Gerrard’s farewell press conference: What he REALLY meant

Gerrard’s farewell press conference: What he REALLY meant


Premier League – Gerrard’s farewell press conference: What he REALLY meant

Steven Gerrard held a press conference on Thursday ahead of his final appearance for Liverpool at Anfield.

As ever, Gerrard proved to be humble, diplomatic and very nice, as well as a tiny bit boring. That’s not a trait limited to the Liverpool skipper in these days of intense media training.

But what did he really want to say as he surveyed 17 years as a Liverpool player?

Here’s our attempt to read between the lines…

On how he feels about saying goodbye to Anfield

“Yeah I’m good. I’m looking forward to it. I am looking forward to the match. I want to win the game desperately; I want to finish on a high at Anfield in front of our supporters. But there is no getting away from it: at the end of that game, when I get my chance to say goodbye, it’s going to be an emotional time.”

What he really meant: “Have you seen the temperature in Los Angeles during the winter? Yes I’ll be crying. Crying tears of joy at the thought of moving into my £16.8m Hollywood mansion. Did I mention it overlooks the Pacific Ocean?”

On his time at the club

“I look back at it with pride. I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved here, all the trophies I’ve won and all the great memories I’ve had. Certainly, not winning the Premier League will be a dent in that. There is nothing I can do about it now. It’s certainly a regret but I have got to look at the bigger picture. Growing up as a boy and dreaming of playing for Liverpool, sitting here now with 708 appearances, I’ve achieved an awful lot more than I thought I would at the beginning.”

What he really meant: “’This does not f*****g slip now, this does not f*****g slip now, this does not f*****g slip now, this does not f*****g slip now, this does not f*****g slip now’. God, why do you hate me so?”

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Demba Ba, left, pounced on Steven Gerrard’s slip to shatter Liverpool’s title dreams

On Liverpool’s progression next season

“I think this season we fell a bit short but I still feel that there is a fantastic core of players here, with huge potential, and we’re hoping that the owners will back Brendan again and bring in that bit of quality that can help us go one step further next year. We’ve come very close in a couple of cup competitions this year and we’ve also got close to the top-four positions and that’s with losing arguably the best player in the world last year in Luis Suarez and also not having our striker not available for much of the season in Daniel Sturridge. To come so close without those two available, I think we’ve done okay, but I think next year we can go one better.”

What he really meant: “Another one or two Mario Balotellis and we might lose in the FA Cup final and finish fourth with any luck.”

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Mario Balotelli

On whether he will play in the last game of the season against Stoke

“You will have to ask Brendan what his next two team selections are going to be but I want to play every minute possible, he will know that, and I think you people know that that’s what I intend to do. I want to put in a good performance personally at the weekend and try and get a win and say goodbye to everyone at Anfield and the supporters worldwide. But I want to be involved against Stoke.

What he really meant: “I can’t leave England without saying goodbye to the only team-mate who hit more Hollywood passes than me from midfield, Charlie Adam.”

On dominating the build-up to Saturday’s game

“I’m not really one for attention and focus and I feel sorry for my team-mates this week. All I can do is apologise if I have taken the attention away from the players. It has never been my intention to grab any glory; I’m aware it’s all about the team and this club. From day one I’ve always tried to pull in the right direction for the team and unfortunately this weekend it is only normal after 17 years that the attention falls on me and I apologise.”

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Steven Gerrard, Liverpool

What he really meant: “Mario’s delighted. He accidentally set fire to Chris Smalling’s hot tub with an ill-advised pyrotechnic display but none of you lot noticed he was behind it because you’re all talking about me.”

On his emotions at the weekend

“I haven’t got a clue what it’s going to be like at the end of the game when I get the chance to say goodbye for real. I’ve been dreading this moment in a strange way, because I am going to miss it so much: playing at Anfield, in front of these fans, playing with my team-mates. It will be emotional but the plan is to keep it together, stay strong, try and avoid the tears. Will we see a few tears? I hope not.”

What he really meant: “I’ll be blubbing like a One Direction fan who’s just found out Zayn’s leaving.”

