Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy hated Rafa Benitez for letting him go

Rafa Benitez

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has admitted that he resented Rafa Benitez for forcing him out of Liverpool in the summer of 2004.

Rafa Benitez made immediate changes to the playing squad when he took over from Gerard Houllier at Anfield, with the Spaniard bringing in the likes of Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso and Josemi.

Danny Murphy found himself a casualty of Benitez’s changes and the midfielder has revealed how the departure played out.

Murphy, who made 246 appearances for Liverpool in his seven years with the Reds, attempted to persuade Benitez to keep hold of him but it wasn’t to be.

“Being told you’re no longer wanted at Liverpool by Rafa… that was a tough one,” Murphy said on talkSPORT.

“He was being honest and he said to me: ‘Look, I want to bring in some of my own players, you’re not going to be part of the XI and it’s unlikely you’re going to get back in the team. If you want to stay, there’s not much point, I know you like playing and you’re better off going’.

“Then he told him who were coming in for me – Tottenham, Charlton and Everton.

“I tried to plead with him a little bit, and he repeated the fact that my time was done, really, in his own way.”

Liverpool accepted a bid of £2.5 million from Charlton for Murphy, who is something of a cult figure on Merseyside for his goals against fierce rivals Manchester United.

Murphy revealed that he hated Benitez for letting him go although he has come to terms with it now that he has had time to reflect on a career that spanned almost two decades.

“Looking back, I do appreciate honesty from managers,” Murphy added. “I remember the conversation and he was alright, to be fair.

“I hated him at the time, but I’ve lost that now. I understand what he was doing.

“The next couple of days were a couple of the hardest days of my life. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t want to leave!

“Rafa just didn’t understand. He didn’t know I spent my whole childhood dreaming of playing for Liverpool, he didn’t know I had all those memories and feelings. He was doing his job, I get that, but it was hard.

“I had great contracts on he table, and choices of managers who really wanted me and that made me feel good.

“But to this day I still think I should have stayed. I should have stayed a bit longer and trusted myself, I should have.

“But the players he brought in weren’t bad, were they? Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia … they won the Champions League that following season and he was justified.”

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