Watford head coach Beppe Sannino expects Albert Riera to improve but praises the former Liverpool winger's spirit and commitment

Albert Riera in action against Real Madrid earlier this season. Picture: Action Images

Albert Riera in action against Real Madrid earlier this season. Picture: Action Images

First published in Latest Sport by

Beppe Sannino expects Albert Riera to improve to meet the demands of the Championship but says the Spaniard, who played in the Champions League earlier this season, will bring valuable experience to Watford.

The 31-year-old signed with the Hornets last Thursday and made his debut as a 62nd minute substitute in the 4-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

Riera’s deal with Watford runs until the end of the campaign. Udinese have confirmed the former Spanish international will join them in July but we understand there is a good chance the player could remain with Watford next season if all parties agree.

And Sannino has been impressed with the former Liverpool and Manchester City winger.

He said: “Riera is a fantastic player with a lot of experience and only a few months ago he was playing in the Champions League.

“The Championship is another division and you need to run a lot on the pitch. It is two months since he last played a match so I am expecting him to improve.

“I can tell you since he joined the club he showed a great commitment and a great spirit.”

Prior to joining Watford, Riera turned out for Roberto Mancini’s Galatasaray.

He joined the Turkish club for just under £2.5m in 2011 and had made 13 appearances this season including in the Champions League ties against Real Madrid and Juventus.

He left Galatasaray in January and was linked with a move to Premier League club West Bromwich Albion before signing with the Hornets.

Comments (14)

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9:08am Wed 2 Apr 14

JonBoy says...

Great acquisition but where is the yoof?
Great acquisition but where is the yoof? JonBoy
  • Score: -17

9:34am Wed 2 Apr 14

JohnnyBarnes says...

I have to say that I'm pretty excited by this one
... not necessarily by the signing itself, per se, but the fact that we're beginning to forge enough of a reputation for ourselves that players of Riera's standard see us as a good option
and, I would add, not for the same reasons as the Vialli purchases - we're not throwing silly wages at people.

A couple of posters have commented on here that this is not the Pozzo way: we should be buying younger, hungrier, whatever - but we can't have it both ways. We can keep buying ONLY young players and keep conceding late goals because our game management (don't mind that phrase personally...) and concentration are lacking
or we can start to introduce a bit of experience - Riera, Tozser and the like - and let the youngsters bed more slowly into a safer, more consistent team environment

I think that signings like this are crucial to the younger players personally, not detrimental.
I have to say that I'm pretty excited by this one ... not necessarily by the signing itself, per se, but the fact that we're beginning to forge enough of a reputation for ourselves that players of Riera's standard see us as a good option and, I would add, not for the same reasons as the Vialli purchases - we're not throwing silly wages at people. A couple of posters have commented on here that this is not the Pozzo way: we should be buying younger, hungrier, whatever - but we can't have it both ways. We can keep buying ONLY young players and keep conceding late goals because our game management (don't mind that phrase personally...) and concentration are lacking or we can start to introduce a bit of experience - Riera, Tozser and the like - and let the youngsters bed more slowly into a safer, more consistent team environment I think that signings like this are crucial to the younger players personally, not detrimental. JohnnyBarnes
  • Score: 91

10:46am Wed 2 Apr 14

Bertster says...

Excellent Acquistion!!!!
Excellent Acquistion!!!! Bertster
  • Score: 26

11:17am Wed 2 Apr 14

4life says...

If he plays football like he plays golf he should be alright
Albert won the longest drive at the WFC golf day at Brocket Hall,304 yd up hill with a borrowed set of clubs!!
If he plays football like he plays golf he should be alright Albert won the longest drive at the WFC golf day at Brocket Hall,304 yd up hill with a borrowed set of clubs!! 4life
  • Score: 12

12:38pm Wed 2 Apr 14

rogeruk says...

JohnnyBarnes wrote:
I have to say that I'm pretty excited by this one
... not necessarily by the signing itself, per se, but the fact that we're beginning to forge enough of a reputation for ourselves that players of Riera's standard see us as a good option
and, I would add, not for the same reasons as the Vialli purchases - we're not throwing silly wages at people.

A couple of posters have commented on here that this is not the Pozzo way: we should be buying younger, hungrier, whatever - but we can't have it both ways. We can keep buying ONLY young players and keep conceding late goals because our game management (don't mind that phrase personally...) and concentration are lacking
or we can start to introduce a bit of experience - Riera, Tozser and the like - and let the youngsters bed more slowly into a safer, more consistent team environment

I think that signings like this are crucial to the younger players personally, not detrimental.
Excellent post one of the best for a long long time.
[quote][p][bold]JohnnyBarnes[/bold] wrote: I have to say that I'm pretty excited by this one ... not necessarily by the signing itself, per se, but the fact that we're beginning to forge enough of a reputation for ourselves that players of Riera's standard see us as a good option and, I would add, not for the same reasons as the Vialli purchases - we're not throwing silly wages at people. A couple of posters have commented on here that this is not the Pozzo way: we should be buying younger, hungrier, whatever - but we can't have it both ways. We can keep buying ONLY young players and keep conceding late goals because our game management (don't mind that phrase personally...) and concentration are lacking or we can start to introduce a bit of experience - Riera, Tozser and the like - and let the youngsters bed more slowly into a safer, more consistent team environment I think that signings like this are crucial to the younger players personally, not detrimental.[/p][/quote]Excellent post one of the best for a long long time. rogeruk
  • Score: 22

1:48pm Wed 2 Apr 14

TaylorMadeArmy says...

