Jamie Carragher: The Untold Story of Liverpool Legend That Pushed Himself Too Far | E206 | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "Jamie Carragher: The Untold Story of Liverpool Legend That Pushed Himself Too Far | E206".
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I couldn't get it out of my mind, I had to get hold of a psychologist. I was just like this, can't go on. Jamie Carrigut is a Liverpool stalwart, 730 odd appearances. It's never going to be another Jamie Carrigut. He's a winner. He's the shoe, he will, you know. That's just ridiculous. I'm no huge Rinaldo fan, I think that's pretty obvious. It's sad for him, the way he's people are speaking about Messi towards the end of his career, and Rinaldo, and it's completely different. It's almost like he feels like he's not rated him. I've got so much admiration for him for his mental strength, to be able to withstand pressure, criticism, and I saw too many players never recover from that. I knew from the first time I played football, to me, winning was all that mattered. If you say to me, what do I miss most of being a professional footballer, it's winning. I'd rather cheat and win than not win. When Jamie loses a game, is he different? That punished me self when I didn't perform well, and I regret that, but it was always that thing of, and I got a rough. I was just driving myself mad when I was at my absolute peak and best. That's when I needed more help. The feeling is stomach is that bad, you just, you don't be there. I always remember, and the only time I've ever did this in my whole career. Much of your success has been a result of a winning mentality in some of the toughest moments. Where does that come from? The reason why I've become the player I have, I think it's... Before this episode starts, I have a small favour to ask from you. Two months ago, 74% of people that watched this channel didn't subscribe. We're now down to 69%. My goal is 50%. If you've ever liked any of the videos we've posted, if you liked this channel, can you do me a quick favour and hit the subscribe button? It helps this channel more than you know, and the bigger the channel gets, as you've seen, the bigger the guests get. Thank you and enjoy this episode. Jamie, when I start this podcast, I usually start with people's childhoods, but as I was reading through your story, I think this is the first time I'm going to start before the person was even born.
Football Career And Mentality
The scare before you were born (02:00)
Because I read that there was a possibility that you weren't even going to be born, because of a, I guess, a misdiagnosis that your mother was given about you. Can you take me back to that story? Yeah, that was, uh, would have been about, I'm going to say, would have been about 1977, obviously. 78, I was born. And me mum has had two miscarriages before me, and then when I, she felt pregnant with me, the doctors, nurses didn't know what was wrong, but the new something was wrong. And initially, they were saying that we think your child has got spina bifte. And I think, what I'm saying in those days, maybe I don't know if it's the same now, there's a chance you could terminate the pregnancy if the baby was whatever, you know what I mean. And me mum was, I think, was given that option. And me mum was very holy. Things are right with probably at that stage in a early 20s, she would be going to church every day. She still goes every Sunday now. So, here thing was not with, the way she says to me was, if I allowed one to meet to have a baby who's got spina bifte or maybe something else, that's, that's what's being decided for me. That's fine. It's my child. I love that child. And what I find fascinating when you think of sort of today is that the closer it got to the it may be in bone, it wasn't spina bifte but they still knew something wasn't right. And it wasn't until I was born that I had basically my insides were on the outside. So I've got a gas dro, gas dro, skittis, it's called the condition. Now, I've got a big scar right across me stomach. I mean, if if someone has that condition today and plenty of babies do, it's a really small scar. But the thing that I think is fascinating, you know, just makes me think, wow, on me mum's side, it's the fact that as soon as I was born, I was rushed away straight away to all the hey children's hospital, hospital, which is still going strong today in live people. And because of what I've gone to achieve, I've got a real link with the hospital. And through our charity, we actually funded the world that looks after babies who have what I had. But I get rushed away to children's hospital and me mum doesn't know anything. There's no phones, there's no she's still in exactly hospital. Obviously, I've got a problem straight up to all the hey me dad go straight it. But again, the technology isn't like that. And I just think how long must there have been before when we mum knew I was all right, what I had, how quickly that's to go. You know, you can't quite fathom that when you think about today and how quickly we can get in touch with different people. So I just think about what was going through me mum's mind there for that sort of the next hour or two until she probably found out everything was okay. Your knowledge of that story and that experience has that left a lasting impact or impression on you in terms of the decision your mum made your mum made or being whisked away or the operational having this guy or anything like that has that left any sort of impression on you at all. Yes. All about me mum, I would say, you know, to to to to have had two miscarriages to have that going through your third pregnancy to think you could lose the baby. The no one can quite give you a definitive answer about what's going on with, you know, this child and your stomach and then to to not know straight away. And just I only know of now and when people have kids and have had my own kids and everything's so documented, isn't it? Whether it's, you know, the first picture in Instagram you're there with the the baby and the baby's born. I wasn't actually maybe we can get to that later. I wasn't there for my first one and that's a sort of a dewy grip. But I just think about how how me mum must have felt and and sort of me looking at me mum. I've been very lucky in the life. I know leads the experience about I've had. You know, it's not there if me mum doesn't make, you know, say decision. Not on with me dad, of course, but yeah, for me mum to sort of make that decision and I'm still here today. What about your dad? What, um, talk to me about him? In his character and what impact that had on you before the age of 10? It's a real big character. Yeah. You know, he's, you know, he's, he'll be in the pub. You'll have a debate. He'll get up and sing. He'll, you'll have an argument with some more. He's like a real larger than life sort of character. Who did you care about impressing the most? Just not even in the context of your parents, but just who were you trying to impress when you were young? Because for me, you know, it might have been my older brothers. It could have been my dad. It could have been, you know, a teacher who are you trying to impress? I mean, the obvious one is to say is me dad because he was the one who was always there in terms of he turned out football. Oh, and like, yeah. I mean, mum never watching play football. Okay. I mean, me mum must have watched me play five times in my life and that's nothing to do with not being proud of me or not being able. I know it's not the, the done thing now, but it was almost the case of me dad took us to football. We were going to stay there at all, you know, and did what we associated with and things. And now obviously that type of comment or then throw certainly back then because there's like sexist now, rightly so. But that was just the way it was. It wasn't, I don't think me mum was sort of bad during me dad to go to the football. She always just felt, well, okay, that's your thing to take them to the football, whether to be going to watch everything as young kids or you know, playing your games for, you know, how much your team's built the boys and I'm going to start on that year. And when you, when he took you to football, did he have high standards and expectations for you when you were playing? Yes, but I think that came not because he was so desperate for me to be a footballer. I think that became because I think he knew pretty early on I had something. You know, me dad had played football and we had watched football. Me dad was a massive football fan. So he, he, he, he done everything you could do in football in terms of played amateur football, managed amateur teams, went to watch everything home in a way. So he was just, he was obsessed with football. So from a young age, I think he was quite tough on me a couple of times that stand out, only because he knew the standards I could get to. And one of those times is like a story I put in my book. And I think sometimes when we dad listens back, I think he, I think he doesn't like me to say the story because I think he looks back at it and thinks, oh, I wish I had no done that, but I've got no problem with it. You know, I think it's part of my life, part of my story that basically I was seven years of age. And I didn't want to play in the game. It was that cold. It was freezing. It was hail stone. And I got tackled and I pretended that was a crying and come off. But he, me, me, me dad. And I'm the same week. We couldn't suffer. Belufus or phone ease. We'd say, you know, that type of thing. And he knew I was putting it on. And let's just say it was the last time I did. Well, I read that part in your memoir. Yeah. In your memoir, it says there was some raining football boots when you got home. Yeah. Maybe there's a little bit of artistic license there with the guy who wrote it. But no, I think it was that. And I think throughout my football career, not much on all feigning, in gym, talking about the big thing for me and the big thing for me that I want to pass on to my son is having character. That for me will take you to places that you don't think are possible. If you've got that personality, mental strength, character, I think that overrides a lot of things. That's really why I'm asking these questions, because I could see throughout your career that much of your success has been a result of a winning mentality and character in some of the toughest moments. And that's not the case with all the footballers that I've spoken to. That's just the case with some of them. And even when I sat with Peter Crouch, he referenced you as being so set on winning and so obsessed with winning that he didn't think you were ever enjoying it. And so I'm trying to figure out, and you smile when I say that, because you know, it's true.
