Riether has been better than Berba

Date published: Thursday 16th May 2013 12:18

Anders Lindegaard: Joined West Brom from Manchester United

Whilst the players were walking around the pitch after the Liverpool loss, offering their traditional thanks to the near empty Craven Cottage, the fans’ player of the season was announced, and it left the remaining fans speechless.

Sascha Riether’s name was announced first, met by applause by the Fulham fans who thought that this was their player of the season, a man who had already won player’s player of the year. Giorgos Karagounis was named as the runner-up, before Diddy Hamilton announced “and your player of the season is…Dimitar Berbatov!”. Hang on a second, wasn’t that Riether? No one had heard Hamilton say “in third place” before the German full-back’s name.

The reason everyone was so confused, was because everyone voted for Riether! I genuinely do not know a single person who didn’t vote for Riether, so how he finished third is beyond me. My only explanation is that there were a lot of ‘armchair fans’ or members of the Dimitar Berbatov fanclub who voted for the striker. If you did vote for someone other than Riether, please let me know! Let me give you my reasons for voting for him.

Unlike Berbatov, Riether was ever dependable, he has not had one bad game all season; not only that, he has been our best player in pretty much every game.

Everything about his game this year has been exquisite, both his defending and also his getting forward. The balls he has put in from the right flank have been excellent, and I can guarantee that Berbatov wouldn’t have as many goals this season if the German was not in the side.

His attitude is fantastic too. Regardless of the opposition he always gives his all – and you can’t say the same about Berbatov. So many times this season he hasn’t turned up, and with him usually being deployed as the lone striker, if he doesn’t play well, we look very, very bad going forward. This has been a pattern seen in the months between November and January, and also between April and May – our two poorest spells of the season.

If your knowledge of football comprises of what the idiots on Match of the Day tell you, then I’m sure you’ll believe that if it were not for Berbatov we would have been relegated and probably finished on negative points having scored no goals.

Well, I don’t know how we would have fared and neither does anyone else. All I will say is that Petric was playing very well before his arrival, and our team has looked considerably better when Rodallega has been in the side. I won’t deny Berbatov’s class, or his ability to score match-winners, but his importance shouldn’t be elevated the way it has been.

Fulham fans who are on Twitter would have seen the tweet from Riether last night saying: “Alles Gute @fckoeln.geile Stadt geiler Verein.ich drücke weiterhin die Daumen.der Fc gehört in die 1.Bundesliga.Danke für alles.”

I do not speak German, and google translate came up with something along the lines of, ‘goodbye, horny horny’, which I’m fairly sure is not what he meant. I am informed, though, that the tweet basically said, ‘goodbye and thank you fc Koln, good luck in getting back into the 1 Bundesliga.’ Surely this means that he is signing for us on a permanent deal? If so that is fantastic news to end a very, very bad season.

Going into our final game of the season, well I’m not confident. We’ve lost every time we’ve played Swansea in the last three years and I can’t see that changing at the weekend. We simply cannot play against good passing teams, such as Swansea and Liverpool, and I expect us to get beaten 2-0 to bring the season to a close.

If we do lose, that would mean we have picked up one point in our last eight matches, which is simply not good enough.

You can follow me on Twitter @henrywalmsley and don’t forget to follow FanZone too!

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