Ian Rush: Team spirit key to Liverpool’s success during my time

The Reds legend and all-time top-scorer believes that the cohesiveness of the team allowed Liverpool to scale new heights in his time at Anfield.
By Charles Ong

Asia’s largest electronics and furnishing retailer Courts recently struck a deal with world-renowned Liverpool Football Club [LFC] to bring their famed International Academy to Singapore’s shores.

Held from November 19 to 30 at Bishan Stadium, Academy coaches from the English football giants trained aspiring footballers under a syllabus developed by LFC themselves.

On the final day of the event, Anfield hero Ian Rush was in attendance to hand out certificates of participation for attendees of the training camp.

In an exclusive interview with Goal.com Singapore, he delved into the reasons as to why Liverpool was the dominant force in England and over the continent during his time at the club.

The 51-year-old, who won five league titles with Liverpool, believes that the togetherness of the team was the primary reason for their success throughout the 1980s.

“I think it’s because we played as a team [and] we didn’t play as individuals,” Rush pointed out, before adding that everyone fought for the main cause.

“We had a good team spirit there and we helped each other, on the pitch as well.

“When you’re not having a good game yourself, the other players will help you out. When you’re having a good game, you will help them out as well.

“So I think it’s more of the team spirit and playing as a team because I think that’s a massive difference.”

While Rush paid tribute to the unity of the players back then, he believes players tend to take on an individualistic mentality in football today.

“For me, I think sometimes teams play as individuals now,” the Welshman observed.

“People are looking at the game as individuals and not as a team. I think that’s the big difference of the game [from my time and now].”

Another obvious difference prevalent in football now is the influx of foreign players into the Premier League, with Liverpool not being an exception. The likes of Fabio Borini, Nuri Sahin and Oussama Assaidi have all been signed from foreign clubs in the summer of 2012 by new manager Brendan Rodgers.

Rush, who himself moved to Juventus and subsequently failed to integrate fully into the Italian football culture, believes that should current Liverpool players move on to other leagues, they would be more successful than he was.

“I think they can [adapt in foreign leagues] now, because a lot of foreign players play in England,” he commented.

“The world has changed quite a lot now and the world is a small place. There’s no reason why they are not better prepared to do that now, so I think they could [succeed].”