FanCast guest columnist Kevin Lucas wonders if Ryan
Babel has finally woken up and smelt the coffee.
This season was always going to be the last chance
saloon for Ryan Babel, to finally step up to the plate and deliver his undoubted
The Dutchman has struggled to really impose himself
in the first two seasons, which has caused frustration among supporters and
undoubtedly Benitez. I am sure that there wouldn't have been many fans upset to
see him leave had a decent offer come in during the summer, such has been the
level of performance from him. What I personally found frustrating was the
complete lack of desire and urgency from him, when he did get the opportunity;
however I wonder if he is finally starting to turn the corner.
It is well documented that Rafa and the player were
forced into showdown talks a few weeks ago, after the player told the Dutch
media of his hopes to secure a loan move back to Ajax in January and although
the player denied it, claiming something was merely lost in translation, it significantly
brought the manager and player together and it seems to have done the trick.
Babel has come out and expressed his determination
to succeed and to be honest the performance away at Leeds in midweek and the
general hunger and desire shown when he came on against Hull City was extremely
pleasing and it leaves us all wondering as to why the hell he has taken him so
long to wake up and smell the coffee and realise that he has to fight for a
place in the team. I'm pleased to see the signs that he has finally taken the
hint – it is just a shame that it has taken two seasons for the penny to
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