Rafa’s job as a manager is hard enough these days. He has to try and get the best out of his players, deal with fallout from the bumbling antics of our American friends and then the media pressure. The last thing he needs is his players adding grist to an already extremely active mill by coming out and criticising him.
Albert Reira is the latest to do so complaining that Rafa never talks to him. What is it about Rafa that provokes such reactions? Firstly we have Sam Allardyce who is seemingly inconsolable with frustration that Rafa won t give him the time of day and now our Albert!
Speaking to a Spanish Radio station he said
“He’s never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him”
Albert then proceeded to get out an onion and a violin and added…
“When the coach says nothing to you and you are well, with no physical problems and training well, you cannot help but think it must be something personal…..”
Pause for effect, wipe away a tear, sniff and then carry on……
“If I’m doing something badly and you are my boss, and you value me, then you are going to come and tell me what I have to do to play again. This is what hurts me.”
Reira then went on to suggest, doubtlessly with a waver in his voice, that he might move to a Russian club probably a Siberian one to enhance the impression that he is out in the cold?
No doubt many, who would like to see Rafa go or enjoy stirring up the admittedly troubled waters washing over Anfield, will see this as evidence, albeit the tip of the iceberg, that Rafa has lost the dressing room? Players are publicly questioning his methods however, reading between the lines this is hardly new stuff and if anything Reira’s outburst says more about his inadequacies that it does about Rafa.
Consider the background. Ryan Babel’s form has improved and he is (rightly) in the side at the expense of Reira. Obviously Reira is a tad pi**ed off about this especially as it’s the run up to the World Cup and he wants to impress. Frustration boils over and you get this sort of nonsense, forget the situation the side is in, Reira decides he’s got to look after his interests first. The same scenario applied to Babel before Christmas and Yossi Benayoun, via his agent admittedly. Both complained when they were not regular starters.
The silent treatment Rafa is supposedly giving Reira is hardly new. Bill Shankly was renowned for blanking players if they weren’t fit or injured. I suspect it was nothing personal just taking care of business and concentrating on working with the resources that you have? Moreover Rafa’s reaction to those players who complain in this way has been consistent. He remains silent and, in fairness, appears not to have been vindictive. Despite their outbursts both Benayoun and Babel got back into the first team. However this happened when, and only when, they played well.
Reira, given the clumsy, selfish nature of his comments and their timing, has rightly been suspended. He tried to back track a bit yesterday but has only succeeded in making things worse. It is not just the nature of his comments that are the issue it is also the fact that he was indiscrete enough to make them public and, worse still, before a vital game. Coming out in public again won’t help.
What amazes me is that Reira seemingly gave no thought to consequences of his actions. When will players such as him ever learn? Did he really think Rafa would drop everything and reinstate him in the first eleven because of his outburst? If so then, to be quite frank, and putting very, very mildly, he is a rather silly boy!
In short this hasn’t helped the club and it certainly hasn’t helped Reira what a stupid, pointless thing to do. Surely it would have better just to thrash things out with Rafa behind closed doors or, better still, get his head down, work hard and try and play his way back into the team? There are enough people holding this club to ransom at present without the players getting involved.