• Hey Guest!
    Enjoy the This Is Anfield Forums but want to remove the adverts? Now you can do so by clicking here.
    Thanks for your support!

Ee-Aye-Addio

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
Keep the memories coming, reminisce and share your memories here in this thread!


THE LEGEND OF HEROES

#2 - LUIS GARCIA



Luis Garcia, He drinks sangria....

Always remembered for 'that goal' against Chelsea in the semi-final.....

How do you remember Luis Garcia in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? Those special European night goals and that goal celebration? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Luis Garcia during his Liverpool career?
.
.
 

Zinedine Biscan

Kylian me softly...
Ad-free Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
22,590
One of my favourite players of the Rafa era, always been surprised he never managed to look as good for another team as he did for us.

Came with frustrations, but when it worked for him it really worked, and all the goals he scored - of which there were lots - seemed to be important ones. His best goal for me, though, would be his belter against Juventus, simply unstoppable.

But if I had to pick one game that epitomised the passion he displayed while playing in a Liverpool shirt, it would be the night of our greatest triumph, but one in which he didn't actually score - the 2005 CL final. For all three goals we scored in the second half, one player was chasing the ball into the net each time, to make damn sure it would count: Luis. He always seemed to play with the joy of a man who loves what he is doing and where he is doing it, but underlying that, and despite his small stature, was a gritty will to win.

I'd take a Luis in his prime in the current setup in a flash.
 

Limiescouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
13,291
I forget which year, but it was the derby in which Baros got himself sent off before half time. I dont remember the exact details (I think it was 2 early subs for injuries, and then a third to deal with the loss of Baros), but Luis picked up an injury and knowing we were already down to 10 men and with no subs left he soldiered on for the rest of the game doing his damnedest to ensure we kept our lead in one of the biggest games of the season. A flair player who fought for the cause as hard as someone who had to get buy with only a fraction of his ability. Anyone who still bought into the idea that Spanish players were too soft for the league simply were not watching the right players.
 

MViper

TIA New Signing
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
107
I remember little Luis. He invented that phrase "from zero to hero" and vice versa in my book :-)

Could pull a trick and score a belter like that one against Juventus or frustrate the hell out of you with pointless dribbles. But all in all it was joy watching him, he scored, created, steel will to win. Great player. When Benayoun came I was expecting something similar to Garcia, but was dissapointed :-)
 

OLDIE

TIA New Signing
Ad-free Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
2,219
I will always remember Emlyn Hughes as one of the true great Liverpool players.

His infectious enthusiasm was only matched by Joey Jones and perhaps Suarez recently.

Emlyn Hughes to me was a much better player than he was given credit for. He played for England at left back and for us at centre half and in midfield. In every position he was top class.

His long distance shooting was on a par with Peter Lorimer at Leeds United, I can see his goals at Newcastle, Ipswich, Arsenal and the pit as I write this. Anyone recall his efforts against Stoke, Man Utd and Wolves at home. So many special goals each of them celebrated with that wonderful smile.
 

Uberkoen

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Oct 28, 2007
Messages
3,003
Ah Luis Garcia. What memories!!

He was one of those players who could be incredibly frustrating to watch and then, out of nowhere, would produce a moment of magic. Some of his goals and pieces of brilliance will live long in the memory.

I think it was in the second half of the Champions League final against Milan when Garcia turned Seedorf inside out with one flick of the ball and made him look so ordinary, apart from the commentator saying "What play!" no one ever mentioned it again. That was when you saw just how good he could be.

How can anyone forget that derby when he continued playing through the injury, due to the fact that we had no substitutions left, giving his 100% including going into tackles which could have made it even worse for him. From that moment I knew that he was the real deal and not only a gifted skillful player.

I shall never forget his goals against Chelsea and Juventus in the Champions League.
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
Here's another article i've saved here from 2008 where five ThisIsAnfield forum members shared their memories of 5 of their most memorable Luis Garcia goals....


1) Liverpool 2 - 1 Juventus, Champions League QF, 1st Leg (04/05/2005)
Waul_Mywellies : £6 Million was the price Liverpool paid for the tricky Spaniard remembered fondly as King Luis but the goals he gave us were priceless, none more so than his devastating strike against Juventus on a night never to be forgotten at Anfield. The stage was set for it to be a memorable night, it delivered and fast. Hyypia opened the scoring in the 9th minute with a great finish but when the clock struck to the 24th minute, people were left in awe at the goal they had witnessed. The dream goal began on the right wing as Finnan chipped it through to Le Tallec who floated a ball over Baros and into the path of Garcia, the ball bounced up perfectly and he met it with an incredible volley from 30 yards, which glided over the outstretched hand of Buffon and into the net. His technique was flawless, as it had to be, to leave the world's best goalkeeper so expertly beaten. The crowd went crazy and the atmosphere was electric, what us fans that were lucky enough to be there and those watching around the world had seen, was just something truly spectacular. It proved to be a pivotal goal as Juventus came back strong, scoring in the second half but Luis' goal proved enough to see us through and march on to glory in Istanbul."

2) Liverpool 1 - 0 Chelsea, Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg (03/05/2005)
Mafiaman20 : "When talking about Luis Garcia goals that you'll never forget the only one that should even be in contention is the goal vs Chelsea in the 2005 Champions League Semi-Final. This goal was so controversial to whether on not it crossed the line it's not even worth explaing as everyone knows about it. It was given as a goal (would have been a penalty had it not been anyway) and went on to secure Liverpool's place in our first European Cup final in 20 years. The goal could even be considered as the most important in Liverpool's recent history, it took us to the final that we so dramatically won, placing Liverpool firmly back in the hearts of football romantics around the worth and laid the foundations for a new, bright future.
And for that Luis, I salute you.

3) Liverpool 2 - 0 Charlton, Premier League (23/10/2004)
Ataturk : "As frustrating as Luis could be, it was bits of magic like this that made it all worthwhile. Whenever the topic of two-footed players arises, Luis' name is always one of the first to mind. The guy would even take corners with his right on occasion! Excellent strike with his "wrong" foot into the Kop end to seal a win over Charlton.

4) Chelsea 1 - 2 Liverpool, FA Cup Semi Final (22/04/2006)
AhmetKemal : "A big-game-player by any definition of the term; Luis has weighed in with a few of the most important goals scored by a Liverpool player in recent history. His goal against Chelsea in the FA cup semi's of 05/06 will forever remain etched into my memory because of not only its finesse of execution but how it lead me to believe that us challenging for major honours back to back heralded the coming of better days ahead. Luis Garcia - You'll Never Walk Alone."

5) Liverpool 1 - 0 Arsenal, Premier League (14/02/2006)
SGM : "It was the 10 year anniversary of Bob Paisley's death and if I remember was Robbie Fowlers first game back at Anfield, we had a really rough January and we desperately needed a win. It was a frustrating game because we were absolutely dominating them. Gerrard missed a penalty early and the game was winding down. Luis came on in the 83rd and scored in the 86th, wasn't spectacular, but it was huge. Hamann tried to curl on from range and Lehmann could only push it in to Luis path to put it in. Anfield exploded. Plus a few days later we beat the Mancs on our way to the FA Cup. Satisfying week that was!
.
.
 

Armaan Ghai

New Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
3
Hi..
I'd like to share my story of how I travelled more than 5000 miles, from India, and got to watch liverpool play at anfield for the first time.
Is this the correct thread?
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
So far we've looked back at your earliest memories, #1 Emlyn Hughes Memories and #2 Luis Garcia Memories...

If you would like to comment on your earliest memories, Hughes or Garcia memories, keep them posted here in this thread.... The more memories, the better!

----------------------------


SEASONS COME AND GO.....

#3 The 1994/95 Season


Seasons come and go but these are the days we'll always remember...
  • Roy Evans first 'full' season in charge
  • The new Kop Stars: Steve Mcmanaman, Robbie Fowler, Rob Jones and Jamie Redknapp
  • The arrival of the young Danish keeper Michael Stensgaard, Phil Babb from Coventry for £3.6m John Scales from Wimbledon for £3m and Mark Kennedy, remember him?!!
  • Those 3 centerbacks of John Scales and Phil Babb alongside Neil Ruddock, wingbacks Rob Jones and Stig Inge Bjorneybye.
  • Opening day of the season leaving shell-shocked Crystal Palace 6-1 on their Premiership return.
  • That Fowler hat-trick in only 4 minutes and 33 seconds against Arsenal (at the time the fastest in Premiership history) on the second game of the season!
  • John Barnes' scissors kick in our 3-2 victory over Blackburn in October 1994
  • The unforgettable 3-1 win away at Blackburn in the League Cup in November 1994. Anybody remember that Ian Rush hat trick?
  • Who'll ever forget that night Peter Ndlovu scored a hat trick at Anfield securing Coventry a 3-2 victory at Anfield in the League
  • That 'Coca Cola' Cup semi final second leg victory over Crystal Palace where Fowler secured our first Wembley final for 3 years.
  • Then came Steve McManaman's man of the match performance against Bolton in the League Cup Final
  • Jamie Redknapp's free kick against Blackburn on the final day of the season
  • 4th place finish, our highest finish since 1990/91 with Robbie Fowler scoring 31 goals in all competitions
----------------------------

Seasons come and go but these are the days we'll always remember...

What are your memories of that 1994/95 season? What were your initial reactions when we signed Phil Babb following the World Cup? Your memories of our formation that season? Were you there in Wembley for the 1995 Coca Cola Cup Final? What are your memories of Steve McManaman's goals? Your Robbie Fowler memories from that season? How do remember that "What have I done?" look on Jamie Redknapp's face on that final game of the season against Blackburn?!!.

So many stories and memories.... Let us know in detailed analysis your best (and worst) memories of that 1994/95 season here....
.
.
.
 

Armaan Ghai

New Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Messages
3
First of all, I'll introduce myself. My name is Armaan Ghai. I am 22 years old and have been watching football and Liverpool since 2003 (the first time club football was properly broadcast in India). My story is quite long, mainly because a LOT of things happened in the way.

