Benayoun: 'When I saw the team-sheet I thought it was a mix-up!' | Gooner Talk


Benayoun: 'When I saw the team-sheet I thought it was a mix-up!'

Written by Chris Wheatley


Yossi Benayoun has admitted that he was ‘surprised’ at being chosen as Arsenal captain for the 1-0 Carling Cup defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday.

The Israeli skipper, who signed on a season-long loan from Premier League rivals Chelsea in August, captained a fairly experienced side which included the likes of Lukasz Fabianski and Laurent Koscielny.

However, boss Arsene Wenger opted to hand Benayoun the captain’s armband instead – something which he certainly didn’t anticipate before the cup clash.

“The truth is I did not expect this, but it was a nice moment. When the line-up was revealed at the hotel (a few hours before the match), I saw the letter ‘C’ next to my name; I thought there was some mix up. But overall it was a nice experience”, Benayoun told Israeli radio station Non Stop 103.3FM.

“It was nice to be captain for the night, but what matters most was the result and eventually we lost the game.

“It was the first time I played as captain in England. It’s a great honour, even though I’ve only been at the club for a short period while there are players who have played here for a few years, I still got the armband. But for me it’s more important to work hard and get more opportunities in the Premier League”.

Benayoun, 31, has previously said he is ‘hopeful’ of making his loan move from Chelsea permanent at the end of the season, something which Wenger himself hasn’t ruled out just yet.

Despite finding it hard to break into the Arsenal midfield this season, Benayoun never doubted his choice in joining the north Londoners and admits it was the Gunners’ manager who persuaded him to sign on the dotted line.

“The negotiations with Arsenal were really quick and they showed real interest in me, so it was an easy choice. I also spoke to Arsene Wenger before signing at the club. He said he believed in my experience and ability to contribute to the squad and to play in several positions, so I was convinced quickly [to sign for Arsenal]”.

Kudos to MeiriAdi for the translations.

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28 Comments on "Benayoun: 'When I saw the team-sheet I thought it was a mix-up!'"

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gooner dave

we should sign him up. he’s a decent option as back up

Alex Louka (@AlexFortyNine)

Depends on our situation come the end of the season, If we are to acquire the likes of Gotze i see no place for him, good addition for this season though – a top professional and his work rate is something i admire.


Yes. Great option from the bench, especially when a lead is to be protected. Works hard and seems to benefit younger players like Ozzy.


We should definitely sign him, always gives 100%, is experienced and has a touch of class.


He’s a leader and true professional. As far as being useful to the squad, he’s someone who we can bring on to settle things down and help the fullback defensively.


Would b great/. He adds that xtra bit of experience and skill in the team… He has a very good team spirit as well.. Great guy


I believe that he was our plan-B, because it wasn’t so clear even 10 mins before the close of the summer transfer window that we could lure Arteta from Everton.
He has just returned from a serious injury and maybe he will get some time in the FA-Cup team. But at the age of 31, I wouldn’t predict a long career at Arsenal…
We’ve got amazing talents at the Academy: Lansbury, Ozyakup… and we’ve got one in the hopsital all the time: Diaby.
So, no.

I for one would like us to sign him. He does excatly what we require from an experienced player who is supposed to be cover for the first team regulars. He never moans, helps the younger players in the training ground, has good technical abilities and does his share of the defensive work and his attitude and work rate are fantastic. He actually does what we expected the likes of Squillaci and Rosicky to do in our team. I would definitely keep him ahead of Arshavin atleast. And lets not be too fast in chucking the experienced players. The likes… Read more »

Benayoun has experience, success and years of hard work on the training ground and football pitch behind him. If we lose Rosicky and Arshavin this summer, then there’s no harm having an older head in midfield – along with Arteta.

niraj shrestha

(@classic_gooner) – I don’t think we should hurry to sign him permanently. He has had his chances at liverpool and chelsea, but he has not been able to prove that he can perform at the highest level. He does not have that X-factor that walcott or wilshere has. he also does not have that cool head of arteta or song. and also lacks a bit of creativity. he could be a player that performs randomly. we need more consistent players.


I would say it should be contingent on the price. If it is less than 3-4 mill then a good buy and provides an experienced backup in the field and a good example in the dressing room. Above that may be too expensive for someone with just 2-3 years left. Money can be spent well elsewhere in that case.


Would happily have Yossi at AFC permanently. Versatile and experienced, so a real asset.


yes! They should he has heart, character and passion I can see it. he wants to play football for us unlike arshavin

Alex Louka (@AlexFortyNine)

@@Detective82: Really hope we hold on Rosicky, hes similar to Benayoun in the work rate category, both are excellent squad players and will no doubt give their all when called upon.


I really hope we do sign him. He is hard working, intelligent & self motivated.
Seems to come off the bench miles better than AA.


The best thing about him is that not once has he complained about a lack of playing time. Will be a good example for some of the younger players.


He’s the ‘Jesus of midfielders’ and who wouldn’t mind having Jesus in midfield?


always been a big admirer of Benayoun . He brings back the Hleb-esque element but with a more forward more direct approach . His experience above all is priceless.


I like Yossi as a player and respect him as a sportsperson, but signing him up would block a midfield spot, which is already full. He offers us an experienced head towards the end of the match, but we have rosicky and arteta already doing that in midfield.

We’re missing a true game-winner in mid-field and he’s more of a team player. Plus, because he’s over 30, means we would only offer him a one-year contract, which he may / may not take.

Final word: If rosicky or even arshavin leave, then keep him.


Put it this way, I’d rather Benayoun than Rosicky next season as a backup.


@ Niraj:

Benayoun scored a winning goal at the Bernabeu in a champions league semi final… from a corner.. with his ‘ed/ .. I think that’s called ‘performing at the highest level’ mate.


He is of more use to AFC than Arshavin and Rosicky. Must keep Jack Wilshire, Cocolin and Frimpong, but also keep Benayoun for his experience, skill and attitude. Sell Arshavin and Rosicky.


hes a smashing option to have in the mid ,could turn a game in a heart beat get im in !!!!!hes got quality

The next RVP

I also am in favor of him staying provided that arsenal dont sign the likes of gotze, hazard etc and i also agree on selling arshavin and rosicky for enough money to get a real world class player out of out of almost nothing

Mike kanvi

We had d chance 2sign either parker or adam all summer,but we got d 2nd runner up.anyway,fine addition 2d squard notin more.has outlived his name ‘d ghost’

cant believe there fans that actually would rubbish rosicky. insane. Rosicky has gone thru his patch and now the experience factor has kicked in like giggs..he is playing like he is young cos every player goes thru that with age. i believe he is past that and i honestly felt had been in the fulham match the spoils would have gone to us. rosicky is one of our few catalysts he changes the game and tempo all the time when he comes on as sub. he needs the chance. same goes for yossi, i felt was the most catalystic player… Read more »

to many young lads knocking on the door to sign him up sorry Benayoun but your form not been great and i see alex Chamberlain making the move up come start of next season

Top 5 PL free agents #5 Benayoun – Matt Carvel's Blog

[…] Saying that, he did make 19 for Arsenal along with a handful of Champions League games in the 2011/12 season having joined the Gunners on a season long loan.  Despite being largely used as a substitute, he made his creative impact felt and even went on to captain the side in a league cup fixture against Man City. […]