|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool|
2020 01 06 Retrieve
[Former Reds defender Stephen Warnock is not surprised to see Curtis Jones the youngster thriving after first spotting his ability in an U18 game at St George’s Park when Gerrard was coaching in the youth ranks] I remember coming off the pitch and saying to Steven, ‘who’s the number 10?’ Because he just glides past players, making it look so effortless, so easy. Steven turned around and said Jones has everything to become a top player. If his attitude is right, he’ll make it to the top. That’s coming from someone like Steven. Jones is maturing and is under the right manager who is giving him trust to go out and express himself, to play the way he wants
There is an incredible balance to Liverpool’s squad. To put the Liverpool record on the line at Anfield, by putting a young team out like that and believe they can get the right result, I thought it was brilliant. The biggest challenge for Klopp was how you are going to manage being in so many competitions this season with the squad you have. It was a risk and it paid off
2020 04 16 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock rejects null-and-void suggestions] First and foremost, health and safety is the most important thing for everyone. It’s a contact sport, so there have to be a lot of considerations. A lot has been spoken about testing players before they go back, quarantined hotels, games behind closed doors. The big question is will it end and when. I think the season has to finish. I’m not saying that as a fan of Liverpool but as a fan in general. I’d be saying the same if I supported anyone, even down the bottom end. I wouldn’t want to stay in the Premier League by default. I look at Coventry, Crewe, Leeds, West Brom – there are so many scenarios to play out. The season has to play out because of all the unsolved permutations
[Warnock was at Anfield for Liverpool’s last fixture, their Champions League last-16 defeat to Atletico Madrid on March 11] You and I were at the game. The first thing I heard when I got to the ground was that the tunnel was shut. No media. Protect the players at all costs. If we’re honest we were all a bit blasé about it, we didn’t realise the severity of disease, just how contagious it was. We were all sat in the media room, anyone could have had it and we wouldn’t have had a clue. It’s only come to light in recent weeks just how bad it is. Before that there was naivety from a lot of people thinking it wouldn’t affect them, and now we’re seeing the full effects. Looking back, it is surprising game went ahead. The biggest surprise to me was that Madrid fans weren’t allowed to travel in Spain, but were allowed to come to England, we don’t know the impact that that decision had, do we? I’m surprised it took so long, seeing how quickly other leagues reacted. I don’t think it had hit our country the way it hit others, but the Premier League thought they could ride it out for longer. Looking back - was it the right thing to do?
No one can prepare for this. World leaders don’t know how to deal with it, so how do you deal with it from a football perspective? The country, the world, has come to a halt. At the end of the day, for the players football is a job. When they can’t go to work, they’re going to be affected. The hardest thing is that it’s out of your hands. You can’t go into training to train harder; someone could pull the plug on the whole thing. The mindset of the Liverpool players has been so positive, they just have to be ready for whatever comes. There’s no other way. If you start thinking negatively it won’t achieve anything.
I think it might also offer some perspective for players. For a footballer, there are days when you think ‘I can’t be bothered with this’ and it does become a job. I know fans will say ‘if I could change positions with you just for a day’. I get that. This step away shows players what could be taken away from them. It’s almost like players now can get the feeling that I got when I retired, it’s been taken away you can’t do anything about it. I miss it like crazy, the banter in the dressing room, and players will be craving it now, believe me. They’ll have their WhatsApp groups and their chats, but it soon slows down. You have to change your mentality and look forward, think of the positives. The biggest thing is to try and put yourself in a routine, set a goal every day. The people around you are so important
2020 04 27 Retrieve
[Stephen Warnock says Alexander-Arnold’s standout performance against Leicester inspired Liverpool’s best display of season] I thought Liverpool just dominated the game. It was one of those games where everyone was looking at it as a potential banana skin, going to Leicester, a difficult game, but Trent in that game especially was just unplayable, everything he did was incredible. When he stepped onto that ball [for his goal] I’m thinking, ‘Take a touch, take it further into the box.’ But such was his confidence and the way he was, the strike was just magnificent. It sort of showed how far he has come as a player as well; it wasn’t just a moment for Liverpool, it was a moment for Trent as well. For everyone to sit up and realise how much quality he actually possesses
[Since that game against Leicester, Jurgen Klopp’s side have almost doubled their lead at the top to 25 points] That was another moment in the season where everyone looked, they had gone to Leicester and destroyed them. Leicester were second in the league at the time and everyone thought if Leicester were to win the game or draw, it would draw people back in. It was the best display of the season, for me
2020 05 25 Retrieve
[Ex-Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock reveals fury at being left out of 2005 Champions League final] When I hear it described as being one of Liverpool’s greatest ever nights, it leaves a very sour taste. It still hurts now, actually - the way it was handled was absolutely shocking. I was in the original squad when the team sheet up was put up at the training ground a few days before the game, and I was absolutely ecstatic. Then a couple of hours later, I got a call from Rafa Benitez’s assistant, Pako Ayesteran, saying there had been a mistake. Josemi was in instead. Even that was poor - the fact that Rafa did not have the bottle to ring me himself. He did speak to me briefly on the pitch after the game, but I was not in the mood at all, I was still seething. I had been the same during the game. Don’t get me wrong, it was never to the point where I wanted them to lose, because Liverpool were my club and they were my team-mates out there, but it hurts when you are not involved and I was sitting there in the stands thinking about it the whole time. You almost switch off from what is happening in the game. If you look at the celebrations afterwards, a lot of people are on all the different photos but I am nowhere to be seen. I couldn’t bring myself to stand there, it just did not feel right. You feel like you have been let down
The worst thing was the flight home, though. They put the wives of those who had played on the plane, ahead of some players who had made key contributions in Europe that season, which was just shocking. We got back to John Lennon Airport on a later flight to the team and, when we landed, the victory parade had already started. You could not get to the bus because of the crowds, so I just went home. That was the moment I made my mind up that I had to leave the club
2020 06 15 Retrieve
[Football club owners must ask themselves why the number of black managers in the game remains so low, according to former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock] This is a question more for owners of football clubs - people who are employing people. Are they getting the same opportunities? We’re not sure. You look at the Rooney rule when that was brought in. We had a similar sort of thing coming into the game in England and the Premier League, the Football League and the FA. What’s the process that clubs go through and how do they look at managers?
[Spells at Macclesfield and MK Dons preceded the former Manchester United midfielder’s move to Blackburn, and Warnock insists each individual should be appointed on ability - not skin colour] It wasn’t even a talking point. It wasn’t even something that had crossed any of the players’ minds at all. He was the right man for the job. He had done a great job at Macclesfield then he did a good job at MK Dons and he deserved a shot at coming into Blackburn and being a Premier League manager. There was nothing about race discussed in any way, and nor should there be. He was there on merit as being the worthy candidate who got the job