By Ollie Irish
“Welcome to Anfield, Player 1628. Off to the Melwood Experiment Zone, er, I mean training ground.”
Albert Riera has put his Liverpool career in jeopardy by attacking manager Rafa Benitez. The Spanish winger has fallen out of favour this season and looks set to be the latest player to be driven out of Anfield after being alienated by Benitez’s non-existent man-management skills.
During an interview for Radio Marca in Spain, Riera questioned his club manager’s ability to develop relationships with his players.
“I would like to spend my whole career here (at Anfield), but we players live to play,” he said. “My aim is to go to the World Cup and for this I have to be playing.
“[But] 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.
“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.
“You see that the team are not doing well and there are no changes. It’s a little frustrating because you see that you can help.
“I’ve been here two years and I know how he (Benitez) is. He’s never sorted out a situation with a player by talking with him. He thinks he’s in charge and everything else falls on deaf ears. His dialogue with the players is practically nil.”
Ouch. Way to guarantee a swift exit from Liverpool, Albert.
Still, this comes as no surprise – Rafa has a reputation for failing to bond with his players, and of course he famously alienated Xabi Alonso to the point where Alonso left the club. Riera is expendable, but Liverpool can’t afford for their gaffer to drive Fernando Torres out of Anfield.