Former Reds manager would like to see him take charge at Anfield in the future
Friday 2 January 2015 15:34, UK
Gerard Houllier was not surprised to hear Steven Gerrard call time on his Liverpool career, but would like to see the midfielder become the club's manager in the future.
Speaking on the morning Liverpool confirmed the talismanic midfielder would leave the club at the end of the season, the former Liverpool manager suggested Gerrard’s leadership skills could see him make the transition to dug-out.
The Frenchman, who handed Gerrard his Liverpool debut in 1998 before making him club captain in 2002, gave his reaction to the news he was set to end his 17-year association with the Merseyside club.
“I was half surprised by the news because I knew that he wanted a new challenge but he’s at an age now where he has to look at his future after football,” he told the Morning View.
“I know Stevie, he wouldn’t play against Liverpool. He wants to do something different. He didn’t want to stay in the Premier League so I was not totally surprised he’s decided to go.
“He was a leader for the club, he was somebody who inspired, somebody the players wanted to follow and nobody will ever forget the Champions League final in 2005.
"He likes to think about the team first. He was a good team-mate and that will be something Liverpool will miss, not only the man and leader but the good camaraderie around him.
He was an outstanding player for Liverpool in terms of technique, speed and power. Nobody will forget the Champions League final in 2005. I wouldn't be surprised if one day we see him become the boss at Anfield. That would be very pleasing to see.
“Maybe Stevie has done the right thing in having a break from Liverpool. Perhaps he will get through his qualifications and training to become a manager. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we see him become the boss at Anfield. That would be very pleasing to see.”
Houllier praised Gerrard’s commitment from a young age and explained how his desire, coupled with his unique personality, elevated him to become one of the world's, and Liverpool’s, greatest midfielders, prompting the Frenchman to hand him the armband.
“We spotted him in an U19 game and we asked him to join the first team,” Houllier added.
“We could see in training that he was quickly developing. I played him at right back in the beginning but his role and best position was in midfield.
“He understood that he had to live for his job, and not to use his job to live. He devoted everything for football and that’s why he was successful. He became world class because he made a lot of sacrifices.
“He was an outstanding player for Liverpool in terms of technique, speed and power. He combined the three and not only was he good in the tackle but he was excellent for the pass and had an eye for the final decision.
“His personality made him the player he is. We know he’s a world class player because of his technique but his character and personality stood out very quickly and that’s why I made him captain at the end of 2002.”