My story starts from 2nd January, this year, when Steven Gerrard announced that he was gonna leave Liverpool FC at the end of the season. I was shocked (I knew it was going to happen in some time but not all of a sudden). On 3rd January, I thought that I was already planning to go to anfield some time in the near future, might as well do it this season, now that the Stevie would be leaving. I told my parents that I am planning to go to England to watch Stevie play in a red jersey. Thinking that I was joking, they allowed me (Bear in mind that I had never traveled abroad) . Next morning, I told my mum that I had looked up flight tickets and all the other stuff and gave her an estimated budget. She asked me if I was serious and I said yes. On Monday, the 5th of January we went to a travel agent to get advice on how to apply for a UK Visa. The agent straight away denied that I won't be able to get a Visa because I fit into the 3 "danger" categories of Visa denial - under 25, single, never traveled abroad. We have very close family friends living in London, so I asked them if they could provide a sponsorship letter for my stay in the UK. They did and after 2 grueling months, I finally got my Visa. I was close to my dream. I had saved 5 months of my salary for the trip.

I had decided for the Liverpool vs Newcastle game on 13th April at anfield as my first match. I booked my flight tickets from 4th April to 19th April. Being an international member, I don't have the ticketing rights from the official website so I waited for the general sale of the tickets. Sadly, I couldn't get them and as a result, I started looking at craigslist and other ticketing websites and booked them from there but then something happened. It was the 22nd of March, Liverpool vs Man Utd, Gerrard came on and as we all know he got a straight red which meant that he would miss the next 3 games and my game, Liverpool vs Newcastle was the 3rd one. I was devastated. I mean, I would be flying all the way, halfway around the world to see my idol in flesh and he won't be playing at the game that I was going to be at. I thought of cancelling my tickets and just not go. My uncle's son (who provided the sponsorship letter) told me to come anyway to at least see Liverpool team play at anfield, albeit without Steven Gerrard. I had accepted that maybe it was my destiny that I won't be able to watch Gerrard play in the flesh. A day before my flight, I was just checking the dates for the FA cup semi final, just in case an the Liverpool game was to be held on the 19th of April, the same day as my return flight. That meant, I'd still have a chance to see my captain play (Hull was out of the equation if Liverpool had not won against blackburn in the quarter final replay, coz my uncle wouldn't have allowed me to travel alone halfway across the country by myself).

Fast forwarding to April 8, Coutinho scored the winner at Ewood Park and I had a bit of hope. I was in London at this time and my immediate reaction was to go on craigslist and search for semi final tickets. But, the tickets that I had booked for the Newcastle game hadn't arrived yet, so I was a bit worried. The next morning on thursday, I got an email from the ticketing website that my order had been cancelled and I would be refunded the money. But being an Indian Debit card it would take almost 24 hours to do so. Meanwhile, I had found a guy craigslist who had decided to give me his FA cup semi final ticket. I had already booked the bus and the hotel in Liverpool for the match but now, I had no tickets. So, I hopped onto the internet again and started looking for any last minute tickets for the newcastle game and luckily found a guy. This was at Friday, at 5:15 pm. Little did I know, there is no posting after 5 pm and I won't get my tickets on Saturday but on Monday, the matchday. So I called up the guy to change the shipping address to my Uncle's daughter's address who studies in Liverpool. With everything arranged, I breathed a sigh of relief but to my surprise, there was another twist in the tale.

April 13, 2015, Matchday. My bus was to depart at 10 am from Victoria Coach station but I got 11 am stuck in my mind (the previous day I had extended my flight to the next day because I had "got" the tickets for the FA cup, the flight was at 11pm so the number 11 got stuck in my head, more on the FA cup later) and as you can guess, I missed my bus. Me an my uncle's son were at the coach station with bus tickets that were of no use. I started to panic and started thinking maybe I am just not meant to watch liverpool play at anfield because of all the things that have been happening. The guy with me started scolding me and he started looking for alternatives, assuring me that he would get us there. The next coach to Liverpool from the company I had booked the tickets from was at 5:30 pm which was no good, and from National Express, it was at 12:30 pm which was sold out. So I asked my friend if we could get a coach to any nearby city like leeds or manchester and get to liverpool from there. He agreed and we got a coach from London to manchester which would arrive at manchester at 4:30 and we would reach Liverpool 6-ish (2 hours before kick off). On reaching Manchester, we went to the Manchester Piccadilly and unsurprisingly (now) of all the trains at the station, the one for Liverpool broke down at the platform, which meant more panicking for me. It took 45 mins for the train to get back on track and we were finally on our way to Liverpool. On the train, our hotel called us saying that our reservation had been cancelled because the check in time was 5:30 and we still weren't there. We had been calling the hotel, right since the morning, to explain that we would be late but they didn't pick up the phone then and now they had cancelled our reservation. My friend talked to the manager whilst on the train explaining the situation but the manager was a nut crack. He started threatening my mate "Are you f*****g Chelsea! I'm a rottweiler. I'll tear you apart", all this because my friend had a London accent, he didn't even support Chelsea. This let to a huge argument and we had our reservations cancelled. So we arrive at Liverpool at 6:30 with no place to stay and put our bags. We found a cab, told the driver our story, and he tried all he could to find a room (which was near impossible to get last minute on match day), but there was no luck. So we dropped our bags at my friend's sister place, got the tickets and headed toward anfield. We reached the stadium 45 mins before KO and without any delay, I went in before anything else happened. And then, I was finally inside. My seat was right next to the KOP on the main stand. The teams entered and started warming up and I was still in disbelief that I had finally made it to Anfield but I was still worried because we didn't have a place to stay. Then the teams entered, the rendition of YNWA started and this was the first time I couldn't sing the chorus. I got tears in my eyes while singing. We all know what happened next. Sterling scored, my first anfield goal. At half time we got a call from another B&B saying that a room has just been cancelled and if we would like to reserve that room. We immediately said yes. Finally I could breathe again, and to make it more joyful, Joe Allen scored in the second half. After the match, I was possibly the last man to leave the ground just taking in the atmosphere with me as much as I can.

Moving on to the FA cup semi final. 16th April, 2015; I receive a mail from the guy with the FA cup tickets saying that his hasn't arrived yet and the club has delayed the tickets. I searched on the internet to check if it was true, and it was. Once, again I started to panic. Tried looking for alternatives, no luck. My uncle and aunt advised me not to let anyone come to their house to give tickets and not meet anyone to get tickets. So, that was it. It wasn't in my destiny to watch Stevie play or was it? On Saturday, 18th April, out of nowhere, another guy I had asked for the fa cup tickets a week ago, mails me to ask if I was still interested in the tickets. My immediate reaction - Yes. My uncle, aunt and their son's reaction - NO. You see, a couple of days before, a Muslim guy was shot near the wembley stadium and me being an Indian might be at risk. They were right, something might happen to me. My aunt sensed my disappointment and asked me a question, "You don't care about anything, do you? You just want to got to the match, don't you?". I said yes. She agreed to let me go, my uncle also somewhat agreed but their son didn't. They said, I would only be allowed to go on 1 condition, which was going to the match undercover, as in plain clothes, no liverpool scarf,shirt or anything coz if some chelsea fan would see me, an Indian, wearing the colours of a team from the north and that too Liverpool, I would be in trouble. So, I went to the match the next day, dressed in plain black and blue clothes, met the guy outside the stadium (he was the same age as me, he had come from Luxembourg to watch the match), got the tickets and went in. It still wasn't over. My ticket had some printing error on the seat no. so I couldn't find my seat. I was asked to go the helpdesk to check the seat number. Thinking that I might have been scammed, I started to worry. Luckily, the guy at the helpdesk said that it has been a problem with the tickets that were printed before the quarter final replay. So, I was allotted my seat, which was right on the halfway line, top tier and the first seat on the liverpool section. On my left, were the Villa fans and on my right, were the reds. I had got to my seat just 15-20 seconds before the kick off. I looked down at the field and there I saw, my idol, my captain, Steven Gerrard in the liverpool kit. Even though, we lost, I was still smiling. The guy next to me started judging me and when I told him my story, he understood what I was smiling about. He stared at me in awe and so did the guy right in front of me and they started smiling as well. At the end of the match, outside the stadium, I gazed at the Wembley arch, and then at the sky and said "Thank You". 2 months, it still feels like a dream and when I see my Stevie G scarf I got from anfield and the semi final match ticket, I remember the crazy incidents that took place and just smile.

Hope my story wasn't boring. It was an experience that I will never forget, ever. I've planned to come to anfield after 3 or so years, once the main stand has been re-constructed and hopefully have a less troublesome time.
 
Last edited:

Billy Biskix

TIA Youth Team
Ad-free Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,622

----------------------------


SEASONS COME AND GO.....

#3 The 1994/95 Season


Seasons come and go but these are the days we'll always remember...

What are your memories of that 1994/95 season? What were your initial reactions when we signed Phil Babb following the World Cup? Your memories of our formation that season? Were you there in Wembley for the 1995 Coca Cola Cup Final? What are your memories of Steve McManaman's goals? Your Robbie Fowler memories from that season? How do remember that "What have I done?" look on Jamie Redknapp's face on that final game of the season against Blackburn?!!.

So many stories and memories.... Let us know in detailed analysis your best (and worst) memories of that 1994/95 season here....
.
.
.
1994/5 is one of my favourite LFC seasons. Definitely in the top ten. Not because it was massively successful. We won the Coca Cola Cup and finished 4th, but because it immediately followed the Souness years which had been so depressing. I remember it as the season when the club got its soul back and we started to play attractive entertaining football again. I also enjoyed it because I went into it with low expectations which were then exceeded and it became clear that we had a group of exciting young players who could form the basis of the team for years.

Although Souness had gone in January with half the previous season still to go, we hadn't seen the upsurge in performances and results that I had (probably naively) expected once Roy Evans took charge. Bringing Evans in was a comfort blanket move by the club. Recruiting an 'outsider' had been a disaster. Roy was completely different in approach and temperament. An arm round the shoulder type manager who wouldn't be throwing many tea-cups around. We hadn't improved immediately when he first took charge and limped in at 8th place, worse than Souness's two 6th place finishes, including a humiliating defeat to Norwich in the last game played in front of the standing Kop.

That Summer we did almost no transfer business at all. The only incoming being Michael Stensgaard, a Danish goalkeeper, who went down in LFC folklore by injurying himself putting up an ironing board and never playing a competitive first team game.

Just after the season started though we bought two new centre backs to the club, Phil Babb and John Scales. Evans' plan to shore up our leaky defence was to play with 3 CBs. The full backs pushed on and Steve McManaman had a free role. Gradually he became our key creative player, taking over from John Barnes who still had great vision and touch but had lost all his pace after a succession of injuries under Souness.

