Tag Archives: Bill Shankly

Smells Like Team Spirit

11 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Smells Like Team Spirit

 

Bill Shankly’s 100th anniversary of his birth has recently been celebrated by Liverpool Football Club and it is a tribute to Liverpool’s greatest manager that Liverpool are playing with a hunger and passion that he demanded from his players.

 

Shankly demanded 100% from his players and current manager Brendan Rodgers has his players singing off the same hymn sheet as Bill Shankly’s men.

 

Brendan Rodgers has taken over Liverpool with a few similar circumstances that Shankly faced. OK, so Liverpool are not in the second division and Anfield is not the “biggest toilet in Liverpool” anymore,  but Anfield Stadium is in need of modernisation and Liverpool have fallen from grace in recent years after the disastrous ownership of Gillett and Hicks and Liverpool’s current American owners are striving to bring back the glory days.

 

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and even Tottenham Hotspur have overtaken Liverpool nowadays and Rodgers has the tough task of bridging the gap that has widened between these clubs to make Liverpool a top four club again.

 

Liverpool can’t compete in the transfer market against these clubs until they get back into the Champions League and Liverpool have had to alter their strategy and buy young players with potential or players like Sturridge who need the chance to prove themselves.

 

Liverpool’s new transfer policy has impressed so far with players like Coutinho, Sturridge and also free transfer, experienced defender Toure coming in who brings great experience alongside Liverpool’s youngsters. Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers cleverly reduced the wage bill along with bringing in new faces.

 

Moving high earners like Carroll, Downing and Reina during the summer was a clever piece of business although Liverpool still paid big money for players they felt would take the team forward under Rodgers’ plans. Signing Mignolet and Sakho did cost a lot of money but Liverpool have learned their lessons from the past days of overspending on Carroll, Downing and Henderson.

 

Shankly moved many players on who he knew were not good enough to play in the Red shirt and shaped his team with his own signings and Rodgers is doing the same with his team.

 

Like Shankly Brendan Rodgers had a difficult start to his career at Anfield by only winning two of his first ten league games in charge. But over the course of last season Liverpool have showed signs of improvement and now with this summer’s transfer dealings Liverpool look to have a stronger squad with players that Brendan Rodgers wants in his team. The mix of youth and experience looks like the perfect combination along with the emergence of youngsters breaking into the first team from the youth set-up.

 

Liverpool have enjoyed their best start to a season in many years and although only three games in Liverpool find themselves top of the league with three wins in three games. But the victories have shown how the team is growing under Brendan Rodgers with some great football being played in the Stoke and Villa wins and many goalscoring opportunities being created. Then there has been the steely determination shown and great desire to battle for the victory when under pressure witnessed in the Manchester United game and also in the second half of the Aston Villa victory.

 

There have been some tremendous examples of commitment shown already in this young  season  highlighted by Gerrard flying into tackles against United and the crunching challenge by Glen Johnson on United’s Patrice Evra which led to Liverpool’s right-back having to leave the field, Sturridge played the ninety minutes against Manchester United with an injury and his determination to play paid off as he proved to be the difference on the day with the only goal of the game. This is only a few examples of commitment that Liverpool players are showing under Brendan Rodgers’ leadership but it shows how much the players are playing for their manager.

 

In similar games Liverpool would have lost goals and drew or lost these type of closely contested matches but there is a collective will to win within this group of Liverpool players Rodgers’ has assembled. This group of players are showing the type of determination and spirit that Bill Shankly installed in his team and this quality is vital in any successful team.

 

You can have the best players on the planet but without “team spirit” you won’t win anything and Liverpool seem to be heading in the right direction with a talented young squad complimented by a determined attitude that Bill Shankly would have been proud of.

 

 

 

 

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Happy Birthday Shankly

2 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Happy Birthday Shankly

 

I thought it only fitting that I should write an article about Liverpool’s greatest manager to mark Bill Shankly’s 100th birthday . Bill Shankly was before my time but like any Liverpool fan I have learned about him over the years and even read his one and only autobiography about him quite recently. It’s hard to write an article on this great man as so many better people and writers than me have said it all before. But I just wanted to have my say of what this great man means to me.

