Editorials — October 8, 2011 22:58

Jose ‘Luis’ Enrique – Bienvenido a Anfield Jose

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Have you not heard? We have another Luis in the team…not the ‘all action’, ‘defence shredding’ striker who plays upfront but this guy plays left back. Coming via Levante, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Villareal and Newcastle to Anfield…Jose Enrique is Liverpool’s new left back! ‘Luis’ has he is known to his team mates.

If ever you wanted to see a player fit more fluidly into a team, Enrique has done so, claiming that Left back position as his own. Settling into life at Anfield as quickly as Luis Suarez, Liverpool’s number 3 is showing the makings of a great Liverpool left back. Whilst being fully aware that it is very early days for Enrique, what he has shown so far this season has been something to get excited about. He is clearly comfortable on the ball and can deliver quality balls into danger areas. He is athletic enough to run up and down the wing without fear and shove opposition wingers off  the ball to start a Liverpool attack. So, does he have what it takes to be a successful left back at Anfield?

Liverpool Left back Legends

At Liverpool we have been blessed with some fantastic full backs who have graced our club.

Gerry Byrne, who played the 1965 FA Cup final with a broken collar bone from the third minute until full time, even extra time, but luckily not penalties (he decided to leave that to other left backs to enter Liverpool folklore) to help us lift the trophy for the first time.

Emlyn Hughes, our back to back European Cup winning captain, played at left back in 1978 where The King chipped the keeper and then himself over the advertising hoardings to win the European Cup at Wembley.

Alan Kennedy, who scored the only goal against Real Madrid in the European Cup Final in 1981, when Ian Rush was waiting for a pull back, and ran straight to the delirious fans behind the goal.

Kennedy was the hero again in the European Cup (1984) when he scored the winning penalty in against Roma to bring home Liverpool’s fourth European Cup.

More recently we’ve had John Arne Riise whose left foot still makes us wonder how he scored that goal? And the technically gifted Fabio Aurelio who put that free kick in past Van Der Sar during the 4-1 demolition at Old Trafford and the 40 yard goal against Petr Cech in the Champions League Quarter – Final.

Enrique’s Season Highlights

His debut was very impressive considering he had only joined a few days before the start of the season. Against Sunderland he looked composed and it was refreshing to see him go and attack.

The partnership with Stewart Downing is growing and Enrique is gradually getting use to Stewart cutting in at times rather than hugging the touch line. Some of our best moments this season have come from the left side.

At Arsenal he was in the thick of things, bursting up and down the wing. Linking up with Downing and delivering crosses for Andy Carroll throughout the game. The Arsenal players couldn’t quite handle him that day.

Looking at the first goal against Everton, Enrique’s off the ball intelligence was instinctive. He stayed with Bellamy and timed the run so well that Everton defenders were unable to cut the ball or make a challenge. With the ball seemingly heading out of play, Enrique chased it down and delivered a cross into the danger area which was expertly dispatched Andy Carroll. His performance during the game saw him being voted Man of the Match on the Liverpool’s official website.

Enrique means business and looks like a man who wants to achieve something at Liverpool. His recent performances are not going unnoticed by the Liverpool faithful and if ever a player wants to make his mark, Jose is going about it the right way. Enrique is clearly one player this season who is showing he has what it takes to excel at a great club. He will be one to watch as he grows and develops over the season. The void of the left back position which needed urgent attention appears to be addressed. At £5 million pounds, Enrique could be one of buys of the season.

Liverpool finally have a left back – he looks good – he is Liverpool’s number 3 – Jose Enrique.

Bienvenido a Anfield Jose – Welcome to Anfield Jose.

 

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