Being obsessed with winning (10:59)
I've heard you say that subsequently. But where does that come from? Where does that character and that obsession with victory at all costs to the point that you cause suffering in yourself? Where does that come from? I think I think me dad. And whether you whether you're born with something like that, maybe you know, you speak to a lot of probably more people who give you that onset than I do and maybe have a better insight into it to me in some ways. And that I'm not quite sure. But I knew from the first time I played football, to me, winning was all that mattered. And if you say to me, what do I miss most of being a professional footballer? It's winning. It's not the taking part. It's not the training. A lot of people always say this. I footballers say this all the time. I missed the dressing room. I don't miss the dressing room. I missed the dressing room after the game and we win that like, oh, you've done something together. And I listened to Crouch's podcast because I seen it pop up somewhere. I think it was made online. Some piece of crowd said, Stephen Gerard and Jamie Caraget, wrist off players after 15. I thought I better listen to this one. But what Peter crowd said is right. And he's probably looking at me a little bit, don't fail. I can understand that, but I can't understand him. For me, Bill Shankley said football is a matter of life and death. And I don't think he meant that. I think that was obviously tongue-in-cheek at the time. And no football club knows that statement is not true more than Liverpool football club. But it's very close to being true. That's the way I say it. That's football for me. It's a way of life and winning. It's all that matters. And for me, when I played, I'd rather cheat and win than not win. And I don't know if it would ever be any different. And that's why I think football is taking me to places in my life that almost brings a tear to my eye. But it's always taking me to places where I don't feel like I'm ever going to get over in all the results or something hasn't gone well. You mentioned that that post-match feeling is the best and potentially the feeling you miss. But I've also heard you describe it as relief. And that's an interesting thing because people would think the post-match victory feeling would be euphoria or annihilation. But for you to describe it, as relief is a curious word. Because I knew how bad I'd feel if we didn't win or it hadn't gone well, it was almost relief that I'm not going to feel like that for the next two or three days. Because I would, I think I'd punish myself a little bit when I didn't perform well or we didn't win. And I regret that. But I don't know if I could have done anything different. It was what it was me. You know what? I spoke to a side. At one stage, I spoke to a side. I had to. I wasn't asked to. I had to get hold of a psychologist, a sports psychologist that were new because what I was doing to myself was, I was just driving myself mad really with the standards I was expecting of myself. And this, I must say, was not when I was not playing well in short of conference. This was when I was at my absolute peak and best. That's when I needed more help. Because I got to a stage where I felt I couldn't make a mistake. If I didn't play well, I thought we were going to lose. Because I wasn't daffed. I was playing at me best. I was a huge part of the team. And there was sort of me at the back and Stevie, you're out at the front if you like. And there was lots of other great players around there, of course. But I knew I was a huge influence in the Rafa Benita area. And I felt I'd go into big games thinking if I don't play well today, they're not going to win. And if I made a mistake, and I always remember the mistake I made, it was a way that I'd let a cold Madrid champion's league group game will win a one-nil, will under pressure constantly. And I'm playing really well. I'm in control. That was me and my elements away from home in Europe for Liverpool, trying to get that clean sheet organized and talking to everyone. And along the ball, I just misjudged it and he scored. And in the airport on the way home, I was just like, this can't go on. I've just got to stop. You know, that what I'm actually doing to myself, I've played great. I've made a little mistake, you know, they've capitalized on it. But you can put yourself through that. What was the symptoms that you were confronting in that moment? Why? What couldn't carry on? So you'd made that mistake. You're in the airport. You're on the plane, whatever. What is the what's happening? I couldn't get it out me mind. I couldn't. I got to shoot two nights when I'm sleeping. I mean, when I say not sleeping, I might get a couple of hours. I'll be constantly on me mind and wake up. It was the first thing I think about. And I was just like, what am I doing to myself? But how do you stop it? But the fascinating thing was, when I spoke to the sports psychology, that guy called Bill Bess, we kind of knew him from the England squad. After speaking to him, and then it got to the stage where I spoke to him probably two or three times a season, almost like I've reflect and you know, what's gone on. I couldn't change. We actually got to the bottom of actually, this is what to make you who you are. This is the drive to sort of if you if you did probably dismiss mistakes on my not to bother the hobby. I'll be fine next week. That wouldn't make you who you are. And I could still never shake it off. I couldn't. But I almost by speaking to him, it made me understand and accept that's what I was. So I still went through turmoil. If I didn't play well, if I made a mistake, I always wonder if that was like a byproduct of being a local player. I always think, what would I have been like about a played for Aston Villa or Tottenham? I didn't know that many people. It felt like you were playing for the club or the supporters or your family and friends really. Did you ever feel anxiety in those moments, the feeling of anxiety? So when something is plaguing you so much that you almost feel that kind of sense of nervous energy that keeps you up at night and you feel it in your stomach? No. It was never anxiety. I would say anger. And I want to put this right. It's like, I didn't even want to sleep. I want to get to training the next day. Did that come out in your home life? Because it's hard not to take that home with you. Yeah, I think it will have done. Yeah. Yeah, 100%. I remember something came up a year or two ago on Twitter about a group of players or a certain player or maybe the manager went out and had a meal or a few drinks after they lost. And there was this big debate on Twitter. Well, why shouldn't you know, so fan you or fans are like, you shouldn't be like, you shouldn't go out. And there was this big debate. And I think Gary Linnick, I mentioned something that I've never not changed. I've never changed me plans on the back of the result. Okay, that sounds nice. I thought it was unbelievable. I would change plans every single week if that game didn't go well. So that's where it was affecting my home life. So in terms of organizing a night house, going for a meal with friends, wherever it may be, I couldn't have shown me face if we were lost and I played poorly, not a chance. And I couldn't believe that some players could just carry on with the life. I'd be a bit like, oh no, no, because the feeling is stomach, it's that bad. You just you don't even want to be a, you don't want to be there. You don't be with people. You don't speak. You know, that's, that's what I almost, you got me and I go back to that, you know, would have been different at another club. I would never have wanted to play for another club. But that is the one thing I do think about would have resolved some performances affected me differently. You come home after, you know, losing a game or something, you got your family that your kids are out. Hey, I mean, to be fair, me kids were quite young when I was still playing. But there was one game that stands out when I couldn't get out of something. I was opening a restaurant. I opened a restaurant about 10 or 15 years ago called Caffey Sports England in Liverpool. And the two times we opened, those two games I didn't play well. And in my head before the game, I'm thinking, I've got to play well in this game, because people will think of it, don't play well. I've got me mind somewhere else. And I was probably too focused on the game in some ways. And then I had to go and almost open the restaurant and those people here. And I remember the second one, it was like, no, I went, I was there 20 minutes. I was like, I've got to go. If I spoke to Nicola, which I might have done, but I went to before this, I asked the question and I said, when Jamie loses a game, is he different? And what's he like? What would she have said to me? 100% Yeah. 100%. What would she have said, you reckon? He's not there. When I'm talking to him, I think she'd probably say that. Maybe now with different times, but I would be, I'll be in a trance. I'd just be to the day demons, people would be speaking to me. And it's probably best she'd leave me alone and not try and get me mind off it, because I couldn't. Even if it did get me mind off it, I'd all go back to it. And you're talking about going home. I always remember one time where I said I was in a trance, but I was with the players. So I always remember, we were playing a game against Evan, which for me is the biggest game. I had a nightmare in the game. And we were going for a meal afterwards with the team, that kind of fish, not a sort of few drinks. It was to be fuel. Basically, this game is an early morning kickoff. We had a Champions League game on the Tuesday night in Aindo, we got B3 and they look good at some. And we've gone to the center of Liverpool for a meal just to make sure we're eating the right food. And I remember just staring, just couldn't stop. I just wasn't even eating, just staring. And next thing, it's a text message. Stevie Gerald, it's just like he's there. He's gone. Don't worry about it. It's gone. Finish. You forget about it. You've got to try and put it. But I was just like, he could just say, everyone's devastated. But for me, I'm not trying to make out that I kid more than anybody else, because everyone's got their own ways of dealing with things. But yeah, it was a huge part of my life football. It always has been, always will be. I think I'll always be affected by football results. Well, that's when I was playing as an Everton fan, as a Liverpool fan right now, football results will affect me. It sounds painful. It sounds like suffering. Doesn't sound like fun. Well, when you win, I can assure you, I make sure I enjoy them. I know afterwards, I said before that it was relief. But you had that moment of sort of joy. The reason it was difficult to enjoy and why I'm probably different to a Peter Croucho set and plays who came in is that I think they'd come in from clubs where he played once a week and if they played, well, it was like, I don't need to worry to that game. I'm going to be offered two or three days, where there's me that have a game Tuesday, Champions League or a Cup game. And then it'd be right to enjoy that. Right? Bang. We're back on it now. It was almost like, you're just on this train and you're not going to get in the way, not on the stopping. But I'm kind of sure, yeah, it wasn't a whole doom and gloom. I loved it and so many nights and times and experiences. But I do wish I was a little bit candid to myself on the back of a poor performance or a defeat. I mean, does what I keep thinking about once standing out. We won the FA Cup final in 2006, personally out of the great season. We'd kept 33 clean sheets, which was one away from a record, which was like, which was obviously a lot. We played the Cup final score, the own goal. I didn't play well. Stevie Jarrad wins as the final and we go on the open bus tour around Liverpool. So I have had a great season, but not had a great last game. And we sons on the bus with me and I go on the top of the bus to start with, but you're on the bus for maybe three or four hours within an hour, I was downstairs. I was just sat there thinking, oh, it didn't go well. I didn't do that. You know, I didn't do it. And I was thinking, now we're in a lot of I remember us. I'm like, what are you doing? It was one game. You've had an unbelievable season. The team and we won the FA Cup. We finished the season with a trophy, but I couldn't. It was almost like I was up there acting because I didn't feel like celebrating, but we won the Cup. You know, just because I hadn't, I made a mistake, hadn't played particularly well. I know most players will be able to go, I've had a great season. I've had only one game we won. I found it tough. People that have that win is mindset. They, as you kind of alluded to a second ago, they often struggle to understand those that don't to relate to them. And they often have a lot of friction with the people that don't have the winner's mindset because when you see the world in that way, I saw it a lot in Michael Jordan's documentary last time. It was really amazing. I think I got a poster upstairs after I watched it. But he had that mindset where he was, you could see he would pick on certain people who wouldn't meet him at his level. Did you ever find yourself in Stevie doing that? Where if someone came into the dressing room and they weren't at that level, you would either force them out or you'd, I mean, that's kind of what Peter Kratz was alluding to, right? He was kind of saying that you two would be protecting the bar. Yeah, I mean, I think what happens is, I think what Peter was trying to mention, which I think it was a little bit unfair, the way he described, was that when a new player came in, I think being Stevie with fans, we ain't just plays with fans. It was like, Oh, God, I hope he's good. You know, like a fan was out this new fella's God. And when you come after the first sign and says, it'd be more than a joke. Oh, God, this doesn't look good. Does it? You know, I mean, that type of thing, if I go, God, I hope this goes well. But I was Stevie. Stevie was different to me and I was very vocal, very emotional. Stevie's maybe body language on the pitch at times would be questioned if, you know, he wasn't happy with somebody he might turn away, you know, whereas I'd be remonstrating, screaming, shouting, you know, and not in terms of someone hadn't played Paul, that Paul, he would man, it'd be more in terms of organization, someone doing the job for the team, where are you where you need to be? I always felt like I was the coach of the team in some ways. And because I played a center back and I could see the whole team and in front of me, yeah, but we would be on top of people. But I don't, I wouldn't like that to come across in like a a bullion way or you're trying to, you know, keep people down here. We loved Torres, Torres Alonso. Can we love being around great place? Because you wanted to win. That was all that matters. It wasn't about securing your place or making sure I was protected in any way. It was that thing of like, it's Liverpool. The big clubs, it's not enough to play for them. And I know some people think I played for this club and it's on your CV and I took great achievement to get to a Liverpool United Chelsea city. But it's not enough to play for and you've got to win. The whole existence of those clubs about winning. If they're not winning, there's no point. You know, so that was my, my, my drive at Liverpool was to win every single day. When Gerard Heulier came in, came in as a manager, it's Heulier. So Heulier, Gerard, we'll just call him Gerard Heulier.
