Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey reveals all in his new book.
In Heskey’s new book “Even Heskey Scored,” serialised in the Guardian, the player talks, goals, tears, England, and racism.
For an old fashioned number nine, an out and out centre-forward, Emile Heskey’ strike rate was by no means good.
He played 516 top-flight games and scored 110 goals with 53 assists. Heskey’s previous employers include Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa, Newcastle Jets, and Bolton Wanderers.
It was probably his 16.5 million Euro move from Leicester to Liverpool though that raised the most question marks over a player with that kind of scoring rate.
Of his strike rate he said:
“I play for the team; it wasn’t anything that really bothered me.”
“I know forwards will go out and if [the team] score five and they don’t, they are fuming.”
“I don’t care. I still got to the top 1% or whatever of the game.”
When asked about his critics, he firmly believes his achievements speak for themselves.
“Your son is eight.”
“So if I tell you by the age of 24 he would’ve represented England youth all the way through.”
“Would have made his debut at 17 and gone to three cup finals in four years for his hometown team [Leicester].”
“Then been sold for a record to Liverpool – one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
“Then he’d go on to win the treble [FA Cup, League Cup, Uefa Cup] that first season.”
“Represent England at two World Cups, in the European Championship, and play in one of England’s most memorable games to date.”
“Winning God knows, six or seven trophies by the age of 24, how would you feel?”
He speaks with admiration and respect for his managers.
Of Martin O’Neil he said:
“All he asked was: ‘Son, be quick. Get it and run.’ Martin allowed me to be free.”
While Gerard Houllier was instrumental to him, he continued:
“Gerard [Houllier, at Liverpool] taught me about football.”
“I tell people, and they laugh – with Gérard you were in a meeting for hours.”
“Pitch black watching video for hours. I used to fall asleep I was so tired.”
Sven Goran Erikson was likable he added:
“I liked him.”
“Very meticulous in preparation.”
“I can’t remember him coaching. But when you go on that pitch you knew everything.”
Although Steve McClaren as England manager baffled him:
“He said, I’ve spoken to Michael [Owen] about you.”
“It’s like – thank you but why would you?”
“I’d played how many seasons in the Premier League – it’s not like you don’t know me. I probably have to thank Michael for getting me back into the national team.”
At 22 years of age, the big move to Liverpool came, and the man talks of his struggles and trials being away from family and friends.
“The homesickness lasted six months.”
“I had to grow up very quickly because I had kids, I had a girlfriend. I literally laid on the floor and started crying.”
“I was like ‘What have I done? I don’t know if I have done the right thing.”
“But the weirdest thing was I’d go to training and I would be all right.”
“Then like a drop of a hat I found a barber, I found friends, a routine.”
“Yes, it was a tough time but it was weird, I was silly and, looking back, you think: why didn’t you just go and sit with mates?”
In light of recent events in regards to racism, Heskey says he still faces those issues today.
“Recently I was at an airport on the way to France and I sat down there with my drink.”
“A woman was there with her bag on the chair. She picked it up and left. You just take it with a pinch of salt and you move on.”
“You can’t let it affect you.”
Heskey has not returned to football since he hung up his boots, and although he has no intentions to become a coach or manager, he is not ruling it out.
“I have no “burning desire” to coach yet.”
“I do want to have a go.”
Part one of our exclusive interview with @EmileHeskeyUK will be released tomorrow 🗣️🔴
He opens up on dealing with criticism, signing for #LFC, playing with Michael Owen and his relationship with Gerard Houllier.
— Liverpool FC News (@LivEchoLFC) September 2, 2019