20 Feb 2014

'Why would I do that?': £80m star blasts 'difficult' LFC for transfer lies, & Man City fiasco

In 2010, Javier Mascherano allegedly refused to play for the Liverpool in a league game against Manchester City, a decision that inexorably led to his exit from the club. Mascherano has maintained his silence over the issue for the last four years, but now, the Argentinean defender has has strongly refuted the damaging claims that he disrespected LFC.

Whether Mascherano actually refused to play cannot be factually established. Liverpool's manager at the time, Roy Hodgson, seemed to suggest that it was his decision not to select him for the City game. He told reporters:

"He [Mascherano] is not here tonight because there is some speculation about his future and his mind is not right, so it was not correct to select him"

Hodgson could just be putting a diplomatic spin on things. If Mascherano had refused to turn out for the club, I doubt Roy Hodgson - or any manager - would admit to this in public. It would make him seem weak, and it's possible he turned it around to give the appearance of managerial strength.

Hodgson's version of events didn't fly some of LFC's legends, though, including Phil Thompson, who raged:

"He [Mascherano] let the club down. Big time. To refuse to play while he remains a Liverpool player is totally unacceptable and frankly sickening".

So, what is the truth of the matter? Speaking to ESPN this week, Mascherano - who has a whopping £80m buyout clause in his contract - strongly refuted the accusation that he basically went on strike to secure a move, claiming he didn’t want to say anything at the time because of his 'respect for Liverpool'. He added:

“I did not refuse to play. Why would I do that and risk getting injured when I knew that Barcelona were close to signing me and then refuse to play in another game? That doesn’t make any sense."

Mascherano also accused the club lying about 'a lot of things', and deliberately making things 'difficult' for him. He explained:

"They [Liverpool] didn't keep their word. We had been talking the transfer [to Barca] for 20 days they started to make things difficult. I wanted to leave in another way, but they didn’t give me the chance to. It left me with a bad feeling"

There's no real evidence that Mascherano refused to play for LFC, so it's basically a case of choosing who to believe. If what he states is true, however, then it's understandable why he feels so aggrieved.

Additionally, if Masch did refuse to play for the club, why would LFC entertain the idea of re-signing him? In August 2013, Sky Sports reported that the Reds were considering the possibility of bringing the Argentine back to Anfield, which seems a strange things for the club to do in light of the alleged refusal.

I was glad Mascherano left, anyway. I'd argued several times that Liverpool didn't need him, and that £17m transfer fee should've been spent on a top class attacking player. Like Fernando Torres, though, Mascherano simply abandoned an obviously sinking ship, and given what happened next at Anfield, it's hard to argue that either of those two - both of whom went on to win the Champions League - made the wrong decision.



  1. Is your quote right? I think your missing the bit where he talks about playing in the game before - makes a bit more sense with that bit. :-) I'm a big fan of his. That midfield three of him, Alonso and Stevie was amazing. We'll probably never be 100% sure what happened, but he gave his all in every game he played for us and that's good enough for me.

  2. We'll never know the truth of whether he was let down or whether he refused to play or even whether we tried to sign him again. All we do know is he is some player and was truly "outstanding" for Liverpool in virtually every game.

  3. TBH we could replace masch with Gary medel from Cardiff City, it will be a lot easier if they get relegated. We could get him for under 10m. He is always harassing the opposition and has great stamina. Medel to FINALLY be the man to replace Mascherano after 4 years.

  4. I was gutted when he left. To quote maradona, he was a monster. Loved that midfield 3 with him, xabi and Stevie. That squad was 1 good striker away from winning the league IMO

  5. Absolutely agree.. at that moment in time we prob had the best midfield in Europe.

    Just a fricken damn shame we didn't win the EPL. Down to some poor results over Jan, Rafa's defensive mindset in certain games, that damn Arsenal 4-4, Man Utd goals in 8 mins of overtime....


  6. I think normally 86 points would have been enough. Man U just went on an insane run at the end to clinch it, even though they got hammered 4-1 at OT

  7. Bloody macheda at villa. The only thing of note he ever did in a United strip and it arguably cost us the title. That and the decision to play skrtel at rb against downing at Middlesbrough when downing was still good and he ran riot

  8. I think the common link between all these players that left is that they've been lied to by the previous regime, which is wrong but understandable given the situation the club was in facing huge debts and bankruptcy. If not for H& G, we would not be in such a situation where our best players would want to leave.

  9. Mascheranos timing with this leads me to believe he is trying to gain credibility and Barca could be waving goodbye, so i suppose another club may have reservations after this debacle.
    He was a great player at Liverpool but would never ever want to see him again at Anfield.

  10. The average each season for winning the title in Rafa's 6 year reign was 90 points which is what Utd finished on in 08/09.

    If he had not played for the draw on so many occasions in 08/09 then the title would have been ours. The title was thrown away and we only have ourselves to blame for it.