Would Shankly have survived the football forums?

The reds at home to Cardiff almost 54 years to the day since Bill Shankly was appointed manager of Liverpool Football Club. Not the best of starts for the new boss, a 0-4 reverse at Anfield. Can you imagine the reaction to such a start today. Lets go back in time and fast forward to the present day – it’s doubtful Mr Shankly would have survived in the current climate.

FOOTBALL FORUM 18th DECEMBER 1959

Hunt59: Best of luck to Mr Shankly in his new role as Liverpool FC manager. Let’s hope we start with a victory over the blues from Cardiff.

KemlynRoader: I second that. What a coup for Mr Shankly to obtain total control of first team affairs as well. Unheard off, he must have good methods of persuasion.

Kopite1947: This is a new departure and one I’m not best pleased with – Mr Shankly turned us down once before and we go back cap in hand – No thank you Mr Shankly. The club missed out on the great Liverpool captain, Matt Busby, and we will never live that down.

PhilTaylor1950: With Hickson and Hunt on form I can see no reason whatsoever why Liverpool can’t challenge for a top four finish this season and whilst it may take Mr Shankly a few years to get us promotion and back to where we belong I believe it will be worth it. We have found the right man gentlemen. I can assure you of that.

LiddleBilly: Does anyone know what time the soccertram leaves for Anfield this Saturday?

MoranLB: Soccertram leaves from the Aldelphi every half an hour from 12pm onwards. Don’t think there will be too many at the game this Saturday. Some say they can’t make out the players from the back of the Spion Kop. I said it when they were installed two years ago, Floodlights will not work and won’t attract more spectators to football. And I was right.

DashingDaveH: I hope Mr Shankly will be paying a good deal of attention to the reserve side, we have some very good youngsters with a special mention to young Callaghan who I feel could do a good job for Liverpool FC and could play in the first team until the late 1960’s at least.

StubbornStubbins: Anyone going to Charlton for the Boxing Day Fixture?

Balmerlegend: Well I would like to travel but would we make it back in time for the return fixture on the 28th? Maybe we could ask Mr Shankly for a lift back ha ha

20man: Please pray that Danny Malloy is playing this Saturday afternoon. He’s now scored three own goals against us whilst playing for Cardiff. I predict a revenge 3-2 win for the reds this Saturday.

 FOOTBALL FORUM 19th DECEMBER 1959

(Liverpool FC 0 Cardiff City 4)

Hunt59: If Mr Shankly doesn’t know what a tough job he has on his hands he does now. But he’ll get it right.

KemlynRoader: Cardiff got the start they needed, jolly good team they are as well. Up to third now.

Kopite1947: I told you giving a manager sole responsibility for the job would lead to problems.  I gave the director’s box a piece of my mind at the final whistle

PhilTaylor1950: Hickson and Hunt never got a sniff from Sullivan and Baker who were in top form. Mr Shankly will have a good look at the youngsters I hope and build a team for a promotion push next season.

MoranLB: Danny Malloy didn’t even get on the score-sheet. I was at the back of the Spion Kop, I could barely see with the poor lighting and cigarette smoke. But at least I was warm. Back again for Charlton.

StubbornStubbins: Young Jones played ever so well on his debut – with Callaghan playing well for the reserves this team may look very different in the new year when Mr Shankly gets a good look at them on the training pitch.

Balmerlegend: I like the way Mr Shankly speaks, he has the common touch he said afterwards “Naturally I’m disappointed but it’s just as well that I’ve seen the team give an off-form display in my first match. I’ve learned quite a few things this way,” Seems a honest man.

20man: I had Danny Malloy down to score a o.g. on my coupon – only hope we have of getting promotion is winning the pools. Maybe John Moores will come across to this side of Stanley Park and invest in the reds.

 FOOTBALL FORUM 19th DECEMBER 2013

(Liverpool FC 0 Cardiff City 4)

Luis7: Keystone cop defending, this has been a woeful performance.

stevielegend: I can’t believe the board has given this man full control over team affairs. This is a fcuking joke.

5times: What a loada shite. New players required Shankly, and no money, we are doomed.

KD: Absolutely pathetic, while Moran was our best player there seems to be no communication at the back when he plays, Allen was good on his debut and Hunt is terribly overrated and never looks arsed. Good luck Shankly.

Lucas09: Fooking joke, we’ve nothing in midfield – Hunt is ok up front but we never looked like doing anything. Nothing but two wins from our two games against Charlton now.

GlenJ: That is up there with the worst Liverpool performances I have ever seen and I was at the 5-1 home defeat to The Arsenal seven years ago – even at this early stage Shankly needs to look at himself in the mirror. The team selection was all over the place. The communication between Morris and Campbell was awful. That midfield needs some major surgery. Fcuking shit

RafaB: It was a really bad result we know that, but how we perform next game against Charlton will tell us a lot more about the team and the new manager. Embarrassing result.

RobbieF: Show me somebody who thinks Jimmy Melia should be in the team and I’ll show you an idiot. Send Dave Hickson back across the park as well, useless.

