Jose Enrique is a former Spanish footballer and played for Liverpool and Newcastle in the Premier League. During his time with Liverpool, he won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final in the same season.
Enrique joined Liverpool in 2011 after impressing for Newcastle United, where he won the 2009-10 Championship. He played just short of 100 competitive matches for the Red during his career and shared a dressing room with some of football’s biggest names including Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez.
While he was playing for Newcastle he was involved in one of the most famous Premier League matches. At home against Arsenal, Newcastle were 4-0 down at half time and turned the game around to draw 4-4, with the final goal being a wonder strike scored by Cheik Tiote in the 87th minute, who sadly passed away in 2017.
10 years on from that famous match in 2011, Jose Enrique reflects on how the fans helped the team complete a remarkable comeback and says that without them it wouldn’t have been possible. He also comments on Liverpool’s season and reveals who he’d love to share a coffee with in this week’s Coffee Friend blog.
Jose Enrique: I love coffee and if Liverpool played away we’d take a coffee machine
I’m caffeine intolerant so when I have it I have decaf. I love coffee and I used to have a lot of coffees when I was with Liverpool. Most of the players drink it because it wakes you up and some of the players have more than others. For me, if we played at 3pm I used to have one in the morning and one before the game as well. If we travel then we travel with a coffee machine and I always have one before the game.
I would like to drink coffee with Ronaldo, the Brazilian. I used to love him when I was young and he was my idol and the idol of many young kids.
Jose Enrique: Newcastle fans helped us come back from 4-0 to draw 4-4 against Arsenal
Cheick Tiote is the first thought that comes into my head, his goal and how he celebrated, I ran to him straight away after the goal. It was a crazy game and one of the best that I have been involved with as a player because everyone was very negative at half time and to come back and draw 4-4 against Arsenal was a game that I will never forget and will always be a special memory because of Tiote.
If this game was today and we were 4-0 down with the current situation without the fans we would not have got back into the game. I remember we scored a goal very quickly and the fans started believing and they made us believe. It’s just one goal but they believed and pushed us to come back. We scored the second and then the fans pushed more and more and with all their help it made the players believe that we will turn it around, then the fans made us go for four. We never expected to actually come back to 4-4 but when you see the fans like that we realised we had a very bad first half and we just wanted to finish well and make the fans as proud as possible in the second half.
We were all down and mad at the same time then we came into the dressing room and said we don’t want to lose 8-0 and we knew things would not be able to get worse. We had nothing to lose and trusted ourselves to fight for everything. As soon as we came out the stadium was no longer negative and the fans were telling us we can do this. After scoring the first we thought ‘let’s do it’ and it was amazing. It’s a game I remember like it was yesterday.
With Newcastle at the moment, it’s very hard to predict how they’re going to play. They could perform well and beat Arsenal or it could go very bad for them and they lose the game. They are not having the best season and they have to do a lot better and get investment in the squad. In any Premier League game, it doesn’t matter who you play against – apart from City, they are on another level – anything can happen with the rest. I hope that Newcastle will win and with that, they can stay up in the Premier League for more years, but it’s hard to tell with this squad. Newcastle play really deep and can play on the counter-attack and Arsenal play a lot of football so this could benefit Newcastle, but at the same time, Newcastle could easily have one of those days where the defence is completely off and it could be a big score.
Jose Enrique: Liverpool vs Manchester United is the best fixture in the world
Liverpool vs Manchester United with fans is like nothing else in the world. Real Madrid vs Barcelona is massive but it’s nothing like a Liverpool and Manchester United game. On TV you can hear people singing and so as a player you can’t even imagine the noise that there was, it’s amazing, so it’s going to be very different without the fans. Manchester United are doing better than Liverpool and Liverpool really need the win. Liverpool still have a chance to make the top four and that isn’t going to be easy, even if they win all of the matches. I believe it’s going to be a great game, it always is. I’m going 2-1 to Liverpool.
I preferred playing United at Anfield. At Old Trafford, there are a lot of fans and you can see the whole stadium is against you every time you touch the ball or if you concede a foul – the whole stadium goes fully against you and I love that pressure. This year is different with no fans but I believe it’s still going to be a good pace and good rhythm to the match. United will finish in the top four, but Liverpool are still fighting to get there. United don’t want Liverpool to make the top four so it’s going to be an interesting match for that reason.
Liverpool need some more competitors because there’s nobody on the bench that can take the place of the players in the starting 11. Even if the starting 11 don’t perform well they are still playing because there’s nobody on the bench better than them, so I believe Liverpool need to strengthen the bench and also add to the starting 11 with a number 9.
Liverpool have had a lot of partnerships at centre-back all season and they are without Van Dijk, Matip, and Gomez, Henderson has been out, so has Thiago and Jota; so if Liverpool make the top four this season it will be the most successful season for Klopp because of all that has happened around the club this year, the injuries, relatives passing away – Klopp’s mum and Alisson’s dad – all the negatives that have been around the club.
The team has not been performing the best, but a player that has improved the most is Curtis Jone. If he keeps going the way that he is going, he’s going to be a key player for many years to come at Liverpool. A player that is not playing his best football but remains a key player for Liverpool is Salah, he’s not performing at his best level but he’s still scoring goals and if Liverpool have any chance of making the top four it is because of him.