We really needed a good start that season and we got it. We thrashed Palace 6-1 on the opening day and the following week a Robbie Fowler hat-trick in four minutes beat Arsenal. I could barely believe it as I had no great hopes for the season at that stage. We couldn't maintain the early momentum but it really felt as though we were back now. Not title contenders yet but we were no longer a laughing stock and teams started to fear playing us again. Following LFC was enjoyable. The fans were united, the players were happy and we had a manager who understood the club. We played some great football but we were inconsistent. Only to be expected when the core of the team was young and inexperienced, but this felt like a team that could grow and achieve great things together.

The best thing about the season was winning something because I'd grown up believing that's what we did. We won trophies and we'd gone two years without winning one. It didn't matter that it was only the Coca Cola Cup. It was the first small step back up the ladder. Steve McManaman scored two brilliant solo goals that day. It was obvious we had a potentially great player on our hands.

The final day of the season couldn't have worked out any better. We beat Blackburn 2-1, but it didn't stop them winning the title at the expense of Utd who we'd beaten 2-0 at Anfield a few weeks earlier. It didn't seem right having Kenny celebrate a title at Anfield and it not being for us. A case of what might have been had he not left in the first place, but Evans had done well in his first full season and at least we had our pride back after the decline under Souness.
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
#3 The 1994/95 Season

Great memories Billy Biskix, their definitely was some great moments and memorable matches from that 1994/95 season.... To continue our memories of the 1994/95 season, a few years ago Reds supporter ‘Hellrazor’ wrote an interesting indepth review of the 94-95 campaign over on the ThisIsAnfield.com website….



The season is set to be a tough one. Supporters aren't even thinking of the league. European football even looks a bridge too far. For the 2nd season running Liverpool have to make do without it. Players look uninterested, overweight, overpaid and the squad needs changing. Rumors also circulate there's no money to do it. The Kop is not there. Nobody is able to sit in it til October and works go on all season reducing the crowd size.

The club is linked with an absurd amount of players during the summer. I can remember a letter in the SHOOT magazine stating "Evans is only making half hearted attempts to sign players” and that "the defence leaks like an old bucket.”

We did see some movement though. Julian Dicks had played his last game. Told by Evans of his weight and fitness trouble he was shown the door and ended up back at West Ham. Don Hutchison joined him. Bruce Grobbelaar had played his last match for the club, after 13 years of legendary service and bags of laughter he joined Southampton on a free transfer.

Another departing legend was Ronnie Whelan who initially moved on loan and eventually sealed a permanent move to Southend. Torben Piechnik also moved on, no one noticed. The futures of Mark Wright, Paul Stewart, Michael Thomas and Mark Walters were hanging by a thread. Some managed to pull themselves out but most were heading for the exit, with Stewart and Walters farmed out on loan to Wolves.

Some however took heed of Evans spate of ruthlessness and decided a wee bit of sock pulling and hard work were in order. Evans speaks of David James fate "I went to him at the start of the season and handed him the number 1 shirt and said ”Jamo, Brucie is gone, now are you up to it or do I have to spend money on a new keeper”. James slammed his critics and turned his career around.

Neil Ruddock and John Barnes took notice too and trimmed the pounds to get back on track, Barnes went so far as to train with the England cricket team. However despite a summer of speculation Evans and his new assistant Doug Livermore had signed one new player in back up keeper Michael Stensgaard, yet the team fielded at Crystal Palace in August looked good on paper, but you just knew defenders had to be signed if the club was to improve.


The team, James, Jones (who certainly looked sharper), Nicol, Razor (lost weight), Stig (only player at the World Cup and looking a better player), Redknapp, Stevie Mac (both a lot sharper) Barnes (see Razor) Molby (still fat but still a huge influence) with the dangerous Fowler and Rush combination up front. Liverpool started well, thumping palace 6-1, a brace from Mcmanaman, 2 from Rush and Fowler and Molby weighed in. Happy days.

The Kop wasn't quite in working order so the match the following Wednesday was called off. A reduced crowd then saw Robbie Fowler hit a 4 minute hat trick to sink arsenal 3-0. Liverpool maintained the 100% start with Fowler again scoring at the expense of old boy Brucie in a 2-0 win at Southampton, John Barnes the other scorer.

Evans then finally got going with the transfers. He bought John Scales and Phil Babb in a 24 hour swoop. Both cost the club in excess of 7 million and both had been linked with Liverpool for a long time. Babb's Irish team mate Steve Staunton saw his Anfield return collapse at the last minute as Liverpool marched into September on the heels of the leaders but while one end of the pitch was shored up the other misfired at home to west ham, a poor 0-0 against the struggling Londeners who had just lost their manager Billy Bonds.

It got worse, Liverpool seemed to be comfortable in a match at Old Trafford, Ruddock and Redknapp had gone close before an error from Scales let in Kanchelskis who scored despite Ruddocks brave effort at clearing off the line, it was all academic when Mcclair slotted in number 2. Scales would atone slightly as he and Fowler got the Coca Cola Cup off to a good start in a 2-0 at home to Burnley. The league returned against Newcastle, who Liverpool rattled despite the Tyneside club winning their first 6 games. Mcmanaman hitting the post twice in the first half before the luck changed with Ian Rush scoring a bizarre equalizer cancellling Rob Lee's stuuning strike.

October opened with a goal feast as Liverpool came from behind to beat Sheffield Wednesday 4-1, Mcmanaman bagging 3 with Rush the other marksmen. The same score got the job done at turf moor in the return leg vs Burnley, Fowler and Clough scoring as Jamie Redknapp helped himself to a brace.

Redknapp found himself back on the bench for the game with Villa which Liverpool won 3-2 thanks to a Ruddock piledriver and a brace from Fowler. Silly defensive errors meant the performance didn't reflect the scoreline. Next Liverpool faced money spending Blackburn at Ewood. We even took the lead thanks to a deflected Fowler shot. Sutton and Atkins soon shot Blackburn infront until John Barnes scored an absolute peach, his overhead has to be legendary, but an unlucky richochet off Ruddock saw Sutton hand Blackburn a 3-2 win, Liverpool hadn't disgraced themselves and played well.

The defence was now reformed with a unique wing back system to accomodate Ruddock, Babb and Scales. With Jones and Stig making forewqard runs and the freedom offered to midfielders, Evans team was exciting to watch and shored up at the back. A 3-0 win at home to Wimbledon suggested as much, Barnes, Macca and Fowler the scorers.

Coca cola cup round 3 saw Rush bagging 2 to see off stoke at Anfield which was followed by another Barnes peach in a 3-1 win at Ipswich, Fowler bagged a brace. October finished badly though with defeat at QPR thanks to a last minute goal by Ferdinand who had been linked with us much of the summer, his goal canceling out Barnes well worked strike.

November really saw us click, confidence in abundance, the once much criticized midfield were now much feared, Barnes was back in the England set up, Redkanpp was mentioned as future England captain, Scales and Ruddock were in there too. The month kicked off with a 1-0 win over forest thanks to Fowler deflecting a Redknapp shot, the scoreline flattering the opposition. We then clawed our way into the top 3 by beating Chelsea 3-1, rRuddock, and another 2 from Fowler. The bubble would burst slightly as Everton beat the reds 2-0 in Joe Royle first game in charge. The last league match in November saw a Fowler penalty cancelled by razor putting through his own net against his old team spurs. Things took up in the coca cola cup, Ian Rush bagging a wonderful hat trick to knock out Balckburn 3-1 at Ewood park, his first a stunning effort in a match where Liverpool underlined the resurgence.

December saw us kick off with 3 draws, a bandaged up Rush gave us an early lead at Coventry but a Sean Flynn header from a corner shared the spoils, John Scales explained how Evans went mad at the goal stemming from a corner and added the team bus was dead on the way home. Uneventful 0-0 draws with Crystal Palace at Anfield was followed by the same scoreline at Stamford bridge. The Christmas period saw Liverpool claim all 12 points, starting with Fowler and Rush destroying Leicester 2-1, Robbie shook off a penalty miss at home to Man City to score in a 2-0 win, Terry Phelan, himself linked in the Summer put through his own net and 1994 was rounded out with a 2-0 at Leeds thanks to Redknapp and Fowler.

Fowler again bagged a brace as liverpool saw off Norwich with Rush and Scales also scoring. The east anglians never recovered. They were 6th at the time and by the end of the season were relegated. There was genuine hope that the league may yet find its way to anfield.

Although the league form then dipped slightly to end all title talk but cup football took over, Birmingham holding Liverpool at St Andrews before a 1-0 against Arsenal got us in to the coca cola cup semis. With just Swindon, Palace and Bolton left we were favorites, but league form dipped as Liverpool threw away 6 points in 2 home matches against 2 troubled teams in Ipswich (0-1) and a 1-0 defeat to Everton. They sandwiched a penalty shoot out win against Birmingham. Our reward was a trip to Burnley again as the first match finished scoreless. Steve Nicol moved on joining Notts County on a free after 13 excellent years.

Liverpool went into February riding their luck against Forest, equalizing through Fowler in the dying seconds after Babb was sent off. We then embarked on 4 consecutive home games as we shook off Burnley thanks to Barnes despite Ruddock being sent off.

John scales then saved us in a 1-1 draw at home to QPR before a return to Wembley was almost booked with Fowlers last minute strike finishing off Palace in the semi final first leg of the coca cola cup. The following Sunday Fowler was again scoring as we came from behind to draw with Wimbledon. The 2nd leg vs Palace was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch but league and cup duty were back at full pace in a 2-1 at Sheffield Wednesday coming from 1 down thanks to Macca and Barnes. Can remember visiting my uncle Gerrys as I watched United lose at Everton whilst frantically trying to find out our score. The month ended with a 2-0 win at Wimbledon with Ian Rush leveling Denis Laws fa cup goalscoring record and John Barnes bagging the other.

European qualification was a must, and many believe the Rush and Fowler combo had their finest display in a 2-0 win at home to Newcastle with both scoring in a fine win, as Pavel Srnicek kept the score down, it could have even come close to the 9 shitchester united put past Ipswich the same day. Our return to Wembley was complete thanks to Fowler and a 1-0 win at palace. We would meet our cup scourges Bolton, who were also buoyed by a hefty pre season friendly win over us. The excitement though saw Liverpool players only return home at 3am and the exhausted troops weren't rallied in time for Spurs in the cup who came from behind to cancel Fowlers opener thanks to Sheringham and Klinnsmann's last minute effort.

