|Desc||Ignore the acrimonious exit. McManaman was one of Liverpool’s best players throughout the nineties, before becoming the most decorated Englishman to have played abroad|
|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
- 2013 12 03
- Former Liverpool players Steve McManaman and Rob Jones sit with the Liverpool staff during the Barclays Premier League Under 21 fixture between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Langtree Park in St Helens, England
2016 12 07 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman recounts his initiation ceremony at Real Madrid following his move from Anfield in 1999] I found the dressing room at Madrid quite normal. We went out for a meal. I couldn’t speak Spanish but I had to get up and sing a song. That was my initiation. It was very funny because Rob Jones was over visiting and I said ‘we’re all going out tonight, do you want to come?’
So we all went out, the whole team, and he was with me. I got up and sang – I can’t remember what it was, probably The Beatles or something – and they didn’t have a clue what I was saying
Then they turned to Rob Jones and said ‘right, now it’s your turn!’, So he had to get up and sing as well!
We very rarely went out as a team to be honest, it was mainly something we’d do at the start of the season. But Rob came over the next time and ended up out with us again! That was my initiation, to sing a song with Rob
[Steve McManaman talks about growing up watching Everton] I was at the very famous game where Glen Keeley got sent off and Ian Rush scored. Everton got beat by five at Goodison, and I’m sat bereft as an Evertonian in the Gwladys Street – a junior Evertonian thinking ‘what’s just gone on there?!’. I knew I was going to school on the Monday, I would be getting taunted. That’s how it was
But thankfully I went through that age of 84, 85, 86. Peter Reid, Bracewell, winning the FA Cup, the league, the Cup Winners’ Cup. I was a teenager going to watch that great team, with Sheedy and Trevor Steven and Sharpy and Andy Gray. I was one of the lucky few, to be able to really appreciate that. How lucky was I?
For the 1984 FA Cup final against Watford, I went with my Dad to Wembley. Things don’t get better than that – to go to Wembley and watch your team win, singing songs with my Dad and his mates as a 12-year-old they don’t get better! It was the best thing ever for me
[Steve McManaman talks about learning at Liverpool] I joined Liverpool at 16, and it was great. They were in their pomp then. They had John Barnes, I cleaned his boots, Ronnie Whelan, Steve Nicol, Alan Hansen. To learn from those people, I had the greatest teachers in the world
And they weren’t arrogant, they just wanted to win. Whether it was Kenny Dalglish or Roy Evans or Ronnie Moran, they’d win and it’d be like ‘right, forget about that, let’s go and win again’. They taught me the most incredible values. To train, to play, to mix with these players as an apprentice and then join them as a professional they taught me everything about football
When you play for Liverpool or Real Madrid, the history is all around you. It’s not about winning a youth cup or a reserve league or a game on a Saturday for the first team. It’s Kenny Dalglish scoring against Bruges, or Phil Neal in Rome, Graeme Souness, Phil Thompson, Emlyn Hughes lifting European Cups. That’s what’s on the wall! You’ve never arrived until you’ve added to the club’s history. You’re never as good as what’s gone on before you!
[Steve McManaman talks about leaving Liverpool] It wasn’t financial, because the money Liverpool offered me to stay was virtually on a par. I wanted to leave. At that time I had never played in the Champions League, which was a huge thing. I was playing really good football and I needed to test myself. I felt that I needed to go. I wanted to go abroad, I didn’t want to play for somebody against Liverpool. I was playing good football and I had the right kind of clubs interested in me – Barcelona, Madrid and Juventus
I nearly went to Italy. I was taking Italian lessons that year, I’d spoken to Ian Rush and David Platt. But December/January came around, and Madrid were interested. They were European Champions, World Champions, they were the best team in the world. That white kit, Di Stefano, Puskas, all that. And so it was Madrid
[Steve McManaman talks about the difference between Liverpool and Real Madrid] At Liverpool, especially towards the end of my career there, I always felt that the onus was on me to make things happen. Whereas at Madrid, we had seven players who could do that!
