We are champions of Europe. We have, as manager, one the best tacticians of the modern game. We’ve got a core group of good players who are experienced and hungry for more glory. And we’re adding more players to this group, players who could play a major part in the new Rafa-Revolution.
We offered him £100,000-a-week.
And after all this, he says he wants to leave.
My first reaction was one of fury. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This is his boyhood club. He was – is – our captain.
Remember the comeback in Istanbul? Remember how, in the words of Phil Thompson:
“He picked up that team and drove it. You had that six foot-plus figure running at them [AC Milan] and scaring the life out of them. It was a magnificent sight.”
But now, I’ve become resigned to the fact the he’s going. Although I’m still holding out hope that he ends up choosing Real Madrid over Chelsea, ‘cos I’d sure as hell hate to see him play against us in the EPL.
We could certainly use the money, of course. £40 million, or £35 million, or even £32 million, can add a lot of good players to the side. More cash is expected from the eventual offloading of players like Kewell, etc so we will find ourselves in a good financial position to challenge the others.
And regarding the question of who’ll be the one to fill in Stevie G’s shoes as captain, well, it’s a foregone conclusion, isn’t it? Jamie Carragher, the player in Shankly’s own image, the perennial loyal servant of the only club he’ll ever love. Indeed, in that Champions League final, it was as if we had TWO captains, with both Stevie G and Carra double-teaming to inspire the players and fans towards achieving that spectacular finale.
Nevertheless, Carra’s not a player who drives the team forward to attack. Some say we already have such a player in Xabi Alonso. We already know of his considerable talent for passing and creating opportunities, and his vision in going forward. But can he lead the team forward in attack, creating fear and panic in the hearts of the opposing defence?
Here’s hoping he does.
28 years ago, a few months after I was born, Liverpool reached the pinnacle of success – European Cup victory – for the very first time under manager Bob Paisley. A few months after that, our star player, the leading light of the glorious team of the 70’s – Kevin Keegan – left Liverpool for Hamburg SV, while still at the peak of his game.
Suppporters were stunned and distraught. “What now?”, they asked. “How can we replace a player who had been such an integral part of the success we had achieved?”, they lamented.
Then the club went and bought Kenny Dalglish as Keegan’s replacement, and the rest is spectacular history.
We supporters like to tell everyone that no man is above the club. Now it’s time to walk the walk.
Let’s prove the doubters wrong, Men of Anfield. Lead the way, Captain Carragher.
Viva la Rafa-lution!!
- I want to leave Anfield – Gerrard [BBC Sport]
- LFC Press Statement Regarding Gerrard [LiverpoolFC.tv]
- The Steven Gerrard saga [BBC Sport]
- The making of £32m Gerrard [BBC Sport]
- Parry: We Did Everything We Could [LiverpoolFC.tv]
- Gerrard anguish at Anfield exit [Soccernet]
- Fury as Gerrard auction begins [Guardian UK]