During the enforced break from John’s regular column, English Premier League Predictions For Saturday, it is with great pleasure that we publish his Liverpool FC All-Time Premier League Best Eleven! There will be plenty more to come from John, as the hiatus continues, so check back regularly.
Scroll down for all…
Top 3 Betting Sites With Great New Sign-up Offers
|Top Bookies||Rating||Review||Go To Site|
||Read Review||Visit Bet365 & See Latest Offer|
||Read Review||Visit Betfred & See New Offer|
||Read Review||Visit Betfair & See Latest Offer|
1. Bruce Grobbelaar
The goalkeeper in this Liverpool Best Of might come as a surprise to most but for a certain generation of football fan, Bruce Grobbelaar is an icon of the game and a true Anfield legend who simply has to be between the sticks at the Kop End.
Before most jump for the old Google to see if Bruce played in the Premier League for Liverpool, the answer is yes.
In the inaugural season of the Premier League in 1992/93, Brucey only played 5-times, due to injuries and other factors, including a loan spell away from Anfield.
Grobbelaar got more game time in the 2nd-season of the Premier League as the new Reds ‘keeper David James, although brought in to replace Bruce, struggled initially with both form and confidence in filling the gloves at such a big club and following such a legend on Merseyside.
Eventually, towards the end of the 1993/94 season, Big Bruce’s time at Anfield came to an end, however, that wasn’t the end of his Premier League career as the Zimbabwean signed for Southampton for the start of the 1994/95 campaign.
Bruce’s goalkeeping career spanned a total of 34-years from his start, as a 16-year old, back in the country he played International football for, Zimbabwe, to finishing in West Yorkshire, England at non-League Glasshoughton Welfare.
That in itself is ironic, as war-torn Rhodesia back in 1973, is not too dissimilar from Glasshoughton on a Friday night.
The historians amongst the football fraternity will know that in 1973, Zimbabwe was known as Rhodesia.
A brutal civil war broke out in the country of which Bruce was part of.
Fighting as a soldier was only the beginning of the traumatic experiences that Grobbelaar has had throughout his life.
Bruce was at the Heysel Stadium in Belgium back in 1985.
Liverpool had again reached the final of the European Cup and were hoping for a 5th title, defending the Cup they had won the previous year against Roma.
The final against Roma in 1984, incidentally at Roma’s home ground, finished 1-1 after extra-time so a penalty shootout decided the final.
Bruce Grobbelaar was instrumental in the winning of the trophy, doing several strange things to put the Roma players off in their attempts to beat him, including what’s famously referred to as ‘spaghetti-legs’ to distract the Italian Francesco Graziani who ballooned his kick over the bar.
Ironically, although Liverpool won the shootout to record their 4th, European Cup, Big Bruce, despite his antics, never actually saved a penalty but he did do enough to make the Roma players miss 2 of their spot-kicks.
Prior to defending the European Cup Final against Juventus, a year later, at the Heysel Stadium in Belgium, 39-Italian fans were crushed to death when the old stadium, terrace walls collapsed.
Despite the deaths and destruction, remarkably, UEFA decided to continue with the final.
After a delayed kick-off, the game eventually took place, with a solitary Michel Platini goal, scored from the penalty spot, after the referee inconceivably awarded a penalty when the foul was quite clearly, a yard or so outside of the area, giving Juventus the victory.
It’s fair to say that both teams weren’t fully focused on proceedings, after the terrace incident but both gave a game, if only out of respect for those that had died.
The Liverpool team that night, included Big Bruce, Phil Neal, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson, Steve Nicol, Jim Beglin, Ronnie Whelan, Kenny Dalglish, John Wark, Ian Rush and Paul Walsh.
What was significant is Mark Lawrenson was taken off after just 4-minutes and replaced by Gary Gillespie, who subsequently committed the foul outside the area, that resulted in the referee somehow awarding a penalty.
Where was the dreaded VAR in 1985?
Some of the noticeable Juve players on show that night were, Gaetano Scirea, Antonio Cabrini, Marco Tardelli and Paulo Rossi, who all won the World Cup with Italy in 1982, along with Polish striker Zbigniew Boniek and of cause Michel Platini.
Following the defeat against Juventus and the aftermath of the disaster, all-English clubs were banned from Europe for the next 5-years, so Bruce and the rest never got chance to play in the top competition again.
After the trauma of the war in Rhodesia and the Heysel incident, Bruce was in the Liverpool team that played at Hillsborough in April 1989 that saw 96-Liverpool fans die in just a truly awful event in history that changed the football landscape forever.
Grobbelaar was really the closest player to the crush that left the Liverpool fans dead and was the player who ran over to the referee to get the game stopped.
Plus, a true hero to the families of the victims in the weeks that followed the disaster.
Out of the 11, that played in the 1985 European Cup Final, all-11 could be included in a Liverpool Best Of, however, most had retired or had left the club prior to the start of 1992/93 season, so it’s fitting that Bruce gets the Number 1-jersey along with another, that features later on.
Although Bruce won 6-top flight League titles as well as 3-FA Cups, 3-League Cups and that European Cup triumph in 1984, Bruce, unfortunately, didn’t win a Premier League Crown, however, did compete in the new-look top division so as to be the one chosen in this Best Of.
Spaghetti Leg Grobs is a true Anfield legend.
2. Rob Jones
Most will probably be amazed that the Right-Back in this Liverpool Premier League Best Of is Rob Jones.
‘Trent Double-A is better’
Perhaps, perhaps not, opinions!
What is certain, however, is for a period of time, Rob Jones was the best Right-Back not only for Liverpool but also for England but due to injuries, could never really establish a run in the International team and in the end, only actually received 8-caps.
Rob, if he had stayed fit, could easily have rivalled his Manchester United counterpart, Gary Neville, in the England Right-Back position.
In a remarkable start to his career, Jones played for Crewe Alexander in the 4th-Division, the equivalent of today’s League 2, to playing for England against France within 4-months.
Liverpool legend, Graham Souness, the then Reds manager, signed Rob from Crewe after initially going to see another Right-Back recommended to Graham by Dario Gradi.
Fortunately, the player wasn’t any good that particular night and at half-time, Dario switched Rob to Right-Back who had a storming 2nd-half to cement a move to Anfield.
Within a day of signing for Graham and Liverpool, Rob was making his debut at Old Trafford and it’s rumoured that when the game finished and the Liverpool players went back to the dressing rooms, Ryan Giggs, jumped out of Rob’s pocket, where he’d been for 90-minutes and went for a shower in the home changing room.
A few months later Rob was playing at Wembley for England against France, a side that included Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps, Jean-Pierre Papin and a certain Eric Cantona.
