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Mourinho: Gerrard was right NOT to join Chelsea


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Chelsea manager José Mourinho has opened up about his attempts to sign Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in 2005.

Ahead of tomorrow's Capital One Cup semi-final first leg between the two sides, Mourinho has spoke of his admiration and respect for one of the finest midfielders in Premier League history.

In what was regarded as a much-touted move back in the summer of 2005, it appeared all but confirmed that Gerrard would trade Anfield for Stamford Bridge in a mega-money deal.

In July of that year, Liverpool released the following statement:

"Steven has told us he will not accept our offer of an improved and extended contract because he wants to leave".

Chelsea then said: "Following comments from Rick Parry, Chelsea can confirm the club has made an offer to Liverpool for the transfer of Steven Gerrard".

Liverpool, then European champions, and Chelsea, the defending Premier League title winners and League Cup winners, were alleged to have agreed terms, but Liverpool turned down an astonishing £32 million transfer offer.

Gerrard stunned Chelsea by pulling out of the deal at the last minute, but the scars remain from a saga he says left him "suffocated by stress".

Chelsea eventually sought out a world-class midfielder in Michael Essien, and then Michael Ballack the following summer.

Ballack, a free transfer from Bayern Munich, left Chelsea in 2010 after 166 games for the club, scoring 25 goals. With the Blues he won the Premier League in 2010, the League Cup in 2007, three FA Cups (2007, 2009, 2010), and the Community Shield in 2009.

Essien's Chelsea career was even more glamorous - in 256 games he also netted 25 times, but Essien's trophy haul boasted two Premier League titles (2006, 2010), four FA Cups (2007, 2009, 2010, 2012), the League Cup once in 2007, the Community Shield (2009) and also the UEFA Champions League in May 2012.

Yet regardless of their efforts, Mourinho said yesterday that Chelsea did "everything to try to sign" Gerrard.

"I was dreaming of Claude Makelele, Gerrard and Frank Lampard in midfield. We were playing in a proper triangle without a number 10 and playing Maka in front of the defenders. Me, Mr Abramovich and Peter Kenyon at that time, we dreamed of that.

"His people were open to him joining a top side like Chelsea.

"But to me personally he never said he would come. Never".

This revelation is something that will certainly shock the many Liverpool fans who burned their Gerrard shirts in front of the Shankly Gates when it was announced the clubs were in negotiations.

According to Mourinho, the decision made by Gerrard "was right. He was always a red".

But Mourinho, who describes Gerrard as an opponent he has always admired and respected, says he does not like Chelsea fans to poke fun at the player following his slip at Anfield last year in a match which saw Liverpool's title chances disappear.

"The song that my fans have I don't like at all", Mourinho said.

"A couple of times it is good fun but to go and go and go, especially with a player like him who deserves respect, I don't think you don't need that".

We're just going to have to agree to disagree on that one, José.

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Yep. Considering the mess Sven made in handling Lampard, Gerrard and Scholes.. Lmao!

For balance purposes, it would of been most beneficial if it was a midfield 3 of Hargreaves, Scholes, and Carrick in my opinion. But with the seasons Lampard and Gerrard were having it would of been difficult to put them on the bench.

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For balance purposes, it would of been most beneficial if it was a midfield 3 of Hargreaves, Scholes, and Carrick in my opinion. But with the seasons Lampard and Gerrard were having it would of been difficult to put them on the bench.

That would've made sense. The problem Sven had was playing these players in totally different positions to what their used to. Sticking Scholes on the right hand side of midfield for example was a total waste of his talents and ability on the ball. I do empathise with Sven though because he also had a young, talented, Joe Cole in his ranks too so trying to fit all these midfielders in a 4-4-2 was a problem any manager would've struggled with.

But it's not wonder Scholes retired at the age of 28. Ferguson used the situation with England to his advantage, as he always has done.

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