John Achterberg has provided an update on Alisson Becker's calf injury.
The Liverpool No.1 sustained the issue in the first half of the 4-1 win over Norwich City on August 9 and was subsequently ruled out for ‘the next few weeks’ by Jürgen Klopp.
Summer signing Adrian has stepped in for Alisson and enjoyed a fairy tale start to his Reds career with the decisive save in the UEFA Super Cup success against Chelsea.
Alisson continues to work on his rehabilitation at Melwood and Achterberg anticipates a clearer idea of his potential return date after the forthcoming international break.
“Ali is good. He’s in every day for treatment and they try to improve things,” the first-team goalkeeping coach told The Athletic.
“He’s able to do some fitness work in the gym without using his leg. It’s difficult, but you have to try to look forward and be positive. You have to try to turn a negative into a positive.
“They haven’t given us a specific time he’ll be out as it’s difficult to say how quickly it will heal. That’s all with the medics. There’s an international break coming up and we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes after that.
“When something like that happens, you look at everything. Had the training load changed? The reality is that we hadn’t done anything differently in the build-up to that game. Ali felt fine. We have a rule with the goalies that if there’s any kind of issue you always have to talk.
“He actually came back in much better shape this summer than last year when we first signed him. It was all positive and that makes what happened so frustrating for everyone.”
Further evidence of Liverpool’s ability to win different types of games has provided Trent Alexander-Arnold with a sense of early-season satisfaction.
The Reds’ fifth fixture of 2019-20 will take place on Saturday when Arsenal visit Anfield - and Alexander-Arnold is certain that they will be fully prepared to meet that challenge, too.
Jürgen Klopp’s side head into their third Premier League match of the campaign having previously collected six points from meetings with Norwich City and Southampton.
Last Saturday’s 2-1 victory at St Mary’s was earned just three days after Liverpool had overcome Chelsea on penalties to lift the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul, and Alexander-Arnold is buoyed by the continuation of a positive trend that was present throughout last term.
“I think there’s different types of games: there’s wanting to perform well in some games and some games it’s purely about just getting the win, and I think Southampton was one of them when we needed to win the game,” the No.66 explained to Liverpoolfc.com.
“It was a tough place to go to, especially after the week that we had with all the travelling and obviously playing the extra-time and pens. It was tough for us but we got through that so we’re showing once again this season that we’re mentally resilient and we can win different types of football games.
“I think Saturday’s going to be a different kind of test to the one we faced last week so we’re preparing for that. We did well against them last year, especially at home, and we’ll be looking to do the same kind of thing.”
Alexander-Arnold and his teammates have had the relative luxury of a full week to get ready for Arsenal’s visit, something the full-back believes will be beneficial.
“Yeah, I think the manager will say as well that he likes to prepare for a game with a full week,” he said.
“I think we can go into more detail on the opposition and find out what we want to do and the game plan, it gives us more time to train that.
“It helps having the full week [and] I think for us it’s important to get used to both sides of the game - having not much time to prepare and having a full week. We need to be ready for all of them situations throughout the season and the lads have really adapted well.
“So early on, playing three games in a week is tough physically and mentally but we’ve done well. Last week was positive, we won all of our games and hopefully we’ll be able to carry that on on Saturday.
“The manager gave us a day off [after Southampton] and that always helps the legs, to have that bit more time to recover and get ready for the next game. So yeah, all the lads are ready: physically we’re ready, I think mentally we’re getting there as well now we’re near the end of the week so for us it’s all about preparing properly now and getting ready.”
Unai Emery’s Gunners are the only other team in the division to have won both of their opening two Premier League games and Alexander-Arnold expects to face attack-minded opposition this weekend.
The England international continued: “I think over the last few seasons, especially at Anfield, we’ve always had high-scoring games. That’s the way both teams play, in an attacking-style of football, so I’m sure both teams will want to win the game and it’ll be tough for both sides.”
If there was such a thing as the Joel Matip Appreciation Society, the last person you would ever expect to become a member is Matip himself.
Yet, on the third anniversary of the modest, softly-spoken central defender’s Liverpool debut against Burton Albion, it’s probably fair to say that membership of said group would be at an all-time high - perhaps even with Jürgen Klopp serving as honorary president.
“I think everything about him has been said, what a guy he is, what a player he is,” Klopp replied when asked about Matip’s defensive colleague Virgil van Dijk during Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the USA this summer.
The question was designed, it seemed, to tee up Klopp to further eulogise his No.4, but he chose instead to shine a light on his No.32.
“But not a lot of people spoke about the impact Joel Matip had in the last third of the season,” the Reds’ boss continued. “I don't see a lot of centre-backs in the world who are better in that period, 100 per cent, pretty much without any mistakes.”
Of the 20 games Liverpool played in all competitions between the start of last season and the visit to Burnley in early December, Matip started only three and appeared from the bench five times.
Of the 33 games bookended by that Turf Moor outing and the season’s unforgettable finale at Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid, however, Matip started 23 - despite spending a month on the sidelines with a fractured collarbone sustained against Napoli in December - and distinguished himself as one of Europe's in-form centre-halves.
Come March, off the back of four consecutive clean sheets achieved with Matip starting, Klopp was voicing his satisfaction with the man whose signature he had secured on a free transfer back in July 2016.
“When he got injured it was outstanding what he did, especially the Napoli game where he got the injury,” stated the boss. “We then lost him in pretty much the wrong moment. He is a really high-class player. He is doing the job and not asking for any credit or whatever, he is just there and loves what he is doing. It’s really nice to have him around.”
The 28-year-old’s positive influence wasn’t difficult to divine over the course of the campaign; Liverpool keeping nine clean sheets in his 17 Premier League starts and four in his eight Champions League games.
Compare his individual statistics from last season - such as the 3.9 aerial duel wins, 4.5 recoveries and 5.6 clearances he averaged per 90 minutes - to those of the other centre-backs playing for the Premier League’s top six, and Matip more than holds his own in every regard.
The former Cameroon international’s proactive style is also evident, with his average of 1.8 interceptions per game topped only by Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi and only Tottenham Hotspur’s Juan Foyth edging out his tally of 2.3 tackles per 90.
He managed one goal and one assist throughout the campaign, and didn’t half choose his moment well for the latter, nudging the ball into Divock Origi’s path with three minutes left to play against Tottenham in Madrid.
If some were taken aback by the authoritative nature of the former Schalke stalwart’s performances, Derek Rae certainly did not count himself amongst them.
Perhaps best known in the UK for commentating on Scottish football during his time with BT Sport, Rae now lives and works in the USA, but is fluent in German and makes frequent trips to cover the league that fascinates him most - the Bundesliga.
He was therefore well-positioned to observe Matip’s transformation from callow 18-year-old debutant to one of European football’s hottest prospects during seven years in the first team with Schalke.
“He comes from what I would call the industrial heartland of German football; he comes from Bochum and started at a local club called SC Weitmar,” remarks Rae.
“I remember watching interviews with some of his coaches there who said he really stood out from a young age. There was something very special about him - his control of the ball, his ability to do everything well. I think one of the Weitmar coaches said if he was in the line-up they’d win 6-0, but if he wasn’t they would lose 4-0!
“So he went from there to VFL Bochum as a youth prospect, and then to Schalke, and the thing about the Schalke experience is, it’s generally regarded as the best youth set-up in Germany. The Knappenschmiede, as they call it, is where so many great players have had their footballing education.
“So Joel got a very good education there and it was no surprise when he very quickly made his way into the team, having gone through all the age groups and the second team. It’s just been a refining of his game from that point on, he preferred to play in central defence but has always been a ball-playing defender, not one that just does the basics and I don’t think Schalke fans begrudged him the chance to move on to Liverpool when that chance came.
“Obviously Jürgen Klopp, although he hadn’t worked directly with him, he had come up against him in the biggest derby in Germany, the Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. So it’s been great to see him go from strength to strength.”
Occasionally deployed as a midfielder by Schalke, Matip averaged between three and four goals every season in Germany, and it’s a side of his game Liverpool fans can perhaps hope to see more of this term after the 6ft 5in stopper got off the mark early with a header in the FA Community Shield against Manchester City earlier this month.
“The goal threat and capability at set-pieces is something that’s been there from a young age, he’s always had that in him,” adds Rae, whose voice will soon be accompanying Liverpool fans on their virtual adventures to the Champions League final, with the Scotsman having provided commentary on all UEFA competitions for EA SPORTS' FIFA 20.
“And although he preferred to play central defence, he always had that the ability to play in central midfield. But in Klopp he’s certainly now got a coach that understands him.”
Easy-going as he may be off the field, the manner in which Matip battled back from injury and performed so consistently in high-pressure games last season spoke to a grittiness of character, and it’s a trait Rae believes was moulded partly at Schalke, and partly during a childhood spent immersed in the game.
“That soft-spoken nature, that’s definitely who he is, but anyone who’s been around him and knows his background knows that he is a determined competitor, and you don’t get that far in the game - certainly not in competitive environments like Schalke and Liverpool - without having it.
“People are writing about those two teams every day in the papers and you’ve always got to be fighting for your place, there’s always a lot of competition and things going on around the club. To have that experience, I think it does make you quite battle-hardened and ready to step in when you have to.
“He comes from a very down-to-earth football family in the Bochum area, his whole family have been around SC Weitmar and his brother Marvin [a centre-back for FC Ingolstadt] has played on the German football scene for a long time. So he’s sort of steeped in football but one of the nice things is, I saw a little video that spoke about how after winning the Champions League he went back to Weitmar - and we’re talking the club he was with when he was six years old here! - and helped out for a day, sharing the memory with them and encouraging them.
“So that tells you everything about him. He’s somebody that is certainly never going to forget his roots, and his roots will always be in that industrial western part of Germany, which I think is very similar to Liverpool in the way people live and breathe the game of football.
“He’s greatly respected, very highly thought of and has all the qualities you look for in a top central defender. His is very much a feel-good story. If he wasn’t at Liverpool I think a remarkable number of other clubs would be after him. But Liverpool is where you want to be, they are the European champions.”
As for the man himself, unsurprisingly there is no complacency or sense of entitlement when asked what his fourth season on Merseyside might hold, just a willingness to continue working hard and contributing to the cause.
“It was nice to play and have the success, but a new season begins. You only have to take the things, learn the things from last year, but we all start from new.”
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Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is keen to make up for lost time having signed a contract extension.
The 26-year-old, who made just two appearances last season after being sidelined with a serious knee injury, has agreed a deal which, PA news agency understands, will take him up to 2023.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who moved to Anfield from Arsenal in the summer of 2017 for £35 million, has already made more appearances this campaign than he did in the whole of the previous one.
“I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it’s really exciting for me to be able to sign,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time – and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year.
“You’ve got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don’t get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day.
“I am really excited to be able to extend my time here.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain had finally found his form when his season was prematurely ended by a knee injury in a Champions League semi-final first leg in April 2018.
He has already shown signs of reaching those levels again in his three appearances this season and he is keen to return to top form.
“I hope that I can do some special things like I did before I got injured and, most of all, be a part of this group of players that go on to hopefully win more things,” he added.
“I’m really excited to see what the future holds for us all and I look forward to seeing them every game moving forward.
“I can promise the supporters that I’ll give them absolutely everything moving forward.
“There might be times where I have bad games and good games and moments where it’s not so good, but I’ll always work through those moments and give my everything to correct them and keep pushing this team forward.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to the midfielder’s attitude during his recovery period.
“We all know Alex’s story since he came to the club, and yes there have been disappointments as well as highs, but what has impressed me and everyone is his attitude to dealing with setbacks and his character,” he said.
“That’s why none of us were ever in any doubt about him fighting his way back in the way he did. To see him play almost the whole game at Southampton on Saturday was such a positive moment for all of us, especially him.
“Now he is no longer injured, he is fit and he can kick on and show once again just how good he is. But there is still a lot of hard work on that road.”
Jürgen Klopp is confident Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can build on a first Premier League start in 16 months by ‘kicking on and showing how good he is again’.
The manager made the assertion as he spoke of his delight at the news the No.15 had committed his future to the Reds by signing a new long-term deal at Melwood on Thursday.
It comes just days after Oxlade-Chamberlain marked his first top-flight start since April 2018 due to injury with an excellent display in the 2-1 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.
Klopp admits the character and mental fortitude of the midfielder meant has never in any doubt about his ability to come through a tough period in his career and once again become a top-class option at his disposal.
The boss told Liverpoolfc.com: “When I heard Ox had signed his new contract with us, I am sure my emotions were the same as every Liverpool fan hearing the news tonight – absolutely delighted.
“This is because an absolutely outstanding player and person has shown his belief and commitment to our project here and it’s a deal I think makes sense on both sides.
“I think Ox has said himself it feels to him like he has been here a lot longer than he actually has and that is something I would agree with. I think that’s down to his personality around the place here at Melwood. I have said in the past, one of the best things about him is what an outstanding human being he is, one of the nicest guys you will meet. Of course, he is also an outstandingly talented footballer, too.
“We all know Alex’s story since he came to the club, and yes there have been disappointments as well as highs, but what has impressed me and everyone is his attitude to dealing with setbacks and his character.
“That’s why none of us were ever in any doubt about him fighting his way back in the way he did. To see him play almost the whole game at Southampton on Saturday was such a positive moment for all of us, especially him.
“Now he is no longer injured, he is fit and he can kick on and show once again just how good he is. But there is still a lot of hard work on that road, there will be times things don’t go the way he’d want, there are times he will need to be patient, times he will be angry in the right way, but I am convinced everything will be fine.
“And who knows, maybe this is the season we hear the Kop sing an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain song? I can tell you it would mean a lot to me and the boys to hear that, let alone him!”
Last Updated: 23/08/19 6:08amAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first Premier League start since April 2018 against Southampton on Saturday
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has committed his future to Liverpool by signing a new long-term contract.
Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to Anfield from Arsenal on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2017 and played a major role in helping Liverpool reach the Champions League final that season, scoring in a 3-0 quarter-final first-leg win against Manchester City.
But a serious knee injury in the semi-final first leg against Roma sidelined the midfielder for a year, with Oxlade-Chamberlain making just two substitute appearances at the end of last season before stepping up his return this term.
"I'm really, really excited - it's been in the pipeline for a little while, so it's nice to finally get it done and just extend my time here, which I am really looking forward to," Oxlade-Chamberlain said.
"I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it's really exciting for me to be able to sign. It's something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time - and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year."
"You've got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don't get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day. I am really excited to be able to extend my time here."Jurgen Klopp hopes Oxlade-Chamberlain's injury problems are now behind him
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp paid tribute to the midfielder's attitude during his recovery period.
"We all know Alex's story since he came to the club, and yes there have been disappointments as well as highs, but what has impressed me and everyone is his attitude to dealing with setbacks and his character," he said.
"That's why none of us were ever in any doubt about him fighting his way back in the way he did. To see him play almost the whole game at Southampton on Saturday was such a positive moment for all of us, especially him.
"Now he is no longer injured, he is fit and he can kick on and show once again just how good he is. But there is still a lot of hard work on that road."Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates his stunning goal against Man City Why have Liverpool given Ox a new deal?
Oxlade-Chamberlain is the latest player to offer his long-term commitment to Liverpool, with the club keen to secure the futures of the core of the squad that led the club to back-to-back Champions League finals.
Liverpool's front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have all signed new deals in the last 13 months, while captain Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson have also signed new contracts.
With James Milner's contract running until the end of the season and Georginio Wijnaldum's contract up in the summer of 2021, the versatile Oxlade-Chamberlain looks set to re-establish himself as a key player for Liverpool in the coming season.Oxlade-Chamberlain has made 47 appearances in his Liverpool career to date 'Ox gives Liverpool something different'
Sky Sports News pundit Danny Higginbotham believes Oxlade-Chamberlain has a vital role to play for Liverpool going forward.
"It will take a bit of time for him to get back up to speed again but he's an important player for Liverpool and can give them something different," Higginbotham said.Liverpool vs Arsenal
August 24, 2019, 5:00pm
"Roberto Firmino creates a lot of problems for center-backs. He drags them out and that leaves space in behind. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, before he got his injury and missed a lot of time, was taking that space up.
"I'm not comparing him to Philippe Coutinho but it's similar to what Philippe Coutinho was doing at Liverpool to a certain extent, getting beyond the midfield with players in front of him.
"That's what Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is capable of. There is no doubting the talent he has. You can see from his touch maps that spaces have been created for him to get into."Soccer Saturday Super 6 is Back
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed the moment it dawned on him that Liverpool supporters are ‘really special’.
The Reds’ No.15 committed his future to the club by signing a new long-term contract at Melwood on Thursday.
And, after putting pen to paper, Oxlade-Chamberlain sat down for an in-depth interview, which you can read and watch in full on Liverpoolfc.com from 8pm BST.
“It's [Liverpool] a hard place not to embrace. It's such a full-on culture, so much passion from everyone that is associated with the club – it's really endearing,” the 26-year-old said, during the wide-ranging discussion.
“The thing I respect so much about them is, yes, the fans want results and they deserve results and that's what this club is about, but at the same time, if you give them everything you can, they respect that.
“As a footballer, I think the least you can do is respect the fans, the club and who you play for and give them everything you can. When you get the support back that you do, you can't really have any complaints.
“The first time I really noticed that was when we played Sevilla away in the Champions League in my first season. Obviously we were 3-0 up and we drew 3-3. We should never have let that happen and for fans to have taken days off work the next day and spend money to come out there, for them to still applaud us as we walked over, I couldn't believe it.
“That was when I realised: 'These guys are special, this set of supporters are really special.' They give us everything and, at the minute, the team are giving them everything.”
Read and watch the full interview with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Liverpoolfc.com from 8pm BST
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain signed a new long-term Liverpool contract at Melwood on Thursday and our photographer was there to capture the special moment.
Two years after joining the club, the midfielder committed his future to the Reds by extending his deal with the European champions.
And you can see our pictures from a milestone day in the gallery below…
Photos by John Powell
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has today reaffirmed his commitment to Liverpool FC by signing a new long-term contract at Melwood.
The midfielder put pen to paper on a fresh deal which extends a spell with the Reds that began when Oxlade-Chamberlain joined the club from Arsenal in August 2017.
The No.15 has made 47 appearances and scored five goals for Liverpool to date and was part of the squad that clinched European Cup glory in Madrid in June, having overcome a serious knee injury sustained in April 2018.
“I’m really, really excited - it’s been in the pipeline for a little while, so it’s nice to finally get it done and just extend my time here, which I am really looking forward to,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told Liverpoolfc.com after signing the new contract on Thursday.
“I feel like I missed out on a year, which I obviously did, so it’s really exciting for me to be able to sign. It’s something that I feel is an opportunity to give that year back and make up for lost time – and hopefully put in some good performances to make amends for not being around last year.”
“You’ve got to count your blessings every time you get an opportunity like this, you don’t get the chance to play for Liverpool Football Club every day. I am really excited to be able to extend my time here.”
The England international has featured three times in the 2019-20 campaign – and made his first Premier League start in 16 months in Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Southampton last Saturday.
With a full pre-season under his belt too, Oxlade-Chamberlain is determined to produce the levels of performance that established him as a fan favourite again throughout the season.
“I can promise the supporters that I'll give them absolutely everything moving forward,” he added. “There might be times where I have bad games and good games and moments where it's not so good, but I'll always work through those moments and give my everything to correct them and keep pushing this team forward.
“I hope that I can do some special things like I did before I got injured and, most of all, be a part of this group of players that go on to hopefully win more things.
“I'm really excited to see what the future holds for us all and I look forward to seeing them every game moving forward.”