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Quotes from 2001-02

<< 2001-2002 Season Review

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AUGUST [top]

"We owe Sander a lot for that victory. I told him at half time that he would need to win the trophy for us because I expected a response from United. They came at us the way I knew they would and Sander made some very important saves." - Gerard reflects on Sander's Man of the Match performance in the Charity Shield

"We'll see in May what happens but this gives us confidence for the league. I think we have the quality and the squad to do well in the league. It's important for the fans for us to beat Manchester United and for ourselves it keeps our confidence high for the league season." - Sami Hyypia on the season ahead

"This is not a friendly. It is a massive opportunity to play a high profile team in a prestige game. We've already won four trophies and this is a huge game for the players and they want to win it. You don't play friendlies at this level." - Gerard Houllier, talking about the importance of the UEFA Super Cup

"It is our fifth trophy in just a matter of months and that shows what can be achieved when you have a united team who have great trust in each other." - Houllier, following the win over Bayern Munich

"I'm not disappointed with the display of football but I am about the result. I am absolutely disheartened and gutted. The players played some good football and were unfairly let down by the blunder because obviously that cost us a point. That's football. It was a huge mistake but we have to live with that. There's no point going on about the error by Sander. He has saved us many times in the past and maybe in the future he will save us again." - Houllier, following Westerweld's last minute blunder which gifts Bolton a shock win over the Reds

"There have probably been 26 goalkeepers linked with a move to Liverpool in the past two years, and I am number one. Nothing will change that. Let me put it this way - I would stay at Liverpool even if Dudek came here. I feel strong and still enjoy my time here in England. There is no reason to leave." - Westerweld dismisses speculation that his position is under threat

"It has always been our aim to strengthen every area of the team and that is why we have ensured the signings of these two major goalkeeping talents. Both of them will be available for our Champions League campaign and the addition of a hugely promising young talent together with an experienced international will provide a major boost to the club." - Houllier on the double capture of Dudek and Kirkland

"It is always good to play against the best in the world such as Owen and Heskey. I will need all the help I can get from my team-mates, as one man alone can't stop Owen and Heskey for the full 90 minutes." - Jens Nowotny picks out the England danger men ahead of the Germany v England World Cup match

"He is in excellent form and he has the quality to win this game for England." - Marcus Babbel, speaking on the form of Michael Owen

SEPTEMBER [top]

"After speaking to Gerard Houllier I had no hesitation in moving. This is a club going places. I couldn't be more thrilled at joining a club which is obviously on a roll at the moment." - Chris Kirkland

"I would like to think I was as good as him. The kid is a fantastic player and will only get better. Steven Gerrard is going to be the Roy Keane of England - and I can pay no higher compliment. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying he will captain England at some stage." - Bryan Robson, former Man United and England captain

"Jerzy Dudek is a proven international. I can confirm he will be the number one goalkeeper." - Gerard Houllier

"Boateng overdid it, but then he did on a number of occasions throughout the afternoon. He seemed alright after the incident and was running around without any problems. He is a good actor." - Gerard on Gerrard's sending off at home to Villa

"It was a reckless challenge by Steven and he must learn a lesson from what he did. We need him on the pitch. He is a good player but frustration got the better of him." - Houllier has second thoughts on the challenge which earned Stevie G a red card

OCTOBER [top]

"Robbie Fowler is one of the best strikers in the country. Tord Grip was here to see how he played today, but I thought he looked fitter than he has done, and what a finish to the chance he had. It was a good job the linesman was bright." - Bobby Robson is thankful that Fowler was offside when he put the ball in the net, but Newcastle were still beaten 2-0

"Sometimes you have to use Liverpool as an example. We have to go on about Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Milan, teams who have won it more than once. Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen won seven or eight championship medals and three in the European Cup. That's the standard." - Roy Keane

"This was an exceptional night, probably the best ever for this club." -Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence after watching his side come from a goal down to beat Liverpool at Anfield

"They beat us at Anfield and for the first half they outplayed us. We improved in the second half of that game but we want a bit of revenge for that." - Robbie Fowler on the upcoming home game against Leeds

"Everything pales into insignificance when compared to something like this.We had no idea at all that all this was going on when we were out there. Nothing was said to us at half time. Maybe some of the lads on the bench had an idea, but I can honestly say we played that second half without any knowledge that the manager was in hospital." -Gary McAllister

"I hope he is really well. I am sure he will be. Our thoughts are with him." - David O'Leary

"I hope he pulls through and makes a full recovery. If he is in this business then he will have something about him and I'm sure that will help him make a full recovery." - Graeme Souness