Gérard Houllier (27:00)
When he arrived at Liverpool in, I think it was 1986? 1998. 1998, he came into the club. The place took to him at first, as I read, because he, one of the key decisions he made was around Paul Ince. You see, the players talked to him. Yeah. No, I think he found it difficult to start with. Oh, really? I think it was a big split in the camp in that the players would come before that with Roy Evans and Gerard Heulier came in. He was new to it. And yeah, I think it was tough forming that for this season. Yeah. Did that turn at some point? Did he win the trust of the players? Yeah. I mean, yeah, he put Paul Ince, a great, great fella. I get on great with Paul Ince, a great player as well. Didn't have the career at Liverpool. He's had maybe other clubs. And I think Gerard Heulier just wanted to make it a fresh start. And he wanted to, I think most of all, I might just do it, the take on, you know, the big guy, if you like. And he was saying that he was, I think he was maybe England's captain or vice captain at the time. But he wanted to completely revolutionise Liverpool and completely change it. And yeah, he had a words with Paul Ince. And the thing was not about him having words as such, but also the fact that he didn't sort of back down. He really held his own. He had a strong argument in the team meeting. I mean, why have we just stood up to probably one of the best midfield players of his generation? What was that strong argument in the team meeting? It was over. Paul Ince questioned what we're doing in training as senior pros do at times, you know, we're trying to get it right. Why are we doing this? Why are we doing that? And I think Gerard Heulier saw it as his opportunity to sort of stand with authority. It was almost like I would imagine he was glad Paul Ince had said it and it was what it was, Paul Ince in some ways. And I don't think the message was for Paul Ince because I think he was always going to get rid of Ince. I think the message was to the rest of us, you know, don't try and take me on. This is what we're going to do. Publicly in front of in the team meeting, Paul. Yeah, basically, no, you wouldn't get this club anymore, but he questioned his desire in a game. And to be fair, Paul Ince was probably one of the bravest footballers you'd see. But in a particular game against Manchester United, we'd lost a 2-1 and we'd lost two goals in the last minute. And I think it was a very so defeat for everyone. So I think everyone was a little bit emotional about it. And because Ince had jumped up and said something, he just went straight back and said he wasn't happy. He'd come off. He shouldn't have come off. My captain should come off on a stretcher from all traffic. And it was interesting with Jana Huoli. We had him the first foreign manager. And all of a sudden, people were associated with him with this flavour football and being maybe a bit nice. But that was what the Liverpool team was before Jana Huoli came. He completely went the other way and was once a big, strong, powerful players, aggression. And that's why me and Emma such a great ladies, because I was such a competitor. Maybe he didn't have the quality that some of the players had in the Royal Evans team. If you're like in some of the football that you played without standing, but he just wanted people who would die for that year. Because I read that part of the reason why his reign as manager sort of came to an end was because he made some bad signings.
Finding people that have the right mentality (30:23)
And he didn't really inquire enough about the players that he was signing's character and their personality. And I was just so compelled by that idea that that's one of the most important things when you're building teams is finding people that have the same mentality and character versus just great sort of technical players. I think about the same in business. I'm always considering how someone will support our culture, make our culture better, raise the bar in terms of that mentality versus just being able to do a thousand kick-ups or whatever, loads of skills. Yeah, I think you do need to set mentality to play for Liverpool. What is that mentality? The other big clubs. I think it's a big challenge to be able to withstand pressure criticism that comes away. So often I saw a lot of Liverpool players who would start really well. And it wouldn't make me think we've got a great player here. I always think, let's say a couple of months down the ranks. I knew what was coming. Because every player goes through a few bad games, you get criticism, or whatever it may be. And I saw too many players never recover from that. And that tells me that for me, the top level football is mentality. Do you have that personality character to get you through those tough moments and come back and fight back and not give in? Can you teach that? I don't know. You tell me. What do you think? I tend to believe that it comes from experience. I think resilience and those character traits come from being knocked down loads of times. So when the 10th failure or knockdown comes, or the 10th moment of hardship comes, you're more equipped to deal with it. So players that haven't been through the tougher challenges in their life, maybe in their personal life, maybe where they come from, don't have that. Well, to the interesting system, we're doing this this afternoon and the smaller me, someone in front of the operation. You're some dude? Yeah, right. So he's going in front of the operation. He's a professional footballer. And paintingly, having been able to probably sleep about it, thinking about it, you know, you just want to do as much as you can, you know, to help them because it's just some. But the thing I keep drumming the whole to him, and I keep saying it almost every day, we're not using this as an excuse. This is not going in the way. It's like, this happened. Is it okay? We're going again. It's like, this, I know for a lot of people or players or young players or wherever it may be, would be a hurdle to come across and understandably so. But it's not in years to come going to be, oh, I didn't quite do what I wanted because of that in the up. Yeah, and this never happened. And that it's like, no, there's going to be lots of things in his career, as in my career, obstacles in the way, you've got to get over them. You've got to get them all the way, or you've got to deal with it and then keep going. Nothings. And that was always my mindset. And that's what I'm trying to put into me. So I'm pretty confident. He's got that mindset of not to stop you, not getting your way. You don't use anything as an excuse or a reason why something didn't happen, that no excuse mentally, you keep going. No obstacles in the way.
Playing for England vs Liverpool (33:53)
You said earlier on that you might not have cared as much as you do. You might not have had that same level of excruciating obsession and care about the results and the outcome and winning if you'd been at another club. And you were at another club, which is England. And you didn't seem to care as much. You said that. You remember, I was quite shocked to read that. I remember the text messages that said fuck it. It's only England. And generally, you didn't seem to be as excruciatingly hard on yourself after losing for England, as you did with losing for Liverpool. I think that was down to the fact that I didn't carry the same responsibility, because I never really played. I was like a squad player. Really. I wouldn't class myself as a patriotic. Not at all. I don't know. Can you be patriotic if you're on the city? Is that a word or is there something? I have no idea. I'm massively passionate about my own city. Maybe that comes from the way we're brought up in Liverpool. You know, the thing of your fear is if a lot of the country's against you and maybe that's some of it's through some people outside of a pool think of that chip on your shoulder. But there is that sort of buy into that. And that doesn't mean like I'm against England as such. But it watching England down the way a cup would never take me to a place emotionally the way it would if I saw Liverpool playing. It just wouldn't take me there. It's not like a conscious thing of, oh, I'm not going to make, I'm not going to be happy about this. It's just inside me. And that wasn't just when I was playing for him. That was when I was a child. I'd be thinking, why aren't England people? They haven't played us? You know, it almost felt like England was a team from down south or a London team. That's just the feeling I had. And I think if I would have become a mainstay of the England team, I think I would have felt that. I think I would have got there. And that's me one disappointment in my football career. It's the only team in my life from when I started at the Fabio's weight. I didn't dominate. I'm going to say dominate was being mainstay of the team, be one of the voices of the team, be one of the leaders. Because I wasn't good enough. That's a simple fact. There's lots of players that you've encountered in your career that didn't reach their potential.
