This weekend, we at 32 Flags are celebrating one of the most competitive, historic and fiercest rivalries in soccer. We’re talking about the derby between Liverpool and Manchester United. We’ll cover both teams inside and out in preparation for the game on Sunday. In this article, we’re telling you why you should support Liverpool in the derby.
Summary: Like their owners’ other team, the Boston Red Sox, this is a team with a long history of success. They have fallen a bit on hard times in recent years, but last season’s incredible run in the league showed that there is still life in this club. This season may be a disappointment, but as Liverpool have shown in the past, you can never count them out. For example.
Style of Play in a Tweet (140 Characters):
Pass and move. Emphasis on teamwork, controlling games with possession, hard work, and smart movement. Use quick counterattacks when needed.
5 Reasons to Support:
1. The Fans – The greatest asset to LFC is it’s fans. Widely considered one of the more knowledgeable fanbases, they try to take their club anthem, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, to heart.
2. Young Team – This squad has the youngest age average (25.6) of the entire EPL and, while it shows negatively sometimes, it definitely leads to an optimistic outlook for many who feel the future is bright.
3. Exciting play – Last season, Liverpool were the most exciting team to watch. While this wasn’t great for fans’ hearts, a leaky defense never is, the swashbuckling offense the team displayed was awe-inspiring.
4. Club History – The second most successful club in England, second only to Manchester United, this club has a unique history filled with great players, and great managers. Do yourself a favor and look up Bill Shankly.
5. Team on the Up – Even though this season has been a disappointment, many will agree that this team, with its young squad, young manager, and forward thinking philosophy, the trend is upward.
Important Dates in History:
First European Cup: 1976-1977 Season
First League Cup: 1900-1901
Hillsborough Disaster: April 15, 1989
Miracle of Istanbul: May 25, 2005
Top 5 Current Players:
1. Steven Gerrard – This living legend is the heart of the club. Starting to decline right now, but still one of the best.
2. Daniel Sturridge – When fully fit, Sturridge is one of the best strikers in the league. One of the S’s in the deadly SAS partnership last year.
3. Raheem Sterling – One of the most exciting young talents in world right now, Sterling has speed, intelligence and strength. Once he develops a reliable shot, there’s nothing to stop him.
4. Philippe Coutinho – The maestro, the magician. When Coutinho is on his game, he is capable of anything. Loves a through ball.
5. Jordan Henderson – The next in line for the captaincy, Henderson was formerly put down by many fans who thought he wasn’t good enough. Has grown to be an essential member of the team.
Top 5 Former Players:
1. Kenny Dalglish – The King of the Kop. Former striker and manager of the club during one of it’s most successful periods.
2. Ian Rush – The most prolific striker in the clubs history. If you gave him the ball, he’d score.
3. John Barnes – The winger that all Liverpool wingers stand in the shadow of. Could do it all, dribble, pass, cross, and shoot.
4. Luis Suarez – A player modern Liverpool fans will be very familiar with. This season’s Liverpool are definitely missing his ability to make something out of nothing and infectious, never-say-die attitude.
5. Graham Souness – Midfield enforcer and general from the Bob Paisley squad that won everything. Not as good a manager when he returned, but legendary player.
Top 5 Hated Teams:
1. Manchester United – This is less a rivalry and more of a hatred. The two most successful teams in England have a hatred that goes back to the Industrial Revolution and transcends sports.
2. Everton – The rivalry between these two Liverpool clubs has been known as the “Friendly Derby” for the fact that many families in Liverpool are split between the two teams. Usually one of the more exciting games on the calender.
3. Chelsea – Another team that is more of a hatred than a rivalry, this is far more recent than the United rivalry. A lot of it stems from the Abromivich era at Chelsea, with many Scousers having a distaste for the success they “bought”.
4. Arsenal – While there is not a ton of ill will between these two clubs, what bad blood there is comes from being successful for so long. Both clubs have spent time as the most successful in England and have clashed many, many times in the quest for glory.
5. AC Milan – This rivalry largely comes from one game. The final in Istanbul. Since then, these two giants have met in another Champions League final and numerous times outside of the league. It’s usually quite a match to behold.
Top 5 People to Hate:
1. Alex Ferguson – This one is easy. The man who made Manchester United what they are today. Why wouldn’t Liverpool hate him? It doesn’t help that he hates them back.
2. Roy Hodgson – This dislike stems from his woeful management of the club after Rafa Benitez was given the sack. His demoralizing play and media comments didn’t help his case with the fans. He has since become England manager and hurt his stock with the Kop even more with injuries (though not entirely his fault) to Liverpool players.
3. Wayne Rooney – An Evertonian who went on to become an idol at Manchester United? Yeah, he was always going to be on this list.
4. Tom Hicks and George Gillette – There are few people more hated on the red side of Liverpool than Tom Hicks and George Gillette. The former owners of the club were dismissive towards fans and oversaw much of the decline that Liverpool were in during the last decade. Their mismanagement of the team nearly put Liverpool into administration before John Henry bought the team.
5. Fernando Torres – Oh, Fernando. You could have been a legend. This former hero of the Kop left in a terrible manner, requesting a transfer on deadline day back in 2012. The fact that he left for a rival is even worse. Forever hurt his reputation with the fans that loved him most.
1. Most European Championship titles of any English team (They won it five times)
2. The Miracle of Istanbul, where Liverpool overcame a 3-0 deficit to win in penalties after extra time, is considered one of the best Champions League finals ever.
3. Have played at their home stadium of Anfield since their formation. It was Everton’s, their local rivals, home stadium before that.
4. The Spion Kop, or just Kop for short, is the name of the fan section at Anfield. This section has become famous for their vocal support and for their rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone before matches.
5. You’ll Never Walk Alone was first sung at Anfield November 30, 1968 and has since become the club’s anthem.