Mamadou Sakho – Time for the player and fans to accept his Liverpool career is over

ThisIsAnfield.com - 2 hours 46 sec ago

Mamadou Sakho‘s 3am Snapchat messages effectively ended his career at Liverpool. How did it come to this for the popular Frenchman?

When American college students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown began brainstorming ideas for a mobile application in their Stanford University dorm room back in 2010 – a concept they would later name ‘Snapchat’ – little did they know how big it was to become.

Big enough to become one of the widest reaching and impactful social media platforms, and one with enough influence to end somebody’s career in one fell swoop, regardless of their status.

Last weekend Liverpool Football Club were to become partially implicated in the digital world of Snapchat and one man was indeed to see his career come crashing down around him – his career on Merseyside, anyway. That man was Mamadou Sakho.

The lumbering, lovable lurch of a centre half is now done in a Liverpool shirt – pending any divine intervention. This isn’t a ‘how Mama can redeem himself this time’ discussion but rather an obituary for his Anfield career. Kopites now need to accept the Frenchman has played his swansong, packed up and headed for the hills – whether he likes it or not.

The latest twist in the Sakho saga, as I’m sure you’re well aware, came late last Friday night – right on the cusp of Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Hull City.

Article continues below

The defender decided, clearly after extensive and careful consideration, to take to his Snapchat account and post a series of brief messages talking about his current ‘situation’ – about fans deserving to ‘know the truth’ – about why the club were restricting him.

It was a moment in which the 26-year-old professional footballer turned into a 13-year-old rebel.

One of Sakho’s final messages, wrapped in beautiful irony, proclaimed he wasn’t talking as he wanted to ‘speak on the pitch.’

 Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho salutes the Kop after the 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan during the UEFA Europa League Group Stage Group B match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But the talking was already done. Social media had done what social media does best, immortalised a wrongdoing to echo through eternity.

Still, despite all this, it’s extremely hard not to feel for Sakho. It really is.

It’s hard not to feel sorry for Sakho because, for all his misguided actions, the bloke genuinely means well.

First and foremost he is unquestionably a passion-driven footballer, headstrong and committed. You don’t become captain of your hometown team – which incidentally also happens to be the main club of your country’s capital – at 17 years old, unless you’re made of some truly special ingredients.

Rising from one of the roughest neighbourhoods in Paris, marred by gang culture with a prerequisite to reject conformity and grow up defending yourself, it’s easy to see why Sakho carries some deep-rooted issues.

Article continues below

Losing his father at a young age seemed to be the wake up call the future Liverpool number 3 needed, and some of his rebellious mannerisms began to curb. But still, throughout a career of pressure and expectation, it was clear some lingered.

 Liverpool supporters' banner "Until Sakho I was never happy" during the Premier League match against Aston Villa at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sakho’s raw athleticism and leadership qualities are fundamental reasons why PSG held on to their prized asset for so long – they also formed much of the logic when Liverpool parted with £18million to secure his services.

Liverpool fans immediately took to the Frenchman, and understandably so. Sakho soon earned cult status on Merseyside, with his rampant, determined performances and never-say-die attitude. It is the same aforementioned characteristics which made him so engaging for Kopites.

Stand-out moments are thick and plentiful; saluting the Kop, hailing the ‘Liverpool country’ or squaring up to all 6ft 3in of Romelu Lukaku in the Merseyside derby – chest puffed, shoulders drawn, undying eyes locked onto the Belgian striker like a tribal warrior about to make a sacrifice.

But, ultimately, it has been a mixed cocktail of these endearing traits along with the ill-disciplined mentality which Sakho has forever been unable to shake, which has dealt the fatal blow.

The events of last Friday were a disaster waiting to happen, bubbling away for some weeks. It was only a matter of time before it came to the boil.

From Sakho’s cruel and shambolic dismissal by UEFA for alleged prohibited substance abuse at the tail end of last season, there was no way back – the fuse was lit.

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp and Mamadou Sakho after the goal-less draw with Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Kloppaganda)

Prior to that catalyst moment, Sakho had been enjoying a glorious run under Klopp. An unlikely partnership had been forged with Dejan Lovren and the Frenchman was playing with a smile on his face; his form remarkable. The ban however robbed him of vital games, for both Liverpool and France. His confidence had no doubt taken a hammering before it emerged Sakho was entirely blameless.

Article continues below

From that point, that desperate and probably quite lonely point, he was playing catch up.

Things would only turn from bad to worse – beginning immediately, during preseason.

While we cannot ascertain the real reasons why Sakho was sent home early from the camp, it would be an educated guess to suggest the Frenchman’s overenthusiasm and sheer desperation to claw his way back into Klopp’s plans had collided with his innate lack of self-control and youthful ill-discipline.

The significance of this cannot be overlooked. The pre-season camp was everything to Klopp, the first chance for him to sit down and really chisel away at his Liverpool team. Finally his Liverpool team.

