Liverpool goes for the youth


Friday, January 6 – 1939
Liverpool directors have decided that youth can carry them through to a cup triumph over the fast, go-ahead Luton Town side.

At their meeting last night they created something of a sensation by leaving out four players who have been regular members of the first team up to Christmas.

They are Tommy Cooper, the captain of the club, Arthur Riley, the South African goalkeeper, Fred Rogers, the former Frodsham centre half, and Bill Kinghorn, the former Queens Park outside left.

Harley who, for the most part, has operated at left back, will cross to the right in place of Cooper, and young Bernard Ramsden, hero of some cup struggles last season, comes in at left back.

Kemp will fit the shoes of his fellow countryman, Riley, and 18-year-old George Paterson will be outside left.

Paterson joined the club about two seasons ago from the Hall Russell club – a junior side in Aberdeen. He has been playing as an inside forward with the Central League and ‘A’ teams, but was experimented with at outside left in the recent league games against Stoke City. He created a fine impression.

Under the conditions which will prevail, perhaps it is wiser to rely on the speed and dash of youth rather than the more artistic and methodical ways of experience.

Speed to the ball and strength in the tackle will prove important factors in this tie, which should furnish a thrilling struggle.

Luton will step on to the field as one of the best away teams in the country. Only five teams in the Football League have won more matches away from home. Luton’s total is five.

Just because Luton are a Second Division team it does not signify that this is a “good thing” for Liverpool. Rest assured that Luton will set out to put Liverpool out of their stride by the quickness of their intervention. However, I know Liverpool to be quick in their interception, and they have a defence of great power and alertness.

Granted, in Redfern, Billington, and Connelly, the town have three inside-forwards who can vary their tactics splendidly, but it is because of the Reds’ power at half-back that I think Liverpool will win through at the first attempt.

In Busby, Bush and McInnes, Liverpool have three great workers.

I would counsel Bush not to venture too far afield, but to play more as a defensive pivot, allowing Busby and McInnes to do more of the constructive work.

Another word of advice to the Reds. In Nieuwenhuys they have a real match winner; in Paterson they have a boy who can hold a ball, draw the opposition and make his pass. They should exploit the extreme wingers on every possible occasion.

Remember, too, that the wingers will be operating on the best turf.

I think Liverpool will win.

Intending spectators can secure grand stand tickets at the turnstiles, by the stay.

Liverpool. – Dirk Kemp, Jim Harley, Bernard Ramsden, Matt Busby, Tom Bush, Jimmy McInnes, Berry Nieuwenhuys, Phil Taylor, Willie Fagan, Jack Balmer, George Paterson.

Luton Town. – Joe Coen, Tom King, Tom Dunsmore, John Finlayson, Gordon Dreyer, Fred Roberts, Charlie Clarke, Billy Redfern, Hugh Billington, Eddie Connelly, George Stephenson.
(Evening Express, 06-01-1939)

Matt Busby, Liverpool’s captain for the Luton Town-tie.
1939 LFC image v Luton Town captain Matt Busby

George Paterson.
1939 LFC image v Luton Town captain George Paterson

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