Friday Papers celebrate 10 years of Stevie

With no game until Monday night when the Reds take on West Ham at Anfield, there’s mixed emotions in the Liverpool camp. Last night it was confirmed that both Fernando Torres and Fabio Aurelio will miss the next fortnight of action through injury. But this weekend sees the celebration marking ten years since captain Steven Gerrard made his debut for the club.

Paying tribute to our great leader and recalling how Liverpool manager at the time Gerard Houllier spotted the young midfielder well and brought him into the team with ease, Oliver Kay writes a brilliant article in The Times:

It was November 1998 when Steven Gerrard finally got the call to make the step up to start training with Liverpool’s first-team squad. Stephen Wright, the aforementioned Wrighty, was summoned to Melwood on the same day, but it was Gerrard who had really caught the eye of Gérard Houllier, the club’s new manager. Houllier took him to one side. ‘œThis is where it starts,’ the Frenchman said in the paternal tone that would become familiar to Gerrard over the next five-and-a-half years. ‘œDo what we tell you. Eat what we tell you. Drink what we tell you. We want you ready for the first team. You’re not far away.’

Kay’s article is definitely worth a read, over at The Times Online here.

Jason Burt of The Independent calculates the extent of Torres’ injuries this season.

Although the sequence of games that Torres will miss is not as taxing as it could be, the fact that he has suffered a recurrence of his hamstring problems, from which he is still recovering having just missed five weeks, and six games, of the season, will be of great concern to Liverpool and their manager, Rafael Benitez. He will also have to cope with the absence of defender Fabio Aurelio who is out for two weeks following an aggravation of a calf injury against Marseilles.

Meanwhile Liverpool Football Club has announced a cut £1 off the price of each matchday ticket at Anfield owing to the recent VAT drop by the UK government.

A club statement reads:

With the West Ham and Hull City games already sold out, the first match affected is the Boxing Day clash against Bolton, with sales to PTS members starting on the 3rd of December and the general sale from the 9th of December.

Tickets for A games on the Kop will drop to £36, with the rest of the ground priced at £38 and for B games to £34 (Kop) and £36 respectively.

The adult child prices are: £57 (A Game) for 1 adult/1 child and £54 (B Game) for 1 adult/1 child.

Liverpool don’t play until Monday, but Saturday sees Aston Villa vs Fulham, Middlesbrough vs Newcastle, Stoke vs Hull, Sunderland vs Bolton and Wigan vs West Brom (all 3pm KO). On Sunday Manchester City are at home to Man Utd (1.30pm), Portsmouth vs Blackburn (3pm), Tottenham vs Everton (3pm) and Chelsea host Arsenal (4pm).