The Redmen TV look ahead to Saturday’s visit of Southampton to Anfield, as the reds look to bounce back from the midweek defeat to Spurs…
- MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool v Southampton
- How Will The Spurs Game Impact Saturday?
- Southampton Memories, Matt Le Tiss, Alan Shearer and Stuffing The Mancs
- Dangerman Focus: Rickie Lambert
- Gaston Ramirez. Boss After all?
- Stewart Downing is BETTER than Ashley Cole. Fact.
- Lineup Predictions
- Score Predictions
Over the years, Liverpool has had many players from many countries, especially in recent years, with so many foreigners coming to play football in England. But has there been a country that has produced more influential players in the history of Liverpool Football Club than Scotland ?
Being a native Scot I am extremely proud of this fact. I remember when I was young and my dad would let me stay up late to watch Match Of The Day on a Saturday night, with the day’s football highlights, he would ask me to count how many Scots were in each team, because he would tell me that the team with the most Scottish players would win, and it seemed to me at the time that his theory was always right.
I have to point out that this was in the late seventies to early eighties, when there was an abundance of Scots playing in the first division in England. Unfortunately nowadays there is not so many. But when I was growing up supporting Liverpool the number of Scots in the team provided a massive reason why I started supporting them.
But throughout the history of Liverpool Football Club there have been many Scots that have played a massive part in shaping the club that we know today. Liverpool’s squad was mostly made up of Scots in their very first season and that has set a pattern throughout the history of the club. In fact in Liverpool’s eighteen title winning seasons, there has always been a Scot in the team.
Some Scots that have played important roles in the history of Liverpool are, Andrew Hannah, Liverpool’s first ever captain.
Alan Hansen, who captained Liverpool, and won many trophies in an illustrious career.
George Allan, Liverpool’s first great goal scorer.
Matt Busby who played over one hundred matches for Liverpool, but unfortunately moved to Manchester United to become manager, where the rest is history, he gets the credit for finding the great Billy Liddell before he left.
Ned Doig, a goalkeeper who is the oldest player to have made his debut at the age of thirty-seven and three hundred and seven days. Ned also holds the record for the oldest player to play for Liverpool when he played his last game, aged forty-one years and one hundred and sixty-five days old.
Matt McQueen who played in over one hundred matches for Liverpool before becoming manager, where he won the League title despite losing his leg in a car accident.
Malcolm McVean goes down in history as the man who scored Liverpool’s first ever League goal.
Alex Raisbeck played over ten years with Liverpool and captained the team to their first two titles. An early legend.
Tommy Lawrence, Shankly’s goalkeeper, played three hundred and ninety games for Liverpool and played a major role in the Shankly era.
Billy Liddell, arguably Liverpool’s greatest ever player, he played five hundred and thirty-four matches and scored two hundred and twenty-eight goals for Liverpool. He only won one league title in his career as he played at a time when Liverpool had a struggling team, but his tremendous play nicknamed the team “Liddellpool”.
Gary McAllister only came to Liverpool when he was thirty-five, but he played a major part in Liverpool’s treble winning season of two thousand and one.
Kenny Dalglish, in my opinion, the greatest Liverpool player of all time, although, Steven Gerrard is catching up. Dalglish played over five hundred games and scored one hundred and seventy-two goals for Liverpool. He also holds the record number of caps for Scotland with one hundred and two and is joint equal record goal scorer with thirty alongside Dennis Law. Dalglish won everything as a player and after the tragedy at Heysel he became player manager of the club, and won the double in his first season. Dalglish is best remembered for the role he played throughout the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy. Dalglish also won the Carling Cup in his second spell as manager.
Ian St John was one of Shankly’s first signings and played a major part in Liverpool’s resurgence in the sixties under the leadership of Shankly. He played over four hundred goals and scored over one hundred goals for Liverpool.
Ron Yeats was another of Shankly’s early signings, Yeats was Shankly’s captain and captained Liverpool to their first ever FA Cup win. Yeats played for ten years with Liverpool and played over four hundred games for the club and like St John was a major influence in the success during Shankly’s reign.
Graeme Souness is regarded as one of Liverpool’s greatest players. A brilliant midfielder who could dominate games with his passing and his tackling. He later became captain and led Liverpool to another European Cup win in Rome in nineteen eighty-four in his last match for the club. Souness later became manager of the club in the nineties, but never had as much success, although he did manage Liverpool to an FA Cup success.