A mid week defeat to Coventry wasn”t the ideal way to prepare for Uniteds visit on Sunday. Mark Wright earned a shock recall having had a pre season bust up with Evans but the former captain shut out mark Hughes superbly. Redknapp and a Bruce OG saw liveprool win 2-0, I remember this mainly for a bookie. I was over in England that weekend and as the pub didn't open til 5 we only saw the second half. My uncle gave me a quid to bet on the next scorer, and I went for Mcmanaman, he scopred off of Bruce but I got 15 quid out of it. By the time the bookie realized it was an og I had legged it (gospel true, my uncles live there and hes still looking for me, remind me to avoid Warrington)

By the time i'd visited Anfield for a stadium tour the next day, Mark Kennedy had signed for 2 million form Millwall and became the most expensive teenager in Britain. Kennedy watched his new team mates draw 0-0 at spurs in a match where David James saved a penalty.

April kicked off with the Coca Cola Cup and European football in the bag thanks to Macca's brace in a 2-1 win against Bolton. I didn't really enjoy it as I was still nervous after the game plus the phone bill had come in at home with dodgy phone numbers after I had broke into the habit of making prank calls. So I was shiiting me Da would kill me and couldn't enjoy it too much L:D but still kinda did.

The cup was paraded as we beat Southampton 3-1 the following Wednesday in Brucies return. He got a warm welcome from the kop which he needed after his much publicized match fixing allegations.

The League form begins to dip, injuries creep in with Bjornebye breaking his leg against Southampton and with European football guaranteed the team becomes complacent. Kennedy makes his debut in the 1-0 defeat at home to Leeds hitting the bar. Amazingly 6 of the last 8 games are away, Fowler turns match winner against arsenal with a late strike in a 1-0 win at Highbury. The match at Man City is brought forward to good Friday to avoid clashing with the Hillsborough anniversary. A 2-1 defeat occurs with Mcmanaman scoring and getting injured. He joins Jones and Scales on the injured list from the arsenal game. Babb soon joins briefly as does dominic matteo.

The league goes on as rush and fowler again destroy the hapless Leicester before Norwich's top flight status is all but ended when Harkness and Rush do the damage.

Neil ruddock then does his groin at Wimbledon in a 0-0 draw and misses the remaining matches. The remaining two away matches leave a bitter taste in the mouth as Liverpool lose 2-0 at villa and then go 3-0 down at west ham thanks to old boy Don Hutchison.

Yet the reds have a telling part to play in the championship, Blackburn visit Anfield for the title knowing a win will guarantee them the league. If Liverpool win it all but hands the title to Man United. The squad is depleted as Jones, Rright, Ruddock, Bjornebye and Rush are injured. Scales breaks his nose colliding with Phil Babb late in the game too. The big question is "will we throw it to stop united winning”.

Blackburn press on and Shearer gives them the lead. Even Liverpool fans cheer for Blackburn such is their hatred of united. The image of a man infront of me with Ruddock 25 cheering for Blackburn is startling. Liverpool aren't to be outdone, players like Harkness, Matteo,Clough, Thomas and Kennedy are keen to impress to stake a claim for a first team spot and John Barnes rams home the equalizer.

In injury time Jamie Redknapp strikes the winner, but then images come through on the screen of Gary Pallister in tears as United can only draw at West Ham in a must win and lose the title to Blackburn. Everyone goes home happy. We finish 4th, a huge improvement. And as Blackburn celebrate with the trophy and Kenny Dalglish, the kopites have every reason to believe that the title will be celebrated again at Anfield next season only with a Liverpool player next time. There is the genuine feeling that one or two buys will give Liverpool the 00mph to wrestle back the title.

We wait with anticipation for the season to come round hoping for a fully fit squad and the rumor mill links us with Mark Draper, Jason Mcateer and Stan Collymore. The purchase of Mark Kennedy is also an exciting prospect, August is already well looked forward to as Evans begins getting the purse strings in order. The title is the target and the Kopites now walk the street with pride knowing next year could be the year”

Written by 'Hellrazor' (2006)
.
.
 
Last edited:

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
#3 The 1994/95 Season

On 2nd April 1995, Liverpool travelled to Wembley for the 1995 Coca-Cola Cup Final where they faced Bolton Wanderers in front of 75,595 spectators: The "Steve McManaman" Final….

It was Liverpools first Wembley appearance since the 1992 Charity Shield. Roy Evans’ team were favourites going into the game and nearly took the lead early on with both Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush going close. Liverpool did open the scoring in the 37th minute, Steve McManaman collected a John Barnes pass and elogently pushed the ball past Alan Stubbs and gliding past full back Scott Green, unleashed a timid shot which somehow managed to creep past Boltons goalkeeper Keith Branagan.

Steve produced a memorable man of the match display in Wembley where from kick off he proceeded to terrorise the Bolton defence with his close control, balance and pace. Stig Bjornebye nearly scored Liverpools second just after 52 minutes but his shot rebounded back off the post.

Liverpool made it 2-0 midway through the second half, McManaman cutting in from the left, shrugged off Scott Greens attempted tackle and beat McAtter with ease before curling a low right footed shot beyond Branagan’s left hand. It was a wonderful performance from McManaman.


Alan Thompson did score an almost instantaneous reply but Liverpool held on to claim the 1995 Cola Cola Cup. Memories of Ian Rush, captain on the day, lifting the League Cup will be cherished forever. Rush had become the first man ever to collect five winners medals in the competition.

Steve McManamans man of the match display will always be symbolic to Liverpool winning their fifth League Cup. McManaman recieved his medal and man of the match award from Sir Stanley Matthews, who was guest of honour.

Liverpool’s Team: David James, John Scales, Phil Babb, Stig Inge Bjornebye, Rob Jones, Neil Ruddock, Steve McManaman, Jamie Redknapp, John Barnes, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush
.
.
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
#3 The 1994/95 Season

That Summer we did almost no transfer business at all. The only incoming being Michael Stensgaard, a Danish goalkeeper, who went down in LFC folklore by injurying himself putting up an ironing board and never playing a competitive first team game.
Ah Billy, i'd totally forgotten about Michael Stensgaard and his ironing board!! He had originally dislocated his shoulder in training and was rebuilding the muscles in it but while at home when moving an ironing board his shoulder just popped out!

Michael Stensgaard, the man who was tipped to be the new Danish Peter Schmeichel but instead remembered for an ironing board and the man who failed to make a single appearance after arriving in 1994 from Hvidovre for £400,000 to compete with David James for the place vacated by Bruce Grobbelaar between the Anfield posts...
.
.
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
Many of our older players are only remembered because of fans like you telling tales and stories and passing them on to the younger generation.... Keep the memories coming, reminisce and share your memories here in this thread!


THE LEGEND OF HEROES

#4 - RONNIE WHELAN



How do you remember Ronnie in a Liverpool shirt? What match epitomized his grit and determination? What were his strengths/weaknesses? What are your best memories of him as a player? His debut goal? That League Cup final against Manchester United? How will he be described in generations to come?

In detailed analysis, describe and let us know here how you will always remember Ronnie Whelan during his Liverpool career?
.
.
 

Billy Biskix

TIA Youth Team
Ad-free Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
2,622
There was a time when our scouting was quite good. Whelan replaced Ray Kennedy, one of my favourite ever LFC players, in the 81/82 season. We won the title that season like we normally did back then, but it wasn't a routine title win. We came from miles back after a terrible first half of the season and when a lot of people had written us off. Whelan, just 20, became a regular during the run-in as we gradually overhauled Ipswich.

I was at Anfield on 15 May 1982 when Ronnie Whelan ran on to a long punt downfield from Bruce Grobbelaar and smashed home in front of the Kop. It was the goal that sealed victory against Spurs and secured the title. I'll never forget that goal or any other detail of that incredible day.

Whelan went on to become a first team regular for years. He was under-rated. The sort of player you didn't really notice until he wasn't there and then you realised how much the team missed him. He was a complete midfielder. A good passer of the ball, strong in the tackle, scored goals (usually very important ones). He stood out as a leader during a period when we had a lot of natural leaders in the team. Injuries meant that we didn't see much of him once KD left first time round and we missed him badly under Souness. At £35,000 I'd say he was one of LFC's bargains of all time.
 

DEVGRU

Banned for the umpteenth time
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
10,059
Ronnie Whelan was an accomplished center mid who played in the mould of an Alonso who was a delicate but accurate passer of the ball across the midfield along side Steve McMahon in a top class Liverpool midfield that dominated english football at a time when liverpool were banned from Europe and were competing only in domestic tournaments and the old division 1.

He was the sort of midfielder who went about his business without much funfare, was a solid passer of the ball be it short or long and had good pace and movement when he was not injured. He was an integral part of the 85-86 double winning side who I remember vividly with some sublime passing not only to the wings but through the middle..and never got the attention or the praise I felt on many occassions he ought to have gotten..

One of the great midfielders of our time.
 

cardiffpete

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
3,641
It's very tough to rate Ronnie Whelan fully. Sheer consistency from him aka he literally almost never had a bad game ...whilst he was frequently very decisive as well. From his first game until his last, he was class personified on the pitch for us. His utter class and consistency in CM has probably never been repeated, to this day. Can't even think of any CM who has even vaguely approached his level of consistency (for us) in the past 20 years, and that's sad to say.

Whelan and Rushie ultimately came into the team at exactly the same moment (aka a dismal 13th place showing on Boxing Day 1981, after a terrible loss to City then) and they both roomed together too ... and neither of the two left our first team ever again, for over a decade+ ever after - except Rushie out to Juve (and back again) and Whelan only basically ever dropped for just the one game aka by Kenny in the 1988 FA Cup Final (and the upset loss to Wimbledon then).

If you never saw Whelan play ...then I simply just cannot tell you how good he was. It's just next-to-impossible to describe him ...and there is almost no video evidence available either. A 20 year-old kid, who smashed 17 goals in his debut-season, including Wembley winners and title-deciding goals and he also carried that stuff on for the next few years. Then a re-conversion to possibly the finest DM that we've ever had too. He set our tempo and he was the one to launch Barnes in attack too. Just utter quality and a really proper player. He just oozed quality at that CM slot, both in defense and in initiating attacks and also in his controlling the tempo of our games.

In our greatest ever team's, Whelan wasn't just a guy who ever made up the numbers, he was very probably quintessential to these teams and he was at the very heartbeat of these teams too ..and it would be very hard to remember these teams without his influence (which was a huge influence). John Barnes said this May 2015 "What Liverpool always did, even from when Ronnie Whelan and Ian Rush were young ...was they got rid of one or two old ones, they brought one or two young ones in but they kept the core ...and then after the young Ian Rush and Ronnie Whelan became more experienced, they then got rid of the older ones and then others came through ...Then Souness became manager, Ronnie Whelan would have been thirty, Ian Rush would have been thirty ...but he wanted to shake it up. So I think that what Souness tried to do was change it too soon. He didn't keep with the formula"

Whelan impacted 18 crucial games (with either goals or assists) and very few other LFC players have ever done that, plus he was just brilliant in our CM for about 4 years too. Probably his ultimate successor in the EPL era was Roy Keane here, aka a player not quite so classy ...but also a real winner too.

Whelan came into our team, as a 20 y.o. kid , at the very high-point of our incredible successes ...and he then instantly became undroppable for the next 12 years (bar Kenny's brain-fart for the Wimbledon Final in '88) for a decade or so ...and it was no more than he deserved either. Just a class player for us! I really can't think of any player who has hit a better level for us, than Whelan myself. His skill-level was just exceptional, either LW or CM.
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
Great memories Billy Biskix, Devgru and cardiffpete!

I've so many fond memories of Ronnie Whelan... The match i'll always remember will be that League Cup Final victory over Manchester United in 1983. So many memories of that match, still have visions of the players walking up the steps at Wembley, team captain Graeme Souness stepping aside requesting that Bob Paisley take the honor of collecting the Milk Cup. Bob Paisley’s last ever final at Wembley after announcing his decision to retire at the end of that season.

Ronnie Whelan had a talent for scoring spectacular and crucial goals but Liverpool's second goal on that final day will be one i'll always remember. Extra time came and with just 8 minutes gone, Ronnie Whelan stepped up with a magnificent swerving shot which beat Manchester United at Wembley in 1983....
.
.
 

cardiffpete

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
3,641
Another couple of little tidbits re: Whelan.

1) It's Boxing day 1981 ...and City come to Anfield and then they smash us 1-3, with a hapless Grobelaar on-show. This will be LFC's 6th Anfield defeat in slightly-less-then-a-calendar year and it plunges LFC into huge trouble, languishing in an unprecedented 13th place over the New Year period. Every pundit, every newspaper, all-of the Bookies etc have long since written-off LFC for any chance of a title, by then. This is seen as the final nail in the coffin for LFC, after finishing 5th the previous season and in the midst of some radical re-building stuff too. Remember here, that LFC had actually gone throughout an entire decade (the '70's) while suffering only 5 Home defeats in the process ...aka just 5 home defeats in approx 10 1/2 years of football, before then suffering 6 quick-fire Home defeats in just about 10 months all-throughout 1981. Fortress Anfield was creaking! Paisley, Fagan, Ronnie Moran and the rest of the Bootroom staff then held crisis meetings until New Year. Phil Thompson was stripped-of the Captaincy and Souey got it instead, Whelan and Rushie were promoted straight-into first-team and never left-it (at the expense of the wonderful Ray Kennedy and David Johnson ...and both players then left the club very soon). Whelan's promotion was actually a massive surprise, as Kevin Sheedy was always regarded as the real heir-apparent to Ray Kennedy here. Kevin Sheedy was by-far our very-best LW/inside-left prospect in our Reserves and he was a truly wonderful player as well, one with an exquisite left-foot. Crosses, set-pieces, you name it ...and Kevin Sheedy was just boss at it. But Paisley just saw something in Whelan instead ...and Whelan was very far from being any sort-of natural-fit at LW. He couldn't (ever) cross it, nor beat a man on the dribble, nor was he a set-piece specialist either - all very unlike Sheedy here. Whean wasn't even left-footed (he was right-footed, but he could use his left too pretty well. But Whelan simply had that unmistakeable bit-of-class about him that just saw Paisley favour him. Sheedy also saw the writing-on-the-wall very fast here and he said "Once Ronnie made first team, I knew straight-away I couldn't compete there anymore and I knew I wouldn't make it at LFC" and in the summer he broke the Merseyside code ...to just force a move to Howard Kendall's Everton in a very bitter transfer dispute. David Johnson soon joined him too. Next season, Sheedy won their POTY with 12 MOTM awards ...and he then went on to be the 2nd best LW throughout the '80's, behind only Ronnie. How did we fare after that Boxing Day debacle? We then went 20-3-2 for the remainder of the season, destroyed City 5-0 in the return fixture and we just aced our 13th Title. We also smashed City the next Boxing Day (with another 5 goal-haul then) and our single-year-record then read. Just 5 losses in 43 games, with 108 goals scored and just 30 conceded. Not too bad for a team, that had been more-or-less completely written-off.

Just (as a very small aside here). We only lost 5 home games in the 1970's ....and despite the 6 quick-fire Anfield losses, that had so tested Paisely in 1981, thn next time we recorded another 6 Home defeats was over 5 1/2 years later ....and we finished the decade at 18 Home losses. The '90's btw saw us lose 32 Home games, while the (Rafa-based ...and it really was mostly only Rafa here) 00's saw another 20 Home Losses. Currently, we have 18 Home losses now in the mid 10's.

Another tiny aside here, and after Ronnie scored the title-winning goal in our penultimate game ...so we then played a meaningless last-game against Boro on the Tuesday, evening kick-off. The lads then got sloshed in the Pub before that game, with about 5 pints each, before going to Ayresome Park to play the game. Throughout that final game-of-the-season, every LFC player then did everything to win throw-ins for us and to win the right to take them for us. The result was irrelevant (we actually drew 0-0) ...but the prize for taking a throw-in, was Joe Fagan offering the "taker" a paper cup (along the sideline before taking it) filled with Scotch. And our Bootroom guys took 5 bottles of Scotch to that game. It's not the first (or last) time LFC players took-to-the-pitch, totally p*ssed-out-of-their-brains either. At one end-of-season awards, the LFC players p*ssed-it-up and then we won by 5 the very next day. Not that I advocate that stuff, but we could also do it too aka play drunk.

2) It's early March 1993 (under the very darkest days of Souey's reign for us) and I'm back at Anfield for some rare games (about 6 games in total). After Hillsborough, I'd left the City for good (as you do) and thus only saw us play irregularly, from then-on ...for a very long while. My reason to leave was not actually Hillborough-related, just life-changes and basic moving-on stuff. Anyways, the game is ManU at Home and I'd also been to the Home game against ManU just one year earlier, when we had crushed their small remaining hopes of ending their own 25-year long drought (without a title) and then we serenaded them off-the-pitch to the (scouse humour stuff) and the totally suitable (Monty Python classic) of "Always look on the bright side of life". Haha.

History tends to bite you in the ass though, and Ferguson's side simply tore us apart to record their first Anfield win (in years) on their way to their signature first title in years. Souey's LFC side looked an absymal, sorry mess and a real joke of a side ... completely unrecognizable from LFC, of only 3~4 years previously. Remember, we still did have Barnes, Rushie, Nicol, Molby, Rob Jones, McManaman, Redknapp all on-board then. Stats-wise, this win left LFC hovering just 3 points above relegation and firmly in 15th place in the League. Plus, it left LFC being-on a horror sequence of just one win in our last 15 League games, by then. This game also marked the final pulling-of-the-plug of the 96th Hillsborough victim (days before, in Tony Bland and after years in a vegetative state) as well as paying homage to the brutal murder of James Bulger (by 2 10-year-old kids, after being kidnapped from the Strand in Bootle and then executed at North Anfield). A minutes's silence is only 2 decades-old in Football, but we held one that day. Did the Mancs' respect it? Hell no! Their fans chanted "Murderers, murderers" all througout it, which enraged everyone at the ground ...and then they comprehensively beat us on the pitch too.

Next game up (at Anfield) and we were by-then getting our tickets almost for-free from the touts (and not even minutes after kick-off - but long-before kick-off too), as there were no simply takers anymore. So, one of us then spots Whelan warming-up. Is that him/ Is he still at our club / Where has he been etc? Was he injured (yes, and for 6 months+ out)? I'm just thrilled to see Whelan back myself, but surely it is not going to make any difference for us? We are simply unrecognizable anymore. Memories also fade and seriously cloud our judgment, as fans. We maybe sometimes serially "big-up" a player long-gone (in our own minds) and award them some mythical status, all based on belief-based memories. I always "knew" that Whelan was utter class for us ...but was that really "real" knowledge or just some belief cq wish-based stuff. Maybe he was only good (or looked good) because he was surrounded by the very best? It took just 10 seconds to dispel any of that nonsense (second-guessing) thoughts. Hutch got fouled in CM and Ronnie then latched on the ultra-quick free-kick to send Rushie one-on-one with the keeper. Like LFC of-old that!. Seconds later, Whelan won a crunching tackle and instantly fed Barnes down the wing, with a thoroughbred slide-rule pass into the run. The rest of the game was a good old-fashioned (non-stop) LFC onslaught from start-to-finish. Just a one goal win, but 2 missed penalties and another 4 off the bar/post. Very briefly, we had gone back in time, to watching a rampant LFC ...and Souey said after the game "It's been a very long time since I've seen any central midfielder play a game of football like that. All the more amazing, considering it's his first game in a long while". Whelan then lasted 9 games until his next injury and we lost only one of these (and we got 5th or 6th from that run) ...and we sometimes looked almost like the LFC of-old along the way. Whelan upped our level (maybe 2 or even 3 levels as well) simply from his very first ball-contact ...and simply by being there. It didn't last of course, as it was just ultimately papering over some shocking and alarming cracks ...but it was a semi-instant throwback to yesteryear at the same time. Roy Evans did actually build a side that might have won the title back 3~4 years later (on the back of McManaman/Fowler and with Barnes at the DM stuff), but it was still a very lightweight side, compared to years before ...and Roy Keane just out-muscled us then, not by being anything better - but just by wanting it more. Very, very briefly though, Whelan transformed LFC from less-than-nothing to an (almost) magical team again ...just simply by playing for us in CM, and only by doing what he had always done - and nothing more.

