Everyone is aware of the speculation that is surrounding our two main players this summer. Steven Gerrard, is he staying? Is he going? Does he want to stay? The same goes for Torres.
Tom Hicks, aswell as Rafael Benitez and Martin Broughton have said that there is no need to sell Gerrard (or Torres). However, it must be said, there is a difference between need and want?
Gerrard could have gone to Chelsea in 2004 and in 2005, and almost did, but decided to stay, because he loves the club, and lets be honest, Liverpool would be lost without him. He’s carried an average team on his shoulders for the past 4 or 5 years.
Now, its not a question of the club needing to sell Steven Gerrard, its a matter of Steven Gerrard wanting to leave. And who can blame him? He can go off to spain, play for a good manager (and be honest, whatever Liverpool fans think of him, Mourinho is a good manager). He can play with top players, and have a better chance of winning league titles and champions leagues. Who would turn that down.
What happens if he does go? Steven Gerrard had his worst season last season. Lack of goals, especially in the Champions leage. Mourinho is desperate to sign him, he’s tried twice, and failed. And he would do anything to get him. If Liverpool generate a decent amount of money for him (say 35-40 million), we could buy 2 maybe 3 decent player. One of which, who I think would fit into the Gerrard role quite nicely, James Milner.
I would be very sad to see Steven Gerrard leave the club, just as I was when Owen left, and when Alosno left, and two see our best midfield partnership this decade in the colours of white is heartbreaking. But its something you need to accept, when big clubs and big managers come for you big players, you can’t stand in the way.
As for Torres, he would be the player we would miss the most, even though we would get more money for him (escpecially if he went to City or Chelsea). As said before, we can’t blame Gerrard for going, but with Torres its different. Last 2 seasons he has been injured, especially last season, and for me he owes a lot to the fans still. A great first seaosn which hasnt been followed up. Personally I think Torres will stay, but wont stick around much longer if Liverpool don’t qualify for the Champions League next season.
We hear it all in the news, and when it happens we just have to deal with it. Liverpool will get ride the storm, it maye take a while, and a few sacrifices, but we will rise again. Thanks but NO YANKS!
Here’s the second part of the Big Interview with Sami Hyypiä I translated into English for EOTK.
Is there in Germany something completely different than in England?
After our first pre-season match the players didn’t talk about the match afterwards. In Liverpool we always did that. No matter what kind of match it was, we talked to each other, Especially to those team mates who played on the position next to you. We went through all situations that happened on the pitch during the match, just in case they might happen again. But here there was no talk at all! I’ve only been in Germany for a couple of weeks and I was really surprised about that! The game was over, no one said not even a word … Everyone went to his car and listened to music instead. No one said anything!
How did you react?
I asked myself how I could change it. And after our match in Leipzig I simply started with it. I played the first half. Almost the entire squad has been substituted during the injury time and I stayed with those substituted players in the changing room. I asked Manuel Friedrich: “Manuel, is it normal in here that you never talk about the match?” And he said: “Err … yeah, that’s standard.” And I thought: “My goodness! We have to talk to each other!” Sure, the coach does give us a feedback after the match. But I think we could change a lot more if we started to communicate. You can’t only rely on the coach who shows you a video and tells you where you’re supposed to run.
Since your intervention, is there more communication in Leverkusen?
I don’t know exactly how it was before. Maybe there were few players talking to each other already. However, now we all talk about the match.
Do you miss the professional jokers like Carragher and Crouch in the dressing room?
I do not miss anyone. It’s similar in here. All you need in the dressing room is Patrick Helmes and it gets very …vital.
Your best Patrick Helmes story?
Everything what happens in our dressing room stays in the dressing room!
In the old days you had to work really hard to reach something in football. Nowadays it seems much more easier to get into the first squad.
Yeah, the younger players don’t have to clean the shoes of the older ones anymore.
How do you find it?
I rather like the old school. I don’t think it’s so bad when you’re starting from the bottom and you have to work hard for your position and struggle to reach something. The younger people would rediscover the meaning of respect.
Where do you notice the lack of respect today?
I realise that younger people don’t behave with respect towards the older people. When I was a child it went like this: if you weren’t allowed to do something and you disagreed, you simply got spanked. Not that I find it is the right manner to deal with the situation, but nowadays you’d become bigger trouble when you disagreed with a teenager! In the past it was different. Ten years ago there was much more respect.
