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.

Brendan Rogers: Dive! Dive! Dive!

It has been a criticism of the last few years of players going down too easy. It is not something we want to encourage but if you’re not going to get decisions because of it players may do that.

~ Brendan Rogers, 27 September 2012

In fairness, he is mostly just venting, however this is the wrong message and I don’t think Liverpool, or any other club, need much encouragement when it comes to diving.

Bill Shankly On Ability and Courage

When you’re looking for players you’re looking for ability. But you’re looking for courage as well. Ability without courage is no good. The two of them combine something. I mean courage to control the ball in gross situations. Not to be afraid of the opposition.

Bill Shankly

This might be called the Shankly formula for success. Ability + Courage = Footballing Greatness.

Kenny Dalglish After Liverpool v. Manchester United and Suarez Ignoring Evra

I’ll have to take your word for it, I wasn’t there. Ask him, take it from him … I think you’re very severe and bang out of order to blame Luis Suarez for anything that happened here today. Both sets of fans behaved really well, there was banter between each other, no problem.

~ Kenny Dalglish, February 12, 2002

Dalglish has remained a staunch supporter of Suarez and defended him in post match discussions to the press despite the fact that Suarez did not shake hands with Evra. Suarez later apologized for his actions and Dalglish gave the following statement and apology:

“I was shocked to hear that the player had not shaken hands having been told earlier in the week that he would do,” Dalglish said. “All of us have a responsibility to represent this club in a fit and proper manner and that applies equally to me as Liverpool manager. When I went on TV after yesterday’s game I hadn’t seen what had happened but I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager during that interview and I’d like to apologise for that.”

Sir Alex Ferguson Quote about Luis Suarez

For a club with their history, I’d get rid of him, I really would. He is a disgrace to Liverpool Football Club. That player should not be allowed to play for Liverpool again. The history that club has got … and he does that today. It could have caused a riot.

~ Sir Alex Ferguson

Luis Suarez refused to shake hands with Patrice Evra after Suarez was banned for eight games for racial abuse. Evra was his accuser.