A winning start too, with Alan Shearer scoring twice in a 2-0 victory.
Whilst at Liverpool, Jones did win 1-FA Cup and 1-League Cup but like all of this Best Of, never won a Premier League title and depending on how this 2019/20 Premier League season pans out, might not do.
Regarding the current situation with the re-commencement of the football season and what are the challenges that is faced, there are a number of solutions.
As a Barnsley FC fan, it would be easy to say that the season should finish and be declared null and void.
Barnsley FC would benefit.
However, that’s not the common feeling, the season should continue once the dreaded Coronavirus is in the past, which by the way, shouldn’t be too long now.
The worst-case scenario is that the Premier League and EFL could say that the season will start on July 1st.
With what’s happening in other countries and if Britain followed that pattern, July is well within reason to start up the season again.
There aren’t that many games left, the Premier League have 9 fixtures and the EFL have roughly the same, give or take.
July 1st is a Wednesday, so everyone kickstarts the season as Game Week 1, on Wednesday then the following weekend is Game Week 2 and so on.
Game Week 9, would roughly finish on Sunday 2nd of August 2020.
That could be extended for 2 weeks so that the FA Cup could be fitted in just like it would have been done.
If social distancing is still in force than there should be no crowds, simple as.
It’s not normal but this period is unprecedented and things that haven’t happened before may just have to happen now.
None of this ‘well it’s not our way’
The Champions League and Europa League can also be fitted in.
Bearing in mind Liverpool have gone out of the Champions League as have Tottenham.
Chelsea look to heading the same way with only Man City looking to progress, so the Premier League won’t be affected too much by the Champions League.
The league could work around City, which is what would have happened anyway.
Manchester United and Wolves are still in the Europa League with both having a chance of progressing.
Yet, Wolves are out of the FA Cup so there’s no problem there.
In theory, only the two Manchester clubs have the most amount of fixtures to workaround which can be done.
If the season resumes on July 1st then an end date of August 31st is given to all competitions, it would be feasible.
The players will in effect have had their pre-season so the 2020/21 season could start on the weekend commencing the 4th September 2020.
Remember also, most will have only played 9 games in that period up to 4th September.
The new 2020/21 season can again be compacted with extra time and replays being scrapped.
Why should an FA Cup replay take 10-days to be played? that in itself is wrong, even prior to this conundrum.
Usually, the play-offs are spread over virtually the whole of May with large gaps in between the games.
This can be compacted, as there are only so many teams that will be playing out of the 91.
It can be done and negativity needs to be dismissed straight away, this ‘we can’t do’ needs to be taken out of every conversation.
It can be done.
Whoever decides the outcome firstly needs to agree to a pact that this is unprecedented and shouldn’t be classed as the norm.
Also, in the pact should be ‘no negative comments’
‘We just can’t’
these statements need to be taken out of any conversations.
It can be done.
3. Steve Nicol
Stevie Nicol is of similar ilk to Bruce Grobbelaar, in that the Scotsman didn’t actually play that many games in the new-look Premier League.
However, this is a Liverpool Premier League Best Of and Big Stevie did play for Liverpool in the Premier League, therefore, due to Nicol being one of the Reds all-time favourite players, it’s fitting to include Steve as the Liverpool Left-Back in this column.
Starting his playing career in his native Scotland for Ayr United, in the late 1970s, Liverpool, who at the time, had a history of looking at the Scottish market, signed Stevie in 1981 but the then manager, Bob Paisley, didn’t through Nicol straight into the Liverpool lineup, it took 6-months or so before Steve got the chance to wear the famous Red shirt.
At the time, the Merseysider’s had 3-Scots in the team, Alan Hansen, Graham Souness and Sir Kenny Dalglish.
It’s fair to say that all 3-players would walk into a Best Of, however, none of the Liverpool legends played in the Premier League era.
Liverpool last won the Top Flight title in the 1989/90 season and prior to this current situation, were well on the way to winning their 1st-Premier League title and 1st-title in 30-years. With Alan, Graham and Sir Kenny in the Liverpool lineup in those early Premier League years, it’s without doubt, the Reds would have won a title.
For the younger FIFA ‘20 brigade, when the PlayStation is next turned on and a Liverpool side is chosen.
Instead of Virgil Van Dijk, think Alan Hansen, instead of Jordan Henderson, think Graham Souness and instead of any of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane or Mo Salah think Kenny Dalglish.
That sentence is actually being extremely kind to Virgil, Jordan and the Fab Three.
Jordan Henderson isn’t the same kind of player as Graham but he’s the closest current Reds player that can be compared.
Roy Keane was actually closer to the mould of Graham Souness, that’s why Sky Sports on a Sunday Afternoon is such a lively show with both Graham and Roy on set.
Roy can have a disingenuous debate all day about the current players but one thing Roy doesn’t do is take on Graham Souness.
Steve Nicol established himself in the 1983/84 Liverpool team but couldn’t dislodge Phil Neal or Alan Kennedy in the Full-Back roles so often played in midfield and blessed with being able to kick with both feet, a thing that a lot of modern-day footballers can’t do, Stevie played a lot of games in the midfield birth.
Like Bruce Grobbelaar earlier, Steve lifted the European Cup in 1984 with Liverpool after the famous Penalty Shootout against Roma.
Although Steve didn’t start in that final in the Olympic Stadium, Joe Fagan replaced Craig Johnston midway through the 2nd-half with Nicol, who then had the honour of taking Liverpool’s 1st-spot-kick.
Unfortunately for Big Stevie, he ballooned the ball over the bar putting the Reds straight away on the back-foot.
Luckily for Nicol, Bruce Grobbelaar’s Spaghetti-legs came to the Scots rescue and Steve got a European Cup-winning medal to add to the First Division title, Liverpool had won a couple of days before the final in Rome.
Steve also started the ill-fated 1985 European Cup Final against Juventus, which, as mentioned, ended in disaster.
As well as the 1983/84 First Division title, Nicol won 3-more Top Flight titles in his time at Anfield, the last being the 1989/90 trophy.
Along with the titles, Steve won 3-FA Cups and the 1-European Cup, as after the loss against Juve in the 1985 final, all-English clubs were banned from competing in Europe for 5-years, denying not only Steve but many players in their prime, the chance to add European glory to their CV.
Sir Kenny tells a great story about the arrival of Steve Nicol at Anfield back in 1981.
Along with Alan Hansen and Graham Souness, the 3 of them had given the impression to their fellow Liverpool team-mates that Scotland was at the forefront of the new-age world with the inventions and discoveries of the Telephone, Television, Penicillin, Tarmac and the Steam Train, as well as the luxuries of Golf and Whiskey, all coming from the Jocks.
