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Benayoun: 'I left because of Benitez'

Midfielder Yossi Benayoun has accused former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez of trying to "break" him in an explosive indictment of life at Anfield under the Spaniard.

The Israeli, who left the Merseyside club to join Premier League champions Chelsea earlier this month, said Benitez deliberately destroyed his confidence and showed him a lack of respect.

"Everyone asks me why I left Liverpool," Benayoun said. "There is only one reason - Rafa Benitez. He never treated me with the respect I deserved. If I played well, I never felt he gave me credit.

"When I scored, I still expected to be out of the team the next game. And when the fans wanted me to play, Benitez told me he couldn't understand why... He tried to destroy my confidence. You can't treat a player like this and expect him to be happy. I felt so unhappy but, out of respect to the club, I never spoke out. The players and the people at the top of the club knew how I felt."


CRYSTAL Palace have made a bid to bring Irish midfielder Owen Garvan in from Championship rivals Ipswich Town.

U21 cap Garvan is out of favour at Portman Road, one of seven players transfer-listed by Roy Keane so Palace boss George Burley is eager to land the midfield man.

"We're short of players at Palace and I have several irons in the fire to increase our squad as soon as possible. Owen Garvan is a now loan possibility with an initial down payment with more to come later. I'm hopeful I can sign him," said Burley.


DUBLIN-BORN midfielder Chris McCann is back in action with Burnley after recovering from a serious knee injury.

Former Home Farm man McCann managed just nine appearances for the Clarets in the Premier League last season after he picked up that knee injury in September, but he's now back to full fitness and the Finglas native played for Burnley in yesterday's pre-season win over Bury.

EVERTON will visit Ireland next month to play Sligo Rovers in a pre-season friendly.

David Moyes' side will take on Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Sunday August 8th, a week before the start of the Premier League season. Sligo fans will hope their former player Seamus Coleman features for Everton.