'We can put some sticks in the park and play football; it's still the same game. It's still the perfect game, but it is only this because of the fans. We have to - it's a song - we have to entertain them.'
'Football is not important – we don’t save lives, we are not doctors – the fans can forget their problems for 90 minutes. The fans can talk about the game for days, and that is why I try to be as close as possible to the fans, it’s why I love this job so much.’
‘I was on the stand in Stuttgart as a child, so I know what it’s like to be a fan. Now I can go to all parts of the stadium, speak to Stevie G [Steven Gerrard] and Robbie Fowler, all this is possible.’
Let me be one of the first to extend a very warm welcome to Jurgen Klopp. He's different. He's been a success. And he could yet prove to be the perfect fit for Liverpool. But I fear not. And it most likely won't be his fault if it doesn't work - let's make that plain. I'll explain in a moment.
One big fear I have straight away. Read the above again. Slowly. It could've been offered up at any recent Press conference by Brendan Rodgers. Agree? All the ingredients are there. But no, this was Klopp! Oh dear. Let's hope it's a one off! Again, I fear it's not.
I also worried earlier in the week when it was claimed that his philosophy is 'run further, and run faster'. I don't agree. Again, let's hope he was mis-quoted.
Some of the best 'modern day' players don't run very far and they certainly don't run very fast. Pirlo? Xavi? Iniesta? Messi? Alonso?
Go back to a different era at Liverpool. Souness? Dalglish? McAllister? Molby? No. These guys played with their head first - and everything else followed.
As Souness himself has often said about his time at Blackburn. Robbie Savage or Tugay? No contest. One ran arguably further than any player on the pitch. The other 'ran' the game.
But let's cut to the chase. Liverpool will never be a force again while they run the current model. It doesn't work. I like Ian Ayre. He's a good operator. But would I want his opinion on football talent? No. What about Barry Hunter and head of recruitment Dave Fallows? Who?
Then there's Michael Edwards. Again who? Exactly. This young man should've remained anonymous. He's known as 'Eddie' to his mates around Melwood. It's trendy!
Edwards is the 'genius' behind the club's 'money balls' strategy - a statistical model designed to extract maximum value in the transfer market. Between them these guys are the 'transfer committee'. They decide who comes and who goes.
Maximum value? £29m for Firminho? I warned about him after watching him in Copa America.
Divock Origi? Fabio Borini? Iago Aspas? Lazar Markovic? I could go on. Let's not.
Dalglish and Damien Comolli were responsible for Suarez. Both played a major part in persuading Sterling to join. So far these are the only two players Liverpool
have bought and sold for profit in the last five years (Torres was from a different era) Henderson was theirs. Granted, so was Andy Carroll, but not all of them work out. It HAS to be the case that more do than don't. Coutinho will go for more, but how many more that the 'transfer committee' have bought will? I'll hazard a guess - none. Absolutely none.
I wish Klopp all the luck in the world. Our league needs a strong Liverpoo. Our football needs a strong Liverpool. It's a club I have deep affection for. As regulars know, I had four fantastic years on Merseyside and made some life long friends.
We'll only know how good or bad Rodgers really is when he's given a blank sheet of paper, a few quid to go with it and he's told to get on with a job.
Klopp will fail at Liverpool unless he has total control on who he buys and who the club sells. No other formula works.
Liverpool are NOT a nursery club. They should never have evolved into one. FSG will have some serious questions to answer if Klopp fails because of their failed model.