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Name John Aldridge
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
Desc John Aldridge is a member of the Liverpool team that dominated the 1980s

Affiliation

Club as Player Liverpool FC
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2004 05 17 Retrieve

[When ask can the unbeaten record of Invicibles Arsenal ever be beaten?] I don’t think this will ever be done again. It’s a remarkable achievement. OK, they’ve been fortunate in some ways, to be knocked out of the cup competitions allowing them to concentrate on maintaining the record right to the end. You need a certain arrogance in your squad to achieve something like this. We had that at Liverpool, that inner belief that you simply are not going to be beaten

2018 01 15 Tweet

[John Aldridge has added his name to the list for former players paying tribute to Regis] So sad to hear the passing away of Cyrille Regis today.Met him a few times(lovely feller)What a great striker he was also.Respect,and Condolences to all his family

2018 02 07 Retrieve

[John Aldridge, a league champion and FA Cup winner in his two years at Anfield from 1987 to 1989, says Salah’s goalscoring form has been remarkable for a winger] If we’re going to finish top four and hopefully second or third then we need him to keep on going in the manner which he is. You know, it’s just ridiculous to see a winger score that many goals and fighting against Harry Kane of all people for the Golden Boot. Sensational. Brilliant

2018 02 07b Retrieve

[John Aldridge on Van Dijk] Van Dijk is a very, very good centre half and he’ll go a long way to helping us get, or trying to achieve what we want and our goals for the coming season

2019 08 13 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Alisson’s untimely injury has forced Liverpool to put a plaster on a problem they could do without] Liverpool’s defence has not been right throughout the pre-season, with those flaws illuminated once again as Norwich had four very good chances to score in the first half and must have wondered how they went in at half-time 4-0 behind. A team with better quality attacking players would have punished a Liverpool defence that doesn’t seem to have found the right balance in recent weeks, with the concern over the goalkeeper now the most pressing issue for Klopp.

After Simon Mignolet left to join Club Brugge, Adrian has been signed on a free transfer after he was released by West Ham, but the back-up keeper is not in place if anything happens to him ahead of next Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup match against Chelsea in Istanbul. Young Irishman Caoimhin Kelleher is a fine talent, but he has only just resumed training after a wrist problem, with the youngsters behind him in the pecking order not ready to play first-team football yet. I don’t know what would happen if Adrian got injured now, with the signing of Andy Lonergan on a short-term deal putting a plaster on a problem Liverpool could do without

[Aldridge admits that he remains concerned about the impact summer international tournaments will have on a side chasing down the Premier League title] These international tournaments during the summer months need to be looked at and I can’t believe the clubs have not made demands for changes to be made to ensure there is conformity across the world on when these events are played. Why can’t the African Cup of Nations and the Copa America tournaments be played at the same time as the European Championships, ensuring that all the players are away at the same time and their employers have a reasonable amount of time to get them ready for the new season? Is that too much to ask?

Every player wants to play for his country and I treasure all of my Ireland caps, but it seems unfair that Sadio Mane was still playing for Senegal in the middle of July and then has to come back to Liverpool and play in the Premier League a few weeks later. There is a danger that Liverpool’s players will run out of steam at some point in this season as some of the players have not had a proper break this summer and while I am of the view that players should never get tired, modern footballers are very different and the sports scientists around them will tell them they are tired by looking at data on a computer screen

2019 09 16 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Sadio Mane is now worth well beyond the £100 million mark] Mane was something of an unknown quantity when Liverpool signed him from Southampton in the summer of 2016 and while he always had raw pace, Klopp and his coaching staff have turned him into a potent scoring weapon in the last couple of seasons. He is there with Salah now as a scoring threat and if either of the pair were put up for sale by Liverpool (which is not happening by the way!) the fee they would command would be well beyond the £100m mark. Keeping those three fit is vital to Liverpool and Klopp’s hopes of success this season, with the opening few weeks of this season confirming the European champions mean business in the Premier League

[Mane and Salah got the goals against the Magpies, but it was Firmino who impressed the most after stepping off the bench to inspire a come-from-behind success for the Reds] Some of his movement and his intelligent passes were sublime and Mane and Salah look better players when Firmino is on the field and opening a few doors for them. I have not always been Firmino’s biggest fan and there were times last season when I questioned whether he should remain in the team, but Klopp has always stood behind him and he is showing us why now. Divock Origi going off injured gave us a chance to see what Firmino brings to the party and the game changed when he came on, with the Newcastle defence now unsettled. Those three forwards are the primary reason why Liverpool are such a force in English and European football right now

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Mohamed Salah looks a little low on confidence] [I have] mild concerns surrounding Liverpool’s front three, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino a long way short of their brilliant best right now. The goals have not been flowing for Salah this season and you get the sense that he is a little low on confidence, but I would not have too many concerns about Liverpool’s main man up front. He has missed a few too many chances this season and the same can be said of Mane and Firmino to an extent, but we know what those three are all about when they click into gear and one high scoring game could get all three back on track in an instant. In many respects, Liverpool’s immaculate start to this Premier League campaign is all the more impressive when you consider their big three in the forward line are not firing on all cylinders and it has to be an ominous sign for Manchester City in what looks set to be another tight title race.

I believe last season’s Champions League victory has changed the way a lot of these players view themselves and this Liverpool team as they have gone from being a team that has potential to do well to a team of winners. Not just winners of a domestic cup, but European champions and that lavish tag has to fill them with confidence. The brilliant Liverpool team I stepped into in the mid-1980s was full of proven winners and when you have that first medal or two in your collection, it gives you a huge advantage over rivals who are still chasing that first big trophy. Champions have a mindset that ensures they expect to win, while the opposition don’t quite believe they will get over the line until they have proved to themselves that they can do it and this is why I feel Liverpool have a very different look now.

