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My Greatest Liverpool XI Part 1 - Craig Muncey

Article by Craig Muncey

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Check Out Red Phil's Greatest Liverpool XI - Part 1 here!

In the first part of this new series, I and Red Phil select the greatest Liverpool XI in our lifetimes. firstly, I want to make you all aware that my earliest memory of Liverpool is from 1978, so my distinguished colleague may have a few more years and experience over me, but I am pretty confident that my team will give Red Phil’s eleven a run for his money, but that is for you to decide!

We start off with my goalkeeper and my back four. I will pick two candidates for each position (which in some cases was difficult to select only two). However, I have, and following the two candidates I will tell you who my choice for each position is.

So first up is my two candidates at goalkeeper.

Firstly, Ray Clemence. Bought in 1967 from Scunthorpe United for £18,000, played 14 seasons for Liverpool up until 1981, won many honours in that time including 5 league titles, 3 European Cups and 2 UEFA Cups. In 1978 Liverpool only conceded 16 goals in the league, just 4 at Anfield. Clemence kept 28 clean sheets in 42 league matches that season.

Clemence was a great keeper with a great presence and had great reflexes. In many games he had very little to do, such was the dominance of the team, but his powers of concentration were outstanding when needed and he very rarely let them down.

Secondly, Bruce Grobbelaar. Bruce played 13 seasons for Liverpool, bought from Vancouver Whitecaps for £250,000 in 1981. Grobbelaar was eccentric, ultra confident, and was a real athlete who used to come for crosses many keepers of the time would not. There were occasions where he flapped and missed, but a great goalkeeper.

Grobbelaar won many honours including 6 league titles, 3 FA Cups and a European Cup, in a fantastic career.

My selection – Ray Clemence. An outstanding keeper, only won 61 caps for England in total due to another outstanding keeper - Peter Shilton, being a regular. Clemence was a special keeper, great reflexes and a calming influence between the sticks.

Right Back – A number of candidates here, but I have whittled it down to two (as in the old school RB shirt number).

First candidate here, Steve Nicol. In my opinion, the most versatile player Liverpool have ever had. Nicol could play right back, left back, centre back and anywhere in midfield and all to a high level. A Scottish International who played 13 years for Liverpool, winning 5 league titles, 3 FA Cups and a European Cup amongst others. I will let him off for missing a penalty in that European cup win ;)

Second candidate here is Phil Neal, Bob Paisley’s first ever signing. He played 11 years for the club, winning amongst others, 8 league titles and 4 European Cups. He captained the team as well, winning 50 England caps in the process. A fantastic servant.

My selection – Steve Nicol. Just pips Phil Neal to the shirt, due to his attacking abilities as well as being a top defender. Mind you, if it comes down to penalties between me and Red Phil, I should of gone for Neal!

Left Back – First up is my boyhood favourite player, Alan Kennedy.

This probably had a lot to do with being a left footed footballer and often playing left back. “Barney” as was known, was a cavalier type full back and scored many an important goal including a winner in a European Cup final, a winning penalty in a European Cup final and a winner in a League Cup Final. Kennedy won among others, 5 league titles and 2 European Cup Finals in 8 years at the club and 2 England caps.

Second candidate, Steve Staunton. In 2 stints at the club, 7 years in total, Staunton was a very good defender with a great left foot. He won 1 league title for the club and an FA Cup and 2 Charity Shields.

My selection – Steve Staunton. This may surprise readers, but in my eyes this guy was an outstanding left back. He was a good defender first and foremost but also could also get forward and was a very accurate passer with a very good left foot.

Centre Back – First candidate here is Alan Hansen.

“Jocky” was an outstanding defender who could defend but could also play out from the back. How he only won 26 caps for Scotland is one of the greatest mysteries in football. The big Scot played 14 years for the club and captained them on many occasions. Among honours won were 8 league titles, 2 FA Cups and 3 European Cups. An outstanding player.

Second candidate, Phil Thompson. Again, an outstanding defender. He looked frail in build but was a tough defender, could play a bit as well. Captained the club many times and won 7 league titles, 1 FA Cup and 3 European Cups and capped 42 times by England. Went on to be assistant manager at the club working alongside Gerard Houllier.

My selection – Alan Hansen. Had to pick the classy, composed defender that Hansen was. At his best Hansen was the best British defender out there, a great player.

Centre Back – First candidate, Sami Hyypia. What a signing this man was, costing just £2.6 million in 2009, and went onto play 10 years with the club, captaining them a number of times. The Finnish international was outstanding in the air, but could play as well. Sami and Jamie Carragher had an outstanding partnership. Amongst honours won were 2 FA Cups and a European Cup.

Second candidate, Mark Lawrenson. He and Hansen had a great partnership, as indeed Hansen had with Thompson. Lawrenson glided over the ground and he was great at getting back with sliding recovery tackles. Played 7 years for the club and won, amongst other honours, 5 league titles, 1 FA Cup and a European Cup. Great player.

My selection – Mark Lawrenson. An excellent centre back who is also a very capable left back, an excellent footballer and quick over the ground.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of my greatest Liverpool XI - Coming soon to e-Football!

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