Paisley

To mark the tenth anniversary of the death of probably the greatest ever British football manager, liverpoolfc.tv provided some quotes from Bob Paisley. I particularly like the ones in italics:

“I didn’t want his [Shankly’s] job. I even tried talking him into staying. I suggested that if he went on a world cruise to recharge his batteries we could see if we could handle it when he came back. But Bill just said that he had enough, and that was that.”

“I said that when I took over that I would settle for a drop of Bell’s once a month, a big bottle at the end of the season and a ride round the city in an open top bus!”

“I love the city and the people here. I’ve been with them for many years and I fought alongside them. Ninety per cent of the regiment were from the Merseyside area. So I got to know the Liverpool character. From a psychological point of view, that was a big asset. I’ve had a fair time to judge the Liverpool people and I think they’re tremendous.”

“In my filing cabinet of my Anfield office I have built up a collection of desk diaries for each season in which all sorts of details were noted, ranging from weather conditions for a match in September to the fact that a certain player was late for training one day in March. Nothing can be discounted as unimportant.”

“So many people have asked what has been the secret of Liverpool’s unprecedented success. There isn’t one, except that we acknowledge that you can never stop learning and putting it into good use.”

“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.”

“Still we’ve had the hard times too – one year we finished second.”

“I can let the team do the talking for me.”

“If I was pinned down I’d say that was my greatest asset. I could speak to players and give them examples of injuries and how they heal. The physio side probably stemmed from the knocks I got as a player.”

“I just hoped that after the trials and tribulations of my early years in management, someone up high would smile on me and guide my hand. My plea was answered when we got Kenny Dalglish. What a player, what a great professional!”

“The game is one of understanding between players and managers. You have to march in the same direction to achieve success, and you certainly have to do that to overcome problems.”

“Other people have earned more money than me in football but no-one has enjoyed it as much as me.”

“There’s no way I’ll become complacent. I’m far too conscious of my duty to the supporters for that to happen.”

“The only games we can afford to lose are in the Central League, because our Reserves have already won that!”

“In the tunnel before we walked out on to the pitch, I shook hands with Tommy Docherty and said I hoped it would be a good game. I didn’t wish him good luck. That would have been hypocritical.”

“I was the first English-born manager to win the European Cup and I couldn’t have picked a better time or place to do it. Everything was perfect. I had driven into Rome on the back of tank in 1944. I was part of another conquering force then and came back as manager of another conquering force, thankfully in football not war.”

“People who sit in the stands perhaps don’t realise the extra pressure exerted by the emotional side of the game. It’s not easy to cope with and it’s quite possible to become drunk on four ounces of wine gum!”

“The secret is that our Liverpool team never know when to stop running and working. At Anfield we have always believed in players supporting each other and concentrating on not giving the ball away. You can’t go charging forward all the time, willy-nilly. You must have patience, and this is where we can play the Continentals at their own game.”

“You may have found me mean and thirsty in my search for trophies, but the bad news is the man who is taking my place is hungrier than me. Fagan’s the name and I don’t think he’ll need any help from the Artful Dodger!”

“This club has been my life. I’d go out and sweep the street and be proud to do it for Liverpool FC if they asked me to.”

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