October 19th, 2012

He Said, He Said: Steve Gerrard vs El-Hadji Diouf

liverpool club captain jamie carragher

Image: Press Association.

It’s been about five years since Steven Gerrard criticised El-Hadji Diouf in his autobiography, but based on what Diouf told L’Equipe in a recent interview, the two obviously haven’t reconciled nor are they sharing hair gel.

In the interview, the current Leeds forward defended himself against his bad-boy reputation whilst setting his former Anfield team-mate’s record about him straight. You may recall how the LFC captain criticised Diouf in his 2007 autobiography by saying:

“I wasn’t Diouf’s number one fan. Being around Melwood and Anfield I knew which players were hungry, which players had Liverpool at heart. Diouf was just interested in himself. His attitude was all wrong. I felt he wasn’t really a—d about putting his body on the line to get Liverpool back at the top.”

But just this week Diouf shot his own barb back, labelling Gerrard “egotistical”:

“What he said is only of interest to him. All I worried about was the Senegal team, I took them to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2002. I was in Pele’s 100 players of the century. Not him. I respect him as a footballer, but there is nobody more egotistical than him. He does not care about others. I spoke to the major figures at Liverpool and nobody can stand him. And I am not talking about (Jamie) Carragher.”

In summary, we only have one question for Mr Diouf: why now?

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47 Responses to “He Said, He Said: Steve Gerrard vs El-Hadji Diouf”

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  2. sohbet says:

    say this but…he needs to begin to watch over his weight….

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  4. Leigh says:

    what a load of shit

  5. Jayy says:

    I'm not even gonna justify this with a comment on Diouf!
    Stevie G's record speaks for himself – not to mention the countless ex LFC players who respect him; Hyypia, Alonso, Torres, Hamann, Fowler, Luis Garcia…the list goes on!

  6. Kate says:

    Typical Diouf. He is the one ex Liverpool player that most LFC fans can't stand. He's just jealous is all. Steve G is one of the only players who most, if not all, England fans respect. I am a Spurs fan, but I respect him. Same goes to my Uncle who's an Arsenal fan, and cousin who is a Liverpool fan. He gets massive respect wherever. He is loyal to his club and country, and he's a lovely guy. End of. :)

    • Lola says:

      The thousands of england fans who call him "Stevie me" would disagree I think. I do agree though, it's hard to dislike him, even though he's far from the perfect captain Liverpool fans love to portray him.

  7. Nicola says:

    "Why now?"

    I don't know, since it was an interview, maybe they asked him? That's usually how interviews work. It would be different if he had tweeted this.

    As for Diouf's quote? Um, saying all he cared about was the Senegal team backs up Gerrard's claim. And what does being in Pele's list have to do with commitment to the club? Talent doesn't always equal commitment and a good work ethic. Good lord, this guy isn't exactly the brightest crayon in the box is he?

  8. YoungChelsea says:

    This is just petty Diouf, grow up!

  9. mina says:

    Stevie is class, Diouf is a douchebag.

  10. Red_Girl says:

    'I would love to be a captain somewhere some day because I think I’ve had the best possible role model in Steven Gerrard.'
    - Fernando Torres.
    I rest my case with a nostalgic sigh. That was a bromine.

    • Red_Girl says:

      that should have said bromance. thanks auto correct.

    • Caro says:

      Except for that whole talking shit about the team you betrayed and left in a bind at the last possible minute and how you knifed your captain in the back by asking him to help you weaken the team and help you get out thing… I don't think he's learned that from Steven Gerrard.

      • Kathleen says:

        Gerrard was the pioneer of handing in a transfer request to go to Chelsea even though he's a born and bred scouser so he can hardly take the moral high ground when it comes to that.

        • anon says:

          Slightly different scenario …Gerrard thought at the time that the club wanted to sell him, so you can't compare that to the Torres situation. Stevie is Liverpool through and through.

          • anon says:

            And he said not so long ago that winning trophies with Chelsea wouldn't have meant as much. Which I'm sure is something Nando has come to realise now. Judging by his latest comments he is still missing Liverpool and regrets leaving, medals or no medals.

            • Kathleen says:

              I think it's just wishful thinking of some LFC fans that Torres somehow regrets leaving their club whenever he says something nice about them. As he personally says he regrets nothing that's happened to him since his transfer. But by all means act like you know the guy personally and has exclusive access to his mind.

              Gerrard was not only a club captain at the time but also an academy product too. So that's his excuse, "I think club wants to sell me so let me submit a transfer request to one of our rivals"? I expect more loyalty and fight from a player in his situation. Torres was very clear: no CL football, no major trophies in sight so I'm out. He came to Liverpool with those purposes and left for them as well.

