June 22, 1967
Feature of Liverpool’s pre-season visit to Germany to play three warm-up matches is that they face again the Cologne team whom they met three times in that spectacular European Cup quarter final two years ago … when the Reds went through on that unsatisfactory toss of a disc after drawing 2-2 in the play-off at Rotterdam.
The game in Cologne on August 4 is the first of the three match series Liverpool play on their ten-day trip, and there could be some “needle” in this clash rather than the friendly atmosphere which is intention of the tour.
The Liverpool party fly to Germany on August 3 and stay at Cologne until August 7. They will be using the Cologne club’s raining ground while they are there before moving on to Hamburg, where they meet that city’s team on August 8.
The final match is in Hannover on August 12, the team returning on August 13 – just six days before the opening of our Football League season in August 19.
Although the season’s fixtures will not be available for publication for some days yet, Liverpool are away at Manchester City on the opening day.
Liverpool are hoping that the stiff three-game programme in Germany will bring the team right up to peak fitness. And as Liverpool have been notoriously slow starters in recent years, this innovation could help them find their stride without delay and without dropping points, as has been their habit in the opening few matches.
But it has been the experience of other League clubs, who have played in Germany in pre-season tours recently, notably Manchester United and Aston Villa, that German teams play the game hard even tough the matches are intended to help players to find match fitness in a friendly sort of way.
It is to be hoped that Liverpool do not find the German teams playing as though their national honour is at stake. Manager Bill Shankly has arranged for his players to train each day, using the facilities of the host clubs in each case, just as though his men were at Melwood.
The matches will enable him to try out any new tactical switches of his staff which he may have in mind and for this reason alone the team should benefit.
(Source: Liverpool Echo: June 22, 1967)