Review of "Liverpool"
The Current Team1. Jerzy Dudek
Born on 23rd March 1973 in Rybnik, Poland, Jerzy started his professional career with Sokol Tychy. After playing only 15 games for them in the 1995/96 season Feyenoord quickly snapped him up after noticing his fantastic potential. A string of superb performances soon cemented him a place as a club favourite and he was voted the best keeper in the Dutch league in the 1998/99 season.Such accolades caught Gerard Houilliers eye and, after much speculation about a move to Arsenal in 2001, he got his man at the same time as he bought Chris Kirkland. In his first season he kept a remarkable 26 clean sheets and was dubbed with all sorts of glittering titles.
A few suspect performances, including a howler against Manchester United put Jerzy firmly in the spotlight. For the first time, though, it was the bad spotlight. He quickly regained his form and produced a man of the match performance against Manchester United to help Liverpool win the Worthington Cup.More recently he has produced heroics that surely nobody could forget in the Champions League final. After seeming dead and buried at 3-0 down at half time Liverpool somehow levelled it with a magnificent second half performance. Extra time saw Jerzy make one of the best double saves ever from Andriy Shevchenko with just seconds on the clock. He then went on to produce heroics in the penalty shoot out and the rest, as they say, is history.
2. Jan KromkampBorn on 17th August 1980 in Makkinga, Holland, Jan is a recent addition to the squad. He started out with Go Ahead Eagles in 1998 and, after making 61 appearances, was snapped up by AZ Alkmaar. He rose to prominence thanks to some glittering performances for AZ on their way to the 2004/05 UEFA Cup semi final.
Villarreal spotted his talents and snapped him up in the summer of 2005. He found it difficult to settle in Spain and the language barrier proved too much. Having only spent a few months at the club Liverpool swooped with a swap deal offer of Josemi, who was also experiencing language difficulties, which Villareal duly accepted.His debut came against Luton in the 5-3 FA Cup thriller. Since his move, Jan has proved a reliable performer. His preferred position is at right back but he has shown versatility already, having been played at right midfield on occasion.
3. Steve FinnanBorn on 24th April 1976 in Limerick, Ireland, Steve Finnan has long been known as a fully committed, consistent performer. He started his career at the grass roots level with Welling United but it wasn't long before he had a professional contract. Barry Fry took him to Birmingham and, after later moving to Notts County, it wasn't long before his talents were recognised.
Ex-Liverpool legend Kevin Keegan swooped in November 1998 to take him to Fulham for £600,000 and he was one of the players that took Fulham all the way to the Premiership. After several good, consistent performances for Fulham in the Premier League the big clubs were taking notice of his abilities.Liverpool bought Steve for £3.5 million in the summer of 2003. It was a frustrating season for Steve, as he recovered from an operation and struggled to find his form. From then he has gone from strength to strength. His superb consistency has been quickly regained and he has played a big part in the clubs recent success.
4. Sami HyypiaBorn on 7th October 1973 in Porvoo, Finland, Sami has been a fans favourite for some time now. He began his career with Mypa back in 1992. Three years later he was on his way to Holland with Willem II after some really impressive performances. The 1998/99 season saw the Dutch outfit qualifying for the Champions League in, easily, his best season so far.
Liverpool spotted his talents and immediately set about getting their man. He signed in the summer of 1999 for £3.5 million and hasn't looked back since. Year upon year he has improved as a defender and is now held in extremely high regard. The 2000/01 season saw Sami pick up a treble with the club as they won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. Remarkably, Sami was not booked once, despite playing so many games.In the August of 2001 Sami captained the club to a Charity Shield victory over Manchester United before winning the European Super Cup a short while later with a win over European giants, Bayern Munich. After Redknapp and Fowler left the club, the latter is happily back, Sami took on the captainship full time for a year before Steven Gerrard took over with massive leadership qualities.
