After four games in 14 days to begin the season, two of them being ‘finals’ – and one of those being 2,000 miles away in Istanbul, Liverpool now have just two games in 27 days.
It’s something that will be most welcomed by Jurgen Klopp, with the manager always speaking of his desire for good preparation time for his players.
And after a somewhat hectic pre-season that saw key players returning just a week before the Community Shield, and, in Sadio Mane‘s case, just four days before the opening league game, Klopp will relish the opportunity to work with his full squad.
The players too, will be relieved for this lighter schedule. Mohamed Salah has clocked up 379 minutes, plus 45 in his only friendly appearance of the summer against Lyon, just 20 days since returning to pre-season.
Roberto Firmino has played 329 minutes in the same period, while Mane played 209 minutes of competitive action in the 13 days since he returned.
Meanwhile, players who were on the US tour, they went from Notre Dame, to Boston, to New York, one day back in Liverpool with their families, back away to Edinburgh, then directly to Evian in France and straight to London for the Community Shield.
A full week back in their own homes and working at Melwood will be welcomed by all at the club, from staff, players and their families.Fitness… for some
While playing 90 minutes so soon after returning isn’t ideal, Klopp does like to typically use early season fixtures to build up full fitness for his key players.
Klopp, though, spoke after the Southampton game of ensuring players weren’t playing 50 or 60 games a season – which, at the current rate of involvement the front three certainly would be when including international commitments, and the Club World Cup to come in December.
“No football player should play 50 or 60 games a season, especially not in these intense positions,” said Klopp.
But watching on from the sidelines in these opening weeks has been the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, whose only appearance was in the final 11 minutes of the Community Shield.
He’s been quoted this week speaking of his disappointment at no longer getting playing time, saying that “I need to take a good look at the situation and find a solution.”
Whether that means assessing his application in training, or seeking a solution away from Anfield is open to interpretation. But if he isn’t getting any involvement against the likes of Norwich and Southampton when the front three are all being pushed to their physical limits, it’s hard to see where he comes in.
Last season Klopp was extremely reluctant to use the Swiss international when using the 4-3-3 formation, with one of his rare outings in that shape being the 4-0 win over Barcelona when the manager’s hand was forced by injuries.
While the Reds have enjoyed two wins from two opening league games, those games plus the ‘finals’ vs. Man City and Chelsea have seen some concern over the uncharacteristically high amount of chances afforded for opponents.
This next few weeks, then, should give Klopp plenty of time to work on ironing out any such issues.
“We know we have to improve,” he acknowledged last week. “We know that we have to do a couple of things but a few things will just come because we are then longer together, in different situations and get used to it again.”
Vital time, then, on the training ground should see an improvement in the chances against, whatever the reasons for them so far.
The other good news is that Egypt don’t have any competitive fixtures during the September international break so Salah should remain on Merseyside.
And, after the international break, we could well see Alisson back for the visit of Newcastle to Anfield on September 14, which will be over four weeks since he picked up his calf injury.
We also have the Champions League draw to look forward to next Thursday, so the season should be taking shape nicely a month from now.
Work was ongoing at Melwood on Tuesday morning as Liverpool continued to prepare for their next assignment: Arsenal's visit to Anfield on Saturday tea time.
The Reds were put through their paces by Jürgen Klopp and co as attentions turned to the visit of the Gunners, a game in which the Premier League's only two remaining 100 per cent records go up against each other.
Our cameras were granted exclusive access to the session - and you can watch the best of it in our video above now.
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Despite his reservations over VAR, Mohamed Salah is insistent that he will see more penalties handed his way this season thanks to its introduction.
The Premier League is the latest to introduce video technology this season, but the system, or more so the rules which it adjudicates over, has already earned widespread criticism.
The major talking points have emerged in each of Man City‘s games to date, with Raheem Sterling first ruled offside by the smallest of margins against West Ham before Gabriel Jesus’ ‘winner’ against Spurs was ruled out due to a handball in the buildup.
Much of the criticism comes from the emotional aspect of the game being extracted in favour of the most minute details, and it is something Salah is not particularly fond of himself as mistakes are simply part and parcel of the game.
“I don’t like it … that’s my answer, always. I don’t like it. I love football how it is,” he said during an interview with CNN.
“It’s like that with the mistakes of the referee, with the aggression from the player sometimes.
“It’s OK sometimes to protect the players from dangerous play. But OK, that’s it, in my opinion, that could be the only reason that happened, just to protect the players.