Traits of people that don't make it (36:14)
You're talking about reaching your potential, doing your best, getting to the top of your potential a second ago. When you think about why those players didn't reach their potential, if you had to point out characteristics or behaviours that led them to miss their potential, what would those behaviours be? The traits of losers. I think blaming other people at different times for their own poor games, mistakes, always looking for excuses, I would say. I think I'm pretty honest and I was as a player and I always remember when I was a young lad, I had a bad game. I keep talking about my bad games. You remember them all? But a very famous culture, it was a huge inspiration to me was running around. I played a game and played poorly and I did the interview after the game saying it was my fault. Those goals were my fault. And even though this was a coach who was a real sort of man, a legend of Liverpool football club, he wasn't the coach then. He still used to come in and walk around the training ground and he said, "Don't ever do that again." He said, "You don't need to open yourself up like that." He said, "Be honest with the rejection room and see it managed yet." But he said, "You know what I mean? Sometimes you've got to be clever and look after yourself a little bit and you don't need to be as honest. You think you're doing the right thing?" And I knew exactly where he was going from. I think the times you need to be honest, but I think probably the other times like that you maybe need to protect yourself a little bit, but you never hide behind the fact that it was someone else's fault. And again, I keep going back to me soon because I'm not a culture manager and people say to me, "Could you give something back?" But I want you to give it back to me soon and things like that don't question the manager. Don't make excuses. Don't blame the manager. Or if you come in and say, "Oh, the culture, the train." Well, get your out of it. Don't be an interesting machine. "Oh, this isn't good or that isn't good." Quick word from one of our sponsors. I've got a tip for all of you that will make your virtual meeting experiences, I think, 10 times better. As some of you may know, by now, BlueJeans by Verizon offers seamless high quality video conferencing. But the reason why I use BlueJeans versus other video conferencing tools is because of immersion. Their tools make you feel more connected to the employees or customers you're trying to engage with. And now, they're launching one of their biggest feature enhancements to impact virtual events so far called BlueJeans Studio. I actually used it the other day. I did a virtual event using the studio, which I think about 700 of you came to, TV level production quality, all done by one person with very little technical experience on a laptop. So if you've got an event coming up and you're thinking about doing it virtually, check out BlueJeans Studio now. Let me know what you think because I genuinely believe, I know this is an advert and I'm supposed to say this, but I genuinely believe it's the best tool I've seen for doing really immersive, simple but high quality production virtual events. Quick one from our longest standing sponsor here. I can't tell you over the last, and say over the last, really it's been about two and a half years. It was really post pandemic, how much my health has become such a huge priority in my life. And I have this laser laser focused on what I'm putting into my body. It's funny because as you get older, you can start to feel the things you're putting into your body more and more and more. And if I put something into my body, especially things like gluten, if I put those things in my body, I feel them tremendously the next day, my energy levels and my sleep and everything in between. Heal has been probably the most important partner in my health journey because I've been in the boardrooms, I've been to their offices, tens and tens and tens and tens of times. I've seen how they make their decisions on nutrition and I trust it. Most of my team that are in this room with me, consume it and get the benefits of it too. So if you haven't already tried, you'll do so. On the point of questioning the manager, one of the things I read was that Gerard Hulier, Hulier, I can't say his bloody name.
Managers losing the dressing room (40:11)
Hulier. Hulier. Cool. One of the reasons why he ultimately ended up leaving the club was because he started to lose his authority in the dressing room. Now, Peter Crouch said to me that great managers, even when they don't know the right answers, pretend they do. Because they know that if they ever get to a point where the players know that they're not in control, then the authority's gone. And there was a story I read about Gerard Hulier picking a team and then going and asking Gerard if it was the correct team. And then Gerard said it's not the correct team and changed it. This happened in spring in 2004, in the run up to a Premier League match way to Manchester United. Gerard Hulier picked the team, but then consulted with Gerard whether the selection was right, who said it wasn't right. And then Hulier changed it. I don't, it rings a bell. I don't know the specific game if that was the right game, but I think towards the end of his time, I think the result had gone well. And managers, no matter who they are, they will lose confidence. And Stevie at that time is obviously a megastat. And you're trying to maybe keep people on side if you're like, not I think the players were ever offside with Gerard Hulier, but that confidence and belief in the manager starting to ever wave and results don't go well. I wouldn't say Gerard Hulier ever lost the dressing room in terms of how we felt about him as a man, but it was a time for the to come to an end. There's no doubt about that. And it's an interesting one that doesn't manage or lose the dressing room. Yes, he's always lost part of a dressing room because the players, who he's not picking. But I think it's when that belief goes really, but for me, again, I think I was different to other players because I never played for the manager. Ever. I always played for the club. And again, because it was the, I always felt like I played for the club and the supporters. And I'm not saying that to curry favor with the supporters as such, but no manager bought me. You know, I didn't know I'm managing anything as such. I mean, Roy Evans gave me me debut, supposing other managers played me, but I never had that sort of feeling that we need to win this for the manager. Raffa Benitez comes in next. What's the difference between Gerard Hulier and Raffa Benitez in terms of style? Because I find it so compelling that managers can be great for various different reasons. And we think of management as like a formula. But as I say here with football players that have had seven, eight, nine managers, they all say that managers are completely different in their style and approach. Yeah, Raffa was completely different. Gerard Hulier was a manager. I think Gerard Hulier was the type of guy who could, he could manage an organization, didn't just have to be football. I think he could have been a bank manager. He could have been a CEO if you like, he organized people, get everyone focused on, you know, what do we want to achieve? But the actual day to day stuff of coaching, I don't, it wasn't his foresight. And it might sound strange. I don't think he had a huge knowledge of the game enough, but it wasn't someone who was going to say something to you in a coaching session or a tactical point that made you think, Oh, never had that before or that's a bit different. It wasn't like that his thing was bringing people together for a common goal and, and, almost what I've described him to other people. People say Clive Woodward, the England rugby coach, Will Cup winning coach was probably similar in that. And he's had with the coaches, but he's always becoming up with ideas to create sort of a siege mentality or togetherness. Whereas Raffa was a coach, he was on that training pitch every day. And he was a lot colder than Gerard Hure. He was a lot more interested in the kids, the wife, you know, yourself, you know, he speak, ask me about my dad or different things like that was Gerard, who, Raffa didn't want to get involved in it. And I feel him it was just football. I mean, I think I was obsessed with football. Raffa was just like, he was probably above me. So, but it was different, but it doesn't, I mean, I'll be honest with you. When we describe managers, like the one who come a couple after was really hard, and it didn't go particularly well, but we pointed it. When a new manager comes in, I want to get whatever I can from them. So he may not work for Liverpool. I may not like, expert might like Ryan's head. I'm so hungry. So, you're always going to be a sponge and taking things in and learning things. And I think when Gerard Hulea came in, I was a big power player and then became a fully fledged member of Liverpool Swiss 11 for the next five years. And then Raffa came in and then we again stepped up a level to become the vice captain and one of the leaders in the team, one of the best players in the team. So, I always think I got the most from these, these other managers coming in, you know, who sent me Gerard Hule, I don't think it would have ever heard of me. Maybe, you know, not too much. But I think it's important that people come into your life, figures of authority. You've got to basically squeeze everything out to them, to your advantage. And I think I did that with both managers. Let's do the biggest prone con then. So from what I, of these individuals as managers, so Gerard Hulea, you said he's a great sort of man manager, CEO type. That's probably, from what I hear, one of his greatest strengths. His downside is maybe a lack of football knowledge. Is that what you're saying? I wouldn't say it was a downside because he had coaches around him who did the training sessions. It just, it got to its natural end. Right. In that, you know, you shouldn't forget him. He nearly lost his life managing Liverpool. And he's then making decisions. Is he in a fully, you know, football, focus, state of mind? Well, he's actually recovering from almost losing his life. And we made a few signings that didn't wave. And to be honest, that's always our ends. Philippa, people, managers, when it comes to the end, that they have a sum up with you by a few players. They don't quite work out. And then the next manager has to come in because, you know, the energy and the excitement, not just from the squab, but also the suppose, he's just peeking out. So Rafa's great, tactically obsessed with football, obsessed with the game. But his sort of downside was, if they're, I mean, everyone has a fucking downside. I have a downside as a manager and a CEO. Yeah. Yeah. Is probably the the man management stuff. Yeah. But I don't think that that stops us winning as such. Yes. It's just that nobody is everything. Yeah. Alex Ferguson is not a coach. He's bought a more like a Gerard Hulier type figure. And his coach is there. Rafa Benita's people's old question, his man management. But I don't question the results. I don't question Gerard Hulier, or the managers, you've just got to do what your strength that your strength or what if Rafa Benita's strength is not the man management. I'm putting this act on. It's all about being obsessed with football and coaching every single day. Do what you're good at. That's quite interesting. There's so many ways to win. Because when I sat here with all the United players Rio, Patris, Gary, they all say about Sir Alex Ferguson, they go, man manager, but only came in the training room dressing round twice in 26 years, whatever. And then you hear about these other people like Rafa, who also tremendously successful, won the biggest trophies you could possibly win, but wasn't that way inclined. History is written by the winner. It doesn't matter what you do. So if Sir Alex Ferguson doesn't do well at man United, those same players be saying to you, he's never at the training round. He's never there. We don't do tactical work. He doesn't do any coaching. It's all about winning. And to be honest, what you're saying, there