2019 10 12 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says The Premier League title is not Liverpool’s yet] With only eight games played this season, it is ridiculous to suggest the title race is anywhere near over, but there is no denying that we are seeing vulnerabilities from Manchester City that were not there last season. Their 2-0 home defeat against Wolves on the back of the away loss at Norwich shows that this City team have cracks that are being exposed, with their defensive frailties in evidence yet again. John Stones will come back soon, but I don’t see him solving defensive problems that are stemming from the reality that Nicolas Otamendi is not up to the job of holding that back-line together in the absence of the departed Vincent Kompany and the injured Aymeric Laporte

City manager Pep Guardiola has said he won’t spend any money in the January transfer window, but I fully expect him to spend upwards of £100m on a centre-back as soon as he can because he knows that defence will not be good enough to win the Premier League or Champions League. I also feel that Guardiola is more focused on European success than chasing more domestic glory now, with his celebrations as City beat Dinamo Zagreb in unconvincing fashion in the Champions League last week suggesting his sights are targeting Europe this season.

He was jumping up and down on the touchline in that Champions League clash and has been urging City fans to create the kind of atmosphere in home matches that drove Liverpool to European glory last season, but that just won’t happen. Anfield on European nights is a unique experience and, try as they might, City fans will never be able to repeat it at their Etihad Stadium, so they face a tough challenge. They will need to keep buying their way to success if they are to conquer Europe. There are still 30 games to play in this Premier League season, so ignore anyone who tells you this title race is finished

2019 10 18 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Klopp over Guardiola!] Some side, eh? It was like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for me as a striker in that team. Too good to be true

They’re some side as well! Different teams, but similar. We played what you would probably say was a 4-2-3-1, while this team is a more traditional 4-3-3. But in terms of the football both teams play; attacking, flamboyant, with game-changers everywhere, yeah, you can see the similarities

[Aldridge is modest when he discusses his own Liverpool career] I was just there to finish the moves off. Barnesy was the best player I ever played with. He was the absolute business. I had good movement, but most of my goals were six-yard tap-ins or headers. All I had to do is give it simple, take the centre-half away and get to the far post. Then Barnesy would pick me out!

[How, though, would he have fitted into the current setup under Klopp, we wonder?] Good question! I was more of a goalscorer than someone like Roberto Firmino, But I couldn’t do the things outside the box that Bobby does. It’s his awareness, the way he brings people into play. Beardsley, for example, was a great player, with great feet and tricks, but he would play more with his head down. Firmino has more awareness. Bobby has 360 degree vision. He knows where people are, and he has the touches and the flicks to open the game up. He’s more creative, more of an all-rounder

[Roberto Firmino is also a European Cup winner and will, along with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, be key if Liverpool are to finally end that wait for a league title this season. Do that, and they’ll be guaranteed legendary status at Anfield, right?] They’re getting there, for sure

[Unsurprisingly, then, he has little time for those who wonder if the grass is greener away from Liverpool. He still, for example, refuses to refer to Fernando Torres by name and says that neither Luis Suarez nor Philippe Coutinho could ever be considered Reds legends] We’re not fickle as Liverpool fans. And to become a proper Liverpool icon you have to do certain things. I think you have to love the club, and you have to stay at the club for a long time. I hope that these players understand that

Unless they like good weather, there’s not a lot of reason to leave, is there?. Barcelona and Real Madrid? Fantastic clubs, but we are up with them at the moment. If you want to win big trophies, you’ve got as much chance here as you have over there, if not more. Those clubs are in transition. We are not

Jurgen has done brilliantly. He’s dealt with all those problems in pre-season, he’s lost his first-choice goalkeeper for two months, and we are top of the league by a good distance. It’s ridiculous, just outstanding management. Europe-wise, he’s the best in the business, for me. He’s had what, three European finals on the bounce? Pep Guardiola has not even had a semi-final in that period, let alone a final! Guardiola is a great coach, but he was very fortunate in the fact that he walked into a Monopoly game where he could spend what he wants and bring the players in willy-nilly. Klopp has had to do it the harder way. He’s spent money, but far less than City and on far fewer players too

[Aldridge, a Liverpool fan first and foremost, daring to dream of the league title yet?] It would be a great statement if we could go and beat them, given what they’ve spent. But I’d take the Champions League, too. That’s the one City want, and they can’t get it!

2019 10 22 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Liverpool made the right decision in throwing best goalkeeper in the world Alisson straight back into their starting XI] Liverpool will be delighted to have Alisson back in goal after his absence from the side since the opening day of the Premier League season but that’s no slight on Adrian. I think it was the correct decision to put Alisson straight back in, no matter how well Adrian had done deputising for him. He’s our No.1 and the best goalkeeper in the world.

Adrian has been brilliant. Everyone respects him and thanks him for what he’s done. He’ll probably play against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup. In terms of strength in depth, we’ve probably got two goalkeepers now possessing the kind of calibre we’ve never had before. They’re back-to-back goalkeepers you can depend on. Adrian has proven that he’d be No.1 at most other teams in the Premier League but we’ve got him as back-up. He’ll probably want to play more games but I hope Liverpool have endeared themselves to him. I think he’s seen how big the club is and how great they are and he’ll want to stay

2019 11 15 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Sadio Mane proved a point to Pep Guardiola by shoving pathetic comments from the Manchester City boss back down his throat during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over the Blues] The Reds were the more clinical of the two sides and the three goals were all exceptional in their own right. The first one from Fabinho really set the tone and I’d like to see him shooting more often if he’s got that in his locker! The second one was a ‘dream goal’. The two cross-field passes and the header. It was an amazing piece of football and, in many ways, summed up the way we play and the strengths of our two full-backs.

I believe there is no better full-back pairing in world football at the moment and that includes the international scene, Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and Robbo [Andy Robertson] really have given this side a new dimension in their attacking play. And for the third goal which put it to bed, Jordan Henderson deserves all the credit in the world for his run and cross and it was great to see Sadio Mane get on the end of it with a diving header, which was quite ironic given Pep Guardiola’s pathetic comments about him the week before. It was really good afternoon for Liverpool, the only slight drawback was again we weren’t able to keep a clean sheet and that is something we really need to get back to as we haven’t had one at Anfield yet this season, and only three away from home

Pep Guardiola certainly showed his petulant side with his antics on the touchline and after the match. I think Manchester City are so used to getting their own way most of the time that they don’t know how to react when things go against them and they behaved like spoilt kids really. I understand their frustrations on the touchline because I’ve been there myself but the way. Guardiola and Mikel Arteta were carrying on, as well as Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker, it was like watching dummies being thrown out of the pram

2019 11 26 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Roberto Firmino remains an important part of Liverpool’s plans] was great to see Roberto Firmino end a run of seven league games without a goal. He has a lot of aspects to his game and he’s not a ‘goalscoring striker’ but being a centre-forward he has to score goals. I know what it’s like as a striker when you lose your confidence in front of goal and you need a bit of luck to get it back. I think after Saturday that will have done him the world of good and we will start to see more goals from Bobby in the coming weeks

I think quite a lot of the wins, Sheffield United, Saturday and Aston Villa have been pretty much the same. We haven’t played as well as we can but we’ve won the three games. If anything, it’s a good sign because when we do play well someone is going to get it. We probably played better last year, scored more goals and conceded less but we’ve won more games. That’s what matters at the end of the day. I don’t know whether the lack of clean sheets is becoming a psychological thing. I think the manager, the defenders and the goalkeeper won’t be happy because it’s like a goalscorer, you’re only happy when you’re scoring because it gives you pride in your performance and getting clean sheets shows that you’re doing your job. Unfortunately we’re not getting the clean sheets but we’re getting the wins. The manager will know that you can’t keep having to score two goals to win games and get over the line

2019 12 10 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino is looking horribly out of form] Last Saturday’s 3-0 win at Bournemouth was another example of a team in complete control of their destiny, as Jurgen Klopp rested some of his star names and still saw his team cruise to victory and enhance their position at the top of the table.

Mohamed Salah showed signs that he could get back to his best form, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita took their chance to shine as they were given starts by Klopp and, at last, Liverpool had a clean sheet to add to their dominance.

Roberto Firmino’s performance was a concern once again and I wonder what is happening with the Brazilian right now because he looks horribly out of form. Klopp dropped Firmino and Salah for the Merseyside derby against Everton last week and he must have been hoping to get a reaction when he put them back into his team at Bournemouth.

Well, Salah answered the call as he produced some moments of magic against Eddie Howe’s side, but Firmino was off the boil again and Klopp might be tempted to start with Divock Origi in Salzburg after his magnificent display against Everton.

The reason why I believe this could be the most significant game of Liverpool’s season is they have yet to confront adversity and all of a sudden they are presented with a game that has the potential to derail them. At this moment in time, Liverpool are riding high at the top of the Premier League after a sensational unbeaten start to the season and they are still warm from the glow that their status as champions of Europe gives them. If they were to lose against Salzburg and see their Champions League campaign end in embarrassingly early fashion, it is hard to guess what kind of impact that could have on Jurgen Klopp’s side

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Jurgen Klopp’s class of 2019-20 boasts the potential to stand alongside the great sides in Liverpool’s illustrious history] Klopp is the kind of guy who goes all-in when he sets his sights on a goal and he wants to win this FIFA competition. The traditionalist in me thinks I’d rather see Liverpool at Wembley in February, winning another trophy rather than playing in a tournament that is a little bit of a mystery out in Qatar, but this is a trophy the club has not won before and they should aim to add it to the long list of successes. Winning the Premier League and getting this 30-year wait for the trophy off their backs has to be the priority in 2020 and with a ten-point lead established at the top of the table after their remarkable start to the season, Liverpool need to finish the job off in a professional manner. So, while it’s easy to be sceptical about a tournament played at a strange time of the year in an unfamiliar part of the world, Klopp has to find the positives in the hand he has been dealt.

Whatever anyone says, the title race is not over with 63 points still to play for in the second half of the season and a couple of defeats or injuries to key players could derail Liverpool, with tricky games against Leicester and Wolves on the horizon over the Christmas period. As we saw once again in the 2-0 win against Watford on Saturday, Liverpool are pulling clear at the top of the Premier League without firing on all cylinders and a slip-up or two will be inevitable unless they find top gear in a period of the season when the games come at a rapid pace. The title of World Champions would be nice to add to their list of accomplishments in a year that has seen them convert their promise into real success with the Champions League and UEFA Super Cup wins. A sixth European title confirmed that Klopp’s team are already assured of a place in the club’s folklore and if they can add FIFA World Club Cup and Premier League glory to their list of achievements, they will be right up there with the great sides in Liverpool’s illustrious history

2019 12 24 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Roberto Firmino has been a bit off-colour at times this season] Hopefully his goals in Qatar will help Bobby Firmino really kick on this season now. He knows he’s been a bit off-colour at times this season but scoring two goals of such importance can only help his confidence. He hasn’t scored at Anfield yet this season which is crazy for a centre-forward but we’ve only dropped two points and he’s part-and-parcel of the whole jigsaw. He does need to start scoring more goals and being more of a threat actually in front of goal but he knows that and surely it’s only a matter of time now. Sometimes he comes a little bit too deep for me and when the ball gets whipped out to Trent and Robbo he can’t make it into the box in time. The two vital goals he scored were about being in the right place at the right time and hopefully can play a part in helping him get back to top form. If he can get back to his very top level, that can play a big part in helping us win this league which we all want so badly

Liverpool put a lot into the two games in Qatar that saw us crowned world champions but winning it can only help in our aim to bring the title back to Anfield. Lifting silverware just makes you hungry for more success. We saw that in Madrid, in Istanbul for the Super Cup in August and now again with that victory over Flamengo. Maybe now in England this trophy will be finally seen for what it is, the crowning glory of a world-class team. To be able to call yourselves champions of the whole world - that has an impact all over the planet, in Europe, in the Middle East, the Far East, Australasia, the Americas - teams all over would give anything to hold that title but only one can now and that’s Liverpool. And we haven’t just won this by winning two games last week, this is the reward for months of hard work and lots of skill in winning the Champions League last season.

2020 01 02 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Jordan Henderson faced an almost impossible task when succeeding Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain] Jordan Henderson was presented with an almost impossible task when he succeeded Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain in the summer of 2015 and it is to his enduring credit that he is now assured of a place among the club’s all-time greats. I remember the cynicism when Henderson took over from the legendary Stevie G and I was among those who doubted whether he was up to the task of leading one of the great clubs in world football on and off the field.

Henderson always gave everything to the Liverpool cause, but he was lacking quality in certain areas of his game in his formative days at the club and the idea that he could successfully succeed an Anfield icon who did so much for the club was too much for some to comprehend. Jurgen Klopp didn’t always pick Henderson when he came in as manager and I remember the calls for Virgil van Dijk to be named as Liverpool captain when he arrived at the club in January 2018 and had such a big impact on the team.

Yet Henderson has grown into the role and – like so many members of a Liverpool team that has reached 2020 on course to end the club’s 30-year wait for a domestic league title – his improvement under Klopp has been so impressive. If he can get his hands on the Premier League trophy at Anfield in May, his legacy as one of the great Liverpool captains of all-time will be secured.

2020 01 10 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Mourinho is intimidated by Liverpool & will park the bus] They will allow to us have possession and try to break them down, no doubt that is how Mourinho will play because I think he is very intimidated by Liverpool. He has even come out and said Liverpool are the best team on the planet, which didn’t need underlining as we have already won the Club World Cup. He must have said it through gritted teeth. He’s not buttering us up as he knows Jurgen Klopp is not soft but it shows his mindset these days. Spurs are a good team and still have most of the players who got them to Champions League final last season but Liverpool are on a roll, are well used to teams who ‘park the bus’ and I hope and expect us to keep our winning run going

[Curtis Jones and Co secured a 1-0 victory in that contest, with Aldridge quick to salute the strength in depth that Klopp now has at his disposal] It bodes really well for the future for Liverpool and not just the distant future. Liverpool still have a lot of football to play this season and these lads have now shown they are capable of doing a job when required.

I would have no qualms whatsoever about seeing the likes of Neco Williams or Yasser Larouci given a run out in the Premier League, maybe with respect against one of the lesser-lights, if we wanted to give Trent [Alexander-Arnold] or Robbo [Andy Robertson] a rest.

They showed against Everton they are more than able to do a job and, crucially, have the right mentality to deal with that step-up in class, which is arguably just as important as technical ability. The FA Cup tie was a big test for them but they hardly put a foot wrong and came through with flying colours

2020 01 14 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Roberto Firmino was the match-winner for Liverpool once again in their most recent outing] One mystery for me this season has been the form of Roberto Firmino and his goal added another layer to the confusion. Firmino is still waiting for his first Premier League goal at Anfield and appears to have entirely different confidence levels in away matches.

He has popped up with some of the most significant goals in Liverpool’s season with the winners at Southampton, Chelsea and Crystal Palace, as well as scoring the goals that secured the FIFA World Club Cup. Yet when I have watched him at Anfield this season, he has looked like a player horribly out of tune and struggling for confidence.

That is a bizarre position to be in for a player who is such a crucial part of this incredible team Klopp has pieced together, with his goal at Tottenham fired home with impressive authority. He smashed that chance past Spurs keeper Paulo Gazzaniga to give Liverpool a lead against predictably defensive-minded Jose Mourinho team. It was a finish of a striker who had full belief in his abilities and I suspect that if the same chance came his way at Anfield, he may well have fluffed his lines

Sloppy is not a word you would have attached to this Liverpool side too often over the last 18 months, but some of the defensive errors that gave Spurs hope were not what you associate with a side that has won with ruthless efficiency in the last year and more.

With their noses in front, Klopp would have expected his team to control the game a little better than they did in the second half and had Son Heung-min or Giovani Lo Celso taken their big chances in the final 15 minutes of the game, who knows what might have happened.

Liverpool are a few steps ahead of their rivals in the Premier League this season and that has given this side an aura and a self-belief that has been crucial in taking them into this dominant position. Now they have to make sure they finish off the job and get over the finishing line, with the target of finishing this campaign unbeaten in the Premier League very much in their sights with 17 games left to play. What this Liverpool team are doing is far from normal and the results we have seen for all their title rivals this season reminds us of that

2020 01 18 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Liverpool strike blind fear into rivals, including Man City] How are they doing it? There are a variety of reasons why Liverpool appear to be invincible right now and the first is the blind fear all their opponents, including Manchester City, now have when they go into a game against the Premier League leaders.

Liverpool had a fear factor that allowed them to frighten rivals into submission in the 1970s and 80s, especially at Anfield, where you could see the opposition trembling as the crowd reminded them what they were up against. Manchester United then inherited that mantle as Alex Ferguson’s side dominated English football and there have been moments when Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have had an aura that was too much for the opposition to handle.

Now Liverpool are in that position and it means the first task for any rival manager is to try and mask that fear before they can start thinking about ways to stop a team that saw their belief levels go to ridiculous heights after they won the Champions League last June

Any side taking on this Liverpool team in a straight battle of passing football has come out second best for the last two years and their demolition of Manchester City in the Champions League a couple of years ago was crucial in confirming that they are a team that can take the best apart when they are on fire.

Last season’s incredible Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona added to that aura and now they have pieced together this incredible record in their opening 21 Premier League matches that may never be matched. I still see them dropping points between now and the end of the season, but this team is so good that it’s hard to see them losing too many games and draws may be the best the opposition can hope for. When you are a top team heading into a game with such limited ambition, it really does impact your hopes of getting a positive result and that’s the scenario Manchester United will face when they go to Anfield on Sunday

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Jurgen Klopp’s class of 2019-20 could be the best Liverpool team in history] You’re looking at a team that’s right up there with the best Liverpool teams of all time. What they’ve done this year is ridiculous, with all the things they’ve won. If they can cap it off by winning the Premier League, they’re possibly the best Liverpool team in history. For the last 12 months or more, it’s been pretty incredible. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm for another four years or so, and what he’s got to build with, they might be able to what Manchester City did, and Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal teams of the past did

That really stung the players. They’ve still got that in mind and it’s a huge motivational weapon. They’ve used it in going unbeaten. We’re almost into February and to drop just two points, it’s quite incredible. The teams of the past that I was lucky to see in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, as great as they were they didn’t do that. Are we playing any better than last year? Possibly not. But the game management is brilliant

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge believes the current team could be the best in the club’s history] You’re looking at a team that’s right up there with the best Liverpool teams of all time. What they’ve done this year is ridiculous, with all the things they’ve won. If they can cap it off by winning the Premier League, they’re possibly the best Liverpool team in history. For the last 12 months or more, it’s been pretty incredible. With Jurgen Klopp at the helm for another four years or so, and what he’s got to build with, they might be able to match what Manchester City did, and Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal teams of the past did

2020 01 23 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Liverpool beating Man Utd into submission is so satisfying] Football success is cyclical and unfortunately for Liverpool they have had to wait three long, painful decades for the moment to arrive when they could claim to have finally beaten United into submission, becoming top dogs in England all over again.

I will never say the title is in the bag for Liverpool until the finishing touches have been added to this incredible season, but to have reached this point with just two points dropped and a massive lead at the top of the table meant a celebration was in order once United were beaten.

No Liverpool fan has said this title race is over yet because we have all lived through too many disappointments in recent decades to contemplate that fantasy, but to give some back to the United fans who have laughed at Liverpool’s expense for so long was very satisfying.

Alex Ferguson famously vowed to knock Liverpool off their perch as the kings of English football at the start of the 1990s and he did that in a grand manner, but the tide has finally turned back in favour of their biggest foes. Liverpool’s time is here at last, with the misery United are living through simply adding to the joy for all who call Anfield home

Incredibly, I still don’t feel as if Jurgen Klopp’s team are playing to their full potential this season, because the United game was another example of a team failing to ram home their advantage due to a lack of killer instinct from the front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

It was men against boys for most of the United match, but they were still in contention until the final few minutes because Liverpool failed to take enough of their chances to put them to the sword. We have seen that time and again from this team over this remarkable unbeaten Premier League run as aside from the odd hammering, they have tended to do just enough to get over the winning line more often than not.

After his fine strike against United was cancelled out by a VAR decision, Firmino still hasn’t scored a league goal at Anfield all season and it is remarkable to note that a team with such a massive lead at the top of the table does not have a player in the mix for the top scorer prize. There is still time for the front three to find their scoring boots. If they do, the Premier League title could be confirmed in record time

2020 01 27 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane may be tempted away if Real Madrid of Barcelona come in for them] Improving a Liverpool winning machine is a tough task, but Klopp and Liverpool’s transfer maestro Michael Edwards need to consider how to do that later this year, because standing still is not an option. Who knows, Mo Salah or Sadio Mane may be tempted away if Real Madrid or Barcelona come in for them and football teams are always a work in progress, with Liverpool likely to target some key areas when they look to recruitment.

I can see Lovren, Lallana and Shaqiri leaving, so Klopp will want to replace them with young and hungry players who fit into his mould. Prolific RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner would be a great option and the joy for Liverpool will be that every player will want to be part of their success story. I saw Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe eulogising Liverpool in an interview a few days ago and it confirmed that the world’s greatest players are captivated by the story Klopp has pieced together.

With the manager signing a contract to commit to the club for another four years, there is no reason why Liverpool cannot win trophy after trophy as they don’t just have the best team in England and possibly Europe right now. No, the beast Klopp has on his hands is even bigger than that. Liverpool have the best squad in terms of the balance of world-class players, incredible heart, a stadium and a fanbase that is unique in the game and a set of young players who are proving they are knocking on the door and ready to step in when needed. It’s a mix that makes Liverpool irresistible right now

2020 02 03 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Jordan Henderson has become a Liverpool great in his own right] Plenty of Liverpool fans rushed to judgement on Jordan after he struggled in his first few months at the club, and I was among those who questioned whether he was up to the task of leading from the front in a title-winning team.

It didn’t help that he was handed the task of succeeding Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as the club’s captain, as it seemed like an almost impossible task and yet now he is every inch a Liverpool great in his own right. I don’t remember Liverpool fans ever singing Henderson’s name, despite him joining the select band of heroes who have lifted the Champions League trophy as Reds captain in Madrid last May.

All credit to the lad because he has turned himself in a wonderful leader at the heart of this Liverpool team and I suspect manager Jurgen Klopp decided to substitute him with a couple of minutes to go [against Southampton] because he knew the fans would give him the salute he was due. Henderson is a shining example of a player who has taken his game up several levels working under Klopp and his coaching staff and when you look around the Liverpool team, there are examples of that

What this team are doing will be remembered for years to come and the focus they have shown to maintain this level of excellence for the best part of 18 months is quite extraordinary. The Liverpool fans were singing ‘we’re gonna win the league’ once again when Southampton were beaten and with the chasing pack dropping points on a reasonably regular basis, it does feel like it is a matter of time now

2020 02 04 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Man City’s phobia of Liverpool down to Guardiola] I think Guardiola has always had a phobia about Liverpool since that fly-on-the-wall documentary about Man City came out, which showed clips of him saying he was worried about how to stop our front three and that Klopp was going to do what he did at Dortmund.

This was the season when they got their 100-point title but we knocked them out of the Champions League easily, 5-1 on aggregate, and even though they held on to just about win the title last season by a point from us, you could see how much we had got under the skin when that clip emerged of them singing that distasteful song about Liverpool when they should have celebrating their own achievement of back-to-back league titles along with the two domestic cups they won

Winning the European Cup would salvage the season for Pep but that looks a long way off for them at present and I would certainly have no fears for Liverpool should we draw them in the latter stages and I don’t think Jurgen Klopp and the players would either. City certainly seem to have a phobia about us though and I think it stems from the manager

They have got a decent chance of winning the Carabao Cup, and are still in the FA Cup, but if they get knocked out of the Champions League - and on the evidence of what we have seen in recent weeks and months, they will have their work cut out getting past Real Madrid - it could end up being a sackable season for Pep Guardiola. It certainly would be abroad where the big Spanish and Italian clubs get rid of coaches for less. Liverpool have done phenomenally well and deserve every bit of praise and credit they are getting but, given the vast resources and experience they have, should City really be so far behind us?

Guardiola’s comments after the Spurs game about what former Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore - who left his post over a year ago - might say about Liverpool’s dominance of the league after his previous comments about City’s 100-point season were just bizarre and another example for me of how the pressure has got to him. His team have not been doing what they should have been after spending absolutely ridiculous amounts of money over the last four years, although their spending has reduced as they are still under investigation over Financial Fair Play. That team needs a major revamp, which is amazing to think when you think how much money they have thrown into that squad, and ultimately that comes back on the manager’s head so he has to look at himself in the mirror

2020 02 11 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Coutinho is really good but Liverpool no longer need him] I see the topic of whether Liverpool should try and bring Philippe Coutinho back to Anfield has reared its head again. For me, he was and still is a really good player and, with the squad we’ve got now I’m sure he’d do very well but I lean more towards the ‘never go back’ argument.

It can work sometimes but he’s on a lot more money at Barcelona which could be a potential problem and of course there would be the question of how much cash Barca would want from Liverpool for him. I would imagine the squad would welcome him back as he’s a really good fella and I couldn’t see that being a problem but I just don’t see it as something I would go for if it was me calling the shots. Ultimately Coutinho chose to leave, we got top dollar for him and it’s worked in our favour.

We went out and brought in Van Dijk and Alisson for pretty much the same money and you have to say we haven’t looked back since - European champions, world champions and a 22-point lead at the top of the league as we look to end this 30-year weight for a league title.

I wish the lad well but at the end of the day what’s happened to him shows that the grass is not always greener on the other side. It used to be said years ago if you left Liverpool there was only one way to go and that’s down, and it’s a sign of the times that some players are now discovering that again.

Another in the same boat is Emre Can. To be honest I always felt he was punching above his weight at Liverpool but he thought he could do better by moving on and it hasn’t worked out for him at Juventus. He scored a fine goal on his debut for Borussia Dortmund at the weekend but the fact he’s had to go back to Germany to try and salvage his career says a lot and is a warning to others that you walk away from Liverpool at your peril

2020 03 10 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says No truth to suggestion Salah & Mane dislike each other] I’m pretty sure, as I think most people who watch Liverpool on a regular basis will be, that there is no truth in those suggestions and I think what we’ve been seeing on the football pitch pretty much all season where they’ve been making goals for each other left, right and centre is proof of that. I’m sure we’ll see the two of them in tandem together against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and no-one should be in any doubt over what a tough game lies in prospect

Many people are pointing out Liverpool overturned a three-goal deficit against Barcelona in the semis last year but this will be a totally different game. Atletico are not Barcelona, they love to sit deep and defend, the situation is made to measure for how they are and like to play so everyone - the team and the Anfield crowd - is going to have to be patient. We need to start well, I do think we’re in trouble if they get the first goal but if we can play to the best of our ability - which we haven’t done for a little while now - we’ve got every chance. It does feel like we’re due one. We haven’t seen a really top-class performance since arguably Leicester away on Boxing Day so hopefully this is the game where everything clicks because the right result on Wednesday could really set us up for the kind of end to the season this team deserves after the phenomenal way they’ve performed for the vast majority of it

2020 03 17 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says You can’t scrap all Liverpool’s hard work] It’s not going to start in April. Why not have the summer break now for two or three months? If they have to play behind closed doors [after that], then so be it. Then you can have a mini-break. You can even split the league into two between the top half and bottom half, it’s just a thought. You have to dilute it and then hopefully start afresh. The [decision makers] who are [more] clever than me who now have to earn their pay by coming up with a format or a formula which pleases everyone. I’m not just thinking about Liverpool. Leeds, West Brom and other teams who will be looking for [Premier League money] to move upward and onward. The relegation zone, the teams in the other divisions who have dreams of promotion. You can’t scrap all their hard work, not for me. You have to finish all the leagues before you go on to other things, absolutely

2020 03 17b Retrieve

[John Aldridge says As long as Liverpool get what’s ours then the relevant authorities can do what they want with scheduling issues] Those who say the Premier League should be cancelled entirely because of coronavirus are stupid. They’ve made themselves look absolutely stupid, arrogant and greedy. Many of them should know better. Especially the ones who are running clubs. It seems like some of them are panicking. And it’s not because of the football situation, it’s the business side of things I believe they are concerned with. It’s just going to be a matter of time. You’ve got to finish what’s there. And that’s not from a selfish point of view for Liverpool Football Club. I mean for all the clubs, all the players, all the supporters, all the wages that have been put in to watch teams.

You can’t just scrap the season now. That would be insane in my opinion. To solve the problem, you can dilute things further down the line. Start afresh for the 2021-22 season, or 2022-23. It doesn’t matter when. There could be a way of splitting and restructuring the league, especially with the Euros being scrapped this summer. If football has to go behind closed doors to finish the campaign then so be it. Liverpool fans would not be delighted. But we’ll accept it. As long as we get what’s ours. Because it is ours. No-one can take it away from us this season. Liverpool have made a mockery of the league. They’ve been absolutely brilliant. They have done things teams have never done before. Manchester City have been good in recent years, but Liverpool have torn the league apart. That is how good we are. The best team by a mile, not by a short distance

2020 03 24 Retrieve

[Aldridge says Get Liverpool the title & start next season at Xmas] Hopefully Liverpool get exactly what they deserve this season and that is the Premier League title. People talk about how this league season won’t get finished, but it has to. Next year’s league shouldn’t start if this one cannot finish. What is the point? What is the point in starting a season and scrapping it 75 per cent of the way through? Forget about next year’s competition. What has been started simply has to finish. Whether that is two, three, four months down the line, it just has to finish. Next season is the one that can be retracted or reformed for whatever reason. If it starts at Christmas, for example, then split it in half and have the top half compete for the title or Europe. The bottom half will be forced to battle for survival. You just can’t stop a season without a conclusion. Anyone suggesting it can is wrong. I cannot believe that it has even been suggested

