20 years of Premier League: Liverpool’s Best Eleven

The Premier League announced their 20 Years award nominations this week, with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard bizarrely omitted from the best player vote.

Here we bring your our Liverpool FC Team of the Premier League (so far).

Our LFC Team of the Premier League

A few factors have been taken into account when selecting this team; number of appearances, trophies won at LFC, contribution to the club’s success and whether they hit their ‘prime’ for LFC during the Premier League era. For instance, John Barnes and Ian Rush played in the Premier League for Liverpool but their best years were pre-Premier League.

Goalkeeper – Pepe Reina

Probably the easiest choice; let’s be honest, we’d hardly been blessed with keepers before Pepe arrived in 2005. The Spaniard became the quickest goalkeeper in Liverpool history to keep a half century of clean sheets and won three golden glove awards in succession from 2006 to 2008.

Right back – Steve Finnan

A close call between the Irishman and Markus Babbel. The fact Finnan was such an integral – and reliable – part of the resurgent Reds under Rafa Benitez gives him the nod. A steady, solid defender who could also get forward and supply good crosses. Did you know, Finnan is the only player to have played in the World Cup, Champions League, UEFA Cup, Intertoto Cup, all four levels of the English league football and the Football Conference.

Centre backs – Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher

These two together could stake a claim for Liverpool’s greatest player of the past 20 years (had it not been for that pesky Gerrard and his superman skills). Think back to 2005 when these two were both in their prime, the performances en-route to Istanbul were worthy of their inclusion here alone. The only player who may have given Carra a run for his money here is Danny Agger, had injuries not stolen him of consistency until more recently.

Left back – Rob Jones

Ah, the problematic left back area. John Arne Riise is the only other contender really, but had Jones not suffered from ultimately career-ending injury, he would have gone on to become England’s first-choice right back and one of Liverpool’s great defenders. He still served seven seasons in the Premier League, and switched to left-back after we signed Jason McAteer in 1995.

Right midfield – Steven Gerrard

We’ve hardly been blessed with wingers and in all honesty, Gerrard has never really been a consistent centre midfielder, so we’ll play him on the right – where he had his best season in terms of goals scored in 2006.

Centre midfield – Didi Hamann and Xabi Alonso

This is a midfield partnership described by one word; solid. Any team looking to carve their way past these two would have their work cut out. Hamann working laterally to break up play, Alonso pinging passes and getting forward. The two of them both scored a few decent goals themselves in their years at Anfield; Didi’s volley against Portsmouth and Xabi’s half-way line lobs will live long in the memory!

Left midfield – Steve McManaman

Another problematic position over the past two decades. Perhaps a controversial decision to put McManaman in after many supporters still feel aggrieved by the way he left under a Bosman deal, but the truth is – the club turned down £12m from Barcelona the previous summer, knowing he wasn’t going to sign a new deal. We were victims of the first big name Bosman deal and no club will let that happen again – well, until we did similar with Owen. Macca would add some flair to the team, pulling defenders out of position for the likes of Gerrard, Fowler and Torres to profit.

Forwards – Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres

One word; goals. These two hardly need explaining their inclusions. Forget the circumstances Torres left under, remember his goals in 2008, 2009 – an absolutely stunning footballer who scored, similarly to Fowler in the mid-nineties – all types of goals; tap-ins, volleys, headers, stunners from the edge of the box. Both these had everything in them and their work-rate was also top class.

Manager – Rafa Benitez

Rafa managing this side would be immense. Giving Gerrard license to roam inside, McManaman likewise from the left, knowing that Alonso and Hamann would keep it tidy in the middle.

Subs – Sander Westerveld, Daniel Agger, John Arne Riise, Danny Murphy, Luis Garcia, Dirk Kuyt, Michael Owen.

Notable mentions – Jerzy Dudek, Markus Babbel, Stephane Henchoz, Lucas Leiva, Patrik Berger, John Barnes, Luis Suarez.

Agree? Disagree? Post your team of the past 20 years in the comments below…

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  • utd is sh!te

    why is judas there ??????

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      Because he was one of our best players of the past 20 years – in that position. Surely that’s a) quite clear and b) pretty obvious.

      • Pronoy

        he contributed enough to get a position but Owen deserves more than that 

      • Abyss

        I dunno man. We did have Owen and he did play at Anfield for about 8 years scoring plenty of goals in the process.

  • utd is sh!te

    why is judas there ??????

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjtrimblee Caleb Trimble

    John Arne Riise for right back instead.

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      Surely a piss take? The most left footed player of the past 20 years, at right back?!

      • kopstar

        I think the mantle of “most left footed player of the past 20 years” has been passed to Enrique. His right foot is just for decoration. Otherwise, good team – not quite what I would have gone with but we have had some excellent players during the PL era. Would love to have seen what we could have done during Torres’ form years if we also had a 1995 vintage Fowler alongside him. *frightening*

  • http://www.facebook.com/cjtrimblee Caleb Trimble

    John Arne Riise for right back instead.

  • MLFC

    why no Barnes and Dudek 

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      “For instance, John Barnes and Ian Rush played in the Premier League for Liverpool but their best years were pre-Premier League.”

      And Dudek ahead of Reina?!

      • TCat

        Keep at it… Barnes would be a great addition IF he qualified. Some of us do understand that!

        Why was Rushie left out though? 
        -Joking!

        Good team, I’d give Masch at least a sub-spot, minimum. Would probably put Riise as 1st choice but maybe I’m probably too young to appreciate great defenders of old!

        • TCat

          Even I sound confused – too much emphasis on IF! They qualify but were beyond their best…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001069545978 James Siegel

    John Barnes was forgotten?

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      “For instance, John Barnes and Ian Rush played in the Premier League for Liverpool but their best years were pre-Premier League.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001069545978 James Siegel

    John Barnes was forgotten?

  • LKDC

    Harryyy Kewell!

  • LKDC

    Harryyy Kewell!

  • Dniceuk

    How the hell did Maccaz make the 1st eleven? John Barnes owns the Left Wing.

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      Never fails to amaze how the internet has fostered morons who don’t read:

      “For instance, John Barnes and Ian Rush played in the Premier League for Liverpool but their best years were pre-Premier League.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=643306547 John Keane

        barnes was still class and he schooled mcmanaman and redknapp up until he moved. rush was really good to but he faded out and fowler and torres did make more of a mark, but barnes should still be in our team

  • Dniceuk

    How the hell did Maccaz make the 1st eleven? John Barnes owns the Left Wing.

  • Paulbrooks_is

    rob jones a right back at left back, god u are clueless

    • http://www.thisisanfield.com This Is Anfield

      “and switched to left-back after we signed Jason McAteer in 1995.”

      And you’re incapable of reading. Clueless.

    • albert

      I agree, Rob Jones was at his best at right back when he could join the attack more freely.

  • ILLOK

    What on earth are these comments. 

    Only one I’d change is taking Danny Murphy out, other than that, pretty good team.

  • Red for life

    Would also give Mascherano a noteable mention.

  • Gfr34

    What about Paddy Berger? As good as MacManaman and not such a traitor.

  • lfc4ever

    Where are Poulsen and Konchesky :)) ? Great eleven but I would choose Mascherano over Hamann and play 4-2-3-1 with Fowler upfront and Garcia on the right side :D
    ——————————–Reina——————————–

    Finnan——–Carra————–Hyypia————–Jones

    —————————-Masch———————————–
    ————————————-Alonso————————–

    Garcia——————-Gerrard————————–Macca

    ———————————Fowler———————————
    Manager : Rafa

  • Jbarrett69

    Mostly good selections but no Michael Owen up front with Fower not Torres –  Robbie was one of the greatest natural goalscorers of all time and Owen – well great goal scorer for Reds as well as England- if we all remember when he was only 18 scored a superb goal against the old enemy Argentina!! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=643306547 John Keane

    the best team we had should use a 352 formation

    grobbelear

    hyypia carragher agger

    mcmanaman alonso hamann gerrard barnes

    fowler torres

    no doubt that would be the best in europe 

  • Butragenio

    What about Heskey?

  • Doco

    I’d be tempted to go with the Masch over Hamann as we seen how well he worked with Alonso and Gerrard, plus Westerveld was rubbish David James done better than him. I’d rather Barnes on the bench than Murphy.
    Reina: best keeper by a mile
    Finnan, Jones, Johnson, Babbel: Finnan more consistant
    Riise, Bjornebye are probably the two best left backs but any of our right backs were better there.
    Hyypia, Carragher, Agger, Wright, Henchoz, Skrtel in that order
    Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano, Hamann, Barnes, Ince, Lucas
    McManaman, Garcia, Kuyt, Berger, Benayoun, Murphy
    Fowler, Torres, Owen, Suarez, Collymore

    • LiddellBilly

       Nobody has mentioned Arbeloa. Left at the same time as Alonso (who everybody understandably focussed on) but Arbeloa was a very good defender for us and could attack as well. IMO he was almost as big a miss for us.