 

I was only 10 years old when the great man passed on and I had just recently started supporting Liverpool but I didn’t know who he was but I had heard of him, and I remember the sad news that day of his passing and the reaction of my father who obviously new a lot more about him. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to experience his time in charge of Liverpool, but I have consulted people who did and they said that it was an amazing time to be a Liverpool supporter.

 

All the great stories you hear of this great man from former players are legendary like his achievements. The way he has touched every Liverpool supporter even after so many years after his death shows what this man done for this club.

 

Coming from a small mining village in Ayrshire which is sadly no longer inhabited as I quite recently visited only to find the Shankly memorial standing. I think his mining back ground stood him in good stead for his future career. Football was the only alternative to a life down the pit, and Shankly grabbed it with both hands as he forged a career in football.
I don’t want to bore you with the facts of his career as I’m sure you know all about them, I just want to tell you how he has touched me.

 

I also live in Ayrshire, and I think that is why I took an added interest in his life. I have learned so much about Shankly over the years by supporting Liverpool and I am absolutely fascinated by the great man. I always try to watch programmes on TV about Shankly or read articles in newspapers about him as I respect the man so much for what he has done for Liverpool. I am currently reading the recently published Red or Dead which is another book about Shankly and a very interesting read too.

 

His achievements at Liverpool are all the more remarkable considering the state of the club at the time. Shankly called Anfield “the biggest toilet in Liverpool”. Shankly transformed the club totally and even maintained Anfield and Melwood himself as Liverpool’s facilities were so run down. Shankly put everything into his job and he expected his players to do the same.

 

He had a tremendous rapport with the supporters and told his players that they were lucky to play for them. Shankly would always have time for Liverpool supporters, he would reply to every letter personally and he would give match day tickets away and even play football with them. He loved the supporters and they loved him back.

 

The way Shankly changed the training methods, the players’ diets and obviously the team was amazing, and how the transformation of the club happened relatively quickly as Liverpool’s results on the park improved. Shankly built a brilliant team as he took Liverpool back into the First Division after languishing in the Second Division.

 

He kept improving the team, bringing in tremendous players with the likes of St. John and Ron Yeats strengthening the team. After much success in the 1960’s Shankly realised the core of his team was getting too old and with his priority on improving the team he replaced players that had been with him for so long. He brought in the likes of Clemence, Heighway, Hughes, Toshack and Keegan and basically built a new team that would keep the success coming.

 

Bill Shankly built Liverpool into one of the top football teams in the country and his methods and close knit team of coaches (The Boot Room Boys) would ensure that Liverpool would continue at the top of the English game for years to come after his retirement. Nobody really knows why he really retired but I’m sure he only did so because he knew that Liverpool had a great man in Bob Paisley to reign after him.

 

Liverpool provided a perfect tribute on the eve of Shankly’s birthday with the Kop displaying a mosaic and a minute’s applause prior to kick-off against Manchester United and Liverpool’s win catapulted them to the top of the League, just where Shankly would want them.

 
Bill Shankly you will never be forgotten.

 

He made the people happy.

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Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United Match Report

1 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United Match Report

 

Daniel Sturridge provided a fitting tribute to Bill Shankly with a 4th minute winner against old rivals Manchester United at Anfield on the eve of the great man’s 100th birthday. Sturridge scored his 3rd goal in 3 matches as his goals have been enough for Liverpool to record three 1-0 wins to start the season and fire them to the top of the league which is appropriate as Liverpool celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Bill Shankly.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers suffered a few injuries in midweek against Notts County with new signings Cissokho ruled out for possibly 6 weeks along with Kolo Toure who was stretchered off in extra time and Joe Allen also had to come off after picking up an injury. Forgotten man Martin Skrtel came back into Liverpool’s defence with the absence of Toure. Simon Mignolet kept goal with Johnson, Enrique and Agger alongside Skrtel in defence. Coutinho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Aspas and Sturridge made up the rest of the team.

