Here at the Liverpool Offside we've got some shocking news to share with you today: Andy Carroll thinks Steven Gerrard is kind of awesome. No confirmation on whether he thinks he's big and fucking hard, too, though if you really dig for it you could infer that he does. And that could probably get a little awkward for some of you if we decided to mention Steven Gerrard's Groin alongside regular Steven Gerrard right about now.
Which I gather is what we may have done just there. For which you're welcome. And you're also now wondering if the stewards would allow a banner lionising Steven Gerrard's Groin to fly on the Kop and if there's any way such a banner could be done tastefully or if doing it tastefully would rather defeat the entire purpose of doing it at all.
What were we talking about? Right, Andy Carroll. Who thinks Steven Gerrard is kind of awesome:
He’s had an amazing career but you still know he’s desperate to achieve more. It’s the hunger you see every day, the determination to win more games, win medals and trophies.
I used to watch him when I was younger and pretend to be him on the field with my mates. I’m very lucky to be able to share a dressing room with him now. It’s unbelievable.
Beyond the standard Isn't that cute feelings puff piece interviews like this are always meant to dredge up in a reader, one imagines it must be a rather uncomfortable feeling for a professional athlete or other publicly known figure to have someone talk of growing up watching them. On one hand, flattering words are always a fairly flattering form of flattery, and to speak of having imitated a footballer while kicking about with friends while growing up certainly would seem to fall under the domain of flattering words.
On the other hand, there's a whole lot of, Hey Steven, you're like practically ancient and could almost be my dad! I mean, I was pretending to be you back before I could drink and grow a beard! And I can barely remember those days they were so long ago! in there, too.
So it's flattering and soft and squishy and about what you'd expect from a feel-good puff piece meant to focus on camaraderie and puppies and sunshine at a time when it all can seem rather doom and gloom. But it's also kind of that other stuff, too. And it rather serves to remind the rest of us that we're into Andy Carroll's second year at the club and he's so far shown little to suggest he'll ever be as integral to the side as Steven Gerrard has been over the past decade.
So that's always the downside of a player—or anyone, really—talking about their idols. Especially when those idols are still active and generally overshadowing the person doing the idolising in any and every way imaginable in their chosen profession. So it's nice that Andy Carroll thinks Steven Gerrard's kind of awesome and that he imitated him while kicking the ball about with friends while growing up, but it would be even nicer if he could do a better and more consistent job of imitating Steven Gerrard circa 2005 on match day in the here and now.
And in the end that leads one down the path from It's nice he thinks Steven Gerrard is nice to It'd be nicer if he could be more like Steven Gerrard if he thinks he's so nice and finally to It'd be nicest to see them winning games rather than telling the world how nice they all are. There's definitely a bit of that last bit that becomes unavoidable when faced with smiley-happy puff piece interviews when the current reality is something less than smiley-happy.
Because really, as fans one can only hear about how all the players think all the other players are just wonderful and how much they enjoy being together at such a great club and how much fun they have in training before wishing that they'd all just shut up and put in a few solid performances on the bounce. Somebody might want to mention that to the club before they have Charlie Adam deliver a chocolate souffle he made for Lucas and plaster pictures of it all over Pinterest.