Liverpool player Albert Riera says he is considering leaving the club because of his manager Rafa Benitez's continually childish behaviour.
The Spanish international laid bare his soul on Spanish radio last night, after featuring in only two games this season. Tears welled up in the winger's eyes as he described Benitez's actions:
"He [Benitez] treats me like a gone-off paella. Only last season we were throwing donkeys off the tops of churches together... good times... good times. The only time he has spoken to me this season is to repeat exactly what I just said to him, but in a high-pitched voice.
All week the team has been training in tracksuits and full kit - except for me. I was made to dress like a woman. Have you ever tried doing a stepover and whipping a cross into the danger area whilst wearing high heels? Well?... have you? He [Benitez] mocks me like a child in the playground."
Riera went on to say that this was by no means an isolated incident. He claims that ever since Benitez grew his Three Musketeers beard, he became a different person and resorted to bully-boy tactics:
"Jermaine Pennant was forced out because the gaffer kept nicking his lunch money and flushing his head in the toilet. That's the only reason Jermaine had that ankle tag - he was caught nicking a pack of Wotsits from the cornership... he was just hungry."
Former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness threw his mighty intellectual weight at the issue by adding:
"It wouldn'ae happened in my day. If youse had a problem wi' someone in the club, you'd just put the nut on 'em an' that'd be that."
I approached Benitez himself for a comment on Riera's interview, but was only given a brief statement referring to my mother and her astonishing promiscuity.