Liverpool trio meet an old friend
- 19 Jun 06, 07:42 PM
COLOGNE - 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.