3) LFC play away and a guy is all-over Ronnie from the start, shutting him down and harrying him everywhere. At half-time, the lads in the dressing room are saying "Who the hell is this guy, on Ronnie?" Nobody knows. Ronnie then (as we simply had to win every game back then), just decides to take-him-out with a vicious tackle. We win the game then. In the return fixture, the very same lad is back again, for more of the same. In those days of very little cameras and no ultra slow-motion replays (from every angle), Ronnie is thinking about hitting him hard again ...but the other lad gets there first. He takes Ronnie out completely, but Ronnie is not hurt at all. The other lad (however) stands over him and whispers "That's what you get, if you f**k with me!". Whelan cannot retaliate himself (or else yellow), so he asks McMahon to do it instead, which he does. But that lad simply never does go away. Our opponents? Forest. The lad? Roy Keane? After these games, everyone at LFC should have moved heaven-and-earth to just sign Keane for us. Whelan landed 19 major trophies for us ...and Keane then (laterly) matched that too. A guy does that and he shows that ..and you just buy him ...and we really could have and we really should have too. Nobody ever matched-up against Ronnie in CM for us, never, and came out on top. Keane didn't either, but he came almighty close to doing so. A year-or-two before Ferguson went for him, but it was already clear that he was very special. We didn't though ..and the rest is history. No heir-apparent ever came for Ronnie (and many others too) ...and we went from dross-to-dross instead. Not always of course, but it was an incredibly long wait in most cases, to see anything like the sheer level of quality that we once had on a (basic) conveyor-belt.
 
Last edited:

shankly96

Dissolver of sugar
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
3,307
Broomy's asked for me to post, but before I get to my story I'll do my favourite memories of the things set so far, please bear with me:
1) Emlyn Hughes- I was not alive. Didn't see him play. Didn't even see him on A Question of Sport.
2) Luis Garcia- Juve 2005. People bang on about the Chelsea "goal" because it was the semi, but his goal against Juve that year was one of the best lobs I've ever seen. Inch perfect and showed just how good he could be when he wanted.
3) 1994/95 Season- I wasn't alive for this either.
4) Ronnie Whelan- I wasn't alive.

Sorry for the long paragraphs there :tongue:


My love affair began in 1999 with Micheal Owen. My family are all from Stepney and, by default, West Ham fans. My parents divorced '97, my mum and brothers and me moved up to Northampton in '99. My Dad had us down in London for a weekend and on the Friday took my brother's to their first match, by the sounds of it a cracking game, 5-3 to West Ham. I didn't go however, Friday night game at Upton Park isn't the right place for a 3 year old, and a good thing too otherwise i'd probably have supported West Ham because of that match. Instead I was left with my nan while they went to the game, and I didn't really know my nan at that time, so, like most toddlers who are left with people they don't really know I started crying and wailing and complaining and throwing the biggest hissy fit I've ever thrown. To shut me up my nan went to the nearest shop and got me the first football related thing she could, a poster book of Micheal Owen (which I still have).

Owen continued to be the focus of my early childhood. My brothers and me would wake up at 7 in the morning on a Saturday (a sin for schoolboys) and watch Match of the Day, them to see West Ham and me to see Owen. Most weeks I'd see Owen score, and fairly often Fowler as well, who was the first non-Owen Liverpool player that I was aware of. I also began to like Carragher when he was at right back because I played right back, and I also began to like Hyypiia and Henchoz form a record-breaking partnership until Moaninho's Chelsea came along, and so my awareness began to spread, but still the focus was Owen. I adored him so much that I got a VHS of his first 100 goals for Liverpool (which I also still have). For my sixth birthday (Feb 2002) my mum had written to him explaining how much I idolised him and so for my birthday I got a signed card from him, an annual of the previous season, luckily the season we won everything but the league, which taught me about the club, it's where learned about the other players, the history, Heysel and Hillsborough, Shankly and Paisley and everything else. On top of that he sent an a4 piece of paper with a happy birthday message from the entire squad, signed by all of them. Easily the best present I have ever recieved, it was great of him to send all of that when he didn't have to, I still would have worshipped him, and it gave me the depth of connection to the club that most people only get from being in Liverpool. I still have the annual, and left the card/a4 with my mum (which she'd better not have lost, otherwise there'll be hell to pay).

I didn't really understand much about transfers and things like that so when he went to Madrid all I knew was that I wouldn't see him as much, except for England, but I hoped he carry on being great, You'll Never Walk Alone and all that. Anyway the season that came was the 04/05 season. I didn't know much about why Houllier was gone either, or why Rafa came in, but I liked the arrival of Xabi because I had similar hair back then, so I decided to stick with Liverpool (best reason ever!). I didn't see many league games that year either, but the Champions League matches were watched every time they were on and the standout match at first was Olympiakos, which really engaged me in the club even more. The next game I remember from that year is against West Brom on boxing day when we spanked them 5-0, probably because I think it was the only league match that I saw that year, and then the Champions League run continued. Juve beaten by the aforementioned Garcia, and Chelsea as well. Then Istanbul. The night before my uncle, a QPR fan (unlucky), came round and asked me if I really believed Liverpool would win, and I did. I didn't know about continental footballm or the quality of that AC Milan team. I did know we'd got through every other challenge that year. Who are AC Milan anyway. I spent halftime blasting a football at a fence in my garden. Luckily I didnt give up and neither did Livepool. Gerrard. Then Scmicer. Then Xabi, even if he did nearly give me a heart attack by missing the actual penalty. Then came Carragher's heroics. The Dudek's dancing, something I did at school discos for years after.

After that I was a certified Liverpool fan. I adored the club, the players, and rubbing it in everyone's face that we were the best in Europe that year. The season after was a good one for me. The first time I saw Liverpool live was a week before the FA cup final at Upton Park in the West Ham game. I remember being scared when my dad and brother's insisted that Garcia would be sent off and banned from the final the week after, but it didn't happen. their player got the double booking but ours didn't. They were annoyed at that. I was happy. A week passed and the FA cup rolled on. I was watching downstairs on the proper telly and my brothers were upstairs watching on the little one we'd kept from years ago. They got cocky for a lot of the match. Then I ran upstairs yelling in their faces after Gerrard had his say. Then again after the penalty shoot out. We were the greatest. At least in my mind. Even if we did have Jan Kromkamp.

07 was bittersweet, another great run in the CL, but one that ended in tears. Kuyt earned his stripes with me that year, he scored in the 90th-ish minute to make it 2-1 and I loved him for it, and began to believe we'd actually win a third trophy in a ridiculous come back for a third year. Oh well. Most years I go down to Upton Park with the brothers and my Dad, most years we win. This year they were insufferable, but Raheem scored a craker so I let it slide, and last year they had to put up with beginning to believe we'd win the league. Only been to Anfield once, only had one opportunity really. Gomel. 3-0 to us. Brenda's first game. Johnson scored a lovely goal, Borini got on the scoresheet, and Suarez finished them off. Hopefully I'll get to go Anfield some more in the future, can't just keep seeing them against West Ham only, it's not that great a fixture. The years have rolled on, some great players have come and gone, so have some absolutely shit ones. Trophies have dried up, but my love remains. Liverpool's more than a club for me, more than an obsession. In many ways it's a part of me. My week depends on it, and the impact it has on my mood is ridiculous. Still haven't felt for another player quite the way I felt about Owen, not even Stevie, but Owen's gone, so's Gerrard. So is everyone from the beginning of my Liverpool time. I felt old when Carragher retired because he'd been playing all my life, I feel older still now Gerrard's gone, but next season I'll be watching Coutinho and waiting for him to make me feel like a kid again. Roll on next year. Next year will be our year. Next year the little magician will pull off his biggest trick and return us to where we belong, to the top of the tree...hopefully
 
Last edited:

AussieLad

TIA Regular
Ad-free Member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,855
Not much more to add about Ronnie that others haven't already expressed in more eloquent terms than I could. But the one thing that many seem to overlook when talking about him, is not just his high level of work ethic (something that was synonymous with all of our teams in the 70s, 80s and early 90s), but how well he used that as a foil for Skippy, who also worked damn hard, but was unmatched in his energy and fitness and so often lacked the positional and tactical discipline to hold down a spot in the starting XI.
 

cardiffpete

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
3,641
Not much more to add about Ronnie that others haven't already expressed in more eloquent terms than I could. But the one thing that many seem to overlook when talking about him, is not just his high level of work ethic (something that was synonymous with all of our teams in the 70s, 80s and early 90s), but how well he used that as a foil for Skippy, who also worked damn hard, but was unmatched in his energy and fitness and so often lacked the positional and tactical discipline to hold down a spot in the starting XI.
You could write a book about Skippy (aka Craig Johnston) haha.

He suddenly retired from the game at just 28 y.o., just off-the-back of our greatest ever season in 1987~88 , to nurse a very sick relative. He then designed the Adidas Predator series of footie boots basically single-handed (on the back of a pretty wacky idea that players couldn't "feel" the ball enough, and/or else couldn't give it enough curve ...so he spend much of his spare time trying to put "table-tennis bats" studs onto a footie boot, to much derision along the way. That Predator series then sold 100's of millions of pairs, but he went still bankrupt a few years later, after selling-out his stake ultra-cheap. Then he became a software-designer (twice), a music producer, a surf-board designer and an almost pro-photographer too, constantly re-inventing himself along the way. Surely a restless spirit.

Craig also famously described himself as ..."When I was playing for Liverpool, I was probably the worst player in the best team in the world." Yes, he was indeed very-often our worst player ...but you simply must qualify that stuff too. To simply make that team (at all) was already a supreme achievement in itself. It's like saying that Jordi Alba was Barca's worst player (in and around their best XI) this past season. Craig had his very many uses for us and his (Kuyt style Duracell-bunny stuff) was chief amongst them. He'd run all day and he'd never stop hitting the right-flank either. Some greats (like Sheedy) only played 5 games for us, while Dave Watson never even got a single game aka next-to-impossible to break-up the Hansen-Thompson-Lawro CB stuff for us, though Watson went on to sign for Everton and play 15 years for them. Craig however actually wore the shirt more than 270 times for us ...and he never gave anything less then 100% along the way. He was the more-or-less perfect foil (as you mention) for a player like Ronnie. So much attention gravitated towards Craig and his ultra-direct running style and his sheer energy ...that that just opened gaps for some of our other players, gaps that would never have been there otherwise. Even Rushie benefited too from that sort-of-stuff. So much focus on our ultra-aggressive right-side, that it continually drew defenders in and exposed them elsewhere

Paisley just absolutely loved the very lop-sided 4-4-2 (from Craig's debut in 81~82), where Paisley would just hit teams non-stop down one flank aka our right-flank then (with Lawro at RB, Kenny always serially drifting towards the right, Sammy Lee (partnering Souey) always strongly hitting the right-side too and then another superb all-action player (like Craig) just sucking players in. Then we'd instantly switch it over to the (abandoned) left ...and then (the more-overlooked) Whelan or Rushie stealing-in there for us. Joe Fagan never really appreciated Craig quite so much though aka he had far more continental ideas about a much more-balanced set-up, so Joe went for both wings offering the same recipe.

