Watch live: Liverpool v Arsenal - 2001 FA Cup final

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 08:45

On the 19th anniversary of Liverpool's thrilling FA Cup final win over Arsenal, watch the full match again for free today.

It was on May 12, 2001 that Michael Owen struck two late goals at the Millennium Stadium to dramatically overturn a deficit and secure the Reds' sixth triumph in the competition.

We'll be broadcasting the entire game here on Liverpoolfc.com, with our coverage beginning at 2.55pm BST.

Simply register with LFC for free and then settle in to enjoy a special occasion for Gerard Houllier's treble winners with our live stream.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Watch live: Liverpool v Arsenal - 2001 FA Cup final

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 08:45
On the 19th anniversary of Liverpool's thrilling FA Cup final win over Arsenal, watch the full match again for free today.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'Immense' - Jordan Henderson on Virgil van Dijk's impact at LFC

LiverpoolFC.TV - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 08:15

Virgil van Dijk’s ‘immense’ contribution on the pitch has been matched by his impact off it at Liverpool, Jordan Henderson has explained.

Since arriving at Anfield in January 2018, Van Dijk has been a cornerstone of a side that has won three major trophies, reached back-to-back Champions League finals and registered a 97-point season in the Premier League prior to setting a record-breaking pace in this term’s title race.

Consistently imperious performances have also resulted in the centre-back receiving a host of individual awards, and Henderson has spoken glowingly about his teammate’s influence on the Reds. 

“What hasn’t he brought, really?!” the captain replied, when asked by BT Sport to sum up what Van Dijk has brought to the club.

“I couldn’t speak highly enough of him as a player. Of course, everybody knows how good he is and what he’s done over the last couple of years as a team, he’s been immense. He’s won his individual awards and rightly so. He’s an unbelievable defender, an unbelievable player. 

“But for me, he’s brought something huge off the pitch. I couldn’t speak highly enough of him off the pitch and the type of man and person that he is. He’s an incredible person, a great leader to have in the dressing room and he’s given everybody a big boost from the first minute that he came in. 

“Every day it’s a pleasure to be around him, [he’s] always smiling, always in a good frame of mind and he’s had a huge impact in the dressing room and on the pitch since he’s been at the club.

“He does things properly, leads by example and I’m just delighted for him [with] how he’s been playing and getting all the awards that he’s been getting because it’s well deserved and he deserves everything he gets.”

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Categories: LFC NEWS

'Immense' - Jordan Henderson on Virgil van Dijk's impact at LFC

LiverpoolFC TV - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 08:15
Virgil van Dijk’s ‘immense’ contribution on the pitch has been matched by his impact off it at Liverpool, Jordan Henderson has explained.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool FC in 1983/84: Fagan’s treble heroes in the year Merseyside won the lot

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 05/12/2020 - 07:00

The 1983/94 season heralded the start of Joe Fagan’s reigns as Liverpool boss, one he ushered in with an unprecedented treble. Jeff Goulding tells the story.

1983 would see the reelection of Margaret Thatcher as Conservative Prime Minister despite an unemployment rate of more than three million and a growing divide between north and south, rich and poor.

In the first budget of her government, Chancellor Nigel Lawson would announce swingeing cuts to public spending, much of which would be centred on cities like Liverpool. The people of Merseyside, who were already reeling from the Tory policy of managed decline, could scarcely believe that anyone could vote Conservative, let alone the millions required to put them in office.

Life in Liverpool, as it was in many inner cities like Manchester and Newcastle, was characterised by layoffs and lengthening dole queues. Though it would later be used as a stick to beat the city.

Alan Bleasdale’s Boys from the Black Stuff perfectly captured the mood of the place and mirrored the plight of unemployed labourers in the city, and their families. However, while it was set in Liverpool, the issues it dealt with would have been recognisable to the inhabitants of many working-class communities in Britain.

The sun sets behind the Royal Liverbuilding in Liverpool.

Against this backdrop, just as it always has been, football served as both a pastime and an escape. For Merseyside, it would also be a source of civic pride at a time when many of us felt we were under relentless attack. The Reds were reigning champions and with Joe Fagan stepping out of the Boot Room to replace the incomparable Bob Paisley, they were about to become a dynasty.

Like his predecessor, Joe was reluctant to take the job on. However, he had felt “in a rut” and ultimately the idea of a challenge would drive his decision making far more than ambition. However, doubt would haunt him throughout the early days of his reign. Fagan would later say that he had feared the spectre of a trophy-less first season in charge, something Bob had endured in 1974/75.  Joe would use this to push him to set new standards for the club.

Across the park, Everton were beginning to slowly emerge from a decade of underachievement under the stewardship of former player and legend, Howard Kendall. The two clubs would go on to establish themselves as the nations finest and, by the end of the 1983/84 season they would achieve an astonishing clean sweep of every major honour on offer.

To many of us who lived through this period, it felt like something akin to a collective flipping of the bird to a government we loathed and who we believed hated us. They could knock us down all they liked and kick us while we were there, but we’d travel to London at the end of the season and come home with all the silverware.

The only significant arrivals in the summer of 1983 would be centre-back Gary Gillespie from Coventry City for £325,000 and a man the Kop uncharitably christened ‘Fatty Robbo’ – aka Michael Robinson – from Brighton for £200,000. The likes of John Walk and Paul Walsh would arrive later in the Spring of 1984. However, this was already a Liverpool squad brimming with champions, leaders and serial winners. And, of course, Joe Fagan knew every single one of them inside out. Not only that, but he had also been an integral part of their development. It was in short a recipe for continued glory.

 Peter Robinson/EMPICS Sport)

Liverpool would kick off the season with a Charity Shield opener against the previous seasons’ FA Cup winners, Manchester United. The game would start somewhat bizarrely with Bob Paisley and Matt Busby being driven slowly around the pitch in an open-topped Land Rover, while parading the four major trophies they had won for their respective clubs.

A crowd of 92,000 greeted it with warm applause, before witnessing Liverpool go down to a 2-0 defeat, thanks to two goals from Brian Robson. Fagan’s reign had seemingly got off to a faltering start, but Joe wasn’t too bothered. For him and the rest of us, there were far bigger fish to fry.

Writing the post-match post-mortem in the Liverpool Echo on the following Monday, Ian Hargreaves would express his confidence in Fagan’s ability under the headline, ‘It’ll be alright on the night’, he would say this of the new Liverpool manager:

“Never mind the dress rehearsal; be sure he will have matters right on the first night.”

The ‘first night’ in question was an away trip to Wolves the following Saturday. With the Reds coasting to the title the season before, an achievement that saw them slacken off and fail to win the final seven games of the 1982/83 season along with the Charity Shield, Liverpool supporters had seen their team manage two draws in their previous eight games. They would stretch that to three in nine on the 27th August at Molineux.

The game got off to a dreadful start as far as Liverpool were concerned, when the home side won a penalty inside two minutes. The defence had been sleeping and a quick ball in behind caused chaos. Grobbelaar parried a shot but the ball rebounded to the waiting Mel Eves, who was brought down by Alan Kennedy before he could get his shot away. The ref pointed to the spot and Eves duly put Wolves ahead.

Thankfully, Ian Rush would level with a moment of sheer brilliance within seconds of the start of the second half. Graeme Souness played a slide-rule pass from midfield, which the Welsh striker latched onto superbly. His pace was simply too much for the chasing Wolves pack and Rush held off two defenders brilliantly to equalise. It would prove to be the last goal of the game and the Reds would travel home with just a point. Not that anyone was panicking, and with the press used to a steady diet of Anfield success, they knew better than to draw any conclusions from the early bouts of sparring.

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By the time the European Cup First Round ties came around in September, Liverpool had climbed to 4th place after a run of three wins and a draw. They would then demolish the Danish champions, Odense, 6-0 on aggregate. The second leg of the game was notable for a number of reasons. It would be the first match missed by Phil Neal since December 1974, Michael Robinson would score a brace, grabbing his first-ever goals for the club and Kenny Dalglish broke a record held by Denis Law; reaching 15 goals in European competition.

The Reds were back in business in terms of continental football, but they were still strangely lethargic in the league, with the rout of Odense sandwiched between defeats to Manchester United and Sunderland. Robinson had seen a goal chalked off in the match against the Wearsiders at Anfield, a game in which Liverpool had played some decent football. For his part, Joe seemed decidedly laid back about the club’s apparent malaise.

In this era of wall-to-wall football, in which a manager’s every utterance is dissected in the minutest detail and he is declared a hero or a zero based on the flimsiest of pretexts, it would be interesting to see what today’s pundits and denizens of social media would have made of Fagan’s analysis after the home defeat to Sunderland, which included these words:

“I’m disappointed, but I’m certainly not angry or annoyed. I’m just mad as hell that we could produce two pretty good performances without getting even a point here or Old Trafford. What to do about it is the $64,000 question. I don’t know yet.”

Can you imagine the meltdown today, if Jurgen Klopp had said that? In truth, in 1984 there were mutterings in work canteens, pubs and school playgrounds. Frustrations and doubts were definitely expressed. And, while nobody was calling for the manager’s head so early into his reign – we were way too ensconced in a seemingly unending period of domination for that to happen – some of us though [coughs] are still ashamed to say that we doubted Fagan could emulate his predecessor in the early months of his managerial career.

The boss had spent his life in the famous Anfield Boot Room, surrounded by some of the greatest minds in the game – men he had both influenced and been influenced by. This was a brains trust of unparalleled proportions. So, while some may have been gleefully sensing the end of an era, or despairing at his team’s lethargy, Joe would have felt confident that he and his staff could find a solution to their ‘problems.’

JOE FAGAN, LIVERPOOL manager, 1984 (Bildbyran/Press Association Images)

That Joe did figure out “what to do about it” is evidenced by his historic achievements. Yet analysing his unique contribution and attributes is difficult. Not least because the magic that came out of the Boot Room under Shankly and Paisley had been cooked up using ingredients provided by a group of men Kenny Dalglish described as a “University of Football.”

It was a truly socialist enterprise, with ideas and tactics emerging from a collective that was greater than the sum of its parts. To suggest that Joe was simply implementing strategies and methods used under Paisley and Shankly misses the fact that those methods had been shaped in part by him anyway.

It just isn’t possible to separate out what was a uniquely Bob idea or Joe idea etc.

His approach was based on simplicity and on trusting players to do their jobs on the pitch, without relying on detailed instruction from the bench. Something Graeme Souness and Jan Molby found out to their cost. When both asked how the manager wanted to play, they were met with a stern lecture about how much money the club had spent on them and why they should know how to play football without any lessons from him.

However, despite his genial nature, there is ample evidence that he could be a fierce disciplinarian. And nobody was immune to criticism. Even Dalglish would feel his wrath and be dropped for the first time in his career. Fagan was not moved by reputations or past achievements.

October and November brought continued progress in the European Cup and League Cup. The Reds advanced in the domestic competition courtesy of an 8-1 aggregate thrashing of Brentford. However, they did need a second replay to overcome Fulham and secure their place in the Fourth Round of the competition. In Europe, Liverpool would give themselves a tough away assignment, after a goalless Second Round, first leg tie with Athletic Bilbao at Anfield.

The Reds face a partisan and noisy crowd at the San Mames Stadium on November 2, 1983. Liverpool rode out the first half and managed to quieten the atmosphere, a strategy that had served them well for almost a decade. Then, in the second period Rush headed home a delightful cross from the right foot of Alan Kennedy. Liverpool now had an away goal and were 24 minutes away from going through.

Bilbao almost levelled immediately, but Jose Noriega’s shot went narrowly wide. From that moment on, Liverpool were relatively comfortable and almost went 2-0 up after a brilliant shot from the edge of the box by Dalglish was tipped over the bar by goalkeeper Zubirazetta. By now the Basques in the crowd had seemingly resigned themselves to defeat and at the end of the game, gave a very sporting ovation to the Liverpool players as they left the field.

Liverpool navigated their way through November and December in relative comfort. Astonishingly, on the December 27, they kicked off the second of two games in 24 hours. After beating West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns on Boxing Day, Liverpool faced Leicester City at Anfield the following day.

The common perception amongst supporters back then was that the players would indulge a little too much over the festive period. We expected a dip in performance as a result. When they went two goals behind in the 70th minute, many of us rolled our eyes on the Kop and resigned ourselves to a rear home defeat.

However, even if they had partied on the bus back from the Midlands the day before, this Liverpool side still had enough fight left in them. Attacking the Kop end, the Reds roared back at the Foxes. Sammy Lee grabbed one back within four minutes of Leicester’s second and Rush levelled in the 83rd minute. By now the crowd were in full swing and baying for a winner, and just three minutes later they thought they’d got it.

Liverpool won a penalty in the 87th minute and Souness got ready to take it. Unfortunately, he missed, and Liverpool would have to be happy with just a point. Still, it was enough to maintain their position three points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table.

Their run to the summit featured two notable fixtures. The first was a Merseyside Derby on November 6, which the Reds won 3-0 courtesy of Rush, Robinson and Steve Nicol. It was a routine victory in many ways, with Everton yet to hit the heights in the league and languishing in 17th place. However, there was something of a piece of TV history prior to kick-off.

A show set in Liverpool called Scully, featuring cameos from Souness and Dalglish, was in production. The lead character, a troubled working-class kid who idolised Kenny and Liverpool and, played by the brilliant Andrew Schofield, fantasised of scoring a goal for the Reds in a Merseyside derby. The club would agree that the production team could film the character’s dream sequence in front of the Kop on matchday.

I recall the Liverpool Echo ran an appeal in the run-up to the game, calling on supporters to chant ‘Scully, Scully’ as he hit the ball into the net. And, the Kop dutifully obliged. It would be a great day for Schofield, a well known Liverpool supporter.

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The other game took place on December 10 and was memorable for all the wrong reasons. This was, of course, the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Coventry City at Highfield Road. With the Reds top of the table and Coventry sitting six points behind them in fourth, this was hardly a David versus Goliath affair. However, Fagan’s Liverpool made the trip as favourites and nobody expected the mauling they received.

A hat-trick from Terry Gibson and a goal from Nicky Platnauer put the seal on a thoroughly embarrassing day for the Reds. History is littered with examples of truly great Liverpool teams suffering defeats like this. Nevertheless, it hurt a lot and no doubt acted a spur to the players, who won their next match at Anfield against Notts County 5-0.

They would also exorcise the ghosts of that game with a 5-0 rout of Coventry in the return match on Merseyside in May, with Rush scoring four and Hansen grabbing one.

Not surprising the away end heralded kick-off with chants of 4-0. It was particularly satisfying to return the favour to a silenced corner of the Anfield Road end at full time. As was so often the case back then, anything they could do, we could do better. By this point, Liverpool were still top and a game away from being champions. Coventry had slumped to 19th.

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. There was an all Merseyside League Cup Final to deal with.

The Reds reached the final of the League Cup after defeating Walsall 4-2 on aggregate. Amazingly, they had drawn the home tie 2-2 in what was a nightmare debut by Gary Gillespie. Feeling the pressure to perform, the Scottish centre-back was involved in a mix up that led to an own goal by Phil Neal. However, the Reds would put it right in the second leg and ran out 2-0 winners.

It would set up the first-ever all-Merseyside cup final against neighbours Everton. This was Liverpool’s third League Cup Final in successive seasons and their fourth in five years. The game, which took place at Wembley in front of a packed crowd of 100,000, on March 25, 1984, was hardly a classic, although Everton probably edged it. The game would go to a replay at Manchester City‘s Maine Road with the Reds emerging victorious, winning 1-0 thanks to a Souness shot from distance.

Scotland and Liverpool's Graeme Souness.

It wasn’t his greatest effort and many Reds had fun at Southall’s expense as he probably should have saved it. Souness was more charitable, saying:

“I miss-controlled it and had my back to goal but flashed a leg at it and it just dipped in front of Everton keeper Neville Southall before going in.”

These were different times though, and the game was played in an incredibly positive spirit. Reds and Blues mixed freely on Wembley Way and stood side-by-side in the stands at the National Stadium and at Maine Road. Cries of ‘Merseyside, Merseyside’ were frequently heard and Everton supporters could even be seen congratulating Liverpool players as they climbed the steps to lift the cup. We were truly two clubs and one city.

Importantly, Fagan had secured his first trophy in his first season in charge. The Reds were heading for their third league title in a row, and although now out of the FA Cup, they were looking forward to a semi-final of the European Cup against Dinamo Bucharest.

The first leg at Anfield would be dramatic and controversial. Rush would describe the two ties against the Romanians as the most brutal of his career and Dalglish would call the matches a “war zone.” On April 11, 1984, I and thousands of others were packed into the Kop to witness the first leg under the floodlights. It was one of the most memorable games of my life.

Bucharest had come to frustrate Liverpool and, their time-wasting antics, rolling around the pitch at the slightest contact and frequent fouls on the Reds forward line had the Kop boiling.  Little did we know that captain Graeme Souness was also simmering throughout the game.

Liverpool went ahead midway through the first half after Sammy Lee headed home an Alan Kennedy free-kick, but Dinamo continued to frustrate. In a moment shrouded in red mist, and away from the referee’s watchful eye, Souness floored the Bucharest skipper, Lica Movila, with a spectacular uppercut to the chin. While Daina, the Swiss referee and his assistants completely missed it, many in the Kop delighted in our captain’s retribution, letting out an appreciative roar.

