Liverpool Fans: Who's The Greater Manager, Shanks or Paisley?
Which brings out the oft asked question: Who was better between him and Paisley? Of course a small portion might even put Dalgish or Joe Fagan ahead, but I think it's safe to say it's between the former and his immediate successor.
I didn't get to watch Shank's team, but saw at first hand, Paisley's marauding Liverpool. It's been pointed out that Paisley merely built on the foundations laid by Shankly, but I think only that's true to a certain extent.
In his 9 years, he won them something every season except for his 1st year in charge. Most times, it was a double and nearly the Treble in 1977.
He won 6 League titles (in 8 seasons a record matched only by Fergie), 3 European Cups (still the record), 3 League Cups (consecutive, Liverpool kept the trophy) and a UEFA Cup.
He also build a great side in his own fashion, he replaced Keegan with Dalgish, and bought players like Rush, Whelan and Souness, to mention but a few.
It's never easy to take over from someone so successful and improve on it. Jimmy Armfield couldn't do it at Leeds (Revie), neither could any of these:
Terry Neill at Arsenal (Berti Mee), Colin Harvey at Everton (Kendall), Frank O'Farrell at United (Busby), Bruce Rioch at Arsenal (Graham) or even Don Revie as Sir Alf's replacement for England and of course, Grant and Scolari, after the Special One left Chelsea.
To top all this up, his Liverpool side played with panache and style and was Europe's top rated side in 5 of his last 7 seasons, where they were thrice European Champions. (Forest 79 and Hamburg 83 the exceptions).
In any League or Cup ties over 2 legs, Liverpool was unstoppable for much of his reign. His side could only be eliminated by a singular knock-out contest, like the FA Cup. Even then it took an huge effort, United in a replay in 1979's Semis, while Arsenal took 3 replays in the 1980 Semi-Final!.
So while Shank's built up the foundation and made Liverpool strong, I think Paisley did an even better job and made them the best side in the country, for a number of years. He inherited Shankly's side, but also molded one in his own image. Shankly's team was tough to beat and played well, but Paisley's side was unstoppable at times and played with a greater style.
He was also more successful, only Clough could match him in the manner he fashioned his side.
Ferguson is probably the greater manager given his record, but Paisley achieved his success in a shorter period. So I think he's even greater than the Great Shankly.
Here's a video of them beating Spurs 7-0, en route to winning the title in 1978-79