Damien Comolli Talks Liverpool Tenure to Evening Standard



This afternoon the Evening Standard (London newspaper) published a wide ranging interview with Damien Comolli. The main message of it was that he honestly believed he was going to stay with Tottenham for the rest of his career. The interview holds interesting anecdotes on how he signed Gareth Bale after a prolonged period of persuasion and a summary of his best and worst player signings.

The former Liverpool Director of Football also touched upon his exit from the Reds:

"However, Comolli’s departure from White Hart Lane in 2008 did not come as much of a surprise as the one from Anfield in April 2012. "Liverpool was a complete shock," he says. "To this day, I still don’t know what happened.

"When I got there [in 2010] we were 13th. We finished sixth in the first season, reduced the wage bill dramatically, won the first trophy for six years [2012 League Cup] and were in the semi-final of the FA Cup."

But two days before that semi-final, owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner visited Comolli at his office in Melwood to tell him he was out. "It was the day after we had won at Blackburn and they said, ‘That’s it. You can take your stuff.’ I wasn’t allowed to come back into the office."

Comolli says the only moment of light relief came when he told Kenny Dalglish, then manager, the news. "I called Kenny the next day and said I needed to speak to him. He told me he was just around the corner so he would come into my office in two minutes. When I said I wasn’t there, he asked me where I was. When I told him I had been sacked he went silent and then said, ‘I can’t believe it.’"

What gives Comolli satisfaction is that he left Liverpool a player such as Luis Suarez, a £23million signing from Ajax. "The answer to the question ‘what is my contribution to Liverpool?’ is when Steven Gerrard says the best striker is Luis Suarez. And getting Luis for a very good fee."

Comolli dismisses problems with the Uruguayan’s temperament, saying: "I saw it as a positive. He’s extremely easy to deal with on a daily basis, a fantastic individual, a great team-mate, always laughing. He gives you 100 per cent in every training session."

However, ask Comolli about Suarez racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra in 2011 and, for the first time, the Frenchman clams up. "This is the worst experience in my career by far. I don’t want to talk about it."

What he is prepared to reveal is that the ill-judged show of support Liverpool orchestrated on behalf of Suarez, wearing T-shirts bearing the striker the day after he was given an eight-game ban, was not just down to Dalglish.

"I don’t have a problem with people saying the club didn’t handle it properly. I’ve got a big issue when people say Kenny didn’t. Everybody, including the owners, was on the same page on how we should handle the issue.

"We probably should have spoken to people from outside the club. We didn’t because we were so emotionally involved."

Obviously a story of a man, who thinks he has been treated unfairly for the level of work he put in both at Tottenham and Liverpool, but for us Liverpool fans looking forward, this interview holds some interesting pieces to the puzzle of understanding what goes on behind the scenes in Melwood and Boston...

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