. And in the beginning I had to deal with that,” he said.

“But as the season has gone on I have started more, but I am not yet at the best level I can play. I know now which level I am at, but I can get better, definitely.

“But coming off the bench and scoring goals gives me more confidence for when I do start.”

David Fairclough was Liverpool’s original supersub, scoring an incredible 18 times as a substitute during his Anfield career.

But in recent weeks Babel has scored twice against Besiktas, again against Newcastle, in the home match against Bolton and in France on Tuesday – in a total playing time of exactly 90 minutes!

The only time he has started in that spell was against Porto, when he played on the left.

Boss Rafa Benitez is aware of Babel’s rich potential.

“Ryan is a good player. He prefers to play in the middle, but he knows he must play wide on the right or left for the good of the team.”

Babel came on as a central striker in the Stade Velodrome for Fernando Torres, and he is aware the sensational Spaniard offers a huge obstacle to his hopes of holding down a striking role at Anfield.

“We have a lot of good goalscoring strikers here, but Fernando Torres is one of the best goalscoring strikers in Europe,” he added.

Torres, meanwhile, is hoping for a clash with his old derby-day rivals Real Madrid when the draw for the knockout stage of the Champions League is made on December 21.

Last night’s results mean that the Reds can only face AC Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla or Inter, and former Atletico Madrid player Torres said: “I hope that we draw Real, that would be a great tie.

“We have a chance to play a team from Spain or Italy, but playing Madrid would be really good.

“It would be better to play a Spanish side than an Italian one, although it would not be bad to meet Milan and gain some revenge for the final last season.

“It can be a Spanish or Italian team. All the teams are strong and to finish second is not the best. But it is all the same really, as we know that the level will be very high.”

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