It was easy to settle in, it was just easy to get the ball, pass it to someone in a better position than you and invariably someone would produce a little bit of magic. If it was Figo’s turn to do the magic, he would. If it wasn’t then it was Zizou’s turn, or Ronaldo’s turn or Raul’s turn. It was the way it was
2019 07 05 Retrieve
[on Vicente del Bosque] There should be statues of Del Bosque in every Spanish city given what he has achieved for that country, but most of all in Madrid
2020 02 21 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Bukayo Saka may be sparking interest from Liverpool but the Reds should only be interested if the Arsenal youngster ever became available as a free agent] He looks like a really good player, but he’s incredibly young. If there are contract issues and he ever becomes available on a free transfer then that’s a no brainer because you’re taking someone on a free contract who’s young and has a lot of potential. If he continues his development at left-back, then he’s not as good as Andy Robertson at the moment. If he does join Liverpool then he’s got a long wait and Liverpool already have a couple of young left-backs waiting in the wings who we’ve seen in the FA Cup this year, who would probably be on a par with Bukayo Saka at this moment in time. It all depends on numerous things such as economics and whether it’s a deal that Liverpool thinks is worth doing. They may think that it’s a deal not necessarily in need, but they may do it anyway
2020 03 05 Retrieve
[on Raheem Sterling] Regarding Raheem’s long-term future, I think the thing for him is to continue his career in England, playing under Pep Guardiola, playing for one of the best sides and playing against the best opposition
2020 03 21 Retrieve
[Former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman has warned Erling Braut Haaland against joining the Spanish giants this summer] It’s too soon for him to leave Borussia Dortmund. He seems to be happy and more importantly he’s playing regularly and scoring goals. He should stay, he should play and he should get a couple of more years under his belt. He should move when he’s a more experienced player after playing 200 or so games for Dortmund and playing 20 to 30 games in the Champions League, which he should do. He can’t just go and jump ship and go to a977707a55543ac1d591c5125ccdb2db. You’ve seen what’s happened to Luka Jovic this season, he’s hardly kicked a ball for a977707a55543ac1d591c5125ccdb2db after having a wonderful season last year in Germany. Haaland doesn’t need that pressure. On top of that, I’ve heard that a977707a55543ac1d591c5125ccdb2db are interested in Kylian Mbappe instead, so both of them don’t need to be there at the same time
2020 03 22 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman doubts Real Madrid interest in Paul Pogba] He hasn’t played enough football this season for sides like Madrid to be genuinely interested in him
If he stays, plays and gets back to full fitness at Manchester United, I certainly think that he will get back into the starting XI very easily. Nemanja Matic is a year older, Juan Mata is a year older and Paul is definitely good enough to play in those positions alongside Bruno Fernandes, so I don’t think there’s any problem there
He’s certainly got the quality to play in the Manchester United midfield as long as he’s fit and healthy, but we’ve been waiting to hear from Paul Pogba all year regarding his future. Pogba has yet to say whether he wants to stay or whether he wants to leave
2020 03 24 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool winger Steve McManaman has insisted that there is no chance of Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah leaving the club for La Liga this summer] Real Madrid already have Eden Hazard, they bought Rodrygo last summer and they’ve just invested in Reinier in January, so I’d take a rumour like that with a pinch of salt. Regardless of how the Champions League turns out this season, the best teams in the world at present are the English teams. Real Madrid and Barcelona are not. They both want to start again and bring in a few new players because they’ve both had disappointing seasons this year, so they’re both going to start turning their teams over. I don’t think there’s any chance of either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah going to either Real Madrid or Barcelona
2020 03 28 Retrieve
[The expectation to deliver major silverware on an annual basis makes life at ‘Real Madrid very much like Liverpool’, says Steve McManaman] Real Madrid is very much like Liverpool, as in two huge clubs in their particular countries, steeped in history, always looking at the past.
You have got these pictures all over the walls at Liverpool – it will be Emlyn Hughes, it will be Graeme Souness, Phil Thompson lifting these European Cups. In Madrid it was the same, you’ve got [Alfredo] Di Stefano, [Francisco] Gento, [Ferenc] Puskas, you’ve got pictures everywhere and the pressure is on every single season to win a trophy.
And if it’s not the league, it’s the Champions League. You have to deliver silverware, and that was exactly the same at Liverpool. So when I went to Madrid, the faces were different and they spoke a foreign language but the pressure to win trophies was all that mattered.
If you had a barren year – the year before they had finished second in the league and hadn’t won any silverware, the pressure was on again for Real Madrid. You had to achieve. It was quite easy for me. Of course settling in and getting on with your team-mates who all speak a foreign language that you’re trying to learn as quickly as possible, that’s difficult and can be lonely but you have to try your best.
2020 04 19 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman denies Liverpool suffered from problems with mentality] We just had a few more failings certainly than the side now but against the teams back then that just pipped us to the title. You know on our day we could beat the majority of them, we could outplay the majority of them over the season
We may have played more attractive football or scored more goals than them but it’s the couple of failings that we had. Maybe our rivals had a better squad or a couple of better players.
I don’t think it was a mentality thing or anything like that. It’s just every single year there’s one team that beats everyone else unfortunately and if you don’t get to the top of the mountain then you can’t say you achieved it.
That was one thing we all look back on and think were we good enough, we were on our day but over a 38-game period we probably didn’t just have enough.
