World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Liverpool trio meet an old friend

phil_mcnulty.gifCOLOGNE - It was just like old times for Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, along with former Anfield team-mate Michael Owen, as England prepared to train in Cologne.

As they came out of the tunnel to start the session they were greeted by former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier, now at Lyon but working at the World Cup as he prepares for next season.

Carragher greeted Houllier with particular warmth, meeting up again with the manager he credits with shaping the success of his career.

Houllier, who is also a key member of Uefa's technical study group, was given a special welcome by England coach Sammy Lee, part of his backroom staff at Anfield.

It was a well-timed set of introductions, just minutes after the ground was hit by a thunderstorm – and just a few minutes before it returned to make it a rain-soaked training session for England.

The five-hour bus trek from Baden-Baden to Cologne was enlivened by the showing of a dvd that ended in carnage, acrimony and destruction – and that was just among the travelling media.

Guy Ritchie’s appalling - and that is being polite - “Revolver” created such an outpouring of bile and ill-feeling that its conclusion was greeted by ironic cheering.

But that was not enough to calm the anger of those who wanted instant revenge on Ritchie for this dreadful intrusion into our trek.

The dvd was ripped from the recorder and deservedly trashed in ceremonial fashion in front of the poor chap whose idea it was to inflict this piece of celluloid cyanide on the unsuspecting passengers.

Back in Baden-Baden, a picturesque piece of greenery near the media hotel and just in front of a theatre has been claimed as a suitable site for television crews beaming reports back to the UK.

And after the various rumours, counter-rumours and crackpot notions that surrounded Wayne Rooney’s participation in the World Cup, it has been re-named “The Grassy Knoll”.

This was, of course, home of many a conspiracy theory in Dallas following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.


Comments  Post your comment

For those who thought Ukraine VS Saudi Arabia was going to be a dull game, this is a big surprise. Ukraine 4 to Saudi Arabia 0 has proven that there is no such thing as a dull game. This depends on the teams, and the circumstances.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 2.
  • At 09:56 PM on 19 Jun 2006,
  • Faris wrote:

Poor old Houllier. Now that we've improved so much under Benitez, everybody seem to forget Houllier. He wasn't all that bad.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 3.
  • At 10:47 PM on 19 Jun 2006,
  • Ernie wrote:

Houllier wasn't that bad, although he did make the shocking decision to sign Djibril Cisse.

French flair, or the onset of senility from the man who resembles a turtle?

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 

"It was just like old times for Liverpool duo Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, along with former Anfield team-mate Michael Owen, as England prepared to train in Cologne."
It was very sweet for all of them. Thanks for the nice description. That is why I like BBC blog so much.
I wish that in this blog someone writes about the recording breaking
performance of World Cup Football website that has  received

1.2 billion page views
in the first week of this world cup.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 

After the Ukraine's Victory over Saudi Arabia. I heard Spain VS Tunisia on the car radio. I was afraid that we would lose. I made the mistake of turning off the radio only to find out about this beautiful victory.

Spain's Victory is justice done after previous humiliatioms.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 6.
  • At 01:30 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Bimal wrote:

“Revolver” was a pretty bad film, hopefully englands performance against Sweden isn't as awful. I'd play lennon from the start. Beckham in the middle with Hargreaves (i suppose). Joe Cole on the left. Owen and Rooney up front, bring on walcott in the second half. Bit of pace and passion play please. No breathing space, run in the spaces, one touch football. If all goes to plan 3nil england.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 


Former Liverpool Boss Gerard Houllier is a very tactical fellow in charged of the Kop. He did something for Liverpool and those are unforgetable history.

Meeting his former players will be like Queen´s invitation to the palace. Resoect to him and best of luck with Lyon and future career.


Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 8.
  • At 04:33 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Wes wrote:

I think Gerard Houllier is doing quite well at Lyon and his team's performance in the Champions league was also outstanding. I just think that at Liverpool towards the end there was so much pressure and anyone who came after him would easily built upon the foundations he laid which is what Benitez is doing.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 9.
  • At 07:24 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Jimmy B wrote:

I have genuine respect for Gerard Houllier during his time at Liverpool, especially in his superb 5 trophy year. His purchases do leave a lot to be desired though, as I seem to remember him inflicting the instantly forgettable talents of Senegal's Salif Diao and the well mannered El-Hadji Diouf, after the 2002 World Cup. Rafa beware of those players who flatter to deceive at this years tournament.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 10.
  • At 07:38 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Faris wrote:

Traore, Cisee, Diao, Diouf, La Tallec...the list goes on and on, Houiller's burden to Benitez. I don't think it was a strong foundation that Benitez stepped into.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 11.
  • At 08:06 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Jon Gard wrote:


Hyypia, Hamann, Riise, even Finnan has been a mainstay of Benitez' team.