You donated 23000 pounds to a hospital in Liverpool. Do you usually talk about stuff like that in the dressing room? Did your team mates want to know why did you do this?
No, not really. Everyone is doing things like this for themselves. My son was born in this hospital. One morning, on my way to the training I was listening to the radio. The station was collecting money for a location in the hospital where the parents could stay with their kids for the night. Many of those kids aren’t from Liverpool and their parents have to travel hundreds of miles only to see their kid. This radio station was trying to collect 25000 pounds. I called them and asked how much they still needed and gave them the money afterwards.
Following days the papers said: Sami Hyppiä donated loads of money, Steven Gerrard only a football kit.
I read that too and wondered how is making up things like that … Stevie has got different organisations he’s supporting. For me it was something special as this hospital is just in my neighbourhood. I found it important to help them. If you’re playing at Liverpool you get loads of requests to support different organisations. It never stops. I didn’t want to make it public but our PR guy said it’d be good publicity for the club as well. I accepted it like this but I never gave interviews. What I do as a private person has to stay private.
Are the young professionals in Germany more down to earth than the English ones?
It’s difficult to compare. I don’t think there’s a big difference. In Germany you have more interests in other sports. In England football is the king, without any doubts. And then there’s maybe rugby and cricket. In Liverpool there are two football clubs and the people live, eat, sleep and breath football. Every time I went somewhere, the people always wanted to talk with me about football.
You’re now describing the daily life in the Premier League .
Yes. I couldn’t go anywhere. You always have had to talk until you were blue in the face. When I went to a restaurant the waiter immediately started to talk about football – for a half of an hour … It got kind of exhausting in the long run. That’s why I really enjoy my current life in Germany that much. I can go shopping to Cologne or Düsseldorf and no one does recognize me. I can lead a normal life like a normal person – how I always felt like anyway. In England it was not possible at all.
Jogging in the park wasn’t an issue as well?
No, I absolutely did that. However, I was so fast that no one could follow me.
A good topic. Is the English Premier League really that much faster than the Bundesliga?
The Premier League is that fast because even the smaller teams do play long balls too. So, you’re actually under the pressure all the time. The match is like a seesaw from the one baseline to another. It’s faster and it demands you more physically and mentally. Physically because with Liverpool we usually had to play two matches a week. That’s not only a physical charge but a great mental challenge as well. If the game is that fast you have to stay highly concentrated all the time.
Where do you order the Bundesliga?
It does not mean the Bundesliga is a bad league. But the Premier League is the toughest league in the world. The best players want to play in the Premier League. In Spain there are many very good players as well, but there’s a different style of play. Perhaps most of those footballers couldn’t adapt to the English style of playing football. We did have some examples at Liverpool. We’ve had some Spanish players who failed at Liverpool. Fernando Torres is an example of succes. From the beginning I was quite sure he would make it in England. He’s a very physical player. And that’s what you need in England – you have to play with your entire body.
But in my current Bundesliga season I’ve seen many good players and good teams. I didn’t come here to relax and enjoy my life. I came here do to my job. I also have to concentrate myself here like I did it before in England and to be as good as used to be there.
Which Bundesliga player could make it in the Premier League?
Edin Dzeko for sure. He would be absolutely able to make it. It also depends of how much you want to change your style. Before I came to Germany I was asking myself if my style fits to the Bundesliga. And I was quite sure I’m going to adapt very quickly. According to the style, Bundesliga is the only European league that is the most similar to the English league. In Spain and Italy the football is completely different.
What is characteristic for the German football?
German football is very body emphatic. And every Bundesliga team has enough players who can run very good. I think, the typical German footballer is a running machine. Furthermore, the national team shows a great mental strength. Every time there’s a big tournament the German team always participates to the end. Even if they play bad in the qualifying round and you think they’re not going to make it this time. When the tournament finally begins they are showing their mental strength.
Was this the reason why Didi Hamann took the first penalty in Istanbul in 2005? Because he was the only German in the squad?
I would say, because he was rather an easygoing person. He could cope with the pressure very good. However, it wasn’t me to decide who would take the penalty. Maybe he just simply came forward as the first one?