2020 05 14 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Timo Werner may not be ready for the step up at Liverpool] There’s people like Werner who has been linked with a move to the Premier League and Liverpool, but I do not know if he is ready for that step up yet. He’s young, he’s quick, he’s got an eye for goal, he has played for his country. It would be great if Liverpool could acquire him just to strengthen the squad, he is only going to get better. Has he got the quality to usurp the front three? Probably not yet. But he is certainly one for the future
2020 05 18 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Timo Werner would be little more than a squad player] There’s people like Werner who has been linked with a move to the Premier League and Liverpool, but I do not know if he is ready for that step up yet. He’s young, he’s quick, he’s got an eye for goal, he has played for his country. It would be great if Liverpool could acquire him just to strengthen the squad, he is only going to get better. Has he got the quality to usurp the front three? Probably not yet. But he is certainly one for the future
2020 06 11 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Barcelona and Real Madrid are unlikely to appeal to Jurgen Klopp but an opportunity to return to his native Germany at Bayern Munich could lure a highly-rated coach away from Liverpool] I think he really adores Liverpool and the Premier League. But you could see him going back to Germany and managing Bayern Munich. The way that club is run - and the way German managers are treated there - you wouldn’t rule it out. A few years ago it looked like Bayern were on their last legs. But now, along with the more experienced players, they’ve got a plethora of youngsters who are hungry. I’m not sure Klopp has any desire to manage Real Madrid or Barcelona and I don’t see why he’d go to La Liga though. They don’t have the aura that they did when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were doing battle every week. There is also all the politics behind the scenes at Barca with the board and players. Real is a different scenario. They need to refresh their squad and they are bringing in young players like Vinicius Junior - but they aren’t ready yet
2020 06 13 Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Jurgen Klopp’s decision not to pursue Timo Werner should come as no surprise] I think it’s going to be difficult this year for teams to spend a lot of money in the current climate. Teams are losing money, we know that, there’s no gate receipts, sponsorship deals will have to be rebated. I don’t think Liverpool will have the year they had when they bought Alisson and Virgil van Dijk but I don’t think they actually need that much to challenge again next year. It’s a case of picking and choosing your position, so a very sensible, prudent signing and maybe a couple of younger players joining the squad should suffice. You’d love them to go and buy a superstar but when has Jurgen Klopp gone out and bought a superstar that was at the tip of everyone’s tongue? Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, at the time, were signings that came out of left-field to a certain extent. You never know with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp, they’ve done a great job in the past with signings and maybe they’ve got one up their sleeve for the summer.
[McManaman is not overly concerned about having seen the Reds turn their back on Werner] It wasn’t a surprise for me. I spoke about Timo Werner a month ago. I think he’s a great player and can improve to be a better player, like with Kai Havertz, but if they joined Liverpool now they wouldn’t get into the starting XI. That’s a major problem when you’re shelling out £50, 60, 70m for a superstar player in Germany, you can’t then bring them to your team and put them onto the bench for half a season. I think he’s a really good player and a great goalscorer and he’ll suit Chelsea because of the forward options they’ve got at the moment. They’re crying out for a Timo Werner to be very honest. He might not get into Man City’s team, so he’s not one for them and I think it’s exactly the same for Liverpool. I think we just put Werner with Liverpool because of Klopp, that’s all it was. Klopp’s said nice things about the players but he would do as a manager as his record speaks for itself
2020 06 13b Retrieve
[Steve McManaman says Liverpool will be looking to smash Manchester City’s Premier League points record] Their league record is phenomenal. Great teams go on to win them again and be serial winners, but in a one-off season, Liverpool will go down as the best really. It’s a great game first up. It’s a derby match so they’ll have to be at it straight away, they’ll have to hit the ground running. And I think they will now say ‘we’ve got nine games left, we want to beat Manchester City’s record’
It’ll be fantastic when it happens but the fans are not going to be there. Further down the line, the fans will be allowed in, they can celebrate properly then and have a parade round the city. But you saw the reaction of the fans when Liverpool brought home the Champions League. If they win the league after 30 years, they will celebrate, but it won’t be the same as being at the ground and celebrating with the team
2020 06 14 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool player Steve McManaman has said that he is delighted that he is not seeing much of the club’s academy players because it is evidence that they are thriving] When I see some of the players who are excelling at the Academy, there’s nothing better than not seeing them again. I mean that in the nicest way because they move up to Melwood, and I love it when I don’t see them again because it means they’re at Melwood and they’re excelling at Melwood. There’s nothing better for these younger players with talent to play with better players, to play with players who are at the top of the game. If you’ve got anything about yourself and if you want to be a first-team player in the future, you should be able to improve so much by playing with the best players in the world – and that’s who Liverpool have got at the moment. I love the fact that Leighton and Jake are there, Neco Williams is there and Curtis Jones has, of course, been there a while, like a number of the older ones. But whenever they disappear to Melwood and hold their own, that means they’re improving, that means they’re getting better