WAGES HELP BEING SUB - ZIEGE
By Paul Higham. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
LIVERPOOL'S German international Christian Ziege has admitted that his massive wages are helping him to cope with spending so much time on the bench.
The 29-year-old is believed to earn around £50,000 at Anfield but has failed to make an impact on the first team and has only started two of the last 13 games.
Gerard Houllier paid Middlesbrough £5.5 million for Ziege, in a controversial deal that Boro are still fuming about, but he has not performed down the left side of defence or midfield and is behind the likes of Jamie Carragher, Patrik Berger, Nick Barmby and Vladimir Smicer in the pecking order.
He now faces an anxious wait to see if he will be involved in either of Liverpool's cup finals, but says that his wages help to cushion the blow.
"The hardest thing for a footballer is not to play," said Ziege. "But I get paid to wait, so there is no problem at all.
"I want to do here want Steve McManaman did at Madrid when he was on the bench. People said he would have to leave but instead he stuck at it and has been rewarded with a regular place in the team."
The former Milan and Bayern Munich star has already been wrapped by Houllier for criticising his rotation policy, but says that he is happy to be at a club that is able to win trophies.
"I have played in Europe, I have played for big clubs and that is why I am with Liverpool. You want to play for a team that wins things and that is why I am enjoying my football."
Houllier, meanwhile, has been linked with a move for unsettled Aston Villa defender Gareth Southgate.
The 30-year-old has spent the season on the transfer list at Villa Park, after blasting the club for lacking ambition.
He has said that he wants to move to a club capable of winning trophies and challenging for the title, and Liverpool fit the bill.
Southgate has said that he will sit down and talk with John Gregory at the end of the season to discuss his future, but reports suggest that Houllier is lining up a £6 million bid for the England international.
With Southgate in the later stages of his career, a move to Anfield could be just the move he is looking for as he looks for winners medals.