Who Wore It Best? is an ongoing series where we'll look back at the players who donned each number during the Premier League era, and then you get to decide who wore it best. First up: the number one shirt.
A few things: we're only talking about the Premier League era, starting in 1993, when official squad numbers began in England. In the case of players who wore multiple numbers during their Liverpool careers, you should base your final judgment on their performances while they wore that number (i.e., Gerrard as number eight vs Gerrard as number 17). In the case of players whose careers with Liverpool began before 1993, it's only fair to consider their whole time with the club when making your decision.
Sometimes the world is a cruel, dark place. Sometimes the universe conspires to deprive us of meaning, the will to live, and the belief that hope is something worth maintaining. Yet, sometimes it is better sound our barbaric yawp against the dying of the light, and remember that which we were blessed to witness in our time on this small sphere.
Jones was signed by ill-fated-legend Graeme Souness in October 1991 from Crewe Alexandria, and he made his debut not 48 hours later against Manchester United, managing to slot in to a main keshift defense and win a nil nil draw. Only 19 at the time, he managed to make himself useful: eventually earning the starting position and winning the FA Cup against Sunderland in Spring, 1992 Yet, after all his hard work, Jones was ruled out of the English '92 Euro Squad with shin splints.
Even after Souness left, Jones rendered himself valuable to Roy Evans, slotting into wingback after Evans signed Jason McAteer in 1995 and adopted his preferred 3-5-2 formation. He managed to appear in the FA Cup Final loss to United in 1996 before being advised to take a six month layoff due to a back problem. Two more injury-plagued seasons later (including his last with zero appearances), Jones left on a free after Houllier took the reins. Having enduring 3 operations on his left knee, alone, Jones decamped to West Ham an appeared for them precisely zero times.
A valiant effort in the face of insurmountable odds, Jones made 185 appearances in his eight years.
Brought in by Houllier, Henchoz partnered Sami, Sami Hyypia in the center of Houllier's treble winners. A stalwart of near-technical perfection (in a CB for the time) coupled with tactical nous, Henchoz managed to overcome some niggling injuries during his first season to render himself useful very, very quickly.
Henchoz slotted in with Hyypia quite easily, and they were mainstays in one of the most solid Liverpool defenses in the past three decades. He eventually lost his place due to injury problems, ceding his place to Biscan for a time before earning it back in 03-04, which season net Liverpool 4th and a Champions League Slot.
Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. Liverpool took a punt on Kromkamp in December 2006 (from Viallareal) and it didn't work. He made some appearances, became a player-swap-trivia-question (Josemi went the other way) and promptly left the following summer. Steve Finnan was better and kept him out of the side accordingly. Good name, though. Really, tell me you wouldn't rather that be your name.
Sometimes you're in love with a player and the manager does not share your feelings. And sometimes you wonder why the manager does not share your feelings. And sometimes the player makes noise about the manager not sharing your feelings and despite the fact you love the manager you, too, wonder why the player feels the need to express his discontent with the manager you love that does not share your feelings. Then the player leaves for Real Fucking Madrid where he carves out a 9 year career and you feel vindicated but sad about your feelings.
Sometimes your manager makes mistakes. Feel free to make your case below, but it's 3 a.m. and I must be lonely.
Rafa stole Glen from Portsmouth and wheeler dealer 'arry Redknapp. Y'all can do an EJ search on this blogs archives to see how I feel about the man. A silky footballer capable of the sublime, he admittedly had his ridiculous moments. Perhaps this author is one to be clouded by some good braids, perfect cheekbones, and absolutely superb skin, but damn if Glen didn't give his all for the club, most notably in risking a head injury to slam in the winner a few years back against the Uruk-Hai. His only trophy with Liverpool was the League Cop in 2012, but he also won an FA Cup w/ Portsmouth in 2008, and the EPL and League Cup double with Chelsea in 2004-05.
A polarizing figure amongst Reds (here's looking at you, PTB), the offensive-minded defender won the hearts of many including, if you haven't noticed, this writer.
Also, his middle name is McCleod. Make of that what you will.
Clyne, purchased from Soton prior to last season to little fanfare in too many quarters, proceeded to make himself useful. Logging minutes that make the energizer bunny look lazy. A consistent performer that just gets the job done, while rocking perfect hair and not-quite-barnes-thighs, Clyne is the proverbial piano carrier that every team needs. A perfect player in almost every regard, it is time we appreciated the indefatigable terminator.
There you have it: all of the Liverpool number twos over the last twenty-four seasons. Now, you get to have your say..