Jason McAteer snapped at Richard Keys after the presenter suggested he was the ‘wrong type’ for ex-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier.
Ahead of the Reds’ Premier League clash with Brentford, McAteer joined Keys and Andy Gray for beIN SPORTS’ coverage of the game. The trio discussed how Houllier revamped the squad, including getting rid of a group of players known as the ‘Spice Boys’ for what was perceived to be their flash lifestyle and style of play, after taking charge at Anfield in 1998.
McAteer, one of the players the French boss moved on, felt he made too many changes too soon. Key gave his thoughts on the clear-out and said: “He [Houllier] felt you were never going to win anything with the Spice Boys at Anfield.”
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McAteer interjected, saying: “Well, he was wrong.” Keys continued: “[Steve] McManaman, good player, left, he got rid of Robbie [Fowler]. I would put you in the next bracket down, good player but he felt maybe the wrong type.”
McAteer then snapped: “The wrong type? What does that suggest?” Keys then tried to explained: “There was that whole Spice Boys culture. [Jamie] Redknapp, what did Redknapp bring to the party? Didn’t tackle, didn’t score goals, [was] just part of the furniture. He had to sweep the whole lot out.”
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Again, McAteer disagreed, adding: “No, he didn’t. While I was there, we finished third, third, fourth, third. We were knocking on the door. We were probably a Gary McAllister away, a centre-half away, like a Sami Hyypia.”
When it was pointed out by Gray that Liverpool won three trophies under Houllier in 2000/01, McAteer added: “Listen, he had Michael Owen coming through, he had Danny Murphy, Jamie Carragher and he had Steven Gerrard. For me, he didn’t realise the talent he had at his disposal.”
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