Babel responds to criticism

Image: Ryan Babel: The former Liverpool player has been accused of a negative attitude

Hoffenheim forward Ryan Babel has hit back at criticism from team-mate Tom Starke.

Starke will not be punished for comments about team-mate

Hoffenheim forward Ryan Babel has hit back at criticism from team-mate Tom Starke. The former Liverpool player has come under fire for supposedly failing to help Hoffenheim in their bid to climb the Bundesliga table from their current position of ninth. Starke claims Babel, who is Hoffenheim's second highest scorer in the league this season with three goals, has not been portraying a positive attitude. But the Dutchman claims the entire club is responsible for already losing six matches ahead of Friday's trip to Bayer Leverkusen. Babel told BILD: "I have self-confidence and my motivation is always top. No-one is able to blame me. "I think it is not one player who loses a game. It's a team that wins or loses matches."

Quality

Goalkeeper Starke had hoped former Ajax star Babel would do more to help the club achieve good results. Starke told Sky Deutschland television: "Ryan Babel is a good player. He could finally start to win us some points with his quality and experience. "I am unaware what is going on with him, actually he is absolutely down. "He is a class striker and just like the man this team could do with to raise morale and results." Hoffenheim general manager Ernst Tanner has refused to punish or fine Starke for his comments. Tanner told BILD: "Tom Starke did not offend Ryan Babel. "Babel has not got the best of confidence right now. And Tom just tried to raise his motivation. Football is not like perfect harmony all the time."

Around Sky