A couple years ago the L.F.C. official site published the 100 players who shook the Kop, two of them I had worshiped over the years and then later did something which would change them from Kop heroes to Kop villains.
I have mentioned Michael Owen a lot recently so I will leave him out of this.
The other player I grew up admiring and as a child was my favourite was Graeme Souness, he was our playmaker, he was our captain and the complete midfielder. In my opinion Liverpool have not had a better midfielder until Stevie G. came along, we had to wait almost 20 years to fill the void that Souness left when he departed L.F.C. for the Italian side Sampdoria.
When Souness left I did not feel betrayed but rather (even as hot tempered teen) accepted it as a part of life. The Italian league was on the upswing with many top players earning their pay their, so it was not surprise that my favourite player would want to play there. I even started watching Italian football so I could see Graeme play.
After a couple of seasons at Sampdoria Graeme was appointed player-manager at Glasgow Rangers. He had great success at Rangers and when King Kenny retired as Liverpool manager Graeme was introduced as Liverpool manager.
You can imagine how excited I was, my childhood hero was now the Liverpool manager. Things did not work out the way the Hollywood studios would have probably made them out to be. After winning the FA cup in his first season Liverpool went into decline and even after 18 years we still have not fully recovered as we have not won the league since. At the end of the 1992 season he underwent heart surgery and as he was recovering in hospital he gave an interview to the Sun tabloid. The interview was accompanied with a picture of him kissing his girlfriend and was published on the 3rd Hillsborough anniversary. How can you insult the victims’ families more? Then on the field he tried to implement styles and methods that he had learnt while in Italy instead of sticking to the proven methods that had brought Liverpool such glory. Tempers flared and rumours of backroom clashes started to emerge. Souness was forced to resign in 1994. He managed a few teams including Galatasaray, Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn and Newcastle. He did have successes with Blackburn & Galatasary but after being fired from Newcastle in 2006 he has been quiet. Ironically many Toon fans point the finger at Souness as well for their teams demise, they too have had a hard time (including relagation) since getting Sounessed.
Interestingly enough I met this Chelsea fan on New Year’s Day who lives here in Florida and of course I asked the million dollar question. How Did You Become a Chelsea Fan? His answer was, it was Graeme Souness. Who? What? When? Apparently he had met Graeme at a resort around the Tampa area and asked Graeme for help getting Premiership tickets. And he got him a ticket to a Chelsea game and since then he has been a Chelsea fan, great job Souness for creating another Chelsea supporter. You would think a former player would be proud of his former club.
Now fast forward 6 months and Graeme recently opened his mouth saying that Liverpool do not have what it takes to win the Premiership. This comes from a guy who took the most successful club in English history brought it to demise. This “expert” advise comes from the same person who took an Amateur called Ali Dia, signed him and played him in a Premiership game after getting duped by an imposter.
Manure fans have one person to thank for the trophies that they have won in the last 16 years and that is Graeme Souness.