“But for me, I accepted the football with the mistakes of the referee, mistakes of the player, I don’t know, whatever. That’s how the football gets more excited.”
However, the increased scrutiny in and around the box is something the Egyptian feels he will benefit from throughout the season and dispel any notion that he is a diver like some outside the club like to believe.
For an age, it seemed as Liverpool were invisible in the eyes of the referee in the penalty area – with only three awarded in 2017/18 – but the Reds were awarded seven penalties in the league last season, with Salah converting three of those.
And Liverpool’s No.11 is confident he will find himself on the right side of VAR decisions this term.
“More penalties for me, you will see that,” he said.
But it is not just about scoring penalties or simply finding the net for Salah, who has notched 72 goals in 108 appearances for the Reds, as his job also centres around creating chances for those around him.
“I’m not a striker, I play as a winger, so it’s my job not just to score but to also assist, play with the midfield.”
“I play on the wing which no one recommended. For a long time I didn’t play as a number nine.
“I’m comfortable with that. It’s not my first job. Like, the number one his job is only to score but as a winger it’s not just to score, it’s to give assists … and play with the team. I’ll do a lot of things to defend.”
Jurgen Klopp has disclosed that he could be ready to retire at the conclusion of his contract with Liverpool in 2022.
The German has long remained coy over the specifics of his future beyond his deal at Anfield, which at the current date of conclusion would see him at the helm for seven years – the same exact time spent at former clubs Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.
And while Klopp has flirted with talk of a prolonged break after his deal with the club comes to a close, talks over retirement is a relatively new area for him to touch upon.
The 52-year-old did say early last year that “It’s possible that I will end my career a lot earlier than coaches usually do,” but his new comments provide a few more specific details.
Upon being named Sport Bild’s manager of the season after guiding Liverpool to a 97 point finish in the Premier League and to a European Cup, Klopp opened up on his future.
“I hope to continue like this, but in two, three years I don’t know what may happen. Maybe I’ll retire,” he said, via Gianluca Di Marzio.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen, however, but if that were the case, you wouldn’t be surprised.”
The club’s owners are eager to tie him down to a new extended deal, but Klopp has so far resisted such overtures and any decision will be respected when the time comes.
But with the manager already insisting that he will not leave his position at the helm prematurely, the Reds will have at the very least two seasons on top of the current one with Klopp steering the ship.
Since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in 2015 Klopp has overseen widespread changes and an exponential rise which now has Liverpool firmly back on their perch where they belong.
And while any thought of the German tipping his cap and bowing out at Anfield isn’t a pleasant one, there is no doubt that whenever his time is up that he will have left a lasting legacy.
It will have been a “crime” from Liverpool’s youngsters should they fail to learn from the experience and quality on display in the recent defeat to Chelsea.
Liverpool fielded a strong lineup which included the likes of Caoimhin Kelleher and Sepp van den Berg, both returning from injury, who were flanked by Ki-Jana Hoever, Harvey Elliott, Rhian Brewster and Yasser Larouci among others.
But the Blues possessed senior figures in Antonio Rudiger and Michy Batshuayi, the latter of whom scored a double alongside a Faustino Anjori strike to ensure the young Reds were again on the wrong side of the scoreline.
It was a largely disjointed affair and while Critchley was left to lament “a tough night”, valuable lessons will undoubtedly emerge from the defeat.
“That was a tough night, to be honest. There were a million moments where we could have done a lot better in and loads of situations in and out of possession where we failed,” he told the official club website.
“We stuck at it and showed a bit of character towards the end, but the game was gone at that stage. The manner in which we got beat and our performance was disappointing really.
“I thought Rudiger and Batshuayi played the game properly and they were a credit to themselves, real professionals,” he added. “They showed a proper good attitude and were a great example to not only their players, but ours as well.
“That was a tough night for our defenders playing against Batshuayi and our forwards against Rudiger.
“The biggest crime from the game is if we don’t take anything from this. If we don’t learn from it, we don’t improve and don’t look to improve then that’s worse than the defeat.”
Liverpool were far from their best throughout proceedings and remain on the pursuit to see the team gel together after a few new faces were added to the fold through a rise in the ranks or in the transfer window.
“We looked a bit disjointed and we looked a new team playing for the first time on the pitch.
“We made quite a few changes from our last game and it does take time to build those relationships. We didn’t have that on the pitch, it will take time.
“But again, the boys have to show that right mentality every day in training and that willingness to learn.
“It was tough at times but we have to dust ourselves down, learn from it, move on and see if we can do better in the next game.”
