RSS

Category Archives: Liverpool

Ireland’s greatest Liverpool player? Well he’s my favourite

I’m 28 years old so I can’t claim to have witnessed every Irishman who has pulled on the famous Liverpool shirt. In my time however I have had the great fortune to watch the great Ronnie Whelan playing for Ireland and Liverpool.

Ronnie Whelan was born in Dublin into a family of footballers. His father Ronnie Senior, also played for Ireland and had a successful career in the League of Ireland playing for St. Pats in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ronnie’s brother Paul also played in the League of Ireland, pulling on the jerseys of Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers.

Ronnie was a talented youngster and came through the youth teams of Home Farm and made his breakthrough into the senior side at the age of 16. He may have being young but his skill on the ball and his willingness to work for the team caught the eye of all the English scouts.

It was the legendary Liverpool manager Bob Paisley who managed to lure Ronnie from his comfort zone at the tender age of 18. The price of the move was a bargain, £35,000. Ronnie was now surrounded by the cream of English football on the training ground and set about improving his game and not being over-awed by his surroundings.

His hard work paid off when he made his debut in April 1981 in Anfield and scored in his first game. It was a dream start and set the standard for his future Liverpool career. Throughout the 80s he established himself as an integral part of the Liverpool team. In the process he won 6 league titles, 2 FA cups, 3 league cups and 1 European Cup.

In total Ronnie made 362 appearances for Liverpool and scored 46 goals and was voted 30th in Liverpool’s top 100 by the fans on the club website. Along the way he collecting 53 caps for the Republic and scoring 3 goals. The most important and memorable being his volley from outside the box against the USSR in the 1988 European Championship.

I was a little boy in 1988 but I remember seeing that goal a lot and I remember the World Cup in 1990. I was a Liverpool fan by birth and an impressionable young boy during Ireland’s adventures in Italy in 1990. I was so proud of Ireland and I was so proud of the Irishman who played for Liverpool and scored that fantastic goal.

http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/latest-news/100-pwstk-the-definitive-list

 

Next season is always the best

What a difference a new manager can make to a football team. If the season had started when Kenny Dalglish took over In January only Chelsea would have more points than Liverpool.

The last four games will have been very enjoyable for Liverpool fans, the draw with Arsenal and wins over Manchester City, Birmingham and Newcastle. Twelve goals scored and only one conceded. The standard of the performances in this period provides great encouragement as thoughts begin to turn to next season.

Suarez - The new Kenny Dalglish?

The team plays with much more pace and movement now than under the previous management but in order to produce the pass and move football Liverpool fans expect two unsung heroes have emerged, the central midfield pairing of Lucas Leiva and Jay Sparing.

When Dalglish first took over he was willing to start Spearing, a young bit part player for the last few seasons and a product of the youth academy. He started in two started in two of the biggest games of the season, at home to bitter rivals Man United and Everton. In my mind Spearing was the “victim” of affirmative action or “reverse racism”, getting to play for Liverpool because he’s a scouser and would give more heart in the local slugfests compared to those fancy-dan foreigners.

Now my opinion of him has changed, just like the views held by other fans for the much maligned Lucas. I was sick of defending Lucas but this season I think he has won his sceptics over and the club have given him a new long-term contract and he’s a regular in the Brazil team.

Lucas and Spearing

Lucas and Spearing have been the foundation for the attacking drive of Meireles, Kuyt, Suarez et al. Sitting in front of the back four Spearings’ tremendous work-rate, covering the space of the forward moving full-backs, and tenacity in the tackle is the perfect spoil to Lucas’ holding the centre and quick distribution to the attacking-minded players.

The team’s lack of wingers is made-up for with the inter-play and switching of positions by the full-backs and the attacking quartet. It may be an overstatement but it’s almost like watching the Dutch total football of the 70s. Is it just a coincidence that Dirk Kuyt has been in his best form ever for Liverpool?

It’s definitely the Liverpool way and hopefully with a few big signings in the summer Liverpool will be picking up more points than Man United and Chelsea. The biggest signing is now just a formality, King Kenny been appointed permanent manager.

Long live the King

 

Tags: