Javier Mascherano has revealed he has “no feeling” for former club West Ham as he prepares to face the east Londoners at Anfield.
The Argentinian midfielder spent an unhappy few months at Upton Park at the beginning of the 2006-07 season, joining along with Carlos Tevez in controversial deals that have caused the Hammers immense problems ever since.
Mascherano figured in only seven matches for West Ham before a January transfer window move to Anfield – where Liverpool are due to host his old club in the Barclays Premier League on Monday, when the hosts will be without Fernando Torres following yesterday’s confirmation the striker will be out for up to three weeks with a hamstring injury.
As for his thoughts about the Hammers, Mascherano reports: “I don’t feel anything about them. My club is Liverpool, and I do the best for the people here, my team-mates and supporters.
“I do not think about anything now at West Ham. West Ham is nothing in my life now because I was not able to play there.
“It is just another team in the Premier League. I do not feel anything else. The important thing now for me is to win with Liverpool and to keep going. We want to be top of the table and we must just keep going.”
He added: “West Ham brought me to England. That was very good for me, but I still could not play there, it was not like at River Plate or Corinthians when I could play and win titles.
“I only played a few games, so I do not have a big feeling for the club. But I was very pleased that they brought me to England, and happy with the welcome I got there. They did give me the chance to play in England, that is clear.
“But I do not feel a big passion for the club because I couldn’t play there. I was there for four months, I did not have a feeling with the people.”
Now Mascherano aims to continue his diligent midfield work for Liverpool, with a place in the Champions League last 16 assured on Wednesday by the win over Marseille.
He said: “Our form may not be great, but we are still winning and we have done the job in Europe. We need to improve if we are going to win anything. That is something we must do.
“I am not worried about playing West Ham next. We need to improve, but if you are not playing well the important thing is to win.
“Our confidence may well be a little down, but we have the players good enough to help us improve.
“We have a three-month break now before the next Champions League games, so we are able to focus on the Premier League.
“But we will still be intent on winning the last group match in Eindhoven later this month, we cannot relax, that is something you are not able to do at Liverpool.
“On Monday we have another important game, we must go for the win and just keep going. But we can play much better than we played against Marseille.”