That next game comes in the form of a trip to Southampton, who have one loss and one win to their name thus far, on Monday evening.
Liverpool have released ticket selling details for the Premier League clash with Chelsea, to be played at Stamford Bridge on Sunday September 22, kick off 4.30pm.
The club have received a total allocation of 2,985 stand tickets for this all ticket fixture. Supporters not in possession of a ticket are urged not to travel.
Over 65/under 20s (junior): £25
Please be aware that supporters in possession of concessionary tickets will be asked for ID at the turnstiles.
Sir Kenny Dalglish Box holders, Premium Level and Centenary Club members should contact the hospitality department on 0151 264 2222, option 2.
Within the allocation, we have received 30 pairs of wheelchair and personal assistant tickets, ambulant tickets are also available.
Wheelchair and ambulant tickets are free of charge. Please click here.
The below sales will take place online only.
Tickets will be available to season ticket holders and Official Members based on Premier League away fixtures recorded during season 2018-19 on the following days:
13 or more games: from 8.15am, Wednesday August 28 until 10.45am, Thursday August 29.
Supporters are guaranteed a ticket during this sale and can purchase one ticket per person, up to a maximum of 10 tickets per transaction.
The following sales will then take place on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability, and supporters can purchase one ticket per person up to a maximum of four tickets per transaction.
12 or more games: from 11am until 1.45pm, Thursday August 29.
11 or more games: from 2pm, Thursday August 29.
Should there be any tickets remaining following the initial sales, Liverpool FC will make a further announcement. Supporters are advised to check www.liverpoolfc.com/tickets for sale updates.
For ticket fulfilment (delivery and collection of tickets), click here
For coach travel, click here
For a visiting supporter guide, click here
For away support information, click here
For general information, click here
Liverpool youngster Bobby Duncan has reportedly been subject to an offer for a season-long loan at Danish outfit Nordsjaelland.
The 18-year-old had a prolific debut season for the Reds primarily at under-18 level after joining from Man City, scoring 30 and setting up a further 16 in a total of 43 appearances.
Duncan was duly rewarded in the summer with a place in Jurgen Klopp‘s pre-season squad, where he made five appearances from the bench which returned one goal and an assist.
Duncan, however, harbours hopes of playing first-team football which appears a ways off at Anfield with fellow youngster Rhian Brewster ahead of him in the pecking order.
He is highly-rated at the club and possesses an abundance of raw talent but with a slim window of opportunity in his position, he is said to be open to a move abroad.
According to the Daily Mail, Nordsjaelland are offering regular senior football on a season-long loan deal which would also see them pay his wages in full.
The Danish Superliga side, who are currently fourth in the table after six games, have made a formal move for Duncan, which Liverpool are said to be considering – and is not believed to include an option to buy.
However, conflicting reports from Sky Sports suggest the Reds have already rejected their approach for the teenager who was also subject to interest from Porto and Benfica earlier in the summer.
While the reliability of each report remains to be seen, it is clear that Duncan is demanding a wide array of interest in his services and that up and coming English talent remain firmly on the radar of clubs across Europe.
Duncan is tied to the club until 2021 after penning a three-year deal upon his arrival in 2018, ensuring Liverpool are in a comfortable position if and when they weigh up his immediate future.
Liverpool trained on Tuesday with their sights set on the weekend meeting with Arsenal - and our photographer was at Melwood to capture the session.
The Reds were put through their paces by Jürgen Klopp and his coaching team ahead of Saturday's clash with the Gunners at Anfield.
Check out 68 photos of their latest work-out below...
Photos by Andrew Powell
Although Liverpool has made a solid start to the new season, the way opponents have repeatedly carved open their defence has been a real cause for concern. Edward Stratmann analyses.
Having conceded 49 shots in their first four competitive games – 19 more than at the same time last season – Jurgen Klopp will want to quickly address this issue. For the team who had the best defensive record in the Premier League last campaign, letting in only 22 goals, they must do better.
Appearing to play a slightly higher line than throughout a fair chunk of last season, this combined with some individual errors and opponents clearly doing their homework, has seen Liverpool’s backline breached far too frequently.
When quizzed on the high line and these defensive difficulties, Klopp’s comments made for interesting reading, as he cited that the perception of the problem is greater than it actually is. “If you compare us to August last year, it’s not that big a difference,” he explained.
“The thing is Chelsea had a lot of finishes that were offside but there were no whistles, so then you see that it was two or three yards offside and so that means it’s good defending.