              • anon says:

                Of course he is going to say he regrets nothing. What's he supposed to say? 'I wish I'd never gone to that plastic club. I may have won the Champions League now, the medal I craved the most, but it is a hollow victory as I didn't even get to start in the final.' ?

                Actually, he did say something very similar, didn't he?

                • Kathleen says:

                  I know you want to him to feel bad because he left your club. But I'd rather believe the words that comes out of his mouth and how he behaves on and off the pitch. Every player is disappointed when they don't start a crucial match so his feelings are to be expected. You're just projecting your own feelings to Torres and Chelsea in my opinion. He didn't start the Euro final either and he looked anything but hollow afterwards, same also goes for the CL final.

                  Plastic club btw? Please grow up, I'm not a Chelsea fan and even I find those kind of labels very tedious and unoriginal. All you're missing is to spell it "chel$ki" to sound all of 13.

                  • anon says:

                    I don't want him to feel bad at all because he left Liverpool. I'm not one of those supporters who hates his guts. We're not all like that you know.

                  • anon says:

                    If you say you'd rather believe what comes out of his mouth then you have to admit that he did say he didn't feel part of the team who won the CL final. He never said that about Spain, even though he didn't start the final there either. I even saw an interview with him where he was asked if he thinks he deserves his CL medal and he said 'Hopefully there'll be another one'.

                    • Kathleen says:

                      Apologies if I was harsh to you then. But it seems like he can never win with LFC fans whatever he says or does. I understand why some of you don't like him now but the way his words are deliberately misunderstood is very unfair. To me, both the club and Torres moved on from that episode and it should be left at that.

                      I've specifically looked for that quote where he says he didn't feel part of the team that won the CL final but couldn't find it. Care to share your source? He said the best moment of his Chelsea career was winning that trophy in that "An Audience with…" event Chelsea did few weeks ago. And of course he wants to win another one where he'll be the hero. I don't honestly know why you're making such a huge deal about the CL final anyway. It doesn't mean he regrets his transfer because he didn't start that game. He plays for the Champions of Europe and the club sitting on top of the table atm so it's now up to him to continue with his good form then more trophies will follow. He's only 28 afterall.

                    • anon says:

                      Oh God, I can't remember where I read it. You know that interview that was all over the internet shortly after. Which p*ssed all the Chelsea fans off. He'd given it to a Spanish newspaper and apparently said, when asked about the CL win, 'It was for others, not for me.' Something along those lines.

                      I am not disputing that as far as trophies are concerned he made the right choice in leaving Liverpool. Only an idiot would disagree with that. But there is much more to a career than throphies, no?

                      I know he left Atletico because he wanted to play in the Champions League, and at that time Liverpool could offer him that. But he also often talked about the similarities between his boyhood club and LFC, working class, same standards etc.

                      At the end of the day it doesn't matter what I think or want anyway, because I know he will never come back. But I'd like to believe that he meant some of the things he said, about us being special fans and such. Or should I believe now that he was just saying anything for PR reasons when he was still with us? That wouldn't go with his image of being a nice honest guy, which I still believe he is.

                    • Kathleen says:

                      I think he meant what he said about LFC and the supporters and I'm sure he still loves the city and his time there. It always seemed to me that his main problem is with the owners as he always says the fans don't know the whole story about his departure. He played for Atletico for 7 years (starting from the 2nd division) and 3.5 for LFC without any trophies to show for it. Maybe he came to a point in his life where he just wanted to win, hence his transfer to Chelsea. He is still loved by the Atletico fans and it may be enough for him now.

                    • anon says:

                      Yes I know, a footballer's career is short, so he can't wait around forever. And it looks like it will take Liverpool another few years to be up there again, so thinking about it logically, I can totally understand why he left. And like I said, I never hated him like some people do.

                      It just hurts to see him in that blue shirt, somehow it still doesn't look right. That's why I love watching him play for Spain. :)

                    • Jean says:

                      "I owe so much to Liverpool, so so much. To the people, to the team, to Benítez, to his staff, to the city. Liverpool is a fundamental part of my life. Even though they don’t remember me like that, I’m confident that time will heal some wounds. When I left Atleti, I really couldn’t have chosen a better place to go than Liverpool. The other day, when the news about Hillsborough came out, I got really emotional. I lived through it, I know what people have gone through, I saw them cry… I felt it, I made it mine. The news came a bit too late, of course, but it’s definitely a step forward. These are the kind of valuable things you’re left with from having played at a club like Liverpool. A feeling, above everything else. I decided to leave because I felt like I needed to go in a different direction than the club, like I needed to take a step forward. It wasn’t the best way to leave, it really wasn’t, but it wasn’t also the way the press tried to portray it. Someday, people will know the whole truth. It was mainly about needing something new to keep growing. We talked about it earlier, about the whole growing thing and how important it is. My son is from Liverpool, he was born there, and he kicked his first ball before he turned one year old. He was born in the city of football, he is doomed."