Kenny recalls that everything they had built up, was dispelled within 10-minutes of Steve Nicol’s arrival.
‘Everything we had built up, he destroyed in 10-minutes due to a photograph that was taken of him when he signed.
There he was with a Tammy on, a silly Liverpool scarf and an even sillier grin’
A Tammy, by the way, is a hat.
Although, only about 60, of the 350-or so League games for Liverpool, were in the rebranded Premier League, Stevie N, did play in the new Top Flight with Sheffield Wednesday between 1995 and 1998.
What’s probably strange about that is that Stevie didn’t go straight from Liverpool to Sheffield Wednesday but actually dropped down a Division and signed for Notts County, who were in the 2nd-tier of English football at the time.
David Pleat, the then manager of Sheffield Wednesday, brought Nicol’s talent back to the Top Flight, late in 1995.
One of Steve’s best games in a Wednesday shirt, was in a 1-0 victory over his old club Liverpool, at Anfield in December 1996, where Steve’s resilient defensive display helped the Owls beat the Liver Birds.
Steve Nicol has to be included in a Liverpool Best Of, simple as.
4. Virgil Van Dijk
The best defender of a generation, quite simply.
Virgil Van Dijk is the ultimate Rolls-Royce of a footballer who was the missing component in Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side that had knocked on the door of the Premier League title but couldn’t get in.
After finishing 2nd in the 2013/14 Premier League season, under Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool actually went backwards not forwards, finishing 6th in the following season ultimately resulting in Brendan’s sacking, a couple of months into the start of 2015/16 campaign.
Jurgen arrived in October of 2015 but didn’t immediately improve the fortunes of the Reds, with Liverpool actually finishing 8th at the end of the 2015/16 season.
The 2016/17 season improved for the Anfield faithful who saw their beloved side finish 4th and 4th was the position Jurgen’s Reds finished in the following 2017/18 season.
Jurgen had assembled a great squad but was missing a couple of key players, one a top-notch goalkeeper and Virgil Van Dijk.
The Liverpool hierarchy pursued Big Virgil for most of the summer of 2017, however, were unable to get the Transfer over the line with numerous £50 Million plus bids, being rebuffed by Southampton.
At the time, Chelsea, the then Premier League Champions and Man City were also in pursuit of Virgil, who had arrived on the South Coast in the summer of 2015 from the Scottish Premier League Champions Celtic.
However, both Chelsea and City were knocked back by Virgil, who wanted to go to Liverpool and what followed was a very public and prolonged fall-out with Southampton, which meant that Jurgen had to wait 6-months before their new colossus arrived at Liverpool in the 2018 January Transfer Window.
This was significant for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp as not only had they signed the player that they so dearly needed, the Reds prevented their near rivals from improving their particular squads.
Within 5-months of Virgil Van Dijk signing for Liverpool for a Transfer Fee of £75 Million, Liverpool reach the European Champions League Final but despite the inclusion of Virgil, couldn’t beat Real Madrid.
Jurgen tweaked his team even further in the summer of 2018, bringing in, what’s widely regarded as the final piece of the Liverpool jigsaw, the goalkeeper Alisson Becker.
That enabled Liverpool to push on in the 2018/19 season to match eventual winners, Man City all the way, to eventually finish just a point behind Peps boys, however, the Reds did get their hands on a 6th-European Cup, with victory over Tottenham in Madrid.
All connected with Liverpool are now on tenterhooks with regards to the future of the current 2019/2020 Premier League season, all hoping that the season reconvenes and Virgil and the rest finally get their hands on the coveted Premier League title.
What’s probably forgotten about Virgil Van Dijk’s early career is that whilst playing for Groningen, in his native Holland, the Scouts at the top European clubs didn’t see Virgil as a worthy signing.
It’s understandable if Groningen had wanted £100 Million for their young Centre-Half, who was 21-years old at the time, however, the Dutch club didn’t actually see much value in their Centre-Back and allowed Celtic to sign him for just over £2 Million, which is simply staggering that none of the so-called top clubs came in for Vigil.
The Celtic manager at the time in June 2013, Neil Lennon, was the lucky one who got Big Virgil’s signature.
Within 5-minutes of seeing Virgil train with his new Celtic team-mates, Neil pulled Virgil to one-side and said,
‘Just enjoy your time here son, because you’re not going to be here long.’
Again, another surprise is, although Virgil Van Dijk showcased his sublime talent in over 100-appearances for the Scottish Premier League club, still, none of the so-called big boys came in for him, who could have left Celtic for a fee of around £13 Million, that, what Southampton paid in September 2015.
Man City signed John Stones a year after Virgil signed for Southampton, for £50 Million.
A year after, not before, so could have picked Virgil up from Celtic for a fraction of the fee paid for John.
At the same time that Southampton were paying £13 Million for Virgil, bids of £25-£30 Million were being made to Everton for the ex-Barnsley FC defender, Stones, by Chelsea and others, yet none of them considered Big Virgil from Celtic.
In the same 2015 Summer Transfer Window, Manchester United signed Matteo Darmian for the same price that Southampton paid for Virgil, Man City paid £34 Million for Nicolas Otamendi.
Liverpool themselves paid the same £13 Million for Nathaniel Clyne, that Ronald Koeman paid for Virgil.
What might be significant in Virgil Van Dijk signing for Ronald Koeman is, Ron’s dad Martin was influential in Groningen getting Virgil at the beginning of his career.
For everyone concerned with Liverpool, the Premier League as to reconvene after this Coronavirus situation and it will be fitting for Virgil Van Dijk to become a Premier League winner.
5. Jamie Carragher
To partner Big Virgil in the centre of Liverpool’s Premier League defence is a one-club man and Bob Carolgees best mate, Jamie Carragher.
Jamie came through the Liverpool youth ranks and although stayed at Anfield throughout his career, is an Everton fan.
That didn’t prevent the Red side of Merseyside taking a punt on the youngster who had been on the books of Liverpool since he was 9-year old.
Jamie made his debut back in 1997, coincidentally coming on as a substitute, for the Number 2 in this Best Of, Rob Jones.
Jimbo began to make a name for himself in the 1997/98 Premier League season and was an unused substitute in a famous game at Anfield in November ‘97 when Barnsley FC, making their one and only appearance in the Promised Land, went over to Liverpool and beat the Reds 1-0 (see EveryTip’s-The Greatest Premier League Football Games of All Time)
Like every Liverpool player in this Best Of (at the time of writing!) JC never got his hands on the coveted Premier League title, that will change for Virgil if this season’s football reconvenes.