Sakho’s departure from the squad in this crucial moment meant the writing was on the wall.

It was well reported that the manager later sat down with Sakho, strongly advising the defender on a loan move away from Merseyside – to pick up valuable game time and find his feet. Most likely feeling even more neglected, the headstrong centre-back refused, instead vowing to fight and win back his Liverpool place.

Typical Sakho. The kid who took the burden of leading PSG at the tender age of 17 was shining through. His tail was up and his desperation to reunite himself with the Kop week-in week-out was burning.

But then came the Snapchat melt-down. History repeats itself. The good, genuine intentions couldn’t match up with the mentality.

Anger and frustration got the better of him – something which surely cannot have been helped by witnessing Liverpool’s ferocious league form on the pitch, without him. The blunt loneliness in the world of football Sakho felt following the UEFA ban had multiplied exponentially.

It sounds romanticised – as though the good in Sakho will eventually outshine the bad and a script for the hero’s return will be written. But Kopites now, sadly, need to let go. Sakho is finished in a Liverpool shirt, and here’s why.

 Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho celebrates after knocking out Manchester United 3-1 on aggregate (1-1 on the night) during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 2nd Leg match at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The only flicker of a lifeline now hinges on multiple injuries to physically force Klopp’s hand into picking Sakho. With Lucas, now bereft of game time in the Liverpool midfield, happy to oblige with filling in at centre-half when needed, Sakho’s coffin is all but nailed shut.

The imminent return of the versatile Joe Gomez also spells disaster for the Frenchman. Sakho is out of options and void of all hope.

Klopp values time on the training ground as much as, if not more so, than any given manager in world football. His visible frustration at the approach of an international break signals this clearly.

Behind the highly publicised, enigmatic tactical genius that is Jurgen Klopp lies a man who is an unwavering stickler for polished rehearsal. His fine-tuning of players is renowned, and has shown in the likes of the once hapless Lovren and his transformation over the last 12 months.

Klopp likes to work with his players meticulously, with all the post-match hugging and bravado just mere symbolism of the boss acknowledging his men are pulling in the right direction.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates with Mamadou Sakho after the dramatic 4-3 (5-4 aggregate) victory over Borussia Dortmund during the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It may seem affection-laden, but to scratch beneath the surface would reveal Klopp has no room for sentiment. The German gaffer is under tremendous pressure at Liverpool, both from the club and himself, to deliver on the grandest of scales. Everything is at stake, his reputation included.

He needs everyone on board, particularly the defence, which Klopp this week acknowledged still needs improvement.

It’s all smiles right now as the Reds’ performances have started to strike the right chords, but in such a frantic, frenetic pressure-cooker of an environment that exists with a club the size of Liverpool, the ship constantly has to sail at 100mph. Sakho has been left stood at the port for so long, he can only see the faint silhouette of masts in the distance.

Article continues below

Lovren, Klavan, Matip, Lucas and Gomez have been meticulously drilled in the art of central defence at Melwood on a daily basis since. Sakho meanwhile has watched from the stands; an outcast.

He is now so far down the pecking order it is clear to see why the club insisted upon a loan move. The new number three was on the back foot even before the Snapchat scandal, and with those tactless few anger-driven minutes late on Friday night, Sakho all but pulled the trigger on his Liverpool career.

It’s sad to suggest we still may not have seen the end of Sakho’s temperamental outbursts. This is after all the same man who stormed out of Anfield prior to a Merseyside derby under the reign of Brendan Rodgers.

But, with the cult hero very likely play a grand total of zero first team minutes between now and the January transfer window, potential frustrations yet to come from Sakho could spill out and further threaten to tarnish what remains – or rather what doesn’t remain – of his Liverpool career.

Ultimately his heart was always in the right place throughout, and regardless Sakho will be quite fondly remembered by Reds for generations to come. Sadly, however, the man of the Liverpool country will always be seen as one of our biggest cases of ‘what could have been.’

Sometimes some mountains are just too steep to climb.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool have “good windows and bad windows”, but Philippe Coutinho stands out

ThisIsAnfield.com - 2 hours 5 min ago

Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre has admitted Liverpool’s transfer activity has not always proved successful in recent seasons.

Ayre’s time as chief executive officer at Liverpool has been fraught with criticism over failed dealings and a perceived financial ineptitude.

Over the past two summers the Reds look to have turned a corner, however, with the swift move to sign Roberto Firmino in 2015 and a flurry of incomings this year serving as strong evidence.

With Ayre leaving the club to join 1860 Munich next summer, it remains to be seen whether success in the transfer market changes, but speaking to FCBusiness this month he said “other influences” often play a key role in this.

“I have loved working with the managers hired in my time as MD: Jurgen [Klopp], Kenny Dalglish and Brendan Rodgers,” he said, reflecting on a long spell with his boyhood club.

“I have also loved being involved in transfers, the buying and selling of big players.

Article continues below

“We always approach the transfer window with the same objectives, to do the best we can do and as efficiently as possible.