But then Kenny took over and once again Craig was fully-utilized again. He was a huge and a massive part of our '85~86 season, with his thrusting and lung-breaking runs occupying defenses on our right, on the back of an ultra-solid CM spine of Kevin McDonald and others. Also a great Jim Beglin effort at LB. But that team then fell-apart after 2 horror leg-breaks for both Kevin and Beglin the next season. Kevin at the Dell in early September and Beglin against Everton in the Cup in a double leg-break (a very uncommon football injury aka leg-breaks). Neither player played for us ever again and Everton also took the crown then.

Craig's real chance at salvation was in 1987~88, but by then Kenny had suddenly flipped our very lop-sided 4-4-2 system to the other side of the pitch (to accommodate Barnes on board) - so exactly the same template was still on-show aka a very dominant single flank for us, ...except it was now our left-flank that was the very dominant one (with Nicol supporting Barnes there ...and then a player "ghosting in" from the opposite flank was probably the absolute must requirement, which Craig was ill-equipped to deliver for us. So after about 3 months into the season, Kenny went out and bought Ray Houghton to give him that cutting-in threat (from the lesser utilized flank). Just a real misfortune for Craig in so-many ways that Kenny had now found a way to attack off-of a solid base on the wrong side of the pitch for him. He still played very well, whenever called-upon, aka the Cup Quarter away to City etc. I've always had a soft-spot for Skippy myself.

A wonderful player for us though. Why do you retire at just 28? I dunno. Cantona also did something a bit similar too. Skippy never gave anything less than 100% for us though ...his engine, his dedication, his industry, his self-belief. Just a typical Aussie guy, who was never short in the confidence stakes. I think every LFC fan was gutted ...when he eventually called it a day at just 28 y.o. He had so much left to give us and he could have easily hung around for another 4~5 years and still have been a very useful player to have around.
 



AussieLad

TIA Regular
Ad-free Member
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
4,855
You could write a book about Skippy (aka Craig Johnston) haha.

He suddenly retired from the game at just 28 y.o., just off-the-back of our greatest ever season in 1987~88 , to nurse a very sick relative. He then designed the Adidas Predator series of footie boots basically single-handed (on the back of a pretty wacky idea that players couldn't "feel" the ball enough, and/or else couldn't give it enough curve ...so he spend much of his spare time trying to put "table-tennis bats" studs onto a footie boot, to much derision along the way. That Predator series then sold 100's of millions of pairs, but he went still bankrupt a few years later, after selling-out his stake ultra-cheap. Then he became a software-designer (twice), a music producer, a surf-board designer and an almost pro-photographer too, constantly re-inventing himself along the way. Surely a restless spirit.

Craig also famously described himself as ..."When I was playing for Liverpool, I was probably the worst player in the best team in the world." Yes, he was indeed very-often our worst player ...but you simply must qualify that stuff too. To simply make that team (at all) was already a supreme achievement in itself. It's like saying that Jordi Alba was Barca's worst player (in and around their best XI) this past season. Craig had his very many uses for us and his (Kuyt style Duracell-bunny stuff) was chief amongst them. He'd run all day and he'd never stop hitting the right-flank either. Some greats (like Sheedy) only played 5 games for us, while Dave Watson never even got a single game aka next-to-impossible to break-up the Hansen-Thompson-Lawro CB stuff for us, though Watson went on to sign for Everton and play 15 years for them. Craig however actually wore the shirt more than 270 times for us ...and he never gave anything less then 100% along the way. He was the more-or-less perfect foil (as you mention) for a player like Ronnie. So much attention gravitated towards Craig and his ultra-direct running style and his sheer energy ...that that just opened gaps for some of our other players, gaps that would never have been there otherwise. Even Rushie benefited too from that sort-of-stuff. So much focus on our ultra-aggressive right-side, that it continually drew defenders in and exposed them elsewhere

Paisley just absolutely loved the very lop-sided 4-4-2 (from Craig's debut in 81~82), where Paisley would just hit teams non-stop down one flank aka our right-flank then (with Lawro at RB, Kenny always serially drifting towards the right, Sammy Lee (partnering Souey) always strongly hitting the right-side too and then another superb all-action player (like Craig) just sucking players in. Then we'd instantly switch it over to the (abandoned) left ...and then (the more-overlooked) Whelan or Rushie stealing-in there for us. Joe Fagan never really appreciated Craig quite so much though aka he had far more continental ideas about a much more-balanced set-up, so Joe went for both wings offering the same recipe.

But then Kenny took over and once again Craig was fully-utilized again. He was a huge and a massive part of our '85~86 season, with his thrusting and lung-breaking runs occupying defenses on our right, on the back of an ultra-solid CM spine of Kevin McDonald and others. Also a great Jim Beglin effort at LB. But that team then fell-apart after 2 horror leg-breaks for both Kevin and Beglin the next season. Kevin at the Dell in early September and Beglin against Everton in the Cup in a double leg-break (a very uncommon football injury aka leg-breaks). Neither player played for us ever again and Everton also took the crown then.

Craig's real chance at salvation was in 1987~88, but by then Kenny had suddenly flipped our very lop-sided 4-4-2 system to the other side of the pitch (to accommodate Barnes on board) - so exactly the same template was still on-show aka a very dominant single flank for us, ...except it was now our left-flank that was the very dominant one (with Nicol supporting Barnes there ...and then a player "ghosting in" from the opposite flank was probably the absolute must requirement, which Craig was ill-equipped to deliver for us. So after about 3 months into the season, Kenny went out and bought Ray Houghton to give him that cutting-in threat (from the lesser utilized flank). Just a real misfortune for Craig in so-many ways that Kenny had now found a way to attack off-of a solid base on the wrong side of the pitch for him. He still played very well, whenever called-upon, aka the Cup Quarter away to City etc. I've always had a soft-spot for Skippy myself.

A wonderful player for us though. Why do you retire at just 28? I dunno. Cantona also did something a bit similar too. Skippy never gave anything less than 100% for us though ...his engine, his dedication, his industry, his self-belief. Just a typical Aussie guy, who was never short in the confidence stakes. I think every LFC fan was gutted ...when he eventually called it a day at just 28 y.o. He had so much left to give us and he could have easily hung around for another 4~5 years and still have been a very useful player to have around.
Skippy is my favorite Aussie of all time. I loved how he fought back from so many setbacks and always gets back to his feet. But it is also his self-deprecation and his honesty. He was the player, that just went about his job with minimal fuss but he always gave 100%

Regarding him retiring at 28, his sister was in a massive accident in Morrocco the Nov/Dec that season and ended up being left needing 24hr care, so he wanted to return to Newcastle to help his parents with that and to also help raise her daughter.
 

Limiescouse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
13,291
It's actually quite sad how little love Johnson has for his footballing past these days. I met him in my local here in Orlando about 5 years ago and experienced it first hand.

It was a quiet night, only about 5 people in there when I walked in, and I didn't even recognize him sitting across the bar from me, but then who would if the last image of him you saw was that a man 20+ years younger. The barman brought him to my attention and asked if I knew who it was - I didnt. After about 10 minutes it came to me and the barman confirmed only under condition that I didnt pester him, and warned me about the frosty reception he got earlier after trying to talk football with him. I went over to say hi and introduce myself as a Liverpool fan and he was totally disinterested. It was almost like Russell Crowe being so dismissive of his "music career". He wasn't rude by any means, but it was clear that even being thanked for his Liverpool days was not something he valued. Apparently he was in town for a showing of his photography work in the gallery next door so I promised him I'd go and see it, bid him a good night and went back to my seat.
 

El_Pistolero

TIA New Signing
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
21
It's been a long, long time since I've really thought about Ronnie Whelan in any great depth, or, just how good he actually was, but reading the stories about him brings back a lot of great memories because I absolutely loved him growing up.
I think he was one of every true Liverpool fan's favourite players because he was Mr Reliable.
The lasting mental image I will always have of him was the winning goal in extra time against Utd. in the League Cup Final and the unbridled joy on his face as he ran off celebrating, arms aloft, after he had just curled the ball in to the top corner, it was an absolute joy to behold.
I remember him being the complete midfielder, especially after he moved in to a more central role a few years after breaking in to the team. He always appeared so calm and composed, he never looked ruffled in posession, even when being harried and closed down.
He was one of the many midfield 'generals' we seemed to have when I was a kid (Souness, McMahon, Molby to name a few) and he complemented so many of them and the other top quality footballers we had over the many years he was at the club.
He never had a problem playing with anyone and he forged many a great partnership, to me it was because he allowed so many of the others to just go and play their game, knowing Whelan would be there behind them to mop up, snuff out any danger and then set us back on the front foot.
He had a bit of everything about him, a great engine, his work-ethic and commitment was like Dirk Kuyt's, he ran tirelessly for you and always had rosy cheeks from the effort he put in to each performance.
He could control a game like Alonso, often keeping it simple, but dictating the tempo from the middle of the park and he had the ability to read the game and break the opposition play up like Masch did and this was all long before the 'Makelele' role became fashionable.
He very rarely mis-placed a pass, whether it was the simple five yard pass or the long cross-field raking passes many now associate with Gerrard and Alonso. I remember he used to be able to pass with the inside or the outside of his boot with ease, he seemed to caress the ball when he passed it, it always looked effortless for him, when it clearly wasn't, as I often found out when I tried to emulate him at centre mid when playing footy for the school or with my mates.
He chipped in with many a vital goal too, showing fantastic composure in front of goal for a midfielder, often passing the ball in to the net and he seemed to save his best for the big games.
I always felt he was under-rated by the pundits, the media and other fans, everyone but the Liverpool supporters who recognised his contribution week in and week out.
He was also a great ambassador for the club, particularly around that terrible time just after Hillsborough, he often captained the side and did the media interviews and did so with great composure and reverence. It took us a long time to find someone to replace him properly.
 

cardiffpete

TIA Reserve Team
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
3,641
I'll touch on a very painful period in our history here:

The Souey experiment as manager ...and our resultant downfall as a club.

