SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 21, 2024: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates after the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court.Liverpool won 4-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp made Liverpool team selection call not seen in almost 59 years

With Jurgen Klopp‘s use of multiple youngsters against Bournemouth, came a selection call not made in nearly 60 years by a Liverpool manager.

Liverpool are quickly growing into a team capable of competing on multiple fronts across the course of a season.

As we saw in the 2021/22 season, though, it isn’t the starting XI who are needed to bring success come May.

With multiple senior absences, Liverpool’s youngsters are proving themselves worthy of the first team now, also.

Michael Reid of Opta wrote: “In Conor Bradley (20), Harvey Elliott (20), Ryan Gravenberch (21), Bobby Clark (18), Owen Beck (21), and Kaide Gordon (19), Liverpool had six players aged 21 or younger play in the same league match for only the fourth time ever, and first since April 1965 vs Wolves.”

Condensed, that tweet reads that Liverpool had six under-21s play in the same league match for the first time in almost 59 years!

While the decision was in-part enforced due to internationals and multiple injuries, it is still testament to Klopp and the academy’s ability to bring through players who are capable of making a positive impact.

As Reid mentions, the last league match in which that many under-21s played was against Wolves in 1965.

The reason for so many youngsters getting the call up on that occasion was due to the upcoming FA Cup final, arguably the biggest game in the club’s history to that point.

On that occasion, Bill “Shankly’s reserves,” as the Liverpool Echo called them, beat Wolves 3-1 and the senior Reds went on to win the club’s first FA Cup, five days later.

The two managers, Leeds United's Don Revie (l) and Liverpool's Bill Shankly (c), lead their teams out onto the pitch before the match

In the Echo, journalist Michael Charters wrote: “When Mr Shankly announced this makeshift side earlier the day, he telephoned his old friend the Wolves manager, Mr Andy Beattie, to tell him of his side and the reason for the selection.

“He also told Wolves he was making the team selection public, so that the Wolverhampton public would be under no illusion that they were going to see Liverpool’s Wembley team.”

Beattie responded saying he “would do the same” if he were in the situation.

Of the 11 who played, six counted as under-21s – Billy Molyneux, Thomas Lowry, Alan Hignett, Bobby Graham, John Sealy and Gordon Wallace.

On the day, Strong, Sealey and Arrowsmith scored Liverpool’s goals in front of nearly 14,000 people at Molineux, as the Reds finished the league campaign in seventh place.

Like in 1965, the young Reds will be hoping there is silverware on the table come May, 2024.