"On behalf of my club and players, I send my very best wishes to Gerard. I hope he comes out of hospital soon and we all wish him a very speedy recovery." - Mattias Sammer, Borussia Dortmund coach

NOVEMBER [top]

"There have been some incredible scorelines there over the years. Two 3-3 draws, we've twice won 3-2 and they scored four against us early on in my tenure here. We're in for an exciting game, I'm sure." - Alex Ferguson, on the eve of the Liverpool/Man United clash at Anfield

"I've always had a lot of time for Gerard - he is a tremendous chap. Football is important to both of us - that's obvious. But certain things help you get your priorities. What happened to Gerard is an example . There is nothing more important than your health and that of your family." - Ferguson

"They were excellent. We knew they were a very good team and they proved that. Possession is the main part of this game and their ability to keep hold of the ball was frightening at times." - Gary Mac

"At this time we are in discussions with Robbie and his agent. We want him to stay at the club and further talks are imminent. There may be rumours of clubs making bids but as far as I am aware we haven't received any. I think and I hope Robbie wants to stay at Liverpool." - Phil Thompson, on the day that Liverpool FC announce that Leeds United have had a bid accepted for Robbie Fowler

"We want to build and improve and this is what we will do. If the deal is completed, will that money be reinvested in the team? Of course it will - when the time is right." - Rick Parry, on the Fowler transfer

"It was always going to be a difficult decision to leave Liverpool, because even if I have my own reasons, the fans there were a powerful reason for me to stay. But Leeds are a great club, and the chance to be part of what is happening at Elland Road was too good to miss" - Robbie Fowler

"One thing I shall predict is that I can win the league here at Elland Road this season. Liverpool had a great year last season and are still well placed. But, at Leeds, there is a great team and we feel we can go all the way." - Fowler

"There is no doubt that Owen can become the best player in the world." - Pele

DECEMBER [top]

"Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe. Winning five trophies this year is proof of that and I have no doubt that they are one of the teams who can win the Champions League this season." - Fabio Capello, ahead of the third meeting between Roma and Liverpool in less than a year

"I couldn't believe it when I first heard the news. I knew that I was one of the five players in question, but it still seemed unbelievable to me. Marco van Basten won it three times. Michel Platini as well. Add my name to that of Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Rivaldo, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan. I am extremely proud." - Michael Owen on being named European Footballer of the Year

"We were a bit immature and you certainly shouldn't lose a second goal with ten men. We just made mistakes and gave the ball away under pressure. You can't do that." - Phil Thompson, after seeing his side lose a top of the table clash at home to Arsenal

"I am so proud of him as Liverpool player because in August 2000, a whole year before he signed a new contract, he said that he wanted to stay at Anfield. This was before we had won anything at all. That statement demonstrated his commitment to the club." - Gerard Houllier on Michael Owen

"Owen is a world class player as well as being a top class person. He took a point off us at Anfield and now he has taken three off us today." - Glenn Roeder, on the day that Owen scores his 100th Liverpool goal

"Now I have my name alongside some of the great Liverpool strikers of the past who have scored 100 goals. It is a great honour for me and something I am very proud of. It has been a great year for me with so many highlights: the goals against Germany, the goals in the FA Cup final and all the trophies that Liverpool have won. It's the stuff that dreams are made of." - Michael OWen

"Sometimes I just smile at what has happened to me in the past year, it's hard to believe sometimes. This award is the perfect end to a perfect year. I couldn't have asked for more." - Gary McAllister MBE

JANUARY [top]

"I hope for England's sake that Michael Owen stays fit for the rest of the season and plays in the World Cup. You could see today why he is regarded as the best striker in the league at the moment." - Steve Bruce, Birminham manager, after seeing Owen and Anelka destroy his team at the 3rd round stage of the FA Cup

"I made the run and hoped Steven Gerrard would find me with the pass. He has a good eye for long passes and it was a great ball to me." - John Arne Riise acknowledges the contribution of Gerrard after scoring the equaliser at Highbury

"We were very poor to say the least. We were bad down at Southampton last week, but in the second half today we eclipsed even that. I don't know where it went wrong. We have a problem with confidence at the moment. Nobody wants the ball and nobody wants to take charge of the game. We can go back to the games before Christmas against Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal when we didn't pick up maximum points despite playing well in each of them. The lads are low at the moment but it's my job to lift them up and make sure they are prepared for the game at Manchester United on Tuesday night." - Phil Thompson, following the dismal display at home to Southampton

"The fans made their feelings known. The crowd often tell you the way your team has played. They can be harsh - but we were extremely poor. It's not nice to hear but we can't have any complaints. It was a very disappointing performance to say the least." - PT, after Liverpool are booed off the pitch at the end of the Southampton game