At the end of this season will you be having something to celebrate again?
I hope so. We have a Finish saying: If it going good, you want more. At the start of the season we set ourselves a goal to play in Europe. If someone said to us those days we’d be unbeaten after 25 match days and on the third place in the league table … Only a crazy one wouldn’t accept that! After all, Leverkusen finished 9th last season. Our won matches gave us a lot of self confidence.
If you reached the Champions League, would you like to play against Liverpool?
If they are going to qualify … Please ask me this question again when I’m we’re going to play in the Champions League!
I still remember vividly the horrible images on TV as I tuned in to watch my beloved Liverpool take on Juventus in the European Cup final on the 29th May 1985. Many friends and members of my family supported Juventus, so you can imagine my anticipation for this game. As I was waiting for the game to start the RAI (Italian TV) announcer started to explain what was going on and why the match had been delayed. “Some Liverpool fans had rushed into the side where the Juventus supporters were and a wall has collapsed, there are some injured Juve fans” he explained. Suddenly his voice changed and said “There are reports of some dead”. At that moment I knew that this was very serious and although I wanted the game to proceed it was obvious that things were going to be different. The game did eventually proceed as there were fears of rioting had it been cancelled. Juve won the game and claimed their first European Cup, the next day we heard that the number of dead was 39.
“How can you keep supporting a team with such barbarians?” was the question many within my family asked. While I was disgusted with the behaviour of such fans I kept my head up high and was still proud to be a Liverpool supporter.
During the 70′s and 80′s hooliganism was often referred to as the ‘British disease’. In the 70′s, Manchester United fans created havoc across the country when their hooligan firm “The Red Army” turned every ground they visited into a battle zone. A Bolton fan stabbed a Blackpool fan to death in 1974, Leeds served a two year ban from European football after their fans rioted during the 1975 European Cup final. A few months before Heysel a large riot erupted in the FA Cup quarter final between Milwall and Luton. Just a couple of weeks before the tragedy in Brussels a 14 year old died at St. Andrews when police pushed the crowd back towards a wall. Many of the hooligans did not care about football but simply hated authority and joined the football bandwagon as it provided them with an opportunity to create mayhem. In 1984 Roma fans attacked some Liverpool supporters during the European Cup Final in Rome so there was also a sense of revenge in the air.
Unfortunately there are many (Man Utd and Everton Supporters especially) who use the Heysel tragedy in order to justify (in their minds) the reason why they lack European silverware. What are they achieving by calling Liverpool supporters (who most were not even born in 1985) murderers? Unlike Hillsborough, justice was served after Heysel and the guilty ones served their time. So why are all the other Liverpool supporters blamed? Do we go around calling the young Germans murderers because of what happened in the holocaust? Of course not, so these chants of “murderers” must stop and the dead must be respected.
Some accuse us of brushing Heysel aside and ignoring it, no that is not true and this article is evidence of that. Also evidence has been how the club has reached out to Juventus over the years. If there is someone who brushed the tragedy aside it was the The Belgian authorities who later renamed the stadium to “King Baudouin Stadium”.
Below is a video of the tragedy, our thoughts are prayers are with the families and friends of the victims, In Memoria e Amicizia
Liverpool forums are exploding tonight with supporters outraged over replica shirts being sold in the club store. The shirts have number 96 on the back and “Justice” instead of the name of the players. The timing couldn’t have been worse, it comes just the day after Tom Hicks was boasting on how much money he was going to make from the Liverpool sale.
The photo above courtesy of http://forum.raotl.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=158825 shows the shirts on display next to the Gerrard replicas. Fans are upset that the club is making money off Hillsborough in this way and as far as we know none of the money is going to any of the Hillsborough charities.
My take on the whole thing:
I personally think that whoever had this idea did not think about the implications. Many Liverpool supporters have in the past customised their shirts with the 96 number and “Justice” as the player name. They did this out of their choosing and did not pick one ready off the rack. Whoever had this idea failed to realise that Hillsbrough is a very sensitive subject and you just can’t profit from it like this. Had they offered a percentage of the proceeds to one of the charities then it would have been hailed by many. I am sure that by the time I wake up tomorrow morning there will be a response to this and the shirts will probably be withdrawn.