Sometimes you read things that just make your shake head in disbelief.
The latest in long line of such ill thought out, woolly minded nonsense has come from Harry Kewell’s agent Bernie Mandic, who blames the English medical system for his client’s injury prone reputation. Click here for full article.
Harry Kewell joined us from Leeds in 2003. However, some of you might be forgiven for not knowing that as, like Mandric says, he spent most of time with us injured managing only 93 appearances in five years. It would be an understatement to say that Kewell was more familiar with the route to treatment room than the Anfield pitch but let’s just say the upholstery on the club treatment table is still moulded into the shape of his body!
It’s a pity because Kewell was a decent performer with Leeds but only managed to give us a glimpse of what he could do with us. I don’t think for one minute that Kewell was a malinger or anything like that however, equally it is debatable that he was let down by the people responsible for treating him as if they had no interest in getting a £5m player back to fitness. There is no acknowledgement of the efforts they put in to try and make Kewell right, just vitriol. Said Mandric..
“He (Kewell) lost three-and-a-half years of his career at Liverpool because the guys over there in England had, quite literally, no idea what they were talking about,
You have to wonder what they’re doing over there. Perhaps they’re trying to protect their reputations, but they’re certainly not trying to protect their players.
I think it’s a disgrace, as I think it was a disgrace the way Harry was treated.”
Of course questions might be asked in the light of our recent long list of injures this season. However, injuries are part and parcel of football and happen every season. The fact that we’ve had such a long list is surely just to down to bad luck, it wasn’t a recurring theme last season or the season before, and one wonders if Mandric would have said what he said if such a list didn’t exist. However, it now gives him a convenient opportunity to justify his client’s less than successful spell with us.
Mandric’s statement that it was the English system might partly be explained by the fact that some Premiership footballers choose to go abroad for treatment when they are injured. Fernando Torres has just had keyhole surgery in Spain, in the USA there is a guy (I can’t remember his name) who specialises in knees and of course there is the “Placenta Centre” in Belgrade that Yossi Benayoun and Glen Johnson visited.
However, should this be seen as a slight of our domestic services? Perhaps it’s simply a combination of footballers taking up someone who knows their medical history from the past or using world renown top quality specialists in their area? Moreover given the money in the Premiership now one would think that most medical facilities and knowledge are second to none. Only recently our own medics have received praise for the way they handled Aquilani’s recent injury.
The fact that Kewell was injured on and off for most of his three year period with us when other members of the Liverpool squad remained fit for the vast majority of that time suggests that the problem is more with the player himself? As I write he is currently laid low with a groin injury. I don’t think Mandric can blame that one on us or does the range of his sweeping generalisations extend to the lingering effects of past treatment?
One has to assume that Mandric knows better than most about the problems Kewell went through at Liverpool. However, even if he has a genuine beef about his client’s treatment I would suggest it is going to attract little sympathy. Most Liverpool fans will remember Kewell being in the treatment room for the majority of his time with us whilst still picking up his not insubstantial salary. Those with even longer memories will also remember Mandric pocketing £2m of Kewell’s £5m transfer fee. Presumably payments like this are why our Bernie hasn’t taken up a career in the medical profession that he has suddenly professes to know so much about? Here we go again..
“The reason he (Kewell) gets treated out here (in Australia) now is because we have the best medical staff in the world,”
Kewell pays Mandric to look after his interests surely that extends beyond all things financial? If Mandric was so disgruntled with his client’s treatment why didn’t he do the job he was paid to do and insist that he was treated by someone else such as the Australian doctors he has so much faith in?
I have some sympathy for Kewell. He was (is) a Liverpool fan and probably feels bad, not to mention frustrated, that he didn’t do himself justice during his spell with us. If he still has feelings for the club, and the medical staff staff that tried to help overcome his problems, then surely he will not welcome Mandric’s graceless, pointless and above all ham-fisted comments.
And on that note nurse, the screens please!
Related post: July 2008 – Harry Kewell leaves Liverpool