LFC By Numbers : 1

The Anfield Talk’s Ian (@ianyoungkop) is taking a look through the history of Liverpool’s squad numbers. Here’s his picks for number one…

When the squad number system was going to be introduced, I didn’t see the point, even at the young age of twelve, I thought it was just a gimmick, another way to make money from the fans, but here I am 24 years later starting a new series, where I discuss the best player to wear each squad number, since the squad number series was introduced. 

I’ve set myself two rules, that I can only use a player once, and I’ll go up to 30, as I want to compile hopefully what in my opinion will be Liverpool’s ultimate Premier League squad.

So where’s the best place to start? At the beginning, and here’s my discussion on who I believe is the best player to wear Liverpool’s number 1 shirt.

First of all these are the players to wear LFC’s number 1 shirt:

Bruce Grobbelaar

David James

Sander Westerveld

Jerzy Dudek

Diego Cavalieri

Brad Jones

Loris Karius

For me this is a huge dilemma, as goalkeeper is one of my favourite positions, but at the same time, I don’t believe we’ve had a truly outstanding keeper wear the illustrious shirt. Ok we’ve had keepers, who had very good seasons, or had brilliant moments, but we’ve not had one definitive stand out “number one”.

Reasonably, I’d say we have a short list of 3 contenders in, Grobbelaar, James and Dudek.

Now for me I always loved “Brucie” , I loved watching him as I grew up, capable of the sublime, ridiculous and down right ludicrous, you never knew what to expect with him, but when the squad number system came into play he was past his prime and was on the verge to being replaced by David James.

“Jamo” is a hard one, because he had the potential to become one of Liverpool’s greatest ever, he had everything, he was big, agile, good with his feet, and for two seasons, he looked like he was going to be world class for many years to come, but from 96 onwards, something wasn’t quite clicking, he was having concentration lapses, and you became terrified every time a cross came into the box, certain sections of the media nicknamed him “Calamity James” and he never fully recovered.

In 2001 our “Pole in the goal” Jerzy Dudek arrived, and I’d say without being outstanding, he was consistent. He reminded me in so many ways though, of Grobbelaar, he had the potential to make incredible saves, but also you knew it was in him to throw it into his own net. He also never seemed to be a commanding keeper for me, and I was never fully confident of him between the sticks.

Embed from Getty Images

So who do I choose, the club legend, who was coming to the end of his time at the club, the potential that was never fully realised, or our “Pole in the goal” that was never commanding but had some truly outstanding moments (Champions League Final 2005).

My controversial choice, is David James, between 93 and 96 he was a very good goalkeeper for us, pretty consistent and was commanding. During this time I genuinely thought “Jamo” was going to go on and be one of the best we ever had.

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