Bill Shankly is the greatest manager the club has known. Liverpool was a sleeping giant when he took over. The club were in the second division and Anfield was falling apart. But this man transformed the whole club, the stadium and most importantly the team. He might not be the most successful manager in the club’s history, but he placed the foundations for future success.
There are many more Scots that have played a part in the fabric of Liverpool’s history, in fact there has been one hundred and fifty-five players in the history of Liverpool Football Club and I’m sure there will be many more. At the moment we have young Danny Wilson in our youth squad, so it is nice to see a Scot in the present squad, and hopefully we will see more talent coming from north of the border as we have always had a Scot in the team when winning the league.
Stats Below provided by the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index
Defeat at White Hart Lane will have disappointed Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, with his side unfortunate not to score more than once. The Reds would be wrong to be complacent heading into a game against eighteenth-placed Southampton, who are on a good run of form:
- Luis Suarez failed to score against Spurs but caused their defence great problems throughout the game. The EA SPORTS Player Performance Index shows him to be the league’s most prolific man on the ball this season, having made 31 dribbles at a rate of one every 43.4 minutes.
- Raheem Sterling is chasing Suarez’s record however, and is himself the league’s fifth most prolific dribbler. The young winger has made 19 at a rate of one every 63.9 minutes.
- Jose Enrique missed a number of chances to score at White Hart Lane, but his rate of shooting accuracy rate has been solid this season with a 55.5% on target rate. This rate is actually greater than star team mate Suarez’s 51.3 percent rate from 76 attempts on goal.
- Steven Gerrard’s importance to Liverpool in all areas of the pitch really cannot be understated. He’s racked up 431 successful passes in the opponent’s half, a squad-high, as well as an impressive 36 interceptions to boot.
- Liverpool may have lost out in their midweek game, but had been on a run of eight games without defeat beforehand. Three of their next four games are at Anfield, and all will be against teams from the bottom half of the table.
Fans of Southampton will be relieved to see their side’s form improving in recent games. Now undefeated in four straight games, the Saints are marching towards their forty-point target at an impressive rate:
- Morgan Schneiderlin has won many admirers for his performances this season, but his defensive play could use so more refinement to match his excellent work rate. He currently sits second on the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for fouls with 30.
- This high rate of fouls is likely due to the commitment Schneiderlin shows in his defensive work rate for Nigel Atkins’ side. The Frenchman has attempted 61 tackles so far this season, managing to winning 57%.
- Jose Fonte’s reading of the game has been impressive for Southampton this season. The Portuguese defender has compiled 21 clearance and 78 interceptions according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
- Adam Lallana continues to underline his importance to Southampton with his consistent performance-level this season. He’s their most successful passer of the ball, notching up 312 successful passes in the opponent’s half so far this season.
- Lallana is also consistently the man most likely to provide the killer final ball for Southampton, having provided 31 crosses for his teammates this season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
- Nathaniel Clyne is definitely showing he has multiple strings to his bow this season, not all of them limited to his defensive duties. He’s Southampton’s third-slickest passer of a baller, having successfully completed 239 passes.
Liverpool were left frustrated after a dominant display against Tottenham was left unrewarded as the home side gained a narrow victory in a pulsating encounter at White Hart Lane. Goals from Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale secured the win, with the Reds reply, an own goal by Bale, proving the only consolation.
Tottenham began the game full of gusto. Gareth Bale forced a save from Pepe Reina with a powerful free kick, with the goalkeeper grateful to his defenders for stopping Jermain Defoe from converting the rebound.
Bale drove wide from an angle, before creating the opener with his next foray forward. His pace took him past several weak challenges, and his cross was turned in at the far post by Lennon.
Luis Suarez had a low shot saved and Jordan Henderson – under heavy pressure from Kyle Walker – missed an open goal from 20 yards as the Reds pushed for a reply.
But it was Spurs who added a second. Clint Dempsey won a free kick under minimal, if any, contact from Henderson, and Bale’s free kick left Reina motionless as the ball nestled in the net.
Liverpool were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty as they responded to going two goals down. Steven Gerrard burst into the area before tumbling under Moussa Dembele’s challenge, and referee Phil Dowd waved the Reds appeals away, while Suarez poked the loose ball goalwards only for Walker to charge back to clear off the line.
The away side probed for a goal to get them back in the game, but unfortunately most of the chances fell to Jose Enrique, whose general play was impressive but finishing askew.
