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Red of the Day - Jean-Michel Ferri

by Paul Grech

 

Jean Michel Ferri came, made a couple of headlines (Ferri Across the Mersey, Ferri Good…you get the drift) and left. There is hardly anything more to say about one of Houllier's first signings apart from that it is extremely difficult to find the reason why he joined in the first place.

 

When he signed from Turkish side Istanbulspor, Houllier built him up as a player of great experience and, perhaps more importantly, a leader. What Houllier failed to mention was that Ferri was also injured and at the end of his career.

 

To be fair, he had been a better than average midfielder, had won a couple of league titles with Nantes and in his prime Ferri was consistently one of the better players of the French league.

 

He signed for Liverpool at the age of 29 and should have been in the prime of his career, yet he looked and played like a man at least a decade older.

 

So why was he bought? There are a number of theories but in all probability it was simply a case of Houllier wanting to bring in a player he knew well. And it is hard to blame him. After all, this was a time in which an un-named Liverpool player – the famous Anfield 'mole'– was criticising the club via the press at every possible opportunity.

 

This is why Houllier needed someone like Ferri, someone who could identify the negative influences in the squad. Whether this was Ferri's role or not, only Houllier and the player himself will ever know. But there hardly appears to be a better explanation, especially as he was limited to a couple of substitute appearances in a red shirt before he was sold back to France at the end of the season.

 

 

 

Date of Birth: 07/02/69

Nationality: French

Postition: Midfield 

Games: 2

Goals: 0

ClubHons (Lpool): None

Int Hons: 5 French caps

Other Clubs: Nantes,Istanbulspor, Sochaux

ferri_jeanmichel_profile.jpg
Jean-Michel FERRI 1998-99

 

 


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Ferri being Houllier's mole in the dressing room is the only reason I can think of as to why he was signed. I certainly can't remember ever seeing him play that's for sure. Managers signing players for this purpose is nothing new though. I remember Wenger signed a player called Remi Garde for Arsenal. He hardly played but he did help Wenger identify the problem players in his squad, all of whom were sold at the end of that season or just marginalised. Garde is currently the coach of Lyon.

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Only a minor thing but his DOB on there suggests he was only 29 when we got him so not quite finished at 32.  I think Houlliier just signed a dud like so many others over his time here and this "spy" thing is something he later put out to cover his tracks for another waste of money.

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How much did we pay? £1.5m? Think I remember that figure which was quite a bit at that time all things considered.

 

Im not sure about the mole scenario. I tend to lean on the dud signing as there were plenty ofthem during geds time.

 

Luzi, medjani, diomede, meijer, kippe, dundee. Did any of them make more than 10 starts combined?

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When the top players cost 20m + we would rather buy  5 or 6 sub standard players for 5-6m.  We would then have to replace 3 or 4 of them the next season and so on and so on.  It's meant in the grand scheme of things we've spent fucking shitloads of money trying to save money.  Instead of going out and buying quality when we needed to improve the first team we bought average to mediocre players to flesh out the squad.

 

Benitez had a habit of doing it as well.  Unfortunately Rodgers seems to be a bit partial to it also.  Not every signing can work out but yesteryear's 5-6m is now this years 9-12m.

 

If we genuinely want to compete then we can't keep just wasting money on these players.  We just can't afford it.  If we are waiting to get in the champions league before we can attract the players to come then fair enough but we might end up waiting too long.

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He's the oldest looking 29 year old I've ever seen.  Looked like he was in his mid 40s, and played like it too.  I saw him play in the reserves a few times, he was strong in the tackle and efficient with his passing, but fucking hell he was sloooooooowwwww.

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According to LFC history Ferri played roughly about 50 minutes for us over 2 sub appearances, however we sold him for roughly the same fee we paid for him 6 months later.

 

He retired 12 months later, so we actually did well to get our money back! 

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How much did we pay? £1.5m? Think I remember that figure which was quite a bit at that time all things considered.

 

Im not sure about the mole scenario. I tend to lean on the dud signing as there were plenty ofthem during geds time.

 

Luzi, medjani, diomede, meijer, kippe, dundee. Did any of them make more than 10 starts combined?

 

I had really high hopes for Carl Medjani, he looked extremely promising and was captain of France under 21s at one point.

 

I remember seeing that he got a move to Monaco in January and thinking that this could finally be his chance to make a name for himself if they got promoted, but they then flogged him to Olimpiacos!

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How much did we pay? £1.5m? Think I remember that figure which was quite a bit at that time all things considered.

 

Im not sure about the mole scenario. I tend to lean on the dud signing as there were plenty ofthem during geds time.

 

Luzi, medjani, diomede, meijer, kippe, dundee. Did any of them make more than 10 starts combined?

 

I had really high hopes for Carl Medjani, he looked extremely promising and was captain of France under 21s at one point.

 

I remember seeing that he got a move to Monaco in January and thinking that this could finally be his chance to make a name for himself if they got promoted, but they then flogged him to Olimpiacos!

 

He got shite after he dipped his pen in Cheryl Tweedy/Cole

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I just don't get the 'mole in the dressing room' thing.  How can he be a mole if he was never actually in the dressing room?

 

I can't imagine the players being that stupid anyway.  Some French fella turns up who's shite and starts saying to the players so this Houllier's a fucking dickhead isn't he?

 

What was he hoping for Ferri to find out?  It would surely have been obvious to anyone what certain players were going to think about the change of rules etc.

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I just don't get the 'mole in the dressing room' thing.  How can he be a mole if he was never actually in the dressing room?

 

I can't imagine the players being that stupid anyway.  Some French fella turns up who's shite and starts saying to the players so this Houllier's a fucking dickhead isn't he?

 

What was he hoping for Ferri to find out?  It would surely have been obvious to anyone what certain players were going to think about the change of rules etc.

Tickled me, that.

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I love that mole story, brought in by Houllier to covertly weed out the spice boy culture going on behind the scenes. Informing Houllier of any drunken or debaucherous behaviour taking place on night's out,  internal feuds between squad members or dressing room influences that tried to destabilise the harmony of the club. Probably a load of bollocks like, but I want it to be true for Ferri's sake.

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He's the oldest looking 29 year old I've ever seen.  Looked like he was in his mid 40s, and played like it too.  I saw him play in the reserves a few times, he was strong in the tackle and efficient with his passing, but fucking hell he was sloooooooowwwww.

29

1656736.jpg

 

By the way. I was made up when we signed him without even having seen him play. That's how it was back in the pre-Youtube clip age. Then again most of our defenders back then were pretty fucking poor and Ferri was the player who forced us into signing Hyypia and Henchoz so he wasn't all bad.

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Your mission if you choose to accept it Mr Ferri involves espionage, interrogation and most of all puts you in great danger. I want to know who's been sneaking bifters behind the bike sheds? who's phoning up sick for training when they're really out playing golf? who's calling me a twat behind my back? who's laughing at Thommo's nose? who's getting bladdered on a night out and collapsing in the bog's? Be aware that if your cover is blown, there will be no protection from the club, your on your own out there agent. This message will self destruct in five seconds.

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I think one of his relatives took exception to this on twitter. I got a message that just said 'Fuck!' in reply. Her name was something 'Ferri' too, so perhaps a sister or wife?

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I think one of his relatives took exception to this on twitter. I got a message that just said 'Fuck!' in reply. Her name was something 'Ferri' too, so perhaps a sister or wife?

It's his daughter. You've got an enemy for life now.

 

I would of course. 

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