Thompson: Rumours might drive Gerrard away

As the only other home-grown Liverpool captain to lift the European Cup, Phil Thompson has more than an inkling about how Steven Gerrard is feeling today.

When the time came for Thompson to leave Anfield after 15 years, it was for Bramall Lane rather than the Bernabeu but, having worked as assistant manager during Gerrard's rise to prominence, he understands how tough it will be to walk away.

The new Liverpool manager, Roy Hodgson, claims that he held "positive talks" with Gerrard, 30, before his captain headed off on holiday. But even though that was perceived by some as an insistence that the midfielder will stay, it is still unclear what he plans to do.

This is not the first time that the new Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has put Gerrard in this position but at least Liverpool looked competitive when Gerrard saw fit to reject Chelsea's advances.

Hodgson takes his new squad to Switzerland on Wednesday, with the futures of Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano remaining a cloud of doubt ahead of the season.

Gerrard is due to link up with the squad the day after next Saturday's friendly with Al-Hilal in Austria, with their Europa League campaign due to start on 29 July.

Thompson, who does not expect Internazionale target Mascherano to return to England, is hopeful that unfounded but painful rumours about Gerrard's private life do not make him request a move.

"I feel for Steven very much and I wonder whether it's a football thing that might drive him away or the rumour mill which has been in overdrive," Thompson said. "It would be quite awful if he went, because Steven has carried his football club for the last seven years. I'd like for him to look at it this way; he is 30, has spent all his life with Liverpool, he's been good for the club and the club have been good for him.

"He's won everything except the League title, so is it going to be worth as much to do it at Manchester City or Chelsea? To actually live that dream? No, it wouldn't. The only other one is Real Madrid and he's not going to win the English Premier League there, is he?

"For me, leaving was awful. I went to Sheffield United at the end of my career but when that decision came only going on loan was difficult enough. But to make that break was heart-wrenching, to know that you're not going to pull that shirt on and do your stuff again, and that will be the biggest thing for Stevie. I think he will have made his decision."

Though he insists the club was at a lower ebb when Bill Shankly took over in 1959, Thompson cannot remember expectations being as low at Anfield and says Champions' League qualification will be a "tall order".

He feels a Spain victory in the World Cup final this evening will be a major help in Hodgson's attempts to keep Torres. "I know Torres has not played well this summer but he will be in a better frame of mind," he added.

"It's going to come down to Roy Hodgson persuading him, Stevie and Mascherano, 'stay with us, bear with us for another 12 months and we won't stand in your way if I'm proved wrong'."

Phil Thompson is an ambassador for The Standard Chartered Great City Race 2010 on Thursday 15 July. Go to www.cityrace.co.uk

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Sport
footballMan City manager would have loved to have signed Argentine
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Sport
Enner Valencia
footballStriker has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame via winning the title with ‘The Blue Ballet’ in Ecuador
Arts and Entertainment
A top literary agent has compared online giant Amazon to Isis
arts + entsAndrew Wylie has pulled no punches in criticism of Amazon
Arts and Entertainment
Charlie Sheen said he would
tv

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities