LFC NEWS

Liverpool should copy José Mourinho transfer to sign 'next Daniel Sturridge' for Jürgen Klopp

Liverpool.com - 4 hours 53 min ago

At the moment, Chelsea are a club who are without direction. The club's new owner Todd Boehly is still fresh in the world of football and it seems he is still coming to grips with the ins and outs of the game and trying to find a philosophy at Chelsea.

That has seen the club make a chaotic approach in the transfer window this summer and it's an environment that Liverpool should look to exploit.

With Chelsea a strong base for young talent to develop, there are always young gems to be found at Stamford Bridge, who are not quite being appreciated by their homegrown club.

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp is right with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi point and Liverpool can prove it

READ MORE: Darwin Núñez detractors need to face Liverpool reality as Luis Suárez truth emerges

Liverpool will know that first-hand. Almost a decade ago, they lured Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea to Anfield, and Dominic Solanke was also a successful transfer from the London-based club.

Most recently it was José Mourinho who benefitted from a similar type of deal when he brought in Tammy Abraham from Chelsea to AS Roma, and the former Chelsea academy graduate has since thrived in Rome under Mourinho's guidance.

In a repeat of that deal and Michael Edwards' previous success with Chelsea forwards, Julian Ward should look to target another exciting Chelsea protege who is not getting a lot of minutes this season.

Armando Broja is regarded as an exciting talent who is already a regular for Albania at international level and who was impressive while on loan at Southampton in the Premier League making 10 goal contributions in 38 games for the club.

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Strong and pacey, Broja is a very dominant and physically imposing forward who can bully his opponents with ease. His style of play has earned him comparisons to Erling Haaland over the past couple of years and it's easy to see why some would make those links.

But at Chelsea, Broja has been neglected so far. Already in October, he is still yet to start a game for Chelsea and has featured in just 154 minutes for the club. That is a ridiculously short amount of time to be on the pitch with the season so advanced already, and sooner or later the 21-year-old will surely start to get discontented if his minutes continue to be so few.

If that is to be the case in the January transfer window, with Liverpool needing another forward after the departure of Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi this summer — not to mention Roberto Firmino could be onto pastures new upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the season — Julian Ward should definitely make an ambitious offer for Broja.

His style of play would certainly suit the Reds, and with Boehly at the helm, Liverpool might just be able to convince the club's new owner to part ways with Broja for the right price that would suit every party involved.

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Jürgen Klopp is right with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi point and Liverpool can prove it

Liverpool.com - 6 hours 53 min ago

Jürgen Klopp highlighted Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi's struggles while hitting back at critics regarding Liverpool’s poor form recently. An underwhelming start to the season leaves the Reds ninth in the Premier League, with just two wins from their opening seven games.

Astonishingly, defeat to Arsenal on Sunday would leave Liverpool 14 points behind the league leaders. Klopp’s side are already in six-pointer territory just two months into the new campaign.

Frustration is beginning to grow among supporters as the Reds’ boss aims to turn the tide, though a midweek win in the Champions League will have altered the mood. Klopp compared Liverpool’s struggles to Ronaldo and Messi’s at their respective clubs ahead of Tuesday’s 2-0 win against Rangers, and the result can only have helped prove him right.

READ MORE:Darwin Núñez detractors need to face Liverpool reality as Luis Suárez truth emerges

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders handed a new Liverpool dilemma as 'best playmaker' returns

Despite dominating European football for 15 years, the duo have struggled to replicate their previous levels in recent times. Ronaldo is struggling for minutes at Manchester United while Messi endured a rare barren spell last season after ditching Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.

"Do you think Cristiano Ronaldo at this moment is at the top of his confidence?" Klopp asked reporters. "It happens to all of us. Lionel Messi last season (was) pretty much the same.

"You have to take a step in the right direction and when you're ready, it's back. We have to be patient again, do the right things and then we will be fine again."

The 55-year-old also ordered his squad to 'go back to basics' amid recent defensive mishaps and Klopp's point is one that stands. Liverpool did just that against Rangers in a victory which could prove to be a reset of sorts.

Let's not forget this is still a hugely successful side led by a hugely successful manager and a full-throttle 'reset' probably isn't what's required — but turning a corner most definitely is, and the Reds will hope they did that this week.

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"When you spot a problem and think you have the solution, you expect the solution to be instant and influential," Klopp added.

"That's never the case in football. We've conceded similar goals now, they have gone through the same gaps. The problem we have is a brave way of defending. When the timing in our defending isn't perfect, we're too open. So yes, we have to be more compact.

"Defending is an art and it worked for us really well for a long time. But with it not working, you realise you have to go back to the basics... we can't always start anew. If we can help the boys with ways to defend differently, we have to do that."

Like Messi and Ronaldo, the current moment for Liverpool — not long ago the best in the world — has seen a crisis of confidence. Class is permanent, however, and the Reds will hope that they can make it back-to-back wins and good performances against Arsenal on Sunday.

Play well against Arsenal and Liverpool will have taken a big step towards proving Klopp right about their confidence levels. The win and reset shown against Rangers suggests there is a good chance they will.

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Darwin Núñez detractors need to face Liverpool reality as Luis Suárez truth emerges

Liverpool.com - 7 hours 23 min ago

Steve McManaman has insisted that record signing Darwin Núñez is a 'work in progress' as he battles to adapt to English football. Liverpool forked out an initial £64m to lure the highly-rated Uruguayan from Benfica in the summer.

Goals in the Community Shield against Manchester City and on his Premier League debut excited Reds’ supporters about the numbers Núñez could rack up this season. However, the 23-year-old has stuttered ever since, going six games without a goal.

Signs of a volatile temperament were on show in August when he was sent off for headbutting Crystal Palace defender Joachim Andersen. The resulting suspension was not ideal but allowed Jürgen Klopp to take the striker out of the firing line.

READ MORE:Jürgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders handed a new Liverpool dilemma as 'best playmaker' returns

READ MORE: Erling Haaland has given Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp a problem that only Darwin Núñez can fix

Erling Haaland’s unprecedented start to life in England has triggered unfair comparisons between the two. Given their similar age, frame, playing style and transfer fee, critics have already labelled Núñez a flop due to his counterpart’s record-breaking return at Eastlands.

But an improved display against Rangers delivered plenty of reasons to stay optimistic. The Anfield crowd applauded the Uruguayan — who bagged a staggering 34 goals last season — off the field when Klopp substituted him on 80 minutes.

McManaman believes it will take time for Núñez to align with Liverpool’s style of play. He told BT Sport post-match: "You have to remember what type of player Núñez is — he likes to run forward.

"That was his best attribute when he played against Liverpool last year in the Champions League. He’s a work in progress."

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Despite the support, McManaman also expressed concerns over Núñez’s discipline. Liverpool fans are not strangers to fiery South American frontmen… a la Luis Suárez.

Interestingly, Núñez only has one less goal than his compatriot at the same stage of their Liverpool careers. It took time for Suárez to develop into the ruthless, world-class goalscorer that left Merseyside for Barcelona in 2014.

Unlike Suárez, Reds legend McManaman wants Núñez to curb the recklessness out of his game. In the opening stages on Tuesday, he could have been given a yellow card for unnecessarily obstructing a Rangers free-kick.

"Nobody wants to see it," McManaman added. "You do not have to do this. It’s nine minutes in, you’re 1-0 up, do not antagonise anyone. You don’t need to stand in front two, three, four times."

Both Suárez and Núñez have similar records at the same stage of their Liverpool careers, and the similarities between the Uruguayan pair are clear. In time, there is enough evidence to think the latter will come good.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jurgen Klopp’s big call solved Liverpool midfield issue – but will it stay?

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 18:00

A change of heart and a change of system from the boss saw Liverpool win in Europe midweek, but can we expect the same domestically?

Throw a dart blindfolded at a football pitch-shaped dartboard and there’s a fair chance you’ll strike an area which has been a concern for Liverpool this season.

From a lack of pressure on the ball at the top end of the pitch, to horrible wastefulness in the centre, to negligent or non-existent tracking of runners from deep all the way through to individual errors at the back, the Reds simply haven’t been…well, good is the word.

In the more-or-less words of Jurgen Klopp, everything had to change; everything had to get better.

The lack of time between matches meant our second detailed look at the midfield – the first is here, from a couple of games in – had to wait until after Rangers.

In the end, it’s just as well, as we finally produced a performance worthy of the name, changed up the alignment of the team and actually did some off-ball work to reflect our fabled, famous, until-then-forgotten ‘identity’.

As usual, the stats are league only.

To note, Carvalho has 45 minutes in attack rather than midfield. Should he now continue to be used more in the front line, we’ll remove him from the equation next time out.

Now that we’ve had a few matches (nearly a quarter of the season gone!) and the sample size is larger, it’s worth a few direct comparisons with last year to see where the Reds are going wrong and where they’ve fallen short.

The problems so far

 Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Across the board, our passing is around one percent down on accuracy from 2021/22 in each of short-, medium- and long-range passes.

It doesn’t sound a huge amount, but consider that Liverpool average around 650 passes a match.

Give the ball away an additional half-a-dozen times a game just through wayward balls – not counting losing tackles or not having possession in the first place – and the problems do mount up faster if the off-ball work isn’t up to scratch.

Looking into more detail now, there are certain match situations in which the numbers clearly back up what we’ve seen with our own eyes: namely, they are not playing at a high enough tempo, have struggled when opponents harass them and been generally a lot worse off the ball.

Returning to a strictly midfield focus, it is important to note that, a lot of the time, the centre of the park can be bypassed in Klopp’s team when the pressure isn’t right from the front.

He often talks about defending starting high upfield and that’s of course absolutely right – and a big part of the knock-on effect of the whole team conceding chances – but individually those in the middle have been making some odd choices during games all the same.

We’ll get to the positional stuff in a moment, but first the numbers.

Against Brighton, for example, a team who played through and cut Liverpool apart so many times they resembled a dubiously fashionable pair of jeans by full-time, it should perhaps have been an opportune fixture for the midfield three to get in plenty of defensive actions.

If they couldn’t stop all of their attacks, surely they halted plenty at source? Apparently not.

For context, Henderson played an hour, Thiago went off in the final minute. Elliott did not make a tackle or interception in his half-hour on the pitch.

Individual non-brilliance was on show too often again from Fabinho, who has had a very tough start to the season.

That said, Liverpool’s dismal defensive work in general has way too often left him exposed centrally, two players either side of him and no protection from the No. 8s.

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (C) is challenged by AFC Ajax's Steven Berghuis (L) and Jurriën Timber during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

As a result, he currently ranks third in the Premier League for middle-third tackles; his 2.2 per 90 average is up considerably on his 1.3 from last term.

It is, needless to say, by necessity.

As an aside – but highlighting of the extra recovery effort needed this season – the only player in the league’s current top 10 for middle-third tackles who is not a central ball-winner (think Joao Palhinha, Tyler Adams, John McGinn) is…Luis Diaz.

How it changed against Rangers

 Liverpool's team lineup during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Glasgow Rangers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

By now most will have seen the horrendous screengrabs of Liverpool’s out-of-position right flank against Brighton, even if it hadn’t already scarred the retinas when watching live at the weekend.

Analysis of #Liverpool and hoe easy it is to play through them at the moment. #MNF

pic.twitter.com/uvmzyxlNrZ

— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 3, 2022

That, as much as the result, forced the boss and his coaches into a reshuffle: a double pivot midfield in the Champions League enforced two players behind play more often and allowed four forwards to link up with frequency.

In very broad strokes, Liverpool have basically over the last couple of years been a 4-6 team: two centre-backs, the No. 6 and one No. 8 sit defensive in general play, leaving six players – three forwards, two full-backs, the other No. 8 – to attack at any given moment.

There have been attempts to make it a 3-7 in certain situations, creating overloads and swamping opponents high upfield, but when it goes wrong it leaves the Reds badly exposed.

Rangers saw Liverpool largely set up in a 5-5, one full-back or the other joining the attack, with occasions that a high press could tilt it to a 4-6.

As others have mentioned, and rightly so, the quality of opponent has to be taken into account, but given none of Fulham, Crystal Palace or Man United are likely to be winning silverware any time soon and all have caused Liverpool problems, we can still take the midfield solidity as a good step forward.

On the ball, both starters were better. Off the ball, well, only one really impacted that positively but it was more the shape, the arrangement, which proved helpful.

One very notable occasion where the double pivot triumphed when the single No. 6 would have left the centre-backs exposed again came in the second half.

Ryan Kent took the ball on the turn, spinning past Henderson, who had gambled on the Rangers man going or passing right, not left.

He surged into space, but with Thiago having been basically in line with the captain, he was able to match the runner, make the tackle and start Liverpool playing again.

A single example is never proof, but it is indicative of the difference the pair can make when the team doesn’t have the control it needs higher upfield to use just one – especially if one player does not make the needed recovery run.

Will the two-man midfield stay?

As for whether it sticks around for the Premier League, it will likely depend on two things.

First, whether there have been any training sessions to work out the flaws in the three-man problem. There are obvious issues with pressing and positioning which are unlikely to magically resolve themselves.

Given the form and quality of our next two league opponents – Arsenal and Man City – Klopp could just opt to stick with the confidence and slightly better defensive protection his side can take from the Rangers win, at least for this weekend.

Secondly, it’s a question of fitness of course.

 Liverpool's Fabio Henrique Tavares 'Fabinho' (L) and Kostas Tsimikas applaud the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. Liverpool won 9-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Too many players have been too brittle and need to be protected. It would not be a surprise to see changes made at Ibrox to ensure the Reds are fighting fit against Pep Guardiola’s machines.

At a guess? Klopp hedges his bets against the Gunners.

The double pivot could remain, but with Fabinho part of it and Thiago pushed forward to operate as a more ‘true’ No. 10, allowing defensive protection but with also the option to return to a 4-3-3 if the opening stages do not go to plan.

Stats via FBref, WhoScored and FotMob

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Salah’s position, a “mythical” revelation & 1st professional contract – Latest LFC News

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 17:22

Liverpool’s attentions have now turned to Arsenal and Harvey Elliott has identified an area for improvement while the women’s side handed out a first professional contract to an up-and-coming defender.

Salah’s positioning

Mohamed Salah has scored five goals this season and has readily seen his position questioned for being too wide and too far away from the penalty area.

It’s a point Jurgen Klopp has disputed, but when Liverpool aren’t playing at their best he concedes it’s a position the No. 11 takes up when movement is “static.”

“Now, so the position [has] not really changed and what he has to do hasn’t changed. It’s just how it always was, when we don’t play our best football, then we have been too static,” Klopp told Sony Sports Network.

“That means when we are static, it’s a bit more often outside wide [position].

“There are always moments where we have to be outside wide, but we need him as well, because the goal is a bit more central, you need to be there as well.

“And so the observation is not wrong. But we work on flexibility in that area as well.”

The win at Rangers saw Klopp change the system to 4-4-2 and Salah was appreciative of the new “offensive formation” that “created many chances,” including three set up by the No. 11, who scored and had five shots himself.

Liverpool are at their best when Salah can slide into the box and cause chaos for the opposition but it works in tandem with how the team are performing alongside him.

3 things today: Anfield forever?

 Liverpool players celebrate during an open top bus parade around the city after the club won the Cup Double, the FA Cup and the Football League Cup. goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, Kostas Tsimikas, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konaté, Luis Díaz, Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcântara. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Ibrahima Konate can see himself playing out his career at Liverpool, a club that has “everything” and “magnificent supporters” – can’t wait to have him back on the pitch!
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold and his prospects for England’s World Cup squad will stay in the headlines and Kyle Walker’s groin injury could have an impact on Gareth Southgate’s selection.
Latest Liverpool FC news

Liverpool Women player Hannah Silcock signs her first pro contract at Solar Campus, 30/09/22.  Photo: Nick Taylor/LFC

  • Athur was a notable absentee from the squad against Rangers, but was it due to illness, fitness or just being out of favour?
  • Defender Hannah Silcock has signed her first professional contract with Liverpool Women, the 18-year-old has been with the club since the age of eight.
  • Relatives of Hillsborough victims have been left ‘appalled‘ by the Home Office after not being informed about a review into pathology failings at the original inquest.
Latest chat from elsewhere

All #PL matches between October 8-16 will be dedicated to #NoRoomForRacism.

Players will take the knee ahead of kick-off before all 20 fixtures during this period to show their unity against all forms of racism.

