Interview: The Steven Gerrard
England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard speaks exclusively to RWD Football...
There has always been an inevitability about Steven Gerrard. Destined to captain Liverpool. Destined to load his mantle with individual and team honours. Destined to play for England, and ultimately destined to lead the nation into a World Cup as its captain. If Stevie G has ever been under pressure, you’d never know it, at 33 years old; the engine is as finely tuned as ever, the passing is still inch perfect and the evergreen one-club man is ready to take the expectations of a nation on his shoulders and charge forward. Talking away days, trainers, Jamie Carragher and more, we were lucky enough to grab a chat with one of the game’s all-time greats…
Photography James Pearson-Howes
How have you enjoyed watching Jamie on TV this season?
Who’s Jamie? Redknapp or Carragher? [smiles]
We’ll go with Carragher…
Yeah, I’ve enjoyed him. Especially if he isn’t criticizing me or my team. I enjoy watching him. He’s a very interesting guy and his knowledge of the game is fantastic, I always knew he’d do well. I think with time the public will grow to him and like him even more. It’s a bit strange not having him in the dressing room, but I think he’s doing a good job. I think he still had a little bit more to offer on the pitch. It would have been nice if he’d hung around, but the manager’s gone out and replaced him with a couple of decent centre-backs, so hopefully they can do the job that we wanted him to do.
As our captain, do you feel like you’re the leader of the English game?
I’d like to think so, I feel as if I’m doing a decent job and there’s a lot of hard work to go and we’re a couple of games away from achieving everyone’s dreams, which is to go to the World Cup in Brazil. Of course there’s pressure and responsibility on me as the Liverpool and England captain, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s something I’ve worked really hard for and I want to really enjoy the position I’m in.
Off the pitch, would you say you’ve got good taste in music?
Well, I think I have. Other people might not agree, but I’m a big Kings of Leon fan, Coldplay, that type of stuff.
So is that the kind of music you’re likely to hear in the Liverpool dressing room?
No, it’s not! You’d think the captain would have a bit of authority and put his stuff on, but no, it’s all hip hop and R&B and dance stuff which I’m a little bit too old for at this point. It gets you pumped up and that’s the idea. The reason you have music in the dressing room is to get the adrenaline pumping and get everybody up-beat and ready to play, really; ready for battle.
Who are the worst offenders then?
Music offenders? I think your Daniel Sturridge, your Victor Moses, all them lot. Even the young lads are trying to chip in, [Raheem] Sterling and [Andre] Wisdom, they’re the music gurus.
You’ve got a strong affiliation with adidas, what are your favourite trainers?
I like the Superstars, they’re the ones that I’m always reminding adidas to send me. But all the way through my career I’ve always tried to strive for the best and thankfully adidas have supported me since I was a young boy and they’ve always provided the best kits and boots and even the casual gear for me, so the relationship is still as strong as ever.
What do you think of the adidas Originals you’re wearing today?
Shocking! [Laughs] No, I’m only joking. It’s nice, it’s casual, it’s comfortable type of stuff. You know, you go into training daily in your jeans, nice casual jumper and some comfortable trainers, it’s what us footballers like to hang around in, so it’s perfect.
You must have developed a few ways to pass the time when you’re preparing for games, what have you found that works?
iPads, DVDs, music, all the usual stuff. As you say we spend a lot of time in hotels and boredom can be a nuisance at times, so I just entertain myself and get on Facebook and stuff like that. I FaceTime with the children.
What kind of DVDs are you into?
I’m a box set man. Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, all the usual classics. I watched a good movie recently actually, called The Call, at the cinema, I’d highly recommend that.
Are you a full-on Breaking Bad addict then?
I’ve only just started it and I’ve gone through the boring bit, but I’ve heard really good things about it and that each season gets better and better, so I’m baring with it and I’m expecting good things.
What are your favourite films?
Goodfellas, Scarface. I’m into the gangster films, I’m a big fan of them. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that? [Laughs].
What advice would you give to a young player trying to make his or her way in the game?
Basically, just do whatever you can do to achieve your dream really. Work hard, practice as much as you can and every opportunity you get to get a ball at your feet and practice, left foot, right foot and work as hard as you can. I think that’s what I did from a very young age, I just put the time in and the dedication and that helped me get to where I wanted to be.
Steven Gerrard wears the adidas Nitrocharge 1.0 available at jdsports.co.uk
The Steven Gerrard is taken from RWD issue #142 available now.