I have a huge amount of love and respect for Gerard
To answer the thread title I'm not sure its either to be honest, club saviour is maybe pushing it some, but he certainly dragged the club into the modern world, he was our Wenger, he transformed the diet and modern professionalism that was required, he added the coldness that was required to drag the club into the 21st century and away from the boot room that albeit a massive and integral part of the clubs history but ultimately that's where it needed to be..in the history.
But by all accounts dont take that coldness as his overriding persona, the way he is talked about by the generation that came through under him, Stevie, Carra and Owen is one of great love and respect also.. he loved and nurtured those players and they adore him.
But as I said he was a tough man too, solely focused on getting the club professional and away from that spice boy reputation. Gone were the characters like Ince who he didn't respect as a leader of the new Liverpool.. gone were the likes of David James who he felt had made enough errors.. soon enough the likes of real fan favourites of my generation like Robbie Fowler who personally I took pretty hard and it tested that love at times.
Robbie I think was also a bit of a power play, he wanted to rid that messing around element and the last part of the spice boys but also I believe looking back with more life experience now he wanted to show ultimately who was boss, who was the leader of this club now.. his way or off you go.
Carragher was another example of that.. I heard a recent interview with Carra which backs this up. He wanted him to be professional and cut out drinking etc.. telling him he will be done by 25 if he didn't.
The difference between Robbie and say Carra was age and he felt he could mould a 19 year old Carra but a 25 year old Fowler was too far gone and he wasnt sentimental about who the player was.. it was buy in or ship out
2000-01 is still my favourite season ever, I was just turning into an adult, I'd lived through the baron 90s, I'd been a kid through the end of the title winning sides, been a kid watching the FA cup wins in 89.. but now in 2000 I felt like this was my team, my lads, my era..I was old enough to celebrate as an adult and we were winning most weeks, we played pretty much every game we could that year and we won the vast majority finish 3rd in the league, to win every other cup we entered.. it truly was an unbelievable season.
Bearing in mind since 1990 we'd only won the 92 FA cup, the 95 league cup so to win the UEFA cup, league cup and FA cup all in the same season and the actual trophies all within a couple of months ( 2 in a week) and finish 3rd and qualify for the CL it was unbelievable and like I say my favourite single season in my memory - mind you this one will run it close.
Gerard delivered that.
By the time 2004 came it was time to move on and Rafa who I also came to adore took over but that doesnt take away from what Houllier meant to me and my generation
Tough.. uncompromising .. but ultimately a kind and brilliant man.
Saviour of the club though? No but vital in the much needed modernisation of it
Under loved? Not by me whatsoever
« Last Edit: Feb 12, 2020 07:33:32 am by Kopite78 »