Liverpool FC History

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Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:07 pm

The men who showed us the way . .

William Barclay 1892-1896



After the defection, Houlding and Barclay were left with a football ground and no team, but together rapidly and successfully created a brand new one - Liverpool Football Club.

Barclay was the actual 'secretary-manager' of Liverpool Football Club during this period and had been involved at Liverpool before John McKenna, who seems to have acted as a 'coach-manager'. The tremendous work achieved by Barclay should not be overlooked, as he was the organisational force that helped create the great 'Team of the Macs' and the early successes of the Club.

A widely respected and well-liked man, Barclay later became a headmaster of the Industrial Schools in Everton Crescent, Liverpool.

John McKenna 1892-1896



When Everton moved away from Anfield following a disagreement over rent John Houlding was left with a football ground and no team.

Cue the creation of Liverpool Football Club.

Houlding and W E Barclay remained at Anfield to help form the new club with local businessman John McKenna being appointed to the club’s first committee.

Following their inauguration, Liverpool made an immediate application to join the Football League but this was rejected and they had to take a place in the Lancashire League instead.

They won that championship in a tight contest with Blackpool and when the Second Division of the Football League was extended at the end of the 1892-93 season, the club was elected in favour of their neighbours, Bootle.

The side's first manager would be best described as a dual role between W E Barclay and John McKenna.

Barclay was the actual 'secretary/manager' of the club during this period and had been involved at Liverpool before John McKenna, who seems to have acted as a 'coach/manager'.

The tremendous work achieved by Barclay should not be overlooked, as he was the organisational force that helped create the great 'Team of the Macs' and the early successes of the club.

However, it was McKenna who seemed to be more involved with team affairs and he could not have had a better start to his new career, beating Rotherham Town 7-1 in a friendly in our first ever match on home turf on September 1, 1892.

Due to his trips north of the border to acquire players, the first team he fielded, had no Englishmen. They were known as the team of 'Macs', with McBride, McQueen and McVean to name but a few.

At the end of the first season, McKenna - also acting as secretary to the club - had written to the FA without anyone's knowledge, and requested election to the Football league.

McKenna's vision for the club was now apparent. Due to the old test match system, and no automatic promotion, Liverpool found themselves in a play-off situation with last placed Newton Heath (Manchester United).

They eased to a 2-0 victory and in doing so finally achieved First Division status.

Despite relegation in 1895, Liverpool became known for their fighting spirit and began to flourish.

In 1915, McKenna handed over the chairmanship to WR Williams, but remained at the helm. By this time, McKenna had become a well respected figure in football.

After serving Liverpool for over 40 years, 'Honest' John McKenna died in March of 1936. Like John Houlding, his friend and business partner before him, his coffin was carried through the city by three Liverpool players and three Everton players and a commemorative plaque to him remains in the foyer in Anfield.

Tom Watson 1896-1915



One of the great figures of the early Football League, Tom Watson led Liverpool to their first two Division One titles and our first ever FA Cup final.

The Newcastle-born boss, who was previously manager of Sunderland's all-conquering 'team of talents', was lured to Liverpool in 1896 and made an immediate impact with the Reds, taking us to two FA cup semi-finals before the turn of the century.

Watson was only 37-years-old at the time of this move and was still a relatively young man, certainly for a football manager.

But if you are good enough, you are old enough, and there could have been a First Division title even earlier too, but Liverpool capitulated on the last day of the 1898-99 season. A 5-0 defeat at Aston Villa ended their hopes of the championship when a draw would have been enough.

Liverpool slipped to 10th the following season but recovered to mount a serious challenge for the title in the first full season of the new century.

Watson had already proved at Sunderland that he had a good eye for talented players and he continued to show that with Liverpool. Numerous players that had a huge influence on the club’s earlier years, and in particular their double-title success in the first decade of the 20th century, were signed during Watson’s reign.

Amongst them and in no particular order were Scotsman Alex Raisbeck, legendary goalkeepers Sam Hardy and Elisha Scott, as well as prolific scorers Jack Parkinson and Sam Raybould.

The 1900-01 season ended in glory, with the championship being won by two points. Ironically the Reds pipped Watson’s former employees Sunderland to the title and supporters thought it would herald a new and exciting era.

But rather surprisingly results took a turn for the worse and the club was relegated only three years after winning the League Championship.

It was certainly proving to be a rollercoaster ride under Watson's leadership and Liverpool bounced back at the first time of asking. They followed that up with their second league title just 12 months later.

It meant Liverpool became the first club to achieve the ‘double’ feat of winning the Second and First Division championships in successive seasons.

In 1906 Watson suffered FA Cup semi-final disappointment for the sixth time as a manager when they were beaten by neighbours Everton and, only in 1910 when finishing runners-up to Aston Villa, did Liverpool seriously challenge for another championship.

Four years later Watson finally managed to overcome his semi-final jinx as Liverpool progressed to the FA cup final at Villa’s expense. But the big day at London’s Crystal Palace ground was to end in disappointment with a single-goal defeat to Burnley.

As the First World War broke out, Tom Watson was embarking on his 19th season in charge at Anfield - but sadly it would be his last.

He died on May 6, 1915, aged 56. Watson had been a popular and successful manager and that was reflected in the turn-out for his funeral, where many of the players he had signed acted as pall-bearers on his final journey.

Alex Raisbeck, Teddy Doig, Arthur Goddard, Charlie Wilson, Maurice Parry, George Fleming and Robbie Robinson as well as the club trainer William Connell were all on hand to carry his coffin.


David Ashworth 1919-1922



He may have only graced Anfield for three years but during that time David Ashworth still managed to lead the club to its third First Division title.

Indeed, some have wondered just what he may have achieved had he not opted to leave the Reds halfway through the 1922-23 season for a return to his former club Oldham Athletic.

Ashworth had originally arrived at Anfield in December 1919 when he left Stockport to take over from caretaker boss George Patterson.

The Reds had won just two of their 11 matches between September and December prior to his recruitment, but he managed to stabilise the club and eventually led the Reds to a fourth place finish.

Ashworth had the nucleus of an impressive side at his disposal. After securing another top four position the following season he clinched his only piece of silverware for Liverpool when they secured the First Division title in 1922.

The Reds finished well clear of runners-up Spurs, who were six points adrift of the Merseyside outfit.

Ashworth's Championship side was built around a strong defence with the Irish International Scott in goal and Ephraim Longworth, Tom Lucas and Don McKinlay sharing the full-back duties. McKinlay also played in a solid half-back line with Tom McNab, Tom Bromilow or Walter Wadsworth. Up front Harry Chambers was top scorer with just 19 goals, supported by Dick Forshaw, who scored 17, and winger Polly Hopkin, famous for the rarity of his goal-scoring.

Liverpool retained the championship a year later but surprisingly and controversially the man who had led them to their previous success was not there by the time the title was secured.

Not long after home-and-away victories over his former club Oldham Athletic on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, Ashworth returned to Boundary Park for his second spell as manager there.

No-one has ever satisfactorily explained why Ashworth should decide to make such a bizarre move, although he presumably had some emotional attachment with his first club. It remains a mystery to this day. Oldham ended the season relegated, while Liverpool only won one of their last seven games, but still won the championship by six points.


Matt McQueen 1923-1928



When David Ashworth suddenly and surprisingly left Anfield for Oldham Athletic early in 1923, Liverpool turned to one of their directors as a temporary answer.

The Reds were top of the table and battling to retain the title so it needed to be the right choice if they were to succeed.

Up stepped 60-year-old Matt McQueen, a former Reds player who would not only keep the team on course for back-to-back titles, but would also remain in the hot-seat for the next five years.

Matt and his brother Hugh had been two of the many Scotsmen recruited by John McKenna shortly after Liverpool were founded in 1892 following Everton’s decision to move from Anfield to Goodison Park.

Both had played in Liverpool’s first-ever Football League match, against Middlesbrough Ironopolis in September, 1893.

When his playing days were over, McQueen took the qualifications necessary to become a Football League referee and officiated as a linesman for a brief period in 1904.

