“My Red Heaven” #2

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Forum regular Chris Fisher (Fish) becomes our second fan in their ‘Red Heaven’. Chris picks his eleven favourite players plus five subs and a manager. With no current staff allowed it’s another trip down memory lane to the 80’s and 90’s… it’s also an entertaining eleven!

GOALKEEPER RAY CLEMENCE
An immense figure between the sticks for almost a decade. Bossed the penalty box like no keeper before him, was a brilliant shot stopper and was unbeatable when dealing with the high ball.

CENTRE BACK RON YEATS
A massive man, signed by Shanks who considered him to be blessed with all the attributes of a centre back and a captain worthy of leading Liverpool to the top. Shanks once said “my god you must be 7 foot tall”, “Im 6’7” replied Yeats, Shanks said “well thats near enough to 7 foot for me.” He went on to become LFCs cheif scout for many years.

CENTRE BACK ALAN HANSEN
The elegant Scott played at the heart of our defence for over a decade. Whether playing a tight defensive game or striding forward with all the skill of an international midfielder he was a sight to behold. He went on to captain Liverpool for many seasons.

RIGHT BACK ROB JONES
Signed for the club as a 19 year old and was quickly thrown into the first team and looked right at home. International honours came quickly as well and the right side of Liverpool’s defence seemed secure for years to come, however injury bought the curtain down on what could have been a long glorious career.

LEFT BACK MARK LAWRENSON
Terrific tackler and reader of the game he was also deceptively fast accross the pitch and would quite often be found pushing further upfield to join the midfield in attacking the opposition. His partnership with Hansen was central to Liverpools success in the early to mid eighties.

RIGHT WING STEVE MCMANAMAN
Supremely gifted winger who could ghost past defenders with ease. Blessed with an abundance of natural ability and blistering pace he never quite lived up to his potential but still manages a place in this team as from a spectators point of view he was brilliant to watch in full flow.

LEFT WING JOHN BARNES
One of the most gifted players to ever pull on the red shirt of Liverpool. Digger was a maker and a taker of goals – in that order. His ability to make fools of even the best defenders was uncanny and his passing was sublime. Not many players in Liverpool’s history could have got away with the amount of cheeky back heels and flicks but he pulled them off most of the time and was given licence to do so on the pitch.

CENTRE MIDFIELD GRAEME SOUNESS (Captain)
Big, strong, intimidating but above all that he ran the midfield like no other. He was no hard man with a heavy touch – he could be as silky as any midfielder in the world when he needed to be and his passing has always been underrated. He had an almost telepathic relationship with Dalglish and his ability to rally the troops get him my nod as captain.

ATTACKING MIDFIELD PETER BEARDSLEY
My favourite LFC player of all time so I had to make room for him. Not as a forward as such but he would play just behind the strikers in my team, doing what he did best, linking the midfield with the attack. Beardo had unbelievable skill and had a knack for scoring brilliant goals but his biggest attribute was his workrate and players such as Rush and Aldridge benefitted in the goals they got from this work.

STRIKER IAN RUSH
Rushie was the best finisher I ever saw but unlike many of his poaching peers his goals were not restricted to the 6 yard box, his strength on the ball and aerial ability made him the complete package up front. Rushie was the scourge of Everton inflicting more pain on them than any other team his record of 5 goals in FA Cup finals speaks for itself.

STRIKER KENNY DALGLISH
King Kenny was quite simply the greatest player ever to play for LFC he had it all. He could pass, shoot, tackle, was blessed with brilliant vision and had a ruthless streak that made him no push over even though he wasnt the tallest player in the world. He also had an amazing amount of energy on the pitch and would quite often be seen helping the midfield to get attacks started. He had an almost telepathic understanding with Souness. Kenny went on to manage Liverpool and achive more succes as both player-manager and manager.

MANAGER BILL SHANKLY
Put simply he was the man who made Liverpool what it is today- The greatest football club in the world.

SUBS:
RAY KENNEDY (Striker come midfielder, handy to have on the bench)
SAMMY LEE (Midfleld terrier, if we need to tighten things up)
TOMMY SMITH (The Anfeld iron suppies cover in case Jones gets injured!)
BILLY LIDDELL (The post war striker’s here if we need a late goal)
EMLYN HUGHES (Crazy horse – whom Shanks claimed had it all, has to be in the 16)

Chris Fisher, Feb 2006

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