LFC NEWS

Red Neighbours launches Breakfast Clubs to You

LiverpoolFC.TV - 8 hours 56 min ago

Red Neighbours launched its 'Breakfast Clubs to You' initiative this week to help support local families during the coronavirus outbreak.

The club’s local community programme usually welcomes hundreds of local residents to breakfast clubs at Anfield throughout school holidays, but has been unable to do so this Easter break due to the current UK lockdown.

Instead, the Red Neighbours team delivered food parcels to 10 school hubs for distribution to vulnerable families throughout the Anfield and Kirkby areas – each containing enough breakfast items to feed a family of five for up to three days.

An additional 20 parcels were also divided between Northwood foodbank in Kirkby, local Northwood residents in need, and various charities within Anfield and Kirkby.

In total, 220 parcels, which will feed around 1,100 local people, were delivered this week, with the team aiming to repeat the donation during the second half of the holidays.

Forbes Duff, Red Neighbours’ senior manager, said: “With it being half-term, we would usually be opening our doors for local families to enjoy our breakfast clubs at Anfield.

“With the current situation, this hasn’t been possible, but we didn’t want those residents to miss out – we decided to bring the breakfast clubs to them instead.

“Each of the packs we put together not only contained three days’ worth of delicious breakfast items, but also activity packs for children and a personal letter of support from the Red Neighbours team.

“We wanted to let our local residents know that we are here for them during the crisis and we will continue to support them however we can.”

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Red Neighbours launches Breakfast Clubs to You

LiverpoolFC TV - 8 hours 56 min ago
Red Neighbours launched its 'Breakfast Clubs to You' initiative this week to help support local families during the coronavirus outbreak.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch: Lockdown haircuts revealed in Reds' latest Zoom session

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 5 min ago
A handful of members of Liverpool's first-team set-up were sporting new-look hairstyles as the group took part in a bike workout via Zoom earlier this week.
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Live from 7.45pm BST: Manchester City 1-2 Liverpool (2018)

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 26 min ago
Two years on from Liverpool's memorable Champions League comeback at Manchester City, we'll be showing the full game live on Liverpoolfc.com this evening.
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Leipzig send message to Liverpool over Timo Werner transfer

LiverpoolFC.TV - 9 hours 48 min ago

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has played down rumours that Timo Werner could be on his way to Liverpool and says he is 'deeply relaxed' about the forward's situation.

Werner, 24, has emerged as one of Liverpool’s top targets ahead of the summer transfer window, with Jurgen Klopp desperate to strengthen his attacking options to ease the pressure on Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

The Germany international has had an exceptional start to the season in the Bundesliga, netting 21 times in 25 games, and his barnstorming form in front of goal has also seen him linked with the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Full story: Metro

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Leipzig send message to Liverpool over Timo Werner transfer

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 48 min ago
Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has played down rumours that Timo Werner could be on his way to Liverpool and says he is 'deeply relaxed' about the forward's situation.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Leipzig send message to Liverpool over Timo Werner transfer

HEAD NEWS - 9 hours 48 min ago

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has played down rumours that Timo Werner could be on his way to Liverpool and says he is 'deeply relaxed' about the forward's situation.

Werner, 24, has emerged as one of Liverpool’s top targets ahead of the summer transfer window, with Jurgen Klopp desperate to strengthen his attacking options to ease the pressure on Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

The Germany international has had an exceptional start to the season in the Bundesliga, netting 21 times in 25 games, and his barnstorming form in front of goal has also seen him linked with the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Full story: Metro

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Analysed: Thomas Gronnemark breaks down goals scored from throw-ins

LiverpoolFC.TV - 9 hours 56 min ago

We asked throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark to analyse three goals Liverpool scored this season that originated from throw-in situations.

The Danish coach has been working with the Reds since the summer of 2018, with Jürgen Klopp keen to take advantage of the specialist information he offers.

Take a look at Gronnemark's analysis below... 

Roberto Firmino's finish at Southampton on August 17

Firmino scores the Reds' second at St Mary's

"We had a really good pressure situation with Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino [on] the Southampton defence. Then Sadio got the ball, passed to Firmino and scored. 

"I have approximately 40 different throw-in tools, I'm working with three different zones too and then I have specific assignments for every player. It's much more complex [attacking] than when we are defending. 