Jamie, however, did achieve other honours, including 2-FA Cups, 3-League Cups, 1-European Champions League, 1-UEFA Cup and 2-European Super Cups.
The highlight of Jamie’s glittering career at Anfield, apart from the 2005 Champions League victory against AC Milan, was the 2000/01 season when Liverpool won a staggering 5-trophies, in the space of 6-months, starting with the League Cup victory against Birmingham in February 2001, the FA Cup victory against Arsenal in May 2001, the UEFA Cup victory against Alaves, 4-days after the FA Cup triumph, the Community Shield victory against Manchester United in August 2001 and finally the Super Cup victory against Bayern Munich in August 2001 too.
Jamie played every second of 5 of the 6 games, including the Extra-Time in the games against Birmingham, Alaves and AC Milan, as well as a 7-minute cameo in the Community Shield against Manchester United, which is a tremendous personal athletic achievement for Carragher.
Out of all the players Liverpool have had over those trophy-laden years, there was only Sami Hyypia that played the full 630-minutes of all 6-games, literally playing just 83-minutes more than Jamie Carragher.
In between both Jamie and Sami played the full 90-minutes in the 2002 League Cup victory against Manchester United and following the dramatic penalty shoot-out against AC Milan, went on to win the 2nd of their Super Cup triumphs, both playing the full-game in the 3-1 victory against CSK Moscow.
The European Super Cup is a competition, usually played in Monaco, in August each year between the European Champions League winners and the UEFA Cup winners, now the Europa League winners.
Liverpool won this in 2001, by being the current UEFA Cup Champions and in 2005, by being the current Champions League winners.
That in mind, it’s easy to include both Sami and Jamie in a Liverpool Best Of but Virgil had to be in, so JC just gets the shirt ahead of Sami, who will be warming up on the sidelines in case Jamie gets an early injury.
6. Jamie Redknapp
What might be a surprise to everyone is Jamie Redknapp actually preceded the Premier League, making his football league debut for the Cherries, as a 16-year old back in 1989.
Jamie signed for Liverpool in 1991, from Bournemouth where Jim’s dad Harry, was the manager and where Jim had spent his youth honing his skills.
Jamie played under Graham Souness, Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier but was actually signed by Kenny Dalglish just prior to Sir Kenny leaving the Anfield hot-seat, making his debut in the old First Division before the transformation into the Premier League.
Graham chose Jamie Redknapp for a Europa game back in October ‘91 making Jamie the youngest Liverpool player, at the time, to compete in Europe.
Liverpool lost that away leg, with Jim, starting, by a 2-0 scoreline but in the return leg at Anfield, with Jamie back on the bench, Liverpool won by a 3-0 scoreline, meaning a 3-2 aggregate victory.
One side note, a certain William Prunier was in the Auxerre line-up in the 1st-leg of those 2-games.
Manchester United fans remember William fondly.
Redknapp quickly established himself in the Liverpool midfield playing regularly in the early Premier League era, including being one of the White Suited Spice Boys in the 1996 losing FA Cup Final against Manchester United.
During the 1997/98 Premier League season, Jamie featured in a famous game at Anfield in November ‘97 when Barnsley FC, making their one and only appearance in the Promised Land, went over to Liverpool and beat the Reds 1-0 (see EveryTip’s-The Greatest Premier League Football Games of All Time)
In the return fixture at Oakwell a few months later in March 1998, Jamie again played in the game.
That particular game at Oakwell, back in 1998 as somehow gone under the radar and is rarely mentioned in any Sky Sports or BBC Sports historic programmes.
However, in the history of the Premier League, this game is one of the most controversial of all time, full of goals, comebacks, Red Cards and last-minute winners.
On a bright and sunny Spring Day, Liverpool armed with 2,000 or so fans, headed to Yorkshire to avenge the 1-0 defeat back in November.
Along with Jamie, the Reds team included, David James, Rob Jones, Steve McManaman and Karl-Heinz Riedle, as well as Paul Ince and Michael Owen.
Barnsley took the lead 10-minutes before the break, through Neil Redfearn.
Looking like the Reds of Oakwell would go in at the interval leading, Karl-Heinz equalised for Liverpool just before half-time.
That was only the start of the excitement as 10-minutes into the restart, Barnsley’s Darren Barnard was shown a straight Red Card for a supposed professional foul on Michael Owen.
The controversy had begun as no person in the stadium, including the Liverpool players and fans thought that the foul, at worst, warranted no more than a Yellow.
Within minutes of being reduced to 10-men, Barnsley were also losing when Karl-Heinz Riedle scored a superb goal to put Liverpool 2-1 in front.
Midway through the 2nd-half, Barnsley were reduced to 9-men when it was adjudged that Chris Morgan had elbowed Michael Owen, who was quickly becoming public enemy Number-1 at Oakwell.
The referee again showed a straight Red Card to Chris and again it appeared harsh.
Oakwell erupted and both the players and crowd went berserk with the referee, with some of the faithful trying to attack the man in black.
It was only down to the quick thinking of the players that the referee wasn’t set upon.
After 70-minutes of play in the Spring sun of Yorkshire, there had been 3-goals and 2-Red Cards, however, that wasn’t the end of the show, show, as Ant and would say.
To take on Liverpool with 11-men is an arduous task in itself, to try and fend them off with 10, was going to be tough but to play 20-minutes against the Reds of Merseyside, playing in Yellow that day, with just 9-men, was like the Alamo.
What’s more remarkable is that with only 9-men against 12 (Liverpool had an extra man wearing black!) Barnsley actually equalised in the 85th-minute when Georgi Hristov was brought down in the area by the Liverpool defender and amazingly the referee, who had been against Barnsley all afternoon, awarded a penalty to the Reds, which Neil Redfearn dispatched and put the 9-men of Yorkshire back level with Liverpool.
Surely that was the end of the drama?
Not so, there was still time for another couple of incidents, with Steve McManaman getting the Liverpool winning goal with time running out and the referee showing Barnsley a 3rd-Red Card with Darren Sheridan getting a 2nd-Yellow following a confrontation with anyone who was in his vicinity.
A game with 5-goals, 3-sending offs, crowd invasions, 9-men equalising against 11-men and a last-minute winner, seems to have gone under the radar with the pundits.
Jamie Redknapp, although playing the full 90-minutes and given his TV exposure, never mentions the game, which in itself is strange.
Danny Murphy, who also played in the game, is a regular on BBC 1 and talkSPORT and never talks about it either, maybe it’s a game that the Liverpool players feel guilty about having taken on little old Barnsley and could only beat them with the help of the referee.
