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Mourinho: Gerrard Deserves Respect of Chelsea Fans

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Long time Steven Gerrard admirer Jose Mourinho had some kind things to say about the Liverpool skipper ahead of his team's League Cup clash at Anfield on Tuesday.

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While Liverpool fans have begun their own journey to mourn the eventual loss of club legend Steven Gerrard, fans across the rest of the Premier League will have begun their own similar journey. The more musical amongst those rival fans will be struggling to figure out how to fill a huge void in their weekly repertoire next season: who will they sing about every match if not Steven Gerrard?

It's a somewhat dubious honour that Gerrard is the subject of more songs at more clubs than any other player in the Premier League at the moment. It speaks to his position in the game and the depth to which fans of other clubs hold an odd obsession with the man, singing about him regularly whether Liverpool are involved in the match or not. Many took up a new tune after Gerrard's fateful slip against Chelsea last season, but in his final season in England, even rival managers think the song has outworn its welcome.

"The song that my fans have I don't like at all," Jose Mourinho said ahead of his team's first leg semi-final League Cup tie at Anfield. "A couple of times it is good fun but to go and go and go, especially with a player like him who deserves respect, I don't think you don't need that. We have so many other songs, you don't need that one."

Mourinho's confusion about the sheer breadth of the Chelsea songbook aside, the Portuguese manager spoke with great affection about the Liverpool captain. Mourinho considers Gerrard to be his biggest transfer disappointment, saying it would have been a dream to have signed Gerrard during his first tour of Stamford Bridge.

"He is a historical player for Liverpool, a historical player for the Premier League and an opponent I have always admired and respected," Mourinho explained. "We did everything to try [to sign him] and it was almost there. His people were open to him joining a top side like Chelsea. But to me personally he never said he would come. Never. He was always a red and I think the decision was right."

"I love this quote when he was saying in his life he would never score a goal against Liverpool. I love these words. I understand why he was — almost, almost, almost — coming to Chelsea. But he didn't and I respect that a lot."

Whether Mourinho's fervent respect for Gerrard will be enough for Chelsea fans to press pause on one of their favourite tunes will be determined on Tuesday, but it's clear that the Steven Gerrard farewell tour accolades show no sign of slowing down.