After a relative barren spell, trophies wise, Sami picked up a Champions League winners medal last season with Liverpool before going on to pick up a second European Super Cup medal this season. This season has been a mixed bag for Sami. After a terrible start to the season where he made a few mistakes a lot of people were writing him off. Sami has proved the critics wrong and regained his title as one of the best centre backs in the world. This season he has been part of a defence that has conceded just 23 goals in 37 Premiership games.5. Daniel Agger
Born on 12th December 1984 in Denmark, Daniel has shown already, despite such a young age, all the credentials of a top class defender. After starting his career with Rosenhoj he was quickly spotted by Brondby and duly made the switch at the tender age of 19. He helped them to the league championship during the 2004/05 season and made his international debut on June 2nd 2005 against Finland.He was awarded the title "find of the year" throughout sport in Denmark in 2005 and shot even further into prominence with a wonderful performance against the strike partnership of Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen in Denmark's 4-1 victory over England in August 2005. A man with such a reputation could not stay at Brondby long. Despite such a short career so far, Liverpool jumped at the opportunity to sign the young man in January and paid £5 million for a much sought after young player.
He has only featured in a handful of games since his move but has shown all the promise required in his short career so far. Seen as a long term replacement for the veteran Sami Hyypia it is no surprise that they possess similar qualities. Daniel is a great reader of play, he is good in the air and has a sweet left foot.6. John Arne Riise
Born on 24th September 1980 in Molde, Norway, John has already shown himself to be a great athlete and a fantastic footballer. He started out with Aalesund but was quickly spotted by French giants AS Monaco. After a couple of seasons with the French outfit Gerard Houillier paid £4 million for a precocious young talent who has since gone from strength to strength.He quickly settled in at Anfield and his first goal was a memorable one - he scored at Monaco in the 3-2 European Super Cup victory over Bayern Munich. It wasn't long before John was scoring his trademark long range efforts including "that" goal against Manchester United in a 3-1 victory.
Several fantastic goals later John is still surprising us every time he puts one of them in the back of the net with each one seemingly more amazing than the last. Every time he pulls on the red shirt you know you are going to get 110% from him and this has won him a place in the hearts of many fans. He can play as both a left back and on the left side of midfield, although I prefer him as an attacking full back.Last season was another very good one for John and, after being one of the heroes in the Champions League run, he was rewarded for his fine form with a new contract that will end in 2009.
7. Harry KewellBorn on 22nd September 1978 in Sydney, Australia, Harry has a career so far that has hit the highest heights and the lowest lows. Harry was spotted by Leeds' then boss Howard Wilkinson in 1996 when part of the New South Wales Football Academy. He was handed his debut almost immediately and went on to become a club favourite very quickly with a series of impressive performances, one of which was when he ripped Liverpool apart.
With the bubble at Leeds bursting some time later due to financial over-reaching, Liverpool took advantage of the situation and Houillier brought Harry to Anfield for the bargain fee of £5 million in July 2003. Harry, a boyhood Liverpool fan, saw this as a dream move and turned down big money from Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal to join the club.His dream move quickly turned to nightmares as he picked up a series of niggling injuries that disrupted his career severely. Rarely playing more than a few games consecutively, Harry could not get back into the rhythm. A lot of people were starting to get impatient as Harry put in substandard performance one after another. Nobody was more disappointed than Harry and recent times must have been very sweet for him.
After finally putting his injury problems behind him he has begun to regain some of his old magic. The confidence has returned and the faith placed in him by Rafa Benitez seems well placed. He has been a key figure this season and has got better as the season goes on. Next year will surely be his year.8. Steven Gerrard
Born on 30th May 1980 in Whiston, Steven has become one of the best players in the world during his time at Liverpool. After coming through the academy at Liverpool Gerrard has quickly emerged as a huge talent. Making his debut in November 1998 as a second half substitute against Blackburn it became quickly apparent that this boy had talent. Even at such a young age you could see the ability.Despite some disciplinary problems early on he has ironed out the temper that had got him sent off early on to become a model professional. In 2001 it all seemed to happen for Steven. He was a big part of the team that won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup treble. Furthermore, he was voted the PFA young player of the year and, to cap it all off, he scored a wonderful goal in the 5-1 victory over Germany.
