Graham's Blog

Classic Big Interview: Jurgen Klopp

Here’s another chance to hear my interview with Jurgen Klopp from season three.

It was spring 2018 when we chatted, just before Liverpool faced Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final. Little did we know then that Jurgen’s Reds would annihilate City and reach the final, win it the following year and, of course, clinch their long-awaited league title in 2020.

Jurgen is my type of guy – a noisy, honest, heart-on-the-sleeve, larger-than-life character. He gives everything for whichever club he serves and he spoke about how he gets inside his players’ heads and changes their attitudes. Jurgen believes that everyone wants to be the best they can be, and he works to draw out their full potential.

There’s great chat about Borussia Dortmund’s run to Jurgen’s first Champions League final in 2013, and he explains how football is unique because not only do you suffer with others, you also celebrate in a single instant with tens of thousands and potentially millions of people watching on TV.

What a guy.

Graham.

Jason McAteer: From Kaka to Keane

In part two, there’s more on Jason McAteer’s Mini Metro. It once got him and some team-mates into bother when they unwittingly caused a security alert at a nuclear plant.

Jason didn’t like Roy Keane at first – as players on different sides of the Liverpool/Manchester United rivalry, he wasn’t likely to. But Roy’s perfectionism and will to win in the Ireland camp made Jason come to respect and love him.

Jason’s best pal Alan Stubbs was meant to move to Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn with him, but he couldn’t resist a late bid from his beloved Liverpool. It meant that the deal fell through for Stubbsy, but there were no hard feelings.

Love ya Jason

Graham

Jason McAteer: Bruce Rioch’s School of Life

Friends, I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so much in a Big Interview as I did with Jason McAteer.

Jason made the grade at Bolton under Bruce Rioch, and quickly upgraded from a Mini Metro to a Lotus Elan. But Bruce wasn’t wearing it and told him to take it back to the shop.

Republic of Ireland midfielder Jason came from a Liverpool boxing family, and his upbringing instilled an incredible competitiveness. That, and the thought of the naysayers who told him he’d never make it, drove him to success. But the fact is that in football and in life you can’t always win, and Jason has had to adapt his psychology to that reality.

Enjoy

Graham

Micah Richards: City’s Last Day Ecstasy

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Micah Richards. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

In part two Micah tells how a pre-season trip to LA bonded the Manchester City players and set their course for the famous 2012 Premier League win. Micah’s descriptions of that incredible campaign are fascinating. During the nerve-shredding final match against QPR, Mario Balotelli told fellow substitute Micah not to worry, that he would come on and change the game. He wasn’t lying.

There’s also stuff on Micah’s love for his time at Fiorentina, how a 6-1 win at Old Trafford informed Manchester United that City had arrived, and how a fitness trainer helped the Sky Blues stay the distance to be crowned champions.

Thanks Micah

Graham

Micah Richards: Life on Planet Balotelli

Last season, our Socios at patreon.com/grahamhunter got an exclusive interview with Micah Richards. For the first time, here’s the full episode.

Micah is one of the most astute TV analysts of the beautiful game. In part one we hear about his friendship with the eccentric Mario Balotelli (they were so close that they both sported the same haircut) at Manchester City. While Micah is frank about his pal’s flaws, he also speaks about the often-unfair treatment he, and footballers in general, receive. Micah tried to protect Mario.

Micah also speaks about working under City boss Roberto Mancini, a brutally honest perfectionist who players either loved or hated – Micah loved him. And there’s chat about how winning the 2011 FA Cup set the stage for league glory in 2012.

Enjoy

Graham