Dirk Kuyt Craig Bellamy Ryan Babel Fabio Aurelio
Alberto Aquilani Charlie Adam Maxi Rodriguez
Nathan Eccleston David Amoo Stephen Darby
Fernando Torres Raul Meireles David Ngog
Paul Konchesky Christian Poulsen Emiliano Insua Philipp Degen
Thomas Ince Milan Jovanovic Sotirios Kyrgiakos
Javier Mascherano Yossi Benayoun Andriy Voronin Andrea Dossena
Charles Itandje Damien Plessis Lauri Dalla Valle
Nicolas Anelka Gary McAllister Christian Ziege Nick Barmby
Stephen Wright Jari Litmanen Pegguy Arphexad Bernard Diomede
Vegard Heggem Markus Babbel Emile Heskey Abel Xavier
Vladimir Smicer Mauricio Pellegrino El-Hadji Diouf Alou Diarra
Igor Biscan Gregory Vignal Richie Partridge Paul Harrison
Jon Otsemobor Mark Smyth Antonio Nunez Milan Baros
John Welsh Josemi Fernando Morientes Zak Whitbread
Bruno Cheyrou Neil Mellor Robbie Fowler Jerzy Dudek
Daniele Padelli Craig Bellamy Mark Gonzalez
Chris Kirkland Paul Jones Gabriel Paletta Darren Potter
David Raven Djibril Cisse Bolo Zenden Stephen Warnock
Jan Kromkamp Momo Sissoko John Arne Riise Harry Kewell
Anthony Le Tallec Peter Crouch Danny Guthrie Robbie Keane
Steve Finnan      

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Joe Fagan : Manager (1983-85)

Honours: 1 LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP 1983-84
1 LEAGUE CUP 1983-84
1 EUROPEAN CUP 1983-84
RUNNERS UP League Championship - 1984-85 European Cup - 1984-85 European Super Cup - 1985 World Club Championship - 1984 Charity Shield - 1984

Another one to come through the Anfield ranks, Fagan is unique in the history of the club as the first Reds manager to achieve a treble of major honours, and indeed he was the first manager in British football to claim this astounding trophy haul - now sharing the distinction with Sir Alex Ferguson, who has been publicly recognised for his efforts, and of course Gerard Houllier whilst the modest and unassuming Joe Fagan has been unfairly over-looked in subsequent years by the footballing press and fraternity.


Fagan was appointed as Paisley's number two upon the retirement of Shankly and was always a quiet and effective worker in the 'bootroom'. However whilst he had the enormous experience of working under Shankly and Paisley, there was no doubt that he had to make serious managerial decisions immediately upon taking over - he could not simply take on Paisley's side and hope it would continue to win trophies: The inspirational Souness had left to join Sampdoria and Sammy Lee had become a shadow of the player he once was.

It was clear that astute transfer moves were needs and Fagan was up to the task. Kevin MacDonald and Jim Beglin, who all 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 and a cultured player of rare quality and it is testament to Fagan's years of accumulated experience that he could see the enormous potential in Molby.
The improvements clearly worked - never before has a manager so comprehensively announced his arrival upon the First Division - In his first season in charge The Reds won the League, European Cup and the League Cup. Furthermore they were finalists in the World Club Championship. "They were so efficient, it was chilling!" This was Fagan's own response after watching his team play with a cool, calculating efficiency, every part functioning in balance and harmony, every player working for the collective results. There is little doubt that if history had not intervened, Joe Fagan could have gone on to win honours for many more seasons.

However as it was Fagan retired at the end of that second season as a direct result of the terrible tragedy of Heysel. 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, he retired.

If ever Shankly's quip about football being more important than life and death had ceased to be funny, it was now. Fagan was deeply upset by the events of that night and he went immediately retirement and has retained a low profile since.

He did the club a great service, and must therefore always be thanked for it.

Fagan continued to help out - often showing up at Melwood to offer his advice to Roy Evans, who was always happy to listen.

He died after a long illness in July 2001 at the age of 80.

No comments: