So after a much controversy and rumour Albert Riera has finally been shown the door.
The rumours regarding fisty cuffs with a player(s) are just that however, Riera made his attitude very clear last season when he decided to selfishly and indiscreetly speak out in public against the club at a time when we all needed to pull together. Despite that many chose to ignore this and sided with him using it as a vehicle highlight faults with Rafa. To this end it was thought he should be given a second chance. Not so it appears…
Riera seems very happy to talk to the press and often cropped up with quotes throughout his time with us. It seems that finally, rightly or wrongly, his mouth and his ego got the better of him? This continued right until he was given an Olympiakos shirt and he left us with this parting swipe.
“During the last two years at Liverpool I didn’t win any titles, so that’s why I took the decision to come to Olympiakos, to win titles”
I can only offer apologies to Albert that we weren’t good enough to give him the titles he expects! Presumably he also left all the other clubs he couldn’t really establish himself at for the same reason? How selfish of them not to serve him silverware! I guess if Albert really wants titles then perhaps he should set his sights on someone like Barcelona or Inter Milan (not that Rafa would have him now), Bayern Munich or Chelsea? However, it’s funny how they didn’t come in for him and funny how he didn’t find himself in Spain’s recent title winning squad?
It’s also Strange how his fee (£3.3m) is less than half the amount we paid for him and strange that no one made strenuous efforts (as they did/ are doing with Gerrard and Torres) to persuade him to stay at Liverpool? I wonder why? Perhaps Albert may care to ponder the reality instead of living in his own self regarding, football fantasy land? In the meantime we’ll just say goodbye to his bad attitude, pocket the cash, and hopefully put it towards a better player?
So to the Fritz Walter Stadium and Kaiserslautern. I seem to recall that last year our pre season friendlies had a gentle build up however with a Europa League tie next week the curve is a little steeper this time? A stronger line up was fielded reflecting the step up in opposition and I guess the most interesting change was Milan Jovanovic who made his debut on the left. What do we read into this? Will he play there now that Riera has gone or will Mr H try him in the centre at a later date, or will he play at all? I guess for many this was also a chance to impress before Thursdays game?
We started off with a good chance for Ngog but he managed push it wide. Later Amoo, who made some positive and confident runs against Grasshoppers, should have scored. He collected Eccleston’s cross and did really well to make space before firing straight at the keeper. Later Kelly, from a Jovanovic corner, fired over as Kaiserslautern defenders managed to get across as he was trying to bring the ball down. However it was the Germans who struck first Micanski converting Amri’s pull back. Poor defending allowing Amri to get to by line and then deliver a ball that passed two of our players before the chance was taken.
From then on the Germans dominated without really making it tell. In all honesty they didn’t need to as we didn’t create a great deal, Javonivc had a quiet game making one run down the left that amounted to nothing and was subbed at half time. More and more subs came on and the game wound down into a comfortable kick around. I suspect Mr H would have liked to see us display a bit more urgency and take the game to the Germans or at least try to create more? However we were easily dealt with and will have to be better on Thursday.
Then, it will be different line up and presumably a higher sense of urgency? However between now and Thursday there will presumably be a different set of priorities if today’s news regarding Fernando Torres is anything go by?