                      A great translation of his recent (and mindblowingly good) interview with El País. That should settle it. He also talks a lot about Atletico and says the values he learnt there have helped him to deal at Chelsea, a club he calls of a higher social class or something.

              • Caro says:

                While I can't speak for some/most/all LFC fans, it's been my experience that El Bastardo having regrets is pretty much the farthest from fan reaction I've seen (lots of cackling about his scoring record since January 2011, endless fun with internet memes etc. seems more prevalent). What "LFC fans" who joined the bandwagon when the cute freckly guy had a fantastic couple of seasons at the club think/say is another matter. Let's just say LFC fans by and large don't spend an inordinate amount of time wondering what goes through is blonde little head.

                "So that's his excuse, "I think club wants to sell me so let me submit a transfer request to one of our rivals"? I expect more loyalty and fight from a player in his situation."

                Except that was not his situation and you've glossed over (or simply don't know) some rather complicated shenanigans that went on with the owners/managers at the time. LFC treated him like dirt, expendable dirt in fact after dragging their asses to an out of this world CL win, not the other way around, and while Stevie went on to apologize and take part of the blame for what happened, most fans at the time understood quite well what the club was playing at. You cannot honestly compare that situation with Torres asking Gerrard as a personal favor to help him get out, ie to weaken the team for which he's given it all, followed by the cherry on the cake – El Bastardo's completely classless interviews in the weeks that followed. I don't think the leaving per se is what most LFC fans won't ever forgive (I can't blame him for not wanting to weather the storm and thinking of his career, etc., I don't think anybody does), but his **** attitude post-departure.

                • anon says:

                  Sorry, can I just say that I was a supporter before Torres came along. And I still don't hate him for leaving. I also don't think it was him who handed in the transfer request at the last minute. I agree that he said some things immediately after leaving that he maybe shouldn't have said or worded differently.

                  And I do still believe he would stay if he could turn back the clock. Him and Suarez together would have really been something. Sigh.

                  • Jean says:

                    He handed the transfer request in like 3 or 4 weeks before actually leaving (i.e., 3 or 4 weeks before the transfer window closed), respected journalists like Sid Lowe and Henry Winter have written about it. Liverpool chose to make the information known 3 days before the transfer window closed, which is vastly different.

                    I'm glad I'll never have to see him play with Suarez though, that would've been a nightmare.

                • Kathleen says:

                  You've clearly misunderstood Gerrard's quotes from his new book in my opinion. Torres wanted him to speak to Dalglish and say he won't change his mind about leaving. And he had already spoken to his manager and the club administration. In the end, he didn't need Gerrard's help about leaving anyway as he's a Chelsea player now.

                  I honestly don't want to continue with this debate any further and you seem far too aggressive (El Bastardo? okay then). But the club shenanigans happen all the time I agree. It can paint one guy who put in a transfer request like he's committed a huge crime, the other a saint when the club sees it fit. I always found LFC fans making Torres jokes very silly though. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Does the name Carroll ring any bells? 35 mil man who's scored and continues to score much less than Torres. All that money and he plays for West Ham now, great investment by LFC. Also eternal benchwarmers Downing and Henderson who've been bought for fortune get a honourable mention.

                  • Caro says:

                    "Torres wanted him to speak to Dalglish"

                    Yes.

                    "and say he won't change his mind about leaving."

                    No. That's editorializing. Either way, it was cruel and unnecessary.

                    "he didn't need Gerrard's help about leaving anyway"

                    Yes, thank you.

                    "It can paint one guy who put in a transfer request like he's committed a huge crime, the other a saint when the club sees it fit."

                    Torres committed his crime (most of it) after he already became a Chelsea player by talking crap about the team whose fans he now professes to have loved. Classless. Your comparison was completely baseless, that's all there is to it.

                    "El Bastardo?"

                    Yes. Fat Frank. Coathanger. Psycho. Water Boy. Shrek. etc. Are you sure you're following the right sport?

                    "Does the name Carroll ring any bells?"

                    Does the term straw man argument ring any for you? But… but.. but… look at Andy Carroll? Really? Trust me, LFC boards are full of people making jokes about him (just as home want him back, not I, let him be West Ham forever) and Downing has an entire slice of the internet dedicated to making memes with his useless face on it. Neither of those 3 have Torres' erstwhile talent, his scoring stats or the excellent Karmic ****slap served to him after his unfortunate post-departure interviews. We make fun of them plenty, it will just never be quite as satisfying. Oh, yes, we will laugh at Fernando Torres. Heartily and as often as possible.

