Liverpool lifted the FA Cup on Saturday for the seventh time, after a final almost as exciting as Istanbul. And that is saying something.
It’s not very often that the Liverpool chairman David Moores speaks in public, preferring to let Rick Parry and the playing and coaching staff do all the speaking for him, but he was happy to praise the latest achievements of the Reds.
He started with Steven Gerrard: “It’s self-explanatory what Stevie means to this club. He’s a talisman. You could never replace him, so thank Christ it was all sorted out with him last year. He’s now settled and I know he’ll be with us for life. He’s an unbelievable player I wouldn’t swap for anybody.”
Moores also referenced Jamie Carragher’s recent comments when the defender said team-mate Gerrard would possibly only be behind legend Kenny Dalglish if you compiled a list of all the greats to have played at Anfield over the years. “Kenny’s one of my all-time heroes, and there have been so many greats for this club. If you ask who was the best, it would be Kenny. But I think Carra is right. If you’re looking at Stevie, he’d be regarded as highly. If he makes a great manager as well at the end of it all, you never know. He’s got everything. He’s been magnificent and different class. I thought a performance like that could never happen again after Istanbul, but we never make it easy for ourselves. It’s a good job I got my heart sorted out.”
Moores enthused about how good a match it was too: “About 300m people worldwide watched that game, so what a great advert for Liverpool Football Club and for English football. Top marks to West Ham, who played their part. I’m not sure anyone deserved to lose, but we took great penalties and Pepe made great saves. Over the course of the competition we did all the hard work beating Manchester United and Chelsea, so it would have been devastating not to have won the cup.”
Now of course, there’s just one prize left to get, the one we’ve had before 18 times already: “We’ve won the FA Cup twice, the league cup, the Champions League and UEFA Cup, but everyone knows what we’re all striving for. With Rafa, I’m confident it won’t be too long, but I know if I say that it builds everyone’s expectations. It’s been a tremendous season, no matter what the result on Saturday. It’s another trophy in the cabinet and I think we’ve won as many trophies since the start of the millennium as any club in Europe.”
Moores also explained how Rafa the perfectionist thought of the match: “Rafa is very happy, but he says we made terrible mistakes, which is great. He’s happy to win, but he tells people in no uncertain terms what they should do better. He’s a perfectionist.”