posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:32 PM
Liverpool fans can now breathe a sigh of relief as today their influential captain Steven Gerrard ended speculation about his future and committed
himself to the club. Although he did admit he had seriously considered moving, he decided that he liked what new Reds Boss Benitez had to say,
combined with the club being in "his heart".
"The latest meeting with chief executive Rick Parry brought a positive response from Gerrard, who will be playing under a new manager next season
in the shape of Rafa Benitez.
"I'd like to say the last three or four weeks have been very confusing for me," stressed Gerrard.
"I've been involved in a major tournament and that's the reason why I've been really quiet about my future.
"I haven't been happy with the progression of the club in the last three or four years, as I've made clear in the media, and, for the first time in my
career, I thought about the possibility of moving on to a different club.
"But, after coming home from Euro 2004, sitting down with my family and also asking Rick Parry for a fourth meeting in two months, and having time
with my agent, close family, dad and girlfriend, I've decided I'm staying on at Liverpool..."
Well the panic is over now and Liverpool can once again look forward to a bright future. With Gerrard committing to Liverpool Owen will surely do
likewise and sign a new contract for the club, albeit maybe only an extension for now.
Liverpool Chief Executive Rick Parry confirmed as much when questioned about it later.
"We are reasonably optimistic about Michael staying," Parry told Sky Sports
News. "Hopefully this will help but we'll see."
This coming after
suggested Owen would walk if Gerrard was sold, which certainly suggests the opposite that if Gerrard stays then Owen will
Not that Owen leaving would be the end of the world for Liverpool. Czech Republic and Liverpool striker Milan Baros, who is currently the top
contender for the golden boot at Euro 2004, has all but committed his future to the club after the departure of former Reds Boss Gerard Houllier, and
admitted he was set to leave as a result of lack of opportunities under him.
"Houllier knocked the confidence out of me," he stated. "I wasn't being picked and I thought it would be best to leave Liverpool in the summer.
"But a new coach has come in now and the situation has changed.
"Every player will start next season from the same point under Rafael Benitez and we will all have something to prove.
"With the old manager gone, I now want to stay and be a part of it."
So with the arrival of Cisse and the future prospects of young french striker Pongelle, the future is very bright for Liverpool as an attacking force.