'You see the boat sinking and nothing changes,' says Riera

Spanish midfielder attacks Benitez on eve of key Europa League tie for beleaguered Liverpool

On the eve of a seriously awkward Europa League clash which could see Liverpool's continental season ended, the club's Spanish midfielder Albert Riera has accused Rafael Benitez of failing to talk through his omission from the side and declared himself ready to leave for Russia if it means more football.

The 27-year-old, who signed for £8m from Espanyol on summer transfer deadline day 2008, has started one game since the end of January. He accused the manager of a "lack of tact" in his dealings with him. "When you stop being important for the coach in this way it has to be something personal," he said. "If I am doing things badly and you are my boss and you value me you are going to tell me what I have to do to get back playing. That is what hurts me. I see that the team is not playing well but there are no changes. It is frustrating because I think I could help.

"It seems strange that being Spanish there should not be a problem with communication. My English is also not bad. I have been here two years and he has never sorted out a situation with a player by talking to him. He thinks that it is him in charge and he is deaf to everything else. The dialogue is practically nil. This year has been difficult and he has changed nothing, when you see that the boat is sinking and you don't change anything."

Villareal have been reportedly keen on the former Manchester City player as a replacement for Robert Pires, though Riera suggested that Russia, the only country whose transfer market is open, might help him to a World Cup squad place.

Riera's complaints, which echo those by Ryan Babel, include an accusation that Liverpool "have never played nice football" which rules Benitez out of contention for the Real Madrid managerial job should Manuel Pellegrini be shown the door.

Benitez evidently needs all the comfort he gets from Riera's compatriot Pepe Reina, who will join Dietmar Hamann in joint 12th place in the list of all-time European appearances for the club at home to Lille tonight and has confirmed he is committing his future to Liverpool. Confirmation of the fact in the week when Fernando Torres's comments in the Spanish press also hinted at some equivocation about his medium to long term future was welcome and Benitez clearly anticipates his 27-year-old goalkeeper's certainties rubbing off on others.

"It is important to show that commitment and it's an example for everyone," Benitez said before an occasion on which he may be relying on Reina to quell Rudi Garcia's pacy counter-attacking side who lead 1-0 from last week's first leg. "Maybe it will be an example for the rest of the players for the future. You can see every day how much he loves being here."

There were fewer of the same certainties from Benitez himself. "My own position is not the issue," said the manager, who did not entirely quash the links between himself and Juventus two months ago. "It's not about whether we win or lose over one season. It's about having the consistency over how we do things. My own responsibility is to be focused – and my only ambition at this moment is to beat Lille. It's not a case of 'oh Rafa's not guaranteeing his future'. I have a very good vision about the future, but now the responsibility is just the next game. That's all I can do."

News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
News
The five geckos were launched into space to find out about the effects of weightlessness on the creatures’ sex lives
i100
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
News
i100
Life and Style
The longer David Sedaris had his Fitbit, the further afield his walks took him through the West Sussex countryside
lifeDavid Sedaris: What I learnt from my fitness tracker about the world
Arts and Entertainment
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
boksUnlike 'talented mediocrity' George Orwell, you must approach this writer dictionary in hand
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor