FIVE BEST PLAYERS FOR LIVERPOOL 20TH CENTURY:
Liverpool are an age old English club who used to dominate English football back in the 20th century. Indeed in the late 1970s and early 80s such was their dominance that the Reds were feared by one and all. They not only conquered England but also established great dominance in Europe by winning four European titles in the span of five years! There were greats who donned the Liverpool jersey. Few of the famous ones who still get on TV now are the likes of Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish.
However, ever since the arrival of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, the Scot made his priority to overtake Liverpool as the most successful English club and he was indeed successful in doing so. Ferguson in one of his early interviews as Manchester United boss had made it clear that his objective was ‘to knock Liverpool off their f***ing perch”.
And Ferguson indeed did so. In the heat of a massive rivalry, as Manchester United grew under Fergie, Liverpool were somehow lost. They were no longer the same threat. Indeed by the time Ferguson retired from Old Trafford, he had made Manchester United the most successful English club overtaking Liverpool in terms of trophies won.
Liverpool by the turn of the century were no longer the same side that had conquered Europe. They had lost their shine and clinks in their armour had begun to appear extensively. Come the turn of the century, Liverpool had faded away from serial winners to had beens. Their season objectives had changed to reaching top fours and entertaining European nights. It was the fall of the mighty.
As the millennium turned, Liverpool were no longer a threat or Ferguson’s biggest worry. The likes of Chelsea and Arsenal had risen magnificently in London and Liverpool struggled to keep up with these three. Not to make it sound wrong, Liverpool were still a major threat in one-off matches, but they simply were not able to sustain the power their rivals could throughout the entirety of the campaign.
Liverpool too had big players but they were not burdened with the same expectation at the beginning of every season by pundits and bookies to be the best team in England like United. Their fans from Anfield, however, stayed optimistic. The Reds faithful had until very recently seen unbridled success and could still taste it in their mouth as though yesterday.
All said and done, as the early 2000s rolled on, Arsenal had won their invincible season, United had done the treble very recently besides their relentless silverware hunting and Chelsea had just won the league with record points and were on course to do it again.
Liverpool despite failing to impress, later Arsena too, gave some wonderful players. Let us take a look at 5 players from Anfield who impressed us in this century:
The most obvious name to come up on this list. The club legend himself, Mr. Liverpool is in fact one of the best players the club has ever produced. He never left Liverpool despite being offered luring contracts at Madrid and Chelsea. At Liverpool, he committed himself to carrying the side on his shoulders and he did so. From scoring goals, to creating them and to defending and winning a Champions League single handedly, Stevie G is a generational player.
The Spaniard came from Atletico as a prospect but what he did at Anfield was unimaginable. He set the country on fire as he seemingly scored from everywhere all the time in a team who were struggling to create more than 10 chances in total in a match. Torres came second in the Ballon d’Or race and those who have seen him at his best, knew what a master of a striker he was.
His unfortunate ankle injuries and misfit of a move to Chelsea slowed down his personal career and he was never the same fearful striker of Liverpool.
The infamous footballer was Liverpool’s most notorious player but a nightmare for opposition defenders. He too scored almost always and came very close to carrying the Reds to a much coveted league title single handedly. He was unstoppable on days he decided to get in.
He ultimately left for Barcelona but in his days at Liverpool , he did leave his mark in England be it by scoring goals or illegally biting players.
The Egyptian king came to Anfield under low expectations but in two full seasons, he has won two golden boots, one PFA, came third in the Ballon d’Or, won the Champions League and broken half of Liverpool’s goal scoring records. Talk about impact.
Salah has all the makings to break every record at Liverpool if he stays and the Anfield faithful will surely be hoping for more of the Egyptian’s magic. Deliver them the coveted Premier League Mo and you will be more of a God here than you already are at Egypt!
Virgil Van Dijk:
Up until he came, Liverpool were a brilliant team in attack However, the Reds failed to find their balance as Klopp’s playing style meant that there was always acres of space in defence. In came Van Dijk and the Dutch beast could eat up all grass in that defence single handedly. He recently went on a 65 match run of not being dribbled past.
He has revolutionized that Liverpool defence to make them a complete team and has been nominated for this year’s Ballon d’Or. He will probably go down as the best defender to play for Liverpool if he keeps going up on this trajectory.