“We have good windows and bad windows but it’s other influences that often dictate how well it goes.

“You win some and you lose some but there have been highs and lows.”

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Hull City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

During Ayre’s time as CEO, Liverpool have a number of top talents, with Jurgen Klopp‘s squad in great shape as the 2016/17 campaign plays out.

Continuing to detail his time involved with the club’s transfer activity, Ayre touched upon the “highs and lows,” naming one current creative star as his headline signing.

“My favourites signings have included Philippe Coutinho,” he revealed.

“I remember sitting in the corridors of Inter Milan for the CEO for what felt like five days, trying to convince him to sell Coutinho to us.

“And then jetting him back to Liverpool in time for him to sign before transfer deadline day.

Article continues below

“Of course, there are some signings that unfortunately don’t come off but the experiences you never forget.

“[Like] sitting in the Ukraine the day war broke out, trying to sign Ukrainian Yevhen Konoplyanka which sadly never got done because of the selling club.”

Ayre’s time as CEO will remain soured by previous failures to many supporters, but as the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge attest, a lot of the business conducted under his watch his been more positive of late.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Photos from Melwood: Reds prepare for Swansea clash

LiverpoolFC TV - 2 hours 45 min ago
Our photographers were at Melwood on Wednesday afternoon to provide a gallery from Liverpool's latest training session as they prepare for their Premier League clash with Swansea City.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Photos from Melwood: Reds prepare for Swansea clash

LiverpoolFC.TV - 2 hours 45 min ago

Our photographers were at Melwood on Wednesday afternoon to provide a gallery from Liverpool's latest training session as they prepare for their Premier League clash with Swansea City.

Jürgen Klopp's side will try to extend a four-match winning run in all competitions when they meet the Welsh club at Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The players were working out in the brand new New Balance third training kit, which was recently released. You can check out the range in full and get your hands on some of the collection by clicking here.

Photos by John and Andrew Powell

Brought to you by Vitality, official wellness partner of Liverpool FC

Categories: LFC NEWS

Reds put through paces in brand new third training kit range

LiverpoolFC TV - 3 hours 2 min ago
Liverpool sported their brand new third training kit range for 2016-17 during today's session at Melwood - and it is now available to buy in store and online.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Reds put through paces in brand new third training kit range

LiverpoolFC.TV - 3 hours 2 min ago

Liverpool sported their brand new third training kit range for 2016-17 during today's session at Melwood - and it is now available to buy in store and online.

The New Balance collection features a variety of stylish items for adults and kids, with a black and neon green colour theme featuring flame red accents.

Take a look at the range online by clicking here or visit any official club store.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool won’t promise Anfield Road End expansion until “ready to deliver”

ThisIsAnfield.com - 3 hours 50 min ago

Following the successful expansion of Anfield’s Main Stand this summer, Liverpool CEO Ian Ayre says FSG will wait before making a final decision on phase two of the stadium’s expansion.

Ayre, who will leave his position at the end of the current campaign, played a key role in overseeing the addition of 8,500 extra seats to the new Main Stand.

Anfield is also boosted by improved interior and exterior facilities, with Liverpool’s clashes with Leicester City and Hull City providing supporters with an excellent matchday experience so far this season. Work continues on some internal areas and will be complete in January.

Phase two of the overall expansion project is still proposed, with the Anfield Road End having outline planning permission in place.

But speaking to FCBusiness this month, Ayre explained that Fenway Sports Group would not announce concrete plans until settled on “the right design.”

“The way we managed the Main Stand expansion was great and we will continue in a similar vein to be cautious and not promise anything until we are ready to deliver,” he said.

Article continues below

“We will come along with planning if and when we have the right design and economic model.

“Once we have these parts in place, we will let people know.”

 Liverpool take on Leicester City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For now, Anfield’s new 54,074 capacity provides a great backdrop to the performances of Jurgen Klopp‘s side, and Ayre said the club were more than happy with the Main Stand expansion.

“In the case of the Main Stand the reality is more than we expected,” he said.

“[It is] far superior than our expectations from the point of view of the stadium design, the lounges, concourses and acoustics.

“Anfield has one of the most unique atmospheres in world football, so the design definitely considered how to keep that noise inside the stadium.

“The atmosphere in the opening game [against] Leicester was similar to the atmosphere I remember from watching games here in the 1970s when the capacity was at a similar level to now.”

There is still work to do, however, with a deal to secure naming rights for the Main Stand yet to be concluded.

Article continues below

Liverpool are said to be looking for between £5 million and £7 million per year for the privilege, but FSG will only commit to a long-term deal at a minimum of five years.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Sadio Mane named PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for August & September

ThisIsAnfield.com - 6 hours 5 min ago

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been rewarded for his fine form throughout August and September, named the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month.

Mane scored three goals and laid on another in five appearances for the Reds in the league, marking a hugely positive start to life on Merseyside.

The Senegalese made the £30 million move from Southampton in the summer amid concerns over his consistency, but has confounded expectations by slotting in seamlessly in Jurgen Klopp‘s 4-3-3.

The award, spread across the first two months of the season due to its mid-August kickoff, was voted for by fans on the Sky Sports website.

This saw Mane take 49 percent of the vote, with 38,199 of the 77,995 cast, beating Kevin De Bruyne (31%), Etienne Capoue (8%), Diego Costa (6%), Michail Antonio (4%) and Curtis Davies (2%).

Mane’s most recent outing saw him score in a scintillating attacking display from the Reds against Hull City, sealing their second Anfield triumph in two home games this season.

Article continues below

The 24-year-old is proving to be a key player within Klopp’s attacking line both on and off the ball.

So far this season, no Liverpool attacker has averaged more successful tackles (2) or dribbles (3.6) per 90 minutes in the league than Mane, while only Philippe Coutinho (133) and James Milner (145.7) have averaged fewer minutes per league goal (149.3).

 Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring the third goal against Hull City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Mane was named Liverpool’s Player of the Month for August, and will no doubt be a contender for September’s award.

His next opportunity to impress will come away to Swansea City on October 1, and having scored in Southampton’s 3-1 victory over the Swans at St. Mary’s last season, can look to do the same again.

Speaking as part of Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football coverage this week, Klopp praised the influence of Mane, saying “Sadio brings a new quality with his speed, that’s really nice.”

With the backing of manager and supporters in Liverpool and across the Premier League, Mane can hope for this rich vein of form to continue.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Why this is only the start for Jurgen Klopp’s young Liverpool squad

ThisIsAnfield.com - 7 hours 34 sec ago

Liverpool’s squad does not feature an outfield player over the age of 30, showing the youthfulness and bright future ahead.

Moments such as these should be enjoyed as a Liverpool supporter. We have had to put up with plenty of mediocrity since those glory days of the 1970s and 1980s, with only a smattering of brilliance thrown in since 1990.

Klopp’s Reds have been a pleasure to watch so far this season, blowing teams away with a fascinating blend of fast-paced attacking football, perfectly-drilled pressing and general intensity both on and off the ball.

Only Man City can claim to be as entertaining at present, and while some will be quick to write Liverpool off because of an apparent inconsistent nature, the fact that the bookies have us as second-favourites for the title speaks volumes on this occasion.

This is a side that feels as though it is at the start of something special – and it is.

Klopp’s Revolution Still In Its Infancy

 Liverpool's manager J¸rgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match against Leicester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Article continues below

Amazingly, it is still less than a year since Jurgen Klopp took charge of Liverpool – his appointment was confirmed on October 8th – but he has already made giant strides.

It was always going to take a little time for the German to settle, get his methods across to his players and pick up the positive results Brendan Rodgers failed to achieve in his final year at Anfield.

Despite a lack of time on the training ground, injuries to key men and having to field players he didn’t necessarily rate, Klopp still managed to lead the Reds to two cup finals.

He lost both, of course, but in the long run, that disappointment will only act as inspiration to the manager and the players.

The skeptics among us were concerned by those final defeats to Man City and Sevilla, and the eventual eighth-place finish in the league, but it was always clear that Klopp’s first season was something of a learning curve for all.

Having had a full pre-season to work with his players and bring in who he wants to bolster his squad, we are now seeing a new look Liverpool.

Klopp’s style of football is impossible not to warm to, and for the first time in a long time, Liverpool are both feared and envied in equal measure.

The most exciting thing about all of this is that this is such early days in Klopp’s tenure.

Klopp’s Young Guns

 Liverpool's Ragnar Klavan celebrates scoring the first goal against Derby County during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match at Pride Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Article continues below

Another reason why fans of both Liverpool and their rivals should feel so exhilarated and terrified, respectively, is the age of this current Reds squad.

In the win over Hull, only three of the starting eleven were over 26, one of which was Ragnar Klavan, who is unlikely to be a regular this season.

James Milner (30) and Adam Lallana (28) were the other two, but they are not exactly footballers with creaking limbs. In fact, they are among the fittest players at Klopp’s disposal.

Lallana did not play in the Premier League until he was 24, so his body will be nowhere near as tired as someone like Cesc Fabregas, who is only a year older but played for Arsenal when he was 16.

Everywhere you look in Liverpool’s squad, there are players still years from their prime, and if the majority of them can remain on Merseyside for the next several years, the sky is the limit.

Loris Karius (23), Nathaniel Clyne (25), Joel Matip (25) and Dejan Lovren (27) all have time to improve in their respective defensive roles, and Alberto Moreno (24) should also not be written off just yet.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson is substituted for Emre Can during the Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Although he may feel older, due to his longevity, captain Jordan Henderson is still just 26 years of age, while Emre Can (22) and Georginio Wijnaldum (25) will also only get better.

Then there is Liverpool’s magnificent current front-three of Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino, all of whom are not yet at their peak, each aged 24.

They are the age that Luis Suarez was when he joined the Reds in January 2011, and while predicting any of them to reach El Pistolero‘s heights would be wrong, his meteoric rise is something they should use as inspiration.

Article continues below

Even Daniel Sturridge (27), for all his injury woes, should still have a considerable amount of time at the top, while Divock Origi (21) and Danny Ings (24) are still blossoming as strikers.

Of the current squad, there is a strong argument to say that Lucas Leiva is the only player genuinely past his best, although Milner and, perhaps controversially, Sturridge could also fall into that category.

Throw in youngsters such as Joe Gomez, Marko Grujic and Sheyi Ojo, among others, and it is impossible not to feel enthused about what Liverpool could be capable of moving forward.

Age Comparison To Rivals

 Manchester City's David Silva in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

What makes for very interesting reading is that the Reds are the second-youngest squad in the Premier League currently.

The squad has average age of 25.5 years, with fringe players such as Alex Manninger, Klavan and Lucas upping that average significantly.

There is not a single outfield player over the age of 30, which is very rare.

Man City are the league’s oldest squad, with an average age of 28.7, so it will be intriguing to see if Pep Guardiola’s title favourites struggle in terms of fitness as the season progresses.

Key players Fernandinho and David Silva are 31 and 30, respectively, and whether they have it in them to shine in Guardiola’s system until May remains to be seen.

Chelsea’s average (26.9) masks what is very much an ageing team in transition, and Antonio Conte has a big job on his hands.

John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are all over 30, and David Luiz, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Willian, Pedro and Diego Costa are approaching that milestone slowly but surely.

 Chelsea's captain John Terry in action against Liverpool during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by Lexie Lin/Propaganda)

Conte’s side looked extremely leggy when Liverpool dispatched of them 2-1 at Stamford Bridge and they appear to be a fading force. Their 3-0 defeat at Arsenal was further evidence of this.

Man United (26.6) are potentially at the start of a successful new era under Jose Mourinho, with veterans such as Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick slowly being fazed out.

New signings Eric Bailly and Paul Pogba have added young legs, while youngsters Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are exciting prospects for United fans.

We all know that Mourinho doesn’t stay for too long, though, so United won’t have the longevity that Liverpool will under Klopp, or the quality of football.

Arsenal (26.4) have a number of players at their peak – Laurent Koscielny, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil stand out – but they don’t necessarily look a long-term threat.

Arsene Wenger is slowly coming to the end of his reign as manager, and when he does move on, a rebuilding job could take time.

Tottenham (25.1) are the only squad younger than Liverpool, and it is no coincidence that Mauricio Pochettino has similar footballing beliefs to Klopp.

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp and Tottenham Hotspur's manager Mauricio Pochettino before the FA Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Article continues below

The Big 6 – Average Squad Ages:

  • Tottenham: 25.1 years
  • Liverpool: 25.5
  • Arsenal: 26.4
  • Man United: 26.6
  • Chelsea: 26.9
  • Man City: 28.7

Both expect their teams to cover record-breaking amounts of ground, as well as playing a fluid, intricate passing game.

Spurs supporters have every right to feel optimistic, with a young nucleus of Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.

The likes of Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Moussa Sissoko are also all at a good age too.

It is worth noting that Klopp, like Pochettino, has often thrived with young players than more experienced names in the past.

They each seemingly enjoy coaching individuals who have not yet picked up bad habits, who are hungry to learn and who are fit enough to run themselves into the ground.

This would be the one argument working against Klopp, when discussing this current Liverpool squad improving with age. Would they be as effective in their late 20s?

We will find out, hopefully.

Enjoy The Ride

 Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho Correia celebrates scoring the fourth goal against Hull City with team-mate Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Slowly but surely, we are witnessing the Reds transform into Klopp’s and we are still far from hitting our peak.

That precious Premier League title may continue to evade Liverpool for the time being, and there may be more cup heartbreak around the corner, but Klopp will bring the glory days back to Anfield eventually.

He is building a team full of speed, creativity, intelligence, versatility and team ethic, and it will only go from strength to strength.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Search is over for the Taste of Anfield

LiverpoolFC TV - 7 hours 53 sec ago
Liverpool fans have decided… the Taste of Anfield is officially ‘Lamb Shanks’.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Search is over for the Taste of Anfield

LiverpoolFC.TV - 7 hours 53 sec ago

Liverpool fans have decided… the Taste of Anfield is officially ‘Lamb Shanks’.

The classic flavour was entered into the Taste of Anfield competition by Reds supporter Stephen Williams, who will see his winning pie on sale at Anfield this season. 

Stephen submitted his favourite flavour when the club embarked on a nationwide search to find a brand new pie filling to mark the opening of LFC’s redeveloped Main Stand.  

The competition saw supporters submit their tasty entries online, before a special panel including Anfield’s executive head chef, LFC’s general manager of hospitality, tourism and events, and Clayton Park Bakery, whittled the hundreds of entries down to just one – with Lamb Shanks unanimously declared the new Taste of Anfield.

Until now, Anfield’s most popular bake has been the Steak Pie, with an average of 1,300 sold each time the Reds play at home. Last season saw over 87,000 pies consumed at Anfield, while the club’s famous Scouse Pie took Soccer AM’s ‘Top Pie’ in 2010.

Paul Cuttill, general manager of hospitality, tourism and events at LFC, said: “We are really pleased to be able to offer fans a new matchday pie. Stephen’s pie was chosen due to its important historical reference but also due to its modern twist on a traditional pie.”

Following the competition, Stephen was invited to Anfield for the Reds' first home game of the season against Leicester City to see his winning pie on sale and enjoy Anfield’s world-class hospitality. Stephen will also be invited back to the home of the Reds to see the pie undergo the ultimate taste test when it will be served to an LFC Legend with the hope of gaining that crucial seal of approval.

Stephen added: “It was great to see my pie on sale at Anfield. Many thanks to Liverpool FC for the hospitality at the opening home game of the season, the new stand is amazing and enhances the magical Anfield atmosphere. I am really looking forward to what will hopefully be a successful season!”

LFC’s ‘Lamb Shanks’ pie is available to purchase at all food concessions at Anfield Stadium.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Trent studying 'Premier League's best right-back' in Clyne

LiverpoolFC.TV - 7 hours 12 min ago

Academy prospect Trent Alexander-Arnold has revealed he has been using his time at Melwood to closely study Nathaniel Clyne, a man he believes is the best right-back in the Premier League.

The young Scouser has been regularly called up by Jürgen Klopp to train alongside the first team this season, and he is keen to make the most of that opportunity.

Not content with simply looking to hold his own among more experienced colleagues, Alexander-Arnold has been shadowing the player who occupies his preferred position at senior level.

And the teenager cannot think of a better full-back to learn his trade from than Clyne, who already looks set to build on an impressive debut season at Anfield.

"I’m trying to watch him and learn how good he is because he’s probably the best right-back in the league for me, defensively and going forward," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"He’s so consistent in everything he does. I want to still play the way I play but if I can learn things from him then I’ll try and do that every day."

Trent challenges for the ball against AC Milan during pre-season

Trent is one of a number of young talents who have swapped Kirkby for Melwood on the instruction of Klopp in order to test themselves among the club's first-team stars.

The West Derby-raised hopeful says the move has been hugely beneficial, and hailed the welcome he and his fellow starlets have received from their senior counterparts.

"It’s unbelievable, every day just going in there and being round top quality players and top quality management as well," he added.

"Every day I’m learning something new as well and hopefully if I keep learning I’ll keep pushing on and fighting for places.

"I think all the players are really friendly with the young players. They’ve obviously been there at one point in their career as well. 

"I couldn’t really pick someone out but I’d say the captain [Jordan] Henderson took us under his wing, talked to us about how hard it’s going to be but obviously we’re good enough to be there, that’s why we’re there."

The next logical step for Alexander-Arnold is a competitive first-team debut to follow his pre-season outings, but the 17-year-old knows just how much hard work he needs to put in to achieve that dream.

He is encouraged, however, by the opportunities Klopp has afforded the likes of Cameron Brannagan, Kevin Stewart, Sheyi Ojo and, most recently, Ovie Ejaria during his time at the club.

"I’m just going to keep working hard, keep learning, do the things in training he wants me to do. With time I’ll mature, I should be fighting for places," he continued.

"Ovie’s only a year older than me, I’m really happy for him because I know he deserved it with his performances and the way that he trains, it’s thoroughly deserved. Hopefully if I keep training well I’ll get into the manager’s books.

"I’d say all the team have a chance of breaking into the first team, it’s just about timing and positions really, so everyone has got a big amount of quality and we all want to push forward as a team and do well."

Watch highlights of the U23s' 3-0 win over Sunderland with LFCTV GO

Alexander-Arnold has done his chances of making the step up the world of good by playing a key role in the U23s' recent run of good results.

Michael Beale's team extended their winning streak to four games in all competitions as they defeated Sunderland 3-0 on Sunday as Trent added another fine goal to his tally having netted in impressive fashion during a 6-2 victory over Tottenham the week before.

"It’s going well, we’re playing well as a team and obviously I’m playing well individually which is the best combination I can think of," he explained.

"But the team performance comes first. If we play well, I’ll have a good game as well is how I look at it.

"[The goal against Spurs] was probably the best goal I’ve scored. I’ve done it once or twice in training but never in a match - I just got in and hit it and hoped for the best."

Watch the U23s take on Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup live on LFCTV or LFCTV GO from 6.30pm BST.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Trent studying 'Premier League's best right-back' in Clyne

LiverpoolFC TV - 7 hours 12 min ago
Academy prospect Trent Alexander-Arnold has revealed he has been using his time at Melwood to closely study Nathaniel Clyne, a man he believes is the best right-back in the Premier League.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool’s midfield flexibility is “better for the team” – Georginio Wijnaldum

ThisIsAnfield.com - 7 hours 23 min ago

Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum has explained his transition into a new role under Jurgen Klopp, working as part of a well-drilled unit alongside Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana.

