Albert Riera was a good winger who played an important part in our 2008/09 title pursuit, but for whatever reason, Liverpool fans often forget about him.
The Spaniard, who now plays in Slovenia for FC Koper, signed in 2008 but left two years later upon the appointment of Roy Hodgson – who according to the left-footer – had a problem with foreigners.
“I also remember the day when Roy Hodgson came to Liverpool. He said that he wanted his team to be 90% British, so all the foreigners felt like we’d be having problems in Liverpool and I signed for Olympiakos,” he told Anfield HQ.
During Hodgson’s summer in charge he offloaded the likes of Riera and Javier Mascherano and signed six players. Three of which were British: Joe Cole, Danny Wilson and Paul Konchesky. The others; Christian Poulsen, Brad Jones and Raul Meireles hardly pulled up any trees, although the latter was decent in parts.
Under Rafa Benitez, we had a team centred around British stars Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher – but the vast majority of the side was full of talented players from abroad, such as Sami Hyppia, Pepe Reina, Daniel Agger, Xabi Alonso, Mascherano, Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres.
Why Hodgson thought he’d dismantle a talented squad and recruit mid-table British players is anyone’s guess. Its results are infamous of course, with the current England boss out of a job before Christmas and Liverpool out of the Champions League for five seasons.
Appointing Hodgson really was one of the worst decisions Liverpool have made in the modern era.