Souey inherited a team (in 1991~92) that was seriously ageing aka an average age of approx 30 years old, a smallish squad to boot and one with no obvious mid-age range back-ups to play the supporting cast roles.Souey's team that he inherited, with age and (my own, and also decimal point) ratings out of 10 included.

Grobelaar (33 / 7.2)
Nicol (29 / 8.6) Gillespie (30 /7.6) Hysen (32 / 5.9) Staunton (22 / 6.6)
Houghton (29 / 8.3) Whelan (30 / 8.8) McMahon (30 / 8.4) Barnes (27 / 8.9)
Beardsley (30 / 8.8) Rushie (30 / 8.8)​

Back-ups: Molby (CM, 28 / 7.6), Venison (RB, 27 / 6.1), Redknapp (CM, 18 / 7.1), Burrows (LB, 23 / 5.8), Harkness (LB, 20 / 5.2), Ablett (LB 25 /6), Hutchison (CM 20 / 5.5), Hooper (GK 27/ 5.5), Marsh (LW 22/ 5.5), Tanner (CB, 26 / 5), Speedie (Striker, 32 / 5.2), Carter (Winger, 26 / 5.0), Fowler (Striker, 16 / 5.0 ...just a point in time rating here btw, as he would soar well above an "8.6", as he matured more), McManaman (Winger, 19 / 7.2 (then, maybe rising to 8.5 although much later) an dRosnthal (Striker, 28 / 5.5) .

Just look at that stuff for one tiny moment here. The first XI are still clear title contenders, but only if they could keep fit for most of the season (very difficult, with age etc) ....but we were also paper-thin and there are almost no back-ups available. There is also a massive surplus of LB's (with 4 in the squad) ...but still no real LFC quality at all there, although Staunton was pretty OK, aka the best of a sorry bunch. We had only one nominal CB left, after Hansen's retirement and we had no depth at all there. No back-up on the wings, one decent CM alternative in Molby (and maybe a very young Redknapp too here, who was also OKish).

How would you then go about replacing almost an entire team in maybe a very short 2~3 years timeframe, with only a few talents coming through? Souey just got very radical here, by simply ditching 4 of his starting XI players almost instantly ...with all-of Staunton (the only half-decent LB we had) being sold (to Villa), Gillespie (his only remaining good CB) also sold, McMahon (perhaps declining a bit in box-to-box stuff, but still our 2nd best CM, and by miles) also sold-on ... and the absolute clusterf**k of a move, in ditching the superb Beardsley too (and for absolute peanuts, and to Everton of all clubs). Beardsley might have been the oldest "senior player" left and Kenny had also dropped-him for almost all the big games and for about 2 seasons too, but he was 100% tee-total and a total professional too ...and he went-on to get another 200+ games and about 75 goals and 75 assists in them too. Ablett was also sold (which left us with nothing at all at LB anymore) and Glenn Hysen also departed very fast, after he commented to the media "Nobody (on the playing staff) is happy anymore, but nobody wants to speak about it". He also culled Speedie and Carter, and no problems with that

Souey then bought Mark Wright, a CB that Bobby Robson had wonderfully deployed as a sweeper for England, but who was maybe slightly unsuited to a back-four set-up, Michael Thomas was also added as a box-to-box type, Mark Walters followed Souey from Rangers (where he was great, but he was just never LFC-quality) and Dean Saunders was acquired for a British transfer record-fee. The one good one added was Rob Jones at RB ...but it was just transfer-madness personified. 4 senior players out and thus ripping the team apart ...and just a few bits-and-pieces of incidental dross being added, more madness-than-method. We were then well-short that season ..and no surprise there.

The next season (1992~3) was even more madness and saw Ray Houghton (our very best player of that entire (previous) season ...and on the short-list of 6 for EPL player-of-the-season) instantly being moved-on to Villa and Saunders (a probable mistake and not ever true LFC quality, but also not quite dross) also departing for Villa at a discount ...and Villa then spanked our butts with 4 goals at Anfield a fortnight after, with Saunders netting 2 and assisting one, Houghton setting-up 2 goals and Staunton also doing OK. Talk about Karma. Souey also jettisoned Venison then in that window ...and he paid huge for Paul Stewart too (a once-upon-a-time striker, who had gone down the Lampard-route of box-to-box CM since then, only for Souey to then bench Rushie for us and to deploy Stewart as his 2nd striker instead), plus he "acquired" Torben Piechnik from Denmarks's Euro 2002 winning-side, as our new CB ...but Piechnik just loved to really back-off in defense (and he wouldn't know a high-line, if it hit him in the face), plus Bjornebye ..and David James (22 y.o.) also arrived (to maybe replace Brucie) in goal for us. Another cluserf**k of a transfer window that. Nothing addressed, no issues solved.

LFC made our worst season start in over 40 years in the process, were down 3-0 at half-time to a 4th division team in the League Cup (before rescuing it, to 4-4 ...and winning the replay). Disaster after disaster ensued, culminating in just one win from 15 EPL (or it's equivalent) games to see us just 3 points above the drop. William Hill even then famously opened a "book" about LFC getting relegated ...and no bookie had ever taken a single bet (ever) on LFC getting relegated before. It was unheard of stuff.

After John Smith's tenure at LFC as chairman (from 1973 to 1990), when the club rept unparalleled successes ...before David Moores was appointed (from 1991~2007 and then him finally selling-us-out to Hicks & Gillet. Perhaps crucially Moores was a fanatical and unashamed fan of Souey, and even though the manager faced multiple calls to get sacked, he never did get sacked ...and Souey was allowed to approach a 3rd term in charge, unhindered. 3 LFC board members resigned in disgust, but Souey always continued for us (with Morres' explicit backing). Souey's final act of dispair was to then acquire both Razor Ruddock and Julian Dicks to bolster our very soft-defense in 1993~4, along with Nigel Clough also being added. More transfer madness though ... and yet again nothing addressed.

Souey was also rash, abrasive, dictatorial and ruthless. If you have ever watched him analyse a footie match, he has strong options ....and he never backs down. If he got contradicted, he just raises his voice ... haha. And he raised his voice plenty as manager of LFC. Nothing was his own fault and every poor performance was met with a dressing-room melt-down, afterwards. He accused the players, left-right-and-center of letting him down, of not playing for the shirt etc. He even signed Dicks (who was a real hard-guy) in his last half-season in charge ....and then he tore into Dicks one post-match, only for Dicks to then explode and smash the Dressing room up (for 20K damages).

Souey also started to serially "bitch" to the media (and in every single post-game interview) about how his "senior players" were just letting him down on the pitch. Souey called the remaining quartet of Whelan, Barnes, Nicol and Rushie apart (and multiple times too) and he then told them they weren't carrying their weight anymore (aka just hanging around for their paychecks) ..and they weren't teaching the youngsters the Liverpool Way. Whelan called him out though here (Barnes was far too much of a gentleman to do so, and Nicol and Rushie were maybe too shy). Whelan told Souey straight-up "You can f**k-off with that kind of talk, Souey". Souey to Whelan then "You guys aren't teaching the younger players, you aren't pulling your weight". Whelan to Souey "They don't f**cking listen to us, we tell them alright, but they don't f**king listen ..and they aren't good enough anyway". Souey to Whelan "Tell me the ones who aren't listening and I'll have a word with them". Whelan to Souey " You can f**k right-off with that talk. I'm not doing that. You f**king signed them anyway. You sort them out".

Every confrontation (in the supposed sanctity of the dressing room) was then followed by many sly (and obvious) digs afterwards from Souey to the press aka (after yet another abysmal loss) "I think that I am going to have to fill our team soon full of players, ones who really want to play and fight for the shirt. We don't have enough winners anymore ....and I will have to change that soon. People here, even our so-called stars of yesteryear ...well they can all say they are fully committed and passionate about this club ...but talk is cheap - and we have a lot of good talkers in this team now."

Grobbelaar (and even Molby) also became serious Souey mouthpieces to the media in this era, although both players had been told that they had no future at the club by Souey (from his initial appointment). Brucie (after an absolute disgrace of a loss) told the media "I am sick and tired of watching people who don't want to die for this club. If players' hearts aren't in it, they can jump in the Mersey as far as I'm concerned" Yeah right ..and that loss saw LFC 4th from bottom, that year!! BTW, Kevin Keegan had just assumed management at that time (for Newcastle in Div 2) and he had gone 13 wins from 14 games played, while Souey was 1 from 9, in LFC's worst campaign for 40 years ..but somehow nothing was ever Souey's own fault. It was all-down to his "senior players" letting him down. His narrative in the very-beginning was about injuries hitting his plans and about how once he got his senior players back, everything would be instantly different. Then, when he did get his best players back and still failed, the narrative suddenly changed. Not ever his own unimaginative and crap signings or his total failure at succession-planning, or in asking the entire team (in pre-season) to run successive 10 KM marathon runs every day (for stamina) instead of short-and-sharp stuff. Beardsley was totally pissed-off by then and demanded an out, even before a ball had been kicked, such was the radical departure from times before.

After another cringe-fest and an early FA Cup exit to lowly Bolton (when he still somehow kept his job) "This club's history is based on passion. The vast majority tonight played as if they had never been told what passion and this football club is all about." He signed more than half-that team though. Souey hung his own players out-to-dry in the media very regularly, basically after every loss and he heavily criticised them (and very publicly) too ...and he never once accepted an ounce of accountability himself. Every excuse was trotted-out by Souey in his post-matches and nothing was ever his own fault - and he had explicit and complicit backing in the Boardroom, from Moores too.

The worst possible manager we could have ever had, his signings were serial dross, he always laid the blame elsewhere too. He just didn't have a f**king clue. An absolute inept buffoon of a manager for us. A great player for us, but a woeful catastrophe of a manager. Carra even famously said "First off, Manchester United never knocked Liverpool off their f**king perch, as he (Ferguson) put it. That’s just nonsense. Graeme Souness did that, all on his own."
 

Broomy

TIA's Redkopi
Joined
Jul 7, 2007
Messages
1,512
Fascinating article cardiffpete, kudos mate! Just had a look back at the signings Graeme Souness made... He brought 15 players to Liverpool for £17,940,000... When you look back at the list of those 15 players, you can quickly see where it all went wrong for him, eh?!

Mark Wright, Dean Saunders, Mark Walters, Rob Jones, Michael Thomas, Istvan Kozma, Lee Jones, Scott Paterson, David James, Paul Stewart, Torben Piechnik, Stig Inge Bjørnebye, Nigel Clough, Neil Ruddock, Julian Dicks.

.
.