7 Sept 2012

LFC Legend reveals: The 5 players who rule the Anfield dressing room...

Which Liverpool players have the most influence over the dressing room? Reds Legend Jan Molby has lifted the lid on the internal pecking order at Anfield.

Discussing Daniel Agger in an interview with Danish website Sporten DK last night, Molby - who played an integral part in Liverpool's domination of English football in the 1980s - claimed that the defender's influence at Liverpool is on the rise:

"He [Agger] has certainly grown in the hierarchy. It is clear that Steven Gerrard is still king, and then you have Pepe Reina and Luis Suarez, but Daniel Agger is just below.

"Jamie Carragher has had difficulty keeping his place in the hierarchy, because he is not playing, so Daniel Agger is definitely in the top five"

I don't know about anyone else but it strike me as a little amusing that three 'top dogs' at Anfield - Reina, Gerrard and Suarez - are also responsible for making the most mistakes so far this season. Additionally, Suarez and Gerrard have the worst passing accuracy of all LFC's attacking players.

A few months ago, I suggested that Daniel Agger should replace Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain, and I still feel the same. I've never been convinced that Gerrard is the most influential captain. As an example: when Gerrard returned from injury last season, Liverpool went on a run of only one win in eleven Premier League games, notching up 5 defeats, 5 draws and only 1 victory.

I'm not suggesting Liverpool's poor form was Gerrard's fault; clearly, there were other players in the squad who are more culpable than him (!). However, the captain hasn't been able to inspire the club in the league for ages now, and it's no coincidence that the team regularly shows real fight and determination *without* him in side.

Agger's injury history is a concern, but if he stays at Anfield and remains fit, he is an excellent choice for Captain (IMO). Given Gerrard's god-like status though, it will never happen, and he just doesn't have the humility of someone like Sami Hyypia, who handed over the captaincy with superb grace and magnanimity.

Gerrard would probably take it as a personal slight, and the chances are it would have a negative knock-on effect on his performances.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Whether Carragher plays or not he certainly has a major influence in the dressing room and squad, possibly more than Gerarrd who is more quiet and reserved, Carragher has got a big mouth and uses it, whether on the pitch, sidelines, or training pitch.

  2. That's if anyone, especially the foreign players, can understand him! :P

  3. On Suarez and Gerrard having the worst passing accuracy - while, granted, they have given the ball away more often than you'd expect - it is to be expected that they should have the worst accuracy % as much of their work comes in the final third of the pitch, where there is a greatest risk/expectation of error or interception. It is wholly misleading to compare them in this statistic to defenders/deeper lying players, who obviously play shorter, more high percentage balls.

  4. Carragher was an ITV pundit during the Euro's and I dont recall them putting subtitles under what he was saying, errrrrrrrrrr yer no wat i mean

  5. I don't think it's fair to expect from a captain to draw results consistently from a poor team just based on his authority and inspiration he brings. A team needs to be good enough, for other factors (like captain's influence) to work.

  6. From the first 3 games of the season, Gerrard's form has been questionable given he has had all summer to rest. He will always be in the starting lineup because Rodgers has sad that he will try and win the league for him and therefore Liverpool's decline is set to carry on unless Gerrard finds some new energy from somwhere that will allow him to perform to the same standards as season's gone by!

  7. Can't see how your passing ratio has an impact in the dressing room!
    Players hold this regard in how they are as players and as people, obviously you admire world class team mates and that is exactly what Gerrard, Reina and Suarez still are!! WORLD CLASS!!

    If all 3 were put up for sale the major clubs would still take all 3 and I'm convinced Gerrard would still attract attention form Utd, City , even Real Madrid.
    Just bloody appreciate the true quality we do have in the squad instead of looking for issues with them all the time!!
    The time was right for Hyppia to stand aside because Gerrard was coming through to be one of the best midfielders in the world, a guy who leads by example, covers every inch of grass, smashes opponents in tackles, drags the team through games when team mates are playing shite! Drags the team back form the dead like Istanbul!!West Ham!!!
    Jesus Christ man, just because some stupid stats say when he returned last year he was not influential because of the results, I for sure know if fit he is my man to lead us through this season!
    Seems to me mindless individuals have been trying to write him off for years, I will add JK to this list and am fully confident he will throw this garbage back in your face!!