The Dutchman signed from Newcastle in a deal worth £25 million this summer, and is steadily growing into form alongside the English duo.

Wijnaldum, Lallana and Henderson have so far formed Klopp’s regular three-man midfield, with his new-look 4-3-3 formation proving successful, as the Reds sit fourth in the Premier League.

This is something of a change for Wijnaldum, as he detailed his new role and the flexibility of Liverpool’s system ahead of Saturday’s clash with Swansea City.

“[Klopp] doesn’t really give a lot of jobs to players,” he said. “He tells me to be free and play how I can play. But sometimes it is different.

“It depends on what the other players are doing. You have to look at the other players.

Article continues below

“For example, if Lallana goes forward and Henderson also goes, I have to stay.

“Sometimes I have to get used to it because, normally, I’m the one who goes all the time. Now, I have to also look at the other players.

“That’s the thing that has changed the most in my way of football—that I have to look more at the other players.”

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring the first goal against Hull City during the FA Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The free-flowing movement in Klopp’s 4-3-3 decimated Hull City in Liverpool’s last outing at Anfield, with Lallana netting the first in a 5-1 victory.

Wijnaldum is yet to score for the Reds, after vowing to tally at least 10 goals in his first season with the club, but believes the spread of goalscoring talent is “better for the team.”

“It is difficult and it still is. In the teams where I played before, I was the one who was running all the time to make a goal and I came into more positions to make goals,” he added.

“Now it’s not so often, it’s a few times in a game.

“But we have more players to come into that position, so more players who can score a goal.

Article continues below

“I think that’s better for the team, because if you only have one player who can score goals it can be a problem.

“We have more players who can come into that position and have the quality to score goals. It makes it easier for the team.”

Wijnaldum has largely impressed since his move to Merseyside, albeit with a few muted performances in the opening weeks, but insisted “I know I can be better.”

This could come as a warning sign to returning midfielder Emre Can, who is working his way back to full fitness after an ankle injury.

With Wijnaldum, Lallana and Henderson all settled and in form in Klopp’s midfield three, quite where Can slots back in remains to be seen, but this competition for places can only be healthy.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Sadio Mane clinches PFA Player of the Month award

LiverpoolFC.TV - 7 hours 27 min ago

Sadio Mane has been voted as the PFA’s Player of the Month for August and September.

The Liverpool forward saw off competition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne in second and third-placed Etienne Capoue of Watford to clinch the accolade in a poll open to supporters of all teams on Sky Sports' website.

Diego Costa, Michail Antonio and Curtis Davies completed the top six.

Mane has made six appearances for the Reds to date, scoring three goals, to help Jürgen Klopp’s side enjoy a fine start to 2016-17.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Sadio Mane clinches PFA Player of the Month award

LiverpoolFC TV - 7 hours 27 min ago
Sadio Mane has been voted as the PFA’s Player of the Month for August and September.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jason McAteer: How I lived the Liverpool dream

LiverpoolFC TV - 8 hours 39 min ago
He lived the dream of every Liverpool fan - playing in front of the Kop in the famous red shirt - and upon the release of his new autobiography, Jason McAteer tells the fascinating tale of just how he achieved it.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Jason McAteer: How I lived the Liverpool dream

LiverpoolFC.TV - 8 hours 39 min ago

He lived the dream of every Liverpool fan - playing in front of the Kop in the famous red shirt - and upon the release of his new autobiography, Jason McAteer tells the fascinating tale of just how he achieved it.

‘Blood, Sweat & Jason McAteer’ is officially released on Thursday and will be on sale in the official Liverpool FC club store.

An honest and compelling read, the book sees McAteer explain what it meant to play alongside the likes of Robbie Fowler and John Barnes in one of the most exciting attacking teams ever seen at Anfield.

He reveals the highs and lows from his time wearing the Liver Bird and talks of his frustration and disappointment when he realised his Liverpool career was about to end.

A hero with the Republic of Ireland, McAteer also relives his famous goal against Holland and tells of his pride at wearing the green shirt.

To celebrate the launch of his book, McAteer will host a series of special book signings in Liverpool and Dublin. Supporters should be aware he will be signings copies in the LFC's official Liverpool One store on Saturday, October 8 at 11.30am BST.

Talking about the release of his autobiography, he told Liverpoolfc.com: “The book is six years in the making. I was approached six years ago by a friend of mine in Ireland who asked me was I interested in writing my autobiography, and I’ve got to be honest I didn’t think I had a real story to tell at first as I thought it was very normal.

“As you get older you get wiser and I then realised there were a few good stories that people might like to hear about, and my story is a little bit different to everyone else’s and I’m really pleased with it.

