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Liverpool’s team from seven years ago will make you weep then realise how far they’ve come

How the Reds managed to stay in the league with this squad we will never know

The year was 2011, West Ham still played at Upton Park, Donald Trump was just the host of the Apprentice and England fans didn’t even know Iceland had a football team.

Liverpool were under the management of Kenny Dalglish and they were playing with one of the worst squads in recent memory.

Fast forward seven years and the Reds reached the Champions League final and are one of the most dangerous sides in Europe with a potential Ballon d’Or winner.


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Firmino trying to kick Salahs head off

Getty - Contributor
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Firmino trying to kick Salahs head off

But it is important to remember the past to understand how far the club has come and why their last season in particular was so impressive.

Firstly, Liverpool finished sixth in the Premier League in 2010-11 which is a world away from where they are now but with the team they had Dalglish should be given a knighthood for his services to football.

Fergie-esque turning awful players into mediocrity.

Martinez trying pick up some tips on technique

AFP
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Martinez trying pick up some tips on technique

Just over seven years ago Liverpool hosted Birmingham at Anfield in the league, smashing five past the Blues without conceding.

Dalglish is a Liverpool legend and deserves all his plaudits and personally with the tools he had to work with it could have been a lot worse during this period.

That matchday squad from 2011 includes a who’s who of players who never deserved to pull on the famous red top and run out in front of the Kop.

Hands up if you remember this man wearing a Liverpool shirt, no cheating

PA:Empics Sport
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Hands up if you remember this man wearing a Liverpool shirt, no cheating

Jack Robinson, Jon Flanagan and Jay Spearing all made it into the starting XI that day in support of the likes of Luis Suarez, Dirk Kuyt and Raul Meireles.

Talk about Yin and Yang.

To truly understand how far the team has come let’s have a look where those three ended up.

Robinson left Liverpool after six appearances in four years for a spell of loan moves around the Championship before a jarred knee put his career on halt in 2015.


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Spearing racked up a full 55 over five years before being shipped off to Bolton by Brendan Rodgers who realised maybe Spearing wasn’t the long term replacement for Stevie G.

Flanagan actually scored for Liverpool and was even called up to the England senior squad but he has since plead guilty to assaulting his girlfriend so that’s the last about him.

Look away now Liverpool fans

Action Images - Reuters
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Look away now Liverpool fans

Further down the squad list for that fateful day you see the likes of Conor Coady, Christian Poulsen, Sotrios Kyrgiakos and David N’Gog.

It makes you wonder how on earth anyone at Liverpool allowed the situation to arise where a league squad would contain as many as seven players so distant from the level of Gerrard and Suarez.

I guess that’s transfer committees for you.

Just for clarity, N’Gog is currently playing for Ross County.

Outrageous pinching of the Didier Drogba celebration

Bradley Ormesher - The Times
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Outrageous pinching of the Didier Drogba celebration

In the intervening period between this great day at Anfield and the Champions League final, Liverpool went on some journey.

Dalglish was sacked and your man Rodgers brought in.

The Northern Irishman instilled character in the team and came one Gerrard slip away from bringing a Premier League title to Anfield.

There was progress under Rodgers but Liverpool were challenging Spurs as the nearly men.

Good times

Getty Images - Getty
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Good times

It wasn’t until Jurgen Klopp came along with his teeth and lovely German accent and changed the nature of the side at Anfield.

One Europa League final and very nearly a Champions League final win later, we are finally looking at what is nearly the finished article.

The attacking unit of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is dripping in pace and creativity, the midfield is full of power and strength and the defence is improving.

I mean you can’t imagine a European final where Spearing is sending perfectly weighted through balls to N’Gog who is terrorising a defence, can you?


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