 

The Match

 

Anfield produced a tremendous tribute to the great Bill Shankly on the eve of what would have been his 100th birthday by producing a mosaic on the Kop and a minute’s applause prior to kick off.

 

The game kicked off with United surging down the left flank before a Giggs cross was easily collected by Mignolet.

 

But in the 3rd minute Liverpool won their first corner of the match which Gerrard took and he found Agger who headed towards goal only to be diverted into the United goal by the head of Sturridge and send Anfield into raptures of delight.

 

The goal lifted the already noisy Anfield up a notch as the Liverpool fans celebrated. But United responded and van Persie went close with an overhead kick.

 

The game started to shift from end to end as Welbeck forced Mignolet into action before Gerrard produced an effort at the other end.

 

United started to settle into the game after the frenetic start and a corner taken by Young missed everyone as it rolled along the 6 yard box.

 

Then Johnson produced a superb block as Welbeck looked to fire in an equaliser. But Gerrard was orchestrating Liverpool’s midfield superbly as they enjoyed good possession.

 

Next it was Liverpool on the attack as Gerrard fired a free-kick on target but De Gea was equal to it. Aspas and Cleverley picked up yellow cards as things became a bit heated and Cleverley’s booking resulted in Liverpool receiving a free-kick in a dangerous position but Coutinho’s effort was high and wide.

 

Then within the space of 2 minutes United picked up another 2 yellow cards when Carrick and van Persie were punished.

 

The referee blew for half-time with tempers flaring as Gerrard and van Persie squared up to each other.

 

United started the second half on the attack and pushed Liverpool back as they looked to draw level. Glen Johnson had to head a dangerous cross behind for a corner as the pressure mounted.

 

Then Gerrard took a free-kick but Agger headed over. But United were dominating possession now and van Persie had the next effort but it was deflected wide.

 

Then Young had a volley blocked after Agger’s weak headed clearance before Welbeck thought he had won United a penalty after colliding with Aspas in the box.

 

Brendan Rodgers brought on Sterling for Aspas with 30 minutes to play in hope of giving Liverpool an outlet with his pace. But the game became very scrappy with both teams losing possession too easily.

 

Substitute Nani’s corner kick was then headed over by Giggs at the near post as United kept up the pressure on the Liverpool defence.

 

Moments later a dangerous run by Evra was brought to a halt by a crunching challenge by Glen Johnson which resulted in the Liverpool defender having to be replaced by Andre Wisdom.

 

Then Nani unleashed a rocket from the edge of the box but Mignolet punched the shot to safety as Liverpool continued to defend.

 

With time running out for United they produced the chance they wanted when van Persie was slipped through behind the Liverpool defence but for once the Dutchman fired into the side-netting.

 

With 5 minutes to be added on at the end Liverpool kept possession in the United half before Sterling surged forward before firing a shot into the top corner which De Gea tipped over the bar.

 

Anfield celebrated when the final whistle went as Liverpool made it 3 wins from the games.

 

Summary

 

The tribute for Bill Shankly was special before the kick-off and the atmosphere inspired Liverpool to get early goal. I was worried about Skrtel being recalled to the team because of Toure’s injury but Skrtel was brilliant and was my man of the match. Skrtel’s performance was more impressive because of the fact that he hasn’t been playing regularly for the last year. Liverpool didn’t play as well as previous games but the work rate and resilience was impressive as United pushed for an equaliser in the second half. Gerrard was superb and produced a few great tackles and I liked the way he sorted out van Persie before half-time. Glen Johnson was also brilliant in defence and he produced a couple of bone crunching tackles, unfortunately one of them resulted in him having to leave the field. But Liverpool made a big statement by beating United and proved that they can compete with the big teams and the result can only boost confidence with the fact that Liverpool are top of the league.