Jamie’s International career was curtailed through injury but he was on the pitch momentarily when Gazza scored his wonder goal against Scotland in Euro’96 at Wembley and took part in the infamous Dentist Chair celebrations.
Momentarily, as due to England not performing in the 1st-half, Terry Venables introduced Jamie, as a replacement for Stuart Pearce, at the beginning of the 2nd-half.
Jamie did improve England after the break but unfortunately only lasted 39-minutes before a horrendous injury to his Achilles heel, meant Redknapp was taken off before the end of the Scotland game and ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.
Injuries also prevented Jamie from competing in any other major International tournament which is a shame as, whilst maybe he wouldn’t necessarily be the first name on the England managers team-sheet, like against Scotland, Jamie could come on as a substitute and change a game if needed.
Unlike Jamie Carragher, Jamie didn’t win that much in his career, as through injury, JR wasn’t involved in the 2000/01 triumphant season and had left Liverpool prior to the 2005 Champions League victory.
The one medal, Jimbo got his hand on whilst at Anfield was the 1994/95 League Cup, playing in the final at Wembley against Bolton Wanderers, where Liverpool were victorious by a 2-1 scoreline.
There may be others who warrant a shirt more than Jamie Redknapp in this Best Of but for the sheer fact that Jamie started at Anfield as a 17-year old and stayed for 10-years, makes him worthy of a Premier League shirt.
7. Steve McManaman
One of the best players to play for Liverpool in the 27-year Premier League Era.
Steve made his debut for the Reds, as an 18-year-old in 1990 coming on as a substitute.
Like Jamie Redknapp, Steve initially signed for Kenny Dalglish but with Kenny leaving soon after, played his time at Liverpool under Graham Souness, Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier.
Like Jamie also, Steve preceded the Premier League and started out his Liverpool career in the old First Division playing most of the fixtures in the final season before the inaugural Premier League started.
Macca won the 1st of his 2-medals whilst at Liverpool in the 1992 FA Cup Final, starring in the 2-0 victory against Sunderland.
Macca’s other medal came in the 1995 League Cup victory against Bolton Wanderers, with McManaman scoring both goals in the Reds 2-1 win.
Despite being a pivotal player at Liverpool in the 9-years he was there, Steve wasn’t actually a favourite with the England managers, rings a bell that!
A talented player doesn’t get picked for England too many times!
In total, Steve won just 37-caps but did excel under Terry Venables who, along with Kevin Keegan, seemed to be the only 2-England managers to get the best out of the Liverpool star, with Terry being the one who gave Steve his England debut.
In the Euro’96 tournament held in England, Steve was an essential player and was one of the players of the tournament.
After Terry Venables had been outwitted by his Scottish counterpart Craig Brown in the 1st-half of the England v Scotland Group fixture, Terry brought on Jamie Redknapp at the start of the 2nd-half as a replacement for Stuart Pearce, that allowed England to have a 5-man midfield, freeing up McManaman to unlock the Scots defence, resulting in the 2-0 victory.
In the following game against Holland, Stevie Mc was once again sensational pulling the strings in midfield to produce the chances for Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham to score 2-goals each and ultimately a 4-1 victory.
In the 37-games McManaman played for England, he was only on the losing side 3-times.
One being the penalty shoot-out defeat against Germany in the Euro’96 Semi-Final.
Glenn Hoddle only chose Steve 7-times in total in his tenure as England manager, giving Steve a total of only 17-minutes at the World Cup in France’98, bearing in mind Steve was in his prime and that this was just 12-months before he joined Real Madrid.
Kevin Keegan brought Macca back into the starting eleven when Glenn left and was a part of the Euro’2000 in Belgium and Holland.
A sliding doors moment in the history of English football was that McManaman scored the 2nd-goal to give England a 2-0 lead in the opening game of Euro’2000 against Portugal.
Unfortunately for both Steve and England, Macca picked up an injury just after the break against Portugal which resulted in him missing the remainder of the tournament.
England limped out of yet another finals by failing to beat Romania in the final group game when Phil Neville gave away a last-minute penalty to allow Romania to score and get a 3-2 victory, knocking England out.
In Euro’2000, England were 2-0 up against Portugal but lost 3-2, beat Germany by a 1-0 scoreline and were 2-1 up against Romania only needing a draw to progress.
Following a Romanian equaliser, the last-minute penalty meant Romania won 3-2 and edged England in the Group.
Steve McManaman, Sliding Doors!
After Kevin’s departure and the arrival of Sven Goran Eriksson, Steve’s England career was virtually over, however, Macca did get 12-minutes or so as a substitute in the famous World Cup qualifier against Greece in 2001, coming on when England were trailing 2-1 and needed to score.
Which David Beckham certainly did in injury time to send Old Trafford wild.
Despite winning the European Champions League with Real Madrid in 2000 and 2002, Sven decided to leave Steve out of the 2002 World Cup squad, which simply baffled Steve’s Real Madrid team-mates, Zinedine Zidane and Figo.
In 1995 an unknown Belgium footballer Jean-Marc Bosman took on the Belgium Football Association.
Whilst at his club RFC Liege, where his contract ran out in 1990, Bosman wanted to move to the French club, Dunkerque.
At the time, even though a players contract had ended, a transfer fee was still demanded by the holding club, therefore Dunkeque had to pay RFC Liege a fee.
In this day and age, it’s inconceivable to even contemplate this to happen but prior to 1995, that was the norm.
Dunkeque refused to pay a fee so RFC Liege refused to let Jean-Marc leave.
Also, now being out of contract, Jean-Marc had his wages cut.
Feeling this was an injustice and rightly so, Jean-Marc took on the authorities and in 1995, the Courts ruled that once a player’s contract had expired, the player was free to sign for any club he wanted without the need for a fee.
This rule became known as the ‘Bosman Rule’ so when a player leaves a club without a fee, he’s gone on a ‘Bosman’.
In 1999, Steve McManaman was one of the first high profile players that allowed his contract to run down without signing a new one with Liverpool and joined Real Madrid for nothing, taking advantage of the Bosman ruling.
At the time, 21-years ago, it was deemed that Steve was being a touch ruthless towards his employers, who had nurtured his talent since he was a youngster, by leaving without Liverpool receiving a fee.
In today’s overpriced and inflated transfer market, Steve McManaman would be valued at around £80 Million, bearing in mind that Real Madrid paid £90 Million for Eden Hazard last season.
Steve signed a 5-year deal with Real for a reported £54,000 a week, a cool £14 Million over the 5-years.