He has since gone on to become more and more influential for the club and Liverpool are certainly a much better team with him. His massive leadership qualities, tough tackling, visionary passing skills and love and passion for the club help mould him into a Liverpool living legend. He was of massive importance during last seasons campaign and his heroic performance in the Champions League Final inspired us back into a game we should have had no chance of winning at half time.He has had another fine season this year scoring bucket loads of goals and inspiring us to our best season in the Premiership so far. Recently Steven was voted the PFA player of the season and the only part of this that has been questioned is why he had to wait so long. The importance of his performances has been highlighted all the more after massive speculation of a move to Chelsea last summer which, luckily for us and the rest of the world, he turned down.
9. Djibril CisseBorn on 12th August 1980 in France, Djibril has a very promising start to his career. He shot to prominence with some glittering performances for his first club, Auxerre, and it wasn't long before he was pushing for a place in the national squad. He played his last game for Auxerre in May 2004 after scoring 70 goals in just 128 games. With a growing reputation, and having been tracked by Liverpool for two years, it was no surprise when he was the subject of a £14 million transfer to the Merseyside giants.
Upon signing for the club he was hit with terrible luck. Just three months into his stint at Liverpool he broke his leg against Blackburn in October 2004. Many feared the worst and the break was so bad that many feared he would never play again. He showed a steely determination to defy the critics and was playing again just six months later and went on to score a vital penalty in the shoot out of the Champions League final against Milan.This season has been a mixed bag for Djibril. He has been linked with transfers several times and the media has made a lot out of his relationship with Rafa. At times, Djibrl looks like one of the best strikers in the world and his pace strikes fear into the opposition defences. At others, though, he looks more like a League Two striker.
One thing that is in no doubt is that this lad has fantastic ability. If he can learn to be more consistent and channel his abilities more effectively then he has the potential to do very well both for Liverpool and for France. Only time will tell.10. Luis Garcia
Born on 24th June 1978 in Badalona. Spain, Luis Garcia has quickly become a fans favourite at Liverpool. Having come through the ranks at Barcelona he made the switch to Valladolid after struggling to cement a first team place. Rafa Benitez, the then Tenerife boss, took him on loan and he had an impressive season, scoring 16 goals in 40 matches during their promotion campaign.After returning to Valladolid, Atletico Madrid swooped for him in 2002 and, after another impressive season, he returned to Barcelona just a year later. Just a year later, though, he was again on the move after struggling once more to hold down a regular place as he battled with the likes of Ronaldinho and Xavi. Rafa once more swooped, this time buying him for Liverpool.
His first season at Liverpool must be seen as a roaring success. Despite a few poor performances and sometimes giving the ball up easily Luis finished the joint top scorer that season with 13 goals. The quantity of the goals was not as important as the timing of them. He scored some terrific goals during Liverpool's Champions League campaign, including "that" goal against Juventus.This season has seen Luis go from strength to strength and he is now widely regarded as a superb and important player for Liverpool. As he has settled with the club he has become less of a Mr European game to become a much better performer in the league also.
11. Robbie FowlerBorn on 9th April 1975 in Toxteth, this man needs no introduction. After coming through the ranks at Liverpool he went on to be the best prospect English football had seen for some time. He was handed his debut against Fulham in the League Cup and he scored in a 3-1 victory. In the return leg he absolutely destroyed Fulham, scoring all five goals in a 5-1 victory.
In both 1995 and 1996 he was voted the PFA young player of the year after two superb seasons where everything he touched seemed to turn into a goal. In both of these seasons he scored more than 30 goals - a remarkable feat for anyone, let alone such a young player. In reward for such fine performances the Anfield faithful duly nicknamed him "God".The next few years were full of controversy and injury for the Toxteth lad. His cocaine snorting antics against Everton landed him in deep trouble with the FA and Houillier fell out with him after making up some ridiculous excuse when Robbie was happy to take the rap. His major injury, also coming against Everton, ruled him out for the best part of a season and he never really regained his form.
His final season at Anfield saw him score 17 goals for the club, including the two in the final game of the season that guaranteed Liverpool Champions League qualification. He was a member of the team that won Houillier the treble that year. His reward? He was shipped out to Leeds for £12 million.Everything went wrong from there on. His goal scoring record for Leeds was not too bad but when the club fell apart the Leeds faithful turned on him and he was sold on to Man City for a much reduced fee, with Leeds paying 50% of his wages for the rest of his contract.
His time at Man City was also not plain sailing. He struggled to overcome injuries and had to play alongside serial sulker Nicolas Anelka. To make things worse the Frenchman wouldn't pass and Fowler struggled to make an impact. After a couple of hard seasons and much contemplation about his future, Robbie began to find a bit of the old magic. He scored the third goal in a 3-1 victory over Manchester United and Liverpool made their swoop in January.Since returning to the club Robbie has shown signs of the old player. OK, he has lost a lot of his pace but his footballing brain is there for all to see. He is one of the greatest poachers around the world and, if given the new contract he wants so much, will surely regain his place as an integral part of Liverpool's future.
14. Xabi AlonsoBorn on 25th November 1981 in Spain, Xabi has quickly become one of the best players in the world. He started his career for Real Sociedad, making his debut in the 1999/00 season. He was loaned out to SD Eibar for the start of the following campaign and returned to break into the Sociedad first string.
After some steady performances and regular improvement, Xabi quickly became the centre of the team. He was inspirational throughout the 2003/03 season when he helped the club to a second place finish in the league behind Real Madrid. Another good season and a good run in the national side improved his reputation further.Alonso was one of Rafa's first signings for Liverpool being captured for £10.5 million in August 2004. He has quickly become a fans favourite with a string of superb performances and passing skills that the Anfield faithful are more accustomed to throughout their history. He played a vital part in the Champions League final when he scored against Milan after seeing his penalty saved.
This season he has yet again been a key performer for the club. He has consistently opened up opposition defences with his superb passing ability and has performed very well in the defensive midfield role.15. Peter Crouch
Born on 30th January 1981 in Macclesfield, Peter has already been around the block. He started out at Tottenham but was deemed not good enough, a decision they must surely rue. He impressed at QPR and Harry Redknapp spotted his talent to take him to Portsmouth. Again, he impressed and he was quickly snapped up by Aston Villa. He struggled to hold a first team place down with Villa and was loaned out to Norwich.Again, he did well at Norwich and, upon his return, was snapped up once more by Harry Redknapp, this time for Southampton. He was arguably their best performer during their relegation season, scoring 16 goals from just 24 starts. Upon relegation there was much speculation about his future.
Rafa Benitez was on the look out for a good hold up man as he felt we needed to keep the ball more and he was a keen admirer of Crouch's abilities. He swooped in the summer of 2005. Standing at 6 foot 7, Peter is an intimidating sight for any defence. His start to the season was a bit of a mixed bag. Despite some very good performances where he always gave his all he struggled to find the net. It took him almost twenty games to get his first goal for the club but has gone on to find his feet and is currently in the middle of a good scoring patch.For me the goals aren't all that important, sentiments that Rafa has echoed. The extra dimension he brings to our game along with the scoring capabilities of the players around him keeps opposition defences on their toes. Having already played for England, and having linked up well with Michael Owen, Wayne Rooney's injury could pave the way for him to show his abilities on the biggest stage of all.
16. Dietmar HamannBorn on 27th August 1973 in Bavaria, Didi started his career with FC Wacker Munchen but was quickly spotted by Bayern Munich, who he joined at the tender age of 16 in 1989. During his time there he won 2 league titles along with a German Cup and UEFA Cup winners medal.
Kenny Dalglish brought Didi to English football when Newcastle paid £5.5 million for him after some good performances in the 1998 World Cup. After just a year with the Geordies, however, Didi was once more on the move, this time to Liverpool for £7 million.He has been a consistent performer who has always come up with the goods in the big games. He was a key member of the side that won the treble in 2001 and his appearance in the Champions League final was the turning point of the game. He was inspirational in shutting out Milan's marvellously gifted attacking force.
Another accolade, one that every Englishman would want to forget, is that he is the last player to score a goal at Wembley Stadium when he scored a 25 yard screamer from a free kick in a 1-0 victory for Germany against England.19. Fernando Morientes
Born on the 5th April 1976 in Spain, Fernando has pretty much done it all. He started out with Real Zaragoza but was quickly spotted by Real Madrid where, season after season, he regularly produced the goods. He acquired a reputation that ranked him up there alongside the best. His ability in the air and his sharp finishing elevated him to crowd favourite and his partnership with Raul brought much success.The arrival of Ronaldo spelled the end for Fernando's love affair with Real and, after featuring much less regularly, he was loaned out to AS Monaco for the 2003/04 season. He was a big hit for Monaco and finished top scorer in the Champions League with nine goals, two of which coming against Real Madrid.
