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Lowdown on Liverpool

Posted on 21 September 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

After pining for success and silverware on a sustained basis since 1990, Liverpool supporters could be excused for a spot of collective blinking as five pots were hoisted into the air by various Liverpool captains over the course of the last six months.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></SPAN><P><P>An FA and League Cup were all Liverpool had to show for the nineties, not an acceptable return for a set of supporters weaned on a diet of almost unprecedented success.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>To make matters worse for the Anfield public, the fact that Manchester United were the beneficiaries of their downfall only increased the pain of silverware starvation.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>It was the Worthington Cup that proved to be the turning point where Liverpool&rsquo&#59;s fortunes were concerned. Gerard Houllier has since admitted that he always felt it was a case of breaking a psychological barrier, a case of winning the first prize of his reign. Opening the floodgates, it seems, given what has followed since.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>It is a clear indication that, to clubs, players, management and fans, silverware is silverware, whatever the title, and winning becomes a habit you just don&rsquo&#59;t want to kick.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>It makes a mockery of some club&rsquo&#59;s policy towards the Worthington Cup, teams who have not had a sight of trophy winning for decades adopting a &lsquo&#59;not worth attitude&rsquo&#59; towards this country&rsquo&#59;s second Cup competition.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>What would have happened had Liverpool adopted that attitude? Would a further four prizes have followed? Probably not.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>Every era has got to start somewhere and the current Liverpool one looks pretty bright.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>The Hoddle-Houllier philosophy appears to follow similar lines &mdash&#59; the Frenchman, however, being a few years further down the track. Young players augmented by experienced internationals looks like a winning formula.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>Houllier opted for a younger option first of all, with a team predominantly under-25. They ticked along nicely the season before last before blowing up at the final furlong. Not wishing to repeat the experience, Houllier recruited a slightly older vintage. In came Marcus Babbel, Nicky Barmby, Christian Ziege and, to bump up the average age, Gary McAllister.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>The end result is sitting in the Anfield trophy cabinet.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>The younger players have now come of age and have taken on the look of seasoned professionals &mdash&#59; an England side without Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey would undoubtedly be a poorer one.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>Now the mix and match process has evolved at Anfield, some of the older players are finding themselves sidelined or eased out and the heat is on to strive for perfection &mdash&#59; as Sander Westerveld found out to his cost.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>Ziege is now patrolling the Spurs left flank, Barmby struggles for time on the pitch, McAllister lines up behind Gerrard and Didi Hamman, Robbie Fowler and Jari Litmanen make a great reserve team strikeforce and Jamie Redknapp may be fit, but probably just as far away from a first team call up.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>Westerveld, well, a mistake against Bolton proved to be the final straw and he now appears to be roughly fourth in the pecking order and seeking a one-way ticket out of Lime Street Station or Speke Airport.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P>Football is a harsh world, but if trophies keep arriving conveyorbelt fashion under the Houllier regime, it will matter little to supporters which personalities are lifting them.<o:p></o:p></SPAN><P><I>By Richard Hubbard</I>