Riera looked an absolute class act when he came on at Sheffield Wednesday. Pudil was subbed and he slotted in as if he'd been playing there for years. One cheeky little flick out of defence was particularly top draw.

I know that one swallow doesn't make a summer, but Riera's pedigree suggests he could play a starring role next season, if we can get him.

Luton Fans can only look on in green-eyed wonderment. Never mind the Champions League, they're lucky if they sign a player who's got experience in the Johnstone Paint trophy.
Riera looked an absolute class act when he came on at Sheffield Wednesday. Pudil was subbed and he slotted in as if he'd been playing there for years. One cheeky little flick out of defence was particularly top draw. I know that one swallow doesn't make a summer, but Riera's pedigree suggests he could play a starring role next season, if we can get him. Luton Fans can only look on in green-eyed wonderment. Never mind the Champions League, they're lucky if they sign a player who's got experience in the Johnstone Paint trophy. TaylorMadeArmy
  • Score: 34

4:12pm Wed 2 Apr 14

Bobbyhowfield says...

A blind man can see this fella is class just from watching him for 20 minutes at Hillsboro
A blind man can see this fella is class just from watching him for 20 minutes at Hillsboro Bobbyhowfield
  • Score: 15

4:31pm Wed 2 Apr 14

francowatford says...

That is two possible quality players with CL experience coming to the VIC. It seems like the men in charge have noted their mistakes and are not going to mess around next year. Fingers cross they hit the ground running
That is two possible quality players with CL experience coming to the VIC. It seems like the men in charge have noted their mistakes and are not going to mess around next year. Fingers cross they hit the ground running francowatford
  • Score: 10

5:14pm Wed 2 Apr 14

grahamwfc says...

totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-(
totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-( grahamwfc
  • Score: 0

5:51pm Wed 2 Apr 14

neilhorn says...

grahamwfc wrote:
totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-(
bit of a strange post, and anyway the Grand National isn't tomorrow. Anyway Riera is class but has some personal problems, can't see him lasting a season on this league
[quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-([/p][/quote]bit of a strange post, and anyway the Grand National isn't tomorrow. Anyway Riera is class but has some personal problems, can't see him lasting a season on this league neilhorn
  • Score: -10

6:39pm Wed 2 Apr 14

grahamwfc says...

neilhorn wrote:
grahamwfc wrote:
totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-(
bit of a strange post, and anyway the Grand National isn't tomorrow. Anyway Riera is class but has some personal problems, can't see him lasting a season on this league
I meant I was going to back it tomorrow, but I see your confusion

Reiras personal problems being? omnipotent one
[quote][p][bold]neilhorn[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-([/p][/quote]bit of a strange post, and anyway the Grand National isn't tomorrow. Anyway Riera is class but has some personal problems, can't see him lasting a season on this league[/p][/quote]I meant I was going to back it tomorrow, but I see your confusion Reiras personal problems being? omnipotent one grahamwfc
  • Score: 1

6:50pm Wed 2 Apr 14

HunsburyHornet4 says...

Changing the subject slightly, has anyone noticed that on the April wallpaper we're playing Burney on Saturday? I hope he turns up with the rest of the team
Changing the subject slightly, has anyone noticed that on the April wallpaper we're playing Burney on Saturday? I hope he turns up with the rest of the team HunsburyHornet4
  • Score: 0

8:31am Thu 3 Apr 14

Harry's Bar says...

grahamwfc wrote:
totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-(
Chasing losses is the road to ruin. Having said that a bet on Watford next season might just win some money back.
[quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-([/p][/quote]Chasing losses is the road to ruin. Having said that a bet on Watford next season might just win some money back. Harry's Bar
  • Score: 0

9:21am Thu 3 Apr 14

Mickey Quinn, not so thin says...

Harry's Bar wrote:
grahamwfc wrote:
totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-(
Chasing losses is the road to ruin. Having said that a bet on Watford next season might just win some money back.
yes though a lot on here were saying the same thing 9 months ago !!
[quote][p][bold]Harry's Bar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]grahamwfc[/bold] wrote: totally off topic but got to back GOONYELLA in Grand National tomorrow. 40/1 be rude not to. might get some of my money back from Corals 14/1 Champions :-([/p][/quote]Chasing losses is the road to ruin. Having said that a bet on Watford next season might just win some money back.[/p][/quote]yes though a lot on here were saying the same thing 9 months ago !! Mickey Quinn, not so thin
  • Score: 0

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