With the dawn of the new season upon us, we start to see plenty of ‘Starting XI’ selections for Liverpool – giving me the opportunity to indulge myself and create my own All Time Dream XI.
I only have one restriction, that I must have seen the players live myself.
This means I automatically feel the need to apologies to the likes of ‘Sir’ Roger Hunt, Ian Callaghan & my Dads hero (Mr Liddlepool himself) Billy Liddell.
So, here goes.
Manager – despite some great managers in my time, the stand out one HAS to be Bob Paisley. Winner of 3 European Cups means he is absolutely the choice for me.
Goalkeeper – Ray Clemence – signed for just £18k from Scunthorpe in 1967, he went on to be our keeper in over 600 games and being a major part of our first 3 European Cups.
Left Back – Barney Rubble! how many left backs in world football can claim to have scored the winner in 2 European Cup Finals? Barney, for all his limitations, kept delivering for the reds following his arrival from Newcastle.
Right Back – 4 time European Cup winner, Phil Neal proved to be another shrewd buy for the club. Originally brought in from Northampton as a Left Back, Neal went on to make 650 appearances for the Reds in the Right Back position. Our most decorated player is a shoe in for my dream team.
Centre backs – as a pairing Alan ‘Jocky’ Hansen alongside Mark Lawrenson is what defensive dreams are made of. Jockys game intelligence alongside Lawrenson’s pace proved to be a formidable partnership. Jocky was a player that, even today, cannot be surpassed for his ability to carry the ball out of defence.
Left Wing – Digger Barnes! I consider myself a lucky person to have witnessed Johnny Barnes grace the Anfield turf. A hugely under rated player, Barnesy was an absolute pleasure to watch. Gliding across the pitch, creating chances for team mates whilst also being capable of scoring more than his fair share of world class goals himself.
Digger Barnes is a player that evokes memories of some fantastic times for the reds. How he is overlooked by the club in favour of Michael Owen as an Ambassador for the club is nothing short of a disgrace. The man conducts himself with the utmost dignity & speaks such common sense its a major shame he doesn’t have much more involvement with the club today.
Right wing – Skippy, Craig Johnston was a bundle of energy down the right flank. Not the most technically gifted of players but he had bundles of energy and determination with the ability to create opportunities for his team mates. Craig, signed form Middlesbrough, won 5 League titles, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cups & 4 Charity Shields to go alongside his European Cup medal in just 7 years at the club.
Centre Midfield – So much choice! A managers nightmare as well as a luxury dilemma! In the end, I’ve gone for two players who I believe were the driving forces in their teams during their playing times. Graeme Souness & Steve Gerrard would create a centre midfield partnership that would scare the life out of any other team. Both incredible talents that we’ve been exceptionally lucky to have in our team.
Strikers – I feel like a kid in a sweet shop, the choices in this category are outstanding. Suarez, Fowler, Dalglish. Rush, Torres, Owen, Keegan, Aldridge….
In the end I went for the partnership of Dalglish & Rush – pre Rushie moving to Juventus, this partnership was OUTSTANDING! 2 players dovetailing in perfect harmony with a ridiculous killer instinct, I cant overlook them.
What a team!
1) Only one player could be considered to be from this century, a sad indictment of how we have fallen
2) Very few were considered ‘big’ signings when we got them. A source of hope under Jurgen who appears to be creating a team in the same mould of creating a team rather than buying one and maybe a sense check for those who believe we should be buying every player out there!
Written by Lebigmc (@LeBigMc5Times)