"Throughout this spell it has been difficult for a lot of players. Danny got it on Saturday when he was being substituted and I felt for him. There weren't that many good performances on Saturday and it's hard when one person gets it. I didn't like to see Danny picked on like that. It was very unfair to single him out. I could understand the fans" frustration but it's not on when you just focus it all on one person." - PT has strong words for those who cheered as Murphy was announced as the player to be substituted during the Southampton match

"Why should the reaction towards Danny be different? He'd feel better if it was the same for him. It will never help a player if he's getting stick." - Stevie G also questions why Murphy was singled out during the Southampton game, after a host of players underperformed in the match

"We can't lose at Manchester United. We just can't let it happen." - Jerzy Dudek states the importance of getting something from the game Old Trafford

"We believed we could come here and win tonight. The same man got the winner and I'm really pleased for him." - Stevie G

"I can't believe we lost the game. With six minutes to go I was thinking to myself we might have to settle for a draw after being the better side for so long. We played some good football and lost - sometimes you just have to accept that. We were the side looking like we wanted to win the game. Last year it was the same - Liverpool came here to just kick the ball forward and hope to get a break. They got it. We were the side looking to win the game." - Alex Ferguson refuses to accept defeat after Murphy's late winner

"Something appeared to be thrown from the crowd that I think hit Jamie. He responded by picking it up and throwing it back into the crowd, and that is a case of violent conduct punishable by a red card." - Mike Riley, the referee who dismissed three players during the Arsenal v Liverpool FA Cup match, explains his decision to send off Jamie Carragher

"I regret what happened at Highbury because I let the club, the fans, my team-mates and myself down. No matter what the physical or verbal provocation, I shouldn't have reacted like that I would like to apologise for any offence caused. I was frustrated and did it without thinking in the heat of the moment. Anyone who has seen me play regularly will realise it was completely out of character but I'm not going to make excuses. I was wrong and as a professional football player I should have known better. It's a mistake I won't make again." - Jamie Carragher, after the coin incident at Highbury

"Two Akinbiyi's, there's only two Akinbiyi's" - Emile Heskey takes a bit of stick from the Leicester supporters after a long run without a goal, but goes on to score the winner against his old club for the second season running.

FEBRUARY [top]

"If you ask me, I believe Gerard will return to Liverpool. But should he? I would love him not to." - David O'Leary voices his concerns on the health of Gerard Houllier

"Leeds will be up for this one, in the same way we were at Arsenal after going there on the back of a poor result. They need to respond after losing at Chelsea. They've been hurt as we were hurt and I fully expect them to come out firing on all cylinders on Sunday." - PT

"Leeds are a good side but we showed what we are capable of today." - PT

"Liverpool are one of the top teams in Europe. We will need a little bit of luck to take anything out of the game." - George Burley, Ipswich manager, before his side took on Liverpool at home

"We were shell-shocked. It was men against boys in the second half and we were always likely to concede at the back. Liverpool were just phenomenal - Owen and Heskey were on top of the world. I'm only thankful we don't have to play them every week" - George Burley, after seeing Ipswich beaten 6-0 by a rampant Liverpool performance

"It was the biggest pasting I've ever had. It was a bit bizarre to be named man of the match but at the same time I don't think I played that badly. I just thought Liverpool were awesome. To have Owen and Heskey running at you in full flight is just frightening." - Andy Marshall, Ipswich keeper and man of the match despite his side's 6-0 defeat.

"My miss in the second half was unbelievable. I don't know what happened. I thought it was a certainty that I'd score." - Smicer reflects on missing the target from 6 yards out at a stage when Liverpool trailed 1-0 to Galatasaray. Defeat would have sent Liverpool crashing out of the Champions League.

"Our confidence is very high at the moment and if we play the we are doing at the moment when we go to the Nou Camp then we can get a result. A draw might be good enough but realistically we probably have to win both of our remaining games now to qualify. " - Danny Murphy, after Liverpool's draw with Galatasaray, which left them bottom of the group with two games to play

MARCH [top]

"I still have a contract until the end of next season and I hope everything will go well. Everyone knows my feelings towards Liverpool. They are my favourites." - Jari Litmanen

"We have to be confident. Barcelona are one of the best sides in the world and for us to come here and hold them to a draw is a great achievement. We have to take that confidence into the Roma game now. The game is at Anfield so we have to be the favourites. I hope our fans can push a ball into the back of the net for us. It will be a great night." - Steve Gerrard, on gaining a priceless point in the Nou Camp

"It will be difficult for us because of the crowd and the noise they will make, but we have come through tests like this before." - Fabio Capello, Roma coach, speaking before Roma faced Liverpool at Anfield

"This was a special atmosphere only Anfield can produce. This was St Etienne part two and the fans cheered every tackle and it's one of the greatest nights in this football club's history." - PT

"Liverpool are a good team but I have never seen them play like they did against us. If they continue that way they have a good chance of winning it." - FC

"We have a good record against Manchester United but we play them every year in the league. I'm not saying I want Real because we would beat them, because they are an excellent side, but I think we would all enjoy coming up against them at this stage of the competition." - Vladimir Smicer states his preference of the three quarter final opponents which Liverpool could have been drawn against.