This season now cannot be impacted any more than it has already. Leeds United or West Brom, for example, try telling those two great clubs that they cannot come up to the Premier League. It is worth too much money to these clubs and they deserve the chance to try and finish it off to get back into the top flight. People are still talking about voiding the season, I just cannot understand that. As I say, get the world back on track and then complete the season. Cancelling three-quarters of a season to start a fresh one is frankly ridiculous. It really is. It’s not set in stone that every season has to begin in August. These are unprecedented times and it should be amended to suit the season that is already being played out. Next season can start when it is permitted, everyone begins afresh at the same time and it’s all on a level playing field. This season that is here now, it needs finishing. Hopefully, common sense will prevail

2020 04 10 Retrieve

[John Aldridge claims Elliott will have ‘incredibly bright future’ at Liverpool] I really think Harvey Elliott has an incredibly bright future ahead of him at Liverpool. That the teenager only turned 17 last week shows just what a star he can be as he gets a little bit older in this set-up at Anfield. You can’t be the youngest player in the Premier League’s history if you are a dud. Fulham saw that and Liverpool did too, so they brought him in last summer. Looking at him, I would say his future is as a winger. He seems to be an old-school winger and it is a difficult one to play. Liverpool will be looking where Elliott’s best position is and he could even become one of the three in midfield as an attacking type or as part of that front three, but he’s got to add goals to his game. It will be tough, of course, given Liverpool’s current standing in the game but he has got the ability, no question. He is grounded too from what I have seen and that can go a long way. They might send him out on loan in the future but the fact that he has had senior game-time already shows you how highly Jurgen Klopp rates him. And Klopp will be assessing him in training every day, too because the level Liverpool play at when they are at Melwood will find players out if they cannot match it. If players are not up to it, Liverpool will find out at training, so Elliott must be doing all the right things that are being asked of him and he will be picking Klopp’s brain on how to improve so that can only be a good thing for all concerned.

2020 04 14 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Sadio Mane has no need to leave Liverpool for Barcelona] The release of the documentary tracking the career and life story of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has got people talking. Not least the part where he makes a vow to people in his Senegalese home town that he will win the Ballon d’Or. That declaration has prompted suggestions from several people that the only way Mane can realise his dream is by leaving Anfield and heading to Spain to join either Barcelona or Real Madrid. I can see what they are saying. In recent times, almost every award has been won by Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. That they have played for Barca or Real at the time has been coincidental. It has been unfortunate for so many great players that they have found themselves in an era with Messi and Ronaldo. To finish above them, you have got to have done something unbelievably special. Liverpool, though, shouldn’t be too worried about Mane’s situation. They have never before been in such a strong position to be able to keep hold of their best players. Indeed, now would be the worst time for them to start potentially cashing in. Mane has probably been our best player this season. And what’s more, he can get even better next season and perhaps even win the Champions League again. What’s more, Liverpool are a better team than either Barcelona or Real at present. When things are going well, you just have to enjoy it, and I’m sure Mane has been over the past 18 months. That said, if players really want to leave, then it’s hard to keep them in the modern era. But Mane doesn’t seem the type. Whenever I’ve spoken to him, he seems very humble, and doesn’t seem someone who would agitate for a move like other players such as Fernando Torres. And don’t forget, even if the Reds forward moves to Barcelona, for example, he’d still have to overcome Messi. Mane can win the Ballon d’Or as he’s a great player. And he has as much chance winning it while at Liverpool than anywhere else

2020 04 21 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Timo Werner has the potential to be an exciting addition at Liverpool] We would need another centre-half if Dejan Lovren goes but, as many have said on a number of occasions, it’s up front where we need quality back-up and that is where I would expect to see Liverpool doing some business. It’s amazing we have been able to get through the season the way we have without any significant injuries to Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino but you can’t expect to be that lucky every season. I have to say Timo Werner is the one who excites me the most when it comes to the potential targets who could be coming in. He looks to have all the attributes you would want from a striker in a Jurgen Klopp team and all the noises coming out of his camp seem to indicate that he would really like to play for Liverpool. And because of those going out of the club and off the wage bill, we will have money to balance the books so if Liverpool go out and spend £60+ million I’ve got no problem with that because it’s money generated through player sales and obviously from being successful on the pitch as well. The club have had a record-breaking year and the money will still be in the bank. Man Utd might go out and spend £200m - and to be fair they probably need to - and City have a fair bit of rejigging to do, with class players like David Silva and Fernandinho getting older but they both have a bigger job at hand than Liverpool do. We’re in the fortunate position where we can cherry-pick one or two just to build on the quality squad we’ve already got and that will give us an advantage when we finally begin the new season.

2020 05 05 Retrieve

[The former Reds striker hopes another attacker will be snapped up in the next window, allowing somebody to tread the same path that he once took] We are all hoping when the transfer market reopens Liverpool will be bringing in someone to bolster the front three.

It will be a big challenge for whoever it may be, whether that’s Timo Werner or someone else, and I can imagine how they will be feeling as I was in a similar situation when I arrived at Anfield.

Ian Rush had agreed to join Juventus in the summer of 1986 but was loaned back to the Reds for one more season so when I arrived the following January I already knew they were pretty big shoes to fill

I spent most of that first six months on the bench and only started two games … it was a frustrating time being limited to sub appearances.

I had to be patient and wait for the following season when it all came to fruition and whoever arrives in the summer will be faced with a similar situation as there’s no suggestion Salah, Mane or Firmino are going anywhere but we do very much need quality back-up.

The position Liverpool as a club are in now means whoever they bring in will be someone of top quality, with plenty of goals already under their belt and that should mean they’ve got plenty of confidence themselves.

They will be desperate to prove themselves on and off the pitch because the standards these days at Anfield have been set so high, as they were when I joined.

It is different now though in that it’s more of a squad game with rotation etc so there may not be as much pressure especially as the front three lads will most likely still be around.

Whoever Liverpool bring in will still have to deliver and will need that self-confidence but if it is Timo Werner, from what we have seen so far that is not something he’s short of!

