Continuing on from last week, The Anfield Talk’s Ian (@ianyoungkop) takes a look through the history of Liverpool’s squad numbers, this week looking at the #2 shirt…
Continuing my series on LFC’s best players to wear each squad number, here’s our number 2’s:
The number 2 for me is an interesting number me, because more often than not, it means right back. As with the numbers 1 I’ll cut it down to a short list of Rob Jones, Stephane Henchoz, Alvaro Arbeloa, Glen Johnson and Nathaniel Clyne.
Now anyone who follows me on twitter or read my post on Andy Robertson, knows my feelings on Rob Jones. He for me is one of the most underrated players to ever put on the red shirt. From 1992 – 1996 he was one of our most consistent players without grabbing headlines. Whether playing right back, right wing back or left wing back, constantly delivering in both defence and attack, he was always Mr Reliable.
After Jones vacated the number 2 shirt, Stephane Henchoz stepped into it and before the Carragher and Hyypia partnership, there was Henchoz and Hyypia. For 3-4 seasons, they where a fantastic duo, with big Sami’s height and strength and Henchoz’s ability to get in the way of seemingly everything. One thing that did come into question with Henchoz was his stamina, he genuinely used to look tired after 30 minutes, and it became a running joke and even now, if a player seems they are struggling during a game or “blowing” Henchoz is usually referenced.
Alvaro Arbeloa is next to be spoken about, and for me, he was fantastic, for the short amount of time he was at LFC, he was consistent and solid defender. Strong and deceivingly athletic, he was never the best going forward, but he kept some of the best wingers in Europe quiet. Whether you remember him keeping Messi quiet at the Camp Nou or having an on the pitch scuffle with Carra at West Brom, Arbeloa certainly left his mark!
Glen Johnson is next on my shortlist, Glen arrived from Portsmouth with the reputation as an attacking full back. Whilst being consistent as an attacking right, I personally was never fully confident in him as a defender. Popping up with the odd goal, and being consistent with his delivery from the wing, meant he was our first choice right for a good time. Unfortunately for Glen, another issue that he had was his injury record, being prone to muscle injuries isn’t what you want for a marauding right back, and eventually it became evident that we’d need a more reliable option for his position.
That more reliable option became Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne. In his debut season, he was what I consider a roaring success. It seemed he was strong in both attack and defence. Strong and athletic it seemed he could be our right back for years to come, unfortunately for him, injuries and especially last season, where he was out pretty much of the season through injury have held him back.
So who would I choose for my best number 2 since the squad system landed? Rob Jones for me, despite never scoring a competitive goal for LFC, he was a full back who always excited me going forward and I was confident he’d be able to keep quiet the danger coming the other way, there was only one choice for me!
Who would your choice be for the squad number 2? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheAnfieldTalk.