Skip to main content

How Norwich City destroyed the career of a Rayista - the story of Larri (9th September, 2017)

At the age of just 30, striker Joaquín Larrivey decided to leave the sunny Balaidos for the even sunnier Abu Dhabi, joining Baniyas. Sorry, not "decided". "Decided" is a strong word. "Decided" means that the player had one or more options and picked one without coercion.

"Decided" means that the player had a fair choice.

Joaquin loves new challenges. While playing for Cagliari, he scored a hat-trick against Napoli, got on the European radar and then disappeared off it just as quickly by signing with Mexican Liga MX club Atlante.

After scoring 12 goals for Celta Vigo in the 2014-15 season, Joaquín Larrivey was set for his next adventure. He had two years on his contract remaining, but clubs were willing to pay and Celta were willing to sell. Moreover, his playing style was much more similar with the stereotypical "English striker" - a hardworking, physical, opportunistic poacher who capitalizes amazingly well on sloppy positioning and is excellent in the air.

Norwich City paid the 2 million euros required, and Larri booked his tickets. Terms were agreed, the medical passed, the player liaison Phil Lythgoe had given the player the customary club tour too.

Larrivey at Carrow Road


And then, giving no reason at all, Norwich City called the deal off.

Daniel Dos Reis, his representative, was fuming: “There has not been any problem that may have lead to this. Nor has there been any change in the numbers of the operation.

This is a total lack of seriousness, professionalism and ethics by Norwich.”

Larrivey went back to Balaidos, only to find that his replacement had already been signed - John Guidetti. And so Larrivey desperately looked for a club - all while Dos Reis and Celta reported Norwich to FIFA.

The problem was, the clubs that wanted him - such as Al Wasl in Dubai - had been rejected when he went to Norwich.

Alex Neil later took responsibility: "Yes, he came over, I met him and decided it wasn't for us. Simple as that...This decision, based on him not joining us, had no bearing on any other strikers we might be looking at. I just decided not to pursue it."

But he had taken responsibility for the botched transfer. What about the botched career of a 30-year-old late bloomer with still a few seasons left in him? What about the fact that he was led to believe he was wanted by the manager, when clearly the club's board had sealed the transfer beforehand?

They won't, and will never take responsibility for that. They don't care - they think it was a business transaction that didn't work out. They don't care that Larri had to settle for the United Arab Emirates in the end. They don't care that it was to a club who are minnows in their own city, whose finances would deem them relegation candidates year-on-year, whose stadium capacity is just 9,500 and whose trophy cabinet is largely unimpressive.

They don't understand their own consequences.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Non-league Incider: Cray Valley Paper Mills 4-4 Punjab United Gravesend

Last game: 9th August: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers
After ripping up my groundhopping calendar, mostly because I was determined to avoid overnight travel, and partly due to other commitments, there was a period of time where non-league football took a backseat.
But that period did not last long. Because of course it didn't.

Secretly, I'd loved travelling over ten hours back-and-forth to watch some 10th division football. And this was 9th division football in London.
When I had gone to East Dulwich exactly a week back, I had commented on how the amount of graffiti struck me as I watched from on board a southeastern train. I was going the exact same way, but much further this time - then I had stopped at Denmark Hill, now I would have to go six stations further. The graffiti I had thought was so emblematic of south London quickly disappeared, as did the tall buildings desperately cluttered together. We, and by we I mean me, were going to the suburbs. The stations be…

Non-league Incider: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers

Last game: 8th August: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

The previous day, I was blown away by my first ever football match experience. Dulwich Hamlet impressed me, but what impressed me more was the journey. The travel to the stadium was just as enjoyable as the football itself.

I had caught the groundhopping bug.

There were no games scheduled for the 9th of August. There was one, near Wigan, and all I had booked earlier was a refundable bus ticket from Manchester Airport leaving at quarter past midnight.

I should have refunded it. This was a mistake. This whole day was a mistake.

I was only slightly hungover from the previous night, but that was nothing compared to this feeling of loss - I couldn't handle the fact that there was a game happening. And I wasn't too far away. Just three hours and a bit. They'll fly by, I thought.

I was in autopilot. Something within me made me get up, grab a bag, and get out the door. This wasn't me. I wasn't travelling - I was …

Jaime Mata - the one that got away (18th January, 2018)

A few months ago, Rayo fans woke up to this:
CONVOCATORIA| 📋 Lista de 1️⃣9️⃣ jugadores para el debut mañana en la #CopaDelRey🏆 #NumanciaMálaga⚽️ #VamosMálaga💙 👉 https://t.co/hlScwtJkhYpic.twitter.com/qFGrdvOnrQ — Málaga CF (@MalagaCF) October 23, 2017
That was a bittersweet moment - pride for a Rayista who was going to succeed at Málaga, but bitterness at the club for letting him go for free and not tying him down early enough.

Midfielder Pablo Clavería slipped through the cracks. He wasn't renewed, and got tired of waiting - a depressingly normal situation for a smaller, cash-strapped club.

This is the story of another player who slipped through.

Like Pablo, he has a powerful shot on him. Unlike Pablo, it's key to his job. The striker made his name in his hometown of Madrid in the Tercera, after rising through the ranks of Galáctico Pegaso. He would play for the reserves in 2007, before playing for the senior team during the 2008-09 campaign.

During the 2009-10 campaign, ec…