2020 05 23 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Jordan Henderson deserves to be named Player of the Year for 2019-20,] In my eyes there is only one serious candidate for the Player of the Year gong and that is Liverpool’s captain. The Reds have had many brilliant and consistent performers this season - we are 25 points clear at the top of the league with nine games left for heaven’s sake - but Jordan Henderson has been the stand-out one as far as I’m concerned. When you look at some of the players who we’ve been missing at various stages of the season, the impact Jordan has made in the dressing room as well as on the field has been immense. Everyone knows it took him a while to truly find his feet at Liverpool and he’s had to deal with the fact that some fans didn’t rate him. He knuckled down, worked his socks off and surely has won all the doubters over now so it will be so fitting when he is the man to lift that trophy for us once we get those final two wins we need

When you look at the team, it would be easy to think that Virgil van Dijk is the stand-out ‘skipper’ and when the big Dutchman arrived two-and-a-half years ago, many people thought it would probably be only a matter of time before he got the armband. In any other team, Van Dijk would be the captain because he’s clearly a brilliant leader as well as being a top player but the manager stuck to his guns by keeping Jordan in the role and he’s been proved absolutely right. Jordan’s rose up and raised the bar, not just for himself but for everybody in the team, and the lads around have responded to that. He deserves to be Liverpool captain and we are lucky to have him in the middle with Van Dijk behind because that gives the side an unbelievably strong spine, with the likes of [James] Milner and [Sadio] Mane and [Andy] Robertson and others all sharing similar qualities throughout the side. It’s like when you’re making a meal, you’ve got to make sure you have the right ingredients which all work together and that’s where Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool’s team-builders at Anfield deserve enormous credit because they have cooked up something very special at Anfield

2020 05 26 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Liverpool & Werner are a marriage made in heaven] Liverpool and Timo Werner are a marriage made in heaven. From what I have seen of the striker, he would suit the Reds perfectly and offer a valuable option to Jurgen Klopp. He can play in every position across the front three and, in terms of his attributes, he has everything Liverpool would need. Especially his finishing. Many supporters will be watching Werner closely for the first time given the Bundesliga is the only major European league to have resumed following the suspension due to the coronavirus. And they’ll have surely been impressed by the manner in which he has already been knocking in the goals, particularly his hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend. It’s obvious Werner wants to come to Anfield. He’s talked it up enough times. And he’s right to say the way Liverpool play suits him. He would be better served moving to the Reds rather than going somewhere else such as Chelsea. Don’t get me wrong, he would be brilliant for Chelsea. But under Klopp, he could prosper even further. This is a manager who has helped improve obvious talent such as Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. For the price we could reportedly get Werner – if the release clause is triggered – it’s relatively cheap for a player of his ilk. However, the financial uncertainty will no doubt leave all clubs, Liverpool included, cautious to spend big money on players this summer. If Liverpool decide the deal is right, then I hope Werner is bought. I hope we don’t mess it up

2020 05 28 Retrieve

[Former Liverpool forward John Aldridge has backed Werner to be a success at Anfield] Liverpool and Timo Werner are a marriage made in heaven. From what I have seen of the striker, he would suit the Reds perfectly and offer a valuable option to Jurgen Klopp. He can play in every position across the front three and, in terms of his attributes, he has everything Liverpool would need. Especially his finishing.

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[Former Reds frontman John Aldridge says Liverpool should be doing all they can to reach a loan agreement with Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho] I think Liverpool should do all they can to bring him back to Anfield. I know there will be some fans out there who might be surprised by my call for Liverpool’s owners to hand Coutinho a route back to Anfield, but let me explain why I think this transfer could work for all parties. Despite his troubles in Spain, we are talking about a class player here who lit up the Premier League. He was a big hero of the Anfield faithful during his time at the club. He understands how English football works and would not need long to acclimatise if he returns to Liverpool. Crucially, this loan move could be funded within the tight financial boundaries Klopp is working with this summer

[With Klopp having already passed up the chance to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig] Liverpool’s decision to pull out of a deal to sign Werner confirmed they are short of cash after the coronavirus pandemic ripped a hole on football’s finances, but a one-year deal should be affordable. Coutinho didn’t handle his exit from Liverpool as well as he could have done. With his eagerness to complete what he saw as a dream move to Barcelona seeing him pull a few tricks to get out of the club. That left a nasty taste in the mouth, but we are heading into this summer with Liverpool openly admitting they can’t afford to sign top players. They could have a chance to get around that by getting Coutinho in on loan. Liverpool can’t afford to stand still and allow their opponents to close the gap they have opened up on the opposition in the Premier League. So that’s why I say a deal to bring Coutinho back on loan would make sense for all parties.

2020 06 23 Retrieve

[John Aldridge says Liverpool may have passed on the opportunity to sign Timo Werner but it would still come as a surprise if Jurgen Klopp does not look to land another striker in the next transfer window] We understand the reasons why they decided not to sign Timo Werner and how the manager and those around him are determined to build the right kind of squad and not go for quick fixes. The position they have got Liverpool into in recent years is absolute evidence that they deserve to be trusted but they’re not soft, they know there’s a possibility of losing [Mohamed] Salah and [Sadio] Mane for a period of time next January now it looks like the Africa Cup of Nations is going to be rescheduled back to that time of the year and I just wonder whether there might be a change of heart over bringing a player or two in. We’ve got Curtis Jones who can come in for [Adam] Lallana but if [Xherdan] Shaqiri goes we will need another striker, I think. It’s not easy to improve a squad as good as Liverpool’s but Chelse, amongst others, are strengthening well and will be more competitive next season, as will Manchester United who have a great looking player in [Bruno] Fernandes and will no doubt to try attract more

When you’re ahead, you have to try and make sure you stay that one step ahead so if that means going out and getting a world-class player to enhance the squad then I would like to see us do it. There will be a couple of players who leave in the summer and, while we have high hopes for some of the young lads who clearly have big futures ahead of them, I would still like to see us get someone in. Ultimately it comes down to whether Jurgen Klopp feels the same but if he does, I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen.