Don’t you just love when footballers call out the press? Usually it’s The Sun who are forced to write apologies in tiny font the day after a scathing article, but a couple of publications in Romania may be forced to do the same after Reading’s Adrian Popa has had a ‘pop’ (sorry!) at them for getting their facts wrong.
A couple of sites, such as ProSport and Gazeta Sporturilor have claimed that the winger has been told that he is no longer in Jaap Stam’s plans, quoting him as telling TV Digi Sport:
"I had a discussion with the club leaders and the coach and they told me that it would be hard for me to catch the team after the last day of transfers brought two players to my position.
I have nothing to do, I will prepare myself and I will see in the winter what to do.”
This has been translated relatively poor by Google Translate, but the general idea is that Royals coaches have allegedly told Popa that due to two summer arrivals in his position (presumably Mo Barrow and Sone Aluko), he will find first team opportunities hard to come by.
But in a statement on his Facebook page today, the 29-year-old has said that this is complete and utter rubbish, writing:
“I have to clarify a few things, after the latest articles in the press, in the country. The leadership of my current team, reading, never said I was fired, that I had to find my team or they didn't need me anymore.
In the new season, I started out as almost all of the games, I played a lot, and the coach explained to me that in the aftermath of the transfers, the competition would be bigger than before and that I might not play as much, But I must prepare the same and every player will have his chance. ;)
At Reading came two valuable footballers for the offensive compartment, besides the ones that were already, but that doesn't mean I'm out, that I'm going back to the country or that I was put on the list of transfers, which wouldn't even have been How to happen, since this period is over. I wasn't told to look for my team or that my staff is no longer based on my services. My relationship with the staff is a professional, based on honesty, and I appreciate the coach telling me these things, which have not been the media in Romania.
I'd appreciate the future being contacted for confirmation or the information about me. Until then, I keep happy on my team, I prepare as well as I do so far, and the competition on the post only makes me happy, because that means performance performance, both of the team and mine, individual.”
Again, this is via Google Translate, but the gist is easy to understand.
Popa has made five appearances so far this campaign in all competitions, but has not featured since the Carabao Cup victory over Millwall. The last two fixtures against Bristol City and Brentford have seen him excluded from the matchday squad altogether. It will certainly be interesting to see if he’ll be involved against Swansea tomorrow night...