BRIAN READE: It's Been a Gerrard Daze Night ...but Love Is the Drug for Stevie

Article excerpt

Byline: BRIAN READE

I JUST hope that in between writing this and it appearing on your breakfast table the basic facts remain the same.

Because on Tuesday night, after hearing Rick Parry say that Steven Gerrard "feels he can do better elsewhere" I called him a badge-kissing mercenary and wished him good riddance, which changed before I'd got to my Corn Flakes into me being a butt-kissing chump delirious at his unstinting loyalty.

Like everyone else following this bizarre saga, I'd clearly assumed mercenary tendencies that weren't there, and so apologise to Stevie G. I just hope he understands the pressures of being a football fan. Pressures to quote his own words "I wouldn't wish on anyone."Not only do you have to fork out a fortune to follow the team, you need a doctorhood in clairvoyance to keep track of the needs and wishes of its star performers.

How were we to know that the root of Gerrard's problem was that he didn't feel loved enough at Anfield?

This from a man who considered leaving Liverpool last summer and spent much of last season with a body language that suggested he wished he had.

A former Kopite who turned down new, vastly-improved contract talks three times, wrote off the club's chances of winning the Champions League before the quarter-final, refused to rule out speculation he was leaving, yet still received undying loyalty from the vast majority of fans.

How baffling to hear him say that even after winning the Champions League, wallowing in the adulation that came his way, and being promised a whopping pay rise, he felt unloved.

But bemusement turns to incomprehension when you hear he was seeking that much-needed love at Chelsea. The same place Ashley Cole went in search of love when Arsenal weren't falling over themselves to offer him the earth. Funny that.

Is there a Summer Of Love revival going on at Stamford Bridge?

Does Jose Mourinho's icy exterior disguise an acid-tripping hippy? Is Peter Kenyon a Mama and Roman Abramovich a Papa? Here was I believing they were stuffing cash in players' wallets when all along it was flowers in their hair. …