Towards the end of the First World War, he was appointed to become a director on Liverpool’s board before eventually taking over team affairs.

However, after the successive championships of 1922 and 1923, the club’s fortunes declined somewhat with finishes of 12th, fourth, seventh and ninth.

The 1927-28 campaign would prove to be the last straw for McQueen and he resigned midway through the season with the Reds just about managing to avoid relegation.

He had tragically lost a leg in a road accident in the early 1920s and his health had deteriorated further by the end of the decade.

Before he stood down, McQueen had made one of Liverpool’s most significant signings ever, when he brought in South African Gordon Hodgson, a wonderful striker of the ball who would go on score nearly 250 senior goals for the club in less than 400 appearances.


George Patterson 1928-1936



George Patterson's eight year spell in charge of Liverpool will be best remembered for being somewhat uneventful.

The former Marine player led the Reds to a succession of mid-table finishes with his best effort coming in the 1928-29 campaign when they claimed fifth spot.

Prior to taking the role of manager he had arrived at Anfied in 1908 as an assistant to Tom Watson. He was then promoted to secretary when Watson died in 1915 and would even have a spell as caretaker manager at the start of the 1919-20 season, before finally being given a full-time chance in the combined position of manager/secretary.

During Patterson's time in charge the Reds retained their place in the top division but never finished higher than fifth. On two occasions they did finish low enough to cause concern but not enough for relegation to be a serious possibility.

However, after finishing seventh in 1935, there was an alarming slump the following season with the team being victorious in only three of the last 20 league games.

They eventually escaped relegation by three points, but it had been a close call.

The pressure of managing a struggling First Division club combined with a serious illness eventually took its toll. Patterson resigned in the summer of 1936 from the managerial side of his double-post, although he did continue as the club’s secretary for some time after.


George Kay 1936-1951



Despite leading Liverpool to a First Division title and an FA Cup final, few would argue that the most memorable feat of George Kay's spell in charge of Liverpool was the signing of one Billy Liddell.

The Scot is widely regarded as one of the finest players in the club's illustrious history and proved to be a key figure during Kay's tenure, as would the additions of Bob Paisley and the legendary Albert Stubbins.

Kay arrived at Anfield in 1936 after five years at Southampton. The outbreak of World War II did little to help his vision for the club, but once it was over, he brilliantly planned his assault on the first post-war championship by taking the team on a trip to the USA and Canada.

The tour gave the Reds time to gel and, after benefitting from a lack of food rationing, the team returned to England fit and ready to stand the strain of a season that only ended in July after a harsh winter created a fixture pile-up.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City were all in with a chance of taking the title as the season reached its climax. The Reds' final fixture was against Wolves at Molineux. The hosts had 56 points, the visitors 55.

Liverpool had to win … and then wait and hope. They did their part of the job by securing a 2-1 victory. Other results then went their way and the Reds were champions of the Football League for a fifth time. It was Kay’s finest moment as a football manager - but it wasn't the only success that season.

The title triumph of 1947 would form part of a unique 'quadruple', with the memorable victory over Everton in the Liverpool Senior Cup, supplemented by an additional two local cups.

Star performers Jack Balmer and Albert Stubbins would prove to be prolific scorers in Kay’s post-war spell as Liverpool manager but the club couldn't land another championship.

The nearest they came to further success was in 1950 when they reached the FA Cup final for only the second time in our history. Sadly, the big day out at Wembley ended in disappointment with defeat to Arsenal.

George travelled to London and led the team out but he was far from being a well man. It was clear that he could not continue for much longer as manager of the club. He retired in January 1951 a few months short of his 60th birthday.

He bravely battled against illness with strength and courage but died in Liverpool three years later on April 18, 1954.

Much of his managerial career at Anfield was interrupted by the war and many feel he may have achieved even more if it were not for this debilitating intrusion.

His death prompted Billy Liddell to say: "If ever a man gave his life for a club, George Kay did so for Liverpool."


Don Welsh 1951-1956



The 1950s was not a particularly good decade for Liverpool Football Club.

Aside from an FA Cup final appearance right at the start of it and the appointment of Bill Shankly at the end of it, the rest was hugely disappointing.

The Reds had won the First Division title as recently as 1947, but by the time Don Welsh took charge in 1951 they were already a side on the wane.

The Manchester-born boss was brought in from Third Division (south) outfit Brighton to try and boost the club's flagging fortunes. It was a welcome arrival, particularly as he had made a good impression guesting for the Reds as a player during the war in the 1939-40 season.

However, Welsh took charge of an ageing team and despite bringing in a number of new players he could not halt the slump.

The Balmer/Stubbins era would shortly come to an end and the team relied too much on the mercurial Billy Liddell, who had become so important and influential that some supporters nicknamed the club “Liddellpool” in his honour.

But even Liddell couldn’t stop the team’s slide down the table. They survived the drop in 1953 with a last day of the season victory at Chelsea, but there would be no escaping their fate. A year later Welsh became the first Reds boss in over 50 years to put Liverpool through relegation. They finished bottom of the pile with only nine victories and just 28 points.

These were difficult times for the club and the writing was on the wall for Welsh when the club could only manage an 11th place finish in 1955 - a season that included a terrible 9-1 humiliation at the hands of eventual champions Birmingham City.

The directors believed that a change was needed and Welsh was dismissed towards the end of the 1955-56 season.


Phil Taylor 1956-1959



Phil Taylor has a somewhat unfortunate place among the elite few to have held the Anfield hot-seat.

Not only is he best remembered for being Bill Shankly's predecessor, but he also has the unenviable status of being the only Liverpool boss never to have managed in the topflight.

A fine half back who signed for the Reds from Bristol Rovers in 1936, Taylor would endure contrasting fortunes as a player and manager at Anfield.

On the field he had an impressive reputation throughout the game and would eventually go on to captain the club. As his career came to a close, natural progression saw him take up a coaching role with the Reds before he eventually took over the managerial reigns from Don Welsh in 1956.

However, good players don't always make good managers, and the bid to gain promotion from Division Two would be a bridge too far for Taylor.

Despite signing the likes of Johnny Wheeler and Roger Hunt, inconsistency would shadow his tenure at the club. A third place finish in 1957 followed by fourth spot in 1958 might have been satisfactory enough at some other clubs - but not at Liverpool.

A new chairman, Tom (T.V.) Williams, had been appointed in 1956 and had ambitions that certainly surpassed some of his predecessors.

Inevitably, the pressure began to mount and after a frustrating start to the 1959-60 season, Taylor finally resigned.

"No matter how great has been the disappointment of the directors at our failure to win our way back to the first division, it has not been greater than mine," he said when news broke of his departure.

"I made it my goal. I set my heart on it and strove for it with all the energy I could muster. Such striving has not been enough and now the time has come to hand over to someone else to see if they can do better."

Having been a magnificent servant to the club as a player, it was a shame that Taylor's time in the hot-seat did not work out.

However, if it had not been for his departure our history could well have been different. His successor would go on to have unprecedented glory and, in doing so, alter the face of Liverpool Football Club forever.


Bill Shankly 1959-1974



Bill Shankly is arguably the most famous figure in Liverpool Football Club's illustrious history.

A charismatic man who realised his dream of turning us into English football's most dominant force, the Scot's spirit has quite rightly been immortalised in the very foundations of our club.

His name is synonymous with the very meaning of the 'Liverpool way' and it is his legacy that has seen us go on and conquer Europe on no fewer than five occasions, while monopolising the domestic game for over two decades.

And yet, such glory was way beyond even the most optimistic Kopites' dreams when Shanks was appointed Liverpool's ninth manager on December 1, 1959.

As the final whistle blew on his first match in charge 18 days later the prospect of Shankly's Liverpool side, languishing in 10th place in Division Two, going on to one day boast a record of three First Division titles, one Division Two title, two FA Cups and One UEFA Cup must have seemed little more than a pipedream.

A 4-0 hammering at home to Cardiff City left a man who was already notorious for his outspoken comments and memorable quotes searching for the words to explain what he had just witnessed and what he must do to rectify the current state of affairs.

But mighty oaks from little acorns grow...

Shanks knew the side needed an injection of spirit, determination and desire to match his own and he would go on to mould a team to mirror the very same winning mentality and hunger for silverware he had had from an early age.

Born into a family of 10 in the Ayrshire mining village of Glenbuck, where conditions were harsh, Shankly had found solace in his ultimate passion and would inevitably go on to realise his dream of becoming a professional footballer.

For him football in Glenbuck was the elixir of life, a blessed relief from the toil of the mineshaft.

It set him on a path that would see him take leave from the town of his roots and in 1932 he signed forms with Carlisle United. Within a year, he had moved onwards and upwards to Deepdale, home of Preston North End as he carved out a distinguished playing career at wing-half that brought seven caps for Scotland.

Unfortunately the prime of his playing life would be disrupted by war in 1939 and when the 1946-47 season kick-started organised professional football again in England, Shankly was 33.

It was time to decide what he would do with the rest of his life and it was no surprise that his addiction to the beautiful game would see him set his sights - in true Shankly style - on becoming the greatest football manager of all time.

He had already grown accustomed to what seemed like an obligatory boardroom battle as his 10-year managerial career prior to taking over in the Anfield hot-seat saw him earn his spurs with the likes of Carlisle United, Grimsby, Workington and finally Huddersfield Town. His time with the Terriers also saw him grant a debut to an up and coming 16-year-old by the name of Denis Law.

At each club he grew frustrated by the board's inability to match his own ambition and it was this single-minded approach and a lack of financial backing that saw him walk out on both Carlisle United, the club who had given him his chance as a young player, and Grimsby.

This devotion to winning led T V Williams to take a keen interest in the man who had at that point been more recognised for his quick wit and acid tongue than for his success on the pitch.

Shankly's ambition had been obvious when he interviewed for the Reds job in 1951 and although Liverpool felt he was not the right man at the time, he had made enough of an impression to ensure that when the job came up again, he would be the only candidate.

And so to his first few months in charge of Liverpool, a time from which it is hard to understate the ordinariness of our position.
Languishing in the old second division, with a crumbling stadium, poor training facilities and a large unwieldy playing staff, the challenge facing Shankly was enormous.

But typically, it was one he would relish, and after realising the need to dramatically transform the club from head-to-toe he dispensed with the services of 24 members of the playing staff.

However, it wasn't just the presence of Shanks that would help sow the seeds for a future of glory. He had the good fortune to inherit an experienced and resourceful backroom staff in the shape of Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, and Reuben Bennett - a group that would form the famous bootroom.

With this in his armoury, slowly but surely, Shankly's Liverpool began to move forward.

The Anfield crowd sensed the change. Gates regularly topped 40,000 and promotion to the first division was imminent.

The initial stage of Shankly's rebuilding programme had taken shape, thanks in large part, to the signing of two key players in Ron Yeats and Ian St John.

Both were Scottish warriors, men who embodied the type of spirit and desire that would become symbolic of Liverpool under Shankly and the example by which all future recruits would be measured.

The foundations were now in place and the Reds romped away with the Second Division title in 1961-62, finishing eight points clear of their nearest rivals and amassing an impressive 62 point.

All this was accomplished in the days when two points were awarded for a win and perhaps more significantly, they would achieve it all with real attacking verve - scoring 99 goals in the process.

Having realised his initial target of leading Liverpool back into the topflight, Shankly set about addressing an issue much closer to home - Everton.

The Blues were firmly established as the number one side in the city of Liverpool at the time and the Scottish messiah was not content to let the Toffees sustain the bragging rights for much longer.

Most sides would be content with consolidation in their first season back in the topflight - but not Liverpool.

The word was an unknown quantity in the Bill Shankly dictionary and by the end of the campaign he had led the Reds to the title - savouring the moment as reigning champions Everton were forced to hand over the trophy.

It set the tone for the rest of Shankly's reign and led to him famously claim: "There are only two sides in Liverpool. Liverpool and Liverpool reserves."

The title was just reward for years of hard work behind the scenes, where Shanks introduced the five-a-side games that so defined his football thinking at a completely revamped Melwood.

Pass and move, keep it simple, a creed taken from the daily matches played by the miners of Glenbuck all those years ago.

His success was built upon a new routine whereby the players would meet and change for training at Anfield and then board the team bus for the short trip to Melwood. After the session they would all bus back to Anfield together and perhaps get a bite to eat.

This way Shankly ensured all his players had warmed down correctly and he would keep his players free from injury. It was also a routine that instilled a tremendous team spirit.

In the 1965-66 season Liverpool finished as champions using just 14 players and two of those only played a handful of games.

The first FA Cup win in 1965 was followed by some magical European exploits across the continent as the Reds established a passing style that became the envy of the watching world.

Amidst all this, stood Shankly, a man who had found his spiritual home. He was perfectly in tune with the Kopites, knowing and understanding how they felt about football and the pride a successful team gave them.

His love affair with the Liverpool people is best summed up by the great man himself when he declared: "I'm just one of the people on the Kop..."

While all good things must come to an end, the decline of the great 60s team was not the end for Shankly, who set about constructing his second great Liverpool side.

Out went Hunt, St John, Yeats and Lawrence, and in came Keegan, Heighway, Lloyd and Clemence.

Success followed success as the football world was given a taste of Liverpool as a relentless winning machine.

The first European trophy arrived in 1973, in the form of the UEFA cup, a much heralded success that was won in tandem with the club's eighth league title. In 1974 the FA Cup returned to Anfield after a breathtaking Wembley performance against a hapless Newcastle United.

Shankly had reached for the stars and made his dreams a reality. He was at the pinnacle of his profession - a man exuding charisma and a manager who was deservedly worshipped by his loyal followers in the stand.

And so the events that transpired on a warm July day back in 1974 would rock not just the very foundations of the club but the entire football world.

The great Bill Shankly, a name interwoven into the very fabric of our club, had tendered his shock resignation, citing the reason that, at the age of 60, he wanted to spend more time with his wife Ness and their family.

The fact he left the club on a high and in such capable hands speaks volumes for the man.

But how do you follow Bill Shankly?

The answer would be found within the mythical walls of his famous Bootroom, with the modest figure of Bob Paisley providing an almost seamless transition from coach to boss.

There is no doubt that Paisley's era as manager would prove more fruitful than Shankly's in terms of trophies won.

Some may also suggest that much of what Shankly achieved would not have been possible without Bob Paisley's calm influence and knowledge of the game.

But it is equally likely that without the driving force and sheer charisma of Shankly, Liverpool's spell in the doldrums in the 1950s would have reached long into the 60s.

And perhaps Bob Paisley would never have become manager at all.
The fact the club contrived to bring them together at all in those dark post war days, is something the fans will be forever grateful for.

Shanks may have left the club all those years ago, but his spirit will always live on, and when he died unexpectedly in September 1981 after suffering a heart attack, his loss was greatly mourned by both Liverpool and the football family.

In fact his good friend Sir Matt Busby was so upset when he heard the news that he couldn't even answer the telephone that morning.

In the years following his resignation, to the disbelief of the fans, relations between him and the club he so loved had become somewhat strained. But there was no such problem on the terraces. In the first game at Anfield following his funeral, a huge banner was unfurled on the Kop which read 'Shankly Lives Forever'.

Indeed, his spirit is just as strong at Anfield to this day, where a statue to the great man stands before his beloved Kop and the Shankly Gates bear the immortal words "You'll never walk alone".

Certainly Shankly never walked alone and he is revered by all Liverpool supporters.

This was no better demonstrated than on December 18, 1999 when the 40th anniversary of Shankly's arrival at Anfield was celebrated in a manner that took the breath away.

Nearly the whole of the 1965 and 1974 FA Cup winning teams came together to view the exhibition commemorating Shankly and then paraded onto the pitch, where they stood in silence as two bagpipers played "Amazing Grace."

12,000 voices on the Kop gently sang the word 'Shankly' to the tune as they held up a mosaic bearing his face and the Saltire. The version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" that followed rivaled any previously heard before.

His legend will shine bright long into the new Millennium and the Reds will always be grateful to a man who altered our destiny forever.
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:22 pm

Bob Paisley 1974-1983



Twenty trophies in nine seasons - not bad for a man who was loathe to make the step into football management.

But then, that was the reluctant genius that was Bob Paisley.

The humble son of the North East always was more at ease in the wings than on centre stage but when it came to knowledge of the game and the ability to spot a player, his record spoke volumes.

Born the son of a miner in the County Durham village of Hetton-le-Hole on January 23, 1919, Paisley's childhood was spent absorbing knowledge and advice.

As his late widow Jessie recalled: "Bob always tried to remember what his headmaster told him; that if you speak softly people will try to listen to what you're saying. If you shout they're liable to walk away and not take it in."

Such homespun psychology would serve Paisley invaluably during his management years when Europe bowed to the stocky figure in a flat cap that belied a masterful football brain.

Following in the footsteps of the great Bill Shankly was a task many believed was akin to mission impossible and yet Paisley's transition from bootroom coach to boss was almost seamless.

It all came about in July 1974 when Shanks rocked the football world by announcing his retirement from the game.

Who would be brave enough to take on a role in which the shadow of the great Scot would loom large? For the Liverpool board there was only one name on their short-list.

Bob had flanked Shankly's shoulder from the day he had arrived at Anfield back in 1959, after the great man had swapped the Pennines of Huddersfield for the banks of the Mersey.

He was a pioneer of the 'Liverpool way', the brand of football that was pivotal to Shankly's football ethos. He also had a relationship with the club that stretched back even further than his predecessor's, one that began two decades earlier when he had arrived at Anfield as a 20-year-old left-half on May 8, 1939 for a £10 signing-on fee and weekly wage of £5.

Wartime service in Egypt and the western desert delayed Paisley's league debut as a Liverpool player until 1946-47. It was during this campaign that he won the first of 10 championship medals in his various Anfield roles, in a team that included Scotland and Great Britain star Billy Liddell and centre forward Albert Stubbins.

Despite being ready to leave the club after being dropped by the directors who picked the team for the 1950 FA Cup Final, he played on and went on to captain the side before hanging up his boots following Liverpool's relegation in 1954.

However, it would not be the end of his love affair with the Reds.

He went on to establish a role as a reserve team trainer and also became a renowned, self-taught, physiotherapist.

He was the perfect foil for Shanks, a football lover with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but one that was happy to leave the limelight to the man with a flair for public speaking.

And so, when it came to finding a successor to Shankly, Liverpool only had one man in mind…

The only trouble was that Paisley was reluctant to step into the spotlight.

It needed much persuasion from the club and his family to convince the 55-year-old to take on the challenge awaiting him, but how important his positive response would become to the future success of Liverpool Football Club.

After much soul searching he agreed, saying: "It's like being given the Queen Elizabeth to steer in a force 10 gale."

Maybe so, but what a magnificent navigator he would prove to be.

In his first season he led the Reds to the runners-up spot in the Championship, an achievement he was disappointed by, remarking at the time, "I was like an apprentice that ran wide at the bends."

That may seem somewhat harsh, but he made amends for what he saw as failure the following year, leading the club to a league and UEFA Cup double.

The title was secured with a famous 3-1 win at Wolves on the final day of the season while a 4-3 aggregate success of Belgian outfit Bruges clinched European glory.

It was a season that would have proved difficult to surpass for most sides and yet the following campaign, Paisley's Liverpool would do just that.

Having retained the league title with consummate ease, it could so easily have been an all-conquering year for Liverpool had they seen off Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

However, luck was with the Red Devils as they ran out fortunate 2-1 winners - not the best preparation for Liverpool's first ever European Cup final.

Lesser teams would have suffered a crisis of confidence, but not the Reds, who shrugged off their Wembley disappointment to go on and conquer Europe for the very first time just four days later.

The Eternal City was the setting for what Paisley would later refer to as his "perfect day" with Liverpool going on to claim a 3-1 victory over a strong Borussia Moenchengladbach side.

The victory installed Paisley as the first English-born manager to lift Europe's greatest prize following the success of Scottish duo Jock Stein (Celtic) and Sir Matt Busby (Manchester United).

As the celebratory champagne flowed, Paisley, who was later honoured with an OBE, sat quietly in a corner of the team hotel.

"I'm not having a drink because I want to savour every moment," he said. "The Pope and I are two of the few sober people in Rome tonight!"

The Roman carnival also heralded the end of Kevin Keegan's fine Anfield career and many felt it would prove to be the end of an era for the Reds.

But they reckoned without Paisley's unique eye for talent.

The taciturn genius swooped to sign Celtic hero Kenny Dalglish for less than the income from Keegan's transfer.

It was an inspirational move that would see Dalglish go on to surpass the achievements of Keegan and secure his place as the undisputed King of the Kop.

"There's never been a better bit of business than that," beamed Liverpool Chairman John Smith.

Few would argue with such a statement, although Paisley's supreme ability in the transfer market was nothing new to Reds fans.

He had already captured the likes of Phil Neal, Terry McDermott, Joey Jones and David Johnson, while his decision to switch Ray Kennedy from a powerful striker to a left midfielder was a masterstroke.

As he often said: "I let my side do the talking for me."

Indeed, what he may have lacked as an orator, he made up for with a record on the pitch that spoke volumes.

Few managers can claim to have brought through some of the greatest players of the post-war era but that is exactly what Bob did.

Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness, Alan Kennedy, Ronnie Whelan, Ian Rush, Craig Johnston, Mark Lawrenson, Bruce Grobbelaar, Steve Nicol - the list seems endless.

With the help of these players he soared into the stratosphere of managerial achievement by guiding Liverpool to two further European Cup triumphs. A win over Bruges at Wembley in 1978 saw the Reds retain the trophy while the mighty Real Madrid were the victims three years later in Paris.

Paisley's teams annexed a total of six championships, the most remarkable being in 1978-79 when they emerged with a record 68 points under the old two-points-for-a-win system. The campaign saw them concede a record low of 16 goals in their 42 games, with 85 goals scored and only four defeats. He also guided Liverpool to a hat-trick of League Cup successes, failing only to land the FA Cup.

That gap in his collection was bearable given his torrent of triumphs and he passed command on to Joe Fagan in 1983, having amassed a grand total of 23 Bells Managerial Awards.

On retirement, he was elected to the board of directors and was an advisor to Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool's first player-manager, before being tragically stricken with Alzheimer's Disease.

It says it all about the great man that three of the club's finest servants have no hesitation in hailing him as the finest manager of all-time.

Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen and Graeme Souness, the world class Scottish trio signed by Paisley and a threesome not given to hyperbole, unhesitatingly place him at the management summit.

"There was only one Bob Paisley and he was the greatest of them all," said Dalglish. "He went through the card in football. He played for Liverpool, he treated the players, he coached them, he managed them and then he became a director."

"He could tell if someone was injured and what the problem was just by watching them walk a few paces. He was never boastful but had great football knowledge. I owe Bob more than I owe anybody else in the game. There will never be another like him."

Hansen agreed, declaring: "I go by records and Bob Paisley is the No.1 manager ever."

While Souness saluted him thus: "When you talk of great managers there's one man at the top of the list and that's Bob Paisley."

If that wasn't enough, then his achievements were summed up perfectly by Canon John Roberts at his funeral service at St Peter's, Woolton in February 1996 when he saluted him as an ordinary man of extraordinary greatness.

The world of football, not least Liverpool FC, was enriched by his massive and exemplary contribution to it.

On Thursday April 8, 1999 the club officially opened The Paisley Gateway as an enduring monument to this great man.

His achievements in such a short period in charge cannot be underestimated, nor will they ever be eclipsed and he is quite rightly recognised, by many within the football community, as the undisputed Manager of the Millennium.


Joe Fagan 1983 - 1985



It was almost inevitable that the successor to Bob Paisley's reign as Reds boss would come from within the confines of the club's famous Bootroom.

It was an evolution that had served Liverpool so well when Shanks handed over the reins to Paisley and it would continue to do so under the leadership of Joe Fagan.

A quiet and effective worker behind the scenes, Joe's succession to the Anfield throne was the logical step after he had risen through the ranks under Paisley after Shankly resigned back in 1974.

While many observers felt it was an easy job to oversee the running of a well-oiled winning machine like Liverpool FC, Fagan was faced with some serious decisions on taking charge, and needed all his experience to ensure his installation as boss did not upset the apple cart.

To put it simply, events had transpired that meant he could not take on Paisley's side and expect it to keep winning trophies.

The Reds had lost the inspirational Graeme Souness to Sampdoria and with other first-team regulars beginning to wane it was clear that astute transfer moves were needed.

Fortunately for Liverpool, Fagan was up to the task.

Kevin MacDonald and Jim Beglin, who both did their respective jobs with distinction, were brought in as well the then unfamiliar face of Danish player Jan Molby.

Molby went on to become a Kop hero. A cultured player of rare quality, it was testament to Fagan's years of accumulated experience that he could see the enormous potential in the midfielder.

Following Paisley and the impressive range of trophies secured under his tenure was never going to be an easy task. But it was a challenge Fagan more than rose to, leading the Reds to the League, European Cup and League Cup treble.

Furthermore they were finalists in the World Club Championship.

Under Fagan the Reds played with a cool, calculating efficiency, with every part functioning in balance and harmony.

Few would doubt that if history had not intervened, he could well have gone on to win another major honour in his final season.

After securing a place in a fifth European Cup final, and with a side tipped by all but the Juventus fans to win, he had every reason to be optimistic.

But after the appalling crowd violence and the meaningless deaths of Italian supporters in the crumbling and inadequate Heysel Stadium in Brussels, his retirement was overshadowed by tragedy.

It was a sad end for a quiet and unassuming man.

In his later years he would often show up at Melwood and offer advice to a fellow bootroom graduate, Roy Evans, who always had time to listen to the words of wisdom Fagan had to offer.

He sadly passed away in July 2001 at the age of 80.

Joe will forever be remembered as a fine Reds manager and a true Bootroom great.


Kenny Dalglish 1985-1991



When Kenny Dalglish was installed as the club's first-ever player/manager in the summer of 1985 he was already regarded as the undisputed King of the Kop.

His impact on the playing field had been nothing short of sensational and yet now, in the aftermath of the Heysel Stadium tragedy, the club was looking to him to reproduce his genius on the pitch, in the dugout.

It was a big-ask for someone who was just 34, but then, Kenny Mathieson Dalglish was not your average man.

He went on to make management look easy and despite a difficult start to his first season at the helm, he led the club to their first ever league and FA Cup double - the fact that both came at the expense of Everton made the achievement all the more sweet.

His return to the side during the run-in to the momentous 1985-86 campaign proved he could juggle the two roles perfectly, and it was perhaps fitting that he was the one who scored the winning goal at Chelsea to secure the championship.

Gradually, but somewhat inevitably, his appearances for the Reds became less frequent over the next few years as he concentrated more on the managerial aspects of his dual role, but there was still the odd flash of brilliance to revel in as the master sought to teach his apprentices.

While his first season in charge was one of tremendous success, his second ended empty-handed. It was a frustrating period for Liverpool and many wondered how Dalglish would fair in rebuilding a side that had just lost the goalscoring genius of Ian Rush to Juventus.

The answer was simple - he excelled.

In came John Barnes and Peter Beardsley, to add to the mid-season acquisition of John Aldridge, as the Reds not only set about reclaiming their place at the summit of English football but also began to play some of the most entertaining football ever seen at Anfield.

The 5-0 win at home to title rivals Nottingham Forest in April 1988 was the perfect example of the sublime - but winning - style Dalglish had instilled into his team.

The Championship was won at a canter and the only low point was that a second league and FA Cup double was not clinched, after Wimbledon produced one of the shocks of all-time to win the final by a 1-0 scoreline.

The close-season brought with it another major surprise for Kopites, but this time it was a good one, as Dalglish's old strike partner, Rush, returned to the fold after just one season in Italy.

However, the 1998-89 season would be marred by a tragedy that would shake the very core of Liverpool Football Club as 96 fans lost their lives ahead of an FA Cup semi-final clash with Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough.

It was a dark period in our history and one that would eventually take its toll on Dalglish the manager.

After a period of mourning the Reds went on to, fittingly, claim the FA Cup courtesy of a 3-2 win over neighbours Everton in the final.

And it looked as if a fantastic finish to the season would see them crowned champions until a last-gasp goal from Arsenal's Michael Thomas gave the Gunners a 2-0 win at Anfield and snatched the title away from L4.

It was a sad end to a difficult season and despite a tough opening to the 1989-90 season Kenny would once again rise to the task, inspiring his team to the title - our 18th and final one to-date.

An ageing side were still the envy of the First Division and it looked like business as usual as the Reds notched up 10 straight league victories from the start of the following campaign.

However, the emotional turmoil of Hillsborough was taking its toll on Dalglish and as cracks began to show in the Reds' defence of the title he began to reach breaking point.

A 4-4 draw with Everton in an FA Cup fifth round replay at Goodison Park would prove to be the straw that broke the camel's back.

Liverpool led four times, but the defensive frailties that were hindering their bid to retain top spot saw the Blues snatch an undeserved draw.

The Reds boss looked a forlorn figure at the end of the match but it still came as a huge surprise when he announced his decision to resign just two days later.

It was a devastating day for the red half of Liverpool and one that took us years to come to terms with.

In a 13-year period with the club Dalglish had proved himself to have the Midas touch. After achieving legendary status as a player, he duly cemented his name amongst the club's greatest managers, and few would argue that he is a worthy recipient of the title, undisputed King of the Kop.


Graeme Souness 1991-1994



In six highly successful seasons as a Liverpool player Graeme Souness was at the heart of some of the Reds' finest triumphs.



Memorably described as "a bear of a player with the delicacy of a violinist" he was a high-octane blend of amazing strength and bewitching subtlety.

So when the club offered one of its favourite sons the chance to succeed Kenny Dalglish as playing legend turned hot-seat genius, it seemed like a marriage made in red heaven.

After all, it had been an inspired decision to appoint Dalglish, and Souness had already shown the type of managerial acumen required at a club synonymous with silverware during his spell with Glasgow Rangers.

Indeed, he seemed to be the obvious successor following King Kenny's shock resignation and enthusiastically took up the task of building a new Liverpool team.

However, the Souness reign would be hindered by a persistently lengthy injury-list, health problems and a host of questionable signings.

His tenure began in difficult circumstances as he took charge of a flagging side midway through the 1990-91 season.

The Reds had thrown away a lengthy lead at the top of the league and, try as they might, they could not regain their advantage. Arsenal's momentum saw them cruise to the title with Liverpool having to settle for the runners-up spot.

Anyone familiar with the Anfield ethos knows all too well that 'first is first, second is nowhere.'

With this in mind, Souness set about transforming Dalglish's ageing Liverpool team and was keen to stamp his own blueprint on the squad. In came the likes of Mark Wright, Dean Saunders and Mark Walters for big money fees, while Kop favourites such as Peter Beardsley, Steve Staunton and Steve McMahon were allowed to leave.

In an interview some years later he reflected upon his decision to ring overnight changes and admitted he may have been too hasty in allowing some of the side's more senior players to depart.

He said: "What has happened since has gone to prove that I was not to blame for all the ills…my problem, was that I tried to change it too quickly."

That may well have been the case, but although the Reds would end an injury-ravaged 1991-92 campaign in a disappointing sixth place, they would go on to clinch FA Cup success with a 2-0 win over Sunderland at Wembley.

It was a fine achievement for Souey, who overcame life-threatening heart surgery to take his place on the Reds bench alongside a physician, although Ronnie Moran oversaw team affairs on the day.

Hopes were high that, with a fully-fit squad, the Scot would lead Liverpool back to their former glories. Sadly, it would prove to be the height of Souness' success at Anfield.

Another sixth place finish in the league would follow, as would an embarrassing FA Cup defeat against Division Two side Bolton Wanderers.

With confidence in his ability to turn the Reds' fortunes around fading fast Souness continued to fight for the Liverpool cause. But he found that some of the players he had brought in lacked the passion and desire he expected from someone pulling on the red shirt.

He later said: "I found the change of mood in the dressing room both startling and alarming.

"How could standards have slipped so badly? I could not accept the lack of determination and fire in their bodies to win games for Liverpool".

Sadly for the dedicated Scot, he would not be around long enough to put things right as another embarrassing FA Cup defeat, this time against lower division side Bristol City, proved to be his last game in charge.

On announcing his decision to resign he said: "I took this job believing that I could return the club to its former glory but this proved to be more difficult than I anticipated."


Roy Evans 1994-1998



In August 1974 Liverpool made an addition to their backroom staff that led chairman John Smith to say: "We have not made an appointment for the present but for the future. One day Roy Evans will be our manager."

It was a bold statement but one that would ultimately come true - albeit 30 years later.

Back in '74 the idea to promote the 25-year-old Evans to the role of reserve team coach was the brainchild of Bob Paisley who, following Bill Shankly's shock resignation, persuaded the left-back to swap the hallowed turf of Anfield for the all-knowing walls of the Boot Room.

It was an inspired move and one that would ultimately prove to be the making of him.

Roy's love affair with the club had begun back in 1965 when he signed as an apprentice. It was a dream come true for the young full-back, although he would go on to make just 11 first-team appearances before moving into the dugout.

In his first season in charge of the reserves he led them to the Central League Championship, a feat he would achieve a remarkable seven times in nine seasons.

His ability and success as a coach was there for all to see and so it came as no surprise when he was promoted to the senior coaching staff when Joe Fagan took over from Bob Paisley.

More silverware would follow, first with smoking Joe and a magnificent treble in 1983-84, before the domestic double of 1986 under Kenny Dalglish.

Managers came and went but Roy remained, and in 1993 he was installed as assistant to Graeme Souness, a move that would pave the way for him to finally become Reds boss in his own right.

Souey parted company with the club less than a year later and Evans' appointment as his replacement was greeted with great enthusiasm by fans and everyone associated with the Reds. After all, Roy represented a return to the Boot Room tradition and was, as Chairman David Moores put it, 'the last of the Shankly lads'.

The final months of the 1993-94 season saw Liverpool finish in a disappointing eighth position, although supporters were well aware that Evans could not be judged until he had the chance to stamp his own identity upon the side.

With talented youngsters in the shape of Steve McManaman and Robbie Fowler, Evans knew he had players capable of restoring the glory days back to Liverpool but also realised that the defence had been a major cause for concern throughout his predecessor's reign at the club.

He set about remedying this by strengthening the Reds' rearguard with big money moves for defenders Phil Babb and John Scales and deploying a new 3-5-2 formation.

It was a wise decision as a young Liverpool side began to enhance their reputation as one of the best footballing sides in the country, capping a fine first full season in charge for Evans with a Coca-Cola Cup triumph over Bolton at Wembley and a fourth placed finish.

Expectation had gone up a notch and was heightened even further by the summer acquisition of Nottingham Forest's exciting forward Stan Collymore for a club record fee.

The enigmatic frontman would go on to forge a sensational strike partnership with Robbie Fowler as Liverpool made a brief challenge for the title before finishing in, an improved, third position in the Premier League.

However, a disappointing FA Cup final defeat against Manchester United meant the Reds would end the season empty-handed.

The following season a serious assault on the championship was predicted and it proved to be the case up until late March, when the Reds suffered a bout of the title jitters which would ultimately see them finish in a disappointing fourth place.

There would be more frustration a year later and despite another top three finish the Anfield hierarchy felt changes were needed.

At the start of the 1998-99 season the Reds unveiled Gerard Houllier as a joint manager alongside Evans, who to his great credit, reacted to the decision with dignity and class.

However, it was the beginning of the end and after a run of indifferent results he parted ways with the club on November 12, 1998 - just four months into the new campaign.

It brought to a close a 32-year association with the club. His time as manager did not reap the haul of trophies he would have hoped for, but his success in nurturing local talents like Fowler and McManaman and the way he restored Liverpool's reputation as a force to be reckoned with, will always be appreciated.


Gerard Houllier 1998-2004



The summer of 1998 heralded the beginning of a French revolution at Anfield.

The Reds had struggled to make the final steps towards title glory under Roy Evans and it was felt that the arrival of former France international coach, Gerard Houllier, would help add some much-needed steel and discipline to Liverpool's attacking flair.

The Frenchman's association with the club stemmed from his days spent teaching in the city when he would cheer the Reds on from the Kop. Now he was back, charged with the task of trying to help rekindle the type of success he had witnessed from the stand.

At first Houllier was brought in as joint manager alongside Roy Evans. But as the double-act failed to come to terms with their dual role, results suffered, and Evans opted to part-company following a 3-1 League Cup defeat at home to Tottenham.

It proved to be a season of transition for Liverpool as inconsistency and injury saw them finish in a disappointing seventh place. It left Houllier with the task of transforming an under-achieving squad into one capable of challenging for trophies.

There was to be no quick fix either, as the Frenchman oversaw a complete overhaul of his playing staff, including seven new arrivals and 10 departures.

Out went the likes of Paul Ince, Jason McAteer and, regrettably, Steve McManaman (Bosman transfer), while Sami Hyypia, Dietmar Hamann and Stephane Henchoz headed the new contingent.

That trio in particular would provide the defensive resilience the Reds had been crying out for as Houllier set about making Liverpool difficult to beat again.

The 1999-2000 season brought with it serious progress as the Reds overcame some teething problems early on in the campaign to lie in second place with just six games remaining.

However, qualification for the Champions League would prove to be a bridge too far as Houllier's men failed to win any of their remaining fixtures.

It was a frustrating time for the manager but one that made him even more determined to succeed the following year - and what a year.

The 2000-01 season was the fruition of the Frenchman's revolution, a remarkable campaign that would see the Reds end a six-year barren spell without a trophy in style.

The Worthington Cup success over Birmingham was the just the precipice, as the FA Cup, UEFA Cup, Community Shield and Super Cup all found their way into the Anfield trophy cabinet in the same calendar year.

It had also been another solid season in the league and a third placed finish was not only proof of further improvement, but also meant the Reds would be involved in the Champions League for the first time since its inauguration.

The unique cup treble restored Liverpool's reputation as one of the best sides in Europe and once again raised expectations ahead of the 2001-02 season.

However, the exertions that came with trying to restore the Reds to the summit of English football were taking their toll on Houllier and on October 13 he fell ill during a 1-1 draw at home to Leeds United.

It would have dramatic repercussions for the rest of the season as Phil Thompson took temporary charge of team affairs while Houllier recovered from life saving heart surgery.

Thommo ran a steady ship while his boss was away and although the return of Houllier could not inspire Liverpool to title or Champions League glory, a second placed finish would again show progress.

But a sequence of gradual league improvement would not continue the following season and rather than end a 13-year wait for the title, the Reds finished in a disappointing fifth position.

The Frenchman had made a number of disappointing summer signings such as Bruno Cheyrou, El Hadji Diouf and Salif Diao and although he led Liverpool to a 2-0 win over Manchester United in the Worthington Cup final, it was a consolation prize in terms of what he had previously achieved.

The 2003-04 season would again see the Reds struggle to sustain a title challenge and only a late rally would see them secure that much-coveted fourth Champions League place.

However, the Reds board had decided it was time for a change and despite a reluctance to leave what he felt was an incomplete project, Houllier left Anfield during the summer of 2004.

It was a sad farewell for a man who had helped restore Liverpool's flagging reputation, but his tenure had not been without its success; the 2001 treble winning season regarded by many as one of the finest in our illustrious history.
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:31 pm

Rafael Benitez 2004-2010



He was hailed as our Spanish messiah, a genial tactician who restored our reputation as one of Europe's biggest clubs and led us to one of the greatest triumphs in our history.

But after a six year reign of cup glory and league frustration Rafael Benitez Maudes' hopes of leading Liverpool to a record-breaking 19th League Championship were brought to an end following a disappointing 2009-10 campaign.

The Spaniard's first year in England had climaxed like a fairytale, one that was capped by a European achievement that will ensure his tenure will be immortalised and cherished in the annals of Anfield history.

For while even the late, great Bill Shankly took time to establish Liverpool as a force, Benitez made an almost immediate impact, shrugging off the disappointment of a fifth place finish in the Premiership to defy the odds and lead the Reds to a fifth European Cup success.

To say his legend can be summed up in six minutes would be to belittle his other achievements, but those few precious moments that followed half-time on Wednesday, May 25, 2005, were undoubtedly the most important.

A wave of optimism carried Liverpool into Rafa's second season and although the Reds secured a Super Cup win over CSKA Moscow, a fixture pile-up as a result of a series of Champions League qualifiers and inconsistent Premiership performances saw them struggle early on.

A run of one defeat in 18 matches, in which they set a new club record of 11 consecutive clean sheets, got the Reds back on track, culminating in a third place finish which at the time saw us notch up our highest points tally since the inauguration of the Premier League.

There was also another final to look forward to and, with more than a little sense of déjà vu, the Reds overcame West Ham on penalties to claim the FA Cup and a third trophy under Rafa in just two seasons.

The Spaniard had certainly shown he had the Midas touch, following on from his success at Valencia where he had a developed a reputation as one of Europe's finest coaches.

However, the media still doubted his understanding of the English game overall, as the frustration of yet another disappointing start in the Premiership in 06-07 was in stark contrast to the confident swagger the side had begun to display in the Champions League.

European Champions Barcelona stood in the way in the knockout stage, but Rafa and co produced one of the performances of the season to clinch a famous 2-1 win in the Nou Camp and lay the foundations for progress to the next round.

After overcoming PSV and Chelsea respectively, the final in Athens would be another repeat, but this time AC Milan gained revenge for 2005.

The arrival of Fernando Torres for a record fee was a firm statement of intent ahead of 07-08, and with his strongest group of players since taking charge, Benitez made his best ever start in the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds marched to a run of 14 league matches unbeaten but saw their title hopes derailed by a series of disappointing draws.

A shock FA Cup defeat at home to Barnsley heaped further pressure on the Reds before an impressive Champions League victory over Inter Milan proved the catalyst for an end of season surge.

A 4-2 triumph in an all-English quarter-final second-leg at home to Arsenal had supporters dreaming of a third European final in four seasons, but this time it would be Chelsea's turn to advance to Moscow.

A second year without a trophy raised the pressure again, but if it hadn't been for injuries to Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, a partnership that had terrorised defences home and abroad, the Reds could easily have finished the season as the 2009 champions after losing just two league matches.

Highlights would include league doubles over both Manchester United and Chelsea, with the 4-1 mauling of Alex Ferguson's men at Old Trafford a particularly sweet moment for fans, players and coaching staff alike.

The Red Devils would go on to close out the championship but Liverpool kept winning right until the end with 10 victories from our last 11 league matches. It ensured we finished the campaign by setting a new personal Barclays Premier League best, with 86 points.

Expectation was higher than ever heading into 2009-10, but all was not well in the Liverpool camp.

Xabi Alonso's on-off transfer to Real Madrid was the major theme of a disappointing pre-season schedule. The opening day defeat at Tottenham proved to be a sign of things to come and once again the injuries to Torres and Gerrard would have a huge bearing on results.

By November any thoughts of a title challenge were over and a group stage exit from the Champions League threatened to completely derail the season.

Rumours of disharmony within the squad did little to raise the team's morale and a shock FA Cup replay defeat at home to Championship strugglers, Reading saw many within the media speculating that Rafa's future was in question.

Any hope of finishing the season with a trophy were ended by Diego Forlan's crucial away goal in the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid, while a 2-0 reversal against Chelsea in the final home match of the campaign quashed our chances of a top four finish.

The goalless draw at relegated Hull City would not only prove to be the final game of a disappointing campaign, but would also be Rafa's swansong as the club opted to part ways with the Spaniard less than four weeks later after a season that saw his side lose 19 games.


Roy Hodgson 2010-2011



Liverpool acted swiftly to appoint Hodgson in July after the Benitez era drew to a close by mutual consent. He arrived at Anfield with a gleaming reputation having helped Fulham to two of the greatest seasons in their history.

The Croydon-born coach's final act with the Cottagers was to steer them to the Europa League final against all odds, where they were narrowly defeated by Atletico Madrid in the Hamburg final.

However, Hodgson's endeavours were enough to clinch the LMA Manager of the Year accolade by a record margin, serving to add to an already rich footballing pedigree.

It was no surprise, therefore, to see the 63-year-old heavily linked with the vacant hot seat at Anfield and on July 1, the Reds confirmed his appointment on a three-year deal.

Upon signing in at Anfield, Hodgson commented: "This is the biggest job in club football and I'm honoured to be taking on the role of manager of Britain's most successful football club. I look forward to meeting the players and the supporters and getting down to work at Melwood."

After a below-par 2009-10 season, Hodgson's arrival reinstalled a wave of optimism amongst supporters, helped in no small part by the decision of star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to commit their futures to the club shortly after speaking with the new manager.

The acquisition of England World Cup winger Joe Cole on a free transfer from Chelsea ahead of an extensive queue of other elite teams from across Europe only bolstered the feel-good factor reverberating around the walls of Anfield.

Things certainly begun brightly on the pitch for Hodgson too. He oversaw a routine 2-0 Europa League qualifying victory over FK Rabotnicki in Macedonia in his first competitive game in charge on July 29, before Liverpool won the return leg by the same scoreline at Anfield one week later.

On August 15, Hodgson took charge of his first Barclays Premier League game for Liverpool as Arsenal travelled to Merseyside on 2010-11's opening weekend.

Despite going down to 10 men on the stroke of the interval following a red card for Cole on his league bow, the Reds staged a gallant second-half display and duly took the lead through David Ngog. However, an uncharacteristic stoppage-time error from Pepe Reina gifted the Gunners a point.

A heavy 3-0 reversal at Manchester City was sandwiched in between Europa League victories over Trabzonspor as Liverpool secured a safe passage into the group stages - though the desire of Javier Mascherano to join Barcelona tempered any joy the Reds felt as they journeyed back from Turkey.

Hodgson moved quickly to swell his midfield ranks in the aftermath of the departure of the Argentina captain to the Nou Camp, signing FC Porto's Raul Meireles to add to the earlier purchase of Christian Poulsen. Full-back Paul Konchesky would later be drafted in from Fulham.

But Liverpool's form was beginning to stutter domestically and after a scrappy defeat of West Brom at home and a low-key goalless draw at Birmingham, they suffered a morale-sapping loss against Manchester United in mid-September.

Having gone two goals down, the Reds staged a dramatic fight back as two Gerrard goals restored parity at Old Trafford, only for Dimitar Berbatov to break Kopite hearts with a late winner.

That frustration was compounded by a shock penalty shootout exit from the Carling Cup at the first hurdle to League Two outfit Northampton Town at Anfield just days later.

A 2-1 defeat to newly-promoted Blackpool in front of the Kop on October 3 left Liverpool languishing in the bottom three of the table - and the Reds fared little better in Hodgson's first Merseyside derby, crashing to a 2-0 reversal against Everton at Goodison Park.

However, the Europa League was providing Liverpool with some welcome respite from their Premier League form, and a hard-fought goalless draw in Napoli proved the catalyst for the Reds to embark on their best run of the campaign so far.

Following a win over Blackburn at Anfield, Hodgson oversaw his first league away win at the helm against Bolton on October 31 courtesy of Maxi Rodriguez's dramatic winner at the death.

Napoli were then put to the sword at Anfield thanks to a superlative second-half hat-trick from Steven Gerrard to all but assure the Reds of a spot in the knockout stages of the Europa League.

Liverpool then manufactured arguably their finest performance of the entire calendar year, comprehensively dispatching defending champions Chelsea 2-0 at Anfield with an on-song Torres firing a memorable brace.

