Anthony LE TALLEC

Anthony Le Tallec - Liverpool FC - Biography of his Anfield career.

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 09 November 2003

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    • POSITION
      Forward
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Wednesday, 03 October 1984
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      Hennebont, France
  • CLUBS
  • Liverpool FC
    • Club Career Dates
      2002-2008
    • League Debut
      Saturday, 20th September 2003 in a 2-1 win at home to Leicester City (Aged: 18)
    • Club Career
      17 Premier league games.
  • Sunderland FC
    • Club Career Dates
      2005-2006 (loan)
    • League Debut
      Tuesday, 23rd August 2005 in a 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester City (Aged: 20)
    • Club Career
      27 League apperances.
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Anthony LE TALLEC - Liverpool FC - Biography of his Anfield career.

5 League apps (+12 as sub), 0 goals 

 

 

Some gems never quite sparkle. When Gerard Houllier thrust teenagers Anthony Le Tallec and Florent Sinama-Pongolle into first team action in 2003, he spoke passionately of the impact that his 'French gems' could have on Liverpool's future. The cousins had starred in their country's successful teams at international youth tournaments, and gained valuable experience on loan at their parent club, Le Havre, before being unveiled alongside new recruits Harry Kewell and Steve Finnan in July 2003.

 

Le Tallec was the first to get his chance, providing cover for a new attacking formation that used Kewell, Vladimir Smicer and El-Hadji Diouf in a midfield where Steven Gerrard was the only defensive force. Le Tallec made his debut as a late sub in an eventful 3-1 win at Blackburn that saw both Milan Baros and Jamie Carragher break limbs in the opening 20 minutes. It wasn't long before he struck his first goal; the opener in a 3-0 UEFA Cup victory over Slovenia's Olimpija Ljubljana where the French youngster also helped set up goals for Emile Heskey and Kewell. Anthony was doing as well as could be expected, but the new attacking formation was quickly abandoned as Liverpool's title challenge eroded, and a lack of progress in other competitions eventually cost Houllier his job in the summer of 2004.

 

If the arrival of Spaniard Rafa Benitez and an armada of new midfielders such as Xabi Alonso, Luis Garcia and Antonio Nunez had placed doubt on Le Tallec's future, then two goals in the boss' first match in charge, a friendly at Wrexham, were perfectly timed. What was not well timed however, was the Frenchman's blunt demand for first team football after his double at the Racecourse Ground, as he was promptly shipped back to France to attain it on loan at St. Etienne. A mixed spell there was ended in March 2005 with Liverpool desperately short of attacking options, and Le Tallec returned to the side as a substitute in a 1-0 win over Bolton before a shock start in the Champions League quarter-final with Juventus at Anfield. Far from looking out of his depth, the Frenchman provided admirable support for lone striker Baros and set up the winner, a stunning long range strike from Luis Garcia. Anthony played in the return leg in Turin, but wasn't involved as Liverpool stunned the football world to win their fifth European Cup in Istanbul.

 

As a new season dawned at Anfield, it was obvious that Le Tallec's face did not fit and he spent 2005/06 on loan at Sunderland, where he was top scorer with just 5 goals in all competitions in a team that finished on a then record lowest number of points. Further loan spells followed back in France with Sochaux and Le Mans, before, now a Liverpool player in name only, completing a permanent move to the latter in 2008, proving that some gems can have fatal flaws. (Mark Jones)