  8. Well as Liverpool are spineless chokers and serial letdown merchants, perhaps it stems from Gerrard?.

  9. Just a little thing I want to pick up on in isolation (i.e. not your overall point itself), Gerrard hasn't had ALL summer to rest, i.e., Euros

  10. What the hell has passing got to do with it!???

    No Captain has been able to inspire players in the league for the past 20 years!!! All players look up to him so see no reason why it should be up for debate. I doubt very much our fortunes would change if Agger was given the armband.

  11. guy, you need to get a life.

  12. And Agger has made the biggest mistake of them all so all that IMO is cr@p. We looked like we would go on and get the 3 points if we still had 11 men on the pitch!

  13. give the arm band to reina! second thoughts he might drop the fuckin thing!

  14. Gerrard can only play central midfield the Gerrard Houllier way i.e two banks of Four where he has to set up stall in front of the defence and hit teams on the counter hence the reason Gerrard having his first real decent tournament for England this summer. In a central midfield system that requires pressing, knowing when to hold and when to go or just straight out tactical and technical nouse SG is not up to the job in the engine room.

    SG is one of the worlds best right midfielders' or right backs' but a top quality, consistent central midfielder he will never be. His game is all about doing things off the cuff. Only players like Zidane, Dembelle or Ockocha can can play off the Cuff not a converted defensive mid like himself. He needs to start playing to his strenghts and abandoning those areas of his game that consistently seem to fail.

    Unlike Lampard, Gerrard is NOT a natural goalscorer from a deep central midfield position. He very rarely times his runs into the box correctly and it has been shown that he lacks the natural abilty that Platty or Lampard have of ghosting into the box at the last minute to get on the end of a move.

    I would have taken the captaincy off Gerrard the season after he aquired it. Sami Hyypia wasn't a great captain and at the time many LFC fans thought SG could captain a team like Keane, Robson or Ince. It just never happened. If Gerrard is STILL hoping to lead by example then we can look forward to more wishy washy displays. His displays are far from inspiring and have been for three years. My vote for captain would go to Lucas or Allen who both have a calm about them and a potential to grow as players under the extra responsibility.

    Gerrard will however captain the club until HE sees fit.

  15. they are also the 2 players most likely to score or create something. when Suarez and Gerrad play bad, well...

    I think we've seen those results sadly...

  16. Hope this Yesil kid can knock in the goals for the reds like he does in his youth teams!!!! pls pls pls pls!!

  17. Give the armband to Martin skrtel if you want to give it to someone growing game by game in a liverpool shirt his determination is their for all to see remember at Wembley wen he scored the equaliser against Cardiff it was as if he was saying let's get back to the centre circle and beat this lot he was angry we were losing

  18. Give Stevie G a break. He needs a rest badly, as we will need him in the crucial games. I think we now have some quality players who will supply to Suarez and Borini up front. Watch out for Assaidi - this guy is really fast, has great ball control, great skill with the ball and scores goals.
    I was at Anfield watching the Arsenal game and I can tell you Gerrard just looked a bit jaded. He tried to cover the whole pitch, got out of position thus led to his mistakes. But he was not the only one, Glen Johnson and Suarez were the same. Joe Allen is quality, I can see Barca coming for him.
    Been a supporter for 39 years. When I look back at some of the games we used to play under Shankly (more under Paisley), how we passed and moved the ball, the positional play, how we caressed the ball, how we had our heads high when we had the ball and not looking at ball on the floor, how we moved the ball so quick and then slowed the game, in particular slowing the game where we produced the clinical pass leading to scoring some fantastic goals; those days you had 11 leaders on the pitch, the opposition used to tremble in their boots.

    So now lets get real here. In Brendan Rogers we have a quality manager, who has learnt his craft with some of the best out there. He is a thoughtful and clever tactician. For every slip up now and then, he will not make a knee jerk reaction. Instead he will continue to implement his strategy, which will bring this great club back to its glory days. When Shanks came to LFC, he had to change many things. One of the things was a Captain, in came Ron Yeats. For Shankly's philosophy to work, he had to have the right people with the right style, the hunger but more importantly the right temperament was key to the success of LFC. Passing, moving, getting into the right positions and then the killer pass and GOAL!! And boy did it work for Shanks, which was then perfected by Paisley.

    What we have to remember is that when Houllier came, he removed the pass and move from our game and Gerrard has been moulded in that Houlier era. Although Rafa then applied the fast pace high tempo passing and moving, which at the time was right for SG. But now the years have caught up with SG and I'm sure BR will nurture SG in playing smart pass and move football which will bring great quality and leadership.

