Departing goalkeeper Jose Reina has hit out at Liverpool after claiming the club decided to loan him to Napoli without telling him first and that he “deserved better”.
The Spain international’s switch to the Italian side on a season-long deal was confirmed by the Merseysiders yesterday.
Reina has spent eight years at Anfield, and, in a letter to Reds fans published on his official website, the 30-year-old said: “If I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving.
“It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first. I thought that I deserved better than that, even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football.”
Liverpool added a new goalkeeper to their ranks in June, with coach Brendan Rodgers signing Belgium international Simon Mignolet from Sunderland.
Meanwhile former Reds star Maxi Rodriguez believes Barcelona have appointed the “ideal” coach in Gerardo Martino.
Rodriguez is the captain of Newell’s Old Boys, who Martino led to the Argentinian Clausura title last season as well as the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores where they were eliminated on penalties by eventual winners Atletico Mineiro.
The Argentina midfielder returned to his boyhood club Newell’s last year after a decade in Europe with Espanyol, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, and after spending a year working under Martino, believes his former coach has the right philosophy and mentality to be a hit at the Nou Camp.
He told AS: “Barca have got one of the best coaches that has come out of Argentina in recent times, without any doubt.
“Martino has always liked his teams to have the ball and play possession football, so he has a style of play that they are well used to seeing at the Camp Nou.”
Rodriguez also explained Martino’s style of play.
“His usual formation is a 4-3-3, although he can make interesting alternations. He allows players to change position and gives them freedom, but the only thing he asks is that you do what you were coached the previous week. He and his staff are simple people who adapt easily to any circumstance. I’m certain he is the ideal coach for Barcelona.”
Elsewhere, Papiss Cisse will return to action at St Mirren tonight after ending his exile from the Newcastle squad.
The 28-year-old has not been involved in the club’s pre-season fixtures to date as a result of his refusal to wear the club’s new Wonga-sponsored shirt because of his Muslim religious beliefs.
However, the two parties managed to find a solution, with the help of the Professional Footballers’ Association, last week, and the striker is now back in the Magpies fold.
Manager Alan Pardew confirmed he will play some part at St Mirren Park this evening. Pardew said: “Hatem [Ben Arfa], Colo [Fabricio Coloccini], Papiss, Cheick [Tiote] and a few others stayed behind. They will all play at St Mirren, for sure.
“We should have a good side out there for our fans if they want to travel up.
“Papiss has looked really good. We have only had one training day with him as a group, and he’s looked really well.
“I’m pleased with that. It’s been a difficult time for him, and now we rally round him and support him.”
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