Liverpool welcome high-flying Tottenham Hotspur to Anfield this Saturday in what promises to be a highly entertaining evening kick-off. The Reds will be looking to put their 3-2 defeat to Southampton behind them with a win against Spurs but will be without Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke. On the other hand, Tottenham will look to continue their title charge and keep the pressure on Leicester with a win on Merseyside.
A decade ago, the two sides met at Anfield on the 14th of January. Liverpool were victorious 1-0 thanks to a goal from Australian winger Harry Kewell. Obviously, both sides have massively changed since yet a few players remain in competitive football.
Jurgen Klopp will have some tough selection choices this weekend but how did Rafael Benitez assemble his troops on that day? We take a look back at Liverpool’s line-up…
Liverpool fan-favourite, Pepe Reina, will go down as one of the club’s greatest ever goalkeepers. The Spaniard made some fantastic stops over the years and also collected a handful of assists thanks to his kicking abilities. Reina made over 350 appearances for the Reds before he was shipped out on loan to Napoli to be replaced by Simon Mignolet. During his time in Italy, he became the first goalkeeper to ever save a Mario Balotelli penalty. He was sold to Bayern Munich upon returning to the club before returning to Napoli after just one season. Reina will also be a hero on Merseyside and still holds a strong passion for the club.
Irish right-back, Steve Finnan, arrived from Fulham for £3.5m in the summer of 2003. He established himself as a first-team regular during his first season with the Reds. The defender won the Champions League and scored against West Brom to become the only player other than Jimmy Willis to score in each of the highest five division of English football. After losing his place to Alvaro Arbeloa, Finnan moved to Espanyol before signing for Portsmouth. He now lives in London working in property development.
Finnish centre-back, Sami Hyypia was a real defender. Tall, strong and hard into a tackle. He moved to Liverpool for £2.6m in 1999 and established himself as one of the first names on the team-sheet. He won the treble in 2001 where he regularly captained the side. He spent ten years on Merseyside and was a much-loved figure by the Anfield faithful. He retired at Bayer Leverkusen where he later became manager. After a short spell with Brighton, he is now managing FC Zurich in the Swiss Super League.
A one-club man and a true Liverpool legend. Carra was and still is a hero on Merseyside. The club’s second-longest serving player made over 730 appearances in the red shirt. A Champions League and UEFA Cup winner, Carragher also represented England; earning 38 caps and even came out of retirement for the 2010 World Cup. JC now works in a punditry role for Sky Sports heading up their Monday Night Football show.
John Arne Riise
Liverpool have been lacking in the left-back position since Norwegian defender John Arne Riise left the club. Fabio Aurelio, Jose Enrique and now Alberto Moreno are just some of the signings who don’t come close to our ginger powerhouse. His trademark free-kicks from distance, his long-bursting runs, Riise was one of my favourites players whilst growing up. He left the club in 2008 for Roma before a spell with Fulham where he younger brother also played.
The man needs no explanation. A living legend. One of the best midfielders the world has ever seen. Fergie may not have thought he was world-class unlike Paul Scholes yet Manchester United more about our former captain than their own heroic midfielder. Gerrard can never be replaced in the heart of our midfield and will hopefully return to the club in some capacity once his playing career has ended. Reports suggest the Englishman will hang up his boots following one more season with LA Galaxy.
What was Benitez thinking when he targeted Aston Villa, now Everton, midfielder Gareth Barry which ultimately led to Xabi Alonso’s departure from the club? 50-yard passes, goals from his own half and a perfect partnership with Gerrard, Alonso had it all. Benitez’s pursuit of Barry meant Alonso left for Real Madrid after a hugely successful spell at Anfield. He now plays under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich where he has lifted numerous Bundesliga titles.
Box-to-box midfielder, Mohamed Sissoko, arrived from Valencia for £6.5m. Sissoko played an integral role within the side which lifted the FA Cup. He rejected offers from Barcelona and Juventus to stay on Merseyside. He scored his only goal for the Reds with a low strike against Sunderland before Javier Mascherano arrived at the club meaning added competition in the engine room. Claudio Ranieri eventually brought Sissoko to Juventus as they had previously worked together at Valencia. He also played for PSG, Fiorentina and Levante before making the switch to China where he now represents Shanghai Shenhua.
Harry Kewell netted the only goal of the game when Liverpool met Tottenham just over ten years ago. Kewell enjoyed an up-down career with Reds with his potential to be a world-class star being hampered by injuries. Benitez was puzzled by the former Leeds United man’s injury troubles and was forced off with injury in three successive cup finals. Kewell turned down the offer of a new contract in 2008 and moved to Galatasaray. He is now manager of Watford’s U21 side.
Benitez’s signing of Real Madrid striker Fernando Morientes was seen as a masterstroke when he arrived in January. He was cup-tied in Europe as he had already represented Madrid but injuries and ineligibility hampered his progress leading to a lack of match fitness. Although his quality was evident, Morientes was never able to adapt to English football and he was sold to Valencia. After a short spell with Marseille, the Spaniard returned to Valencia and Madrid in coaching roles.
Stoke City striker, Peter Crouch, perhaps invented the cliché ‘good touch for a big man’ during his time with Liverpool. He received praise for his play off the ball but went 19 games without scoring when he joined the club. His first goal against Wigan was awarded after an appeal as it originally was classed as an own goal. Crouch went on to enjoy a prolific career with the Reds including some incredibly spectacular goals and a perfect hat-trick. The arrival of Fernando Torres ended his first-team opportunities meaning Crouch left for Portsmouth.
Would you want any of our 2006 stars in our line-up against Tottenham this weekend?