Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reira blasts Rafa and wants out of Liverpool

Albert Riera has indicated a desire to leave Liverpool and launched an outspoken attack on Rafael Benitez - accusing the Reds manager of failing to communicate with his players and lacking the style to manage Real Madrid.

Riera, who has started only nine league games this season, labelled Liverpool a "sinking ship" after a poor season both domestically and in Europe and has placed his future at Anfield in some jeopardy by so publicly undermining his manager with withering criticism.

The winger is contemplating joining a Russian club in an attempt to underline his claims for a place in the Spain squad ahead of the World Cup. Riera has started only one game for Liverpool since January - the 1-0 Europa League victory over Unirea Urziceni on February 18.

And with his future now a matter for real debate, Riera is likely to have deeply angered Benitez by being so open and forthright in his criticism of the man who brought him to Anfield from Espanyol in an £8 million deal in September 2008.

He said: "This year has been difficult and he has not changed at all. When you see the ship is sinking and you don't change... I've been here for two years and I know how he is as a person. He's never resolved a situation with a player by speaking with him.

"He thinks he is in charge and he just turns a deaf ear to everyone else," Riera told Radio Marca. "The dialogue with the players is practically non-existent. There is a lack of tact.

"When the coach doesn't say anything to you and you are in good shape with no physical problems and training well, you have no choice but to think [the fact you are not playing] is personal.

"The team's playing badly and needs changes. If I'm doing something badly and you're my boss and you trust in me, then you would tell me what I am doing wrong and what I have to do to play. [The fact that Benitez has not said anything] is what most hurts."

Riera claims he has been the subject of interest from unnamed Russian clubs and appears keen to explore the possibility of moving to a country where the transfer window is currently open.

"Right now the only market open is the Russian one," Riera said. "I have offers from two clubs and, given my situation, that has made me reflect a lot... My objective is to go to the World Cup and for that to happen I have to play."

In a final criticism of Benitez, Riera also claimed the Liverpool boss would not be in demand should Manuel Pellegrini vacate the Real Madrid job at the end of the season. Riera said: "At Madrid they ask you to win and play lovely football. We [Liverpool] are effective, sure, but we don't play brilliant football."

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