On what an eight-year-old Gerrard would have made of his career

“He would certainly have grabbed it with both hands. If someone had said to me going into the academy, as it’s called now, at eight years of age when I used to get two buses up to Anfield to train, that you are going to play 708 games for Liverpool and you are going to win the trophies you are going to win, but you are going to have some low moments and some high moments, I’d have said, ‘yeah go on, that’d do for me, I’ll take that’.”

What he really meant: “An eight-year-old Gerrard would have rather done all this while playing forEverton.”

On glory in Istanbul

“Still to this day the hairs on the back of my neck stick up. It was the best night of my life. It’s the pinnacle of every footballer domestically; it’s the best cup to win. It’s just the way we went about it and the way the evening panned out, I think it’s going to go down in history as the best Champions League final ever, and as captain of that team there was no prouder man on the planet that night.”

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Liverpool’s captain English midfielder Steven Gerrard holds the trophy after winning the Champions League final …

What he really meant: “I still have no idea how that happened. I mean, Igor Biscan was playing. And Djimi Traore. DJIMI TRAORE.“

On the support shown to him by Liverpool fans

“They have given me incredible support since day one. They have been there for me during this journey. As I said, there have been some cruel lows and I have had some incredible highs but their support to me has never changed. There might be a few individuals who have changed their opinion on me over the 17 years, and that’s fine, but I think as a whole, at Anfield and around the world, I’ve had incredible support. So that will be the most emotional goodbye.”

What he really meant: “Anfield’s good and all, but I’m gutted I never got to experience the intimidating, red-hot atmosphere of Stamford Bridge as a home player. Just think, all those little plastic flags. What a sight it must be.”

On his managerial ambitions

“I think in a couple of years’ time, when I’ve come out of the city for a bit and reflected, if there’s a role on offer that I feel I can contribute in and I’m good enough for then I’ll certainly consider it. I’ve been coming to this club since I’ve been eight years of age and I do feel as if I can contribute in some role in the future.”

What he really meant: “If Brendan is looking for someone to write some names in some envelopes, I’m his man.”

On his legacy

“There’s been many a great player before me, many a great role model and inspiration who helped me achieve what I have done today. If younger players want to look to me and take little bit from my game and see what I’ve done on and off the pitch for the last 17 years and that helps them, I’ll be a very proud man.”

What he really meant: “Not enough players are getting sent off for ludicrous tackles in derby matches these days.”

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Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard clashes with Manchester United’s Ander Herrera resulting in a red card for Gerrard

On his managers

“With Brendan, I’ve enjoyed the last three years with him and I almost wish I met him a lot earlier, when I was in the peak of my playing days, because I certainly think I’d be here talking about trophies now.”

What he really meant: “Brendan wouldn’t have started banging on about facts in 2009.”

On the next generation

“This club is renowned for bring talent through: Robbie Fowler, Steve McManaman, Michael Owen,David Thompson, Danny Murphy signed from Crewe at a later age, Jamie, me, Jon Flanagan, and you see Jordon Ibe and Raheem Sterling now. If the players are good enough and they get themselves into a position and they’re prepared for it, Brendan has shown that he’ll give them a chance and I’m sure managers in the future will.”

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Liverpool’s Jordan Ibe and Besiktas’ Olcay Sahan (left) battle for the ball

What he really meant: “Given our transfer record is so bad, the kids are going to be the only option.”

On Raheem Sterling

“I’m always going to be biased toward this club and I said earlier in the week my advice to Raheem is, where he’s at now at his age, I think he needs a manager who believes in him, who’s going to play him, to help coach him. I think there’s nobody better out there than Brendan Rodgers. My opinion is he should sign a new deal here, I think it’d be the best for his career but that’s something I can’t control.”

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Raheem Sterling

What he really meant: “First he should hand in a transfer request and demand a move to Chelsea. That’s the best way to conduct these things.”

And finally…

“I think the danger for these younger players is that they want it all too soon and they chase it. They become one of a number if they go to any other club and they don’t get that attention or that love or care that they’d get at Liverpool.”

What he really meant: “Yeah, but they might get a league title or two…”