He returned to Madrid the following season but again struggled to hold a first team place with the arrival of Michael Owen. In January 2005, Rafa swooped with a £7 million bid for Morientes. He has struggled to adapt since his move from the Bernabeu and his scoring record has been distinctly average.Recently, Fernando has begun to find his scoring form again but now is the time for him to deliver. The guy has unquestionable talent but the Anfield faithful will only remain patient for so long.
22. Momo SissokoBorn on 22nd Jauary 1985 in Mali, Momo has established himself quickly as a very good player. He has previously linked up with Rafa at Valencia where he was a very important player. He was so important to Rafa that he felt the need to swoop and bolster the Liverpool midfield in the summer of 2005, with Momo turning down Chelsea in the process.
He has had a very good debut season at Liverpool since his move and is held in very high esteem all over Merseyside. His committed performances have provided some much needed drive to the team. Rafa is a big fan of him and firmly believes he could become a better player than Patrick Vieira - a prospect to make you drool.There was a recent scare for Momo and Liverpool fans as he picked up an eye injury in the defeat to Benfica when he was kicked in the face accidentally. There were fears that he may lose his sight but he made a remarkable recovery and featured for Liverpool just a couple of games later. His performances since have been of the highest level.
23. Jamie CarragherBorn on 28th January 1978 in Bootle, Jamie has been with the club since a very young age. Originally thought to be best at defensive midfield he quickly established himself as first choice right back. Eventually, Houillier realised he was even better at centre back and he has never looked back.
Having played over 400 games for Liverpool so far it is hard to see him ever playing for any other club. His determination and passion for the club coupled with his fantastic defensive abilities have seen him rise to the dizzy heights as one of the best defenders in the world. He has bee dubbed by Sami Hyypia as the best defender he has ever played alongside.He was voted Liverpool's player of the season for the 2004/05 campaign and it was a reward that was richly deserved. He has helped shape a defence that rarely leaks a goal and has been instrumental this season on so many occasions. Whenever you think the opposition have got to score he comes out of nowhere with a vital tackle. If anyone could challenge Steven Gerrard for the title f Liverpool's most important player then it would be him.
The BossRafa Benitez
Born on 16th April 1960 in Madrid, Rafa had a relatively good playing career although never at the top level. He started with Real Madrid before moving to Parla and, later, Linares.His coaching career began with Real Madrid in 1986, where he coached their youth team. Managerial posts along the way included Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife. His most famous appointment was the one with Valencia. A lot of fans and critics questioned the decision to employ such a young and relatively inexperienced manager. Rafa went on to win La Liga with Valencia and all the doubts were put to rest. The following season they finished fifth reaching the quarter finals of the Champions League, beating Liverpool twice on the way.
When Houillier was relieved of his position as Liverpool manager there was much speculation as to who the next boss would be. The two main candidates were Mourinho and Benitez, the same two as Chelsea. Liverpool opted for Benitez and Chelsea opted for Mourinho so there was no dog fight in the end. Liverpool fans all over the land must surely be delighted at the choice as, in his first season, he delivered the Champions League and, in his second season, has moulded the club into potential champions.Honours
Lancashire League Winners
League Cup Winners
European Cup Winners
European Super Cup Winners
Ian Callaghan 857
Ian Callaghan 640
Most FA Cup Appearances
Ian Callaghan 79
Ian Rush 78
Most European Appearances
Ian Callaghan 89
Phil Neal 417
Most First Team Goals
Ian Rush 346
Roger Hunt 245
Most FA Cup Goals
Ian Rush 39
Ian Rush 48
Most European Goals
Michael Owen 22
11-0 Vs Stromgodset
9-1 Vs Birmingham
61905 Vs Wolves 1951/52
1000 Vs Loughorough Town 7th December 1895
Product Information : Liverpool
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