LFC NEWS

Sky Sports to kick off Premier League restart with Friday Night Football – and all 10 games on TV

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 12:49

The return of the Premier League is expected to see all 10 games broadcast live on TV over the course of a weekend, with the first fixture back on a Friday night.

Demand for top-flight football has only grown in the coronavirus pandemic, with the UK public in lockdown and largely restricted to their homes.

A vital source of entertainment, the Premier League could serve as a major boost on its anticipated return next month, with a possible restart date of either June 12 or June 19.

That would be a Friday night, and according to the Mail, the plan will be for all 10 fixtures in a gameweek to be staggered over the course of the weekend, with every game broadcast live.

Sky Sports would host the first game back—with Tottenham vs. Man United a possibility—with a further four games on a Saturday, four on a Sunday and one on Monday night.

It is claimed that Sky Sports will show four games, with one on BT Sport and the remaining five to be made free-to-air, possibly on YouTube.

This has been made more straightforward by the lift of the 3pm blackout in the UK, and therefore games could potentially be played at 12.30pm, 3pm, 5.30pm and 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Mail add that “there is a significant way to go before the situation is finalised, but the desire for games to be broadcast from the middle of next month is strong.”

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk celebrates his side's opening goal during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Liverpool FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

If this goes ahead it will no doubt be well-received, and for Liverpool fans it presents the option of winning the title in the first weekend back.

The Reds visit Everton in their return fixture, while Man City host Norwich, and though it is unlikely, a win for Liverpool and a defeat for City would clinch the title.

Regardless, Jurgen Klopp‘s side need just six more points to ensure they are champions, and that they will do so on live TV relieves the disappointment of not lifting the trophy in front of fans to some extent.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Peter Krawietz reveals how Klopp convinced him to take “crazy” move to Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 12:34

Peter Krawietz, Jurgen Klopp‘s long-serving assistant, has explained his early caution over joining Liverpool in 2015, and how he was quickly convinced to make the move.

Krawietz has worked with Klopp since their days together at Mainz, and followed the manager to Borussia Dortmund in 2008, where they spent seven years along with Zeljko Buvac.

The trio all left Dortmund at the same time, at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, with the intention to take a lengthy sabbatical before moving on to their next club.

But the interest of Liverpool, in the final days of Brendan Rodgers’ reign, prompted Klopp into a swift rethink, which saw him try to convince his ‘eye’ and ‘brain’ to join him on Merseyside.

Speaking to LFCTV, Krawietz admitted he initially thought the decision was “crazy,” but explained how Klopp “convinced me pretty quick.”

“I was silly to believe that we really would have a one-year break!” he joked.

“I had plans—I moved from Dortmund to Mainz, my hometown, I put my boy into school.

“We really used the time in the summer to travel from Spain to Greece, to here, to there. I made plans for a big birthday party in December and so on.

“And then this call came, ‘listen, interesting idea—Liverpool is calling.’

“To be honest, I thought, ‘what? Are you crazy? We said one year and we have now three months?’, [he said] ‘yeah, it’s good and you will see it’s a big club’.

“I didn’t jump from the sofa immediately and say, ‘OK, where’s my suitcase? Let’s go’. I was, ‘I have to think about it, I have to tell my wife as well!’

“But pretty soon it was clear—Liverpool, massive club, England and the Premier League, massive challenge. He convinced me pretty quick.

“It took me one, two, three hours for me to think about, to realise, ‘no break anymore, no holiday anymore. We have to go, we should go, we can go, we are allowed to go’.”

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Krawietz has clearly settled well at Liverpool, and unlike Buvac his association with Klopp has remained, while adding the likes of Pepijn Lijnders and Andreas Kornmayer to their tight-knit group.

In the interview—in which he reveals he was “too slow” to be a professional footballer and how he highlighted Klopp as being too quiet in his days analysing him as a player—the German details his role along with Lijnders.

“Pep prepares training sessions, and I’m the part who is thinking about our game constantly,” he said.

“So preparing the next game is the main part. What we can expect, what we have to do, what are our solutions.

“We want to be pretty precise, and want to show our players pretty much exactly what will be our solutions for the next game.

“This keeps you busy, I will tell you, if you do it in the right way! You watch a lot of football, and of course without support I couldn’t handle and deal with all the information which is necessary.

“So it’s a lot of information to deal with, and I’m something like the filter.”

It is rare that we hear Krawietz speak, but he is clearly an insightful presence at Liverpool, whose sense of humour meshes well with the rest of Klopp’s backroom staff.

His role as “the filter” certainly works, as he has helped transform the Reds into world, European and soon-to-be Premier League champions.

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Red Neighbours’ virtual yoga sessions prove a success

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 12:00

LFC’s community programme, Red Neighbours, has been hosting virtual chair-based yoga sessions to keep elderly locals fit at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Red Neighbours' chair-based yoga is aimed at local residents looking to retain their physical fitness, increase mobility and keep active with age.