?? https://t.co/vfyb3kUvqA pic.twitter.com/e3isL4mKp8

Premier League (@premierleague) October 6, 2022

  • Premier League players will take a knee over the next two matchdays as part of an anti-discrimination campaign, ‘No Room for Racism’.
  • Xabi Alonso has detailed his “dominant” philosophy after taking his first senior managerial role with Bayer Leverkusen. It will be interesting to see how he gets on!
  • Conor Coady is currently on loan at Everton but they have an option to sign the defender for £4.5 million next summer – unusual savvy business from the Blues.
Tweet of the day and match of the night

I’ll take more of the same on Sunday, please!

A top pass from @Thiago6 to find @DiogoJota18, who opened the scoring in #ARSLIV last season ? pic.twitter.com/a5gFVRFMDe

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 6, 2022

Our opponents on Sunday are in action at the Emirates tonight, Bodo/Glimt are the visitors for the 8pm kickoff in the Europa League – one to keep an eye on.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool’s formation change and Trent Alexander-Arnold’s deeper role analysed

the Athletic - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 17:00

After a shaky start to the season, Liverpool returned to winning ways on Tuesday night against Rangers in a new-look 4-4-2 formation.

Following the 3-3 draw with Brighton last Saturday, Jurgen Klopp bemoaned how his team had looked open at the back and too easy to play through. Leandro Trossard took advantage of Liverpool’s leaky back line to become only the third visiting player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick at Anfield.

For the Champions League match against Rangers, the manager was keen to address this by shifting away from his tried and tested 4-3-3.

After the 2-0 victory, Klopp confirmed he had opted for a 4-4-2 — even though at times the team’s structure looked more like a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-4.

The image below shows Liverpool set up in a 4-4-2.

This tactical switch worked — admittedly against a passive Rangers side — in helping to solidify the defence but not blunting the Liverpool attack.

It gave Liverpool greater control and the victory puts them in a healthy position in Group A ahead of the trip to Glasgow on Wednesday.

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Fabinho in, Henderson out? – Fans pick Liverpool midfield for Arsenal clash

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 16:29

Liverpool’s change to a 4-4-2 system saw Jordan Henderson and Thiago start together in Tuesday’s win over Rangers, but fans are backing Fabinho to return to the lineup for Sunday’s meeting with Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp has used three midfielders in a 4-3-3 system for the vast majority of his time at the club, but after an a series of disjointed performances in the centre of the park, the Reds’ boss opted to try out something different against the Scottish outfit.

The new formation, described by Klopp and players after the game as a 4-4-2, saw only two midfielders start, with Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez all lining up in attack.

That meant one midfielder had to drop out, with Fabinho named on the bench. Henderson and Thiago performed well, with both looking more comfortable in deeper roles where they could dictate play and protect the back four.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 3 game between Liverpool FC and Glasgow Rangers FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Liverpool manager’s comments after the game would suggest there is a good chance that he will stick with the same set up against Arsenal this weekend, leaving him with several decisions to make.

Roberto Firmino may well replace Diogo Jota or Darwin Nunez in attack, but it is his midfield selection that could be even more intriguing.

Does he trust Henderson and Thiago, two players who have had injury problems this season, to do the business against the league leaders, or will Fabinho come back into the lineup?

? ?? Klopp sticks with 442 on Sunday at Arsenal, what would your midfield two be?

— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) October 6, 2022

We put that question to our Twitter followers on Thursday, with over half of voters hoping to see the Brazilian replace Henderson at the Emirates Stadium.

This system would perhaps benefit Fabinho, who has looked out of sorts for much of the season as Liverpool’s sole anchorman.

If we stick to the 4-4 -2 then Fabinho Thiago

— Justin Cole LIVERPOOL FC MY LIFE (@JustinC94019825) October 6, 2022

I choosed thiago anf fab but really thought hendo did amazing on Tuesday

— Juleb (@Ju_Lebeau) October 6, 2022

…………….D.Jota…………….
L.Díaz…….Firmino…….Salah
………Thiago….Fabinho…….
Tsimikas…………….A-Arnold
………Van.Dijk…Matip………
…………….Alisson……………

— Héctorh2Martínez (@hh2martinez) October 6, 2022

Others said they’d prefer to see the midfield pairing stay the same, with Henderson and Thiago both looking more comfortable against Rangers.

Wouldn’t make one change to the team

— WRH93 (@itswrh) October 6, 2022

Hendo and Thiago for me, Fab still looks like he is not up to speed and that will hurt us against a pacey Arsenal side.

— NorthSideFooty (@SideFooty) October 6, 2022

Thiago and Henderson didn't do anything wrong against Rangers. I wouldn't change it. Bring in Fabinho at the 60-65th minute.

— Tundey A. (@realtundey) October 6, 2022

Henderson can consider himself hard done by if he is the one to make way, but it should be remembered that he has only just recovered from a hamstring injury that kept him out for a number of weeks.

Thiago, who was also sidelined with an injury in the same area in the early weeks of the season, will also need a rest at some point, but that would surely make more sense in next week’s trip to Ibrox.

The midfield battle will be key against Mikel Arteta’s side. Jurgen has some big decisions to make!

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jordan Henderson: Rangers win is a step in the right direction

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 15:29

Jordan Henderson considered Liverpool's 2-0 Champions League victory over Rangers a step in the right direction.

The Reds captain aided his side’s claiming of three points in Group A on Tuesday night, completing 69 minutes of the contest at Anfield.

Trent Alexander-Arnold opened the scoring with a well-placed curling free-kick and Mohamed Salah made sure the spoils were safe from the penalty spot following the half-time interval.

Liverpool made it back-to-back victories in European action, with Henderson pleased by the performance in response to a mixed start to the Premier League campaign.

