August 6, 1968
Liverpool’s wing wizard, Peter Thompson, is likely to have a different role than that of an orthodox winger in the coming season. He reacted to his new briefing, at Hull on Friday night, with a display which, according to manager Bill Shankly, showed the spectators “all the arts and crafts of football.”
Mr. Shankly explained to me that Peter was going to be given more freedom to roam, to attack down the middle, to vary his game as the pattern of each game demanded. It is obvious that Liverpool will have a more fluid attacking style than last season with Thompson a key man.
Peter Thompson, key man for Liverpool.
He will be able to use his artistry, speed and power of shot without being pinned to the wing and he can be devastating with his powerful bursts. His shooting ability, often scraped as he cuts in from the wing, will be seen to better advantage down the centre.
He revelled in this tactical style at Hull on a pitch which Mr. Shankly described as “magnificent – you could have played billiards on it.”
It was his shooting as well as his dribbling skill which delighted the fans. Like Emlyn Hughes, now settled to a midfield role, Thompson is obviously going to enjoy his new job.
Although Mr. Shankly did not see his opening opponents Manchester City win the Charity Shield last Saturday, he has all the information about them that he needs. He told me
“City are unique among the top clubs because they play like a pre-war team. They don’t follow the routine pattern these days, for example, of having a second centre half or a definite striker.
“They are all running, all moving, all doing several jobs. You see a wing half up in attack one moment, then the same man defending. It’s not the man on the ball you have to watch, but the men off it.”
The opening game at Anfield now has ever more attraction after the spectacular performance of City against West Bromwich last Saturday. This really should be a tremendous start to what promises to be yet another highly successful season for our local clubs – and football in the North generally.
(Liverpool Echo, Michael Charters, 06-08-1968)