Team of the Decade: Liverpool

Liverpool team of the decade

In the latest of Last Word on Football’s new series, we look at the players and managers who have made it into the Liverpool Team of the Decade.

The decade started terribly with Roy Hodgson’s ill-fated spell in charge, but the club has gone from strength to strength and ended the decade with a terrific Champions League triumph and a Club World Cup title. The decade has been about progression as a football club both on and off the pitch and certainly, Liverpool have done that.

Liverpool Team of the Decade

Manager – Jurgen Klopp

Comfortably the easiest decision out of the options available, Jurgen Klopp has made an unquantifiable impact since arriving at Liverpool in 2015. His four-and-half years in charge thus far has seen the football club grow and secure their sixth Champions League title as well as a UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup.

Klopp has transformed the football club with his stern man management, charismatic manner and exciting style of play. Brendan Rodgers does deserve a quick mention for his excellent three years at Liverpool with the Reds almost securing the league title in 2013/14 but his achievements do not match what Klopp has done. The Reds are going from strength to strength under the German and assuming the current season is finished, a first league title in 30 years will be theirs.

Formation – 4-3-3

This has been Liverpool’s preferred formation for several seasons and, unsurprisingly, it has brought them success.

Goalkeeper – Alisson

The Brazilian has settled into the Liverpool side brilliantly since arriving from Roma in 2018. He has been a fixture in the side and Liverpool certainly miss him when he is unable to play.

Alisson enjoyed a tremendous first season with the Reds, securing the Champions League title. He also collected the Premier League’s Golden Glove award. Alisson has already proven his worth to Liverpool and no doubt will continue to do so for years to come.

Right Back – Trent Alexander-Arnold

The talented right-back has been a fixture in the side since bursting onto the scene. While he had to be patient for a consistent run in the side, we saw glimpses of his talent on his Liverpool debut.

The boyhood Liverpool fan seized the initiative in 2017 after Nathaniel Clyne suffered a serious injury. He made a name for himself in a Champions League qualifier with Hoffenheim, scoring a sensational free-kick. The 21-year-old has since become a regular for Liverpool and England.

He became the third youngster player to reach 25 assists. His brilliant decade was crowned with Champions League winners’ medal, being named PFA Young Player of the Year, a place in the Champions League team of the season and a Ballon d’Or nomination.

Centre Back – Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk defender has been a revelation since arriving in 2018 and thoroughly deserves his place in the team of the decade. The Dutchman has slotted into Liverpool’s defence effortlessly bringing organisation, pace and physical presence.

Van Dijk’s first full season at Liverpool saw him earn the PFA Player of the Year award in 2018/19. His performances have been outstanding and he has certainly shored up a once leaky Liverpool defence.

The Dutchman has received international recognition for his terrific performances which include collecting the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award and Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2019. Van Dijk also finished runner up to Lionel Messi for the Ballon d’Or.

Centre-Back – Jamie Carragher

One of Liverpool’s own, Jamie Carragher makes the team of the decade. The defender was always a reliable performer and gave 100% to the course.

While success dwindled in his latter years at the club, he thoroughly deserves his place in the side. He made 737 appearances for Liverpool which brought Champions League and FA Cup success. He was a loyal servant to the club and his final match for Liverpool in May 2013 was one of the highlights of the decade.

Left Back – Andrew Robertson

An easy choice at left-back. Andy Robertson international has been outstanding since arriving from Hull City in 2017. While it took time for Robertson to get his chance, he hasn’t looked back and has emerged as one of world football’s best left-backs.

Since arriving, Robertson has been won a Champions League title and been named in the Premier League Team of the Season.

Central Midfield – Steven Gerrard

A Liverpool Team of the Decade wouldn’t be complete without Liverpool’s ultimate number eight, Steven Gerrard. While a league title always eluded him and his teammates, that never stop Gerrard from playing with the desire and passion the fans want to see.

While success dwindled in his final years at Liverpool, he will be remembered for his outstanding goals, performances and leadership of the Liverpool team. Gerrard reached 500 Premier League appearances in March 2015, becoming only the third player to do so.

After 504 appearances for his beloved Liverpool, Gerrard left in May 2015 to join LA Galaxy after 17 trophy-laden years at his boyhood club.

Central Midfield – Jordan Henderson

Liverpool’s current captain thoroughly deserves his place in the Team of the Decade. Henderson has been a loyal servant since being signed by Kenny Dalglish in 2011 and has captained the side since Steven Gerrard’s departure in 2015.

The midfielder endured a difficult start to his Liverpool career but secured a first trophy in 2012. Since then, Henderson hasn’t looked back and captained Liverpool to Champions League success, Super Cup success and Club World Cup triumph.

His hardworking ethos and playing style have endeared him to the Liverpool fans. They are proud to call him their captain.

Central Midfield – Philippe Coutinho

The talented Brazilian was largely unknown to Liverpool fans when he arrived from Inter Milan in 2013. However, he soon made his presence felt and became a fans’ favourite during his five years at Anfield.

Nicknamed ‘The Magician’ by fans and teammates, the Brazilian glistened in the Premier League. He played an important role as Liverpool finished runners up to Manchester City in 2013/14 and was a fixture in the Liverpool midfield throughout his time in England.

After making 152 appearances, scoring 41 goals in that time, Coutinho waved goodbye in January 2018 to join Barcelona. While his relationship with the club and fans soured at the end, Coutinho certainly was a terrific player for Liverpool.

Right Forward – Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian forward was always going to make this team. Salah has been outstanding since returning to English football in 2017 for a then club-record fee, going on to help Liverpool win several trophies.

The Egyptian’s return brought anticipation and excitement and his first season at Liverpool saw the forward set a new Premier League record for goals scored in a 38-game season. He scored 32 goals in 36 Premier League appearances, earning him the Premier League golden boot.

Salah has won several awards since joining Liverpool including PFA Player’s Player of the Year, CAF African Player of Year and BBC African Player of the Year. Salah also came third in Best FIFA Men’s Player of the Year in 2018.

Centre Forward – Luis Suarez

The deadly striker was always going to make this team. Luis Suarez was a terrific servant to Liverpool, enjoying a fruitful three years at the club. He notched 69 goals in 110 games for the Reds and helped them finish runners up to Manchester City which saw him earn the Player of the Year accolade for the 2013/14 season.

Suarez became the first non-European player to win the award. He also won the Football Writers’ Player of the Year, Premier League Player of the Year and shared the European Golden Shoe award with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Despite his controversial incidents during his time with the club, Suarez was a dangerous player the fans adored. Fans will fondly remember him for his deadly ‘SAS’ partnership with fellow striker Daniel Sturridge. While his three years at Liverpool brought just one trophy, he will be remembered as one of the Premier League’s most deadly strikers.

Left Forward – Sadio Mane

Sadio Mane completes the Liverpool Team of the Decade. The forward has been an outstanding addition to the Liverpool side since arriving in 2016.

Since his arrival, Liverpool has collected three trophies, reached consecutive Champions League finals and set a points record for a runner-up side in the Premier League. Mane has averaged a goal every two games since arriving at Liverpool scoring 59 goals in 118 appearances.

The Senegalese attacker has collected several accolades during his time at Liverpool including the Premier League golden boot and the BBC’s African Player of the Year. Mane also came fourth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or and fifth in the Best FIFA Men’s Player award.

Substitutes

Pepe Reina, Glen Johnson, Lucas Leiva, James Milner, Raheem Sterling, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge

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