Gary McAllister joined the Liverpool coaching staff this summer in place of Mike Marsh, and he’s been very impressed with the Liverpool squad he’s now working with.
The Scot, who won a treble of trophies with us in 2001, specifically chose to wax lyrical about new vice-captain James Milner, with the former Manchester City midfielder helping us defeat Stoke on Premier League opening weekend.
“He is a winner, he has won leagues,” McAllister told Liverpoolfc.com.
“He’s an experienced player in big competitions and big competitions for his country as well. He brings good experience.
“You can bring in players that are a little bit older and have got experience but their experiences are not necessarily good ones. But he’s got good experience, he knows how to win.
“He’s a Leeds boy, he still talks about Leeds United and I still live in the Leeds area so we’ve got that little bit in common.
“His professionalism in the opening three or four weeks that I’ve been here has been outstanding.”
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McAllister also joined on a free as an experienced midfielder, although in fairness, he was 35-years-old, while at 29 Milner is very much in his peak. McAllister’s contribution during his two year stint on Merseyside earned him legendary status of course, and probably his current backroom job as well.
If Milner can contribute as much as the free-kick whizz both on and off the pitch his lofty wages will have been very well spent.
Besides Milner, McAllister thinks Liverpool’s squad is strong and includes players who can perform in all the necessary roles.
“I think we tick most of the boxes,” he continued.
“You’ve got people who are specialists at sitting in front of a back four, we’ve got players with great running power, players with skill and guile, people who can run beyond strikers.
“You can’t just be pinpointed as players playing in little slots, the fact that we can change things and there’s loads of various little shapes that the manager can use will work well for us I think.”
McAllister is right that we currently have a large and talented group. On Sunday, for example, the match-day squad didn’t include Lazar Markovic, Mamadou Sakho, Lucas, Mario Balotelli and Fabio Borini – around £70m worth of talent. While many will claim this solely indicates how poorly we’ve spent money, it also suggests that there’s a number of talented professionals who’d start for most sides who cannot even get on our bench.