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Mark Lawrenson Interviewed

David Blake talks Moyes, Mancini and his famous shirts

Written by . Published on May 23rd 2013.

Mark Lawrenson Interviewed

THIS September the National Football Museum will host its first Hall of Fame Awards at its new home in the Urbis building. To be honoured this time around will be the 'Great Dane' and United's greatest ever shot-stopper, Peter Schmeichel MBE, plus City’s Mike Summerbee. So last night we collar’ed (thank you) Match of the Day stalwart Mark Lawrenson at the launch event for a chat, and a beer or two.

Hi Lawro, so what makes a Hall of Famer?

It’s got to somebody that the fans will pay to see. It also helps if they’ve been very successful and very consistent. I don’t think that you necessarily have to be a popular figure. There’s plenty of popular players at loads of clubs who wouldn’t make it into the Hall of Fame.

Who, for you, currently stands out as a Hall of Famer?

Suarez. He could eventually be in there because his ability is just sensational. It’s just his temperament you have to worry about.

Do you think Liverpool should cash in on him this summer?

I’m sure they’ve thought about it. The problem is, I don’t think that Liverpool, without Champions League football, can get that quality of player again. They wouldn’t be able to replace him. We all screamed when he bit Ivanovic that the guy needed help, but apparently he was getting help. He’d been seeing some guy I was told.

But should you have to seek help to stop you from biting other players?

No you shouldn’t. You’re absolutely right. But he’s been brilliant for them this season, absolutely brilliant. I think all football managers will tell you, if you get a top, top player like Suarez, you’ll bend over backwards to make sure that you keep them.

Count SuarezCount Suarez

Like Mancini did with Balotelli?

Yeah. But he ended up spending too much time with Balotelli, so much so that it became detrimental to the rest of squad. That was the real problem there.

Who’s the best player you ever played with?

The best player I ever played with or against was Kenny Dalglish. He couldn’t run, he couldn’t head it and he had a big old arse, but he was a genius. He just knew everything that was going on around him. He had an amazing footballing brain, sensational. He made so many goals for Rushy (Ian Rush) it was frightening.

Get in. Lawro says i'm the greatestGet in. Lawro says I'm the greatest

With the influx of new managers to United, City and Chelsea, do you think Arsenal can challenge for the title again?

Not with the players they’ve got. They’d have to do some serious shopping this summer. I just don’t think they’ve got any backbone. It’s a strange thing with Wenger. If you look at his teams of old, with Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Viera, Petit and all that unbeaten side (2003-4 season), they’d fight you for a ha’penny. There was a real hunger and desire to not be beaten if you played crap. His teams just don’t have that anymore.

I find that really strange with Wenger because he’s such an intelligent guy. Yeah, we love the way they play football, but you’ve got to have something more to win the league. You’ve got to have a bit of aggression, a bit of nastiness, a bit of fight. Scraping out the wins when you’re not playing particularly well, that’s how you win the League.

So then i said to Alan, Gary and Alan...So then i said to Alan, Gary and Alan...

Ok, so let’s do some of your famous Lawro’s Predictions for next season:

Do you know what, someone rang me today about my predictions, which, to be honest with you, I hate doing anyway. There’s no scientific element to it, it’s just gut feeling. And do you know what, I get a lot of stick but I beat the bookies this season, by 2.75%. How about that.

Blakey’s Predictions: 1st Chelsea, 2nd Man Utd, 3rd Man City

Lawro’s Predictions:  1st Man Utd, 2nd Man City, 3rd Chelsea

So you think it’ll be the Manchester show again?

I’m not sure about Chelsea you know, there’s something about Jose (Mourinho) going back that I’m just not sure about. I’d still go for Man United. I think if you’re on the board of United, you’ve just appointed David Moyes and your fans have had 26 years of winning everything, then you’re thinking what can we do to give Moyes the best chance of winning the league. So I think they’ll go buy Bale or buy Ronaldo if they can. It will take a lot of pressure off him to make that signing.

David MoyesDavid Moyes

You had a small stint in management with Oxford and Peterborough in the late 80s, fancy the Everton job?

No and no. I actually think that it will come from within. You know what, I think it’s going to be a tougher test than at United. You’ve had David Moyes there for eleven years, he’s done fantastically, he’s bought loads of good players that can play in different positions and he’s got them quite cheap as well. Not only that but he’s made them better players. He’s done a brilliant, brilliant job.

I think that if you bring someone in from outside they’ll just want to change everything about, mess with the structure. I don’t think they want that, I think they’ll appoint from within, the Evertonians like that. They’re very proud of what they’ve got, they know that they’ve punched above their weight this season. If I were an Everton fan I’d snap your hand off for a top ten finish next season.

With the all-German Champions League final taking place this Saturday, do you think there’s been a significant shift in the powers of European football?

No, no I don’t. Don’t get me wrong they have two good teams (Bayern and Dortmund). But Barca, Real Madrid, Man Utd, Chelsea, they’re probably still on top in Europe. I mean, United got beat by Madrid in the end, but United could have easily beaten Madrid. And City, they were in a tough, tough league group but they’ve struggled in the Champions League anyway. But I thought that was as much to do with Mancini as anything. No I don’t think there’s been a significant shift, at the moment it’s Germany this and Germany that, and (Pep) Guardiola is going to Bayern. But I really don’t think the Bundesliga will be rivalling the Premiership or La Liga anytime soon.

I just wondered, is Garth Crooks actually mental?

Crooksy is mad. He’s old school, you’ve got to love Crooksy. He’s one of those blokes that you just think ‘Crooksyyyyy’ and laugh. But he’s priceless, he’s comedy gold. A good lad.

That definitely wasn't a paracetemolThat definitely wasn't a paracetemol

During England’s quarter final defeat to Italy in Euro 2012, you famously called Twitter users ‘sad’. Have you changed your tune and jumped on the Twitter-wagon yet? Because there’s a few fake Lawros on there:

Oh yeah apparently there is. I don’t even access it, I’m not interested. The thing about twitter, if you’re advertising something like a programme or a product or something then fine, I get it. But if you’re just saying I’m taking my dog for a walk and it’s pissing down, so what, who cares? Why do you want to tell people that? And it can’t be policed, you can call anyone anything on there. I’m not interested.

Finally Lawro, Where DO you get those shirts?

(Laughs) I get them in Majorca. I haven’t actually got a special tailor as people think, I just buy them randomly. The ones with all the collars I get in Majorca, I think they’re Italian shirts. I have to say, in the last eighteen months or so, I’ve bought some really, really crap ones on purpose. You might argue that they’re all crap. But sometimes you’ve got to throw a crap one in because you go on telly and you’re supposedly a pundit, and you’ve got all these people on Twitter slaughtering me for my shirt, but not for my comments. To be honest, if it wasn’t that it’d probably be my hair.

No seriously, you paid for that?No seriously, you paid for that?

The Hall of Fame Awards 2013 take place at the National Football Museum on Wednesday 25 September. Tickets for the event start at £195+VAT per person. To book a table or become a sponsor contact Karen Roberts or Callum Baxter at halloffame@nationalfootballmuseum.com or call 0161 8718 179

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AnonymousMay 23rd 2013.

£195 + VAT a person? not exactly accessible to the average supporter.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Swiss JamesMay 31st 2013.

Why would it need to be?

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