The sessions - originally based at Anfield - have been taking place since 2018 but have adapted to the ongoing government guidelines regarding coronavirus.

Each Monday and Thursday, yoga instructor Debbie Dubois is joined by 19 participants for her virtual chair-based yoga sessions through an online video service, giving everybody the chance to stay fit, healthy and connected from the comfort of their own home.

Ann Coffey, a retired headteacher from Liverpool, has been attending the virtual yoga sessions during isolation in a bid to build up mobility and strength following her recovery from breast cancer. 

Ann has seen various physical improvements in areas in which she once struggled with during her recovery. 

“I’ve found these sessions have made a massive difference,” Ann said. 

“The muscles in my right-hand side and in my right arm were once so tight but through participation in the yoga, I’ve found that the difference in my arm has been amazing. I could never put my hands behind my back but now I can. I’ve been showing all my friends in the sessions what I can do - the difference it has made to me has been incredible!” 

Elderly isolation is an ongoing issue across the community and with the current period of isolation due to COVID-19, loneliness is a concern now more than ever. 

The Red Neighbours team and instructor Debbie work to bring everyone together not only for the benefit of their physical health but mental health too. 

Margaret Thorley - better known by the rest of the group as ‘Margi’ - has been joining in on the yoga sessions with her husband Joe while in isolation.

Aside from the physical benefits brought through the yoga sessions, it is the social interaction which also makes a lasting difference on the 75-year-old.  

“I am a sociable person – I just love people,” said Margaret. “It is that aspect of the yoga session that I love. I enjoy the exercise don’t get me wrong, but it’s just so nice to talk to people.

“The online sessions are great, even my husband is joining in and loving it. For us, it’s the breathing and stretching that we benefit from - if we didn’t have these, I think we’d both become couch potatoes!”

The use of technology has been a pivotal in keeping everybody connected while at home and the online sessions have proven accessible for all participants of the chair-based yoga. 

“The online video facilities are fantastic for keeping everybody in touch,” said Maria Walsh, a new participant of chair-based yoga. 

“People have learnt a lot more about IT - even older people who don’t usually touch technology have had to make the effort and in turn, have learnt so much - it’s great. 

“It’s just a lovely atmosphere. Everybody is there for each other and kind to one and other which is just lovely.

“For anybody thinking about getting involved - just give it a go. I could not recommend it more for flexibility and for a chat with all of the lovely ladies.”

Social isolation is one of the key focus areas for the Red Neighbours programme and chair-based yoga is one of many initiatives introduced to keep locals connected during this difficult time. 

The sessions are free of charge and open to everyone. All abilities welcome. Contact Christine.mounsey@liverpoolfc.com for more details.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Red Neighbours’ virtual yoga sessions prove a success

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 12:00
LFC’s community programme, Red Neighbours, has been hosting virtual chair-based yoga sessions to keep elderly locals fit at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'cool their interest' in Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:34

Four more Premier League clubs have their eyes set on Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica as table leaders Liverpool reportedly take a step back in the transfer race to sign the Kosovo forward.

Aston Villa, Brighton, West Ham and Wolves are among the many top-flight teams vying for the 23-year-old's signature.

The Kosovo international has impressed in the Bundesliga this season, scoring seven goals in 18 league appearances, and has even gained the attention of European giants Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Full story: MailOnline

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

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'cool their interest' in Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:34
Four more Premier League clubs have their eyes set on Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica as table leaders Liverpool reportedly take a step back in the transfer race to sign the Kosovo forward.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'cool their interest' in Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica

HEAD NEWS - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:34

Four more Premier League clubs have their eyes set on Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica as table leaders Liverpool reportedly take a step back in the transfer race to sign the Kosovo forward.

Aston Villa, Brighton, West Ham and Wolves are among the many top-flight teams vying for the 23-year-old's signature.

The Kosovo international has impressed in the Bundesliga this season, scoring seven goals in 18 league appearances, and has even gained the attention of European giants Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Full story: MailOnline

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

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Win Alisson signed shirt in LFC Lotto Emergency Foodbank Appeal draw

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:15

Enter this week's LFC Lotto for the chance to win special prizes and raise important funds for LFC Foundation and the club's Emergency Foodbank Appeal.

In April, LFC Foundation announced four online lottery draws, each to be drawn at 3pm BST on Saturday, with this the third opportunity to enter.

The proceeds from LFC Lotto are split equally, with 50 per cent of the total funds raised awarded to the cash-prize winner and the other 50 per cent used to support LFC’s Emergency Foodbank Appeal and LFC Foundation.

Launched in March, the club’s Unity is Strength Emergency Foodbank Appeal was set up to support the Trussell Trust’s foodbank networks in Liverpool and Merseyside, which provide emergency assistance to people living in food poverty.

Each draw also includes a signed shirt, with an Alisson Becker jersey on offer this week.

Click here to enter the draw for Saturday May 16 now.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Win Alisson signed shirt in LFC Lotto Emergency Foodbank Appeal draw

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:15
Enter this week's LFC Lotto for the chance to win special prizes and raise important funds for LFC Foundation and the club's Emergency Foodbank Appeal.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Barry Lewtas' U18s review of 2019-20: 'We had some fantastic moments'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:00

There have been first-team debuts, Merseyside derby winners and a dramatic late victory against Manchester United.

On and off the field, the 2019-20 Academy season – which has been curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic – included a series of special moments for Liverpool’s youngsters.

For Barry Lewtas and his U18s squad, it has been another promising campaign, and Liverpoolfc.com recently caught up with the coach via video link to reflect on their progress.

Read on for his verdict on the many highlights – such as a 6-1 win over Everton in the mini-derby and the 7-0 victory against Napoli in the UEFA Youth League – and why Paul Glatzel and Abdi Sharif will return stronger than ever from their injuries.

Barry, obviously the decision was taken to finish the 2019-20 Academy season, so I guess the job for the likes of Alex Inglethorpe, yourself and all the coaches is to now keep the players’ spirits up…

Of course. At the moment we are keeping in touch with the boys and they are carrying on with their programmes. Fair play to them, they’ve been really committed over what has been a real uncertain time for everybody. So for us at the moment, we are trying to keep a close eye on them, make sure they are keeping well and obviously spending time with their own families. We sit it out, we ride it out and when it’s safe for everyone I’m sure we will all return and we will play football again. So it’s just a case of trying to make sure everybody keeps well and stays safe at the moment.

Can you believe we recently remembered one year on from when you won the FA Youth Cup?

I had a phone conversation with Paul Glatzel a few days ago and it just kind of came up that it was a year ago and how fast that year has gone and how quickly time goes on. It was great catching up with Paul. We had a little chat about it and that was good.

Before the season was stopped, it was turning into a really fruitful one for the Academy, and with the U18s we had some special moments…

Yes we did. It was a real enjoyable season. We had some fantastic mornings, both home and away, and we played some really good football. The lads were a real pleasure to work with every day and they work so hard. I know the season got cut short but I look back fondly at what we did in terms of what we achieved as a group.

As always with the U18s, it’s a constant conveyor belt with players moving up to the U23s and new ones coming in. We had a new strike force in Layton Stewart and Fidel O’Rourke, who quickly formed a nice partnership together…

Definitely – and that’s the nature of the job, I’ve said that before. Sometimes you only have half a season with some players, so that’s fine and that’s the job and there’s no surprise or shock to me on that one. In terms of the front two this year, we had two centre-forwards who score goals – there’s no question about that. The real difficulty this season was probably getting everybody fit at the same time and firing, and unfortunately we had a few boys this year who missed periods of time injured. That always gives other players a chance as well. So that’s football and that’s the way it works, but that’s the job. You have one team for one season or one team for just a few months and then when they move on you start work again.

Let’s look back on some of the highlights of the season. First of all, you started it with a 7-1 away win at Blackburn Rovers when Stewart, Tom Hill and James Balagizi each netted doubles on their U18s debut…

The first game of any new season you are always, I wouldn’t say apprehensive, but you wonder how the season is going to go, how you are going to start, how has pre-season gone, ‘Are the boys fit enough? Have we played enough games?’ and you hope we have prepared enough and you hope the things you’ve tried to get across are there. That one at Blackburn, we scored goals and we played some fantastic football. It was a cracking way to start the season. For two years on the run as well because I had the same feelings up at Sunderland the previous year and we won 6-1! Our last two opening days of the season have gone quite well so far.

We had some exciting and dramatic games in Kirkby, didn’t we? The 3-2 win over Stoke City with Stewart’s wonderful late winner from Jake Cain’s vision and pass…

Probably over the last two seasons Stoke City has always been a really difficult game – the boys know that, I know that. They play good football but at the same time they make things difficult for you to play, and fair play to them. I think we have played them five times so far in my two years with the U18s and we haven’t had an easy morning once. That morning was no different. We started well and they edged their way back in but I thought we finished the game really strongly. I know we have scored a lot of last-minute goals but that was a real high-quality goal. It was a fantastic pass from Jake and a fantastic run and finish from Layton. I’m sure if there was a highlights reel then that goal would probably get top billing.

The 4-3 win over Manchester United was thanks to another late winner. No matter what level, they are usually thrilling encounters…

That was a really good game and it was feisty as usual. I thought we kept our discipline quite well and I actually thought we had real good control of the game. It was probably one of those games I was a little bit frustrated about. I felt Manchester United are a good team with good players but we had them on the rack and we were in the lead and then we let them back in it. I thought we were a little bit soft in moments in that game but, again, we showed real good personality in the way we keep pushing and trying to attack and I thought we were deserved winners on the day. It was an end-to-end game and I think we learned a few lessons there because against a good team and good opposition, you can’t give them opportunities to get back into the game because they will take them. So that morning it was great to get a win, especially against Manchester United, but it was probably a really good learning experience as well.

