SCOTZINE today concludes the thought-provoking interview between Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and his former Liverpool team-mate Danny Murphy.

The close friends sat down recently to talk all things football for the Mail on Sunday.

Here is Part Three of the head-to-head meeting of Gerrard and Murphy, who is now a media pundit with BBC Sport.

DANNY MURPHY: You were excited after beating Celtic (in December).

GERRARD: I’ll never apologise for being authentic. I am passionate after a win. I don’t think people on the outside understand the pressures you are under in that moment. I do ask myself if it was too much, but then I think Celtic beat Aberdeen and 11 players and Neil Lennon are jumping about and celebrating with the fans. I’m totally fine with it.

There are still parts of me where I do things and think: “I could’ve done that a little bit better”. And I don’t think that will ever go away.

MURPHY: Self-analysis is good. For anyone. If you don’t do it, you are arrogant. You’re in your second season as a manager, Frank Lampard is in his second season. Funny how your careers are so closely aligned.

GERRARD: I admire Frank for his bottle, leading Chelsea in the biggest league in the world during a transfer ban. I’m proud of him as a former team-mate.

There will naturally be a comparison to me and Frank because there was when we were players. Could we play together? Who was better? There is still an element of that, but the reality is we are in two completely different jobs.

MURPHY: I’d like to see it become a top managerial rivalry over the next 10 or 15 years.

GERRARD: So would I. I’m sure Frank has had the same thoughts. But I’d also love to become a rival to Jose Mourinho. Even now, I am a rival to Neil Lennon and Derek McInnes. I hope I’m involved in this game a long time, but we know a bad couple of years and I’ll be sitting next to you on Match of the Day.

MURPHY: I’ve said before I remember you nodding off in team meetings at Liverpool. I can’t imagine what you’d think if one of your players had a snooze while you spoke about Rangers v Celtic.

GERRARD: Let me put you right there, our meetings at Liverpool could last 40 minutes. My meetings are eight to 12 minutes.

MURPHY: It didn’t affect your performances, though.

GERRARD: That’s the key. If someone nods off in one of my team meetings and gets the winner against Celtic, I’ll get him a pillow! One thing will never change, players are still motivated by money and days off.

We had one bad training session after the players had gone on a break, I threatened to restrict days off unless they bucked up. The next session was the best we’ve ever had. It was like watching Brazil.

MURPHY: We can’t leave without mentioning Jurgen Klopp again. He’s honest with his players. He warned them that Norwich were better than the league position suggested and that’s why Liverpool respected them and won the game 1-0.

GERRARD: He has this stature. When he walks in a room, it’s: “Whoa”. This Liverpool team are monsters and it’s come from him the moment he arrived.

For the players to have that level of respect for their manager in a modern dressing room is special. You can see everyone is tuned in, physically and mentally. To get that from your players is a tough nut to crack.


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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