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Hyypia: Passion was missing

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia believes that some of the 'passion' has gone from the Premier League as he prepares to face Manchester United.

Last Updated: 17/09/13 at 19:32 Post Comment

Sami Hyypia: Bayer Leverkusen coach takes on Manchester United in the Champions

Sami Hyypia: Bayer Leverkusen coach takes on Manchester United in the Champions

The former Liverpool defender, whose final start for the Merseyside club came in their 4-1 success at Old Trafford in March 2009, is back in England for Tuesday night's UEFA Champions League Group A opener against the Red Devils.

And the rookie boss, who moved to Leverkusen as a player at the end of his Anfield career before being recently fast-tracked into the hot-seat, claims the focus of some players in England may not always be on football.

"I saw a few games recently and I wondered if they were trying hard enough," he told the Daily Telegraph. "Somehow the passion was not there.

"This was always the trademark of the English game - the tempo was high and there were tackles. But this time I was thinking: 'What's happening?'

"Maybe it has developed in the wrong direction, that when a player goes somewhere and he is earning £200,000 a week, he is happy just to get the money.

"Maybe the focus of playing football is the second most important thing. Maybe players are not working hard, not putting their heart into the game."

Hyypia admits that there is a huge transition in making the step from player to manager, but it one he is relishing at the age of just 39.

"As a player, it was much easier," he admitted. "You came to training half an hour before, somebody told you what to do, and after training you headed to the shower and went home.

"Now you have to plan, instruct, think constantly about the next day, the next week, the next game. It's wonderful that I was given this case. I didn't expect it, and everything happened very quickly."

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Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
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