Ronnie5: Take a photo of the league table because unless Mr Williams invests heavily we won’t be challenging for promotion this or next season. Mr Shankly must be wondering what he has got himself into here. We are on the way to no-where.

Rush9: We need to win our next two against Charlton IMHO. And hope that Sheffield Utd and Cardiff drop more. At least Everton are having a shit season as well. As for Mr Shankly – he’ll be lucky to last the season with this performance, talks a lot, but nothing to show for it.

@dmoenlfc             davidmoenblog.wordpress.com

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Finally Bursting That League Cup Bubble

Red All Over The Land  – Issue 193 – @dmoenlfc

Today we have West Ham United as visitors and hopefully after the Hull and Norwich games in the past week we are still in amongst the top four places. Hard to imagine that it’s only 5 years since we drew 0-0 at home to the hammers to go top of the league– it wasn’t enough to please all in L4 that evening with sporadic boos ringing around the ground at the final whistle at the ‘disastrous’ outcome. A lot has happened since then of course and what we would give to be heading to the summit after today’s encounter.

Recent activity between the two clubs have centered on transfer deals; in the opposing squad we have ex reds in Stewart Downing, Joe Cole and the unlikely to feature Andy Carroll. Sadly none of the three set the world alight during their stay at Anfield, although Andy Carroll will be fondly remembered for his goal in the Merseyside FA Cup semi-final. If any of the lads are reading this, maybe you could tell that goalkeeper Jaaskelainen that the KOP applauds every visiting goalkeeper that comes to Anfield.

The reds have fared much better in recent transfer activity between the clubs, Javier Mascherano and Youssi Beneyoun arriving in 2007 with a large degree of success. Go back a further 14 years and we had a man who would write himself into the Anfield history books, Julian Dicks. It was a deal the Boleyn Ground occupants couldn’t turn down, the hammers getting in two pretty decent players in Mike Marsh and David Burrows for Dicks. He wouldn’t last long at Anfield, signed by Graham Souness to add more aggression to the back line; he would last just a year at Anfield. Souness’s replacement, Roy Evans, didn’t fancy the player and amid concerns over his fitness he was eventually shipped back to West Ham, who must have been delighted with the overall outcome of the deal. Still, in his brief sojourn he would become the answer to a common Liverpool FC quiz question. Who was the last Liverpool player to score in front of the standing KOP? None other than the Terminator himself, netting a 75th minute penalty on Grand National day 1994. The reds lost their last two home games to nil against Newcastle and Norwich respectively.

We have also went head-to-head with West Ham on three occasions with silverware at stake, yes I’m counting the Charity Shield game of 1980, hey I was 8 and it meant everything to me at the time and the 90,000 plus in attendance as well. A Terry Mac strike proving to be the only score of the game. Both sides would meet again in two cup finals, the much written about Gerrard FA Cup final of 2006 and the 1981 League Cup final, which also had its fair share of talking points and was to be Liverpool’s first triumph in the competition.

West Ham had won the FA Cup in 1980 as a second division side with a rare Brooking header overcoming hot favourites Arsenal. The following season they easily won promotion to the top table once more and with it another cup final appearance against a Liverpool side who were on the way to winning a third European Cup later in the spring.

As per the norm when Clive Thomas was in charge – controversy was never far away. A Sammy Lee ‘goal’ in the first half was ruled out for offside before Lee was once again in the action late on in extra-time. This time the Liverpool man was felled in the area after a crunching Alvin Martin challenge and as the hammers defence rushed out leaving Lee lying prostate in the area and in an offside position – Alan Kennedy simply rifled the ball past Phil Parkes. GOAL-NO GOAL? Thomas ignored the lines-man’s flag and gave the goal and with it surely a first Liverpool FC League Cup triumph. Not to be, to West Hams credit they piled forward. Ray Clemence pulled off a magnificent save from a Ray Stewart free-kick and from the resulting corner; Bootle born Alvin Martins headed goal wards, only for it to be punched off the line by Terry McDermott, a sending off offence today. Ray Stewart didn’t miss many penno’s and he sent Clemence the wrong way as both sides headed for an April Fool date replay at Villa Park. As they carried their tired limps off the sapping Wembley surface, I’m sure Alan Kennedy was cursing his luck, he was within seconds of scoring what would have been a cup winning goal. His time would come later that year in Paris and again in Rome three years later.

The replay was a much more open affair and it was the second division side that opened the scoring when Paul Goddard nodded in after five minutes. But the east-end joy was short-lived, within 30 minutes Liverpool had scored the goals that would take the cup to Anfield for the first time. Kenny Dalglish brilliantly hooking home a volley before an Alan Hansen header with the help of Billy Bonds knee won the day for the reds who were playing in their change strip of white shirts and black shorts. Simple strip back then, a classic – probably never to be seen again without some sort of zig-zag design to spoil it.

We did like that cup didn’t we, maybe it was the taste of milk the victors enjoyed afterwards, although stories emulating from that period would suggest most of the team were impartial to the black stuff than the white. We liked it so much that we decided to keep it for four years on the bounce before Clive Allen haunted us on Halloween night 1985. It wasn’t a bad return of silverware for a cup we hadn’t won at all up to 1981.