(L-R) The Liverpool coaching team of Chris Lawler, Roy Evans, manager Joe Fagan and Ronnie Moran celebrate with the European Cup

However, his actions made him a marked man in the second leg in Romania. Constantly booed by a ferocious 60,000 strong hostile crowd, the Scot rose to the challenge and dominated the midfield with a swagger and arrogance that made him one of the greatest midfielders I have ever seen in a red shirt. Liverpool won the game 2-1. It was a truly monumental victory and Souness’ performance was even singled out in Parliament, with Liverpool Walton MP, Peter Kilfoyle, even recommending that the Reds skipper should be awarded the George Cross for his bravery.

The Reds were heading to their fourth European Cup Final in seven years.

Before then though, Liverpool would coast to the league title, sealing their third successive championship with a goalless draw away to Notts County on May 12, 1984. That meant that Joe Fagan had completed a league and cup double in his first outing as boss, but he wasn’t done yet.

In truth, many felt this hadn’t been the Reds best season. This was a point echoed by the captain, who said: “By our own standards we didn’t deserve to be champions, but by everybody else’s we did.”

With the benefit of hindsight, this seems incredibly harsh. However, judged by the period that had come before, it was unerringly honest.

With the Reds’ neighbours, Everton, winning the FA Cup final on the May 19, with a 2-0 victory over a Watford side that featured John Barnes, the pressure was now on Liverpool to complete a Merseyside clean sweep of every trophy on offer. Standing in their way were Roma, and if they were to overcome them, they would have to do so in the Italians’ own backyard.

On May 30, 1984, Liverpool won their fourth European Cup, confirming themselves as the undisputed Kings of Europe. They would do so once more in a cauldron, a hostile atmosphere that would have caused lesser teams to wilt. They emerge as champions courtesy of a penalty shootout, in which Bruce Grobbelaar’s ‘spaghetti legs’ barely stole the show from Alan Kennedy’s winning penalty celebration. And, in doing all that, they confirmed Joe Fagan as the third man in a dynasty of great Liverpool leaders.

He had won a historical treble at the first time of asking and for that he is immortal. Liverpool’s backroom team that night consisted of Fagan, Ronnie Moran, Roy Evans and Chris Lawler. An all-Scouse Boot Room had conquered Europe, a feat unlikely to be repeated.

Thatcher tried repeatedly to break this city, but in 1984, thanks to Joe and his boys and Everton at Wembley, Merseyside took home all the silverware. It remains one of the greatest seasons in Liverpool’s glorious history and is one of the finest in the history of the region too.

Liverpool, 1983/84

 Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

Manager: Joe Fagan
Captain: Graeme Souness
Top Scorer: Ian Rush (47, all competitions)
Most Appearances: Bruce Grobbelaar, Alan Hansen, Alan Kennedy, Sammy Lee (67, all competitions)

League Position: 1st (80 points)
FA Cup: Fourth Round
League Cup: Winners
European Cup: Winners

Total games: 67
Games won: 37
Games drawn: 22
Games lost: 8
Clean sheets – league: 20
Clean sheets – overall: 34
Total goals: 118

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Premier League statement: May 11

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 20:13

The Premier League released the following update on Monday evening.

Following today's meeting of Shareholders, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters has said the 20 clubs are united in their desire to get the 2019/20 season back up and running and that players and managers will have an important role in that return.

"In today's meeting, it was reiterated the Premier League and clubs absolutely recognise the COVID-19 pandemic puts football into context," Masters said. "So many lives have been lost and so many others deeply affected.

"We are proud at the response to the pandemic that the Premier League, our clubs and our players have provided with vital support to communities and to the NHS and hopefully will continue to do so after matches recommence."

During today's meeting the UK Government signalled the possibility of a return of live sports from 1 June, following on from its announcement on the easing of the lockdown in England.

Safety comes first

Masters said the League will follow Government advice as well as that of others in planning a return of the competition.

"We welcome these first steps and are ready to play our part," he said. "We are working flat out with clubs and stakeholders - Government, our broadcast partners, The FA, the EFL, PFA and the LMA - to create a responsible, safe and deliverable model to complete the season.

"Of course, safety comes first. We must listen to Government, the authorities and the medical experts and continue to follow their advice.

"That is exactly what we are doing. We are getting ourselves in the best position to resume the season, but only when the conditions are right."

Collective way forward

Masters said today's meeting of clubs showed all 20 were united in looking to complete the season.

"There was a strong desire to discuss everything in the round and to agree a collective way forward," he said. "A really strong collective will to complete the season remains."

In so doing, Masters reiterated that consulting the players and managers is vital and that a meeting is planned with them later this week.

"Our priority will always be the safety of players, coaches and managers, staff, supporters, and the wider community," he said.

"Nothing will be agreed until we have spoken to both the managers and players."

Masters said that only after consultation with the players and managers would there be the next step of clubs returning to training, but with social-distancing measures put in place. For that, he added, a company had been appointed to conduct testing at club training grounds.

The issue of where the remaining Premier League matches would be played was also discussed, with the possibility of using neutral venues raised. But Masters stressed that the Shareholders' desire was to complete the season playing matches at their originally scheduled venues.

"Obviously it is the preference of all our clubs to play at home if at all possible," Masters said. "It is an ongoing dialogue and we've been talking to the authorities about the conditions in which we could get the Premier League back up and running and are taking all that advice on board."

New Premier League Chair

Masters also spoke about the recent appointment of Gary Hoffman as the new Premier League Chair, taking over from Claudia Arney, who had been holding the position on an interim basis.

"I am looking forward to working with Gary," Masters said. "He has a tough act to follow in Claudia, who I have worked with so closely over the last 18 months.

"I know Claudia has the respect of everyone at the Premier League and all the players.

"We are looking forward to that new team emerging."

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Premier League statement: May 11

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 20:13
The Premier League released the following update on Monday evening.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool could still win the Premier League title at Anfield

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 19:52

Monday brought plenty of news about the resumption of the Premier League, following the UK government’s easing of lockdown restrictions and ‘roadmap’ for the next steps.

Among the most significant news items from a Liverpool perspective, was that the FA have told the Premier League that they will NOT allow the 2019/20 season to be ‘null and void’ – or for no relegation to take place.

Finally, the ‘null and void’ argument is firmly ruled out.

And there could be further significant news to follow this week, with the Premier League now set to ask the government to reconsider their directive over neutral venues and instead allow teams to use their own stadiums as-per the regular fixtures.

A report from The Times explains that one of the outcomes of Monday’s meeting of the Premier League clubs was to attempt to remove the use of ‘neutral stadiums.’

Of course, either way the games will be played behind-closed-doors with no supporters in attendance, but this could mean that Liverpool will at least be able to win the Premier League at Anfield.

When football does return the fixtures will remain in the same order, and with Liverpool requiring six more points that would mean victory away to Everton and at home to Crystal Palace would see them win the title at Anfield against Palace.

However, after such an incredible season, the thought of winning the title in an empty stadium is, of course, anti-climatic.

This past weekend would have been when Liverpool would have received the Premier League trophy after the final home game of the season, against Chelsea.

The use of neutral stadiums was initiated after Britain’s senior football police officer, Mark Roberts, claimed supporters may congregate outside empty stadiums otherwise.

Brighton have been one of the most vocal clubs against the idea of using neutral stadiums.

Meanwhile, as part of the UK government’s ‘roadmap’ for the next steps to come out of lockdown, it is detailed that sporting events will be able to resume from June 1 – if all goes to plan.

The government are said to have given the green light to the Premier League resuming on June 12 (behind closed doors).

A meeting on Tuesday between the Premier League and the sports minister could reveal more details and allow for teams to returning to training in groups.

Some Liverpool players, including Virgil van Dijk, James Milner, Andy Robertson and Takumi Minamino were at the club’s Melwood training ground on Monday morning to take part in individual training sessions separately.

And finally, the government’s signalling for the construction industry to return to work while obeying social distancing measures means work on the Reds’ new training facility in Kirkby will resume this week.

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From Mignolet & Trent to Nicol & Luis – Building a Liverpool XI from the toughest #CarraChallenge yet

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 19:00

Our spin on Jamie Carragher’s latest #CarraChallenge sees a Liverpool XI formed based entirely on the letter of a players’ first and last names.

With lockdown forcing everyone to find a way to keep mentally occupied, Carragher has been ever-present in laying down the challenge to name unique XIs to current and former players as well as supporters.

This time around players can only be included in the lineup if the first name begins with the last name of the previous player-for example, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham could work as a midfield combination as the letter ‘D’ links the duo.

??New #CarraChallenge??

*Pick an Ultimate XI + Manager*

1 rule
Each players *first name* must begin with the *last letter* of the previous *surname*
eg if Joe Hart is GK. First DEF could be Trent Alexander-Arnold. Next DEF start with D & so on.
?#SkyFootballShow pic.twitter.com/Rs8NLgVjYt

— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) May 10, 2020

Whilst this particular #CarraChallenge is open to any player in world football, This Is Anfield are taking a Liverpool angle with only those to have played for the Reds taken under consideration.

The rules are as follows:

  • Each players’ first name must begin with the last letter of the previous surname
  • Only Liverpool players can be considered from any era
  • It should fit into a defined formation; in this case, 4-3-3

It’s far from a straightforward selection but without further ado, here is our XI…

Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Simon Mignolet lines-up before a friendly match between Liverpool FC and Borussia Dortmund at the Notre Dame Stadium on day four of the club's pre-season tour of America. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A myriad of options were available here and your mind is immediately cast to Alisson, Bruce Grobbelaar or Ray Clemence – but you have to keep in mind who can follow based on the final letter of their last name.

For this reason, Mignolet was the one to get the nod.

The ‘keeper arrived in the summer of 2013 and was immediately handed the title of Liverpool’s No. 1, going on to play a total of 204 games in all competitions – keeping 66 clean sheets in the process.

He was not without his mistakes and showed a fair bit of indecision throughout his time at Anfield, but his shot-stopping ability is what earned him his place.

And some of his standout moments came from the spot having denied the likes of Stoke’s Jonathan Walters Chelsea‘s Diego Costa, Arsenal‘s Theo Walcott and Hoffenheim’s Andrej Kramaric.

Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates with the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Liverpool won 2-0 to win their sixth European Cup. (Pic by Peter Makadi/Propaganda)

With Mignolet in goal, Trent Alexander-Arnold was able to occupy the right-back position.

At 21 years of age, he has already featured 125 times for his boyhood club, scoring six goals and laying on a further 34, and has three honours to his name – with another just around the corner.

An indispensable member of Jurgen Klopp‘s team and his centre-back pairing in this line-up would offer him the same freedom to roam forward.

Centre-back: Daniel Agger

 Liverpool's Daniel Agger celebrates scoring the first goal against Hull City during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Daniel Agger follows on from Alexander-Arnold and for good reason.

The Danish centre back was a relative unknown upon his arrival at Liverpool in 2006 but by the time he departed in 2014, no one would forget his name as he had won the hearts of Reds worldwide.

His passion was second to none for the club and while he was certainly a no-nonsense defender, he was capable of stepping out of defence and starting attacks – not to mention landing a few goals of his own in the opposition’s net.

Injury woes would hamper his career but his loyalty and hard-hitting nature remain his lasting legacy.

Centre-back: Ron Yeats


“Take a walk around my centre half, gentlemen. He’s a colossus!” – now, who can argue with the words of Bill Shankly?

With the letter ‘R’ needing to follow on from Agger, there was simply no other choice than a centre-back who became the cornerstone of Shankly’s side – making an impact akin to Virgil van Dijk in present day.

Ron Yeats was an intimidating presence at the back, a leader and an ever-present – playing 454 games for the Reds over the course of 10 incredible years.

Left-back: Steve Nicol


The versatile Steve Nicol occupies the left-back position, a role he made his own at Anfield in which few, if any, could live up to in the years and decades to follow – until a fellow Scot arrived in 2017 that is.

Nicol was two-footed, a natural leader and not only a formidable defender but also a remarkable attacking player – scoring 46 across a 468-game career which spanned 11 years.

Central Midfield: Luis Garcia

Luis Garcia, 'ghost goal' vs Chelsea, 2005 (PA Media)

This is where the selection starts to get interesting as a myriad of options opens up, but a resemblance of balance remains important.

With an ‘L’ required, Luis Garcia is the man to occupy a role in central midfield, with a place on the right-flank left for the Spaniard to occupy.

His first 10 games brought three goals for Liverpool but it was his tenacity and willingness to do the job required of him which made him a popular figure – not to mention his European heroics.

With this XI certainly leaning to an attacking mindset, Garcia’s inclination to assist where needed is key.

Central Midfield: Adam Lallana

 Liverpool's Adam Lallana celebrates scoring a late equalising goal to level the score 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A second name who currently resides in Klopp’s team finds their way into the XI, with Adam Lallana sitting on the left of the midfield trio.

The England international was an integral member of the German’s team before injuries and new additions saw him left to take up a squad role, with a departure at the end of the 2019/20 season expected.

His versatility offers both an attacking and defensive mindset, the latter of which Klopp has looked to mould him into to add strings to his bow as the competition for places continues to intensify.

Lallana’s 178 games for Liverpool have returned mixed results, but, as aforementioned, he was a key linchpin in the early days of the club’s new era under Klopp.

Central Midfield: Alberto Aquilani

Alberto Aquilani is, therefore, the man to sit in the defensive position in the midfield three.

The Italian arrived at Anfield in the wake of Xabi Alonso’s departure to Real Madrid and he was never truly able to show what he was capable of on a consistent basis, with injuries and the departure of Rafa Benitez leading to multiple loan spells.

And while he never truly hit the heights many had hoped for him, for potential alone, and for fitting into XI with the letter ‘A’, Aquilani gets the nod.

Forward: Ian Rush

 Peter Robinson / EMPICS Sport)

But Aquilani’s inclusion does ensure the legendary figure that is Ian Rush can be included in a forward line which incorporates three different generations of Reds and who could pass up on that?

He’s Liverpool’s greatest goalscorer with an astonishing 346 goals, which sees him sat comfortably at the top of the club’s all-time goalscorers list by 61 goals, a tally he reached in 660 games.

A team player with an eye for goal, one who could play on the shoulder of the last defender – a manager’s dream forward.

Forward: Harry Kewell

 Liverpool's Harry Kewell in action against Newcastle United during the final Premiership game of the season at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Harry Kewell is next up and in this XI he is plying his trade in the final third alongside two of Liverpool’s greatest ever goalscorers, no pressure.

The Australian was not short of talent or flair, he had the confidence to pull out the flicks and tricks and a left-footer is always a welcome addition – and in his prime, he was a gamechanger.

Kewell had a promising start to life at Liverpool, scoring 11 goals in 49 games during the 2003/04 season, only for injuries, a subsequent drop in form and a lack of luck to hinder his hopes of being a regular member of the side.

Forward: Luis Suarez

 Liverpool's Luis Suarez in action against Newcastle United during the Premiership match at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

A player who needs no introduction. Luis Saurez completes the XI and certainly adds a level of aggression unmatched by his teammates.

Records seemed to tumble with ease in his presence and so did the belief that scoring from a particular angle or distance was impossible.

A genius who left you awestruck week in and week out and took Liverpool to the cusp of a league title which, at in 2014, had stretched 24 years.

Not only was his ability to finish second to none but his development in the way of striking up a partnership with his fellow forwards made him deadlier than ever.

Suarez finished his Liverpool career with 82 goals in 133 games and when you take into account his 47 assists, the former No. 7 had a goal involvement rate of 0.96 per game.

Think you can field a better XI? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter @thisisanfield.

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The FA rule out ‘void’ and ‘no relegation’ options for Premier League

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 16:45

The FA have informed the Premier League they will not sanction voiding the season or removing relegation as plans to continue with the 2019/20 campaign push forward.

It has long been known that the option of a ‘null and void’ decision over the current top-flight season is not being considered, but opposition for continuation plans has proved an issue.

Clubs such as Watford and Brighton have publicly opposed the proposal of playing the remaining 92 games in neutral venues, with the suggestion being that the bottom six would only accept this if relegation to the Championship was ruled out.

But Greg Clarke, chairman of the FA, informed the 20 Premier League clubs on Monday that neither ‘void’ or ‘no relegation’ would be sanctioned by the governing body.

This is not unexpected news, but it is certainly welcome as it negates the prospect of relegation-threatened clubs acting in self-interest as the Premier League attempts to restart.

However, it has been widely reported that the plan to hold games in neutral venues could be reconsidered, with “more than half” expressing their concerns.

According to the Times, the Premier League will ask the government to reconsider their directive over neutral venues in order to return to a home-and-away setup.

Anfield, general, Main Stand (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

This presents a major issue in terms of avoiding the risk of infection in the coronavirus pandemic, however, as one of the main plus-points of neutral venues was the ability to effectively quarantine players over the remainder of the season.

Earlier on Monday, the government announced its plan for the return of sport behind closed doors, with June 1 the earliest possible date for football to return for broadcast.

Clubs are due to hold a meeting with the government on Thursday, and plans to return to full training, with a view to restarting the Premier League in mid-June, are likely to be discussed.

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Andy Robertson: I'd love to spend the rest of my career here

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 14:39

Andy Robertson's target is to spend the rest of his career with Liverpool.

The Scotland captain has now been at the club for almost three years, establishing himself as a fan favourite and collecting winner’s medals in the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup along the way.

Having started out in the youth ranks at Celtic and represented Queen’s Park and Dundee United in his home country before moving south to Hull City, he joined the Reds in 2017.

Robertson’s primary aim is now to maintain the standards that made him integral to Liverpool’s recent successes sufficiently to remain at Anfield for as long as possible.

“My ideal situation just now is to retire at Liverpool,” the left-back told BT Sport when asked if he would like to play in Scotland again at some point before retiring.

“It’s going to be quite hard but I would love to be able to finish my career here. If I can keep my standards as high up to a James Milner type of age, I would be quite happy with that and call it a day then.

[embedded content]

“I’d always said I would love to pull on the Celtic top to play; I obviously played for Dundee United, which I loved. Look, you never say never.

“You’re a long time retired, as they say, and I want to play as long as I can. If that’s finishing up in Scotland or at one point going up to Scotland, I’d be open to it. But my ideal situation is probably finishing and hopefully a couple more trophies at Liverpool.”

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Andy Robertson: I'd love to spend the rest of my career here

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 14:39
Andy Robertson's target is to spend the rest of his career with Liverpool.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool the best fit for Timo Werner, predicts RB Leipzig chief

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 11:17

Liverpool would be the best fit for Timo Werner were he to make a move away from RB Leipzig this summer, Red Bull chief Ralf Rangnick has declared.

The 24-year-old’s goalscoring exploits in recent seasons are believed to have caught the attention of a number of top clubs, with the Reds joined by the likes of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in being credited with an interest.

However, it is a move to Merseyside that most seems to appeal to Werner, the striker having gone on record in expressing a desire to play in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp.

Full story: Evening Standard

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

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Liverpool the best fit for Timo Werner, predicts RB Leipzig chief

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 11:17
Liverpool would be the best fit for Timo Werner were he to make a move away from RB Leipzig this summer, Red Bull chief Ralf Rangnick has declared.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool the best fit for Timo Werner, predicts RB Leipzig chief

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 11:17

Liverpool would be the best fit for Timo Werner were he to make a move away from RB Leipzig this summer, Red Bull chief Ralf Rangnick has declared.

The 24-year-old’s goalscoring exploits in recent seasons are believed to have caught the attention of a number of top clubs, with the Reds joined by the likes of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in being credited with an interest.

However, it is a move to Merseyside that most seems to appeal to Werner, the striker having gone on record in expressing a desire to play in the Premier League under Jurgen Klopp.

Full story: Evening Standard

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

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MNF rewind: The greatest English club side?

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 10:00
Back in February, Monday Night Football ranked the greatest English club sides using their own points system. Do you agree with the results? Cast your vote below...

Last Updated: 11/05/20 12:02pm

Who is the greatest English club side? It is one of the oldest debates in football but Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher tried to settle it on Monday Night Football with the help of their own points system.

With Martin O'Neill, who was part of the famous Nottingham Forest side that won two European Cups in 1979 and 1980, a guest on Monday's edition of The Football show, we are revisiting this classic MNF debate between Neville and Carragher from February.

The Sky Sports duo used a three-season period for each team and awarded points for the trophies won during that time frame.

Here are the results and, in the words of Neville and Carragher, what made each of these teams great. Reading on skysports.com? Join the debate below..

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12 - Leeds (1968/69 to 1970/71)
  • Manager: Don Revie
  • Honours: First Division title, FA Cup, Fairs Cup, First Division runner up (2)
  • MNF points: 9

Carragher: "That was a great era for Leeds, and they were runners-up in so much. I never saw them play but they were a brilliant team that you heard so much, that Revie team. In some ways, that Leeds team, even though they won league titles, they are probably remembered a lot for losing big games, but they were there or thereabouts throughout the 70s. They were a brilliant team and hopefully we see the club back in the Premier League next season."

10= - Manchester United (1965/66 to 1967/68)
  • Manager: Sir Matt Busby
  • Honours: European Cup, First Division title, First Division runner up
  • MNF points: 10

Neville: "The legacy is huge in terms of the impact, not just of that team of Best, Law and Charlton, that defined an era in Manchester, but also the recovery from the tragedy of the Munich air crash.

"There were a lot of what would be the values of Manchester United today that are attributed to that 10-year period from 1958 to 1968. In fact, when I say a lot of the attributes, I mean all of the attributes of the club today. Playing with academy players, playing with excitement and flair and ultimately playing to win all the time.

"All you attribute with Manchester United today come from that period and it's a special period. It was an era for United where Sir Matt Busby was at the heart of it. It was pioneering and it started what the journey of the modern Manchester United is.

"When Sir Alex Ferguson took over at United he wanted to repeat a lot of the values and principles that had been achieved by the club. He respected the history of the club."

10= - Aston Villa (1980/81 to 1982/83)
  • Managers: Ron Saunders/Tony Barton
  • Honours: European Cup, First Division title, European Super Cup
  • MNF points: 10

Carragher: "Ron Saunders, who passed away just a few months ago, was a bit of a legend in the Midlands. He managed lots of different clubs there, but it was actually his role at Aston Villa that he's remembered for. The strange thing was he actually moved on before they got their hands on the famous trophy. It was Tony Barton who came in, but he produced that team. It was Dennis Mortimer that lifted the trophy and Peter Withe getting the famous goal."

8= - Tottenham (1960/61 to 1962/63)
  • Manager: Bill Nicholson
  • Honours: First Division title, FA Cup (2), European Cup Winners' Cup
  • MNF points: 12

Carragher: "It wasn't just the achievement of trophies with this team, it was the actual way they played football. And probably, that legacy went on for years where you sometimes looked at a player and said: 'He's a Tottenham player.'

"Maybe that comes from the way this team played and they had some greats."

8= - Everton (1984/85 to 1986/87)
  • Manager: Howard Kendall
  • Honours: First Division title (2), European Cup Winners' Cup, First Division runner up
  • MNF points: 12

Carragher: "The first game I can ever remember watching was that 2-0 win against Watford in the FA Cup final. The best way to describe how good it was is it was my first ever season watching football, so I think that's the norm. That Everton team got to three cup finals on the bounce. I used to think going to Wembley was like going to Alton Towers. It was a day out you did at the end of every season. They were so close to winning the double in '86 and that would've shot them right up this list. The biggest compliment I can pay that team is that if I see some of those players at functions, they are still your heroes. You still look up to them now, no matter how old you are and it will always be the same."

6= - Arsenal (2001/02 to 2003/04)
  • Manager: Arsene Wenger
  • Honours: Premier League title (2), FA Cup (2), Premier League runner up
  • MNF points: 13

Jamie Carragher: "When I came up against that Arsenal team, sometimes I would be going into the game and my confidence wouldn't be there because you didn't feel like you could compete with them physically either.

"You knew they were better players than you but they were quicker and more powerful too. For a two or three year period, that was the best team I played against in the Premier League."

6= - Chelsea (2004/05 to 2006/07)
  • Manager: Jose Mourinho
  • Honours: Premier League title (2), FA Cup, League Cup (2), Premier League runner up
  • MNF points: 13

Gary Neville: "Sir Alex Ferguson knew that he was up against a special manager who was on a roll with a fantastic team. We just couldn't compete with them at that time. Jose's one regret of that period is that he didn't win the Champions League with that team."

5 - Nottingham Forest (1977/78 to 1979/80)
  • Manager: Brian Clough
  • Honours: European Cup (2), First Division title, League Cup (2), European Super Cup, First Division runner up
  • MNF points: 18

Neville: "We did say that would have to be some context applied to these points and this is the team that makes me feel most uncomfortable seeing them in fifth place because of the scale of the achievement.

"But would they be better than the greatest Liverpool sides of that era? Probably not but the scale of the achievement just needs some special mention.

"To do what Clough did there at Nottingham Forest, his managerial achievements are right up there with anything you could ever wish for."

3= - Manchester United (1998/99 to 2000/01)
  • Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Honours: Champions League, Premier League title (3), FA Cup, Intercontinental Cup
  • MNF points: 20

Neville: "In a single season, to win the treble, it's the greatest achievement of Manchester United's history. However, that team then disappointed for two years after that in Europe. We won three leagues on the bounce but then we didn't go back-to-back in Europe, and that is the disappointment of that team. We didn't go on and do it again and again. The greatest teams, you go and win it again and again."

3= - Liverpool (1981/82 to 1983/84)
  • Managers: Bob Paisley/Joe Fagan
  • Honours: European Cup, First Division title (3), League Cup (3)
  • MNF points: 20

Carragher: "If you ask Liverpool fans for their greatest team, I think a lot of them would go for this one because of the names. Kenny Dalglish was certainly the best striker, Graeme Souness was one of the best central midfielders and Alan Hansen would go straight into the team as one of the best centre-backs. So, there were those huge figures.

"This team had some of the greatest players in Liverpool's history and some of the biggest characters also. This team was almost like a machine and to do what they did with three leagues in a row, it's not easy. In most Liverpool circles they'd say this team was the greatest, but they haven't come out on top."

2 - Manchester United - (2006/07 to 2008/09)
  • Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Honours: Champions League, Premier League title (3), League Cup, Club World Cup, Champions League runner up
  • MNF points: 21

Gary Neville: "I don't think Manchester United have ever had a team that had so many world-class players. They had eight or nine who were almost the best in their position. It was an unbelievable team. I think it was the greatest Manchester United team of all time."

1 - Liverpool (1975/76 to 1977/78)
  • Manager: Bob Paisley
  • Honours: European Cup (2), First Division title (2), UEFA Cup, European Super Cup, First Division runner up
  • MNF points: 23

Jamie Carragher: "I have always felt that this era was a little bit underappreciated by Liverpool because a lot of them go back to the early '80s. Maybe that team would have beaten this team but to win a European Cup back-to-back elevates you massively. This team won a UEFA Cup too - three European trophies in three seasons. That is unbelievably special."

Where would the current Liverpool and Manchester City teams rank?

Speaking before the season was paused due the coronavirous pandemic, Carragher said: "Right now, they are both on the cusp of joining the greats and being right at the top.

"If Liverpool could get to three Champions League finals in a row that would be unbelievable - they could even go on and do the treble. That would surpass the Manchester United 1999 team as you could include the Champions League Liverpool won last year.

"Manchester City have had criticism this season for being so far behind Liverpool but they can still trump Liverpool by winning the European Cup as they've already won the league twice. Just look at what City have done under Guardiola - it's frightening. They are the only team to win the domestic treble. If they could add the Champions League that would define this era of Manchester City."

Neville said: "I think for Liverpool to get to two Champions League finals and then win a Premier League title and for Pep Guardiola to win back-to-back Premier League titles and then potentially win a Champions League, you are then putting them up there with the best teams of all time.

"You have to analyse it over a three-year period though. What Manchester City are achieving under Guardiola is spectacular but he'll know more than anybody that he needs a Champions League win to cement that legacy. No-one doubts Guardiola's Barcelona team being one the greatest of all time, winning three titles on the bounce and two Champions League - it was the greatest spectacle watching that team. There will always be doubts when you don't win the titles your football deserves. You have to win that title to convert people's minds. What these two teams are doing is really special."

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Media Watch: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 09:23

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Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Media Watch: Read the latest LFC transfer rumours

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 09:23
Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Werner would be suited to Liverpool's style - Rangnick

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 05/11/2020 - 09:18

RB Leipzig star Timo Werner would fit well at a club like Liverpool, according to former coach Ralf Rangnick.

Werner, 24, has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League leaders after scoring 27 goals in 36 games for RB Leipzig this season.

Rangnick, the former Leipzig coach and now the head of sport and development at Red Bull, wants Werner to stay, but feels Liverpool would suit the forward.

Full story: Goal.com

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

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