What do you do today?
I work for Danish TV, TV2 as a co-commentator for the UEFA Cup games, European Cup games and the Danish games.
You tried your luck at management?
Yeah, I tried my luck in the lower leagues as a manager and I enjoyed it. The players were very honest and hard working. I know what it takes at the lower levels to be successful. You have to have a big, strong organised team. The teams I managed weren’t like that, but I produced some good footballing teams. If I would go back into manager I would like to work with better players.
Have you been offered a job in Denmark?
I’ve had offers to go back to Denmark, but I’ve been in England for 21 years now. It’s a big part of my life as well as of my wife’s and two children so there are no plans to return to Denmark.
Have you been to Anfield to watch games..
I’ve been to almost every game this season. Last year I went to 13 league games and all the European games.
Were you commentating on the Istanbul game?
I was on holiday in Barbados, running up and down the beach. That’s the best night I had since I left Liverpool.
You had a few good nights at Liverpool?
It was different in those days. It was fun. A very good group of lads. We had a few beers and won a few games.
Is the atmosphere too strict today?
I don’t know whether it’s too strict. As we learn new things we change things. In the end it always comes down to the players. If you have good players you win. Of course fitness and diets and looking after yourself are very important.
You could have been fitter at times?
Yeah, my problem was always that. When I got a good run of games like in ’85-’86. I played nearly every game. I missed a couple through illness but no injuries. It wasn’t a problem, but became one the moment I didn’t play and had a couple of weeks break. The way they used to do things at Liverpool they put you straight back into the first team when you had recovered. The board never complained I wasn’t fit.
There was another Danish outfield player at Liverpool, Torben Piechnik.
Torben’s biggest problem was he didn’t want to listen. He had his own idea how he wanted to play and how he thought Liverpool should play. It became a problem with the manager telling him how he wanted him to play and Torben not wanting to play that way. He defended by dropping off, whereas Liverpool squeezed up, pressurize the opposition. It was only a matter of time before they were going to send him back to Denmark.
Everybody is critizising Hyypia right now and saying his problem is like maybe your problem was perceived that he is too slow, but his reading of the game is second to none.
Yes, you’re right. You don’t need to move if you’re standing in the right position. He is not finished. Liverpool do need one more centre-half because we don’t have anyone else. I still think he can easily comfortably play especially in European games when Liverpool defend deeper. You get Hyypia on the 18 yard line defending and heading balls and nobody gets past him.
You nearly joined Barcelona?
In 1990, yeah. It was as close as it could have been. I played what I thought was my last game for Liverpool against Luton [10th November 1990]. Scored a goal and then went to play for Denmark against Yugoslavia. I thought I was I was going to Barcelona. Kenny Dalglish phoned me up and said they hadn’t agreed a fee and that was it. I didn’t mind coming back at the time but it would have been a great experience. I had a four-year contract on the table with Barcelona. They won the championship four times in Spain and became European champions, so it would have been a good time. It’s perceived as one of the top teams in the world ever with Romario, Stoitchkov, Laudrup and Koeman. It was a fantastic team.
It wasn’t a big problem because I was still at Liverpool and at that time in 1990 Liverpool was still as good as team as you had anywhere in the world. Nobody knew it was going to be finished in 1990.