Finally the Javier Mascherano show took curtain call worth £22m and ovation of some fuming Liverpool team mates at Anfield. Team manager Roy Hodgson stated that along with the team members he felt betrayed by Argentine captain. Mascherano who expressed his desire to depart from Liverpool refused earlier in the week to play against Manchester City.
Mascherano has reportedly accepted a four year deal with Barcelona earning him £90,000 a week. Midfielder over looked a better deal from Liverpool mainly due to his wife’s refusal to live in England.
Referring to Mascherano issue Hodgson said, “It was a complicated situation, to be fair to him. But it’s not easy to defend his actions, because professionals are paid to play and, when called on to do so, they should.”
“I don’t think players mean it as a challenge to your authority, or the club’s. But it’s a selfish situation, where they want to do something and expect the club and me, in my position as one of the leaders of the club, to bow down and accept that they are going to get their way. Unfortunately, there will then be periods when there is a bit of unpleasantness.”
“Players must also understand when you sign contracts, you do so to play. If the club decides they’re going to accept an offer and let you go that’s one thing. If, however, they say ‘you have a contract, we’re not selling’, then you stay.”
“It doesn’t bother me as a challenge to my authority. It’s just a fact of life, one that gets exacerbated for a month in January and two or three in the summer.”
“I had the same situation at Blackburn, when someone was agitated when I went there. Graeme Le Saux was determined to go to Chelsea, and that caused us problems in pre-season. Then Tim Sherwood was wanted by Tottenham, and that caused more problems, because he was determined to get back to London. He thought he’d done enough at Blackburn and wanted to return to his roots. So this can occur and you have to live with it.”
“That’s why we have to be forgiven for getting irritated when agents stir things more. It’s bad enough when you’ve got a genuine offer to contend with.”