Thursday 23 January 2020

Grafters will end the long wait for glory - Souness

Graeme Souness. Photo: PA
Graeme Souness. Photo: PA

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness believes that the grafters in Jurgen Klopp's current side are the reason why they will not throw away the Premier League crown and can, at last, end Anfield's wait for a league title.

Souness won five league medals in his time as a Reds player but the club have, of course, gone three decades without a league success.

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Already 13 points clear, Liverpool face one of Souness's former clubs, Tottenham, this evening as they close in on the league. And for Souness, it's the lesser lights such as Jordan Henderson who make sure their lead will not unravel.

"He's a workaholic and I would imagine that he is a really good guy to work with. I would imagine that he is a really good type who turns up, trains properly every day," Souness said.

"For him to be effective he has got to be at full tilt, with 100 per cent effort, because he is not blessed with silky skills.

"He has to be at it so that rubs off on people. Would you want him around you? Most certainly.

"You need people to complement what you have already got. Wijnaldum and him (Henderson) and James Milner, they would be a dream to work with in terms of the attitude that they show.

"And that's why I just cannot see Liverpool having any sort of a collapse. They have worked out that for their experienced players to have influence in games they have to play like that. They have to be bang at it in a physical sense."

Compete

Souness stresses the need for the side to also compete on two fronts.

"When you are in that situation, you don't pick and choose. You don't say at five minutes to three 'it's the league today' or in City's case 'we're not at it'," he says.

"You are at it every time that you go out and that's what big players can do. They can get themselves to that place on a more regular basis than the lesser players.

"So it's not a case of picking and choosing when you give 100 per cent. I would have hated for anyone to suggest that about me or the team that I played in."

Souness links Manchester City's imminent surrender of their title to their squad issues and the failure to replace Vincent Kompany.

"Injuries and I think you can trace it back to Vincent Kompany being allowed to leave," he added.

"I think that City made some errors in their transfer policy, signing Cancelo for £62m, who is a full-back and only a full-back.

"It looks like they are not entirely happy with him.

"They let Kompany go and you don't replace him. Then you are looking at a back four, certainly the centre-backs, that you are not entirely happy with."

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