A lot of money now but a fortune in 1999, setting up Steve for life.
In his 1st-season in Madrid, Macca won the Champions League, scoring a goal in the final, in his 2nd-season, Macca did what he had not achieved on Merseyside and won a Top Flight title, in his 3rd-season Macca won the Champions League again.
It’s fair to say that Steve McManaman was a success in Spain, being included in several Real Madrid All-Time Elevens.
Steve came back to the Premier League at the start of the 2003/04, signing for Kevin Keegan’s Man City, again for nothing, having been released by Real Madrid.
After a career that started as a 16-year old apprentice at Anfield, a 27-year old at the Santiago Bernabeu and a 31-year old at the Etihad, that saw, not 1-penny spent in transfer fees, Steve called time on his playing days in May 2005.
Out of all the achievements El Macca gained throughout his time as a footballer, a last-minute equalising goal scored for the Reds, against Celtic, in the UEFA Cup back in 1997, is in itself, enough to give Steve McManaman the Number-7 shirt in this Liverpool Premier League Best Of.
8. Steven Gerrard
Stevie G would probably make any Liverpool Best Of in any era, not just the Premier League.
Another of the Liverpool players who started life at Anfield and despite several near transfers away from Merseyside, stayed at Liverpool until the twilight of his career, before a brief experience in Los Angeles at the end of his playing days.
Beginning at Liverpool in 1998 and finishing in 2015, Stevie is the 3rd-youngest in this particular X1.
With a plethora of medals in his trophy-laden career at Anfield, probably the one regret Steven as is not achieving a Premier League title victory with his beloved Reds.
The closest coming in 2013/14, when it’s widely regarded that a slip from Gerrard on the halfway line, which resulted in Chelsea’s Demba Ba running away and scoring, cost Liverpool the title, finishing 2nd behind Man City.
At Liverpool, in over 700-appearances for the Reds, Gerrard got his hands on 2-FA Cups, 3-League Cups, 1-European Champions League, 1-UEFA Cup and a European Super Cup, as well as numerous individual honours and is regarded by many as the best midfielder of a generation.
However, that view, although shared by Zinedine Zidane and Pele, is not necessarily shared by everyone and with the talent Steven had, should have transferred it better on the International stage with his mate Frank Lampard.
Between the 2-superb individual footballers, they have 220-caps, yet in that time, England never achieved anything.
It was always a burning question, can Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard play in the same England team?
Every England manager from Glenn Hoddle in 1999, to Roy Hodgson in 2014 tried to.
Even though every England manager thought they could get the best out of Steve and Frank, in truth the pair didn’t play well together, yet no England manager had the Cojones to drop either one of them for a different system that could possibly be successful.
One of the greatest midfield players of all-time, Paul Scholes was often overlooked in the midfield for England or at times pushed out wide to accommodate Steve and Frank.
Michael Carrick was discarded by England boss’s because it was assumed that Stevie G and Frankie L were better.
Individually, Steven Gerrard is a superb footballer and was head and shoulders above most of his Liverpool team-mates for over a decade, yet Liverpool knew how to use Gerrard, Chelsea knew how to use Frank, England managers didn’t know how to use them in the same side and one should have been sacrificed for the good of the national team.
That’s not opinion, the facts speak for themselves.
Spain had Xavi and Andreas Iniesta, 2 of the greatest midfielders of any era, yet Spain’s National managers knew the importance of the two and the two knew how to interact between themselves.
Steven and Frank didn’t, to the detriment of England.
That said, at club level, Stevie G was simply phenomenal and at times it was a one-man show, like the time he scored against Olympiacos at Anfield in 2004, to help the Reds progress to the Champions League final, a few months later.
Also, the time it looked like West Ham had won the 2006 FA Cup, leading Liverpool 3-2 going into the final minutes, up stepped Gerrard to equalise and take the tie into Extra-Time and a subsequent victorious penalty shoot-out, where Stevie G converted.
In the games Steven Gerrard has played for Liverpool over the years, he has never managed to beat Barnsley FC, having been on the losing side in the one and only game he faced the Super Reds of Yorkshire, in February 2008, when Liverpool lost by a 2-1 scoreline in the FA Cup.
To be fair to Stevie, he was a substitute that day, as Rafa Benitez thought his Liverpool team could beat Barnsley without Gerrard.
With the score at 1-1 with 15-minutes to go, Rafa introduced Stevie to try and win the game.
The class showed between Steven Gerrard and his Championship opponents, yet remarkably Brian Howard scored a 90th-minute winner for the Yorkshire Reds and that was that.
Like the old U2 song, Barnsley beat Liverpool,
‘With or without you’ Steven Gerrard.
9. Robbie Fowler
God, as Robbie is affectionately known, gets the Number 9-shirt just ahead of another Anfield legend that is Ian Rush.
Robbie made his Reds debut in the first few months of the inaugural Premier League in September 1993 and his final appearance in the final game of the 2006/07 season.
In a career, spanning a staggering 14-years at the Anfield club, what’s probably forgotten, is that God left Liverpool in November 2001 and returned in January 2005 to play a further 39-times before the curtain came down on his Anfield career.
There wasn’t a specific Transfer Window back in 2001, so Robbie started the season with Liverpool but it was rumoured, after a few disagreements, the then Reds manager Gerard Houllier, thought it best that Robbie should leave and in November 2001, Fowler joined Leeds United.
Graham Souness gave Robbie his debut, in a League Cup game at Craven Cottage where Fowler scored the 3rd goal in a 3-1 victory against Fulham.
As of the day, the League Cup was a 2-legged affair and in the 2nd-leg at Anfield Robbie scored all 5-goals in a 5-0 victory.
Not a bad first game at Anfield for the God aged just 18.
In his time at Liverpool, there were some iconic goals, including the quickest Premier League hat-trick at the time against Arsenal in August 1994, when God scored 3 in just under 5-minutes.
Coincidentally, Liverpool’s Sadio Mane broke Fowler’s record that stood for over 20-years.
Robbie scored a couple in the iconic game against Manchester United at Old Trafford in October 1995, that saw the return of Eric Cantona from his Kung-Fu ban.
Fowler then got 2-goals in the famous 4-3 victory against Newcastle in April 1996 (EveryTip’s The Greatest Premier League Football Games of All Time)
A year later, in the same fixture, Robbie scored another brace, in another 4-3 victory over Newcastle at Anfield.
In the 2nd-game against Newcastle, although the final scoreline was the same 4-3 as the previous seasons, the scoring wasn’t the same.
Liverpool actually had a 3-0 lead in the 2nd-fixture, with Newcastle scoring 3-late goals to get back on level terms and were actually 3-1 down with less than 3-minutes on the clock.
