Liverpool's Greatest Premier League Xl (Part 2 - Midfielders!)

We've covered the back five that will form the backbone of this team and will now be moving on to the midfielders.

Since the Premier League was formed in 1992, we have been really fortunate to have seen some really great Liverpool players strut their stuff at Anfield. Yes, the golden era might have been in the 80s, but we sure did have some truly magnificent players that graced the Premier League who captured the hearts and minds of the famous Kop.

Ok, the XI we all dream of but maybe not too many goals here...

Midfield Maestros

Will Christian Poulsen make it into the list?

The most gifted footballers arguably often end up as midfielders. It is a position that often decides the game, and players have to master both the understanding and technical aspect of it to truly boss the show.

We've selected a 4-3-3 formation for this Liverpool Boleh's Premier League All Time Greatest Liverpool XI, and here's our best midfield three.

Come on, Poulsen.

DM: Dietmar Hamann

The German who won it all at Anfield

Didi Hamann
One of the best defensive midfielders of all time

Dietmar Hamann was never the sort of player to grab the headlines after each game, and that’s not to say he hasn’t had quite a career at Liverpool. In fact, the influential German is very much the opposite. He was a key part of Liverpool’s midfield in the early 2000s, racking up 191 appearances for the Reds.

Born in the same year as the brilliant Claude Makelele, Hamann might just well be considered as the best defensive midfielder of his time if not for the diminutive Frenchma who played in the same era.

They both played huge roles in redefining the number 6 position, combining defensive qualities along with quick, accurate passing – meaning that they are a key part to set up the attacks as well.

His seven years at the club saw him established himself as one of the most consistent players in the league, winning practically all the major trophies possible, including the 2000-2001 cup treble winning season. Like many others, the highlight will undoubtedly be the 2005 Champions League victory, where he came on in the second half and played an integral role in the remarkable comeback.

Watch Rafa Benitez and Carragher’s recent analysis on that fateful night at Istanbul – which further highlights what a key member of the squad Didi is.

CM: Xabi Alonso

The Spanish Andre Pirlo

Xabi Alonso
From spectacular halfway line goals to Hollywood balls, Alonso was a class act
Woah, woah, woah. We’ve got the best midfield in the world... We’ve got Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Gerrard and Mascherano!’

What a time that was, and what a perfect song that was too.

Seriously though, you would struggle to find a man more perfect than the former in the chant. Alonso had everything – good looks, a jawline that can Johnny Depp will be proud of, hair never a strand out of place and most importantly a swagger that made him one of Liverpool’s finest midfielders of all time.

Starting his career at Real Sociedad, it was a former Liverpool man (football romance at its finest once again) who really recognized his talent. John Toshack, then manager of Real Sociedad, turned to Alonso after a poor start to the season and made him team captain.

It was a move that paid off handsomely, with Alonso helping the team to climb out of the relegation zone and finishing 14th that season. Alonso carried on his tremendous growth in Spain, slowly gaining a complete understanding of his game during his stint at the technically demanding La Liga. It wasn't long before his world-class technique and vision caught the attention of Europe big boys, and by 2004 he joined the Spanish contingent at Anfield that was taking shape under Rafa Benitez.

He went on to make 143 appearances for Liverpool, with his highlight of his time at Anfield of course the 2005 Champions League night. He played a key role too, scoring the dramatic equaliser past acclaimed Brazilian goalkeeper Dida to complete the dramatic comeback.

His style of play saw him excel in the deep-lying playmaker role, pinging long Hollywood balls for fun while protecting the backline with his positional sense. The Hollywood balls soon became his trademark, and we are certain he was the one that made that technique such an important weapon in most midfielders’ arsenal today.

He went on to complete his illustrious career at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, winning major titles including the domestic titles along the way, all while being crowned European (twice) and World Champions with Spain.

CM: Steven Gerrard

Cut my veins open and I bleed Liverpool red. I love Liverpool with a burning passion.”  

Quite simply the best Liverpool player of all time

Where do we even begin? An all-time great, there is no way Steven Gerrard can be left out of this list. Heck, he deserves all three spots if necessary. Gerrard was everything a child growing up watching football aspires to be. His professionalism, dedication and leadership shone throughout his career, establishing himself as one of the world’s best centre midfielder of all time.

He single-handedly won Liverpool matches (and trophies) time and time again, putting in performances that were truly unforgettable. The 6 minutes at Istanbul of course shines the brightest on his glowing CV, but who can forget the performance against West Ham in the FA Cup final?

Gerrard combined power, pace and technique to devastating effect, ripping teams apart throughout his 17 years at Anfield. Best known as the perfect box-to-box player, he did however start his career on the flanks, switching between wide right midfielder and right back.

His versatility also saw him evolve tactically as well during his career, being played as a second striker (remember his partnership with Fernando Torres?) and a quarterback role he famously played under Brendan Rodgers. It was this versatility, together with his ability to attack and defend, that saw him widely regarded as the most complete midfielder.

“Oh yaaaa beauty. What a hit son, what a hit!”

His goals were a huge part of his game, and man did he score some spectacular goals throughout his career. In fact, one of the things that we probably miss about football from the 2000s was the often ridiculous thunderbolts from outside the box that are unfortunately not as common a sight you will see today.

Those goals gets you jumping off the edge of your seats, and for a split second, forget about everything else around you. And Steven Gerrard was a master at that. Who can forget his outside of the foot half volley against Middlesbrough, or the strike against Olympiakos that created one of the most iconic football commentaries?

Just picture this: Captain Fantastic bearing down the centre of the pitch at full flight, powering past helpless attempts to steal the ball, before dropping his right shoulder which he does so well to beat another defender, and a quick acceleration again to set himself up for the spectacular. The roof of the net bulges, followed by an eruption at Anfield.

That was a sight to behold, and one the Premier League was surely lucky to witness time and time again.


DM: Dietmar Hamann

CM: Xabi Alonso

CM: Steven Gerrard

Liverpool Boleh’s All Time Best Defenders

Liverpool Boleh’s All Time Best Forwards

Honorable mentions: Jordan Henderson, Steve McManaman, Javier Mascherano, Philippe Coutinho