Friday, September 28, 2018

Liverpool All-Time Greatest English Team

Michael Owens, Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman 
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
Liverpool Greatest All-Time Team

At the time of writing, Liverpool FC won 5 European Cup/Champions' League trophies, a record for British clubs.  In the 1970's, they won three European Cups, making them one of the greatest ever club sides in history.   The top players for them in the era were three Scottish players: Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish.  The team also consisted of great English players.  Nevertheless, Liverpool FC is still an English players fielded with great English players throughout the ages. Kevin Keegan, Steve Gerrard, John Barnes, Ray Clemence, etc were some of the former players who were considered among the greatest ever footballers from England.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for English players who had played for Liverpool FC.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.  I created all time teams for Liverpool foreign players and players from British Isles without English players.
John Barnes and Peter Beardsley
GK: Ray Clemence 
Ray Clemence was considered one of England's greatest keepers. He won 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups in the 1970's with Liverpool and the 1984 UEFA Cup with Tottenham Hotspurs.  He was voted as Liverpool's greatest keeper.  For the national team, he was locked in a battle of number 1 with Peter Shilton.  He was Shilton's backup at the World Cup Finals in 1982. He made 61 appearances for England between 1972 and 1983.
Ray Clemence 
GK: David James (England)
At the time of writing, David James is the third all-time Premier league appearance record holder. He starred for Liverpool as one of the "Spice Boys".  However, his reputation suffered after a series of blunders, earning the nickname of "Calamity James".  He picked up 53 caps for England.  He was the starting keeper at the European Champions in 2004 and the World Cup Finals in 2010.

GK: Sam Hardy (England)
Discovered by Liverpool FC after playing against them with Chesterfield, Sam Hardy joined Liverpool in 1905.  Later, he played for Aston Villa. He was capped 21 times, which was then an astonishing number and was widely considered to be England's first ever star keeper. 

RB: Phil Neal 
Phil Neal was the great right back from Liverpool between 1974 and 1985. He was one of England's most decorated player, winning 4 First Divisions, 4 League Cups, 5 FA Charity Shields, 4 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and 1 UEFA Super Cups. He also played for Northampton Town and Bolton Wanderers as a full back. Neal also had a long career with England winning 50 caps and playing in the 1982 World Cup and the 1980 European Championship.
Phil Neal
RB: Tommy Smith (England)
Smith was a key figure for Liverpool during the 1960's when Liverpool became the most successful club in England.  He spent 16 years with the club. Smith's most memorable moment for the club probably came when he scored the winning goal in the 1977 European Cup final against Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He later played in the NASL.

CB/LB: Emlyn Hughes (England) 
Emlyn Hughes was at one point thcaptain of England and Liverpool.  He was considered to be one of Liverpool's most important defenders.  He joined the club from Blackpool in 1967. He played under Bill Shankly in the 1970's where he won two European Cups, four League titles and a single FA Cup. He was FWA Football of the Year in 1977.  He earned 62 English caps.  He went to the 1970 World Cup Finals in Mexico.

CBJamie Carragher
Jamie Carragher spent his entire career with Liverpool.  He is their second longest serving player in their history.  He won the UEFA Champions' League in 2005 and two FA Cups with them.  Internationally, he had 38 caps for England. He was a part of England's team at the Euro 2004 and the World Cup Finals in 2006 and 2010.  His international career was limited by playing at the same time as John Terry, Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinard, etc.
Jamie Carragher
CB: Phil Thompson
Phil Thompson made his professional debut in 1971 for Liverpool and never looked back.  He was a part of the decorated team that won 3 European Cups and 7 league titles.  He formed a partnership with Alan Hansen that was considered among the best ever in Europe.  He was briefly the captain for Liverpool.  He also earned 42 caps for England and went to the 1982 World Cup Finals in Spain.

CB: Mark Wright
As a player, Mark Wright had spells with Liverpool, Derby County, Southampton and Oxford United during the 1980s and 1990s. He captained Liverpool when they won the 1992 FA Cup. He made 45 appearances for the English national football team, and was a member of the team which reached the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup in 1990.

LB: Alan Kennedy
Kennedy started his career with Newcastle United, but his best years were spent at Liverpool.  He won two European Cup with Liverpool, scoring a goal at each of the Final.  His international career, however, was limited to 2 caps. He later played for  Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, Hartlepool United, B 1903, Beerschot, Northwich Victoria, Wrexham, Colne Dynamoes, Morecambe, Netherfield, Radcliffe Borough and Barrow.

LB: Gerry Byrne
Gerry Byrne was a graduate of Liverpool FC academy, where he spent his entire career.  From 1957 to 1969, Gerry Byrne played for Liverpool FC's senior team.  He was a part of the team that moved up from the Second Division in 1962.  He was a part of the club's early successes in the 1960's, including finishing as the Cup Winners' Cup runners-up in 1966.  For England, he only played twice.  He was a member of the 1966 World Cup winning team.

CM: Terry McDermott 
Terry McDermott was a member of the Liverpool team of the 1970s and early 1980s, in which he won three European Cups and six Division 1 titles. Before Liverpool, he played for Bury and Newcastle United. In 1974, Newcastle United lost the FA Cup Final to Liverpool, where he joined the following season.  He was also capped 25 times for the English national team.  He went to the European Championship in 1980 as well as the 1982 World Cup Finals.
Terry McDermott 
DM: Paul Ince
From 1992 to 2000, Paul Ince was capped 53 times between 1992 and 2000.  He was a key player for England at Euro 1996, World Cup 1998 and Euro 2000.  For his club career, he started with West Ham in 1986, but his best known stints were with Liverpool, Inter Milan and Manchester United.  He also played for Middlesbrough and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He is one of the few players who played and starred for both Liverpool and Manchester United.

CM: Jimmy Case
Known for having one of the hardest shots in the British game, he shot to fame with the powerful Liverpool side of the 1970s and early 1980s. He was a part of the team that won the European Cup winner in 1977, 1978 and 1981.  He was voted in at No. 45 in the 2006 poll "100 Players Who Shook The Kop". He also played for Brighton, Southampton, Bournemouth, Halifax Town and Wrexham.  He appeared once for England in 1976.

CM: Steve Gerrard 
Steve Gerrard represented his country at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups – captaining the team at the latter two tournaments.  He led Liverpool in winning the Champions' League in 2005. He is the third highest cap holder for the Three Lions.  He won the PFA Players' Player of the Year in 2006 and the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2009.  He later played in the USA for LA Galaxy.
Steve Gerrard
RW: Ian Callaghan
Callaghan held the all-time appearance record for Liverpool.  He was a part of the team that made its historical promotion in 1962 and remained on the team as Liverpool won the European Cup twice in 1977 and 1978. Callaghan also played four times at senior level for England.  Although he was in the squad for the 1966 FIFA World Cup, he did not play in the final and so did not receive a medal until 2010.

RW/LW: Steve McManaman 
From 1990 to 1999, Steve McManaman played for Liverpool as a member of the "Spice Boys".  In 1999, he made a big move to Real Madrid, where he won the Champions' League in 2000, scoring one of the goals in the Final against Valencia.  He also played in the Final in 2002, winning his second Champions' League medal. He also won two La Liga titles.  He was considered of the best football export from England in recent years. He later played for Manchester City.
Steve McManaman
LW: Ray Kennedy 
Ray Kennedy started his career with Arsenal, but better known for his career with Liverpool.  Liverpool broke their transfer record when they signed him in 1974. With Liverpool, he won three European Cup titles in 1977, 1978 and 1981.  He was a part of England's squad at the 1980 European Championship held in Italy. He had 17 caps between 1976 and 1980.