The Reds dominated the second half for long spells, with Spurs unable to pose the same kind of threat that had brought two goals early on, but still couldn’t find a goal. Enrique was wasteful when well-placed, twice his final ball lacking. Unfortunately, for all the possession, Liverpool hadn’t unduly troubled Hugo Lloris in the Spurs goal.
A welcome stroke of luck saw them pull a goal back. Sub Jonjo Shelvey’s corner was flicked on by Daniel Agger towards Gerrard whose header was destined for the bottom corner before Lennon intervened. However, the winger could only watch as his attempted clearance comically hit his teammate Bale and ricocheted into the net while the Welshman fell to the ground clutching his face.
The goal buoyed the Reds, who continued to push for an equaliser, roared on by their travelling support. Suarez blazed over on the volley, before Enrique fired narrowly wide from distance.
After the anguish of not being given a penalty earlier on, both Rodgers and Liverpool were furious to see a strong penalty appeal turned down when William Gallas’ challenge sent Suarez over in the area. They continued to press, but a combination of ill-fortune, throughout the match, and good defending meant that the Reds left White Hart Lane empty-handed after a performance that warranted so much more. A feeling that has become all too familiar in recent years, but Reds fans will be optimistic that this problem can, and will, be eradicated.
Liverpool travelled to White Hart Lane on the back of an 8 match unbeaten league run, but the London ground has not been a happy hunting ground in recent years, having not won there since the reign of Rafa at the end of the 2007-08 season. Spurs are a dangerous attacking side with players like Bale, Lennon and Defoe, but Liverpool have recorded back to back clean sheets which will give the visitors great confidence going into the match.
Brendan Rodgers selected an unchanged side to face Spurs, which surprised many. Stewart Downing was selected at left back once again, alongside, Skrtel, Agger, and Johnson at right back, with Pepe Reina in goal. Jose Enrique was again selected to play in his new role in left midfield, with Allen, Henderson, Gerrard and Sterling wide on the right of midfield, Suarez again playing up front.
The home side started on the front foot, and Gareth Bale caused anxiety for Reina with a swerving, dipping, long range, dangerous free kick, which he eventually managed to scramble to safety.
This was an early warning of what was to come, because moments later Bale flashed a shot across the face of goal after Defoe had robbed Gerrard of possession.
But in the 7th minute Spurs took the lead when the rampaging Bale burst clear down the right evading challenges from Gerrard and Johnson before firing across goal to Lennon who tapped the ball into the net at the back post with left back Downing left standing.
Liverpool retaliated, Lloris saved an effort from Suarez, before Henderson missed an open goal under pressure from Walker. Seconds later, Henderson was adjudged to have fouled Dempsey and from the resulting free kick, Gareth Bale’s effort clipped the head of the unfortunate Henderson sending Reina the wrong way and the ball into the net, doubling the home side’s lead.
The game was being played at a frenetic pace with both sides producing dangerous attacks. Liverpool thought they should have had a penalty when Gerrard burst into the box, then going down from a challenge from behind by Dembele, but referee Phil Dowd waved play on. Suarez poked a shot at goal from the resulting challenge but Walker made an amazing goal line clearance.
Liverpool came out for the second half with great intent and pegged the hosts back as they looked to claw their way back into the game. Liverpool huffed and puffed but could not find the net until the 72nd minute when Gerrard headed a net bound effort from a corner to Lennon on the goal line who could only smash his clearance into Gareth Bale’s face resulting in the ball going into the Tottenham net.
Liverpool now looked for a second with Suarez looking the most likely to achieve this, and he went close smashing a volley just over the bar after Agger refused to give up on a ball at the goal line. Then, in the last 5 minutes Suarez went down under a strong challenge from Gallas in the box from an Enrique pass, but referee Dowd waved away appeals.
Spurs hung on for the victory, but Liverpool left frustrated after a spirited effort and aggrieved at a few decisions going against them once again.
When I saw Brendan’s team I thought we would lose, mainly because I thought Downing at left back was a big mistake against the dangerous Lennon, and my vision was realised at the first goal when he was caught out with Lennon getting behind him. But Liverpool responded brilliantly from a disastrous start to the match. We created a lot of chances and were unlucky a few times and also wasteful a few times. Enrique had another good game down the left and Suarez looked the mostly likely to score. Gerrard and Allen look to be struggling just now and Sterling looked jaded which can only be expected from the youngster. Once again we are left frustrated by officials. The Gerrard incident was a stone wall penalty and Dempsey just dived when under pressure from Henderson when he won the free kick that led to Tottenham’s second goal. I think Gallas touched some of the ball when he challenged Suarez at the other penalty appeal, but I’ve seen them given. A really good performance by Liverpool after a terrible start, but another hard luck story of missed chances and poor refereeing decisions. Liverpool’s luck must change sometime, hopefully soon.
