Yesterday seemed to be another day for Rafa. A rumour about him leaving Liverpool and some criticism, this time from a player. I guess with all this speculation all you can really do is get on with your job and deal with it if it comes. That appears to be what Rafa is doing
The latest head hunters after Rafa appear to be Inter Milan however I suspect this is idle speculation rather anything concrete, for the moment at least. Juventus, who had shown a more than fleeting interest in employing our man, appear to be out of the picture now with Sampdoria’s Luigi Del Neri looked a cert to replace Alberto Zaccheroni. Even if this weren’t the case Juve’s failure to qualify for the Champions League can hardly have helped their case? If Rafa was going to go anywhere then surely the new club would have to be in the tournament?
However, rather than dismiss any involvement with Rafa and turf him off the Serie A managerial merry go round he has simply been given a different horse – Inter Milan. Jose Mourinho looks Real bound so let’s link Rafa with the vacancy at the San Siro? Milan’s comments appear to be non committal simply stating that they have had no contact with Rafa and the Mourinho remains their coach. I hate it when clubs come out with such comments as it so non committal. Perhaps I’m reading to much into this but what does it mean? We haven’t contacted Rafa but might do and Mourinho is still our coach – of course he is, it’s the Champions League final on Saturday but will he be leaving soon? One development to watch should Rafa’s position with us suddenly take a turn for the worst?
The criticism comes from an increasingly familiar and disappointing source, Albert Riera. If Riera fails to find another club could do a lot worse than became a road worker or undertaker as digging holes, deep, deep holes is clearly something he is very adept at! Riera has had the cold shoulder since describing Rafa and the team as a “sinking ship” earlier this year. His continued ostracisation shouldn’t really be surprise to anyone with a modicum of common sense but not our Albert no, he sees differently. Apparently the board should have intervened to stop him and Rafa having a bust up as if that is the most important concern on their agendas at present! He now says this has cost him a place in Spain’s World Cup squad.
“I want to leave. English clubs are run differently that Spanish clubs. In England you have a manager at the club, and the board of the club has done nothing for me. The club has not put up any fight for me. I do not want to quarrel with somebody, but if a club doesn’t fight for you, that means that they don’t want you.”
Forgive if I’m being stupid but surely the best thing to get in the manager’s good books is not to blame the board but not a pick a fight with him in the first place and then go blabbing to the media about it. Riera must have realised that he would get nowhere? Perhaps a private chat, voicing his concerns and worries, would have been Ok but no manager is going to cave in and field him every week after the way he chose to play this. Oh and of course his form hasn’t really been up rooting any trees recently.
Which brings us to the World Cup issue? Riera must have known that this was around the corner, although given the way he has handled this little episode I’m not so sure! So presumably the best policy would be to work hard, keep your head down, take your chances and play your way back into the team in the hope that you get picked for the squad? Instead he has moaned and found himself out in the wilderness. All his own fault yet when he’s realised that he’s made a ricket he has the gall to blame others!
No doubt many will criticise Rafa;’s management methods over this however, cold, uncaring etc However, whatever your view over this does Riera, given the way he has reacted, really deserve the treatment he is demanding? At least this summer he and his agent will have plenty of time to contemplate his future as for him at least it appears there will be no footballing distractions!