This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Newcastle legend Rob Lee spoke exclusively to Football FanCast about the Magpies’ trip to Anfield this weekend, in partnership with GentingBet.
Lee played 370 times in all competitions for the Toon Army, and one of those appearances came in the epic 4-3 encounter between the two sides in 1996.
Widely considered to be one of the best Premier League clashes of all time, Lee’s reflection on the match speaks to the competitiveness of one of the greatest Newcastle players of the Premier League era.
Asked if he had any standout memories of the game, the 53 year-old said: “I have many memories, none of them are good. Every time Liverpool play Newcastle it gets talked about, but for the players for Newcastle, we lost, and it’s probably the game that broke the camel’s back.
“But it was fantastic to be involved in a game like that. It was probably the most attacking two teams I’ve ever seen. I spoke to John Barnes about it a little while ago and we both said we hardly got a kick!”
He continued: “It was a strange, strange game. We only knew how to play one way and that was to attack.”
Of course, the Magpies won’t be expected to do much of that when they visit the table-topping Reds on Saturday, and asked if they have an advantage over their hosts in any capacity, Lee’s answer was brutally honest.
“No. Their front three are brilliant, so quick, so swift. I think they’ve got the best centre-half in the world, and they’ve got a very good midfield. The two full-backs, (Andy) Robertson has done so well. He’s probably one of the best left-backs in the world now.
“I look at the Newcastle team and think can we contain them for a draw, but if you try and do that sometimes it gets worse for you.”
Lee gushed about the quality of Jurgen Klopp’s side, saying it was “remarkable” that they didn’t win the Premier League last term with 97 points and just one defeat.
“If anybody can challenge Manchester City, it’ll be them,” said the Tyneside hero, before heaping praise on Virgil van Dijk.
“He cost fortunes, but he is that good. He gives them that stability that they know if they attack in numbers and attack at speed he is quite comfortable left one-on-one and quite comfortable coming out with the ball.”
Pushed for a prediction, Lee remarked: “Oh God I knew you were going to do that! My heart says we’ll try and sneak away with a 1-1, but I think it could be 3-0.”