To lighten the mood in what has been a frustrating start to the summer so far for Liverpool, Liverpudlian selects the best XI from his lifetime of watching the Reds.
Goalkeeper – Ray Clemence
Undisputed. As good as any goalkeeper; anywhere, any time.
Those older than me would offer Elisha Scott but of course he was well beyond my time.
Right-Back – Tommy Smith
The “Anfield Iron” played in the centre of defence alongside Ron Years, and at right-back too.
He would give that bit of steel when required to the back four.
Centre-Backs – Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson
Again probably undisputed as a pairing within the last 50 years or so, if you saw them play.
Jockey was the ultimate cultured centre half, brilliant at bringing the ball out of defence, and Lawro was incredibly pacey and an excellent tackler.
Left-Back: Emlyn Hughes
My favourite ever Liverpool player.
Could do anything: tackle, compete, box-to-box, could score from any range. The most enthusiastic guy to ever to pull the red shirt on.
For those too young to have seen him, check your archive footage.
Right Midfield: Steven Gerrard
We are so lucky to have had him in some very mediocre sides.
Won games for us single-handed on so many occasions. A captain and a leader in a team when, in another era, he would have won so many more medals.
Central Midfield: Graeme Souness
Dominated the centre of the park for years in the best midfield ever seen in our history in the latter part of the 70s and early 80s.
As hard as nails, could take on any opposition in world football and he did.
Left Midfield: Ray Kennedy
Feared throughout Europe and, again, pivotal in that fabled midfield. Scorer of some of the most vital goals in that era.
Forward: Luis Suarez
We saw him score goals no one else ever could, other than the real all-time legends of the game.
A flawed genius, though, but as Stevie once said: “Enjoy him while he is here.” We certainly did.
Suarez would play a free role across the front in this XI.
Forward: Kenny Dalglish
Again an undisputed choice and the best player ever to wear the red shirt. Could do anything, in and around the box.
A legend, still, at this club and the perfect foil for the ultimate goal poacher up front, as he must surely have set up most of his goals with his ingenious passing ability.
Dalglish would play just behind our No. 9 here.
Striker: Ian Rush
As fast as lightning, scored goals from anywhere and in any company; the ultimate predator.
The scourge of Everton and every other defence at home and abroad.
Keeping Roger Hunt, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Fernando Torres out of the side—that’s how good he was.
Goalkeeper: Bruce Grobbelaar – Eccentric but brilliant. Never a dull moment when Brucie was around.
The ultimate entertainer but with undoubted ability—again won everything and was between the sticks during most of our success.
Defender: Phil Thompson – One of our own and one of the few captains in our history that lifted the European cup. Local lad came good and keeping “Rowdy Yeats” out of the squad.
Defender: Phil Neal – Very unlucky not to get the right-back slot in my XI.
Very consistent, goal-scoring defender who took all of our penalties in that golden era. Our most decorated player and very underrated.
Midfielder: Terry McDermott – The best box-to-box midfielder ever seen at Anfield.
Incredible energy and ability all over the park. Again, a member of our best ever midfield of McDermott, Souness, Kennedy and Jimmy Case.
Midfielder: Ian Callaghan – Holds the record for the most appearances for the club.
Very underrated and would likely be in anyone’s squad for Liverpool FC over the last 50 years.
Winger: John Barnes – Again incredibly unlucky not to be in the starting XI but Razor’s defensive qualities just won my vote on the left side.
The most skilful ball-player I have ever seen, just ahead of Peter Thompson from the 60s.
Striker: Kevin Keegan – Alongside John Toshack, terrorised defences at home and abroad throughout the 70s. Our main man in that period and considered irreplaceable until we signed Kenny.
Unselfish worker with and without the ball and never really gets the recognition he deserves.
Who would make your lifetime XI? Do you agree with Liverpudlian’s choices? Let us know in the comments below.