EPL

Liverpool stars in Happy Birthday singalong as Steven Gerrard turns 40

By Sports Desk May 30, 2020

Steven Gerrard turned 40 on Saturday and there was never any prospect of his landmark birthday passing quietly at Liverpool.

The Reds great remains inextricably linked to the Merseyside club, despite leaving his coaching job at Liverpool's Kirkby academy two years ago to become manager of Rangers.

Liverpool's players have a tradition of regaling each other with a Happy Birthday singalong whenever first-team stars are celebrating, and the gesture was extended this week to include former captain Gerrard.

The group singing session began in German, the native language of manager Jurgen Klopp, who led a chant of 'Zum Geburtstag viel Gluck' (all the best on your birthday), before the squad sang 'Happy Birthday, dear Stevie' in English.

Clapping along on the Melwood training pitch, Klopp's players and coaching staff ran through the familiar song in a mesmerising range of languages, including Portuguese, Dutch, Welsh, French, Egyptian and Croatian.

Gerrard played 710 games for Liverpool, scoring 186 goals and winning a host of trophies including the 2005 Champions League, two FA Cups, three EFL Cups and a UEFA Cup.

He ended his playing spell at the club in 2015 with the Premier League having proven agonisingly elusive.

Klopp's Liverpool are poised to end the club's 30-year wait for the English championship this season, having built a 25-point lead over second-placed Manchester City.

The suspended 2019-20 campaign, which has been on hold since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to resume in June, with Liverpool needing a maximum of two wins from their remaining nine games to make certain of the title.

Related items

  • Seattle Sounders 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes: Goalless draw in Group B clash Seattle Sounders 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes: Goalless draw in Group B clash

    The Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes played out a 0-0 draw in their MLS is Back Tournament openers on Friday.

    Both goalkeepers had saves to make throughout the Group B clash at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

    However, neither team was able to find a breakthrough as the spoils were shared as MLS' return continued amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    San Jose goalkeeper Daniel Vega made an excellent save approaching the half-hour mark, denying Cristian Roldan.

    Sounders shot-stopper Stefan Frei was also called into action numerous times, finishing with eight saves.

    Nicolas Lodeiro almost found an 81st-minute winner for Seattle, but was denied by Vega.

    Seattle face Chicago Fire on Tuesday, while San Jose meet the Vancouver Whitecaps the following day.

  • Facing Atalanta like going to the dentist – Sarri agrees with Guardiola Facing Atalanta like going to the dentist – Sarri agrees with Guardiola

    Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri agreed with Pep Guardiola's assessment that facing Atalanta was "like going to the dentist".

    Sarri's side face a huge test on Saturday when they host Atalanta, who are third in Serie A and nine points behind leaders Juve with seven games remaining.

    Manchester City manager Guardiola compared playing Atalanta to going to the dentist, having beaten and drawn with the Italian side in the Champions League group stage.

    Sarri agreed with Guardiola's description as he expects a difficult clash against Gian Piero Gasperini's men.

    "It's an important moment of the season. Atalanta are not a surprise. They have done really well throughout the season, particularly away from home," he told a news conference. 

    "They are a really difficult opponent. Atalanta have been a difficult opponent for everyone for a long time now.

    "Guardiola gave the best description of them. It's like going to the dentist. You can end up well but you feel the pain. It's a really difficult team to face."

    Sarri will come up against Guardiola in the Champions League quarter-finals if their respective teams get through their last-16 ties.

    But the Italian said his focus was on Serie A before a clash with Lyon, who won the first leg of their tie 1-0 in France.

    "I am not interested. We have only one goal now – the league. And after the league we have Lyon," Sarri said.

    "It's really far away now so we don't have to waste any energy [thinking about it]."

  • Mourinho admits Tottenham trophy drought could extend beyond his stay Mourinho admits Tottenham trophy drought could extend beyond his stay

    Jose Mourinho is ready to tolerate three more years without a trophy at Tottenham if his reign lays the foundations for future success.

    The Portuguese has built his career and his reputation on being a man who delivers silverware to clubs, but he sees a huge task ahead with Spurs.

    After breathtaking successes with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, Mourinho found it altogether more challenging at Manchester United, but he nonetheless coaxed Europa League and EFL Cup triumphs out of his Old Trafford side.

    Mourinho admitted Tottenham are a club gripped by unhappiness ahead of Sunday's north London derby, with hopes of earning a Champions League place for next season having long since hit the rocks. The club's last major trophy was an EFL Cup success in the 2007-08 season.

    As Arsenal also strive for consistency under Mikel Arteta, the derby is a rarity in being a clash of mid-table neighbours in a state of transition, the Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery eras having expired late last year.

    Mourinho pointed to Jurgen Klopp struggling to bring instant success to Liverpool but making a longer-term plan work, and he appears to see Tottenham in a similar state to the Reds side inherited by the charismatic German in 2015.

    "How long did it take Jurgen?" asked Mourinho, whose contract runs to the end of the 2022-23 campaign. "Four years, buying one of the best goalkeepers, centre-backs in the world and so on.

    "I'm focused on my three-year contract. I believe that in my three years we can win trophies and if we don't but the club does in a new era I will be happy with that."

    Even if Tottenham improve exponentially in future seasons, Mourinho warned titles are not guaranteed, given Liverpool missed out on Premier League glory in 2018-19 despite losing just one match.

    Mourinho believes the club are still suffering a hangover from the defeat to Liverpool in last season's Champions League final, while the verdict on the head coach from fans has been mixed since chairman Daniel Levy brought him to the club.

    "Nobody in this club is happy," Mourinho said.

    "If the fans are unhappy, [and] I am happy, Mr Levy is happy, then I think there would be a huge problem. Then our ambitions wouldn't fit with the desire of the fans. We all want the same, and that's the best message we can give.

    "I want to say many, many big clubs pass through difficult periods. Sometimes long, sometimes short. But many times, big clubs have moments of transition, replacing players, players getting older and that's very obvious in so many clubs with so many rich histories.

    "This is a process. My message to our fans that are of course not happy, is that the thing that keeps me strong and optimistic and 200 per cent loyal to the club, is to know that the club wants to improve. Next season is going to be different."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.