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Quotes from 2000-01

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AUGUST [top]

Gerard Houllier following the Arsenal game on the opening weekend:

`The sending off of McAllister was poor. I want the players to be the stars of the game, not the referee. He wrecked it as a spectacle.`

`I want the players to be the stars of the game, not the referee. He wrecked it as a spectacle.`

`The game turns on individual decisions - a corner, free kick or offside. So how could he have given a corner when the goalkeeper didn`t touch it? I could see he didn`t touch it. Thirty thousand people in the stadium could see that.`

SEPTEMBER [top]

Gerard Houllier, on taking Liverpool back into Europe:

`I am excited by the challenge of taking Liverpool into Europe. We want to do well in the competition, but we must never lose sight of the fact that the Premiership remains the priority. That to me is our bread and butter. The cup competitions are nice when they come along but league points, and consistency over the course of the season, is the most important thing to me.`

Dietmar Hamann:

`The way we have played shows we have the ability to compete with teams and if we get a good start we can bring trophies to Anfield again. Liverpool dominated Europe in the `80`s and everyone said how good the European nights were and that`s something we also want to bring back.`

OCTOBER [top]

Gerard Houllier, after a defensive horror show at Stamford Bridge:

`I would have to say that we are a long way from challenging for the title. At the moment we are not at the level of some of the teams in the Premiership like Manchester United and Arsenal. We have to make sure we improve.`

Nick Barmby, after his first Liverpool goal:

`It was a difficult day for me, without a doubt. Some people had said certain things about me which weren`t very nice, but I just concentrated on doing my best for Liverpool. I was really pleased to score my first goal of the season in the Premiership and hopefully there are more to come. It was a big win for us and, as the manager said after the game, it was a victory for the fans.`

NOVEMBER [top]

Houllier, on McAllister after scoring against his old club

I am pleased to hear some people call him a bargain now because I heard so many funny stories when I bought him!

Gerard Houllier, following a record breaking win against Stoke:

`It could have been a banana skin for us but we avoided it. To be fair, the score is harsh on Stoke but they probably felt the brunt of what has happened to us lately. We`ve played good football for the last four or five games but we haven`t got the results and maybe the satisfaction we were entitled to. That has brought about some frustration.

`I`ve no idea if we can win it. We want to win it, but so do seven other teams. You can`t programme success, you just prepare for it.

`We haven`t been that far in the Worthington Cup for some time but we need to keep going. It would be very conceited to say we can win it.`

DECEMBER [top]

Gerard Houllier, on the win at Old Trafford:

`It was a great performance. It is very difficult to win here. Their record here is excellent, so to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford is something special. I am proud and pleased. I said to the players beforehand `you have got to believe in yourselves`. We can do better, particularly in holding the ball, but it is up to us to learn fast.

Alex Ferguson criticizes the referee over the red card that saw Luke Chadwick haul down Smicer to prevent a clear goalscoring opportunity:

`He could not get the lad off quickly enough. He was delighted to do it.'

...and then has a go at his team too...

`It was a very disappointing performance from us. I don`t think we have ever passed as badly as that. You don`t like losing games. This is the most important derby game as far as I am concerned. I have always said that and it is not nice to lose.`

Houllier, on a big win at Anfield:

`We`ve beaten a good team and we`re aware of that. Not many teams beat Arsenal 4-0 like that.`

JANUARY [top]

Palace boss, Alan Smith, after a 5-0 Anfield defeat:

`I`m not going to have a go at my players because they have done very well for this football club over the last three months. I want to give all the credit to Liverpool because they played really well tonight. They were exceptional.`

FEBRUARY [top]

Houllier, after the win in Rome:

`For the first time in as long as I can remember, I felt like pouring myself a beer and just reflecting on what I'd seen. Our composure and attitude were so good and I couldn't have asked for more in terms of striking the right blend between attack and defence. To go to Rome and take on the Italian League leaders without ever looking the least bit ruffled or panicky was most pleasing.

...and Cardiff:

`The first cup is apparently the most difficult so we are very happy. Birmingham gave us a hard game but on the whole I would say my players deserved it.`

MARCH [top]

Houllier, speaking after the win against Man United:

`I am proud of the players. I didn`t really know what kind of performance to expect from them because so many of the lads had been away on international duty. We didn`t really know where we stood. I told them to just go out and play, and they did it really well. The first half was outstanding. We had so many good moves, our passing was excellent and we forced Barthez into some good saves. After the break they had more of the ball than us, but that`s when we demonstrated other qualities. We withstood their pressure through resilience and determination and I think Sander Westerveld had just one save to mak

APRIL [top]

Gerard Houllier on the 0-0 draw in Barcelona:

‘I am as frustrated as anyone about the attacking performance but the good thing is we didn’t concede. Barcelona’s strength is in their attacking play and if you let them play they are likely to tear you apart. I would have betrayed our fans if I’d played a different way. I would prefer to be faithful to the fans, even if at times it goes against my philosophy.’

Gary Mac on that winner:

'A point here was of no use to us whatsoever. We needed to win after other results earlier in the day. I've scored a few free kicks down the years but that one has to be one of the best. I saw their goalkeeper creeping along his line anticipating a cross into the area so I just went for the gap and caught it perfectly. It was more about disguise than power and pace.

...and that penalty!

`I fancied scoring the penalty, it was as simple as that. I was confident. The keeper came and had a wee look, but unfortunately for him he dived the wrong way. I fancied it, I fancied it strongly. They've rubbished us a wee bit. There was a wee bit a of lack of respect with some of the press remarks, but they're out and we're through.

MAY [top]

Gerard, on the 3 cup finals:

`We were up against a team that is better than us in some areas but in cup finals anything can happen. I liked my team's performance and I never thought we were out of the match. The will to win is as important as the skill to win and we never let our heads drop.`

`This is an historic day because it's the cup treble and the first European trophy for Liverpool since 1984, so I'm so pleased for the boys.`

"It was a massive performance at Charlton. Before the game I thought the players were human - now I think they are super-human."

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