No room for Kop idol Fowler in greatest all-time Liverpool XI
Picking an all-time XI from a club such as Liverpool who’ve enjoyed so much success across many decades is a nigh-on impossible task, but here at news.ladbrokes.com we’ve given it our best shot.
In honour of the Liverpool All-Star Charity match at Anfield featuring teams selected by Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher on the Sunday of international weekend, the opportunity presented itself.
Legendary managers Bob Paisley and Bill Shankly might have a thing or two say about this team were they around to offer an opinion.
However, just as they did back in their trophy-hoarding days in charge at Anfield, we’ve had to take some tough decisions and make some glaring omissions – sometimes going for talent over titles.
Read on to find out why we picked who we did…
With two keepers making it into Liverpool’s all-time appearance charts in the top 10, we had to go for Ray Clemence over Bruce Grobbelaar on the amount of European silverware alone (3 European Cups, 2 UEFA Cups).
In front of Clemence three members of Liverpool’s most celebrated defensive line-up get the nod.
The England keeper was more than used to commanding Phil Neal, Alan Hansen and Alan Kennedy who helped Clemence clock up an incredible record 28 clean sheets on the way to the 1978/79 English title.
Phil Thompson is the missing member of that group and the Sky Sports pundit loses out to another one in the shape of Liverpool’ second-highest appearance maker of all-time and 2005 Champions League winner, Carragher.
Few would argue with the inclusion of another yet another Sky employee, Grame Souness in the middle of the park, as the archetypal midfield enforcer to add bite in the tackle whilst possessing medals galore to back up his selection.
Fans of Terry McDermott among many others to have graced the Liverpool engine room will be a little aggrieved to see them miss out to Xabi Alonso, though the Bayern Munich man was a special presence during a time when the club should have won their first Premier League crown.
Playing alongside Javier Mascherano and just behind Steven Gerrard in central midfield, Alonso made Liverpool tick, caressing passes far and wide, while helping the club secure the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup whilst at Anfield.
Alonso’s presence does however mean curtains for John Barnes, as Gerrard is pushed into the position mentioned above, where the current skipper probably enjoyed his best individual season at the club in 2008/09.
Barnes could have played on the left wing, as of course could Steve Heighway in a 4-4-2 but it was squeezing in three of the best forwards to have graced English football, that ensured they, and sadly record appearance maker Ian Callaghan, missed out on the right.
This trio of strikers also meant there was no room for ‘God’, aka Robbie Fowler. Although his time was brief at Liverpool, Luis Suarez was, and still is at Barcelona, one of the world’s most special talents.
Despite the adoration for Fowler, a born-and-bred scouser, who rates fifth in the all-time scoring charts ahead of Suarez in 18th, by Gerrard’s own admission the Uruguayan is the best player he’s ever played with and that is some statement.
About 25 of the 31 goals Suarez bagged in a Red shirt last season were contenders for goal of the month and love him or despise him, he deserves his place.
That leaves the undisputed King of Anfield, Kenny Dalglish, to work his magic from the right behind the club’s all-time leading scorer Ian Rush.
Rush may not have been the most fancy, but with 346 in his Liverpool career, 61 more than Roger Hunt in second, the Welshman has to take his place at the apex of the attack.
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