I think Layton and Billy Koumetio are still discussing who claimed the winning goal in that game, too…

I’ll leave that to Layton but I wouldn’t be arguing with Billy! I think they were good as gold after it and you can see from the celebrations of the goal. They are very much a real tight-knit group and the way they celebrated it, it was as if they had scored the goal. It was about the group really, which was a real nice kind of thing to see early on in the season. They came together as a group and worked hard for each other and it was a little bit about what we are about.

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The winning goal again came from a Leighton Clarkson pinpoint set-piece delivery. Former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland always says Leighton’s deliveries are a nightmare for opposition goalkeepers and defenders…

Yes, definitely. Before Leighton and Jake moved up to the U23s, we probably had 18 months of good deliveries from one side and then the other. That is an attribute the pair of them both have and they are important in the modern-day game as well. It’s not something we are constantly on the training field practising but it is something that they both take great pride out of doing after training – set-piece delivery from corners and free-kicks. Obviously moving further forward in their career, having an attribute like that can be extremely valuable to their careers but also the teams that they play for, so we certainly utilise them. I know last season Rhys Williams benefited quite a few times from a few headers and, to be fair, a few boys like Billy and Remi Savage have benefited this year, too. So I’m sure they were pleased when we did get a set-piece and either Jake or Leighton were on them.

We have to mention that mini-derby at Finch Farm when you came back from 1-0 down to win 6-1. You could have scored more than six…

Definitely. I never like to say we didn’t start well because I don’t think that was the case. Everton started extremely well, they put us under pressure and managed to create one or two chances early on. Once we solved a few problems we got into our rhythm. We scored a few goals before half-time, which helped, but second half we were fantastic – the way we played, the way we pressed, the way we won the ball back, the amount of chances we created. I know it seems strange to say but it wasn’t one of those games where everything we hit went in and we had other chances as well. It was one of those mornings where it wasn’t easy and I think the start of the game showed that. I said to the boys afterwards, ‘Enjoy moments and games like that because they don’t happen often.’ Everton are a good youth team as well and they’ve done really well this season as well up until the point that it was cancelled. So to go there and perform as good as we did against a good team just showed that when we clicked and when we got it together, we were a match for anyone.

I remember Tyler Morton coming on and scoring – another young boy who has come in and is making good strides. I know you’ve given him some extra responsibility in the team since Leighton and Jake moved up to the U23s…

Tyler had a couple of injuries last year so his season started a little bit later than everyone else. When I say he had to be eased in, I mean we had to take care of him and do things right by him. At the time the midfield was functioning well, so Tyler was having to work hard in training, not just to get himself back fit, but also to try to get into the team. But once he did, he started to flourish really. Obviously once Leighton and Jake did move up, more responsibility naturally fell to Tyler around how we created and how we wanted to play the game in possession. So I suppose for all the boys it was a shame when the season was cut short. It’s always difficult for the injured lads because they miss chunks of the season. Tyler’s season started a little bit late but I hope he can take what he did this season into the start of the next one, which I’m sure he will.

The UEFA Youth League campaign with the U19s brought us some thrilling games as well. On the 7-0 win over Napoli at the Academy, Curtis Jones was unplayable that day, scoring a hat-trick…

He was! It was a funny game because I think in the first half an hour some of the football the boys produced and the way we played, fair credit to them. We had a really strong team on display and when you looked at it before the game, we thought, ‘We’ve got a good team out so let’s see where we go.’ Fair play to them, the amount of goals and the football, you could see minute by minute the confidence was just getting bigger and bigger, and the way we were playing, the chances we were creating, it was crazy really. I remember near the end of the game we had made a few substitutions and we missed so many chances to score so many more goals as well! It could have got a little bit out of hand but that was a real showcase for some of the players that we do have at the Academy and how much progress they have made. That was a really good afternoon and I really enjoyed that one.

You must be really proud at seeing the progress of the likes of Curtis and Neco Williams, and also having the opportunity to work with Harvey Elliott in the U19s…

They’ve all done fantastically well. It’s nice to see some of the boys I knew at a younger age grow into young men. They are fantastic lads and it’s great when they come down to the Academy. That Napoli game just goes to show that when they do come back to the Academy, it’s not, ‘Oh, we are back here’. They want to play, they are keen to be involved in the games and to showcase what they can do, but obviously to play a game of football as well. So it’s always fantastic to have them back at the Academy because, first and foremost, they are good players and it’s great to catch up with them and be around them again. But it’s also great to be around them because they are good people and the more good people you can have around teams and groups, that is infectious. We have Curtis, Neco, and Harvey has come in and settled really well to the club. That is a really good motivating factor for the other boys around the group as well. So seeing those boys coming back and performing the way they perform is a really important part of what we are doing. It’s great to see.

We have to talk about that night at Anfield against Shrewsbury Town. To get the win in front of a massive crowd, we saw you at the end hugging with Alex Inglethorpe and Neil Critchley, which was great to see. That team was a mix of U23s and U18s players…

It was great. It was a great occasion and I have to thank Critch for letting me be around it and getting a taste for what it’s all about. It was probably an easy bit for me because I got to be around it and watch the game. But I was nervous for the boys but it was Critch who had to carry the can and deal with the pressure – and he did it unbelievably well with the way the team was set up. The Aston Villa game was a little bit different because, with all due respect to Shrewsbury, we believe we’ve got a good team and we believed we could compete. I know that seems strange to say it but we were the home team and it was our fans cheering us on. I think we were all confident that the boys could flourish and perform. It was really good seeing some of the football that they played and also to see the moments in the game when it was tough. They stuck in there, they defended and they played for each other. Then obviously they got the result, which was fantastic for them. To see them then walk around the pitch and the fans staying behind at the end to cheer them, they are memories they will keep for life. With the situation we are in at the moment, I hope that’s a situation that only motivates them to kind of want more and really pushes them on. That was a great experience for them and obviously for us as an Academy a fantastic evening.

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It’s been a tough year for two of your FA Youth Cup heroes in Paul Glatzel and Abdi Sharif, who missed the season through serious injuries. But they will be back next season and are two great lads who will be back strong…

It was a great year for the boys winning the FA Youth Cup and the league campaign we had. From the outside that looks great but I think what goes on behind the scenes – how hard they worked and the relationships that we had as a team – to see them kick on next season and especially in pre-season and a number of them with the first team was a real highlight. Then obviously to see two of the lads, who have worked ever so hard, pick up injuries in pre-season and have basically the season written off was really tough. It was real tough start to the season for them and the staff because of how much care we have for the boys. That was sad but they’ve worked ever so hard and the physical staff have really pushed them on and I’m sure they will be back ready to go next season. They will be itching to get back playing, Paul will be itching to score goals and Abdi getting up and down the pitch and weighing in with a few goals himself. He finished that U18 year extremely strong, so it just kind of shows that you can have real highs and be in a really good place. The injury setbacks are part of the game but credit to them, they’ve shown a real maturity around their rehabilitation and I’ve got every confidence that they will both come back even stronger next season. Fingers crossed.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Barry Lewtas' U18s review of 2019-20: 'We had some fantastic moments'

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 09:00
There have been first-team debuts, Merseyside derby winners and a dramatic late victory against Manchester United.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Behind the Badge: Peter Krawietz's journey from critiquing Klopp to CL winner

LiverpoolFC.TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 08:40

It's an anecdote that starts with a nervous gulp as a young Peter Krawietz delivered an analysis session to the FSV Mainz 05 senior squad.

A student at the University of Mainz at this stage, Krawietz – who hadn't and never would play football professionally – highlighted a scenario in the right-back area as a place where things could be improved upon. 

Suffice to say, such an examination didn't at all go down well with Mainz's starting right-sided full-back. 

Indeed, Jürgen Klopp proceeded to give the Mainz native both barrels.   

"I was the presenter and had to say, 'Look here, the right full-back could be a bit more active and show up and shout'," Krawietz recalls to Liverpoolfc.com.

"This was the funny part because he was really angry, 'Are you crazy? I was shouting like hell, I wanted the ball. You want to tell me I didn't want to have the ball?'

"This was a bit funny but in a good way and the start of long talks and discussions. The start of a good process, I would have to say."

After taking a deep interest in his work, Klopp would appoint Krawietz as his chief scout when he took over the reins at Mainz in 2001. 

'The Eyes', as the current Liverpool boss labelled him, then followed him to Borussia Dortmund for a successful seven-season stay. 

A well-deserved, year-long break was on the cards following their departure from the Westfalenstadion. That was until Krawietz answered the phone in the autumn of 2015. 

"I was as silly to believe that we really will have a one-year break!" the Reds assistant manager now laughs. 

"I had plans – I moved from Dortmund to Mainz, my hometown, I put my boy into school. We really used the time in the summer to travel from Spain to Greece to here, to there. I made plans for a big birthday party in December and so on.

"And then this call came, 'Listen, interesting idea – Liverpool is calling.' 

"To be honest, I thought, 'What? Are you crazy? We said one year and we have now three months?' 'Yeah, it's good and you will see it's a big club.'

"I didn't jump from the sofa immediately and say, 'OK, where's my suitcase? Let's go.' I was, 'I have to think about it, I have to tell my wife as well!'

"But pretty soon it was clear – Liverpool, massive club, England and the Premier League, massive challenge. He convinced me pretty quick. 

"It took me one, two, three hours for me to think about, to realise, 'No break anymore, no holiday anymore. We have to go, we should go, we can go, we are allowed to go.'"

On Merseyside, Krawietz would scale the highest heights of club football, playing an important role in Liverpool's year-on-year improvement.

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It's been quite the journey for the 48-year-old, who started his coaching career at the very definition of grassroots football. 

"I was very, very passionate but not the biggest talent," he analyses his footballing ability. "First of all, I was too slow, I can say, to play professional football. But I love that game. 

"Probably at the age of 16, 17, I became a coach of a young team – five to six-year-old boys. 

"I liked it immediately – to work, to show, to explain, to motivate them and to share their passion for football. Pretty soon I did my first license [at] 18 years and then the most important step, I started studying sports at the University of Mainz. The part was then, of course, football – my passion."

At Liverpool, Krawietz's role is similar to the one when he was on placement with Mainz in the 2. Bundesliga.

"I'm analysing, thinking about football," he says. "Pep [Lijnders] is preparing training sessions and I'm the part who is thinking about our game constantly. 

"So preparing the next game is the main part. We have a look at the next opponent we face – what we can expect, what we will have to do, where are our solutions. 

"Preparing this, preparing the team and leading up to a video meeting, where we want to be precise and want to show our players exactly what will be our solutions for the next game. This is the main part. 

"This keeps you busy, I can tell you!"

Krawietz is supported by first-team analysts Mark Leyland, Harrison Kingston and Greg Mathieson. To them, there are few more satisfying feelings than seeing their work lead to Liverpool scoring a goal or successfully nullifying an attacking threat. 

"That's the best feeling you can have as a coach, apart from winning a massive, massive trophy," Krawietz insists.

"But this is what you are working for, this is what you want and this is why you do all the work and put all your effort in to prepare these moments."

But the ultimate pay-off was delivered when Liverpool lifted the Champions League in June 2019 and returned home to thousands of adoring fans lined on the streets.

Krawietz reflects: "Doing it and doing it with this group, doing it the way we did... it is always important for me how you do it – is it coincidence or is it really deserved? 

"What I enjoy always the most is still the moments when only the team is together, but then meeting your families is the next good [thing] and then having a party is funny as well, meeting your friends there. 

"Then going back to Liverpool, that's the moment when you feel it. It was, for me, a massive energy boost in the moment I realised, 'All these people are as happy as I am.'"

More from our Behind the Badge series

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Behind the Badge: Peter Krawietz's journey from critiquing Klopp to CL winner

LiverpoolFC TV - Fri, 05/15/2020 - 08:40
It's an anecdote that starts with a nervous gulp as a young Peter Krawietz delivered an analysis session to the FSV Mainz 05 senior squad.
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Reds saddened by passing of club cardiologist

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 19:55

It was with great sadness Liverpool Football Club learned of the recent passing of renowned cardiology expert, Professor John Deelun Somauroo.

A lifelong Reds fan, Professor Somauroo worked with the club as a cardiologist, screening senior and Academy players for potential cardiac diseases and assisting with medical procedures for new signings.

Prof Somauroo served on matchdays alongside the medical team and was on the Football Association’s cardiac screening panel.

He also worked with a variety of other clubs during his distinguished career, including Everton, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, Derby County and Rangers.

Prof Somauroo sadly passed away after a long-term battle with cancer. His family would like to place on record their thanks to NHS staff for their incredible work over the last few months.

The thoughts of everyone at Liverpool Football Club are with Prof Somauroo’s family and friends at this sad time.

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Reds saddened by passing of club cardiologist

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 19:55
It was with great sadness Liverpool Football Club learned of the recent passing of renowned cardiology expert, Professor John Deelun Somauroo.
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“A season you never wanted to end” – When Liverpool won 5 trophies in 6 months

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 19:00

2001 was a special year for Liverpool FC, winning five pieces of silverware in six months. Emile Heskey was a key player for Gerard Houllier’s side and tells his story.

At 4.38pm on Saturday, May 12, 2001, Liverpool’s season so far featured one trophy, the Worthington Cup.

Just seven days and eight minutes later, Gerard Houllier’s side had added the FA Cup and UEFA Cup to the trophy cabinet and qualified for the Champions League for the first time since its rebranding in the early nineties.

“It was crazy the whole season,” recalls Emile Heskey, who featured in 56 of the record 63 games the Reds played in the 2000/01 treble cup winning campaign.

“Even after winning the League Cup [in February] we couldn’t celebrate.”

Between that League Cup victory and the end of the season, Liverpool played 20 more games, including a UEFA Cup semi-final victory over Barcelona and a 3-2 last-gasp Merseyside derby win at Goodison featuring that Gary McAllister free-kick.

“I think only Gary Mac would’ve scored that goal and foreseen the goalkeeper trying to come out,” recalls Heskey.

“We had a free-kick about five minutes before and Sami Hyypia headed it and [Paul] Gerrard made the save. I think he was coming out [second time around] so he didn’t have to make the save again.”
Heskey, who scored 22 goals in all competitions, was also on target in that game and it remains one of his most memorable goals.

Gary McAllister (right) celebrates scoring Liverpool's winnnig goal with Jamie Carragher during the Premiership clash at Goodison Park against Everton.

“Scoring against Everton is always nice,” he smiles. “The reason I say that is because you don’t know the intensity and ferocity of the games until you play in them.

“I can’t explain it, but everyone seems to run that bit harder, kick the ball harder, elbow more – but they are great games to play in. They’re fun, actually.

“I scored in that game, it was a highlight [of my career].”

3 games in 7 days

The Reds won nine of their final 10 games in all competitions to turn the season into one of the most memorable in the club’s modern history.

“It was only after winning the UEFA Cup that we could have a little bit of a celebration,” remembers Heskey, who was the only one of Liverpool’s four strikers – the others being Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler and Jari Litmanen – to start all three of the finals.

“The UEFA Cup final was our 62nd game of the season and I was running on empty. It was very tough. I can’t remember too much of the final – I had to watch it back to remember it, because it was just adrenaline taking me through that game.

“It was amazing. It was just one of those seasons you never wanted to end.”

If there was one word to describe Houllier’s class of 2001, it was solid: four centre-backs across the defence (Markus Babbel, Stephane Henchoz, Sami Hyypia and Jamie Carragher), with four centre-midfielders across the middle (Danny Murphy, Steven Gerrard, Didi Hamann and Gary McAllister).

Eight players started all three of the cup finals, and 10 players started both the FA Cup and UEFA Cup finals despite just four days between them. Consistency and understanding was at the core of this team.

“We were very, very strong and that’s what Gerard wanted,” says Heskey. “That’s what got us through a lot of the time.”

Liverpool lineup vs Barcelona, UEFA Cup semi final, 2001 ( Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport)

Liverpool went on to add the Charity Shield and the UEFA Super Cup three months later, to make it an incredible five trophies in six months. Heskey started all five finals.

“For the way that we played, I think Gerard thought it was integral to have me starting because we played a lot of counter-attacking football and you have to hold the ball up and stuff like that.

“We played so many games that there was enough to go round for everyone. Even if I had to sit out a couple of games, it wouldn’t really have bothered me because we had that team ethos. It was great to be in and amongst that team.

“When it came to the cup competitions, we were immense. We knew in Europe that bringing teams back to Anfield they were in trouble.”

The next step

Emile Heskey, 2001 ( Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport)

A match report in the Guardian newspaper after the 4-0 win against Charlton on the final day noted that “by winning three cups and reaching the qualifying round for the Champions League, Houllier’s team have put Manchester United on notice that a fourth successive Premiership title is not Old Trafford’s for the taking.”

Liverpool had finished 11 points behind United, and a point behind Arsenal. The following season, Houllier’s side did indeed finish ahead of their north-west rivals, actually matching United’s title-winning points total.

But despite a then best Premier League points total of 80, Liverpool finished second to an impressive Arsenal side. It was, though, the first time the Reds had finished in the top two in the Premier League.

“The only thing I was a little bit disappointed with was that we didn’t have the consistency when it came to winning the league,” admits Heskey. “That would’ve been huge.”

Houllier went with the likes of McAllister and Murphy out wide, with Vladimir Smicer, Patrik Berger and Nick Barmby not getting the same opportunities.

“More attack-minded wingers possibly could’ve helped,” wonders Heskey when asked for what was needed to get to that next level. “But it worked well and we won trophies.”

Playing for Liverpool

Emile Heskey signing, unveiled at Melwood, March 2000 (Magi Haroun/EMPICS Sport)

Heskey arrived at Liverpool in the spring of 2000 for a then club-record fee of £11 million, aged just 22.

“Coming to Liverpool was huge, it was massive. Everyone talks about the fee but it was irrelevant to me. I just got on with what I wanted to do and how you want to play.

“Having an £11 million price tag over your head is not easy, but I never thought about it. It’s now that you think about it.”

He arrived into a squad featuring Owen and Fowler, two of the country’s best goalscorers.

“It was great, everything was good. I turned up at Melwood and was sitting there with the likes of Fowler, Redknapp and Michael [Owen].

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“I’d been around the national team with them but I hadn’t been in a club environment with them. It was just nice to be around them, and you are in awe at times.

“The training was great – it was different to what I was used to, in a sense that although we trained the way we played at Leicester, we didn’t go full out in a sense of tackling and things like that.

“I remember Stephane Henchoz as soon as I got the ball: bang. Took me out. I thought ‘OK, I understand what we’re doing now’.

“But that was good, because I believe you have to train the way you play, because that’s mentally getting you in-tune for when you go on the pitch.

“At Leicester, the manager didn’t really like tackling because we had a smaller squad, so you could get away with a lot more (in terms of doing less). But when I came to Liverpool it was all in.

“Robbie’s finishing was the best I’d seen, and I still to this day say it. To be in and around training with him on a regular basis was wonderful.”

Moving on

 Liverpool's Emile Heskey in action against Thailand during a preseason friendly match at the Rajamangala National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Heskey continued to be a regular starter for Liverpool for up until 2004 when he left the club in the same summer as Houllier.

Viewed by some as a ‘confidence player,’ Houllier had called for Heskey to be more clinical, but he often found himself played in an unfamiliar role.

“You’ve got to remember that I played left wing, right-wing, right-back, centre midfield, centre-back,” says Heskey. “It’s not bad for someone who was a centre forward, but played in different places when called upon, and did it consistently.

“I achieved everything that I wanted to achieve, so I don’t think I needed to change anything. When you look at what people say, it’s a perception of you.

“I see myself and I know what I’m capable of doing. People say I didn’t score many goals, but I scored over 100 in the Premier League.”

And it’s that perception that Heskey refers to when he released his book last year, titled ‘Even Heskey Scored‘ in reference to an England fans’ chant about his goal in the 5-1 win against Germany in 2001.

Such a chant is a disservice to a player who played in six League Cup finals, winning four of them, two World Cups and two European Championships.

He’s one of only 28 players to have scored 100 Premier League goals, scoring 127 in total. He has over 500 Premier League appearances and 62 England caps.

When he signed for Liverpool, Heskey said “I want to be successful here and I believe we can be with the squad we have.” Those six months in 2001 did just that.

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UK government “opening the door” for June return of Premier League

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 18:30

Plans to resume football progressed on Thursday with the Government “opening the door” for a June resumption, according to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden.

Dowden chaired a meeting with chief executives from the Premier League, EFL and Football Association to discuss plans to restart the season next month.

And he said: “Today’s positive meeting I hosted with the football authorities progressed plans for the resumption of the professional game in England.

“We all agreed that we will only go ahead if it is safe to do so and the health and welfare of players, coaches and staff comes first.

“The government is opening the door for competitive football to return safely in June.

“This should include widening access for fans to view live coverage and ensure finances from the game’s resumption supports the wider football family.

“It is now up to the football authorities to agree and finalise the detail of their plans, and there is combined goodwill to achieve this for their fans, the football community and the nation as a whole.

“The government and our medical experts will continue to offer guidance and support to the game ahead of any final decision which would put these plans into action.”

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group E match between KRC Genk and Liverpool FC. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Deputy chief medical officer for England professor Jonathan Van-Tam has warned the success of socially-distanced training will determine how soon competitive matches can return.

He said: “We will have to see how that goes before it is time to move on or even think about moving on to the return of competitive football matches.

“The overall approach with easing social distancing has been one that has been tentative, measured, slow and stepwise, and that is exactly the plan that is under way for all of elite sport—not just football.

“There will be small, carefully measured, stepwise approaches to seeing what can be achieved safely.

“The first of those is, really, to return to safe training, still observing social distancing and measures are taking place, plans are taking place in quite some depth to be ready to do that, and that will be a stepwise thing.”

Meanwhile, Brighton boss Graham Potter has some reservations about a possible return to training next week.

If all goes well then Potter and chief executive Paul Barber revealed some players could return for the first phase of training the following day, which would see players tested before working out individually or in small groups as part of Government guidelines.

But Potter said: “There are concerns, of course, because we’ve come out of lockdown, the situation isn’t totally resolved.

“I’ve got a young family, my wife’s family have health issues so there are concerns there but there are concerns all over the country as well at the moment, which I recognise.

“But we’re human beings like everybody else, we need that clarity if we can.”

 manager Graham Potter before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thursday’s announcement paves the way for the league to resume by the middle of next month but Potter hopes for more guidance.

Speaking via conference call, he added: “It’s nice to have a plan because you can work towards something and you can prepare and you can do your job as best you can.

“At the same time we know that we’re in a public health crisis and it’s a new situation for everybody so there’s no road map we can follow. From a players and coaches perspective it would be nice to see a pathway going forward.

“We haven’t played for three months. Then also the what if scenarios: What if players get positive results for the virus, what happens there, how does that affect the competition? There’s lots of little bits of detail.

“We want to try to get back playing, the general consensus in our group is we want to play football, finish the season but just to get that detail would be nice.”

Brighton striker Glenn Murray believes the timescale being discussed about a return to action is too soon given the current predicament facing the country.

He told Sky Sports on Thursday morning: “I just can’t understand after just sort of loosening the lockdown why we’re in such a rush to get it back. Why can’t we just wait sort of a month or so to see if things go to plan?”

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Four chase Rashica after Liverpool cool interest

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Thu, 05/14/2020 - 17:04
By Lyall Thomas

Last Updated: 14/05/20 5:25pm

Liverpool had been keen on Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica Liverpool had been keen on Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica Liverpool had been keen on Werder Bremen star Milot Rashica

Four Premier League clubs are chasing Werder Bremen's Milot Rashica after Liverpool cooled their interest in the Kosovo forward. 

Aston Villa, Brighton, West Ham and Wolves are all said to be keen on the 23-year-old ahead of the summer transfer window.

The Premier League-leaders were also admirers of Rashica earlier in the year but they signed Takumi Minamino - a player of similar profile - from Red Bull Salzburg in January.

Rashica, who has scored seven goals in 20 Bundesliga games this season, is also of interest to top German clubs Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

He is considered one of Kosovo's brightest talents, with 25 caps and four goals, and played against England in the recent European Qualifier in Pristina.

Rashica came through the youth ranks at FC Vushtrria before joining Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands as an 18-year-old.

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