"On top of that, [I try] to put the player's own creativity and the player's own fantasies, so there's like millions of options. Of course you'll never use every one of them and it's not like an NFL playbook, where we have to do this, this and this. It's much more like, 'We try to do this and then if the opponents are covering us, we know we can unlock other options.' 

"On one hand it's much much more complex than most people think, but there's also simple things. Working with the players, they're really good. 

"From 17-18 to the 18-19 season, when you can go from No.18 in the Premier League at throw-ins under pressure to No.1, then we have done something right." 

The 84th-minute winner at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 23

Firmino smashes a late winner against Wolves

"As you can see, we did some movements and Bobby Firmino used that space we had created. Then it went on to Mo Salah, to Hendo and Bobby scored it at the end. 

"If you measure every minute then, of course, I'm working with Trent and Robbo more because they are full-backs, but I work with many players in many of the sessions. Often I'm working with all the players at one time. 

"It's really that, first of all, everybody knows the strategy, knows what to do, knows what options we have. 

"But it's also important that all the players are able to take a throw-in - not only with good precision and decent length, but knowing when to throw fast, when to wait, when to wait for the right space to be created."

Firmino goal secures victory at Tottenham Hotspur on January 11

Firmino opens the scoring with an emphatic finish at Tottenham

"It's not the same but it is similar to the Wolves one. It's just how we express [ourselves]. We just had another set-up to create space and Bobby Firmino used it again to score a goal.

"I've heard a lot of people saying that throw-ins are marginal gains. I don't think that throw-in coaching is a marginal gain because you normally have between 40 and 60 throw-ins in a match, sometimes less but sometimes more. 

"The throw-in situations just before the throw-in and the following situations normally take between 15 to 20 minutes of the whole game. So it's actually a really big part of the game.

"For me, it's been a big part of the game but just underestimated for the last 140 years of playing football!

"Some people say, 'It's only a throw-in', but losing the ball in a throw-in has the same consequences if you lose the ball with your feet in the middle of the pitch - it can change the game dramatically.

"The important thing is that when you have a throw-in, the game is standing still and if you have the throw-in yourself, you can decide yourselves and that's a big advantage. 

"It's been fantastic to work with Liverpool. I had this knowledge about the long, fast and clever throw-ins for like 10 or 12 years, but all the other clubs before Liverpool only wanted my knowledge on long throw-ins. The club has been very open-minded - the gaffer himself and also the players." 

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Analysed: Thomas Gronnemark breaks down goals scored from throw-ins

LiverpoolFC TV - 9 hours 56 min ago
We asked throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark to analyse three goals Liverpool scored this season that originated from throw-in situations.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Paul Glatzel interview | Progress, patience, perspective and planning

LiverpoolFC.TV - 10 hours 26 min ago

Patience is certainly a virtue for Paul Glatzel.

Nine months of careful rehabilitation from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered last summer have brought the Liverpool striker close to a return to the pitch.

The 19-year-old was on course to begin training again this month, a symbolic step on the long, emotionally challenging road back to playing football.

That stage of his recuperation has, by necessity, been delayed by the current COVID-19 outbreak and the requirement for players to maintain fitness by following individual programmes at home.

But Glatzel is handling the circumstances with characteristic perspective; a mindset shaped by injuries past and present.

“I’m basically at the end of my rehab,” he tells Liverpoolfc.com. “I was meant to be back training, I should have been back around now but obviously with what is going on it’s not possible at the moment.

“So I’m just making sure I do my fitness stuff I’ve been sent from the club and just waiting for all this to take its course and then be back on the pitch when we’re allowed.

“The sessions have been adapted obviously to what I’m able to do; I’ve been given running programmes for my fitness and strength programmes and I’ve been given equipment to be able to do those sessions. I’m staying at home and I’m not allowed to go to the club or Melwood, but I’m still getting on with my work and doing well.

“I’d hope to be able to get a few training sessions in pretty soon when we come back. I’ll probably have to do a little bit more rehab and then hopefully get back into training. Then wait and see what happens.

“Hopefully I can get a few minutes but I’ll just have to see what happens and focus on getting back to full fitness.

“I think I’ve got quite a good mindset to be able to carry out my sessions every day because I’ve had a few injuries in my past and I’ve seemed to do well dealing with that. I’m kind of used to it a little bit more than maybe other players.

“I try to just make sure I get things done, even if I’m not feeling as motivated as other days I still grind and get the session done. To be fair, I like to do my sessions as well because it makes me feel like I’m getting better and getting closer to fitness.

“I don’t really have many days that I’m down because I’m always trying to work hard and improve and get back to where I need to be.”

At the moment, Glatzel’s daily schedule begins around 9.30am with a pre-activation routine conducted via video call alongside the U23s squad.

Once suitably warmed up, running sessions consolidate his core fitness levels before strength exercises – once more, in tandem with his Academy teammates – take place mid-afternoon.

“We try to have a structured day and get as much work done as we can,” Glatzel, captain of the FA Youth Cup-winning U18s in 2018-19, explains.

“It’s not great to be away from the boys, we all like to be together and like to make sure we do our sessions together. At the moment it’s not possible. It’s good to see the lads on the screen, even if it is only for half an hour or however long it takes.

“You just need to make sure everything you do, you do properly even though you are at home and you might not have the right circumstances for what you need to do. You still need to carry on and make sure you get everything done.”

Glatzel’s long-term rehabilitation has been coordinated by the club’s medical department at Melwood after Jürgen Klopp personally called for him to undergo treatment at the first-team base following the incident at Tranmere Rovers last July.

His relationship with the physios tasked with leading his recovery programme, which is designed to maximise the youngster’s durability far beyond an initial comeback, is crucial.

Because the natural desire to be out on the grass again must be tempered by an understanding of the bigger picture.

“The injury I’ve had has been a long injury, I’ve not kicked a ball since the start of pre-season,” Glatzel reflected.

“It has been a tough one to take because I was doing quite well before that. I’ve just got to make sure I get my sessions in and be patient because time is a healer in this sense.

“I just need to wait for my injury to be sorted and to heal properly so that when I come back the risk of me getting injured again is much, much lower and I can just focus on my football again.

“It’s always important to have a good relationship with physios, especially when I’ve been injured for a while now. And I think I’ve got that.

“They’re always looking after me, even now when we’ve got to stay at home; they’re staying in touch over text and making sure I’ve got everything I need. They’ve made sure I’ve got all the equipment and I’m basically able to do my session without a lot of problems.

“They’ve been really good. They check in every day to see how my session was and how I’m feeling, just making sure I’m OK.”

Compilation: 23 of Glatzel's goals in 2018-19

The lay-off has, however, presented some opportunities for the forward, who was born in Liverpool to German parents, both of whom work for the National Health Service.

Specifically, the chance to study first-team matches with an analytical eye, to look more closely at the patterns and movements that made Klopp’s side European Cup winners, world champions and Premier League leaders.

“With me not being able to train, watching games is quite a big part of me being able to learn about the game and about our specific style of play,” he states.

“I’ve been looking at the games differently than I was before because I need to keep learning and keep evolving because otherwise everyone else catches you up when you’re not allowed to do that on the pitch.

“Watching games has been quite a big part of my learning development at the moment, because that’s all I can really do. I’m focusing on games and not just watching to see the scoreline but to see how they’re playing and what I need to be able to do when I come back.”

Glatzel’s gaze is often drawn to one particular player in the team.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recovery from a similar serious injury sustained two years ago, and his achievement in reproducing the standards he showed before being sidelined, provide perfect inspiration.

“I quite like to see how he is doing,” said the teenager, scorer of 28 goals last term. “When he plays well or has a good game, it fills me with confidence because I know what he’s been through and I know he’s been out for a long time but he’s been able to bounce back.

“He has been playing well and scoring goals, so I just hope when I get back I can do the same. It’s good to have someone like that to look up to and see they’ve been there and done that. Hopefully I can do that too.

“Agility is pretty much what I need for my game, to be able to turn quickly and change direction. I can see that in Ox’s game, he’s not focusing on the knee problems he’s had in the past.

“He is just playing normally, changing direction smoothly and is doing all he can do and all he needs to do without really having any thoughts about the injury he has had in the past.”

Football pales in comparison to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis affecting the whole world and Glatzel has added perspective there, too.

His father, a GP, is working from home and his mother is fulfilling extended hours in her role as an anaesthetist in hospital at the most challenging of times.

“You’ve got to appreciate what they do,” said Glatzel. “They’re my parents, so I’m proud of them whatever, but they are working hard – as are all the NHS staff, which is really appreciated by everyone.

“It’s such an important thing that they look after everyone and they’re doing it as much as they can. The round of applause at 8pm the other day was a really nice touch, it was lovely to see that everyone is appreciating them.

“It’s so important to stay at home and not go out and do things you might want to do. If you do, it puts more stress on the NHS and my parents. You just need to be prepared to stay at home for as long as it takes, to make sure fewer people are affected. You need to stay indoors.

“You also need to make sure you still stay connected with your family and friends, with the technology – webcams, texts or phone calls – because you need to make sure your mental health is good as well and you need to be healthy.

“Just stay indoors and stay safe.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Paul Glatzel interview | Progress, patience, perspective and planning

LiverpoolFC TV - 10 hours 26 min ago
Patience is certainly a virtue for Paul Glatzel.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Goal of the Day: Salah's pivotal Champions League strike at the Etihad

LiverpoolFC TV - 10 hours 41 min ago
Mohamed Salah's awareness and ability put Liverpool on the verge of a Champions League semi-final on this day in 2018.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Goal of the Day: Salah's pivotal Champions League strike at the Etihad

LiverpoolFC.TV - 10 hours 41 min ago

Mohamed Salah's awareness and ability put Liverpool on the verge of a Champions League semi-final on this day in 2018.

In the second half of their last-eight second leg against Manchester City, the Reds trailed 1-0 on the night but led 3-1 on aggregate.

As City pursued a comeback in a pulsating showdown, the visitors launched a counter-attack and Sadio Mane's surge saw the ball run loose in the penalty box.

Salah swooped onto it, rounded goalkeeper Ederson and deftly lifted a finish into the net - just in front of the jubilant travelling supporters to his left.

Magic. Massive.

Watch the moment again below.

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Replayed: Liverpool 2-1 Brighton - watch extended highlights

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 20:00

Virgil van Dijk scored twice as Liverpool defeated Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in November.

The centre-back headed in two fine Trent Alexander-Arnold deliveries in quick succession to put the Reds into a commanding lead midway through the first half at Anfield.

Alisson Becker's dismissal for handling outside his area, coupled with Lewis Dunk's goal from the resulting free-kick, made it a nervy final 10 minutes or so.

But Jürgen Klopp's side held on to reach 40 Premier League points after just 14 games this season.

Relive the highlights of the game below via YouTube as part of our Replayed series, which is looking back on each of Liverpool's league fixtures in the 2019-20 campaign on weekdays.

[embedded content]

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Replayed: Liverpool 2-1 Brighton - watch extended highlights

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 20:00
Virgil van Dijk scored twice as Liverpool defeated Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in November.
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The last of 18: Liverpool’s juggernaut arrives at final destination

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 19:00

With two games to spare, Liverpool’s 18th, and most recent, league title arrived as an era of dominance came to a close at the conclusion of the 1989/90 season.

After 35 games in the topflight, Liverpool were leading the pack and needed just four points from their last three games to secure the title.

The Reds had stuttered throughout the season and offered up a multitude of opportunities for their rivals to capitalise, but having failed to do so the impetus remained with Kenny Dalglish’s side.

“They have not, this season, been consistently as convincing as they were in 1988,” The Times had assessed after Liverpool closed in on the title with three games remaining.

“Then, they finished out on their own, nine points clear of the runners-up, Manchester United, and 17 points above Forest in third place. Now, they are still in Aston Villa’s sights.”

But by the time Queens Park Rangers arrived at Anfield on April 28, 1990, the Reds needed only to better the result of Aston Villa, who were facing Norwich, to secure the league title.

And while “teams no longer come to Anfield with legs and minds of jelly,” as the formidable aura surrounding the Reds started to crack, the know-how to see the job through remained second-nature.

Ronnie Rosenthal and John Barnes, 1990 (PA Image)

Re-winding back to the start of the season, Liverpool’s strong start saw them go eight games unbeaten, which included a 9-0 win over Crystal Palace, to sit undefeated at the top of the table.

Two points separated them from fourth-placed Everton and Arsenal sat just one behind in second place before a run of four defeats and three wins in the subsequent seven games followed, resulting in Liverpool dropping to third place in the space of just over 30 days.

The Reds’ invincibility was given its sternest test and provided a small glimpse into how Liverpool’s empire was slowly falling to its knees.

The last defeat in that run, where Liverpool would lose just once more in the league in their remaining 23 games, came against Sheffield Wednesday – but the result was of secondary importance on an emotionally-charged afternoon.

[embedded content]

From that point on, the Reds would win 12 and draw seven until the title-decider against QPR, but they would show signs of vulnerability and fragility along the way which, unbeknownst at the time, would signal the start of the end.

But on April 28, 1990, Liverpool would be given a chance to clinch the title with two games to spare. Aston Villa had played a game more and needed to beat Norwich to keep their title hopes alive, with the Reds needing only to better the result of their rivals to clinch No. 18.

And it was anything but straightforward. QPR had taken the lead through Roy Wegerle after just 14 minutes to put the party on hold.

But the ever-reliable Ian Rush and John Barnes would both strike to see Liverpool win 2-1 and with the Villa game ending four minutes after the final whistle at Anfield, the Reds would be forced to wait to see if they had won the league or would have to wait until Derby’s visit.

And while the players were on the pitch, news filtered through that Villa had been held to a 3-3 draw, ensuring the 10th title in 15 seasons was secured.

Both Alan Hansen and Kenny Dalglish were bullish of Liverpool’s achievements after the game, with the captain saying: “The team’s had its critics, but we have had only one league defeat since November, and that’s one hell of a run.”

Dalglish, on the other hand, said: “We won the title because we have been the best team this season and not because Norwich held Aston Villa to a draw. If someone wants to help along the way we are grateful but we don’t expect it.”

Liverpool celebrate winning the first division title. 1990.

Liverpool would be presented with the trophy after their 1-0 win over Derby in the penultimate game of the season, with their final match coming away at Coventry City.

And while Hansen would at the time claim that “this squad is so good it could keep going for another 20 years,” the opposite was true as the club would fall from the top and fail to return for a further three decades.

It was a silent decline which would creep up slowly throughout the 1990s, but with an ageing squad and Dalglish’s shock resignation to follow, the familiar, and almost annual, reunion with the league title would soon be spoken of in past tense and a new generation would only hear the stories second-hand.

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Coady praises “brilliant” Jordan Henderson for leading role in NHS initiative

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 16:36

Wolves captain Conor Coady called for the finger-pointing to stop and everybody to come together after the launch of the #PlayersTogether initiative raising vital funds for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis.

As the country continues to grapple with the awful Covid-19 situation, footballers found themselves in the crossfire and facing accusations over a supposed lack of support.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called on players to do more and doubled down on that assertion on Sunday, despite news filtering out that top-flight captains were working on a joint fund.

#PlayersTogether was launched on Wednesday, with a flood of social media messages outlining the group’s aims of raising funds for NHS charities and distributing them “where they are needed most” in partnership with NHS Charities Together.

Coady has been working with all other Premier League captains to get the initiative to this point, with the Wolves skipper saying footballers were always going to do their bit during this terrible time.

#PlayersTogether pic.twitter.com/e7uWYIOhL2

— Jordan Henderson (@JHenderson) April 8, 2020

“Footballers are good people,” Coady told the PA news agency.

“There’s lots of good people within football and (this is) something where everybody wants to try and make a difference as much as possible

“Now, we’ve got to that point where we can do that at the minute, so we want to try and help the right people at the right times, to make sure that people are getting the best possible care. It’s a horrible, horrible time we’re in.

“It’s about everybody coming together, not trying to point fingers at certain people within the world and trying to say they’re not doing enough.

“I think it is important we come together. No matter what people do, that we come together because the time we’re in now is absolutely horrible.”

 Wolverhampton Wanderers' captain Conor Coady complains to captain Jordan Henderson after their goal was disallowed after a VAR review during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. (Pic by Richard Roberts/Propaganda)

Coady praised “absolutely brilliant” Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson for driving an initiative that has been the works for “quite a while”.

The Wolves captain feels the difficulties in getting the right support and outcomes were perhaps underestimated, with the players knowing it would be stronger if “everybody was doing it and looking in the same direction.”

“We understand, as human beings as well as footballers, how tragic it is at the minute,” Coady said. “It’s a horrible time.

“It was not a hard thing at all. Jordan was brilliant in terms of setting up and taking the initiative and moving forward with it and then getting in contact with everybody.

“As soon as he did, everybody was on board straight away.

“So it’s a brilliant, brilliant thing that he’s set up and something that’ll affect a lot of people.”

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Potential mid-May return to training emerges for Premier League clubs

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 16:16

Premier League clubs may be heading for a return to training by mid-May, judging by current projections and a letter sent out to EFL clubs.

Football League sides have been sent a letter by EFL chairman, and former Liverpool chief executive, Rick Parry.

In it, Parry details the prospective plan for a return to action, if social and health measures allow it.

At present, the “working assumption” is that the remaining matches of 2019/20 will be played out behind closed doors across a timespan of 56 days over the summer—and the letter advised clubs not to expect to return to training before 16 May.

Those timescales are dependent on the country lifting lockdown measures when safe to do so, and would vary slightly for the Premier League.

The 56 days includes play-off matches, which aren’t needed in the top flight, which has just nine games to play for the majority of sides.

If that timescale holds true, and the Premier League follow the same approximate plan as the EFL, a two-to-three-week period of training to gear up for the remainder of the season might be expected, with games actually taking place in June and July.

Liverpool need just two more wins to secure the Premier League title, though other eventualities such as relegation and European spots have far longer still to run before outcomes are decided.

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Meet the Academy: Billy Koumetio

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 13:00

Witnessing one of Anfield's greatest ever nights up close and personal has given Billy Koumetio even more determination to reach the pinnacle of the game.

The Academy defender happened to be allocated the role of ballboy on the night of Liverpool's iconic Champions League comeback over Barcelona last May.

[embedded content]

"It was [blows cheeks]... amazing, unbelievable," he tells Liverpoolfc.com. "I could see the big boys, the big players, in front of me. It was a great experience for me. 

"That drives me a lot. When I was sitting so close to the pitch and saw the big boys, they really inspired me. 

"I was motivated to work really hard and [in order] to go to that level."

As such, Koumetio has now garnered a taste of first-team life. 

Aged 16, the France youth international was included in the matchday squad for the Carabao Cup fourth-round tie with Arsenal at Anfield back in October.

"It was a great day," the now-17-year-old remembers, five months on. "When I knew that I was going to be with the first team, that was, wow... I was shocked. 

"I was happy because I thought it was from my hard work – I had worked really hard. That night, I was more motivated to work harder and harder to get more chances to go there with the best players in the world. 

"[Jürgen Klopp] inspires me a lot. He's quite interested in the players of the Academy. Melwood works closely with the Academy, so that gives players a lot of inspiration."

It was a significant milestone for the centre-back, having not long been at the club. Koumetio arrived at the Kirkby Academy during the 2018-19 season from French side US Orleans.

Born in Lyon, he was part of the youth ranks at Olympique Lyonnais prior to his switch to Orleans.

Already having experienced separation from home and family, Koumetio found his adaptation to life on Merseyside considerably easier. 

As did possessing a strong desire to learn the language and having fellow French-speaking Academy players Yasser Larouci and Abel Rodriquez around to help, too. 

"Before I came to Liverpool I was playing for Orleans," he says in excellent English. "I was there for six months and it's five hours away by car, so I was getting used to being away from my family. So when I came to Liverpool I was quite ready for this. 

"But I live with house parents now and they are very good. They're like my second family, so I feel very good there. I stay in touch every day with my family."

The left-footed Koumetio has been described as a 'real imposing figure at centre-back' by U18s boss Barry Lewtas.  

Lewtas would then highlight Koumetio's desire to defend on the front foot, his ability in possession and traits as a leader in the dressing room.

"On the pitch, I'm competitive, really competitive," Koumetio states. "Off the pitch, I would say I'm a happy person, always happy. I smile all the time, even if things don't go very well. 

"When I used to play for Lyon, I was playing left winger. Then I played left-back, too. I think it was U14s and at the end of the season the coach put me at centre-back – I think because of my height. 

"Now I'm very happy because I think it's my position and it's better for me. 

"I was trying to get my own style but at the moment Virgil van Dijk really inspires me. I go to the game most of the time and I like watching Virgil doing his game very, very well. Sometimes I'm trying to copy him."

Koumetio's progress was halted in November when he sustained an untimely groin injury. But now fit again, he's out to earn further opportunities to train alongside Van Dijk and co. 

He finishes: "I was off for three months. I had an injury in my left groin and have done rehab with the physio and the fitness coaches. 

"I'm ready to play again and I'm happy with that. I will be able to play again and work really hard to train again with the first team."

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Meet the Academy: Billy Koumetio

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 04/09/2020 - 13:00
Witnessing one of Anfield's greatest ever nights up close and personal has given Billy Koumetio even more determination to reach the pinnacle of the game.
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