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A Quiet Incredible Man

14 Feb

A Quiet Incredible Man

 

 

On the 23rd of January 1919 in a little known town called Hetton-le-Hole in County Durham, was born a baby who was to grow up to be the most successful manager in Liverpool Football Club’s history. His name of course was Bob Paisley.

 

 

Paisley started his long road to success at non-league Bishop Auckland before signing for Liverpool in May 1939, but due to war breaking out Paisley had to wait until 5th of January 1946 to make his debut in Liverpool’s first post-war competitive match. Paisley became a regular in the Liverpool team at left-half and he helped Liverpool win their first league title in 24 years in his first full season at the club. Paisley had to wait until 1948 to net his first goal at Liverpool on the 1st May at Anfield in a 2-1 win over Wolves.

 

Paisley scored the opening goal in a 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Everton in 1950 only to suffer heartache when he was dropped for the final against Arsenal in the club’s first ever trip to Wembley, which they lost. Paisley stated that this experience helped him deal with players during his time in management when he had to tell a player he was being left out of a big game.

 

 

Paisley became the club captain the following year. He retired from playing as a one club man in 1954 and continued to work for Liverpool as a self-taught physiotherapist. He later became coach of the reserves before becoming a member of Bill Shankly’s famous “Boot Room”. In 1971 he became Shankly’s assistant manager until Shankly’s shock resignation in 1974, where Paisley succeeded as manager.

 

 

Liverpool had become one of the top clubs in the country under Shankly’s leadership and had won numerous trophies. Paisley’s task seemed a formidable one to continue in Shankly’s footsteps. But the unassuming Geordie took to management like a duck to water, although his first season did end without a trophy.

 

 

Bob Paisley went on to manage Liverpool for 9 years winning 6 League Titles, 3 European Cups, 1 UEFA Cup, 3 League Cups, 5 Community Shields and 1 UEFA Super Cup. The only cup that eluded him was the FA Cup which he lost in a final in 1977. It really is a remarkable record for a man that never really wanted to become manager.

 

 

Paisley inherited a great team from Shankly but through time he had to shape the team into his. He lost great players like Kevin Keegan but he replaced him with an even better player in Kenny Dalglish. He could change the role of an established player like Ray Kennedy who was a superb striker for Arsenal, but Paisley could see that he would be a better player in midfield.

 

 

Paisley retired from management in 1983 after serving Liverpool Football Club in so many different roles in 44 years unbroken service. He did return to help Liverpool in 1985 as a consultant and advisor to new player-manager Kenny Dalglish for two years before being appointed a director of the club until 1992, having to retire due to ill health after being diagnosed with Alzhiemer’s Disease. Bob Paisley died on the 14th of February 1996. But Liverpool Football Club honoured his fantastic service and achievements by erecting the “Paisley Gates”.

 

 

For me, Bob Paisley is the most under-rated manager in the history of British football, his record of success is astonishing. He is the only manager in history to win the European Cup 3 times. During his time as manager he always tried to shun the spotlight and maybe because he was so quiet may be the reason why he is not talked about as much as Ferguson or Mourinho.

 

 

It’s not just Paisley’s incredible management career that excites me, but his service to one club in so many roles that he played to help Liverpool Football Club achieve what they have. Paisley was the opposite of Shankly in terms of personality but similar in terms of success.

 

 

Although Paisley was quiet he did come away with some memorable quotes –

 

“Kevin was quicker off the mark, but Kenny runs the first five yards in his head.”

 

“Mind you, I’ve been here through the bad times too – one year we came second”

 

 

“It’s not about the long ball or the short ball, it’s about the right ball”

 

 

“Other people have earned more money than me in football but no-one has enjoyed it as much as me”

 

 

Although this great man is overlooked by many people on his achievements in football, he has legendary status in the hearts of Liverpool supporters. Paisley was manager of Liverpool when I started supporting them and I took the winning for granted at the time, but now after nearly 30 years since his departure from management I realise that success does not come easily in football, and I now I can fully appreciate how great a manager Paisley was.

 

Bob Paisley –  You’ll Never Walk Alone

 

 

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