is interesting because one time, I remember Rafa Benita's, he knew someone at United and he said, "Fayison doesn't even coach." Because in Rafa's man, you've got to be a target. You're a coach. You know, I think when him and Marineo came along, they were like coaches and probably couldn't get the heads around the way Alex Ferguson was. And it was almost a little bit dismissive. And it wasn't like I was trying to defend the Manchester United manager. It was just that training. Even if a fayison doesn't even do the coaching, I said, "So, what?" It doesn't matter. He wins. There's different ways of winning. And that's my thing on TV now. There's no right or wrong way to play football. It's being the best you can be at what you do. And if that for Rafa Benita's is being on that training round, coaching, not getting involved in stuff away from the pitch. Well, that's someone else's job. No one is perfect at any. Alex Ferguson wasn't a great coach, so he brought in great coaches. I think that's really important, not just in football management. I actually think in life, for me, I'm a little bit wary of getting involved in things, but I think that's not my area of expertise. I think that'd be a little bit arrogant to myself to think I could just parachute myself in there. And start running the show or get right involved in it. So I think we all got to know where I stand. And all got to know where we need help because we all need help. That's what Richard Branson taught me. Reading through his story, but also getting to speak to him on this podcast. This is a guy who didn't know what the difference between net profit and gross profit until I think he was 50, which is one of the key principles, like understandings of running a business. Dyslexic can't look at presentations. If you try and show him words on a slide deck, he won't look at it. He'll only look at pictures. He's got so many deficiencies in areas that you think are critical to business. But the one thing that everyone says he says and everyone around him says was because of all of his deficiencies, he made up for it by being the best delegator in the world. So he found people that could plug all of these gaps and gave them huge responsibility. And you think, by the age of at the same time when he doesn't know the difference between net profit and gross profit, he's running 50 different companies. Virgin is now 400 different companies. And you get, how is someone who is in his own words, like not good at business, doing that, well, just a supreme delegator? And Sir Alex Fos in the same bad coach, but had, can't remember his name, that guy that did it. Carl's key. Carl's a different one. I think what you're saying is really good because the career I've had has afforded me so many opportunities. I'm so fortunate that I am speaking to you. You're speaking to other people who are experts in their field. But when you speak to them, and that story about Richard Branson, is perfect in that if you don't know them and say my family and friends, sometimes they're fascinated by some of the people I meet. And I said, I'm lucky to be in certain situations. And they look at these people like that, they're extraordinary. And when you've got a sort of relationship with someone, whether it's someone I work on TV with, they're just normal people. And they've got the same sort of insecurities that you've got. But they've got something about them, where they've got sort of maybe it's an opportunity that's had risen. They've grabbed it with both hands, they've an enthusiasm. Something about them is put them in that position. But they're not extraordinary people. They've got an extraordinary talent for that. And we find themselves, I feel it in that field. So that thing where people are so impressed with someone who think they're going to give them these words that they've never heard of before. I think the older I get now, I realize that a lot of people in great positions, it's not because they're some genius. Sometimes, as I said, it's opportunity. They've seen the niche in the market, whatever it may be. They've just gone out there and grabbed it. You know, there's a real trap I've noticed based on exactly what you said, where someone's successful. So what we do is we assume that they get everything right. And so with Richard Branson, because he's a super successful entrepreneur, we assume that he's the best at marketing, branding, finance, all of these things. And I noticed this a lot when I was in San Francisco. And it was when Snapchat, the app had blown up. And we were building a chat app. And what you'd see the team doing was whenever we were trying to make a decision, the team were going, well, what does Snapchat do? Because Snapchat was successful, we assumed that their marketing strategy, every feature they had, everything they did with the login form, we assumed everything they did was right. And I came to sort of see that bias in myself. And it's exactly what you've described. If we see someone who is at the top of the game, we assume that they are god-like in everything. And that's what you do with Richard Branson. She means the best speaker in the world. You assume it's best salesman. No, in reality from what I've learned from doing this and honestly looking at my own life, because I'm not actually good at business. Like, I'm not good at the business stuff. I'm not good at like finance operations, processes, but I'm good at this one thing. And that's what I learned from Richard is Richard's good at this one thing. He's like, good, I'd say he's good at the branding piece, but he's just an unbelievable delegator. So that's what I got from all of that. But it's funny having this conversation in the wake of Richard Branson, because he's the best example of that.
Pivotal moment for Liverpool (53:12)
One of the defining moments, I think in football generally, not just as a Liverpool player or a Liverpool fan was that final away at Istanbul. You go in at half time. I think it's 2005 final. You go in three-null down. When you go down that tunnel at three-null down, honestly, do you think you can turn that game around? No, no, no, no at all. What are you thinking when you walk through the tunnel then? It's going to be six-null. Is that what you're thinking? How can we stop at being six-null? I think if you lose again, three-null, it happens. If you lose five or six-null, it's remembered. And that was my fear. That was fear. What happened in the dressing room? What did Rafa say? Not a lot. He was an unmoltevator. He was a tactician. And he made changes in this system-wise, strategically to change it. But if I'm being honest, I think the changes he made was not to win the game. I think the changes he made was to stop at becoming five or six-null. Because we actually brought on a defensive midfield player, D.D.A. man. We went to, you can go to three at the back, but you can be five at the back if you like, rather than playing four. Don't get me wrong, the changes helped us go on and get the goals, but I think, initially, it's we need to stop what AC Milan are doing otherwise this is going to be a massacre. Why did the game turn around? I think the changes Rafa made. A little bit of luck. And Stephen Jarrad. He scores the header 54 minutes or something. And then within a couple more minutes, you're three now. That's the little bit of luck you need to score so quickly right after that. That happens in some games. And we did get a little bit of luck. I think the lines were actually flagged for an offside. The referee didn't see it. And they carried on playing with it. He second to the lines and put his flag down. And that in the run-up too was getting our second goal. So we scored the second goal and then, you know when you're on a football pitch, you smell it, three-two. We knew it was going to be three-three. Everybody knew it was going to be three-three. You just... What is that? I don't know. The reason I know is because when we scored three-two, no one celebrated the goalscorer. Everyone just runs back. He started celebrating. He started celebrating. And he was going crazy. I thought I remember thinking you shouldn't do that. Yeah. But everyone's back. It's like everyone's in his own. And you don't need to speak to other people. Sometimes there's moments in games where you can smell it, you can feel something's happening. Is that a culture thing as well? Because there's certain clubs you have that. When they go two-nil down, three-nil down, no one goes, "Oh, they're going to do it. They're going to come back." And there's that mentality where you go, "Yeah, we're not safe here. They're coming for us." I think Liverpool are Manchester United. They've got it. City seems to have it now. City, yeah. Certainly in the last couple of years, in the Pacmariola. I've always felt Chelsea have had that in the last 10 years or so. Even when they went at the best, they still find a way to win. And yeah, I know clubs got that. And we'll always have that. You just, they just, you feel like something's going to happen. Why is Liverpool done so well in the Champions League? I think a lot of that is emotion. Belief. Getting winning those finals as well. Yeah. We're in finals. The history that's gone before, the Anfield crowd believe, that the opposition coming to Anfield believes that something's going to happen special. This is a mythical football ground. Do you believe they're the best fans in the Premier League? I wouldn't say that. And the reason I wouldn't say that is because everybody thinks they're the best fans. Yeah. And I think if I do say that, I won't be turning on me Twitter. Notifications in a few days after this podcast comes out, but no. I would say, yes. But every set of polls is what they do to follow their team home and away. I think Anfield's special. I don't think anyone could deny that. There's something special. Adam, feel that doesn't happen in any other places where I think when we say that, you know, the crowd sucked the goal in. Well, the opposition manager will always say before the game, no spectators ever scored a goal. That's pretty obvious. But Adam, feel that almost feels like, I think even top managers, even Pep Guardiola, at his record, at Anfield. Maybe the greatest manager of all time is at some of the greatest teams of all time. His record in Anfield, horrendous. And he hasn't changed his environment. He goes to Anfield. It's just like the environment, the atmosphere, just the mad things happen at Anfield. Was that the pinnacle of your career, that final? Oh, yeah. That is standable. I have to be honest, I couldn't believe I was playing at that level. What do you mean? Well, I was a huge football fan, probably the biggest football fan in the dressing room who was just obsessed with football, red, watched, everything. And I know about all the great teams, you know, going back to the Remajian teams in the 50s, the Stefan on Puskas. Then you probably got the Bayern Munich teams, the Beckenbauer, Croude teams just before that. Total football, Holland. Then you've got the AC Milan team. The great teams who dominate European football, the AC Milan late 80s, early 90s. I could name all the players. What they did, Guari, all the team of Barcelona. Obviously, that was after we were involved in the Champions League. And I'm very honest about my capabilities of football. But I didn't think I was that level. Some people may still think, I'm not. That's obviously football's opinions. But I always remember me won the semi-final against Chelsea. I wasn't thinking, right, we're going to be in the Champions League. I was making me face few days afterwards, I'm playing the Champions League final. This is like Maldini, Bresi, Croude, all these players who I actually idolise and know so much about. They're defined by the European Cup or a tournament. I always think the greatest players of all time, they've either dominated the European Cup or the Wale Cup or the Orals or something. Winning leagues is not enough to be really put yourself on a level of the real greats. That's what they all do. And it was almost, wow, I can't believe I'm playing at this level. That made me think about Ronaldo. Obviously, he's out of the World Cup now. And you've had a couple of strong opinions on Ronaldo over the last couple of weeks.
So, if I, to be honest, following the interview he did, and then I'm a man United fan. So, I didn't take it especially well, what he said and how he did it. And I thought it was very self-serving and selfish, etc. There's probably another way to do it. And I wonder now, I actually wonder if he regrets doing it. I wonder if he knew it would play out like it did, and then he'd go to the World Cup, be benched again, which almost kind of validates Eric Tenhogg's position. But what's your whole stance on the Ronaldo saga? I actually only watched the full interview a couple of days ago. He did with Piers Morgan. I'd only seen clips of it. And I watched the full interview. I'm not sure he's a guy who regrets anything or too much, if I'm being totally honest. Or certainly doesn't give off that maybe in his private thoughts. I think the Portuguese one will have hated him. But you know, it's he's fallible. He's not superhuman. He's one of the greatest players of all time. He's special. But I mean, I'm no huge Ronaldo fan. I think that's pretty obvious. And that's not for his football ability. I actually got so much admiration for him for his mental strength. I just think it's unbelievable. I think probably one of the strongest players mentally, because he's had that thing his whole career for how good he is. He still had to sort of mess you on his shoulder. It's always he could never almost sit back and go. And the best, almost relax. He's always at this constant, yeah, but you know, just go as messy. And I know people it splits people. But I would say the majority of people would probably side with messy. I would imagine I think that they do. And I think to always have that and always have that thing of trying to prove people wrong and I've got that on a completely different level. It's almost like he feels like he's not rated even though everyone says he's one of the best players of all time. And I can help but admire that drive because I've got that drive but just not that ability that he's got. But I just, I mean, I'm saying I don't want him to sort of ruin his legacy with interviews. I mean, I don't really care. It's not my problem. But it's sad for him. The way people are speaking about messy toward the end of his career and Ronaldo. And it's completely different. And it's not to do with what's going on in the pitch. I think it's always that idea that Ronaldo was about himself. It was a ego. Whereas Messi has painted this like same figure when I don't actually think that's true. But Pete R is given that interview. People have obviously gone on for them now and where does he go from here? Because if he had had a phenomenal world cup, then there'd probably be a lot of doors open for him. Some top sides would probably want him even just for a year contract or something. But in the wake of being a disruptive employer is last role. And then going off to the euros and being either a disruptive employee or just a poor performing employee, you make sure you wonder like what manager is going to want to take on that ego. But also without the upside you get with just incredible, unfilled performance. So it's now just it seems like it's just the same. It's still to do the way now, isn't it? Yeah. I mean, Ronaldo hasn't changed. He's always being that sort of character. Everyone's known that. But he was weird to hassle. Yeah, exactly. And that's like everything in football. When we talk about a manager making a decision, can you put up with that? It's in your business, isn't it? In your life, you don't cut off your nose, it's about your face. But when it gets to that stage where you're thinking, this will become a more of a problem. And again, I say that to be some, you know, when a manager looks at you as a player, every manager wants the same thing. High performance, low maintenance. That's it. You know, sitting players, you know, and it's when it goes, start getting weighted to the high maintenance is basically the scales are more tilted towards the high maintenance. It's time to go. Did you see any high maintenance players in your career that were specific, particularly troublesome?
Managers and player relationships (01:04:07)
That way or when? Were. It's funny at Liverpool, in that, I think Liverpool is a unique club. And I'm sure it's still the same. Liverpool supports having an obsession with the manager that I don't think I've seen in any other club. So when the team wins, it's about shankly, paisley. Now it's club. We know the great players. But the adulation, I think, started with Bill Shankly. And when we, when Liverpool win, it's about the manager and the players. It's not the players and the manager. So the managers at Liverpool, I think, have always had a great deal of authority. They've always had the people with them. So it's never a case of a players could get a manager out and I never saw that at Liverpool. Certainly not what I was there. Really hunching out the tough time at Liverpool. He wasn't the right manager for the club. And the club moved them on after about six months. Why was neither right manager? He just, he didn't get the club. He didn't say the right things in the press. He was too defensive for Liverpool for the top, not just for Liverpool, but for any top club. But listen, he had success in his career playing that way. And he wasn't going to change when he was in the 60s. So it was just the wrong appointment. It didn't work. I read that, Gerald, deliberately missed a penalty. No, that's not true. Yeah, I wonder, I couldn't believe it was true, but I read that's what I read. There's no fucking way that Gerald would miss a penalty. I actually went upstairs before you came and watched it to see Gerald's body language. And Gerald did look pissed off. We missed it. But no, no, no, not nothing like that. And I mean, I was, I felt sorry for them, to be honest. But me, me points are making them all the club is, I think it would always be difficult at any stage for a player to have this big ego to sort of try and think he was more powerful than manager, because I think that's why managers love being manager of Liverpool is because they'd always get time. You look at you and clap now, and there's a spell in the season, the pandemic season where he's done, he's done amazing. He's a god-like figure. But Liverpool actually, what, lost six games a home against teams in the bottom of the table in a row. And I'm not saying he should have been sacked, what I'm saying, as I wrote the clubs, that question would have been asked. I don't think there'd be one, Liverpool support as saying one. Yeah. Who would have actually even contemplated that for anything, because that's the type of support that they've been brought up on, the manager knows what he's doing. Well, one of my best friends is, maybe my best friend in the world is a Liverpool fan. And I said to him this year when Liverpool were struggling, I said, what would it take for you to become clap out? He would answer the question. I pressed him, I pressed him for weeks and weeks. Eventually, I was like, if Liverpool get relegated, are you still clapping? He was like, yeah, and he just like leaves the group chat. But it's like a religious phenomenon. Yeah, I just, I don't even had figures in a menu. I know he was, he was unbelievably unbelievable. I just think when I go to sort of say, man, United's past a big rival, it would be George Best and Bobby Charlton in that. And then maybe, you know, Mapples becomes after them in some ways. Maybe I'm wrong, but it just feels like different at Liverpool. And I think that gives managers huge power on why I don't think I've ever encountered what I would call player power as such at Liverpool. Probably why Liverpool have been successful though, because many other clubs have struggled with that. You've mentioned, you know, most recently with some of the big personalities we've had, where the manager doesn't have authority and you just get, you get into the first season and you go, the manager's going to be fired because we're not going to get rid of this world-class player. And then I was speaking to Jesse Lingard about this, like, because you can almost feel it in the air when it's coming, you know, you can feel that they've lost, that phrase lost the dressing room. I've always wondered if that was true. Because if it's a real thing. Yeah, I think, I mean, I probably felt that when Roy Hodgson was there. I don't think many players were enjoying the training or, when I was almost felt like I was trying to like, come on, you know, is there private comments though between you and Gerard where you go, this is not right. Oh, yeah, of course. Listen, we're like fans, that would be maybe able to, what's he doing here? Why has he done that? I always remember, and the only time I've ever did this, did this in my whole career. We lost a hunter-black pool under Roy Hodgson. And I think it was an international break and I had to stop playing for England then and I couldn't sleep. And I went in the next morning and I went straight into his office. And he was actually having a coach's meeting. And I was probably 33, 34. So I was really experienced pro. And we just had this big discussion with all the coaches and it wasn't, and probably said things to him that I'd, you know, he was talking about what he wanted to do for that. And I was saying, you can't do that. You can't do that. It wasn't me questioning him as a manager. It was almost like I wanted to help him. And not because he, again, he needed help as a manager. He needed help as a Liverpool manager as such. And it was almost like, no, if you come out and say that, or if you play this play, everyone's just going, you can't do that anymore. That's got to stop. I wouldn't name the names. I was talking to my boys. I wouldn't do that. But that wasn't the case of me saying, you don't know what you're doing. You needed it. It wasn't an arrogant way. It was in a ways, if like, again, the club was just like, oh, where do we go? What do we do? And it wasn't for sort of it was more trying to help the situation, reading, trying to help him as a manager. He was a new, it was tough. Sounds like he's lost the dressing room at that point. If you. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I said that, you know, a lot of the players, what I'm saying is you hadn't lost me as such. As I said, no, no manager could lose me or get me in some ways. And that I always felt like I wasn't really playing for them. I mean, I was behind every manager and wanted to take things from every manager. We hear these stories where the like the CEO has had a conversation with the player. Not a disgrace. Is that is that true? Have you ever heard of that happening where the CEO of the club will have a conversation with the player about the manager? Is the manager right? Do we need to move them on? What's going on in the dressing room? Because if I was to see over club and I wasn't, I'm seeing on the pitch that the club is performing badly. I might go in post-TV aside or you aside and go, how's everything going? That happened once to me. And I just absolutely completely said, this is an absolute joke. That happened in 2007 with American owners, Hicks and Gillette. Oh gosh, that was a. Yeah. They'd had a big fall up with Raffa Benitez over at Transferta's or whatever it must have been. And they wanted to sack Raffa and bring Yergen-Klinzmann. And they, me and Steve had the same agent. And rather, it wasn't a case of we'd speak to them on the phone. I never spoke to them, they'll need to. But they said, would Stevie and Carabie be okay if Raffa Benitez was changed? And we brought Yergen-Klinzmann in. And I was like, what? We'd been at the Champions League final about two months before. So we've been in, under Raffa Benitez, we've been in two Champions League finals in three years. But listen, I'm not defending the Americans in every way, but I know Raffa Benitez has as a manager his hard work for a CEO and an owner. I know that. He pushes them to the absolute limit way. I think in the end he thinks, oh, he's the performance, high maintenance type of thing. He's like that as a manager. But it was like, what? Absolutely not. I mean, why are you even speeding? No, I couldn't believe the question was even asked number one because of how well we've done as a team. But also number two, why are you asking me? It's just like, no, you don't have to almost put me in that position or situation. Well, you can fire the manager. Yeah. But if that did happen at that time, you can imagine it happened at other clubs, certainly Chelsea, who were just a revolved and door. And Raffa was eventually fined by them, wasn't he? I believe. Yeah, but like three years later or something like that. That was like, that was when it was at its best. It wasn't a football and decision. That was a personal decision. So you, so you, so I'm guessing you didn't go into Raffa that conversation had happened. No. Okay. No. Eventually you retire and, interestingly, which kind of bucks the trend again, you, you said you were happy that your career was done.
Being happy your career had ended (01:12:21)
Why? Did all the cost of emotions? It was, yeah, I just, I don't know if it, you know, the highs and lows. And the high was never as high as the lows low, if you like. So no, I was done. I didn't, it's very difficult to leave Liverpool. I'd seen other players leave because in Liverpool fans eyes, I'm rightly so, way is better than Liverpool. I actually said that an interview once, where's who's bigger than Liverpool? But we had players who'd left and gone to a game where they didn't pass long, but as a local player, you could never move to another English club. Or simply feel like you were going on the up. You might be, your career might be peering out and you go lower down. Liverpool fans would be far with that. But a local player moving, very difficult. You look at the reaction to Michael Owen moving to Ray Mullier, then then subsequently ends up on Manchester United. Even Steve McManaman is not loved as much as he should be for how good the player he was at Liverpool. I failed because he left on a Basman and went to Ray Mullier. Didn't go to a big rivalry, went to the biggest club in the world. That was always in my head. Not that I could necessarily move to a European giant, but the thing of how do you get out? How do I tie in this right? I don't want to carry on playing when I'm embarrassing myself and embarrassing the club or the supporters. I've almost got the time. I know towards the end of my career there was Liverpool fans really questioning why I got a new contract at a certain stage, why I was playing and seeing games ahead of another player. Not massively, not where people outside of Liverpool would know, but again, you smell it, you feel it, the local paper fans. You're not stupid. I had that to start my career. The flip side of that way, it was always that thing of am I fully rated? Am I good enough to play for Liverpool? I always had that through my career. I think the one thing that's helped me in my career is I've always had the feeling that I'm not fully rated. I think I've been underestimated a little bit as a player and maybe in the role that I do now where no one's expected what I've ended up doing. So it's almost maybe that takes a little bit of pressure off, but I've always felt like I've got something to prove. They don't quite think I'm good enough. I wasn't Steven Gerad, I wasn't Michael Owen, I wasn't Robbie Fowler. When I got into the team, I was a slow-being and I got better and better and better as the years went on through experience and maturity. But it was always that thing of am I good enough? Do that make you work harder than people around you? Yeah, yeah, 100%. It always felt like, I have it now where I always feel like there's some fight, some battle to win or some like, you know, I never look back. I never sort of think I've done that. I always remember something Brendan Rogers said to me. He'd just become a Liverpool manager and he'd been promoted the year before with Swansea and he told me about Alex Fakes and sending him a letter. As I think Alex Fakes must maybe do two, every manager would get promoted and he's written this letter, well done, congratulations. And he said to Brendan Rogers something, he said, "But remember, never lose your fear." And I remember Brendan Rogers telling me and it was like a light bulb moment and I went, "I've never lost mine." It was almost like, yeah, now I'm not trying to compare myself to Alex Fakes, but what I'm saying is where he said that was like a piece of advice to Brendan Rogers and I'm sure he said it to other managers and players, but it was like probably the biggest figure in English football at that time. And I didn't say nothing to Brendan Rogers. Wow, that is so important to success. I think always having that fear without letting it sort of overtake you where you can't actually, you know, mentally you can't achieve what you want to do, but always have that thing where you think someone's going to take me place, someone's looking to beat me, you know, competing with it, you know, always having that and I've still got that today. I've always still got the fear that, who's the next punter coming? You know, what I'm going to dare you come out. I'll think about what I'm going to say before I get to a game. It's the opposite of complacency, right? That's the answer. Yeah, and whether you can put that into people, I've never had complacency in my life. I don't think I ever will. Do you think? Yeah, it's a good point. Do you think you can teach that? Or is that just it? Yeah, I don't even, do you ever feel, I mean, obviously you're very successful. Do you ever feel like you've done enough? Of course not. I don't. Yeah, of course not. Do you think that's it? That is a treat with people you know, you bring on the podcast as well. I just, I mean, even when I'm speaking to you, a lot of times speaking about poor games, I'm not speaking about great games. And it's just that constant feeling as if I can do more, I should have done more. But the thing I'm most curious about is of course I see that in, or my guess, I mean, Eddie Herrmann comes to mind, his book is called Relentless and he's, you know, remember him asking him, like, what's the end game? And he's like, well, you know, one day we'll sell this company. I go, okay, so that day you sell the company, then you go to the beach and have the pinnacle out of his hat and you could just sit in his face for horror, the thought that even if he sold Matt room boxing, he would need to go and just carry on fighting for something. And we all have that. We all, I think we have it hardwired into us as just generally as humans. And that's why we're here in these buildings and have the roads and the cars that our ancestors put something in us, where they said, you're going to struggle forward. But then I think some people have it to an even more obsessive degree. And it's usually people who've had some early experience where losing came at a real cost to their self esteem or to someone around them that mattered or their dad or, you know, they just learned early that losing meant that they were, they weren't enough, they weren't worthy. And that's kind of what I was trying to understand in you is, because I see that particularly in your story, that like obsessive competitiveness, but I don't see it in everybody. So where did that like, what was the cost of losing or not winning or not, you know, I've said it before, I got to go back to me. Each other football, I feeling of winning, losing your claims into a three or something.
Your football knowledge (01:19:14)
Yeah, playing really early. And I was thinking about, you know, I was thinking about what I'm going to say when I come on here, what am I going to say? That's, you know, it's different than, you know, you have lots of guests and even that's you. Yeah, just just thinking, you know, well, nice point would you like to be. I don't know what you're going to ask me. But I think that the role I'm in now, we talk about the, you know, I've read that book bounce. Have you read that book? Yeah, the 10,000 hours, sort of mindset of, you know, that and, you know, I was a footballer for professional football for 17 years, but you don't realize when you're in it or before it that it's actually a small penalty for your life, really. And the job I'm in now, I'm probably going to be doing it a lot more than I'm actually a professional footballer. And I actually think my 10,000 hours of what I did as a kid is almost not just to be a footballer, it's actually to be a pundit, an analyst, whatever you want to call it. Because I don't think anybody, I'm going to talk, the reason I'm talking about this is because I'm talking about being competitive now as a pundit, talking on TV, making good points, analyzing certain games is that who's going to come next, who's going to try and take my place. But I don't think many, if any, I've had my education in football the way I have. I don't think anyone could have done more than football than what I did to prepare me to get to where I was when I finished. What about Gary? No. Do you think, do you think, no, what I mean by this is not in terms of like putting hard weight, and I'm thinking, talking about, I was getting taken to football games from the age of four to five amateur football. I was in the back of the van with all the players. So listening to men talk football straight when you come back, go back to the pub, everyone back to the pub. So we'd meet at the pub, half 12 on a sati and a Sunday, me dad was the manager, we're all back at the van, I'm listening to these, I'm five, six, listen to men talk football, back to the pub, I'm playing on the pool table, all the football results are coming in. But again, that constant talk of football. Why didn't you become a manager? People would think you'd become your leader. Yeah. I actually think lead is interesting in that, I think it's almost like a different type of leadership now. I think in the 70s, 80s, maybe 90s, we all classed the leader as me. You know, whether you had the captains at the end, you're screaming, shall it, the referee, your own players, your aging people on, and that is leadership. But I don't think that person necessarily ends up always being the manager. I'm just thinking of Michael Artetta. I played against him. I don't hear him say a word on the pitch. And then you look at someone like a Tony Adams, well, why is he not Arsenal manager? You know, an easy leadership. Well, he's had a little go with the management, more than a little go. But I think management now is set up for more of the studious types. Not that I don't think about the game, but I actually think I've made a great decision not to be a manager. Because I think when I was playing, I thought like a manager. And I think what managers put themselves through is probably what I put myself through as a player, where you really torture yourself. And you get that emotionally involved. And I would back my football knowledge. I wouldn't be embarrassed if young club or peckwariola came on Monday night football, and we were talking football. And I might disagree with something. He said he might disagree with I wouldn't feel out of place. But would I make a good football manager? I don't think so. I spoke to Michael once and sometimes it's when someone else says something to you that really hits home. And I was interviewing him, but he said to me, you're not a people person. And I was like, what? Aren't I? Even, no, not really. Said you don't have a, you know, you don't sort of feel, you know, you're quite sharp with people at times. And it was only, I thought, well, yeah, you probably right. And that wouldn't help you be a top football manager. You've got to put up with things. And basically, you know, if a player came into me and said he was injured, my first thought was he was telling a lie. I'm like that with my kids, if they say the safe, you know, I just, I can't get that feeling. We had that, the bluffing, you know, that type of, I don't always think I'd be questioning, you know, players. Speaking of your kids, how did father had changed you? Because I heard you say it changed you and I didn't find the details. So how did it change you? Well, I don't think it changed me when my wife was pregnant. I don't think I realized the enormity of having a kid or having me son, I should say. I wasn't there for the best. I was Liverpool at a game in Europe on the Tuesday in the Champions League. And I was with my wife on the Sunday she went in, but obviously I didn't deliver the baby by the Monday and we were traveling and I had to go. What I said, I had to, I didn't have to go. But it was always that, I think at the time it was like, oh, she'll be okay. You know, my mum was there and I went and we were getting beat three in the last half an hour. I was like, well, we, we, soon got, was born the day before the game. We played the game in Europe and I always remember we got, we drew three three and we went out to Champions League, which was a big, a big blow. And I always remember Jerra Hughley after the game, toasting me. And I always loved her and mad and for that, because I used to think, I can't believe he's done that because I think I'd see like, we snubbed up the house. If we just got out the Champions League as a manager in some ways. And it was, I didn't, I didn't realise how big it was to have a child. I think we're good at that. Yeah, it do. Not just for being there when James was born, more for being there, you know, life's going through. It's not easy. You know, the bale of a child. So yeah, I regret that. I would advise anyone in my situation to, you know, be there. But I think, I think it is the common thing now. I think even when you see, you know, different example, but sort of Reheem Steerland, the World Cup goes home on the back of his house getting birthed, whereas maybe years ago, that'd be seen as if like, well, you're at the World Cup here, you're playing for England, you know, and I think there's a lot more, probably yet, empathy and understanding from football managers now to sort of, you know, family matters. But with me, with me kids, it's like, I wouldn't say I was a kid person before I had kids, you know, with relatives or something. But I feel like I'm completely different now. So I've got nieces and nephews who it's funny really because my Nicholas kids are, but they're older. So James is 20, me is 80, me lives in New York now. But we've got nieces and nephews and we're almost at times in the house on our own. It's like, do we go and see the kids? We see the kids, not even our kids. It's a bit like we need a fix of kids for sort of an hour, you know, we're handing them up. Have you got a boyfriend? Have you got a girlfriend? You know, all this thing that you did when your kids were growing up because we really miss it. And I think he wife would have wanted more kids, but I was, no, we've got to. We've got the boy in the girl. Nicholas, your childhood sweetheart, you married her in 2005, I believe. Yeah.
