Benitez vows to maintain the spirit of Shankly

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly being appointed manager at Anfield.

Shanks went on to revolutionise the club from top to bottom, setting the foundations for Liverpool to become the most successful British football club of all-time.

Current Reds boss Rafa Benitez spoke about how he learnt about Shankly on his arrival on Merseyside back in 2004 and found the Scotsman was “ahead of his time”.

“He was talking about training sessions and if it had been raining and the players were wet, he would tell them to careful and he would look after them, make sure they recovered properly and ate the right food,” said Benitez.

“It would have been an honour to have met him [Shankly]. I didn’t really know much about him before I came but I started reading books about him and made sure that I spoke with a lot of people. I kept reading all those little phrases and sentences.”

Rafa“Everything has changed in football and everything is different in society nowadays. Everyone has iPods or Wiis and in a hurry to do things. But still we try to have the same ideas as Shankly,” said Benítez. “When people talk about the ‘Liverpool Way’, it was always to win. We try to do this and that is our priority if possible. We try to do things properly, like Shankly did.

Little Sammy“When we decided to bring in Sammy [Lee] we had someone who knew the philosophy and the ideas of the club. One of the things we did after Sammy came was to change a little bit of decoration at Melwood. We now have a lot of photographs of former players, the legends and the managers and quotes from different people.

“We have been trying to bring this spirit. It is much better now. When people come to training now, they can look around and it is an inspiration to them.