                • Jean says:

                  Youd should look at your own club and see the awful way they handled his departure, how they tried to villainize him and make him the bad guy in front of the fans (which clearly worked). And I think you completely misunderstood the Gerrard quotes and/or didn't care to read the whole thing.

                  • Caro says:

                    1. While our club is often **** at handling most non-football related matters and I'm the first to call them on it, I highly doubt any LFC guy was sitting behind Torres with a gun to his head and making him talk trash in the days after his departure (oh boo hoo, if he loved the city and the fans – not the club, I can't blame him with some of tossers in charge – maybe he should learn that love comes with respect).

                    He made HIMSELF the villain by talking **** after he left.

                    2. There is nothing to misunderstand from:

                    "In the days before the transfer, Torres came to see me as captain. He said he wanted to leave, but added that the club was being difficult. “Listen,” I said. “You have to understand that you are a top player and they don’t want to let you go.” It didn’t matter. He asked if I could speak to Kenny Dalglish, our manager, on his behalf. That put me in a difficult situation because I didn’t want to help Fernando."

                    It's Stevie G, not Sartre.

                    To sum up: I don't hate Torres for wanting to leave for greener pastures. I hate him for acting like a complete classless chav (which… Chelsea's your team, boy) after the fact and like a selfish child in the process. Plenty of others have left and they get treated like royalty to this day. He is never going to be one of them and portraying him as some poor misunderstood victim is not going to fly.

                    • Lola says:

                      What sh*t, exactly, did he say? I've always wondered. Point out to me ONE quote where he said something that ca be interpreted as "bad" about Liverpool. And refrain from posting the "big club" quote because IIRC he never once compared Liverpool to Chelsea as in, "I'm happy to be in a big club now, because I wasn't in one before" or, "I'm glad to be playing for Chelsea now, a big club, which Liverpool isn't", he just said he was happy to play at a big club. Period. He's never said a bad word about the club, only about the awful owners you used to have.

                      But honestly I'm not going to try to change your mind about anything becayse you sound like a typical deluded scouser, not sorry to say.

                    • Lola says:

                      Oh and to add, he's said plenty of times that he knows the way he left was not the best, not at all, but that it sn't also like the press tried to sell it. He sounds like he wants to tell the whole story but doesn't because either he feels it's not the right time yet, or he's not allowed, by whomever.

  11. red says:

    only a complete would agree with diouf.. he's the only former liverpool players most lfc fans hate.

  12. gin_in_teacups says:

    5 years later. He must have really really wanted to craft the perfect comeback. And what does he come up with? "I was only worried about Senegal." Well then. Not exactly contradicting Stevie's claim that he wasn't giving his all for Liverpool. From Diouf's own statement, what Gerrard wrote about him was true. He made an apparently correct observation about Diouf's lack of commitment to the club.

  13. tammyv says:

    My guess is that they asked him….

    It also seems pretty accurate from watching Being Liverpool. None of the players seem to watch to hang out with him and no doubt his name was in one of those envelopes

    • darkchild says:

      I'm dying to know the names in those envelopes.

    • Caro says:

      *eyeroll* Apart from Diouf being a grade A spitting D Bag (the rest of the interview is even better: I am a demi god in Senegal! One time when I didn't make the national team people burnt tires… Oh and let me tell you about that time I was in Maradona's private jet, etc.), this makes no sense in any universe just based on how inspirational Steven Gerrard has always been to the younger players (he's recently adopted Raheem in football terms and always tries to caution them to keep their feet on the ground). As for "the older ones"… LOL… Carra is so going to break his face the next time they meet.

      Don't know which show you're watching, mate.

      • tammyv says:

        how inspirational? um.. yeah… enough said.

        You would be WAY better off had Alonso stayed and Gerrard gone

        • Caro says:

          No, we'd have been way better off with decent owners / management and if Alonso stayed and then they'd eyef*ck on the pitch and create magic in the midfield and touch each other in special ways and we'd have had the best AND sexiest midfield in the world, but it didn't turn out that way.

          But… what am I doing arguing with a person who seems to think Liverpool would have been better off without the one man who has repeatedly carried it on his back? (Among players who have called Gerrard inspirational, let's just mention Shelvey, Suso, Sterling, Henderson and recently Nuri Sahin; it's the number 1 quality Zinedine effin Zidane outlined in his praise of Gerrard when he called him the best player in the world. fookin 'ell, why am I even trying to reason with you again?)

          • dancingapple says:

            If the first part had come true there wouldn't be much football happening on that pitch. I'd still tune in to watch though. :)