Tuesday, January 22 – 1935
You never can tell what Liverpool will do, but they have certainly touched a style of play foreign to their nature in the last ten years.
Once they had their big man, Harry Chambers, as holder of the ball; then he left and the club went into the wilderness and it was a solitary place where Liverpool forwards imagined fast running constituted good football and produced goals. Often they ran themselves hard and fast to the back of the net, got entangled in the mesh, and omitted to take the ball with them.
But there came a day when a change came over the scene. Vic Wright, the man who was twice transferred from Rotherham to a First Division club, got into the side. He is a quiet fellow from Bloxwich, who was found by Alex Raisbeck, the former Liverpool captain. When he strode out he took quick little steps; when he decided to pass he just edged the ball so gently, but firmly, and his precision in passing was noteworthy.
The Austrian method.
Wright struck the new note; his orchestration sounded the right key, because Gordon Hodgson, who had laboured all alone through the weary hours taking knocks and sometimes goals, was able to rest him, and on the other flank, Syd Roberts, a local boy was able to “hold” the ball.
So the forward line lived up to the name forward, and progressed. They began to use some Austrian methods; quick, first-time, first-class passes, and although the side that never could be trusted are always liable to break down when you speak nicely to them, the fact remains they are playing cleverer football this season than for many years. There is a balance, a nice cohesion in the ranks.
Berry Nieuwenhuys wants a field to himself; he loves the wide open spaces because he is not too hearty, comprez? Well, Roberts supplies the fuel from inside left, and sometimes Ted Savage, a great runner and a Beau Brummel of the game, forges ahead, and makes it easy for “Nivvy,” than whom there has never been a more compelling centrer of the ball.
Liverpool looked on the funeral match at Blackburn and went home saying, “Well two things are certain. We will beat them, and they can never play quite as badly again, so we must not take it for granted we can walk through; we must get on with our work.”
Well, they beat Sunderland, after being two goals down; they beat Portsmouth, also away after being a goal down; they have already beaten Blackburn at Ewood, so the confidence trick is their card to play. They have length and strength in their game because, while Tommy Cooper is not pulling up trees, he has given a rare confidence to Jack Tennant, the Torquay man who is keeping the captain out of his position at the moment – Ernest Blenkinsop is fit this week, but he will not be risked.
Liverpool went to Harrogate, much against the players’ general idea of special training. They wanted to be at home, but remembering about 7,000 people will go with them to Blackburn they will “feel at home.” Never have so many people gone from Liverpool to a cup-tie. Blackburn should be grateful.
If Liverpool fall to continue where they left off against Portsmouth, Sunderland Blackburn then it will be a rare fight; as it is I think Liverpool will surprise their best friends by the calm collected game they will play.
At Yeovil they fought on a lop-sided billiard board, lost a goal in four minutes but never lost their heads. I’m telling you the Liverpool club has more ballast this season than ever before – and confidence.
(Lancashire Evening Post, 22-01-1935)
George Bryan “Beau” Brummell (7 June 1778 – 30 March 1840) was an iconic figure in Regency England, the arbiter of men’s fashion, and a friend of the Prince Regent, the future King George IV. He established the mode of dress for men that rejected overly ornate fashions for one of understated, but perfectly fitted and tailored bespoke garments. This look was based on dark coats, full-length trousers rather than knee breeches and stockings, and above all immaculate shirt linen and an elaborately knotted cravat.