Liver­pool need a leader to end ti­tle drought: Hy­sen

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

STOCK­HOLM:

Liver­pool need to find a leader and make An­field a fortress again to end their long ti­tle drought, former Reds de­fen­sive an­chor Glenn Hy­sen said.

Hy­sen was part of the last Liver­pool team to lift the league tro­phy in 1990, and ahead of their New Year’s Eve clash with Manch­ester City, he be­lieves the ti­tle had be­come a mon­key on the backs of the current squad.

“I think it’s em­bed­ded in their minds - ‘you haven’t won the league since 1990’ - and if you get that, it’s tough. But I know that the whole town is op­ti­mistic,” he told Reuters.

Sec­ond-placed Liver­pool trail league lead­ers Chelsea by six points be­fore to­day’s games. The Reds showed char­ac­ter to come back from a goal down to thrash Stoke City 4-1 on Tues­day, but Hy­sen be­lieves they still lack the gen­eral that could lead them to Premier League glory.

“They’re still miss­ing a real leader in the mid­dle, a Steven Ger­rard type. Guys like that don’t ar­rive ev­ery day. Jor­dan Hen­der­son is OK - he’s not the kind that dic­tates, but he’s still young.”

Hav­ing dropped points to Bournemouth and West Ham United re­cently, Hy­sen be­lives vic­tory over City will be nec­es­sary if Liver­pool are to stay in touch with the lead­ers.

“There’s a long way to go, but it’d be a damn good thing if they beat City. The four points they dropped to Bournemouth and West Ham...the league might be de­cided by four points. You have to take those points,” he said.

“If they beat City, it won’t de­cide the whole league, but they’ll be in the pic­ture.”

Hy­sen still at­tends five or six games a year at An­field, and says that the at­mos­phere in the city is dif­fer­ent since Juer­gen Klopp took over. “Klopp has turned it around bril­liantly. Ev­ery­one in the city who likes Liver­pool goes around with their chin up. Ev­ery­one is happy, he’s great and ev­ery­one likes him, they love him.”

Aside from Klopp’s in­flu­ence, Hy­sen be­lieves there is still a long way to go in terms of re­build­ing the at­mos­phere of in­vin­ci­bil­ity that reigned when he was a Liver­pool player from 1989 to 1992.

“When you went in to An­field in those days, you were un­beat­able. You went out with an un­be­liev­able self-con­fi­dence,” said the 57-year-old, who also rep­re­sented PSV Eind­hoven, IFK Gothen­burg and Fiorentina, as well as the Swedish na­tional team.

“You al­ways thought you were go­ing to beat the other team, so it was very hard for op­po­nents to come there and win a game. The Kop was magic.”

De­spite an in­crease in ca­pac­ity, the pres­sure-cooker at­mos­phere of An­field is now a thing of the past. “Liver­pool is more and more a big Euro­pean city, there’s a lot of tourists who go to see Liver­pool,” Hy­sen said.

“The at­mos­phere isn’t as good un­for­tu­nately, but when they sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ it still sends shivers down the spine.”

Still an avid Liver­pool fan, Hy­sen be­lieves it is only a mat­ter of time be­fore the Merseysiders are back on top of English foot­ball. “They can’t go for an­other three or four years with­out winning the league,” he said. — Reuters

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