The No.14 told Liverpoolfc.com post-match: “I think overall the performance level was really good. We’ve got to be really happy.

“I thought first half especially we started the game really well. We got a good goal and could have got a couple more, but overall I think we’ve got to be happy with the performance.

“We controlled the game from the start to the end, which is important. Of course, there are going to be things we can improve on, but I think it is a step in the right direction and a good solid performance.”

On Alexander-Arnold’s stunning free-kick, Henderson added: “Obviously everyone will speak about the free-kick – an excellent free-kick – but I thought overall tonight he was really good defensively.

“He’s done the basics really well and made some really good passes, defensively I thought he was solid, which is important for us. I thought his performance was really good.”

Liverpool now turn their attention to a visit to the capital to face Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, before the reverse group fixture against Rangers at Ibrox next week.

“One hundred per cent – we need to,” Henderson said of taking momentum from their latest display.

“Arsenal are flying at the minute so we need to be at 100 per cent to even have a chance of going there and getting a good result.

“We need to take tonight, build on it and try to be even better on Sunday.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Jordan Henderson: Rangers win is a step in the right direction

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 15:29
Jordan Henderson considered Liverpool's 2-0 Champions League victory over Rangers a step in the right direction.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Virgil van Dijk on Rangers win, Reds' spirit and upcoming tests

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 15:05

Virgil van Dijk was satisfied with Liverpool's performance as they returned to winning ways by beating Rangers 2-0 at Anfield.

Tuesday night’s Champions League match was settled by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s sensational early free-kick and a second-half penalty from Mohamed Salah.

The Reds sit second in Group A on six points ahead of next week’s reverse fixture at Ibrox, a game that follows the weekend trip to Arsenal in the Premier League.

Post-match, Liverpoolfc.com spoke to Van Dijk – read the interview with the No.4 below…

On how pleased he is with the performance and result…

Yeah, pleased. Three points, overall a very good performance and a lot of things that we wanted to do came out. We created a lot of chances, I think their goalkeeper was outstanding, kept them in the game and yeah, I think overall it was very important to gain confidence and keep the clean sheet and do very well. I think we did.

On Liverpool working well as a team…

Yeah. You know, when you are in a difficult moment everyone wants to sort the situation out as quickly as possible and that’s not always easy. You want to sort it like today or tomorrow and get everything as good as possible again because the consistency we showed over the last four or five years, that’s something that is the most difficult part in football and if you are not doing it right now then obviously you get the criticism that you deserve. But it’s also a little bit that we set the standards so high that we know we are under some pressure. That’s why we have to stick together, be there for each other, work even harder and you see today great spirit in each and every one of us and [it was] a well-deserved win.

On how pleased he is for Alexander-Arnold to have delivered a superb opening goal…

Yeah, you know, that’s the outside world [discussing Alexander-Arnold]. Obviously the criticism we all got could have happened but for him he just had to keep his head down. He showed today his quality again and defensively he was there as well. Hopefully we can keep that line going, all of us, and keep clean sheets.

On next week’s trip to Ibrox and whether he is expecting a hostile reception given his Celtic connections…

The last time I got booed was when I played England in Portugal in the Nations League semi-final and we won, so hopefully if that’s the case and we win then I will have it! But I don’t get affected by it, I try to play my best game and in order to do that the focus should be 100 per cent there. We know it’s going to be very tough over there with the fans so we have to be ready, but first we’ve got another big challenge coming up in the capital.

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Virgil van Dijk on Rangers win, Reds' spirit and upcoming tests

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 15:05
Virgil van Dijk was satisfied with Liverpool's performance as they returned to winning ways by beating Rangers 2-0 at Anfield.
Categories: LFC NEWS

“It’s a club where I could end my career” – Liverpool “way above” Ibrahima Konate’s expectations

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 14:19

At just 23 years of age, Ibrahima Konate says he could see himself ending his career at Liverpool, admitting the size of the club is way above his initial expectations.

The France centre-back joined the club in the summer of 2021, with Liverpool winning both domestic cup competitions and going close to completing an unprecedented quadruple of trophies in his first season.

Konate arrived from RB Leipzig after the Reds triggered his £36 million release clause, and in an interview published in his homeland, he has opened up on his admiration for the club.

He has also revealed how he initially didn’t believe Jurgen Klopp‘s claim that his life would change when he signed for Liverpool.

“Liverpool is an amazing place and a mythical club,” Konate told Onze Mondial.

 Liverpool's Ibrahima Konaté during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and Glasgow Rangers FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I remember, before I signed, I had the coach on the phone. He said to me: ‘The day you sign for Liverpool, it will not be the same for you, your life will change.

“Wherever you travel in the world, you will see for yourself what I am telling you. In my head I was thinking: ‘OK, fine, it’s an incredible club with a great history, but chill’.

“I travelled, I went to Zanzibar this summer, and I was taking at least 50 photos a day. And then his sentence came back into my head. I thought: ‘This is insane’.

“As a kid, I knew Liverpool was a big club, but I didn’t imagine it like this. It’s way above my expectations in every way.”

Having recently recovered from a knee injury that has kept him sidelined during the early weeks of the season, Konate is likely to return to match action in the coming weeks.

 PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

After an impressive first season, including a standout performance in the Champions League final, many view the Parisian as a player who could go on to become one of the best defender’s in the club’s history.

And Konate looks to have similar aspirations of his own, going on to reveal how he could already see himself finishing his playing career on Merseyside.

“Today I am at Liverpool, and the truth is, I hardly see a superior club.

“When you are here, you have everything: a great club, a great history, always in the running to win the Champions League, the Premier League and all the trophies with magnificent supporters.

 Liverpool players celebrate during an open top bus parade around the city after the club won the Cup Double, the FA Cup and the Football League Cup. goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo, Kostas Tsimikas, Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konaté, Luis Díaz, Roberto Firmino, Thiago Alcântara. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I’m 23 and it’s a club where I could end my career. This club is among the top three clubs in the world.

“But you also need quality to finish your career here!”

Konate made some similar comments about his shock at the size of the club during pre-season, singing out June’s parade of the city as a particular highlight.

He is clearly a player who is loving every minute of his time at Liverpool, and it refreshing to hear a player speak so openly and emotionally.

Can’t wait to see him back on the pitch!

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Premier League players to take a knee over next two weekends

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 14:14

Premier League players are set to take a knee before top-flight matches over the next two weekends as part of an anti-discrimination campaign.

The league's 'No Room For Racism' initiative takes place over the next two rounds of games, and as part of that players will take a knee as a gesture against racism and other forms of discrimination.

Premier League club captains decided ahead of the start of the season to select significant moments to make the gesture, after it became a common sight at matches following the death while under police arrest of black man George Floyd in the United States in 2020.

Other occasions selected for players to take a knee include the Boxing Day round of matches - which will mark the return of the Premier League after the World Cup - future No Room For Racism campaign weeks, the final day of the season and the FA Cup and Carabao Cup finals.

Other messaging in support of the campaign will be displayed around Premier League stadia.

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Fulham defender Kenny Tete has opened up about his experiences of racism within football and says there is still much room for improvement

Darren Moore, the chair of the Premier League's Black Participants' Advisory Group (BPAG), said: "In my time as chair of BPAG, I have seen a lot of significant changes and progress in tackling discrimination and creating more opportunities across the game.

"I think it is fantastic players are continuing to take the knee to show a united front against racism. The BPAG fully supports the players as they take the knee at selected matches to continue to send this powerful message.

"I am proud of the work being done to increase the number of coaches from under-represented groups going into full-time professional roles. The coaching initiatives are excellent and well-received by candidates.

"There has been really good work in opening doors and creating pathways - the challenge now is to ensure we continue to work together to maintain progress and enhance these opportunities for even more coaches.

"We already have a brilliant game and bringing more diversity into all areas of football will only continue to make it even better."

The league is involved in various programmes focused on equality and diversity, including the Professional Player to Coach Scheme (PPCS) and the Coach Inclusion and Diversity Scheme, which have led to 48 black, Asian, mixed-heritage or female coaches securing placements with professional clubs.

The league also launched an online abuse reporting system in June 2020 to support players, staff and their families when they receive discriminatory abuse via social media.

The league has investigated more than 400 cases to identify online abusers following reports from clubs.

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Kick It Out CEO Tony Burnett says football governing bodies need to address the problems of representation throughout all levels of football

Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said: "Fighting racism and all forms of discrimination is always a priority for the Premier League and our clubs.

"We urge everybody to play their part and demonstrate that racial prejudice is not acceptable in football or wider society.

"We support the decision made by players to take the knee at specific moments during the season and we will use these matches to further promote anti-discrimination and educate fans.

"We continue to work hard to address discrimination and improve opportunities within the game, in line with our No Room For Racism action plan.

"We know more can be done to remove barriers to make football more inclusive, and that football will benefit from greater diversity across all areas of the sport."

Kick It Out reporting racism

Online Reporting Form | Kick It Out

Kick It Out is football's equality and inclusion organisation - working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

www.kickitout.org

Together we will strive to make our social media accounts a safe space for all fans.

Hate won't stop us in our goal of celebrating sport for all and all for sport.

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Liverpool loan player power rankings as starlet takes James Maddison path and James Balagizi good

Liverpool.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 14:00

Jürgen Klopp's preference to keep a tight-knit, technically excellent squad throughout his Liverpool first-team means that it can be very tough for players of good enough standard to leave the club on loan if chances are hard to come by at Anfield.

Players such as Curtis Jones, Calvin Ramsay, Nat Phillips and Caoimhín Kelleher are all young enough and capable enough to play for the Reds, although with a plethora of strong options ahead of them, the game time they require could be in short supply.

Nonetheless, there are options even further down the pecking order that have gone out on loan to further impress the German — although there are differing reports on how they are faring.

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders handed a new Liverpool dilemma as 'best playmaker' returns

READ MORE: Jude Bellingham just added new layer Liverpool will love but Jürgen Klopp knows transfer risk

Many have been wowed by Leighton Clarkson's development at Scottish outfit Aberdeen, with the Blackburn-born midfielder progressing well at Pittodrie in a similar fashion to how James Maddison progressed north of the border before his move to Leicester, despite failing to impress at Blackburn Rovers last season.

Elsewhere, Northern Ireland starlet Conor Bradley has impressed on loan at Bolton Wanderers — so much so that he has kept his place as a starter in the national team and helped the Greater Manchester outfit push back for a place in the Championship for the first time in seven years.

With that all in mind, let's take a look at how Liverpool's loan stars line up in this week's power rankings based on average league statistics from WhoScored.com.

WhoScored ratings are based on a statistical algorithm, calculated live during a game. There are over 200 raw statistics included in the calculation of a player's rating, weighted according to their influence within a match.

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Every event of importance is taken into account, with a positive or negative effect on ratings weighted in relation to its area on the pitch and its outcome. Here's how the ratings look after this weekend's respective league results.

Power rankings (N/A denotes player is yet to play / information unavailable):

Leighton Clarkson - Aberdeen 6.97

Conor Bradley - Bolton Wanderers 6.85

Vítězslav Jaroš - Stockport County 6.83

James Balagizi - Crawley Town 6.64

Tyler Morton - Blackburn Rovers 6.62

Adam Lewis - Newport County 6.46

Rhys Williams - Blackpool 6.45

Sepp van den Berg - Schalke 6.35

Max Woltman - Doncaster Rovers 6.04

Paul Glatzel - Tranmere Rovers 5.96

Owen Beck - Bolton Wanderers N/A

Jack Bearne - Kidderminster N/A

Fidel O'Rourke - Caernarfon Town N/A

Jakub Ojrzynski - Radomiak Radom N/A

Bily Koumetio - Austria Wien N/A

Anderson Arroyo - Deportivo Alaves N/A

Statistics correct at the time of writing (October 4). All ratings based on domestic form in both league and cup competitions.

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Jude Bellingham just added new layer Liverpool will love but Jürgen Klopp knows transfer risk

Liverpool.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 13:00

Another round of Champions League fixtures has passed, and Jude Bellingham has yet another goal to his name in Europe's elite competition. He's now scored in all three of Borussia Dortmund's group games so far this season, versus Manchester City, Sevilla and Copenhagen.

In fact, Erling Haaland is the only other player to achieve such a feat as a teenager. His run of form is even more impressive once appreciating that he's a central midfielder, unlike his Norwegian former teammate, who is very much in the mould of a pure striker.

It is perhaps no surprise, then, that Liverpool are actively chasing Bellingham ahead of a transfer move in 2023. The Englishman is looking increasingly generational with every passing week, adding new layers to his game to become even more complete.

READ MORE: Liverpool just found short and long-term midfield fix as Jürgen Klopp can maximise £84m trio

READ MORE: Jürgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders handed a new Liverpool dilemma as 'best playmaker' returns

He showcased one of those new layers on Wednesday night, having been deployed as a number 10 for Dortmund within Edin Terzić's preferred 4-2-3-1 shape.

The BVB outfit have favoured 4-2-3-1 for most of the new season, but Bellingham has primarily been deployed as part of a midfield two with a number 10 typically fielded ahead of him.

With Jürgen Klopp recently moving towards a 4-4-2 system at Anfield — which looks like a 4-2-3-1 in possession — their top target is looking increasingly suitable to the job requirements on Merseyside, simply because of his ability to play everywhere.

Last season, Dortmund used 4-3-3 more often, with Bellingham usually deployed as one of the team's two number eights, showcasing his box-to-box abilities in the Bundesliga.

Still just 19 years old, the English midfielder is proving to be incredibly mature for his age by occupying new tactical roles on a regular basis and performing to a high level. He has very few weaknesses despite his youth, exhibiting himself as quite the all-rounder since his move from Birmingham City in the summer of 2020.

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Klopp has always been inclined to favour midfielders of his type. The German likes those who are multifunctional, versatile across different positions and naturally attack-minded, like Gini Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcântara and Naby Keïta.

He wore the captain's armband on Wednesday night, becoming the first English player to captain his team in the Champions League as a teenager, which is a testament to his rapid development and mental drive.

With every passing week, Bellingham is justifying Liverpool's interest in him. The problem for the Reds, however, is that he's almost looking too good.

If he continues on his current trajectory, there is a very realistic possibility that he could become out of reach by the end of the campaign, with more and more heavyweight clubs likely to pay attention to his performances.

Liverpool will surely remain in the race for his signature regardless but if he keeps delivering to this level, the wealthiest clubs on the continent could threaten to essentially blow the Reds out of the water.

Bellingham's rise is exceptional, but Klopp would probably like him to start drifting under the radar a little more.

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The Man City injury that could impact Alexander-Arnold’s World Cup chances

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 12:51

One of Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s direct competitors for a place in England’s World Cup squad is now a doubt to be involved in the tournament, with Kyle Walker undergoing surgery.

Walker sustained a groin injury in City’s 6-3 derby win over Man United on Sunday, with the champions confirming on Thursday that the right-back had undergone successful surgery.

No official timescale has been placed on his return, but various reports suggest he is now a doubt for the World Cup, which gets underway next month.

That could have a direct impact on Alexander-Arnold’s chances of making the squad, a topic that has generated plenty of discussion in recent weeks.

Liverpool’s no. 66 was part of the England camp for their September internationals, but played no part in either game and was left out of the matchday squad for their second encounter against Germany.

 Monday June 6, 2022.

England boss Gareth Southgate claimed Alexander-Arnold’s all-round game was inferior to that of Walker, Kieran Trippier and Reece James last week.

Walker’s injury may increase the Liverpool right-back’s chances of being involved in Qatar, but there is also a strong possibility that Southgate would call up a centre-back in his place, having mainly used the City defender as part of a three-man defence in recent years.

That could mean the likes of AC Milan’s Fikayo Tomori, Crystal Palace‘s Marc Guehi or Arsenal‘s Ben White are preferred to Alexander-Arnold.

There is, however, also the option of deploying Chelsea defender James as part of a back three, with the likes of Alexander-Arnold or Trippier deployed at right wing-back.

England manager Gareth Southgate (Mike Egerton/PA)

Walker will play no part when Liverpool host City in their Premier League encounter next weekend. Joao Cancelo is likeliest to deputise at right-back, with summer signing Sergio Gomez filling in on the other side.

Those were the two full-backs that played in City’s 5-0 win over Copenhagen on Wednesday, with 17-year-old academy right-back Rico Lewis also getting minutes in the second half.

As ludicrous as it may be, Jurgen Klopp certainly won’t be complaining if Alexander-Arnold isn’t included in England’s 26-man squad for Qatar.

