Steven Gerrard Bids a Bittersweet Farewell to Chelsea and Stamford Bridge

The Chelsea fans showed respect for a couple of seconds for me, but slaughtered me all game so I’m not going to get drawn into wishing the Chelsea fans well.

It’s nice of them to turn up for once today. The standing ovation from a stadium is always nice, but what’s important to me is the Liverpool fans and they have been there since day one.

~ Steven Gerrard

Spoken like a true competitor and like a Red through and through.  And I think it’s great.  There was just the right amount of respect and disdain from both sides.  The Chelsea fans appreciate Gerrard and his commitment to Liverpool as well as his passion for the game.  But they aren’t about to give him a farewell tour and shower him with gifts a la Derek Jeter with the Yankees. They are Chelsea fans and while they admire him, they also don’t care for him or Liverpool. So they applaud him when he leaves the pitch as a sign of respect for his career, but howl at him while he’s on the pitch trying to score against their beloved Blues. A sense of humanity swept over the Chelsea faithful as they saw one of their favorite pantomime villains leave the stage for the last time.  I can only imagine that the loss of Gerrard will allow them to turn their animus to their own players as they seem to rule atop the Premier League without any clear rivals.

But not that Gerrard is bitter about the reception from the fans or would expect anything different.  He wasn’t looking for a warm reception, which is why he used the chance to get in one last jab at the Chelsea fans.  He wasn’t seduced by the applause as he left the field.  He thanked them for the kind gesture, but reminded them that they will always be second class to the fans at Anfield that have supported him from the beginning.

Fernando Torres On Hard Work

My managers taught me to work because that’s the only way to get a reward. It’s what I’ve always done and it’s the only way I know, so I’ll keep preparing for the games the same way.

Fernando Torres, February 2012

Despite a year long slump in form, Fernando Torres knows that hard work is the only way out of a slump. Young players should keep his words in mind when seeking a bit of inspiration during a dry spell. More from ESPN.

Best Soccer Quotes: Andre Villas-Boas The Not-So-Special One

Don’t expect something from one man. I was appointed for human qualities. I don’t see the game as a one-man show, I see the game as the getting together of collective ideas and good players. The most important thing is to motivate the players to get their ambitions right.

             ~ Andre Villas-Boas, 22 June 2011
Andre Villas Boas was appointed as the manager of Chelsea and immediately worked to distinguish himself from his Portugeuse countryman, Jose Mourinho. Most papers declared him as the Not-So-Special One and his team’s results in 2011 give him a worse record than the much maligned Luis Scolari during his brief tenure at Chelsea.

Daily Soccer Quotes: Jose Mourinho after God

I am not worried about pressure. If I wanted to have an easy job, working with the big protection of what I have already done before, I would have stayed at Porto – beautiful blue chair, the Uefa Champions League trophy, God, and after God, me. If I stayed there and lost 10 matches and didn’t win another Champions League people would still trust me and think I am the best.

~ Jose Mourinho, 10 July 2004

At least he said that he comes after God.