Brian Tompkins: I jumped on the Liverpool bandwagon during the Roger Hunt and Ian St. John era in the late 60's and early 70's and have been on it ever since. Even though I grew up in the South of England I was always taken by the aura of the club, the stories of the famous Kop, the red kit and of course, the messianic magnetism of Bill Shankly. Interestingly I have seen Liverpool play all over England and the United States but have only seen one game at Anfield over the years. I saw them beat Manchester United 2-0 and I still get chills recalling the feeling in the stadium when they sang "You'll Never Walk Alone." Bucket list checked!
SB: What are your thoughts on Liverpool's squad for the season? Could this be the team to return the club to the top four of the Premier League?
BT: I like the Brendan Rodgers approach to squad development; he knows the way he wants to play and he knows the types of players that can help him accomplish it. He hasn't bought big names just for the sake of it; he has acquired specific pieces to fit into a tactical puzzle that may take a few more years to solidify. The Suarez situation was a major media distraction, but hasn't affected the early results so hopefully he can be reintegrated and make the team even stronger. Daniel Sturridge appears to be maturing into a more reliable attacking presence and Coutinho has brought a spark and flair that has been absent for some time. Whether they have the durability and depth of talent to claim a Champions League place remains to be seen, but with the arrival of some defensive cover for Agger and Toure they should be tougher and harder to score against. This could be the year they mount a more sustained challenge for the top four spots.
BT: Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool
SB: Which three teams will be relegated?
BT: Crystal Palace, Hull, Sunderland
SB: Who are your picks of best players during the Premier League era at the following positions: Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder, and Forward?
BT: GK: Peter Schmeichel
D: Rio Ferdinand
MF: Paul Scholes/Frank Lampard/ Patrick Vieira
F: Dennis Bergkamp/Thierry Henry/ Alan Shearer/ Eric Cantona
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