There are many things in modern football about which we might feel the need to be against — high ticket prices, rainbow coloured boots, kicking the ball out of bounds for an injured opposition player — but none receives so little attention as the silly squad number. Back when football was real and men were men, footballers wore sensible numbers associated closely with their position on the pitch. If a gentleman wore 9 you knew what he was all about; if he wore 2, you could probably make an educated guess.
But it wasn't always this way. In the olden times, back when the sport we love so much was known as footeballe, numbers weren't handed out based on player position. No, numbers were determined through the ancient art of numerology; tea leaves and necromancy be damned, this is where the real fate of each player was to be determined. Pre-season coincided with the summer solstice, and club managers would venture to the outskirts of town to consult the local mage and have the starting eleven's numbers read.
Dejan Lovren, freshly welcomed into the Liverpool family, had his own number ceremony this week and was awarded the number 6. But is it the right number for the player according to ancient numbering traditions? Are any of Liverpool's players wearing the right number? Will Brendan Rodgers be able to extract 150% effort and 134% passion from his players if the numbers on their backs aren't closely aligned with the psychic roles they play?
Let's find out!
|1||The most independent, unconventional, and individualistic of all numbers. It represents the beginning, the source, the innovator, the originator, and the uniqueness of the individualist.|
Brad Jones is Liverpool's current number one. Without taking anything away from the finest head of hair in the squad, amongst the current players there is only one who could wear this number. Steven Gerrard is the longest serving member of the squad, and the only remaining player from the team that won Champions League in 2005. He can be both the beginning and the end should he come full circle and win that title again with this current crop of players.
Alternately, Philippe Coutinho could deserve a good shout as Liverpool's #1 given a tricksy talent that knows no bounds and confuses opposition players on the regular. Lil Phil with the littlest number of all.
|2||The most gentle of all numbers, and represents cooperation, diplomacy, and tact. It is a supportive number and often plays the role of advisor.|
Glen Johnson is Liverpool's current number 2. Wee Joe Allen is benign, inoffensive, and does his job without complaint no matter whether he's in the starting line up or on the bench. Wee Joe!
|3||The most playful of all numbers. It is creative, inspirational, and motivating. Self expression and communication are it's central qualities. It is a happy-go-lucky number; both optimistic and enthusiastic|
Jose Enrique is Liverpool's current number 3. The numerologist in residence during Kenny Dalglish's reign got this one spot on.
|4||The most practical of all numbers, with a sharp eye for details. It is orderly, systematic, methodical, precise, reliable, dependable. It does what it says it will do...is honest, trustworthy, and without artifice.|
Kolo Toure is Liverpool's current number 4. Brendan Rodgers' current numerologist did well on this one, as Toure has been exemplary in a practical supporting role as the reliable, dependable fourth choice centre back in the squad.
|5||The most dynamic of all numbers. It is persuasive; a promoter and a salesperson par-excellence. It is versatile and adaptable...an experimenter and explorer. It is bright, quick-witted, and a straight shooter with extraordinary reflexes. It can be easily distracted with a love for sensual pleasures and immediate gratification.|
Daniel Agger is Liverpool's current number 5. Liverpool's recently departed striker Luis Suarez would have been a perfect number 5, but in his wake Raheem Sterling could very well develop the same characteristics. He's a bright talent who convinced managers at both club and country level to take a chance on a young kid, and neither regretted it. Though he still has much developing to do, Sterling is already a quick and creative player who has done well in a variety of positions on the pitch.
|6||The most loving of all numbers. It is harmonious will all other numbers, and is committed, caring, sympathetic, protective, and nurturing, as well as responsible, self-sacrificing, and undemanding. It is domestic, marriage and family oriented, and community conscious. It is the teacher and the healer.|
Dejan Lovren is Liverpool's current number 6. It's clear that instead of #21, Lucas Leiva should be wearing the number 6. No other player takes his teammates under his wing and welcomes them into his home like the Brazilian, and his nickname of "Papa Lucas" is well earned. Few in recent memory have done more to make their teammates feel at home than Lucas.
|7||The most spiritual of all numbers. It is the seeker of truth, and is mental, analytical, focused, contemplative, and meditative. It is the accumulator of knowledge and wisdom, and the intellectual and abstract thinker. It is insightful and understanding, self-oriented, and often withdrawn. It is the scientist, philosopher, preacher, scholar, and sage.|
Liverpool's number 7 is currently vacant. Read any interview with Mamadou Sakho and it becomes instantaneously clear that the man is incredibly intelligent, thoughtful, and measured in the way he sees and speaks about the world and his place in it. Few people, let alone few footballers, have such a good handle on the way the world should work as opposed to the unfortunate way it often does work.
|8||The most result-oriented of all numbers. It represents the balance between the material and the spiritual world. It is powerful, ambitious, and money conscious...yet generous. It understands money as a tool. It is the leader and the business person. It is understanding, forgiving, and broadminded.|
Steven Gerrard is Liverpool's current number 8. Pepe Reina is having a heck of a time finding a starting role at any club give his hefty wage demands, and while it's fair for a goalkeeper still in his early thirties to have designs on a starting spot, he may need to reconsider his compensation expectations if he is to achieve that goal.
|9||The most most humanitarian of all numbers. It is effort and sacrifice without the need for reward. It is giving, sharing, loving, and caring. It is the statesperson, politician, lawyer, writer, philosopher and idealist. It is worldwide consciousness, genius, and a synthesizer.|
Rickie Lambert is Liverpool's current number 9. Jordan Henderson has spent three seasons toiling without fanfare to imrpove both his own game and that of his club. Even at his most underappreciated when he was nearly used as a makeweight in a transfer deal that would have see him spend at least a season at Craven Cotttage, the midfielder was determined to fight for his place in spite of the lack of faith shown in him by so many. Proving everyone wrong was a reward in and of itself.
But what of Liverpool's players who wear numbers higher than nine? Simple combinations, my friends! Daniel Sturridge has been quite vocal about his own numerology game in terms of his squad number, but we might also think of him as a combination innovator (1) and dynamic (5) player. Lather, rinse, repeat!
Are our in-house numerologists correct? Who would you award each number to in order to enhance the psychic powers underpinning this season? Which number would you give yourself? The fate of Liverpool depends on your answers!
(All numerological information from SpiritOfRa.com.)