Benni: I let myself down
Johannesburg - Benni McCarthy has told Sky Sports News that "he let it slip."
The former South African international striker has opted to leave West Ham United, after being frozen out of the club's first-team plans.
He spent one year at Upton Park and failed to score for the Hammers, during a stint he claims was blighted by injury.
Benni is a proven Premier League goalscorer and remains the only South African to lift the Uefa Champions League trophy.
So it is clear that the Hammers never saw the real McCarthy.
And according to the former Ajax, Celta Vigo, Porto and Blackburn hit-man, a long-term calf injury caused his Hammers career to fizzle out and die.
"I let it slip, I could have been better towards myself," he admitted.
"I let myself down. I just went hiding under a rock because I couldn't deal with the fact I was injured.
"I never trained how I could train because obviously I was out for two months (with a calf injury) so I wasn't allowed to train or anything - it was just treatment, treatment, treatment."
Explaining why he decided to leave Upton Park instead of banking his cash from the bench, Benni said: "It was a situation where I was there but I wasn't really there. I was getting paid for doing nothing - that's not my style."
And according to the one-time hero of Mzansi, he no longer communicates with Hammers boss Avram Grant, although he does not hold it against the relegation fighting Israeli.
"I don't really know when I last spoke to him - but he's got a lot on his plate at the moment," Benni said.
"The club's been fantastic to me - you can't ask for better treatment from the medical staff, it has been brilliant.
"[Grant] is a nice guy, he's got his own personality. Who am I to say he is a bad man-to-man manager?
"He's got more things to worry about than wishing me the best of luck."