LW: John Barnes 
John Barnes was widely considered to be one of the greatest Liverpool players, where he formed one of their greatest team playing alongside Ian Rush, Peter Beardsley, John Aldridge and Ray Houghton.  before joining Liverpool, he played for Watford.  At Watford, he also helped them to the Final of the FA Cup in 1984.  He was voted PFA Player of the Year in 1988 and FWA Player of the Year in both 1988 and 1990. He had 79 caps, and played in two World Cup Finals.
John Barnes
FW: Roger Hunt 
Roger Hunt was a member of England's 1966 World Cup winning team.  He joined Liverpool in 1958 under Phil Taylor and he was one of the few players who was retained by Bill Shankly when he became the manager.  He helped Liverpool to gain their historical promotion in 1962 and was a key figure during their successes in the 1960's.  He was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

FW/SS: Peter Beardsley 
Peter Beardsley was one of the few players i history to have played for Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United and Manchester City. His first successes came in the early 1980's while playing for Newcastle United.  In 1987, he joined Liverpool as the most expensive player in England's history.  Together with John Barnes, they formed one of the best English sides of the later 1980's.

ST: Michael Owen 
Michael Owen began his senior career at Liverpool in 1996 as a teenager. In his first full season in the Premier League, he finished as joint top scorer with 18 goals. He repeated this the following year and was Liverpool's top goal-scorer from 1997–2004.  He helped Liverpool to win the UEFA Cup in 2001.  He also played for Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City.  For England, he earned 89 caps.  He was the youngest player to play for England in the 20th century as well as the youngest goal scorers.
Michael Owen
CF: Albert Stubbins
Stubbins began his career with Newcastle United before the War.  However, he was better known for playing for Liverpool FC between 1946 and 1956 where he won the League Championship in 1947. It was Liverpool's first league title in 24 years. His later claim to fame was an appearance on the front cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. He was the only footballer on the cover.

ST: Robbie Fowler
Fowler is best remembered for his time at Liverpool and is the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of the Premier League. He scored 183 goals in total for Liverpool, where he played between 1993 and 2001.  He was known as a member of the "Spice Boys".   He also played for Leeds United, Manchester City, Cardiff City FC, and Blackburn Rovers as well as clubs in Australia and Thailand. For England, he earned 26 caps.  He was a member of the 2002 World Cup team.

ST/SS: Kevin Keegan
Kevin Keegan was two-time European Footballer of the Year in 1978 and 1979. He won the European Cup in 1977 with Liverpool. He also found successes in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV, where he played between 1977 and 1980.  He later played for Southampton and Newcastle United after returning from Germany. He had 63 caps for England. However, his World Cup appearance was limited to 20 minutes against Spain at the World Cup Finals in 1982. 
Kevin Keegan
Honorable Mention
Gordon Hodgson, Steve McMahon, Gordon Milne, Jamie Redknapp, Sammy Lee, Chris Lawler, Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Neil Ruddock, Larry Lloyd, Alec Lindsey.

Squad Explanation
-- I based my research on the polls "100 Players Who Shook The Kop" voted by Liverpool fans.  Most players were on the two polls.
-- Mark Wright edged Larry Lloyd as the fourth centerbacks.  Neil Ruddock was also considered.
--  Ian Callaghan is considered among Liverpool';s greatest wingers.
-- Peter Thompson was a left winger. I already have John Barnes and Ray Kennedy.  So I only put him on honourable mention.
-- Harry Chambers is an old-timer. Phil Taylor and Ephraim Longworth are too old.
-- The last position was a midfielder.  I was choosing between Jimmy Case and Sammy Lee.  Steve McMahan was also seriously considered.  I took Case because his name has often been mentioned on various lists.
-- Kevin Keegan's career was overshadowed by Kenny Dalglish, who was his replacement when he moved to play in Germany. He still ranked among the greatest ever for Liverpool.
-- Paul Ince's career here was much better than his spells with Inter Milan or even Manchester United.
--Michael Owen's career after Liverpool was limited by his injuries.  He was not the same player after he left Liverpool.  He left the club before they won the 2005 Champions' League, but he brought the 2001 UEFA Cup to Liverpool.  He won the Ballon d'or as a result.


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