"There are those that might think it would be the easiest draw to get but when you look at the group in overcoming Arsenal and beating Deportivo La Coruna, that says it all." - Dietmar Hamann, after Liverpool are drawn against tournament outsiders, Bayer Leverkusen

"They have done very well and topped their group. We played against them in pre-season so we do know a bit about them. It's an interesting one. We have got great respect for Leverkusen." - PT, on the quarter final draw

"The fact that we have to play the first leg at home is not ideal because we can't rely on an excellent away performance and then the help of our fans to get us through in the return leg at home. We'll need to be excellent in both legs if we want to qualify." - Jerzy Dudek

APRIL [top]

"I have every confidence that we can win all of our remaining games. If we win the last five matches then I think we will be champions. I think that will be enough for us." - PT remains confident, despite Arsenal's 4 point lead

"I have a strong belief that this team will win the title. I think they believe that themselves," - Gerard Houllier

"If we are to get past Liverpool we will have to raise our game. No-one believes we can reach the semi finals but we believe in ourselves. It will take something special but it can be done." - Leverkusen midfielder, Michael Ballack, speaking before the first leg of the quarter final

"They won three cups last season and beat some very good teams along the way. That tells you the task we are facing, and our only chance is if they under-estimate us. We are a good side but perhaps we do not have the same reputation as Barcelona or Roma. If Liverpool approach the game thinking along those lines, then we may have a chance. Otherwise, it is going to be a very tall order for us." - Klaus Toppmoller, Bayer Leverkusen coach

"Liverpool are tactically perfect and you need something special to break them down." - Toppmoller

"We could have had some more goals but 1-0 is good enough. Fifty per cent of the work has been done. An English semi-final would be interesting but we have got 90 minutes to play in Leverkusen and we think we will make it." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool record a narrow first leg lead against Leverkusen

"We will attack and want to put Liverpool under pressure from the word go" - Klaus Toppmoller, ahead of the second leg

"The best team won. We had opportunities to kill the game off and our only regret is that we didn't take more of our chances." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool's Champions League exit

"I don't regret the change at all. Didi's contribution to the game could have been better. I decided to play Stevie and Danny in the centre and it did work better for us. The fact they scored after the change had nothing to do with the substitution." - Houllier, on the highly controversial substitution of Dietmar Hamann, for which he was hugely criticised

"When my name is mentioned in the same breath as people like Shankly, Paisley and Fagan I feel very humble. To be considered a truly great manager I think you have to win the European Cup. We will do it sooner or later, don't worry about that. We have a vision for the next four or five years and it includes being European Champions. Don't forget it took Sir Alex Ferguson 13 years to win it, so we are ahead of schedule." - Gerard Houllier

"If we don't win the league then we have to make sure we do all we can to finish second. That will mean we have finished higher than we did last season and it will also mean we don't have to qualify for next season's Champions League." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool's defeat at Spurs all but ends a title challenge

MAY [top]

"Anyone who knocks Liverpool doesnt know what they're talking about. They're close to being the complete team - solid at the back, creative in midfield and pace to terrify. Can you tell me that's dull?" - Glenn Hoddle, Spurs manager

"It was a very entertaining game of football and a great advert for the Premiership." - Gerard Houllier, after the thrilling 4-3 win against Blackburn

"We've made it to second place. Some say we haven't got any silverware but we won the Charity Shield and the Super Cup, and got 80 points. That's what Manchester United got last season when they won it. We have progressed and will continue to do so." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool finish the season with a 5-0 thrashing of Ipswich to secure second spot

"I will never forget today and I want to thank all the fans who gave me such a great ovation. They were immense. I thought I would get a decent reception but that surpassed all my wildest dreams. That sort of ovation is normally reserved for players who have won European Cups for a club. It was a brilliant day and it was nice to hear the Kop's humour at its best again when they were telling me to go back to Coventry." - Gary Mac, on his last appearance at Anfield before his return to Coventry

"We could have been level or even ahead at half time but they were world class goals from a world class side." - George Burley, Ipswich manager, on another fine display by Liverpool

<< 2001-2002 Season Review

[august] [september] [october] [november] [december]
[january] [february] [march] [april] [may]

AUGUST [top]

"We owe Sander a lot for that victory. I told him at half time that he would need to win the trophy for us because I expected a response from United. They came at us the way I knew they would and Sander made some very important saves." - Gerard reflects on Sander's Man of the Match performance in the Charity Shield

"We'll see in May what happens but this gives us confidence for the league. I think we have the quality and the squad to do well in the league. It's important for the fans for us to beat Manchester United and for ourselves it keeps our confidence high for the league season." - Sami Hyypia on the season ahead

"This is not a friendly. It is a massive opportunity to play a high profile team in a prestige game. We've already won four trophies and this is a huge game for the players and they want to win it. You don't play friendlies at this level." - Gerard Houllier, talking about the importance of the UEFA Super Cup

"It is our fifth trophy in just a matter of months and that shows what can be achieved when you have a united team who have great trust in each other." - Houllier, following the win over Bayern Munich

"I'm not disappointed with the display of football but I am about the result. I am absolutely disheartened and gutted. The players played some good football and were unfairly let down by the blunder because obviously that cost us a point. That's football. It was a huge mistake but we have to live with that. There's no point going on about the error by Sander. He has saved us many times in the past and maybe in the future he will save us again." - Houllier, following Westerweld's last minute blunder which gifts Bolton a shock win over the Reds

"There have probably been 26 goalkeepers linked with a move to Liverpool in the past two years, and I am number one. Nothing will change that. Let me put it this way - I would stay at Liverpool even if Dudek came here. I feel strong and still enjoy my time here in England. There is no reason to leave." - Westerweld dismisses speculation that his position is under threat

"It has always been our aim to strengthen every area of the team and that is why we have ensured the signings of these two major goalkeeping talents. Both of them will be available for our Champions League campaign and the addition of a hugely promising young talent together with an experienced international will provide a major boost to the club." - Houllier on the double capture of Dudek and Kirkland

"It is always good to play against the best in the world such as Owen and Heskey. I will need all the help I can get from my team-mates, as one man alone can't stop Owen and Heskey for the full 90 minutes." - Jens Nowotny picks out the England danger men ahead of the Germany v England World Cup match

"He is in excellent form and he has the quality to win this game for England." - Marcus Babbel, speaking on the form of Michael Owen

SEPTEMBER [top]

"After speaking to Gerard Houllier I had no hesitation in moving. This is a club going places. I couldn't be more thrilled at joining a club which is obviously on a roll at the moment." - Chris Kirkland

"I would like to think I was as good as him. The kid is a fantastic player and will only get better. Steven Gerrard is going to be the Roy Keane of England - and I can pay no higher compliment. I have absolutely no hesitation in saying he will captain England at some stage." - Bryan Robson, former Man United and England captain

"Jerzy Dudek is a proven international. I can confirm he will be the number one goalkeeper." - Gerard Houllier

"Boateng overdid it, but then he did on a number of occasions throughout the afternoon. He seemed alright after the incident and was running around without any problems. He is a good actor." - Gerard on Gerrard's sending off at home to Villa

"It was a reckless challenge by Steven and he must learn a lesson from what he did. We need him on the pitch. He is a good player but frustration got the better of him." - Houllier has second thoughts on the challenge which earned Stevie G a red card

OCTOBER [top]

"Robbie Fowler is one of the best strikers in the country. Tord Grip was here to see how he played today, but I thought he looked fitter than he has done, and what a finish to the chance he had. It was a good job the linesman was bright." - Bobby Robson is thankful that Fowler was offside when he put the ball in the net, but Newcastle were still beaten 2-0

"Sometimes you have to use Liverpool as an example. We have to go on about Ajax, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Milan, teams who have won it more than once. Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen won seven or eight championship medals and three in the European Cup. That's the standard." - Roy Keane

"This was an exceptional night, probably the best ever for this club." -Grimsby manager Lennie Lawrence after watching his side come from a goal down to beat Liverpool at Anfield

"They beat us at Anfield and for the first half they outplayed us. We improved in the second half of that game but we want a bit of revenge for that." - Robbie Fowler on the upcoming home game against Leeds

"Everything pales into insignificance when compared to something like this.We had no idea at all that all this was going on when we were out there. Nothing was said to us at half time. Maybe some of the lads on the bench had an idea, but I can honestly say we played that second half without any knowledge that the manager was in hospital." -Gary McAllister

"I hope he is really well. I am sure he will be. Our thoughts are with him." - David O'Leary

"I hope he pulls through and makes a full recovery. If he is in this business then he will have something about him and I'm sure that will help him make a full recovery." - Graeme Souness