A draw at Wigan extended the Reds' unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions, however defeat at Stoke City was cause for further disappointment. Back on the continent, though, a 1-1 draw in Romania against Steaua Bucharest was enough to secure top spot in Europa League Group K with a game to spare.

Meanwhile, dominant home wins over West Ham and Aston Villa, and a spirited display at Tottenham gave cause for renewed optimism, only for Liverpool to slump to defeat at Newcastle.

A surprise 1-0 Anfield setback to bottom-of-the-table Wolverhampton Wanderers on December 29 intensified pressure on the Reds.

And though a New Year's Day win over Bolton was achieved, a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn - Liverpool's ninth of the campaign - sadly proved a result too far for Hodgson, who vacated the Reds' helm by mutual consent shortly after.

During his six-month stint in the hot seat, Hodgson took charge of 31 games in all competitions, winning 13 and losing nine.


Kenny Dalglish 2011-Present



2011 marks the return of the King to his deserved place . .holding the helm of Liverpool Football Club declaring a revival of the greatest football club ever! A new era with the Liverpool Way!
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:34 pm

to my fellow mates in the forum i have always wanted to make this thread . .a link to our heritage n in a way a tribute to all the great managers we had . .it took some time but i promise you all it was worth it . .

Information Courtesy: Liverpoolfc.tv
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Nishankly on Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:20 pm

Red!!!
Rename this as the history thread?
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:40 pm

Nishank wrote:Red!!!
Rename this as the history thread?

o yep i guess we can certainly do that . .but i didn't have that in mind when i made it . .great idea though Smile
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Red Alert on Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:51 pm

Sticky this. Well done Fahim. Wink

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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:20 am

Great thread...but couldn't help but to giggle when I saw Roy and Souness Very Happy

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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:59 am

ynwa wrote:Sticky this. Well done Fahim. Wink

thanks mate Smile this is sthng i have been wanting to do for some time . .now am thinking of putting up sthing for some of our players . . Cool

Sepi wrote:Great thread...but couldn't help but to giggle when I saw Roy and Souness Very Happy

well there were pictures of Souness without the great mustache bt thought without that the essence would be lost Very Happy Razz
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:34 am


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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Don't call me James on Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:31 am

This is one of the reasons why i love this club so much....
AMAZING job Fahim, can't believe this thread was hidden from my knowledge till now.

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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Fahim89 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 2:46 pm

Messiakanino wrote:This is one of the reasons why i love this club so much....
AMAZING job Fahim, can't believe this thread was hidden from my knowledge till now.

thanks mate. . Thumbs up

would soon upload some bios or events soon! !
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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by RedOranje on Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:58 pm

Shankly's final interview
Bill Shankly's final interview by Moya Jones was published in the Liverpool Echo seven years after he retired from Liverpool on 13th July 1981. Three and a half months later Shankly retired from this world. Shankly discussed various topics in this excellent interview which give an interesting insight into his methods.

TRAINING

During serious training a football player sweats. But you must still wear a sweater or top to train in, particularly if it's a cold day. This is to cover and protect your kidneys. If you haven't worn one, you must put it on as soon as training is finished to keep warm. Instead of stripping, training and showering at Melwood, eating there and then going home, we stripped at Anfield and went down by bus. When it's pre-season and you are hot and perspiring, you don't to be leaping into the bath five minutes after you've finished. If you do, you'll sweat all day. After training I encouraged the boys to have a cup of tea and even a walk around. It takes 15 minutes or so to get to Anfield from West Derby. About 40 minutes would have passed from training until they actually got into the bath.

This is probably one of the reasons why we were always fitter than the rest. Most of the other clubs report directly to their training grounds, strip there and come straight off the pitch into a hot bath which I always disagreed with. Our lads never felt uncomfortable. They never had their lunch with sweat pouring off them. In my opinion, this was very important and a key part of Liverpool's fitness. It actually prevented injuries from happening.

Footballers normally train for an hour and a half, but it doesn't mean they work for an hour and half. Some might be demonstrating a function while the others are watching. And then it's your turn. It's not how long you train, but what you put into it. If you train properly, 35 minutes a day might do. We built Liverpool's training on exhaustion and recovery with little areas of two-a-side, three-a-side and five-a-side in which you work like a boxer, twisting and turning. Training was based on basic skills, control, passing, vision, awareness. If you are fit, you have a tremendous advantage over everybody else. It's important to try and give everyone a touch of the ball as quickly as possible once the match starts. If it comes to you, you chest it down simple and you roll it to your mate. It doesn't look much, but it's something. If you try to do something clever and it breaks down, it can take the confidence out of you. That's not my way.

MATCH PREPARATION

After all the training was complete on Fridays, we always had a talk about the impending game. All the players and subs attended. One of the staff would have watched the opposition and would bring their report in. All I wanted to know was the formation. Was it 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or whatever. And did any of the opposing players have any little characteristics we might want to stifle? I never ever discussed the opposition at length. The last thing you want to do is build up your opponents and frighten your own players. We might have been playing Manchester United that weekend, but I wasn't going to be singing the praises of the opposition. I can remember overhearing one of the lads coming out of a meeting and saying: 'Are Best, Law and Charlton not playing?' That made me smile. In the main, we were only concerned about us and our collective approach. The message was: 'Keep everything simple. Be patient, even it takes 89 minutes to score.' The number of times we won a match at the death was unbelievable. And when you sneak one like that, it's heartbreaking for the opposition.

I always tried to have a joke up my sleeve to boost our lads and knock down the opposition. We took our football seriously, but we always tried to get a laugh out of the team talks. And I would always keep a few bombs for Saturday. I might say to the old guy on the Anfield door: 'Here's a box af toilet rolls. Hand them to the opposition when they come through the door.' Often I'd say it just as our opponents were walking in. We didn't lose many, but when we did we were always ready to learn. We were always confident, but we were never over-confident. Being cocky is a form of ignorance. It means you are talking too much and if you are guilty of that, an opponent will bring you down to earth.

THE ART OF FOOTBALL

A football match is a like a relay race. We realised at Liverpool that you can score a goal by playing from the back. We learned this through playing the Latins in Europe. It might be cat and mouse for a while, waiting for that opening to appear. It's all very simple really, but it's effective. Improvisation! If your players can improvise and adjust to what's happening, you've got a chance. It's vital you conserve energy, making the opposition do all the chasing. When you play over 60 games a season you can't afford to be running flat out all the time.

The system we devised was designed to confuse the opposition. And it was economical. You want everyone to do their share. The important thing is that everyone can control the ball and do the basic things. It's control and pass - control and pass. If you delay, the opposition is all behind the ball. So you are looking for somebody who can control it instantly and give a forward pass. And that gives you more space. You see some teams playing and it seems as nobody wants the ball. They turn their back on on each other. But at Liverpool, there is always somebody to help you. That's why Kenny Dalglish was an instant success. He came to a club and he had choices. Kenny was the kind of player who could exploit that kind of thing to the full.

So this is the secret. Get it. Give an early pass. Switch the ball around. You might not seem to be getting very far, but the opposition pattern is changing. And the space opens up for the final pass. All the players must understand that when they've delivered a pass, you've only just started. You have to back up and look to help somebody else.

THE MAGIC OF MELWOOD

In the early days I went down to Melwood every day for training. That lasted a season then I stopped going. Felt I was intruding. I still go to Melwood but only for a sauna and a bath, a dip in the Melwood's magic waters. Melwood means more to me than any other part of Liverpool. It was where Liverpool was made. The first time I saw the place, an overgrown, neglected place it was too, I said to Ness, 'I'm going to see Melwood reborn, cultivated.' I did. Every inch of it. If someone took Melwood away from me....(the words faltered into silence).

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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by Don't call me James on Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:42 am

My goodness what a fantastic video, goosebumps all over


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Re: Liverpool FC History

Post by sportsczy on Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:59 pm

Any Liverpool fan... or general football fan like me... needs to read "Red or Dead" by David Peace. Talks about the Bill Shankly era and it's a fantastic book. Highly recommended.

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