Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McMahon has insisted the great Reds teams he was a part of in the 1980s would have given Jurgen Klopp’s current champions a run for their money.
Speaking to TEAMtalk at a BT Sport event, the one-time midfield powerhouse, who won three First Division titles during his time with Liverpool, argued that Jurgen Klopp’s current team still have much to prove as they look to build on the club’s first English league title win in 30 years.
When asked to compare the title-winning sides he played in with Klopp’s class of 2020, McMahon was quick to suggest current Reds skipper Jordan Henderson may not get into the midfield he was a part of.
“Jordan has done fantastically well over the last couple of seasons, but is he a better player than Jan Molby or me? I don’t think so,” stated McMahon.
“Virgil van Dijk would get into any team in any era, he is that good, but the rest of the comparisons between the current team and our side are not so clear.
“Alisson over Bruce Grobbelaar in goal? You could argue for that, but Bruce is a Liverpool legend and I feel a lot of the 19987/88 title-winning team would get into the current side.
“Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have been wonderful for Liverpool over the past couple of years, but the reality is they have won one Champions League and they are about to win their first Premier League title.
“I’m not saying they are not fantastic players because they are, but the players of the past are often overlooked when these debates are had and it’s not right.
“Don’t forget, that was one of best teams we ever saw in the old First Division and we won trophy after trophy, year after year, which is something this team has not managed to do yet.
“Come back to me in three years time and if this current team has won a succession of titles, won the Champions League a few times and added three or four domestic cups, then they will be in the mix to be compared to the legends the game, but they are not there yet.”
So many stats in the modern game are focused on the Premier League era, but McMahon believes the legends of the game who played before 1992 are not given the credit they deserve.
“The debates about the best players we have seen are always off the mark for me because most of them only focus on the Premier League era,” continues McMahon.
“You could be forgiven for thinking there was no football played before 1992. It’s crazy!
“A lot of pundits like Gary Lineker and Graeme Souness never played in the Premier League and yet when the statistics come up on Sky, everything starts in 1992. The best goal scorers charts, who was the best midfielder, who is the best team of all-time… they are all great debates, but they don’t have to start in 1992.
“The legendary Liverpool teams of the 1970s and early 80s have to be in the mix when we talk about the best teams of all-time and there were some incredible players who left their mark on the game before 1992, but we have had to get used to this idea that the Premier League is all that matters now.
“We didn’t have massive TV deals or live matches on TV every day when I was playing, but we still had some incredible moments that are a part of English football history.”
BT Sport will be the home of the Champions League and Europa League, with both competitions set to reach a thrilling conclusion next month.