"On behalf of my club and players, I send my very best wishes to Gerard. I hope he comes out of hospital soon and we all wish him a very speedy recovery." - Mattias Sammer, Borussia Dortmund coach

NOVEMBER [top]

"There have been some incredible scorelines there over the years. Two 3-3 draws, we've twice won 3-2 and they scored four against us early on in my tenure here. We're in for an exciting game, I'm sure." - Alex Ferguson, on the eve of the Liverpool/Man United clash at Anfield

"I've always had a lot of time for Gerard - he is a tremendous chap. Football is important to both of us - that's obvious. But certain things help you get your priorities. What happened to Gerard is an example . There is nothing more important than your health and that of your family." - Ferguson

"They were excellent. We knew they were a very good team and they proved that. Possession is the main part of this game and their ability to keep hold of the ball was frightening at times." - Gary Mac

"At this time we are in discussions with Robbie and his agent. We want him to stay at the club and further talks are imminent. There may be rumours of clubs making bids but as far as I am aware we haven't received any. I think and I hope Robbie wants to stay at Liverpool." - Phil Thompson, on the day that Liverpool FC announce that Leeds United have had a bid accepted for Robbie Fowler

"We want to build and improve and this is what we will do. If the deal is completed, will that money be reinvested in the team? Of course it will - when the time is right." - Rick Parry, on the Fowler transfer

"It was always going to be a difficult decision to leave Liverpool, because even if I have my own reasons, the fans there were a powerful reason for me to stay. But Leeds are a great club, and the chance to be part of what is happening at Elland Road was too good to miss" - Robbie Fowler

"One thing I shall predict is that I can win the league here at Elland Road this season. Liverpool had a great year last season and are still well placed. But, at Leeds, there is a great team and we feel we can go all the way." - Fowler

"There is no doubt that Owen can become the best player in the world." - Pele

DECEMBER [top]

"Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe. Winning five trophies this year is proof of that and I have no doubt that they are one of the teams who can win the Champions League this season." - Fabio Capello, ahead of the third meeting between Roma and Liverpool in less than a year

"I couldn't believe it when I first heard the news. I knew that I was one of the five players in question, but it still seemed unbelievable to me. Marco van Basten won it three times. Michel Platini as well. Add my name to that of Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Rivaldo, Bobby Charlton, Kevin Keegan. I am extremely proud." - Michael Owen on being named European Footballer of the Year

"We were a bit immature and you certainly shouldn't lose a second goal with ten men. We just made mistakes and gave the ball away under pressure. You can't do that." - Phil Thompson, after seeing his side lose a top of the table clash at home to Arsenal

"I am so proud of him as Liverpool player because in August 2000, a whole year before he signed a new contract, he said that he wanted to stay at Anfield. This was before we had won anything at all. That statement demonstrated his commitment to the club." - Gerard Houllier on Michael Owen

"Owen is a world class player as well as being a top class person. He took a point off us at Anfield and now he has taken three off us today." - Glenn Roeder, on the day that Owen scores his 100th Liverpool goal

"Now I have my name alongside some of the great Liverpool strikers of the past who have scored 100 goals. It is a great honour for me and something I am very proud of. It has been a great year for me with so many highlights: the goals against Germany, the goals in the FA Cup final and all the trophies that Liverpool have won. It's the stuff that dreams are made of." - Michael OWen

"Sometimes I just smile at what has happened to me in the past year, it's hard to believe sometimes. This award is the perfect end to a perfect year. I couldn't have asked for more." - Gary McAllister MBE

JANUARY [top]

"I hope for England's sake that Michael Owen stays fit for the rest of the season and plays in the World Cup. You could see today why he is regarded as the best striker in the league at the moment." - Steve Bruce, Birminham manager, after seeing Owen and Anelka destroy his team at the 3rd round stage of the FA Cup

"I made the run and hoped Steven Gerrard would find me with the pass. He has a good eye for long passes and it was a great ball to me." - John Arne Riise acknowledges the contribution of Gerrard after scoring the equaliser at Highbury

"We were very poor to say the least. We were bad down at Southampton last week, but in the second half today we eclipsed even that. I don't know where it went wrong. We have a problem with confidence at the moment. Nobody wants the ball and nobody wants to take charge of the game. We can go back to the games before Christmas against Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal when we didn't pick up maximum points despite playing well in each of them. The lads are low at the moment but it's my job to lift them up and make sure they are prepared for the game at Manchester United on Tuesday night." - Phil Thompson, following the dismal display at home to Southampton

"The fans made their feelings known. The crowd often tell you the way your team has played. They can be harsh - but we were extremely poor. It's not nice to hear but we can't have any complaints. It was a very disappointing performance to say the least." - PT, after Liverpool are booed off the pitch at the end of the Southampton game