List goes on a different way too.

And if I'm not mistaken, didn't they win the European Cup with Traore in the team? (Remarkable, but still).

Also Dudek & Smicer were unwanted, but played their parts.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 12.
  • At 10:35 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Joe Cavanagh wrote:

I think those signings (Diouf & Diao) did finish poor Gerard off. At that same time he was linked with Damien Duff.

If he would have got him instead of them..... Who knows.

As Robbie would say No regrets!

Oh p.s COME ON ENGLAND!!

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 13.
  • At 10:47 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Adam Toone wrote:

When did Robbie Fowler ever say 'No Regrets'?

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 14.
  • At 11:04 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Gavin C wrote:

I hope Lennon will get to start . England needs to start off with a positive attacking tempo . He really got the game up a notch and opened up the right against T&T. And together with Owen and Rooney, England will have a lot of attacking options.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 15.
  • At 11:43 AM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Manjit wrote:

I am hoping that Owen Hargreaves has a excellent game this evening for England I think this piece in the Guardian sums the argument for Hargreaves quite well:

Hargreaves provides the shield:
http://football.guardian.co.uk/worldcup2006/comment/story/0,,1801671,00.html

Having said that given the anti-Hargreaves agenda in the English media and amongst some fans he will probably have to score a hattrick and play like Diego Maradona to get any praise.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 16.
  • At 01:09 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Harban Singh wrote:

Houllier & Benitez are both excellent leaders & my heart is for them. I still have a soft spot for Houllier for his simple, caring yet professional disposition & results. Despite the "hard to understand" English press he did wonders. And he is doing very well for Lyon. His Anfield signings were a risk, that sometimes you had to take. The English players are bloody expensive & not all have the right "attitude" aptly.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 17.
  • At 01:13 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Frank wrote:

Houllier's time at Anfield may have ended on a downward turn, but don't forget how dusty the trophy cabinet was before he took over. He definitely got Liverpool back in the winning habit, even if he wasn't the man to see it all the way through.
I hope the England boys (particularly Gerrard'n'Beckham) don't abandon their long passing completely tonight. They can do it well, and when they do, Rooney, Owen or Crouch can benefit. Cmon England!

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 18.
  • At 01:13 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Shelton Hlongwane wrote:

i think Houllier was a good coach for Liverpool its just that people dont appreciate enough.I hope South Africa gets him for 2010 as they have approached him already.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 19.
  • At 02:27 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • daol wrote:

heloo friends

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 20.
  • At 02:35 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Darrin Johnson wrote:

Houllier simply ended up with a Liverpool squad that could not compete with MU/A/C. Though it was mostly of his own making he steadied the Anfield ship that had capitualated following the heights of the Dalglish days and the traumatic Souness era. Good luck to GH.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 21.
  • At 02:36 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Darrin Johnson wrote:

Houllier simply ended up with a Liverpool squad that could not compete with MU/A/C. Though it was mostly of his own making he steadied the Anfield ship that had capitualated following the heights of the Dalglish days and the traumatic Souness era. Good luck to GH.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 22.
  • At 04:22 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • Mohammed Choudhury wrote:

Houllier saved Liverpool. Before he arrived we did not win much with Souness and Evans (although Roy Evans wasn't given much spending money).

Houllier gave Liverpool a winning mentality; he toughened up the defence and midfield. He may have purchased quite a lot of bad players in the latter years of management but he started the Liverpool revival to greatness.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 

Houllier started off very well for Liverpool as he introduced some fresh approaches to the game. However, after the excellent period from 2000- summer 2002 it all went wrong. EIRE has a great world cup and Duff's value soared, Diao and Diouf had excellent world cups and Liverpool wasted £20 million.

Benitez has limited funds this summer and has already signed Agger (January), Pauleta (? - an Argentine defender), Gonzalez (Chilean winger)... and committed about £15 to land Bellamy and Alves. None of these players are at the world cup and should all be fresh come August's Champions League qualification.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 24.
  • At 06:25 PM on 20 Jun 2006,
  • digger barnes wrote:

I think it's a good point about Liverpool's trophy cabinet being empty before Houllier.

Us Liverpool fans had to wait for 6 years for a trophy - not long for some teams but I'd lived through the 80s (too young for the 70s.)

And since 1990 (the last title) Liverpool had only won the FA Cup in 92 and the League Cup in 95.

95to 2001 was hard.

Benitez is a God. But it was Houllier who first 'let the Reds out.'

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 

Post a comment

Please note name and email are required.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

Required
Required (not displayed)
  Your email address will only be held by the BBC and will be used for the purpose of administering this blog site. The BBC may also contact you to further inquire about issues raised in mails posted to the blog. If you would like further information, please read the BBC's privacy policy
    

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC.co.uk