THROWBACK TO WHEN LIVERPOOL SIGNED ALBERT RIERA
With the recent announcement that Liverpool has agreed a deal to sign Espanyol’s Spanish International Winger Albert Riera, there is a looked back at Liverpool’s problem left wing position ever since John Barnes finished his playing career at Anfield.
When John Barnes was flying down the wing there was in our eyes no better sight in football, I had become a Liverpool fan in the 1980’s with the 1986 FA Cup Final being the first final some fans had watched . We saw John Barnes terrorise defences and Ian Rush banging the goals in. Season after season Barnes was destroying teams in the old First Division.
It can also be remembered that Alan Hansen once saying that when ever he had the ball at his feet he always looked to play it to the best player in the team which was Kenny Dalglish, after Kenny retired it would be John Barnes. ‘˜Digger’ as he is affectionately known by Liverpool fans was known for his mazy dribbling and his knack of scoring important goals, with his most famous goal in a red shirt coming in a FA Cup tie against the Blue half of Merseyside Everton, where Barnes somehow curled a right footed shot which is his weaker foot round Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall in to the top corner absolutely majestic from the Wing wizard.
After Graeme Souness took over the reigns at Liverpool he started to break up a very good team, rather than doing it over a period of time he sold a few of the very good players like Peter Beardsley, Ray Houghton, Gary Ablett and Steve Staunton and replaced them with very average players, namely Nigel Clough, Paul Stewart, Torben Piechnik and Julian Dicks.
Stewart Downing had been touted by the media as another target for Benitez but it was reported that Spanish International Albert Riera had agreed to join Liverpool for a fee believed to be in the region of 8-9 million.
Riera was a very good technical player with subtle skills and has the knack of getting important goals, but he didn’t turn up at Liverpool.