Your partner (01:26:43)
You've forgotten. Yeah. Champions League. Yeah. One of the quotes that struck me was this. So did you speak to her? No. No, no, no, no. Because you know why? Why? She tells me everything. Really? She can't keep the secret. She would tell me everything. I reckon I can agree. I will find out maybe in the future, part two. And this quote here where it says, "This part of my life story is the one I find most difficult to tell. I could talk to you for hours expressing my fondness for certain players or football teams, but doing the same thing about the woman you love. Question mark." Hmm. Yeah. I do find that even with sort of me, my mom or dad, really, you know, saying, "You love them." And I do to me wife, of course, I do. But there's definitely, when we have disagreements, my wife, you know, it'll be, I'm not saying too much. But you say, "But when you're on the phone, talking to Skye, or you're doing your newspaper column, you can't shut up. You know, about football and ideas and things. Where's this? You know, I want that. And I'm just not, I do find it difficult. I'm just not that person to come out with those words. And I do find it, I don't know if it's, I don't know what is it. I mean, I think me brothers are the same. We were, yeah, you know, we're not like an overly huggy, kissy family. I'm like that with my kids. And I'm like that with my wife. But I wouldn't say, I wouldn't be classed to someone who overdo's it now. Would she class you as an affectionate person or a romantic person? I wouldn't say romantic. I might say affectionate. Is that different? I don't know. Affectionate, I think, of like kissing and schmoozing. Romantic, I think, of like gestures, you know, like the roses and stuff like that. Oh, probably more. Yeah. Yeah. I would, I would do things like that. Maybe. Yeah. I'm gonna. As you look back on the role that your, your parents played in your life, what would you, I've got all of these wonderful photos here, which I printed off earlier on. Oh, go. Go and show me. Show me. I'll slide the photos for you and you tell me, you tell me what the person means in your life, then. What about that one? Oh, that's me, Dad. Yeah. Yeah. Huge influence. Yeah. Still a, a huge influence now, a larger than life character. I think these past that I wouldn't, well, this, I know I'm a strong character and I'm a big character. And I think that comes from me, from me, Dad. I think that personality and character he's passed on to me, I think is the reason why I've become the player I have because the reason I got there was not just ability. I don't think my ability is Champions League Final level, but I think my personality and character is, and that's what dragged, you know, Jamie Caragilla, the football, like to a Champions League final because I can amently strong and tough and, you know, you know, and you have ups and downs in your life and your career, but, as I said, not getting away, not stopping you, no obstacles in the way. And I think a lot of that comes from me, Dad. I don't know who that is. Will you get that? I'm going to see the picture. I'm going to try to wear a coat. Do you know what that is? That's the fact I printed off before. That's a completely different person's mother. I'm like, Dad. You think I'm cutting? Not so many of us, kids. Okay, I got that. What about this one? What does this mean to you? I can hear them laughing. That's me life. Yeah, that's me, Nick L Wade. At the moment, me as in New York. Now, we haven't got where the same as any other family. Can't sleep. Is she okay? My wife's going to sleep probably three or four o'clock in the morning because of the time difference, making sure she's in. And, you know, just a whole balance of life. She was only supposed to do three months. She then told us a week ago, she wants to do a year. And we're excited to bring her on, but so proud about to go to New York at 18, living on her own. But it's tough, but again, so proud. And James, what he's doing, playing football, I mean, not easy. I know being a son of a footballer, I get all that. But I always say, and don't use that as an excuse because there's positives to that as well. But no, really, you know, we're proud of them. And what I always say to them is, have a story. When you get to my age older, make sure you've got a story. So, you know, what have you done to amazing things? Me as gone to New York. I don't know where that's going to lead, but what a thing to tell your own kids. I lived in New York for a year, you know, and that's, I always drawn that into the kids. You know, you once do special things, amazing things, just going to smash life, basically, just going to do it. Jamie, thank you. Thank you so much. And we have a closing tradition on this part.
The last guests question (01:32:20)
I know, and I haven't got a question. No, no, you can, you can, you can take your time on that part. Okay. The part, and also when I ask people this question, they usually take like five minutes to think about the answer, which is funny, but the question that's been left for you, obviously the person didn't know they were leaving it for you is, interestingly, do uncomfortable situations bring the best or worst out of you? I would say the best. I think whether that's on the pitch, off the pitch, family stuff, I think when, when in the moment, I think I can almost narrow it down and not get to hysterical or to it's a bit like, okay, need to do that, that and that, and almost be a little bit calmer in there. And that comes maybe as well on the pitch when, if you've had a bad injury or you feel like someone's going to take your place or you feel like something's a bit like almost, what is a car compartmentalised, is it? Is that the right word? Yeah. Not always goes a bit weird, but no, just get that focus of like, that's what I need to do. And I think that's, I think it's probably a strength of mine of like, not worrying about it twice. I think I like doing up with the kids, only wife, if they come to me with a problem. And it's always easier to someone else's problems, because you don't have as much the emotional attachment and to think about a few other things, but it's a bit like, and that's what I love about being a dad, helping your own kids with those problems and being, I've been there before and sort of giving that advice. The best thing about getting all that I think is experience and being able to give that to someone. And I think a lot of the time, you know, it's funny with me, son, in that, I think when he's in a really good mood and he's happy and his life's going really well. I know he's out with his mates and he doesn't need, but I know sometimes if he's not feeling 100%, I can just feel her and smell it. And he comes to me and you know, you want to be there to help, you know, that sort of passing on something. So I think from an individual point of view, yes, but I also love the fact that I love helping people on that side of it when, because we're all, we're all in uncomfortable situations at different times and wherever life's going great, I'm always thinking something's around the corner. It's like the terrifying because it's so true. Jamie, thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you for having this conversation. I really, I was so excited to talk to you because of the mentality you have and how, how that's resulted in such tremendous career, says for for Liverpool, but now also as a pundit, and I can see that kind of relentless fighting you and how that hasn't disappeared. And I find it so incredibly inspiring that mentality is at the very heart of your success, because I do believe to some degree that that is something that people can pick up like talent is one thing being seven foot tall and becoming a basketball player, but knowing that there is this other thing, which is the values we hold in our mind and the behaviors that creates that we can all embody, which you perfectly embody. I mean, Peter Crouch, really, I think I told you after the reason I reached out to you is because of that conversation with Peter Crouch. And I just thought, God, like the way he talks about you, like you're on this other level of extreme, you know, winning mentality is tremendously inspiring. But also, there's a cost to that. And you've kind of detailed the cost. You went to, is it Billy, the psychologist you went to? Bill Bezmer here. Bill Bezmer, can you kind of detail the cost of that? Is this still on now? Yeah, yeah. I want to be finished. No, no, I'm just wrapping up. Okay, that as well. But yeah, that's exactly it. It's, it's the cost of that mentality, which I think is also important to be clear on. So thank you for being so honest. Really appreciate it. Thank you for being here. Thank you. Intel and now one of our sponsors on this podcast, and I'm here to tell you about their VPro platform. Security and data protection are totally non-negotiable when it comes to the technology I use for my businesses. I'm constantly thinking about where we can upgrade our systems to protect against potential threats. So this is where Intel VPro has become our go to. Intel VPro is built for businesses. It has a hardware-based multi-layer platform security features protecting from cyber attacks, threat detection, and also recovery systems, all in one platform. In an ever challenging cyber landscape, if I can put measures in place that I believe will save me time and money, then I absolutely will. So head over to intel.co.uk/vpro to find out how it could work for your business.