“I had the privilege of putting on that red jersey and it really is everybody’s dream. I managed to live that and it was brilliant. It was the same for Ireland with the green jersey. With all that comes the stories, the heartache, the tears and the laughter.

“When it came to me signing for Liverpool in 1995, it was a dream I never thought I would fulfil, certainly when I was 20 years old and working in a pub. But three years later I’m playing in a World Cup and five years later I’m signing for Roy Evans and playing for Liverpool!

“When you put on that red shirt for the first time it’s difficult to describe the feeling; words can’t do justice to how good it is.

“It’s like you are a superhero and you are putting on this magical cape. When you are in that dressing room and you put the red shirt on for the first time the emotion that runs through you and the adrenaline is just incredible.”

McAteer also reminisces about being part of one of the most famous Premier League encounters of all time, when Liverpool beat Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United 4-3 at Anfield in April 1996.

He added: “It was a special game and it’s one that puts a smile on my face.

“The only big disappointment was not winning the league after that and then losing the FA Cup final. They will go down as big disappointments, but the 4-3 game was very special and it is still looked back on as the greatest game ever played.

“To be part of it and contribute to it - I’m very proud of that.

“That was a brilliant attacking team we had which was full of quality with people like Robbie Fowler and Steve McManaman, but maybe at the back that’s where our frailties lay and maybe why we didn’t get across that line and win the Premier League title.”

'Blood, Sweat & Jason McAteer goes on sale on Thursday and is priced at £16.99. Make sure you purchase your copy from the official Liverpool FC club store. Click here to pre-order a copy of the book now.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Beale challenges U23s to take their chance

LiverpoolFC.TV - 9 hours 8 min ago

Ahead of Liverpool’s high-flying U23s taking on Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup at Prenton Park tonight, boss Michael Beale has urged his squad to grasp their latest opportunity to impress.

Sunday’s victory over Sunderland meant the young Reds made it four straight league wins - a run that has seen them score an incredible 15 goals.

But, such is the intense competition for places in the squad, the likes of Cameron Brannagan and Joe Maguire were only on the bench against the young Black Cats, while Adam Phillips, Matty Virtue and Brooks Lennon were also made to wait for their chance.

That is exactly the scenario Beale wants, and he has challenged his players to show why they deserve a place in the starting XI should they start at the home of Tranmere Rovers this evening.

“I expressed to the lads in our team meeting about competition for places and how important that is for us,” Beale told Liverpoolfc.com.

“The players are playing well at the moment and long may that continue, but everyone has got to make sure they look after themselves off the pitch and between the games and they’ve got to make sure they train really hard during each session so we can maintain this momentum.

“It is not such a good feeling when you are training hard every day and then aren't in the team but I’ve told the lads they have to fight to be in it. If you are in the team and you are doing well then it’s a lovely place to be at this moment in time.”

Watch the U23s impressive win over Sunderland on LFCTV GO

Tonight's meeting with Wolfsburg, which you can watch exclusively live on LFCTV and LFCTV GO from 6.30pm BST, is set to be a good test for the young Reds.

This is the second successive season that Liverpool will feature in the Premier League International Cup and they are preparing for some exciting games in Group C, having also been drawn alongside Porto and Leicester City.

The tournament is in its third season and this year has been extended to 24 teams – featuring 12 sides from England and 12 from Europe.

Beale says his squad are looking forward to the European challenge, which he believes is crucial for the development of the young players at his disposal.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for these young players to get some European experiences and I’m delighted we are back in the competition again this season,” he added.

“To be honest we weren’t prepared for it last season because we had a number of injuries when the tournament started, which meant we had some difficulties, notably against a very good Benfica side.

“We are a lot stronger this season coming off the back of a nice run and it’s a welcome game for us against German opponents. It’s one the boys are really looking forward to and it’s a good challenge for us.

“This Wolfsburg team play in a full men’s league over in Germany, so they have a mixture of talented young players and some experienced players from their first-team squad that may play in this game. But that’s exactly what we want - a really tough challenge.

“We have a lot of players in a really good place at the moment and we need this type of challenge, I feel.

“This is our first game in the group so we know we can’t afford any slip-ups. We also host Porto at Prenton Park on Wednesday, November 2 and we finish with an away trip to Leicester City on Saturday, December 3.

“It is a really difficult draw but it’s exactly what we want because we want more difficult games for our top young players. If they are going to progress to the first team then these experiences are vital.”

If you would like to go to the game, admission on the gate is just £4 for adults and £1 for children and concessions.

Members and season ticket holders can gain admission free of charge, simply by bringing their cards to the ground.

Categories: LFC NEWS

Beale challenges U23s to take their chance

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 8 min ago
Ahead of Liverpool’s high-flying U23s taking on Wolfsburg in the Premier League International Cup at Prenton Park tonight, boss Michael Beale has urged his squad to grasp their latest opportunity to impress.
Categories: LFC NEWS