The secret behind the success


Friday, December 28 – 1979
There is no secret formula behind Liverpool’s 16-year saga of success in domestic and European football.
Just one word explains it all … efficiency.
It is a word which applies at all levels of the club’s administration.
From chairman John Smith, via the best club secretary in the business, Peter Robinson, through manager Bob Paisley and his coaching staff and, not least, the players themselves.
Football is a game of chance, yet Liverpool have gone as far as it is possible to eliminate chance.
It is that which just occasionally exposes them to the accusation – which is also a compliment – of being boring. They are so efficient it can seem boring.
It starts pre-season when, in an era of physical fitness. Liverpool get their players fitter than almost any other club.
As a consequence, they have fewer injuries, and, in turn, need to make fewer team changes.
There is fanatical loyalty – an increasingly rare commodity these days – within the club, and no player is bigger than the club.
With unerring regularity one or two players are integrated each season, and one or two older players, no matter how famous, are moved on before they become a liability.
Yet the players are financially rewarded to the extent that there are few, if any, pay rows or cases of players refusing to re-sign.
Of course, success breeds success and what player in his right mind would want to leave Liverpool? But when was there last a “shock, horror” story to come out of Anfield?
Lastly – or perhaps firstly – the efficiency is exemplified by the football on the pitch, a perfection of the possession game.
Sir Alf Ramsey used to talk endlessly of the importance of accurate passing. That is what football is about and Liverpool are, collectively, the best passing team in Europe – probably in the world.
In the current environment of English Soccer, they have attained a position compareable to Rolls-Royce. Others may be faster, flashier or more fun from time to time, but it is difficult to imagine any team equaling them for solid efficiency.
(Daily Express, David Miller, 28-12-1979)

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