“We know that we have to improve a couple of things, but those things will come together the longer we are together and get used to it again. We have to find our best path.”
A brilliant tactician who knows how to find solutions to problems, it would take a brave man to bet against Klopp ironing out these deficiencies in the coming weeks.
Judging by his comments, he firmly believes the Reds aren’t too far off getting it right and all they need is some more repetitions on the training ground and to fully get back to playing together again.VAR and more
Another reason behind why Klopp might be pushing the defensive line slightly higher could be due to the introduction of VAR, which should eliminate any offside errors and therefore give Liverpool more confidence to play further up.
Whatever the exact explanation is, the fact remains that their adversaries have found plenty of joy getting at Liverpool in their early-season fixtures. Upon analysing this, and the blame can’t solely lie on the advanced positioning of the backline, for their play further up hasn’t been flawless either.
While Liverpool have still pressed effectively for the most part, there has been the odd occasion when they’ve given the ball holder too much time and space to launch long balls in behind. This is definitely something that must not happen when playing a high line, for it can leave the defence horribly exposed.
A far bigger problem has been that Liverpool have turned the ball over and missed tackles far too often in central midfield areas.
On the many occasions this has happened, especially against Norwich City and Chelsea, this has meant their central defenders have been put in terrible trouble. Whether it be stepping out rashly, getting caught on the ball, hitting a sloppy pass or through a poor first touch, these needless errors have hurt the Reds severely.
Moreover, the fact two of their three central midfielders usually push high or into the half spaces, in combination with the fullbacks usually bombing on, has only compounded their issues.
With hardly any access to counterpress effectively once a turnover is committed, Liverpool have often found themselves very stretched and struggling to react to quell the danger. This has regularly left their holding midfielder and central defenders stranded to defend in scenarios where there’s very little room for error.
While they’ve still counterpressed with some success and have fast defenders to track runners in behind, losing the ball in the middle of the park is a killer for any side, so if they can fix this, they will instantly alleviate some of their worries.
The way Klopp’s men have been uncharacteristically guilty of being found out of position hasn’t helped either. With players getting exposed due to not scanning their surroundings adequately, being in poor body postures and caught ball watching, there’s been a handful of moments when they’ve completely lost their marker.
Despite these not costing them badly yet, these blown assignments can destroy the defensive organisation, for they force another teammate to leave his post to cover, which can subsequently create space in their original zone of operation.
vs. Last season
Liverpool’s opponents also deserve plenty of credit for their part in making life tough for them.
Having clearly done their research, the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Teemu Pukki, Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic have brilliantly directed their runs between defenders and on their blindside to find joy.
Moreover, the way their foes have used methods like opposite movements, rotations and strategically drawn and pinned Liverpool’s defenders has been effective in generating disconnects in their backline.
Comparing some numbers in key metrics from last season to this term have shown a slight drop off in some of their defensive success (albeit from a small sample size).
Not only have they conceded more shots per game (9.30 pg compared 7.71 pg last term), had a higher XG against (1.47 pg compared to 0.85), allowed more passes per defensive action (11.09 pg compared to 10.17) and given their opponents more passes per possession (4.24 pg compared to 3.75), they’re also turning the ball over more (76 pg compared to 71).
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as there’s been multiple times when their high line and accompanying high press has enabled them to condense the pitch to suffocate their opposition. In addition, catching their adversaries offside 23 times has clearly illustrated the benefits of this tactic.
With the Reds still winning matches and playing some pretty good football, it’ll be fascinating to see how Klopp deals with the aforementioned issues. Knowing him and his meticulous coaching staff, though, you can guarantee he’ll be working tirelessly to smooth over these cracks.
Looking at the issues listed, the problems would be best addressed collectively, for the finger shouldn’t be pointed just at the defensive line, as the lack of compactness and frustrating turnovers are the main stumbling blocks.
If the Reds can overcome these early issues, then there’s no reason to suggest the high line can’t be a consistent success.
Only time will tell if they, in fact, can. But under’s Klopp’s expert tutelage, Liverpool will surely come up with the answers to this intriguing conundrum sooner rather than later.
The Reds’ official charity, LFC Foundation, is donating £24,000 to Anfield Sports and Community Centre (ASCC) to help support their ‘Fit & Fed’ programme for the next 12 months.
Fit & Fed, which are free camps that run during school holidays, provide a range of sports and other activities - such as dance and art - for local children in the school holidays. Participants also receive a healthy breakfast and lunch as part of the scheme.
These camps will be running alongside a packed summer schedule of activity at ASCC including badminton, basketball, LFC Foundation multi-sports events, arts and crafts, boxing, fitness classes, trampolining, inclusive sports, and much more.
Matt Parish, LFC Foundation director, said: “It’s fantastic to be able to donate funds to Anfield Sport and Community Centre to help support their fantastic Fit & Fed camps for the next 12 months.
“Providing free access to physical activity and healthy food during the school holidays is really important to support local children and their families. We know that many families feel the financial strain of the school holidays particularly in areas of high need like Anfield.
“The camps will also bring benefits to the wider community by providing activities to keep young people engaged and off the streets, helping to reduce anti-social behaviour.”
The club’s Red Neighbours team, who specifically work in the Anfield area and surrounding postcodes of L4, L5 and L6, are also supporting ASCC’s activities throughout the summer.
Red Neighbours currently delivers a number of activities that run at ASCC including walking football, walking netball and Eat Well Spend Less cookery sessions for local families.
Adam Clarke-Jones, manager of Anfield Sports and Community Centre, added: “We are delighted to have the support and financial backing of the LFC Foundation as well as continued help from the club’s Red Neighbours team with our wider programme of activity here at ASCC.
“Our centre aims to support the local community by providing a range of inclusive activities that everyone can access. We are so grateful for Liverpool Football Club’s continued assistance through the LFC Foundation and Red Neighbours team because it enables us to keep delivering more for our local residents.”
Data and Analysis @AdamDatasmithTune into the monthly Kings of the Premier League show on Sky Sports at the end of August, brought to you by Budweiser, to find out who is crowned King of the Month
Last Updated: 20/08/19 4:49pm
Sky Sports and Budweiser, the official beer of the Premier League, have teamed up to bring you the weekly Power Rankings.
Norwich striker Teemu Pukki has toppled Raheem Sterling in the Power Rankings chart - but who else made the top 50?
The Finland international broke the deadlock against Newcastle with a sensational volley before completing his hat-trick to secure the 3-1 win - having opened his Premier League account against Liverpool.
Sterling slipped into runner-up spot after heading home a sumptuous Kevin De Bruyne (No 7) cross, before Erik Lamela (No 4) levelled the scores three minutes later in a 2-2 draw with Spurs.Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele kept his place among the top 10
Burnley striker Ashley Barnes (No 3) maintained his scoring streak with a first-half equaliser against Arsenal, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (No 5) hit back with a sensational winner at the Emirates.
Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford (No 8) and Anthony Martial (No 10) made the top 10 after a 1-1 stalemate with Wolves, while Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk (No 9) narrowly retained his place among the top performers.
Below we present each club's form player in the rankings, with Harry Wilson soaring to Bournemouth's summit on his league debut for the club, while former Derby team-mate Mason Mount topped the chart for Chelsea.
You can find out more about the Power Rankings' methodology here
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Football Expert & Columnist"Before Houllier came, the British way at half-time would be that when the door shut, everyone would be talking non-stop"
Last Updated: 21/08/19 6:10am7:20 Jamie Carragher joins Geoff Shreeves for this week's Off Script. Carra reveals his most memorable team talks and how effective they were Jamie Carragher joins Geoff Shreeves for this week's Off Script. Carra reveals his most memorable team talks and how effective they were
In the latest Off Script, Jamie Carragher explains how Gerard Houllier changed the art of the team talk for him, and why Ashley Cole was so special.
Carragher's friend and Plymouth manager Ryan Lowe recently allowed Sky Bet behind the scenes at the club, including a fascinating look at his pre-match team talks.7:52 Sky Bet went behind the scenes at Plymouth to get the lowdown during their pre-season preparations under new boss Ryan Lowe Sky Bet went behind the scenes at Plymouth to get the lowdown during their pre-season preparations under new boss Ryan Lowe
So what makes a good team talk, and how have they changed over the years?
Carragher also reacts to Ashley Cole's retirement from football on Sunday, and why all eyes are on Frank Lampard at Chelsea...Houllier's half-time visuals
Gerard Houllier was probably the best manager I had for team talks. Not just half-time team talks, he was brilliant at a team meeting, and could really pump you up for a game.
It was interesting when Gerard came in. Before that, the British way at half-time would be that when the door shut, everyone would be talking non-stop, with 15 minutes you had to cram it in.
But when the foreign managers came in, they wouldn't speak for five minutes, and I've heard Arsene Wenger was the same. There's not a lot of information given at half-time now, because nobody is taking anything in.
Houllier would come in, not say anything for five minutes, make sure everybody was ready, and when he did speak, everyone would be ready to listen. And he'd speak for two or three minutes max.Carragher played under Gerard Houllier until 2004 at Liverpool
Sometimes Houllier would send Phil Thompson in a few minutes before half-time, to write a message on the flipchart in the dressing room. The one that rings a bell is when we were 2-0 up at half-time against Manchester United once. But at that time, United were obviously famous for fighting back.
He wrote the scoreline of a recent game where United had come back from 2-0 down to win. I can't remember who it was against, but it could have been anyone. They did it to everyone!Roy Hodgson was also interesting in team talks. People look at Roy and think: 'Everyone's favourite uncle, a really nice man.' But he could lose it!
Carragher on Hodgson at Liverpool
It was a little message for us for when we sat down. Nobody was speaking, but it was as if to say: "This game is not over." It was a visual, rather than a manager talking.
Roy Hodgson was also interesting in team talks. People look at Roy and think: "Everyone's favourite uncle, a really nice man." But he could lose it.
He would do this thing where if a player wasn't being aggressive or jockeying with his marker, he would go over to them and jockey with them, like the David Brent dance! I'd be crying laughing. He was very entertaining in team talks.Cole didn't have an ego
Ashley was a quiet bloke off the pitch. On the pitch? He was typical Chelsea, a little bit ratty, I think Mourinho got into him, he'd get involved, and they'd always be around the referee. But I can't talk about that, I did that job for Liverpool!Carragher insists Ashley Cole had no ego, and was misrepresented in the media
He's a quiet lad. The criticism he got from sections of the media at different times for different incidents was similar to Raheem Sterling in some ways. The public then think of this player in a particular way. I've named Raheem Sterling because I played with him as well, and they were both quite quiet lads.
Ashley wasn't some big ego, or very loud in the dressing room, he didn't have this swagger about him, he just played his football. You didn't hear too much from him around the hotel with England, which was the only time I was really around him, so I felt a bit sorry for him with the way he was portrayed around in the media. That certainly wasn't the lad I knew.
I was always kicking him, because they always had the ball when we played against that Arsenal team. If you were to ask me what was the toughest thing on the pitch for me, it was playing right-back against that Arsenal team, with Ashley Cole, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry, because Henry was like a second left-winger.Carragher hated playing against the famous Arsenal side of 2002 to 2004
Including European teams, that Arsenal team from 2002 to 2004 were the best I ever played against. I know Manchester United have been the most successful in the Premier League era, but in terms of individually giving me the most problems, it just felt things were happening so fast that you couldn't compute what was going on. It was like a pinball machine. Things were happening too quickly for me.
There were actually times after Arsenal games, up against Cole and the rest of them, where I thought: "I'm actually out of my depth here!"
A brilliant player for Arsenal and Chelsea, and a great England player too.All eyes are on Lampard
I think everyone who becomes a manager is putting themselves on the line, and fair play to them, especially coming to Chelsea so early in his managerial career.
I know Frank. In some ways, I am as close to Frank as I am with any player who I didn't play club football with. We played U21s together and roomed together.
I'd have loved to see Frank get this job in 10 years' time, with 10 years' experience. That doesn't mean he's not going to be successful now, but he would be a better manager in 10 years, that's obvious.Frank Lampard with Carragher during their England days
I think everyone, when a former player goes back to a club, wants it to go well. I don't think Frank will ruin what happened as a player, he was that good.
But say Steven Gerrard went back to Liverpool as manager, John Terry at Chelsea or Thierry Henry to Arsenal. This part of the managerial career is remembered most because it's the former club, so this will be remembered more than what he does at Derby, or some future jobs. So there is a lot on the line, and I think he's taken the job in difficult circumstances.
Some people think the club have done him a favour in giving him this job. You could argue that. But you could also look at it the other way and say he's done the club a favour, because maybe not many top managers wanted to come, with the transfer ban and losing Eden Hazard.
I hope this season goes well for him, and then next season when they can actually buy players he can shape the squad to what he wants to do.Soccer Saturday Super 6 is Back
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Liverpool have been drawn in Group D of the U18 Premier League Cup.
The young Reds have been pitted against Manchester City, Southampton and Swansea City and will face each team once, either home or away. Dates and venues of the fixtures are still to be confirmed.
The six group winners and two best runners-up will progress to the quarter-finals of the competition.
Last season, Barry Lewtas' side reached the last-eight stage, where they were edged out 3-2 by Manchester United.