Anyone who has listened to Brendan Rodgers giving his post match verdicts this season will have noticed a familiar pattern. If any of you have only heard one of these interviews don’t worry, you haven’t missed much. All his interviews are pretty much the same: We played well. We deserved more from the game. If we keep playing like this we’ll climb the table. We aren’t getting decisions from referees. Blah. Blah. Blah.
Well he may be right – a lot of decisions aren’t going in our favour. The fact that we haven’t been awarded a penalty in a league game so far this season speaks volumes. But he can’t keep talking about our style of play regardless of the results. Football is all about results. Yes we’ve played good football at times this season. But we did that last season too. Arsenal have played good football for the last 8 years and not won a trophy. Besides, whilst it’s true we’ve played well, we have hardly been scintillating.
The passing style Rodgers is implementing seems to be all about keeping possession rather than playing cutting edge passes which open up a defence and catch a team on the break. And the stats don’t really back up what Rodgers is saying. Against Tottenham, for example, possession was shared equally. Yes we had one shot more than Spurs but many of our shots were blocked and more of theirs were on target. So you would conclude they went closest to scoring with their shots.
Much of the criticism aimed at Kenny Dalglish last season was that he persisted to start the likes of Downing and Henderson, as well as leaving them on the pitch for too long when they were adding very little. Both these players have started the last two games and only been subbed in the last half hour. Of course, we are in the position where we need to rest players yet we don’t have the quality in depth and this problem goes back to last summer when we failed to add enough players. We let more people go than we brought in and what’s more, in Downing, Henderson and Joe Cole we kept three who should have been allowed to leave. On top of that we didn’t add the proven, prolific striker that we so obviously needed, instead opting to take a gamble on the potential of Fabio Borini.
We are being told there isn’t a lot of money yet we continue to waste it, regularly getting our fingers burnt in the transfer market. If rumours of us buying Tom Ince for £6m just 18 months after we sold him for £250,000 are true, and it’s worth noting they are only rumours at the moment, this would be a prime example. Nobody in any other business would sell something and then buy it back for 24 times the value they sold it. That’s sheer madness.
Another criticism aimed at Kenny is that he wasted much of the money he was given. And whilst it’s true the players brought in during his reign haven’t been anywhere near good enough, this problem existed long before he was managing the club. In the late 90s, Barcelona wanted to buy McManaman for £12m. We kept him and he left on a free transfer a year later. In 2004, Owen was valued at £30m yet he was allowed to run his contract down and we had to cash in on him or lose him for nothing. We got a paltry £8m plus Nunez, which is the equivalent of receiving £8.1m. And I’m being complimentary to Nunez when I say that.
These kinds of awful dealings in the transfer market have been an ongoing problem at the club for around fifteen years now and they show no sign of being rectified. We refuse to pay enough for top quality players, overpay for mediocre ones and lose money when we sell players on. Last summer we lost on all the players who left. Kuyt, Bellamy and Rodriguez went for nothing, Adam left for almost half what we had paid a year earlier and we are never going to recoup what we paid for Carroll.
Obviously it’s not all the manager’s fault. He inherited a squad that wasn’t good enough and has not been given the financial backing that he needs to change things. However, I can’t help feeling that he was only given the job because the owners see him as a patsy, someone who won’t demand the transfer funds. Can you imagine if they had decided to reinstate Benitez as manager and let him down so badly by not backing him? His reaction would have been very different.
Personally I hate the way money is ruining the game. Players are paid far too much and the fees they go for mean some clubs simply cannot keep up. But sadly, there also lies the solution. In order to challenge for trophies, clubs need to compete in the transfer market, which means they have to spend money. Occasionally managers will find hidden gems and buy players for small transfer fees. However, if they can’t then pay them top wages, they will lose those players. Again Arsenal can be used as an example. They might have continually made money over the years by selling players rather than breaking their wage structure but they don’t then reinvest that money on top players, which means as soon as the ones already at the club reach their peak they decide to leave so they can win things and earn more money. If that’s the model FSG are following it’s a big mistake. I’m not saying Liverpool should get into hundreds of millions of pounds worth of debt like we were a few years ago but we either have to compete or face the reality that we are a mid table team.