Gerard Houllier reflects on Harry Kewell
Houllier, who is in Australia as coach of the Liverpool Legends team that will face an Australian Legends outfit at ANZ Stadium tonight, described former Socceroos winger Kewell as a very important player during his time at Anfield.
But, he does believe series of injuries scuppered the Australian’s Liverpool career.
“He was a fantastic international level player.” Houllier said, of Kewell.
“A good left foot and he started very well. I mean unfortunately he got injured in one game, I can’t remember the last minutes of the game, and he went out of the game for a long time.”
Kewell signed for Liverpool from Leeds United at the beginning of the 2003-04 season. The Australian only played one season under Houllier as the Frenchman moved on from Liverpool after the 2004 season.
Yet that season was Kewell’s most fruitful season with the ex-Socceroo star, who was voted Australia’s greatest ever player, playing 49 games and scoring 11 goals in all competitions.
“Harry was a very, very important player in my set up,” Houllier said.
“I liked players that played on the sides and he was on the left and scoring goals, so we were very happy.
“Unfortunately it’s an injury that took him out of the game.”
Looking at the current Liverpool side, Houllier has some advice for current manager Jurgen Klopp.
“I would say the only advice I would say is keep faith in your people and yourself and keep your style,” Houllier said.
“Because he’s got a special style. Against Stoke in the League Cup semi-final he never let Stoke play and that was two days after the West Ham game.
“So I think his philosophy will sometimes have some ups and downs but he’s got to stick to it and he will be successful.
“Maybe next year it will be easy for Klopp. He will probably recruit a few players and then he will need time.
“To win things you need a kind of strong cohesion you need to play together for maybe one or two years.
“This is what happened with us at Liverpool. We started the team in summer 1999 but we won in 2001. So it takes time really to build up a successful team.”