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


Graeme Souness : Midfielder (1978-1984) & Manager (1990-1994)

Date of Birth: 6-5-1953

Birthplace: Edinburgh

Debut : 14th January 1978 v West Bromwich Albion (A) Football League Division One: won 1-0

1st team games: 358

1st team goals: 56

Other clubs: Tottenham Hotspur, Middlesbrough, Sampdoria, Rangers (player/manager then manager), Galatasaray (manager), Southampton (manager), Torino (manager), Benfica (manager), Blackburn Rovers (manager)

International caps while with Liverpool: 37

International goals while with Liverpool:

Honours with Liverpool: First Division Championship 1978/79, 1979/80, 1981/82, 1982/83 & 1983/84, FA Cup 1992 (manager), League/Milk Cup 1981, 1982, 1983 & 1984, European Cup 1978, 1981 & 1984, Charity Shield 1979, 1980 & 1982


In six successful seasons as a Liverpool player Graeme Souness was at the heart of Liverpool's 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.
One of Bob Paisley's majestic trio of Scottish captures, with Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen, he cost £352,000 from Middlesbrough in January 1978 . Five months later he supplied the pass at Wembley for his room-mate Dalglish to score the goal that beat Bruges to retain the European Cup. In general during his Anfield career the Scotland captain responded brilliantly to Paisley's demand to curb his explosive temperament and he became a midfielder of immense stature.

He moved to Italian football in 1984 but returned to the UK as player/manager with Glasgow Rangers, leading them to the Scottish championship. Following the surprise resignation of Kenny Dalglish he seemed the obvious successor and enthusiastically took up the task of building a new Liverpool team.

However his time as manager at the club has become synonymous with mistakes, ill-judged media representation, poor transfer decisions and falling standards on the pitch. Mature reflection by Souness and the Club shows that in fact his mangership was not without success and his failures were not totally of his own making. Liverpool won the FA Cup in 1992 and this was despite life-threatening heart surgery in the days prior to Souness gingerly leading out his players.

Souness sadly, marred this triumph by poorly timed publicity in the Sun newspaper. He explained the story himself in 1999, in an interview with Garth Crooks: "Because the game went to penalties, the paper missed the deadline. That picture [of Souness with his future bride] ended up in the newspaper on the Wednesday - the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster. I should have resigned then, looking back.

"I will forever be sorry it happened. It was out of my control. I was in hospital having an operation which, as it turned out, was life threatening. It was a foolish mistake, but when somebody tells you at 37 that you are going to have open heart surgery and that you might die, how would you react? I reacted in a way which I'll regret for the rest of my life. I'm sorry to the people on Merseyside whom I offended and I shall eternally be sorry".

In other respects as Souness himself reflected in December 1999 "in the right place at the wrong time". He explains: "What has happened since has gone to prove that I was not to blame for all the problem was that I tried to change it too quickly." He admits that he was shocked to the core by a change in the attitude amongst his squad and that this led to rapid hiring and firing as he sought to remove players who despite ability, offended this dedicated professional: "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".

Whilst this was a sentiment shared by all Reds fans, his choices of replacement was at times woefully poor, with Paul Stewart and Torben Piechnik standing as testimony to this fact. The removal of the 'Boot Room' under Souness is often quoted as one of his great mistakes - in actual fact it was a proposal planned by the directors at the time of Dalglish and was not a Souness decision.

All the training and behind-the-scenes work had been, and continued to be, managed by Ronnie Moran. No changes were made to a system that had worked for years. The conversion of a small boot store to a press room has become a symbol of the frustration of the fans, whereas it played no actual part in the under-achievement of this period.

Souness is an intelligent, articulate and highly motivated man, he was an awesome captain for the club and gave his all to the job as manager. Sadly his memory is still tarnished, but perhaps in time his faults will be forgiven and his valuable F A Cup win given the appreciation it is deserved.

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