Sascha Riether says he feels right at home with Fulham – with Martin Jol’s Bundesliga recruitment drive paying rich dividends.
The German right back, who has been a revelation since signing from Cologne on loan in the summer, is one of six members of the Fulham first team squad who have previously plied their trade in Germany. Jol’s charges are in terrific form, having lost just having lost just one in eight games as they head to Sunderland this afternoon.
Riether told the Sunday People:
“It helps me that we have a lot of German speakers – myself, the manager, Mark Schwarzer, Mladen Petric, Pajtim Kasami, Ashkan Dejagah, Dimitar Berbatov, Philippe Senderos, Kerim Frei and Mickael Tavares. We do speak German in the dressing-room but we speak different languages all the time. It’s better to speak English so we can improve our grasp of the language.
But we always go the restaurant and cinemas together, although I haven’t seen any German restaurants in London. Martin Jol did a good job at Hamburg and for him it is good that he knows the German League so well. He knew me from Wolfsburg.
I played with Lukas Podolski at Cologne and he thinks it’s unbelievable here. We went for a meal together and he said. ‘I can eat here and no one disturbs me.’ Nobody wants to put their arm around him and get his photograph. In Germany if Lukas Podolski goes somewhere, it’s an unbelievable scene.
“In Germany the fans are always inside the training grounds and you’re always giving autographs. Here it is very different, much quieter. The fans are more critical there and impatient, too. If you don’t score after 10 minutes they start whistling. Here the support is unbelievable.
Riether raved about the quality in Fulham’s squad.
“Berbatov is a great footballer. He is very quiet in the dressing room and you don’t hear much from him, but on the pitch he’s a leader. He demands a lot, he’s always pushing his team-mates. For us, he is so important and not only for the goals. You need a player who can keep the ball. You need his experience. I played against him at Leverkusen when he was very young and they always said he’d be a big player.
We are playing such positive football here and when you have players like Berbatov and Mahamadou Diarra they always want to win, even against the biggest teams.”