Thursday, September 4, 2008

So Liverpool and Man City are rivals...?

Liverpool's new-signing Albert Riera gave his first real interview after his £6million move from Espanyol. It was a fairly standard first-interview (as was Louis Saha's at Everton) but the way it has been interpreted shows yet again just how much the footballing world has changed in the past few days.

If, at this point last week, anybody on the street was asked to name Liverpool's rivals the answers would probably be "Everton and Manchester United" along with, to a lesser extent, "Chelsea and Arsenal". But according to an article on, Riera has urged Liverpool fans to forget about his loan spell at Man City in 2006.

But why do they need to? Man City weren't rivals then, they were a distinctly average team who never really achieved anything of note. And, until the case is proven otherwise, Manchester City will still be a distinctly average team this season - though when the money kicks-in next summer, things will change.

Among other things, Riera said: "I went to Manchester City in January and we were playing for a place in the middle of the table. I was 22 but now I have three years more experience and this is very important in football. Since then I have played in a UEFA Cup final and I have played for the national team."

And also: "I know what has happened at City but the most important thing for me now is Liverpool. They are one team we need to be careful of but we need to look at ourselves. If we do good things we do not need to think about other teams."

A new Liverpool signing being asked about Manchester City. A team who have come out of nowhere thanks to a massive, obscene injection of cash. Who would have thought it just a few days ago?

Then again, Riera is probably right when he says "if we do good things we do not need to think about other teams," especially if by that he means kick the two American owners out in favour of Middle East consortium DIC. That will surely happen before the end of the year and, when it does, Liverpool will be in a far stronger position than Man City, because they are, after all, the far stronger (not to mention bigger) club.

When that does happen there will be two bottomless pit clubs in England, meaning the chain reaction of mega-money that will take football to the brink of destruction and beyond will continue at an ever-increasing pace.