After getting back level, it looked like Newcastle had snatched a point until Robbie popped up in the last minute to get the winner.
With a final Premier League tally of 163-goals in 379-appearances, God is up there with the best of any striker and is currently 7th in the all-time Premier League goal-scoring charts.
Out of the 6-players ahead of him, Thierry Henry-175, Frank Lampard-177, Sergio Aguero-180, Andy Cole-187, Wayne Rooney-208 and Alan Shearer-260, there is only Thierry and Sergio that have played fewer games in the Premier League than Robbie Fowler.
Alan Shearer played 441-games, 62-more than Fowler, Wayne Rooney played 494-times, 115-more than Fowler, Andy Cole-414, 35-more than Fowler and Frank Lampard-609, a staggering 230-more than Fowler.
Just imagine adding 62-games onto Robbie’s tally or adding 230-more games onto Robbie’s Premier League appearance record, what would Robbie’s final goal-scoring total be then?
Imagine how many goals Thierry and Sergio would have in 441-appearances in the Top Flight.
At the height of his career, although he received quite a few England caps, there were a lot of excellent English strikers, so game time for Robbie, in the National team was limited.
Terry Venables picked Fowler for Euro’96 and whilst Robbie didn’t play often, he did get 15-minutes in the fantastic 4-1 victory against Holland, and was on the pitch for 10-minutes at the end of the Spain game which England won following a penalty shoot-out.
Robbie was down to take the 5th-penalty but wasn’t needed after Spain missed twice.
In the Semi-Final against Germany, where England eventually lost the game on penalties, Robbie sat on the bench.
What’s probably forgotten about that game, in all the emotion of once again losing against the Germans in a major Semi-Final, on penalties, is the eleven that Terry Venables picked to start, were the eleven that were on the pitch, 120-minutes later.
Terry didn’t use any of his substitutes, where his German counterpart, Berti Vogts, used all-3.
God will still think that if he was given half an hour in that Semi, England would have won.
Robbie missed out on inclusion in the World Cup squad for France’98 but joined Steve McManaman in Kevin Keegan’s squad for Euro’2000, however, didn’t see game time in any of the 3-group games against Portugal, Germany and Romania.
Sven then chose Fowler for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, where again, he warmed the bench for all of the 3-group games.
Sven brought Robbie on at half-time in the Last-16 game as a replacement for Michael Owen, which although England won, it turned out to be Robbie’s last appearance in an England shirt.
In his time at Liverpool, Fowler won 1-FA Cup, 2-League Cups, 1-UEFA Cup and the Super Cup as well as a few individual honours.
Michael Owen is up there with the goal-scoring feats of Fowler with 150-Premier League goals in 326-appearances, 118, of those goals in his 216-games for the Reds, with Robbie getting 128, of his Premier League goals, in 266-Top Flight appearances for Liverpool.
In comparison to these 2-Premier League legends for Liverpool, Ian Rush scored 229-First Division and Premier League goals in 469-total appearances for the Reds.
The majority of Ian’s career was prior to the Premier League’s inauguration, yet Rush did play in 166-Premier League games from 1992-1998, of which, 130-was with the Reds, scoring 45-times in the 130-games.
That’s just Ian Rush’s record in a Liverpool shirt, to compare the 3, would be impossible as Ian started his life at Anfield in the 1980s which were simply different times on the football pitch.
It’s just fair to say that Liverpool, have had 3, of the greatest strikers of all-time, God being one of them.
10. Mo Salah
Mo Salah, along with Virgil Van Dijk, are the only players from the current 2019/20 Liverpool squad that makes this all-time Premier League Best Of.
There could be others included such as Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Mo’s front partners, Roberto Firmino and Sade Mane, however, this is an all-time Premier League Best Of and if it just included the players from the current squad, who without doubt, have had a great couple of seasons, wouldn’t be fair to the players that have performed at a high level in front of the Anfield faithful for a long period of time.
In 5 or 10-years, a Best Of Liverpool eleven could just include the current boys, which may, at the time, be justified but for now, it’s just Big Virgil and the Egyptian Magician.
Mo started life in the Premier League, not with the Reds but with the Blues of Chelsea, however, under the guidance of Dracula (regular EveryTip readers will know just who Dracula is) didn’t excel at Stamford Bridge and was moved on to Fiorentina in Italy.
Mo only played 13-times for the Blues before firstly a loan move to Fiorentina and then a permanent move to another Italian side, Roma.
It was for the Romans, that the Egyptian King began to show the talent that his early potential had promised.
Jurgen Klopp came calling at the beginning of the 2017-Summer Transfer Window and signed Mo for a fee in the region of £40 Million, which at the time, made Salah, Liverpool’s biggest ever signing, eclipsing the then £35 Million the Reds paid for Andy Carrol (Yes, £35 Million for Andy Carrol).
The subsequent signings of Virgil, Alisson and Naby Keita, knock Mo down to 4th.
Prior to the suspension of the Premier League due to the Coronavirus situation, Mo had just played his 100th-League game, in which he’d already stacked up 70-goals.
Mo is well on the way to becoming an Anfield legend.
That said, it’s not certain if Mo will be in Liverpool next season, as there are plenty of admirers who would snap Salah up if the hierarchy decided to cash in.
Most would think,
‘Why would Liverpool sell Mo Salah?‘ Probably the £100 Million plus, he’d go for, could just be the straight forward answer to that.
With Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane in the ranks, £100 Million could help soften the blow of Mo leaving Anfield.
In addition to that, some will now be wondering why Mo is the one chosen from the Fab 3, to get this jersey.
The simple answer is that Mo is the goal-scorer and is the Liverpool player who has scored 50-goals the quickest, surpassing Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and the God.
In Mo’s 100th-Premier League game for Liverpool, on the 7th of March 2020, against Bournemouth, prior to the suspension of all football, the Egyptian Magician scored his 70th-Premier League goal, which is simply remarkable.
As well as the league goals, Mo has 20-Champions League strikes including a goal in the victorious final against Tottenham in May 2019.
In the Champions League Final the year before, the importance of Mo was evident when the Real Madrid defender, Sergio Ramos, deliberately targeted Salah early in the game, which resulted in Mo sustaining an injury to his shoulder, that meant Mo had to go off after just 30-minutes.
Sergio didn’t want a fully fit Mo Salah terrorising him throughout the game.
Mo has a Champions League Winner’s medal in his cabinet at home, along with the subsequent Super Cup and the FIFA World Club Cup, which come from the Champions League victory.
