JOINING Gareth Roberts in the studio for the second And Could He Play were Neil Atkinson and Neil Scott.
This time the legend is someone who loved a big game as much as he loved a big tackle.
The unsung player was once compared to a fluffy animal by a Liverpool manager and the cult hero had a wonderfully simple song.
All three could play. And Could He Play.
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DIRECT LINK – TAW PLAYER: AND COULD HE PLAY 31/03
Enjoyed that. I would put Souness on a par with Dalglish (for me, Suarez was the best player we ever had although obviously both Souness and Dalglish made a bigger overall contribution to the club).
I just watched a Youtube clip of his best goals, for old times sake. It’s amusing to see how players reacted after scoring in the late-70s and early-80s.
Basically, players had no rhythm whatsoever, nor did they have a clue what to do when they celebrated. They would go on a bit of a run, before making an awkward-looking jump which achieved very little elevation. They would then plant their feet with arms clenched at right-angles.
As soon as they began the run, their team-mates would desperately try to tackle them and stop the scorer in his tracks.
It was almost as if they were trying to rescue the scorer from his fate of having to express himself creatively with a public celebration. Saving him from embarrassment, like a wife who spots her drunken husband sashaying onto the dancefloor at a family do. Quickly grabbing him, giving him a big kiss and ushering him back to the table before too many relatives notice!
It’s easy to forget just how little swagger and confidence the vast majority of working-class people had back then (at least as individuals – collectively they were far more assured). Watch an old episode of Bullseye and compare how the contestants behave, compared to gameshow guests nowadays. They seemed crippled with a desperate fear of making a show of themselves.
Then again, perhaps I have got it all wrong and the reason players were not very good at basking in the limelight after a goal was because their job was not to be an individual – it was to be part of a team?
Probably the greatest, all round, British player, ever!