Liverpool’s former favourite, Robbie Fowler, has many reasons to hope he enjoys the game for his current club Manchester City tomorrow.
First of all he’s going to be celebrating his 30th birthday. Second of all he’ll be playing against Liverpool.
Fowler has started to find some form again and was praised for his performance against Charlton last week. Now he wants more praise – and a victory – against Liverpool tomorrow. He said: "It’s ironic that my birthday should fall on the day we play Liverpool, but I hope to be celebrating with a win."
Fowler was at one time fighting with Alan Shearer amongst others for a place in the England team. Shearer has just announced at 35 that he’ll be playing for another year, and Fowler thinks that makes his career at 30 still a long way from its end. He said: "People go on about players being over 30 as if they are in suddenly in decline, but I feel as fit and sharp as I have done in a few years now, and, hopefully, my performances are showing that. Besides, there are plenty of examples of strikers who go on to score loads of goals as they get older. It’s just another number."
Fowler feels that his time at City is now starting to reach the standard he’d like: "I feel very good at the minute, both in terms of scoring and creating. I have not had the greatest of seasons when it comes to goals, but I feel as if I have done reasonably well. It took me a long time to get off the mark at City, but I have worked hard and, hopefully, I am seeing the dividends now – and so are the fans."
Fowler thinks that caretaker boss Stuart Pearce, has changed things for the better at City: "Since Stuart Pearce took over we have all worked very hard in training, and I think we have been unfortunate in both matches. At Charlton in particular we could have scored enough goals to win two games. Overall, everyone who was at that game would have been really impressed with us, the quality of our play and our spirit. Now we have to turn those performances into more points. Some people may have been surprised by the style with which we have played."
Fowler went on to praise his new boss Pearce even further. Pearce has not been repeating the quotes from his autobiography, were he said he hated Liverpool, and maybe Fowler doesn’t remember it. Fowler said, "I don’t think the manager will mind me saying that he was a hard player who was uncompromising and used to kick people occasionally – I have been on the receiving end – but he learned the majority of his football in a Forest side that liked to pass and move, and that is what he has instilled in us."
Fowler was back in a red number 9 shirt over Easter, playing for a Liverpool Legends side against Celebrities in a Tsunami benefit game. He enjoyed the day, saying, "I got a terrific reception and all the Liverpool fans can be proud of how they supported that worthy event. It was a wonderful, big-hearted response."
He won’t let his love of Liverpool get in the way tomorrow though: "This is a big game for us – the first at home under the new manager. If that means me scoring on my birthday against Liverpool, great."