29 Mar 2009

Ray Kennedy: Steven Gerrard would 'struggle' to get into the Liverpool team of the 70s

Liverpool’s all conquering team of the 70s and early 80s was blessed with an amazing array of talent, so much so that club legend Ray Kennedy believes that Steven Gerrard would have struggled to get into the first XI.

In an interview last year, Kennedy stated: "Liverpool have some great players. I really like Steven Gerrard, he is one of the best midfielders I have seen. He would have struggled to get in our team, mind”.

Given the fact Kennedy played with the likes of Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Alan Hansen, Graeme Souness, Emlyn Hughes, Alan Kennedy and Terry McDermott, it’s hardly Gerrard would have struggled to make the team.

Of course, Kennedy's comments were tongue in cheek, as Karl Coppack, chairman of the 'Ray of Hope Appeal', confirmed on this site last year.

"I'm the chairman of the Appeal and was part of the interview that originally appeared in the Guardian. Of course Ray was joking. He absolutely bloody adores Gerrard. There's no derogatory implication about this tongue in cheek comment. Ray is elated to be so fondly thought of by all."

Fair enough, but it's fun to speculate! So, would Gerrard have gotten into the 70s team, and if so, where would he have played, and how would the team have lined up?

Bill Shankly signed Kennedy from Arsenal in 1974 – the great man’s last signing before leaving the club. As a striker at Arsenal, Kennedy scored 71 goals in 212 games over 5 years.

At Anfield, he was converted into a midfielder, and went on to win five league titles and three European Cups in his eight years at Anfield, scoring 51 goals in the process.

Even if Kennedy doesn’t think Gerrard would cut it in the 70s team, he’s a huge supporter of Liverpool’s captain and the rest of the team:

"I watched the team win the 2005 European Cup on television; it made me so proud to see them with that trophy again. I hope they do it again this season. That would make my year."

Sadly, Kennedy was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 22 years ago and is now housebound as a result. Liverpool fans are doing everything they can to raise much needed money for Ray via the Ray of Hope appeal,

You can read about the Ray of Hope Appeal here: http://www.liverweb.org.uk/rayofhope.htm

Pledges can be made to rayofhopeappeal@hotmail.co.uk

Cheques can be sent to the Ray of Hope Appeal c/o HSBC account 21817299, sort code 40-03-27.

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  1. what a load of crap, player today are far better than players from years ago. the fitness levels alone these days would mean a lot of players from years ago would not even make it as a professional footballer, not to mention how many footballers from years ago had alcohol problems, drinking a lot of the days in the week.

    people look back at football years ago with a lot of nostalgia but cant see how much football has improved tactically and professionally

  2. You've made a shedload of generalisations there. You make it sound like players from yesteryear were no better than pub players. I don't think it is anywhere close to accurate.

    I would argue that many of today's ladyboy players wouldn't last 5 minutes playing in the 70s. Ref's didn't blow for a foul every time the wind blew and it took genuine skill to shine as a creative player amid the much tougher tackling and physicality of the game.

  3. We have been blessed with some great players in the passed but in my honest opinion i believe that steven gerrard is lfc's greatest ever player, even eclipsing king kenny, at the monment i would say he's the best in the world and one of the most all round players i have ever seen.
    No liverpool player in the past can compare to what stevie can do ability wise, of course he has not achieved the honours of passed players but on pure footballing ability he is the best we have ever seen at lfc


  4. i watched a liverpool from the 70s recently and it was a joke, all the players were running about like headless chickens, fouling each other and could not string 3 passes to each other, all long ball merchants that made wimbledon look like brazil

    The commentator was loving it saying it was a great match, i couldnt believe what i was hearing.

    Most of the players in the old days couldnt live with the players today

  5. what rubbish you talk, the players today have it easy and still they have to be rested. Talent transends time, you can always aquire fitness, the liverpool players of the seventies and eight's were real players who were fit enough to run all day on heavy pitches and played more games, they did not need to be rested. No your argument does not stand up.

  6. http://www.liverpool.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=148404