Everyone has their own view on what Liverpool’s best ever eleven should be. The truth is it’s so hard to pick. You can put together three or four completely different teams from our illustrious history and any of them would hold their own against any team that’s ever played the game. I’ve picked mine based on the players that I’ve had the privilege to watch live from when I first started going the match with my Dad in the early 1980’s.
I’ve gone for a 4 – 2 – 1 – 3 formation. Here goes.
GK – Pepe Reina – Ray Clemence had left Liverpool before I first set foot in Anfield so I never got the chance to watch him. I can only go off what I’ve seen and I have to put Reina ahead of Brucie. At his peak between 07 – 09, he looked like he would go on to be the best in world. He commanded his box so well, was vocal, and as we all know, was amazing with his feet and arguably the best passer of a ball from between the sticks that the game has ever seen. It was such a shame that it ended the way it did but I’d like to remember him for the good times when I watched him boss his area to help us to famous wins year in and year out at Europe’s top grounds.
RB – Phil Neal – Tough one this as I absolutely loved Rob Jones but I had to go for Liverpool’s most successful ever player. He was reaching the end of his career when I started going the match but the man still oozed class. So calm on the ball,strong and glided forward as easily in the last minute of the match as he did in the first. A Rolls Royce of a player.
CB – Alan Hansen – If John Stone’s worth £50 million what would Jockey be worth today? Made the game look a doddle even though he did make me backside fall through my Farah cords when he used to start dribbling and doing cryuff turns on the edge of our 6 yard box. No one ever took the ball off him though and I don’t think people ever give him the credit for how good he was defensively. Best British centre half in my opinion.
CB – Mark Lawrenson – Terrible pundit who loves Manchester Yarnarrrrted but what a player! As a defender, he was perfect. Strong, quick, brilliant on the ball and could he tackle! Everything! For anyone reading this who never got to see him play should go onto You Tube and look at his sliding tackle at Anfield on Eric Gates against Ipswich. The only centre half I’ve seen in modern day football who has a similar style to him is Gerard Pique. Great centre half!
LB – Steve Nicol – Easy choice this although I could have put him in any of the other defensive positions but I’ve gone for left back as the best slot for ‘Nico’. Another player who had everything. Could defend, run all day, score goals and would always be in the running for MOTM regardless of the previous night’s escapades and his junk food diet. Not many defenders ever win the Football Writers Player of the Year award and he belongs to a select few players who’ve managed that feat. Says everything about how good he was.
CM – Graeme Souness – The best Liverpool central midfielder I’ve seen and I only really got to watch him a few times in his last season. Brilliant at dictating the pace of the game and deciding what tempo it would be played at. Tackling, passing, leadership, shooting and influence on the game was top notch. A Beast of the game.
CM – Steven Gerrard – I know I said Souness was the best midfielder I’ve seen in a red shirt but I thought Stevie was a better all- round footballer who had his best years under Rafa when he was either played on the right or just off the striker. As we know, Stevie G had the lot! Not much more I can say but imagine him and Souey together in our midfield? More or less renders that boss back four I’ve put together irrelevant! Icon!
‘In the hole behind the front three’ – Kenny Dalglish – Alright, I’ve sort of made that position up but I had to create something bespoke for ‘the King’! For me, Liverpool’s greatest every player. First time I saw him at Anfield my jaw dropped, his touch, his vision. It’s like he had a remote control on him that paused the play around him whenever he received the ball. A football god! I’m so lucky to have watched him play even if it was in his later years. The Best!
Left Sided attacker – John Barnes – Between 87 – 91,he was the most exciting player I’ve seen not only in a red shirt, but in any team for that matter. His partnership down the left with Steve Nicol was on another level. Every goal he scored memorable! His performance in the 5-0 against Forest was from another planet! An easy choice for me. Digger was brilliant to watch.
Right side attacker – Luis Suarez – In his last 2 seasons, I’d say Suarez was LFC’s best attacking player in the Premier League era. I actually felt I’d got value from my season ticket for his last 2 seasons just watching him. Feel like crying every time he plays for Barca. I don’t think he’s got any better there, but he’s clearly thriving off working with all of the world class players they have, and he deserves it. Imagine what he’d be like for us under Klopp?
Central Striker – Ian Rush – The first footballer I ever fell in love with! Cried my eyes out when he went to Juventus. The send off he got in his last game at Anfield versus Watford when he scored a late winner is still one of the most emotional things I’ve at Anfield. In the mid 80’s, I’d say he was the most efficient goal scoring machine the country have seen. Look at his record versus the likes of Shearer and Lineker. And he didn’t even take penalties. And all those derby goals! Thank you Rushie for all the memories!
Written by @mark_curriemmc