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Through the Storm

Discussion in 'The Football Forum' started by tombrown, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. tombrown

    tombrown Very Well-Known Member

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    Anyone see the LFC TV video with Jason McAteer about mental health yesterday? I watched it last night - really very good I thought.

    I probably owe an apology to Jason, as I didn't rate him as a player & used to take the piss out of him & his family (who I travelled to the 1996 FA Cup final with). Both he and his mum came across very strongly in the video.

    The star of the show was Neil Hughes' dad - very moving

     
    Hansern likes this.
  2. Judge Jules

    Judge Jules SCM Addict Member

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    I've always found Jason McAteer very hard to sum up, both as a player and as an individual.  It's true that he pulled up no trees when he played for us, but IMO that was down as much as anything to Uncle Roy trying to make a wing-back out of him when he never had been before.  This isn't the only example either of Uncle Roy making what initially looked like a decent signing and then ruining the player's value to us by trying to change his position.  More generally, McAteer did have a rep for being thick as a plank, but I've heard him interviewed once or twice now and this is not the first time I've been fairly impressed.

    Plus he once faced down Roy Keane when the two confronted one another on the pitch.  Anyone doing that gets a free go from me.
     
  3. Insignificance

    Insignificance Bad to the bone Member

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    Good post. I also remember a game when he was filling in for an ageing John Barnes (who played deep midfield at that time). He spent the whole game trying to imitate Digger but instead of being a passing dynamo in midfield he wandered around passing the ball backward to the nearest person. It was awful.
     
  4. Modo

    Modo A contentious scando Member

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    I remember seeing his first press conference after he left. He looked absolutely gutted. Kinda felt for him.
     
  5. Modo

    Modo A contentious scando Member

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    Being sworn at by Kenny Dalglish and crying at a press conference; Jason McAteer on his own transfer history

    JASON MCATEER

    I know it sounds like a made up story but my first transfer fee was a bag of balls. Well, a bag of balls and a roof to be precise.

    I was playing for Marine and I wasn’t on any sort of contract. Bolton’s manager Phil Neal contacted me and said he wanted me and he advised that if I signed a deal with Marine Bolton would have to pay to get me but if I didn’t I’d be free to leave for Bolton.

    Marine found out about Bolton’s interest and all of a sudden they offered me a contract worth £100 a week. I was advised again not to sign it, and I went on trial with Bolton. After three or four days Bolton offered me a contract and I went back to Marine and said I’m leaving.

    They kicked up a fuss so as a goodwill gesture Bolton gave them £500 and a bag of balls. And, as a big storm had taken the roof off the Marine clubhouse the week I signed for Bolton, they used the £500 to get a new roof. So my value then was a bag of balls and a roof.

    Signing for Liverpool a few years later was a bit different. I’d heard there was interest from a few clubs and I think it made me play even better, knowing that there were some bigger clubs looking at me.

    But even when you are being talked about, the actual move comes out of the blue. I was in a car on the way to training with Alan Stubbs and Mark Seagraves. My agent, who was also Alan’s agent, called me and said ‘turn the car around, Bolton’s chairman has just agreed a fee of £9million to bring you and Alan to Blackburn. Head to a hotel on the East Lancs road, Kenny Dalglish and Mick Harford are waiting for you.’

    So I went into a meeting with Kenny, who was my idol growing up, and we discussed how the team were going to play and all that and then my agent’s phone rang. He stepped outside and when he came back in he said ‘look Kenny, that was Bolton. They have agreed a £4.5m deal for Jason to Liverpool. We’d like to go and speak to them.’

    Kenny knew that if I left the room and I went to Anfield I was going to sign for Liverpool so he put a bit of pressure on. He said ‘if you leave the room now the deal is off’ and ‘if you don’t sign I won’t sign Alan Stubbs either’ but I said I have to go and speak to Liverpool. And I did and I signed for them.

    It was hard turning down Kenny. He was my hero and to be even sitting across the table from him was an honour. Don’t forget, Blackburn had just won the league. But I had to choose Liverpool. My agent told me I had to ring Kenny to thank him for the opportunity but I couldn’t take him up on his offer at Blackburn.

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    I really didn’t want to do it but my agent made me and Kenny was a bit in my face. He said: ‘I hope you enjoy playing in Southport’ and I said ‘why’s that’ and he said ‘because that’s where the f*cking reserves play’.

    My head went as my hero was battering me. I just told him I wanted the chance to do what he did and play at Anfield. I met him a few months later when I was in the first team and we shook hands and he wished me luck so there were no hard feelings and we laugh and joke about it now whenever we bump into each other.

    When it came to leaving Liverpool in 1999 it was down to being unhappy at the club. Gerard Houllier had come in, I wasn’t playing and there was a lot of change at the club.

    A lot of the lads at the club were looking to move on and it was very difficult as all the players liked Roy Evans and not many liked Gerard Houllier.

    I was a regular in the Irish team and I really didn’t want to jeopardise my spot in that by not playing first team football with my club and I really wanted to play every week.

    Brian Kidd, who had just taken over at Blackburn, called me and said that he wanted a few new faces at the club and he would like me to be one of them. Getting those calls is a bit like being asked out on a first date. They try to woo you, say all the right things and convince you that you are one of the best players in the world.

    At Liverpool the next day, Gerard Houllier calls me in and says they have received a £4m bid from Blackburn and I’m free to speak to them if I want.

    After speaking to Blackburn I went back to Liverpool and spoke to Gerard Houllier in his car. He told me he didn’t want me to go. I said that’s great but you’ll have me on the bench. He said he couldn’t guarantee me a place in the first team and I said to protect my international career I’m going to have to go.

    So I said, ‘right, I’m going to go then’ thinking he’d say ‘please stay’ but he just said ‘okay’.

    That night I rang Brian Kidd and said I’d sign. I went down the next day, had the medical and then it was time for the press conference the day after. On the way to the press conference I realised I was making a mistake. It didn’t feel right and I wanted to go back to Liverpool.

    As the press conference wore on I started to get upset and in the end I started crying at the table beside Brian Kidd.

    The papers the next day had the pictures under the headline ‘McAtears’.

    I don’t have many regrets in my career but I do have two. One was not going on stage with Bono after the Holland goal instead of going on the piss with Aldo and the other is not sticking it out with Gerard Houllier for another six months.
     
  6. Portly

    Portly Old Age Pensioner Member

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    I agree with this.  When Evans signed McAteer from Bolton he was a promising attacking midfielder.  Roy converted him into a right-back thus effectively ruining his career.  

    McAteer and MacManaman worked out a short-corner routine that as far as I can remember never resulted in a goal for Liverpool, but on several occasions facilitated a goal for the opposition.
     
  7. FoxForceFive

    FoxForceFive Administrator Administrator

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    Yep. Those short corners made me despise the idea forever!
     
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