    Now we need to forget the gutter press and some media quarters in rubbising our great club, always looking to find the miniscule of faults in LFC and knocking us down on every opportunity, because they know good times are coming. They did this to Rafa too and we as fans should not sit back but lets get behind our BR and the team 101%.

    I was sitting in the Centenary stand and I was dissapointed in some of our fans dishing abuse at our players during the game, and don't say to me we paid to see a good game so I can give abuse to the players, I paid £250 with my family to watch the game. Even though we lost, I would never insult any of our players, we needed to get behind them. Anfield was quiet, which was my concern and Arsenal fans were mocking us because the great roar of Anfield was missing.
    So come on our team and our club needs our support. Yes we are going to lose some games, yes SG or other players are going to make mistakes, yes Reina may let a few goals in, yes BR will get some tactics wrong in some games but I can tell you, this team is developing slowly but surely we are going to dominate the opposition and we are going to demolish a few teams out there.

  19. Another pop at Stevie , grow up man

  20. I thought this was a Liverpool supporters discussion, but of late all you read is people running the team down picking on players this season it seems the Steve Gerrard is your chosen victim.The same Steve Gerrard who Recently was captain of England and received a lot of praise from the press for the good job he was doing.
    Call yourself supporters,very fickle supporters

  21. First of all if Agger wasn't danish Jan Molby wouldn't have made these statements, so quite irrelevant. But some of these comments are quite ridiculous. Gerrard has never been or ever will be the most technical and positionally astute centre midfielder, like a Scholes or a Xavi. But he is one of the greatest all round players; can defend, is a natural goal scorer and can play excellent passes. When he is shackled into a certain position and given limitations he still performs well, but fails to put his stamp on a game. Was certainly true in Euro 2012 where he was praised but he never had the chance to get forward and have an influence due to injuries to other key players.

    From 2005-2010 Liverpool were a one man team at times and this has certainly taken it's toll on Gerrard. But to say he hasn't been an inspirational captain is total nonsense. I know it's the past, but you only have to look to Istanbul, West Ham Fa cup final in particular, Napoli away when he came on at half time and scored a hat-trick. Even Jay Spearing and Lucas said after that game, when he comes on he gives the whole team a lift and more confidence to play. He also created a potent partnership with Fernando Torres, which nearly won us the premiership.

    Admittedly now he probably can't cover every blade of grass week in week out due to injury and age. But he is still our most influential player, and one of our only two or three world class players including Suarez and I would say Daniel Agger if he remains fit. He also isn't as quiet as made out on here he does have a go at players and try to motivate them, just not in an embarrassing way like Phil Thompson used to on the touchline. He certainly hasn't found his form yet this season and was at fault for giving the ball away against arsenal for the Podolski goal. He is the only player in the final third who looks capable of playing that final pass though, unless Sahin plays like he did in the Bundesliga or Borini starts to improve. I do like Joe Allen a lot, but making successful short passes in your own half is going to make your pass success rate look far more superior to attacking players. I mean just look at last season where Leon Britton had a higher pass success rate than Xavi and Iniesta, stats don't necessarily tell the whole story. Liverpool really need to adapt sooner rather than later, and reina needs to cut out the mistakes causing the whole defence to look shaky.

  22. Gerrard is a great player. A talismanic servant for Liverpool that contributed the club winning some important trophies. However, to suggest Liverpool were a one man team between 2005-2010 is an insult to players like Alonso, Hamman, Hyppia, Mascherano, Garcia, Babbels, Smicer,Torres to name a few whose contribution to Liverpool's achievements was vital.

  23. The point however, is that we no longer have a weak team, and in 3 league games, Gerrard had consistently shown himself to be amongst our 3 weakest performers, besides Borini and Downing. Suarez continues to be the same menace he's always been, but Allen and Sterling have been superb, plus Shelvey has really upped his game, so one can't really say the team isn't looking good.

  24. I do agree about the first matches of the current season.

  25. I did say one man team "at times", but yea a little overstated just meant he dragged the team to victory on a fair few occasions. The players that you mentioned that were actually there in that era did also make a significant contribution.

  26. Completely agree. What a silly use of statistics. As if a pass by Skrtel to Agger rated the same as a through ball from Gerrard to Suarez in the box. The use of stats has become the replacement for football knowledge...