What Mo and everyone else connected with Liverpool are waiting for is this 2019/2020 season to restart so that he can get his hands on a 1st-Premier League title, that whilst not confirmed, is inevitable if the season reconvenes.
Mo is only 3-goals behind Jamie Vardy in this seasons Golden Boot competition, so all to play for, having already grabbed that particular accolade in both the previous seasons.
In Salah’s 1st-season at Anfield, Mo scored 32-Premier League goals which is a record that not even the great Alan Shearer achieved.
Before the phones start ringing with the Shearer fans claiming that Big Al scored 34-Premier League goals in the 1994/95 season, that’s correct, however, back in 1994/95, there were 22-teams in the Premier League which meant each team, at the time, played 42-Premier League games.
Big Al, did score 34-Premier League goals in 42-games for title winners Blackburn, before the Premier League relegated 4-teams that season and only promoted 2-from the Championship, leaving just the 20-team Premier League that is now the norm.
Mo would say that if he had another 4-games in 2017/18, he would have scored more than Alan Shearer’s 34, if, buts and Moby’s.
11. John Barnes
As well as appearing on the Easter Weekend’s editions of the Chase and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, John Barnes was a brilliant footballer in the 1980s and 90s.
Born in Jamaica in 1963, JB started his career at Watford making his debut for the Hertfordshire club in 1981 as a 17-year old.
The Premier League didn’t start until 1992.
Correct, John Barnes played for Watford in the old First Division from 1981 to 1987, when JB then signed for Liverpool, where he won the Top Flight title in 1987/88 and 1989/90. As well as the 2-League titles, John also won 2-FA Cups and 1-League Cup, plus endless individual honours.
Before the FA Cup victory in 1989 against Everton, where Liverpool beat their Merseyside rivals 3-2 after extra-time, JB had experienced an FA Cup Final defeat previously whilst playing for Watford in 1984.
Coincidentally, Everton were the team that beat Watford so it was sweet revenge for John in the final 5-years later.
As well as the 2-FA Cup winners medals, John has 3-losing medals, the 1 with Watford, 1 with the White Suited Spice Boys and 1 with Newcastle.
Most players can only dream of playing in an FA Cup final, yet to play in 5, over a period of 14-years is simply brilliant, despite some of the results.
John played in the famous game against Newcastle in April 1996 where Liverpool beat Newcastle by a 4-3 scoreline, instrumental in setting up Stan Collymore for the Reds last gasp winner.
Almost a year later in March 1997, John was the captain of Liverpool when the Reds repeated the 4-3 victory against the Magpies.
The following season, in the space of 24-days, John Barnes featured in 3-games between Liverpool and Newcastle, however, the 3-games were all in the Black and White Magpie shirt, following JBs transfer to Newcastle at the end of the 1996/97 season and all resulted in 3-Newcastle defeats.
Over the years, despite the exceptional talent John Barnes has, John was treated horrendously by supporters of opposition clubs and England fans whilst playing for the National team.
There is a famous picture of John back-healing a banana off the pitch at Goodison Park back in 1988.
The photo shows John’s calmness in the face of blatant racism which was prevalent in the late 1980s.
Unfortunately, racism hasn’t really left the game in the 30 or so years since, which is simply abhorrent.
Whilst playing for England at Wembley in 1994, in a game against the mighty San Marino, the England fans booed his every touch, again simply disgusting and abhorrent.
At the Maracana in 1984, JB scored one of the best England goals ever in a game against Brazil, a game that England beat Brazil by a 2-0 scoreline.
For that goal alone, John should have been cheered every time he touched the ball in any future games for the Three Lions.
What the fans also forget, all too easily, is that John Barnes changed the game against Argentina at the Mexico’86 World Cup.
Trailing 2-0 against Diego Maradona, who’s Hand of God goal along with the wonder goal, had put Argentina in a commanding position.
Bobby Robson introduced JB in the 2nd-half and within minutes of coming on, used his wing wizardry to cross for Gary Lineker to pull a goal back.
Soon after, from identical circumstances, John crossed again for Lineker but this time, Big Gary couldn’t manage to repeat and the chance of an equaliser had gone.
John Barnes had done his part, what happened at Wembley against San Marino, the ones that booed should hang their heads in shame.
During John’s final years with Liverpool, all in the Premier League, the goals were few and far between, as John had moved into a more central role but still retained the quality needed to play in the Top Flight.
However, JB did score 84-league goals for the Reds from 314-top flight appearances, including being Liverpool’s leading goal-scorer in the First Division title-winning season of 1989/90, with 22-goals which was 4-more than goal machine Ian Rush’s tally that year.
That season had followed the Hillsborough disaster where 96-Liverpool fans had lost their lives at the 1988/89 FA Cup Semi-Final in Sheffield.
John Barnes was on the fateful pitch that day in April 1989 and attended many of the funerals in the following weeks, as well as visiting the injured in the hospitals.
When the tie was eventually played, Liverpool beat Nottingham Forest by a 3-1 scoreline to progress to the final in a poignant game at Wembley against Everton, which was fitting for all of Merseyside after the terrible events a month earlier.
John eventually got his hands on an FA Cup winners medal, 5-years after losing against Everton whilst playing with Watford.
After football, John Barnes tried management but wasn’t much of a success and now gives his opinions mostly about football but occasionally life issues on TV and Radio, as well as the odd appearance on Quizzes.
Liverpool have had some great players over the years, yet since JB and the rest got their hands on the First Division title back in 1990, it’s 30-years and counting since the engravers have had to write Liverpool on the top trophy.
Despite everything that’s happening at the moment and whatever the Premier League and EFL decide to do, Liverpool are the 2019/2020 Premier League Champions.
Pepe Reina, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Steve Staunton, Sami Hyypia, Mark Wright, Jan Molby, Javier Mascherano, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Ian Rush, Stan Collymore
Norman Hunter RIP
Norman Hunter, a Leeds United legend, sadly passed away on Friday 17th April 2020.
Norman was not only a Leeds United legend but a Barnsley FC legend, both as a player and a Manager in the 1970s and 80s.
Norman was also part of the England World Cup-winning squad of 1966 as back-up to his Leeds United team-mate Jack Charlton and Bobby Moore.
Although, the squad players didn’t actually receive a medal on the day back in July’66, in 2009, Norman, along with the rest of the England team, were finally awarded a Winner’s medal for their contribution to helping the nation win the World Cup.
Along with Norman, receiving a belated Winner’s medal, was Peter Bonetti, who himself, sadly died on the 12th April 2020, 5-days prior to Norman.
Rest in Peace Norman ‘Bite Ya Legs’
Hunter and Peter ‘the Cat’ Bonetti.