Benayoun: I’m in the eye of my career

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Israeli international Yossi Benayoun has given his first in depth interview to Arsenal Player since signing on loan from Chelsea. Reflecting on a ‘dream’ move to the Emirates, the 31-year-old also spoke about his admiration for the youngsters in Arsene Wenger’s squad, his desire to play at the top level for the foreseeable future, his desire to win silverware after close-calls at former clubs and the title. race.

On moving to Arsenal…

It’s one of the biggest clubs in Europe. Of course I’ve been lucky to play for a few big clubs in my career; Liverpool, and then Chelsea where I played a little bit. But when I got another chance to play for a big club like Arsenal it was like a dream come true.

On leaving Chelsea after a year…

These things happen in football; I had a big injury and didn’t get many opportunities so I wanted to find a place where I believed I would get more opportunities to play. It’s always difficult when a new manager comes to a place like Chelsea. You know they want to change things and bring new players, so I was looking to find a quick solution for my future. It was very easy choice when Arsenal showed interest. It was easy to come to the club here and I’m just hoping to have a good season with all the guys.

On knowing any of the players…

I know the players from playing against them, but the one I knew a little bit was Arteta because we had common friends in Liverpool so we met a few times. All the others just from playing against them, it’s never been easy playing against them so now it’s good to be with them.

On which young players have impressed him since he arrived…

I can’t say that I don’t know anyone, because I watch a lot of football. I know most of them. There is a lot of quality and a lot of young players in the team. Theo Walcott, Wilshere who is one of the best players for me in England is injured, Ramsey and a lot of [other] young players who I’m sure will step up and prove themselves with Arsenal.

On staying at Arsenal after his loan…

I think any player would want to do it, but for me the main thing is to concentrate and to try and play a good season. Any opportunity I get to do my best, I will take with two hands. I’m sure if I do well the connection will continue with this club, hopefully. I’m just trying to concentrate on this season.

On how long his he left in his career…

I hope I have a few more [years]. 31 in some countries is a bit old, but in England it is the eye of your career, there is still a few years in front of you. You see a lot of great players like Lampard and Gerrard who are more or less the same age. I’m sure I have a few more years to play.

On coming close to silverware in his career…

When you get to a big club you want to win trophies. I was very close with Liverpool, I was very close with West Ham also when I was one minute from winning the FA Cup when Stevie [Gerrard] scored to make it 3-3. Hopefully when you reach a club like Arsenal you dream of winning trophies. I’m sure we have the quality to do it. Of course, we had a very bad start to the season so we need to push now to improve and hopefully we can build the belief and confidence.

On his debut for the club…

First it was great to be involved, it was my first home game. I’d only been with the team two days and I played half an hour. I was very pleased. It was important to win the game, especially after what had happened at Old Trafford. No matter how you play you need three points to build confidence. Also when we went to Dortmund, it was a very hard game. A point away from home in the Champions League is a fair and good result.

On his favourite position…

I like to play in any position, but of course I get an opportunity here to play in different ones. I started in Germany in the middle, then a little bit on the left, a little bit on the right. I try to do my best in any position.

On playing Blackburn on Saturday…

It’s always a tough place to go, it’s always difficult. The play long balls, they have stong guys in defence and attack. Going there after their bad start to the season, I think they have only one point, they’re going to want to start their season and try to win games. I’m sure we have the quality to go there; we have to win, especially after the first few bad games of the season. We need to pick up the points away from home.

On people tipping Manchester United and Manchester City for the title…

I think it’s very early, but you can understand why they are saying that because both teams from Manchester are playing the best football and winning their games quite easily. Obviously people are saying it, but I still think there are a few other teams like us, Chelsea and Liverpool that can push all the way. Hopefully we’ll be there.

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Dave Gooner

Welcome to Yossi – he was really good – committed – against BD. A revelation actually. Great stuff.

Ben

Couldnt agree more Dave. He was very committed and I think a superb player. He will really give us something extra this season IMHO

JohnDale

TBH he was way better against Dortmund than Arteta. Just hope Arteta settles in more quickly, cos we still lack that creative drive. If anything though, i will still want to have Benny, Wilshere and Song in midfield. Three extremely creative and committed work horses. Will be amazing.

George

Maybe he should be called Beneyeoun.

E Man

Heh? Do I see two Yossis in the picture or is it my eyes?

virtue_gary

I think the other guy is Chu Young Park.

George

i think he quite blatantly is.

perrygrove$world

Him and Arteta had common friends in livepool and met a few times? Don’t fancy being at that orgy, to be honest. . .

Rickard M C S

Maybe they wouldn’t fancy you either.

Eric Irish gunner

Lighten up mcs

Good-Bloke

Give him a 2 year deal at the end of the season, I’ve seen enough already. One of the most under-rated players around. Great energy, enthusiasm, drive and talent. It’s a no brainer for me.

I NEED THE SKIRTING BOARDS! I NEED THE SKIRTING BOARDS! (for anyone who listens to ‘The Tuesday Club’)

Arsenal Bystander

I doubt he would stay. At 31, you would want to secure as long a contract as possible, and Arsenal’s policy has always been to offer a year-by-year basis contract ain’t that right?

[…] slow day in terms of news today. Benayoun has given another interview, and states about his favourite position and how he would love to stay on at Arsenal beyond his […]

Gunnersaurus

Not trying to be a noob but should it say they play long balls?

d-holio

Hope he plays himself into a new contract or extension for next season. For now, the jury’s sell out on him. Glad we picked him up as we were short in numbers, but I never really rated him at L’pool or Chel$ki. Hope he proves me wrong. I know it’s knitpicking but he would have won a few more supporters had he been able to get those 31 yr old legs to push out a tad quicker to get a deflection on that wonder strike from the Dortmund player. Mehhh . . . best of luck to you Yossi!

Eric Irish gunner

Give him a break mate he ran his bollox off all night can’t say the same for theo

Fatgooner

Why is he in the ‘Eye’ of his career? What the word ‘Eye’ mean in this context?
Is it the best? Or the worst? Or the end? What?

OOKed

it means he has some way to go to get to the scrotum ..

Padwoir

I’m imagining he used it in the context of The Eye of the Storm, that he is in the calm center. (Then again he could be using some Yiddish phrase and perhaps it just didn’t translate).

mordipa

I doubt Yossi knows any Yiddish at all as he is a Sefardi (not an Ashkenazi) Jew.
His mother tongue is Hebrew.

Rectum Spectrum

what a time to join arsenal. poor yossi.