Whether Walker’s injury has any impact on Southgate’s considerations remains to be seen.

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“I’ve had chats with the gaffer” – Harvey Elliott reveals area of game he must improve on

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 12:22

Liverpool teenager Harvey Elliott admits he needs to solve his own problems if he is to establish himself in Jurgen Klopp’s side as he is “not a kid anymore”.

It is a strong statement from someone who does not celebrate his 20th birthday for another six months but is a sign of the growing maturity of a player in only his second full season in the first-team squad.

When a midfield injury crisis bit hard at the start of the campaign, Klopp turned to Elliott, who began last season in the starting line-up before an horrific fracture dislocation of an ankle, to fill the gaps left by the more experienced Thiago Alcantara and Jordan Henderson.

With the whole team underperforming it made the youngster’s own job more difficult and exposed some weaknesses in his game which the 19-year-old, who has taken advice from senior players, knows he has to improve.

“They put their arm around me and give me a helping hand if needed but at the same time I need to solve my own problems and I need to deal with it myself like a man,” he said.

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold and Harvey Elliott line-up before the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I am not a kid anymore, so I need to have that authority and make sure I stamp things out.

“If there are things I need to improve on then I need to improve on them and for me it’s just about making sure I do what I can do to get in the team and cement my spot.

“Everyone needs to be ready, fully confident, motivated and ready to go out and play because, at the end of the day, we’re going to need everyone.

“I feel fully confident and motivated.”

Elliott started seven matches in succession when Henderson and Thiago were out but, with the pair returning to fitness, his opportunities are likely to be less frequent.

However, the continued absences of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita mean the chances will still come in a packed schedule up until the World Cup but what Elliott needs is for the team to be in better form when he does start to ease the focus on his performances.

“Obviously as an attacking player I have had to make the switch to central midfield and there are different changes I’ve had to make to my game,” he added.

 Liverpool's Harvey Elliott during a training session at the AXA Training Centre ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Defending is a big thing I have to improve on and I have been working on it so far this season.

“It’s going to take a while to get used to it and master it but I’ve had chats with the gaffer and the coaching team on how I can do that.”

The switch Klopp made to 4-2-3-1 against Rangers may actually benefit Elliott more than most, as it provides him with two covering midfielders, but it appears unlikely he will be preferred for Sunday’s game at Premier League leaders Arsenal.

“Everyone will get their opportunity, as you’ve seen so far this season, whether that’s through an unfortunate injury or different formations – there’s going to be a lot of competition in the team,” he said.

“That’s another good thing for us to make sure everyone’s bang on it in every training session.

“We (need to) keep the confidence and the positives and take it into the weekend.

“It’s never an easy game and even more so with the form they are in, so we just need to make sure we’re ready to stamp our foot down on this league and come away with a win.”

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Liverpool just found short and long-term midfield fix as Jürgen Klopp can maximise £84m trio

Liverpool.com - Thu, 10/06/2022 - 11:30

With so many options depleted in midfield this season, Liverpool have often lacked control in matches and struggled to dominate proceedings. In turn, that has led to them often conceding the first goal, giving themselves an uphill task to turn things around.

When a goal behind, already with confidence drained, Liverpool have struggled to perform at their usual level and they know, given the numbers that Manchester City are capable of putting down, they need to score two goals, not one, when 1-0 down, in order to be able to keep pace.

Against Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday night, though, it was not just the fact that they scored the first goal that changed things — the new formation (4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1; there is only an inconsequential difference) allowed them to dictate.

READ MORE:Jürgen Klopp and Pep Lijnders handed a new Liverpool dilemma as 'best playmaker' returns

READ MORE: Liverpool should sign £31m 'next Mohamed Salah' after Jude Bellingham in dream double transfer

They won't play a midfield two in every game from now on. Indeed, it will be telling how much of a permanent change of system we saw against Rangers when the teamsheet drops on Sunday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium.

Table-topping Arsenal have been impressive this season — though Manchester United beat them and the Tottenham game they won could have gone differently were it not for a long-range strike from Thomas Partey — and so it would be brave and bold to go with a front four on that occasion.

There are advantages — having four players pressing high against an Arsenal defence that is there to be got at could cause chaos — but it would also lead to an end-to-end shoot-out of a fixture that could swing either way.

Rangers might have been unable to play out against the Liverpool front four, but Arsenal will at least a few times, even if the Reds do manage to pen them back in the main.

While Arsenal and then Manchester City are next up in the Premier League, though, not every match will see Liverpool play teams as well-drilled and filled with quality as those two are.

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Against most sides, a front four — which arguably suits the likes of Harvey Elliott and Fábio Carvalho better, too, as well as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Darwin Núñez — is not quite such a risky tactic.

Jordan Henderson, crucially, looked a lot better in a more withdrawn role, rather than being caught high up the field and being unable to get back behind the ball on counter-attacks.

Thiago Alcântara and Fabinho have both excelled in midfield twos in their careers as well, and with no other top-class midfield options available, playing two out of the three from the start could be the way forwards from now on.

Whatever combination of that trio — signed for a combined £84m — Jürgen Klopp could be confident of having enough quality on the ball to keep possession and organise off the ball too. And having two of them on the field and one in reserve to bring on could be the rotation that keeps them all fitter and available for longer.

With Naby Keïta still missing and no sign yet of Curtis Jones, Liverpool have limited numbers in midfield as it is, and need to get the most out of the ones they have fit across the longest time period.

Playing a double-pivot against Arsenal and Manchester City might be risky. But against most teams moving forwards, it might be the only logical plan to implement.

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