Liverpool v Southampton - Premier League Preview.

Posted by Lfsea on November 29, 2012, 04:33:11 PM

Liverpool v Southampton, Saturday 3pm - Anfield.

My footballing memory is absolutely appalling; beyond bad. I must, therefore, begin by thanking Garstonite for noticing my massive oversight of completely ignoring Kevin Keegan's Southampton career. My intentions were well-meaning though.

I was attempting to research the cross-pollination of players between Liverpool and Southampton over the years. The results were relatively underwhelming. I think it's fair to say that the likes of Neil Ruddock, Mark Wright and Peter Crouch hardly threaten World Soccer's 'Greatest XI' polls. I even considered adding Paul Jones, but after leaving Keegan out of my initial draft, my credibility couldn't take another significant hit.

There are however, two players - that have represented both the Reds and the Saints - who have every chance of eventual footballing beatification.

 

"I won't say he was dirty but certainly the hardest opponent was Jimmy Case. He could certainly look after himself. He was very clever about it as well."
 
I remember visiting my uncle on weekends. Once I'd fought through the murky blanket of B&H smoke and the manky half-dead dog they only kept alive because he was a decent draft excluder, his first question to me was always this: 'Who's yer favourite player this week, lad'. My choices - between the ages of about 8 and 12, just before he died - were fairly fluid, dependent mainly on who had scored in the previous game, or whose poster I'd put up on my wall (as a small aside, one week the answer was Paul Parker, because an old Aunt bought me his poster from Athena, mistaking him - I think - for John Barnes. Not knowing any different I put him up on my wall, where he remained for more than a month).

Regardless of my choices, He was intransigent about his number one; it was Jimmy Case. I think Case was more than merely a football idol to my uncle; Case was the embodiment of the working class grafter; no nonsense; no moaning; no compromises. If, as Shanks once remarked ‘Tommy Smith wasn't born, he was quarried’ then the lad from Allerton must have been cut from the same rock face.
 
I wasn’t lucky enough to see Case play – he left Liverpool for Brighton in ’81, after his position in the Liverpool first team was eroded by the emergence of Sammy Lee.  His stock remained steady though, when he moved to Southampton after 4 years at Brighton. If ever one doubted his Southampton reputation, it was proved by the fans’ reaction to his transfer to Bournemouth following the Saints appointment of Ian Branfoot as manager in ’91. In a word, they went mad.
 
A curious dovetailing of the story can be witnessed in the FA Cup semi-final in 1986, where it was none other than Liverpool FC (who won 2-0 against Southampton in extra time at White Hart Lane) that prevented Case from becoming the first player to have been to three finals with three different clubs.
 
To those that saw Case play, how good was he and what are your memories of one of the most decorated players in Liverpool’s history?



"The only thing I fear is missing an open goal in front of the Kop. I would die if that were to happen. When they start singing 'You'll Never Walk Alone' my eyes start to water. There have been times when I've actually been crying while I've been playing."


Keegan has been the source of much ridicule over the course of his career. The haircut, Superstars, that rant, the manager and some very misguided forays into the the world of popular music have perhaps dulled some of Keegan's shimmer; perhaps it was that his replacement - following his transfer to Hamburg - was none other than Kenny Dalglish, probably the greatest Liverpool player, ever.

Just last year there was a fascinating thread on this very issue - 'does Kevin Keegan get the recognition he deserves'. Rather than make up a tale of how good Keegan - another player who was before my 1982 cut-off - I'll leave it to some of the old pros to give you a taste of how good he was:

He was before my time but that's how I see it (from what I've read and heard from my Dad). He was worshipped when he was here but then somebody even better came along. There's no doubt that at the time he was great for us, and will go down as an all time great but I guess he doesn't ever feature in greatest ever teams because for all he achieved with us, he left at close to his peak and was replaced by somebody who went on to even bigger and better things.

this club wouldnt be the club it is today without kevin keegan, when we had success under shankly in the 60`s we were just one of a number of clubs from that era who had won titles / f.a cups etc (everton, man city, leeds and man united even won a european cup)
we were just one of a pack of clubs but because we`d not long come out of the second division where we`d been for a good few years our fans really appreciated the success.
in the late 60`s we began to tail off and we were struggling to find another good side.
then keegan arrived, from the moment he started his first game against forest at anfield we suddenly looked a great side again, he was everywhere, he was a mixture of suarez, a quick dirk kuyt (in terms of his graft and energy levels) and tim cahill in the air.
on top of all that he was brave as f##k, diving headers where the boots were flying, clashing heads in aerial battles with big hard case center halves, coming to blows with the likes of john giles and billy bremner when they tried to intimidate him.
keegan was like owen in the sense that he scored in big games, he scored against the likes of leeds and united, he scored in f.a cup semi finals (which were huge games back then), f.a cup finals, he scored the winning goals in uefa cup finals and what about his goal away at wolves with minutes left on the clock and the title on the line, imagine some player did that these days, scoring in the last few minutes of the last game of the season when it looked like the league title had been blown.
it would be one of sky`s top 3 moments and all that malarky, every time you`d have one of those `20 years of sky` adverts they`d show that goal.
when kevin keegan signed for us we were just another club who had had a bit of success, when he left we were the best side in england, the best side in europe and a jammy goal away from doing the treble back in the days when doubles happened twice a century, the season before that we won the league and uefa cup.
when kenny dalglish signed for us that red number 7 shirt was already the most iconic football shirt in english football, he also signed for the english champions and the european champions.
when keegan left the fans werent just upset they were devastated, for a side who`s resurgence had been built on shankly`s brand of loyalty for the king of the kop to want to leave at the height of his powers was an act of betrayal that to this day still rankles with some fans.
imo some of the hero worship of kenny was from a fanbase on the rebound from kevin keegan.
at the end of the day kevin keegan imo is the most influential player this club has ever had, he belongs right up at the top table of legends that have played for us like liddell, dalglish, souness, gerrard etc and bill shankly himself said keegan was the best player he ever signed, i think that says it all

I loved him. I worshipped him. I bounced up and down on the Kop to the 'Kevin Keegan walks on water' song. Even when I scored a goal for the school team I used to credit Keegan, putting on that great David Coleman voice and saying 'Keegan. One Nil'.

I came across this recently. It's his third home Liverpool home game (v a very decent Leicester City team). He scores again, but you can tell by the noise the Kop makes whenever he gets the ball that something quite amazing is in the process of happening at Anfield. The combination of high skill and boundless energy made Keegan a special player. And the supporters cottoned straight away. Click to see what I mean.

http://youtu.be/SR8TG2TWkLM

The lad was on 40 quid a week at the time.

I wrote something about Kevin on here a few years back.  I think he'd just been sacked by Newcastle's joke owners.

http://www.redandwhitekop.com/forum/index.php?topic=228185.0

It's before Suarez of course, but the Liverpool player who Suarez reminds me of more than anyone else is Keegan. They share the same galvanic effect on the rest of the team. And neither player lets the defence rest for a moment. And if the Uruguayan lad eventually leaves Anfield with 3 championship medals, a European cup and an FA cup-winning medal I won't be grumbling.

Keegan was, statistically, more potent for Southampton during his 2 years at the Dell (scoring 37 goals in 68 games), but nowhere did he have greater impact than he did on the Kop. You can't ever take much from questionnaires and opinion polls (apart from the fact that people hate you or like you), but his position at 8th in the '100 Players Who Shook the Kop' list showed just how much he is revered, respected and ultimately loved by the Anfield faithful.

I know this is meant to be an LFC v Southampton preview, but you'll surely forgive me for dwelling on Jimmy and Kenny rather than Danny Higginbotham andEgil Østenstad.

Liverpool v Southampton - Stat Attack

 
  • Saturday's game will be the first competitive game between the sides since January 2005
  • Since Southampton moved to St Mary's in 2001: Played 9 - Liverpool 4 - Southampton 4 - Draws 1
  • Overall: Played 91 - Liverpool 45 - Southampton 25 - Draws 21
  • League: Played 74 - Liverpool 35 - Southampton 21 - Draws 18
Last fixture: January 25th 2005. St Mary's Stadium, Southampton. 2-0 Liverpool.


It's over 7 years, remarkably, since we played Southampton in a competitive fixture. This is the XI that we put out that day, and what history has made of them in the meantime. Some good, some bad, and the less said about Didi Hamann's managerial career the better:

Jerzy Dudek
The man who was the inspiration behind Rafa’s adoption of the goatee; destroyer of Shevchenko; house white wine drinker. Now retired. Can be seen lording it up at global soccer Expos.

Jamie Carragher
Leaden-footed warrior of old, still plodding the fields of Anfield Road like Don Quixote. Thoughts that this might be his last season playing for the Reds. Played over a million games for the Reds. Rumoured to have a full-body Everton tattoo.
 
Sami Hyypia
Reds legend with a forehead of steel. Won everything there is to win in the game with Liverpool, apart from the league. Now manager of Bayer Leverkusen and unsurprisingly, doing very well.

Mauricio Pellegrino
The Velez Sarsfield and Valencia legend played just 12 games for the Reds before returning as Benitez’s assistant in 2006 after a dismal season with Alaves in Spain. Now Valencia manager and stuck in mid-table just like us.

Stephen Warnock
Never really fulfilled his potential at Liverpool, playing only 40 times in 6 years at the club (becoming a perennial loanee), but impressed when he transferred to Blackburn. Currently finds himself again on loan. Remarkably, he’s only 30.

John Arne Riise
Blessed with a boot of Thor, the Stawberry blonde made 234 appearances for Liverpool. Another one who feels older than he actually is – he’s made almost 600 career appearances for club and country at the age of just 32. Divorced twice. Mr Ferguson slayer.

Luis Garcia
We’d all still probably hand over our wives to lil’ Luis if he asked nicely. Liverpool legend. Juventus and Chelsea destroyer. A bit taller than 5’ 7”.

Steven Gerrard
Unquestionably one of the greatest players to grace Anfield. His star has begun to burn out, but at times can still be seen shining bright. Netbuster. Semi-professional boxer. Better than Lampard.

Didi Hamann
Made nearly half his 409 career appearances in a Red shirt. Part of the Istanbul Miracle.  Questionable punter. Wobbly driver. The new Jan Molby (not in terms of girth). Hero.
 
Milan Baros
Could have been a worldie, never quite managed it with us. Seems to have found his level at Galatasaray. Much better at internationals than in the league, it would seem.

Fernando Morientes
Should have been magnificent, wasn’t. Struggled to adapt to Premiership life. 8 games in 41 games reflective of that. Still sometimes pretend he was brilliant for us and it all worked out for the best.

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And for a bonus point, who remembers the 67' sub who made his only Liverpool appearance in that game?

David Raven; now there's one for the pub quiz.

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I was going to mention Gaston Ramirez, but having not seen him play it's probably a bit of a stupid idea.

You've heard it all about the players and the fans and the manager, so I hope you've enjoyed this slightly obtuse take on the Premier League preview. If you actually want to talk about the match, feel free... :D

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