"Throughout this spell it has been difficult for a lot of players. Danny got it on Saturday when he was being substituted and I felt for him. There weren't that many good performances on Saturday and it's hard when one person gets it. I didn't like to see Danny picked on like that. It was very unfair to single him out. I could understand the fans" frustration but it's not on when you just focus it all on one person." - PT has strong words for those who cheered as Murphy was announced as the player to be substituted during the Southampton match

"Why should the reaction towards Danny be different? He'd feel better if it was the same for him. It will never help a player if he's getting stick." - Stevie G also questions why Murphy was singled out during the Southampton game, after a host of players underperformed in the match

"We can't lose at Manchester United. We just can't let it happen." - Jerzy Dudek states the importance of getting something from the game Old Trafford

"We believed we could come here and win tonight. The same man got the winner and I'm really pleased for him." - Stevie G

"I can't believe we lost the game. With six minutes to go I was thinking to myself we might have to settle for a draw after being the better side for so long. We played some good football and lost - sometimes you just have to accept that. We were the side looking like we wanted to win the game. Last year it was the same - Liverpool came here to just kick the ball forward and hope to get a break. They got it. We were the side looking to win the game." - Alex Ferguson refuses to accept defeat after Murphy's late winner

"Something appeared to be thrown from the crowd that I think hit Jamie. He responded by picking it up and throwing it back into the crowd, and that is a case of violent conduct punishable by a red card." - Mike Riley, the referee who dismissed three players during the Arsenal v Liverpool FA Cup match, explains his decision to send off Jamie Carragher

"I regret what happened at Highbury because I let the club, the fans, my team-mates and myself down. No matter what the physical or verbal provocation, I shouldn't have reacted like that I would like to apologise for any offence caused. I was frustrated and did it without thinking in the heat of the moment. Anyone who has seen me play regularly will realise it was completely out of character but I'm not going to make excuses. I was wrong and as a professional football player I should have known better. It's a mistake I won't make again." - Jamie Carragher, after the coin incident at Highbury

"Two Akinbiyi's, there's only two Akinbiyi's" - Emile Heskey takes a bit of stick from the Leicester supporters after a long run without a goal, but goes on to score the winner against his old club for the second season running.

FEBRUARY [top]

"If you ask me, I believe Gerard will return to Liverpool. But should he? I would love him not to." - David O'Leary voices his concerns on the health of Gerard Houllier

"Leeds will be up for this one, in the same way we were at Arsenal after going there on the back of a poor result. They need to respond after losing at Chelsea. They've been hurt as we were hurt and I fully expect them to come out firing on all cylinders on Sunday." - PT

"Leeds are a good side but we showed what we are capable of today." - PT

"Liverpool are one of the top teams in Europe. We will need a little bit of luck to take anything out of the game." - George Burley, Ipswich manager, before his side took on Liverpool at home

"We were shell-shocked. It was men against boys in the second half and we were always likely to concede at the back. Liverpool were just phenomenal - Owen and Heskey were on top of the world. I'm only thankful we don't have to play them every week" - George Burley, after seeing Ipswich beaten 6-0 by a rampant Liverpool performance

"It was the biggest pasting I've ever had. It was a bit bizarre to be named man of the match but at the same time I don't think I played that badly. I just thought Liverpool were awesome. To have Owen and Heskey running at you in full flight is just frightening." - Andy Marshall, Ipswich keeper and man of the match despite his side's 6-0 defeat.

"My miss in the second half was unbelievable. I don't know what happened. I thought it was a certainty that I'd score." - Smicer reflects on missing the target from 6 yards out at a stage when Liverpool trailed 1-0 to Galatasaray. Defeat would have sent Liverpool crashing out of the Champions League.

"Our confidence is very high at the moment and if we play the we are doing at the moment when we go to the Nou Camp then we can get a result. A draw might be good enough but realistically we probably have to win both of our remaining games now to qualify. " - Danny Murphy, after Liverpool's draw with Galatasaray, which left them bottom of the group with two games to play

MARCH [top]

"I still have a contract until the end of next season and I hope everything will go well. Everyone knows my feelings towards Liverpool. They are my favourites." - Jari Litmanen

"We have to be confident. Barcelona are one of the best sides in the world and for us to come here and hold them to a draw is a great achievement. We have to take that confidence into the Roma game now. The game is at Anfield so we have to be the favourites. I hope our fans can push a ball into the back of the net for us. It will be a great night." - Steve Gerrard, on gaining a priceless point in the Nou Camp

"It will be difficult for us because of the crowd and the noise they will make, but we have come through tests like this before." - Fabio Capello, Roma coach, speaking before Roma faced Liverpool at Anfield

"This was a special atmosphere only Anfield can produce. This was St Etienne part two and the fans cheered every tackle and it's one of the greatest nights in this football club's history." - PT

"Liverpool are a good team but I have never seen them play like they did against us. If they continue that way they have a good chance of winning it." - FC

"We have a good record against Manchester United but we play them every year in the league. I'm not saying I want Real because we would beat them, because they are an excellent side, but I think we would all enjoy coming up against them at this stage of the competition." - Vladimir Smicer states his preference of the three quarter final opponents which Liverpool could have been drawn against.

"There are those that might think it would be the easiest draw to get but when you look at the group in overcoming Arsenal and beating Deportivo La Coruna, that says it all." - Dietmar Hamann, after Liverpool are drawn against tournament outsiders, Bayer Leverkusen

"They have done very well and topped their group. We played against them in pre-season so we do know a bit about them. It's an interesting one. We have got great respect for Leverkusen." - PT, on the quarter final draw

"The fact that we have to play the first leg at home is not ideal because we can't rely on an excellent away performance and then the help of our fans to get us through in the return leg at home. We'll need to be excellent in both legs if we want to qualify." - Jerzy Dudek

APRIL [top]

"I have every confidence that we can win all of our remaining games. If we win the last five matches then I think we will be champions. I think that will be enough for us." - PT remains confident, despite Arsenal's 4 point lead

"I have a strong belief that this team will win the title. I think they believe that themselves," - Gerard Houllier

"If we are to get past Liverpool we will have to raise our game. No-one believes we can reach the semi finals but we believe in ourselves. It will take something special but it can be done." - Leverkusen midfielder, Michael Ballack, speaking before the first leg of the quarter final

"They won three cups last season and beat some very good teams along the way. That tells you the task we are facing, and our only chance is if they under-estimate us. We are a good side but perhaps we do not have the same reputation as Barcelona or Roma. If Liverpool approach the game thinking along those lines, then we may have a chance. Otherwise, it is going to be a very tall order for us." - Klaus Toppmoller, Bayer Leverkusen coach

"Liverpool are tactically perfect and you need something special to break them down." - Toppmoller

"We could have had some more goals but 1-0 is good enough. Fifty per cent of the work has been done. An English semi-final would be interesting but we have got 90 minutes to play in Leverkusen and we think we will make it." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool record a narrow first leg lead against Leverkusen

"We will attack and want to put Liverpool under pressure from the word go" - Klaus Toppmoller, ahead of the second leg

"The best team won. We had opportunities to kill the game off and our only regret is that we didn't take more of our chances." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool's Champions League exit

"I don't regret the change at all. Didi's contribution to the game could have been better. I decided to play Stevie and Danny in the centre and it did work better for us. The fact they scored after the change had nothing to do with the substitution." - Houllier, on the highly controversial substitution of Dietmar Hamann, for which he was hugely criticised

"When my name is mentioned in the same breath as people like Shankly, Paisley and Fagan I feel very humble. To be considered a truly great manager I think you have to win the European Cup. We will do it sooner or later, don't worry about that. We have a vision for the next four or five years and it includes being European Champions. Don't forget it took Sir Alex Ferguson 13 years to win it, so we are ahead of schedule." - Gerard Houllier

"If we don't win the league then we have to make sure we do all we can to finish second. That will mean we have finished higher than we did last season and it will also mean we don't have to qualify for next season's Champions League." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool's defeat at Spurs all but ends a title challenge

MAY [top]

"Anyone who knocks Liverpool doesnt know what they're talking about. They're close to being the complete team - solid at the back, creative in midfield and pace to terrify. Can you tell me that's dull?" - Glenn Hoddle, Spurs manager

"It was a very entertaining game of football and a great advert for the Premiership." - Gerard Houllier, after the thrilling 4-3 win against Blackburn

"We've made it to second place. Some say we haven't got any silverware but we won the Charity Shield and the Super Cup, and got 80 points. That's what Manchester United got last season when they won it. We have progressed and will continue to do so." - Gerard Houllier, after Liverpool finish the season with a 5-0 thrashing of Ipswich to secure second spot

"I will never forget today and I want to thank all the fans who gave me such a great ovation. They were immense. I thought I would get a decent reception but that surpassed all my wildest dreams. That sort of ovation is normally reserved for players who have won European Cups for a club. It was a brilliant day and it was nice to hear the Kop's humour at its best again when they were telling me to go back to Coventry." - Gary Mac, on his last appearance at Anfield before his return to Coventry

"We could have been level or even ahead at half time but they were world class goals from a world class side." - George Burley, Ipswich manager, on another fine display by Liverpool

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