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  1. Jurgen Klopp says that the improvement in Nat Phillips is one of the greatest he has seen in a player under his management. In a 2020/21 season where good news stories were few and far between for the Reds, the former Bolton Wanderers junior stood out like a beacon with his competitive nature and ability to rise to any challenge that the manager put in his direction. Never in the wildest dreams of Klopp would he have thought the 24 year-old would become his most important central defender, but that is exactly what occurred with the amount of first choice talent on the sidelines for a extended period. And while supporters were not permitted in the stadiums during the Covid-impacted season, the reputation of Phillips grew to a cult like status among the fanbase. Speaking ahead of the Premier League clash with Wolves this afternoon, Klopp gave the defender a worthy complement as the Echo reported. “People often ask me which player made the biggest improvements under my leadership, and I say Robert Lewandowski. "That’s probably right, but not far off that is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department. "I remember when I saw Nat Phillips first. I spoke to him after the game and he’s one of the smartest players I ever worked with. I told him: 'You know you are not the easiest on the eye, eh?’ “His development is absolutely insane. You saw it last year, you would have said: ‘Nat Phillips, oh my God, he plays in the last line?’ People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. "He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool because we have him." With the first choice pairing of Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip now back on deck and Ibrahima Konate signed from RB Leipzig, it means that the playing status of Phillips is currently in limbo. In the summer window, Phillips was linked to the likes of Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle and West Ham as his reputation grew and would have been an asset for any of those clubs. And while he would have gone with Liverpool’s blessing as a form of appreciation or his fine efforts in helping the club clinch a top four spot, there was a sense of apprehension over how the injured trio of Van Dijk, Matip and Joe Gomez would return to full time action. And if there were any setbacks, then Klopp knew who he could call up. To this point, Phillips has played a total of 46 first team minutes this season and Klopp knows that clubs will come knocking again in January with a decision almost certainly having to be made again. “He is not playing. Life is sometimes not fair and I can’t blame him. "We cannot keep him forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year. "We will see what happens in the window because he’s a great guy. Let’s keep our fingers crossed big Nat gets a start against AC Milan as it is the perfect acknowledgement for his efforts last season.
  2. Jurgen Klopp says that the improvement in Nat Phillips is one of the greatest he has seen in a player under his management. In a 2020/21 season where good news stories were few and far between for the Reds, the former Bolton Wanderers junior stood out like a beacon with his competitive nature and ability to rise to any challenge that the manager put in his direction. Never in the wildest dreams of Klopp would he have thought the 24 year-old would become his most important central defender, but that is exactly what occurred with the amount of first choice talent on the sidelines for a extended period. And while supporters were not permitted in the stadiums during the Covid-impacted season, the reputation of Phillips grew to a cult like status among the fanbase. Speaking ahead of the Premier League clash with Wolves this afternoon, Klopp gave the defender a worthy complement as the Echo reported. “People often ask me which player made the biggest improvements under my leadership, and I say Robert Lewandowski. "That’s probably right, but not far off that is Nat Phillips, just in a completely different department. "I remember when I saw Nat Phillips first. I spoke to him after the game and he’s one of the smartest players I ever worked with. I told him: 'You know you are not the easiest on the eye, eh?’ “His development is absolutely insane. You saw it last year, you would have said: ‘Nat Phillips, oh my God, he plays in the last line?’ People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. "He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool because we have him." With the first choice pairing of Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip now back on deck and Ibrahima Konate signed from RB Leipzig, it means that the playing status of Phillips is currently in limbo. In the summer window, Phillips was linked to the likes of Brighton, Burnley, Newcastle and West Ham as his reputation grew and would have been an asset for any of those clubs. And while he would have gone with Liverpool’s blessing as a form of appreciation or his fine efforts in helping the club clinch a top four spot, there was a sense of apprehension over how the injured trio of Van Dijk, Matip and Joe Gomez would return to full time action. And if there were any setbacks, then Klopp knew who he could call up. To this point, Phillips has played a total of 46 first team minutes this season and Klopp knows that clubs will come knocking again in January with a decision almost certainly having to be made again. “He is not playing. Life is sometimes not fair and I can’t blame him. "We cannot keep him forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year. "We will see what happens in the window because he’s a great guy. Let’s keep our fingers crossed big Nat gets a start against AC Milan as it is the perfect acknowledgement for his efforts last season. View full article
  3. Jurgen Klopp says that the emphatic display that Liverpool produced at Goodison Park is the level that they have to match if they want to achieve their goals this season. Bar for a patch before half time, the Reds were in complete control against their neighbours, and at times playing some sublime football that Everton clearly could not contend with. It is Liverpool’s biggest league win at Everton since November 1982 and in many ways was a cherry on the cake to an outstanding first half of this campaign which has also including a emphatic thumping of Man United at Old Trafford and a perfect five wins from as many games in their Champions League group. Once again Mo Salah was imperious and unplayable, Jordan Henderson scored and set up another with a inch perfect pass for the Egyptian while Diogo Jota rounded out the scoring with a fine finish of his own. Speaking after the match, Klopp was undeniably delighted with the performance, but certainly not content and sent a message to his players as the Official website reported. “It was, for sure, the best performance we've shown since I'm at Liverpool at Goodison. We had some good games here, but we were never as good as tonight. We were never as calm as tonight, we were never as convinced as tonight and that's why we won the game and I am really happy about that. “It doesn't mean anything for the future but it shows us that this is now our benchmark, that's what we have to reach now in each game when we play these kind of teams, because emotions are important in football. “We are a very emotional football team but, first and foremost, you need the right mood and mindset. Yes, emotion [is] good but not the only important thing." Klopp praised the efforts of not only Salah but the other two members of the front three for their ability to pressure the Everton defence and set up goalscoring opportunities. And he had a special word for the skipper who in his time under Klopp has transformed from someone who never really looked to take the game on to someone who has matured into a all-round player who can play multiple roles, not to mention his outstanding leadership. “Hendo was good but with his skillset you should be good. When you can train, when you can play, when you get rhythm and then you have the quality of Hendo, then you will play good football games. Tonight, I think it was for him as well the best performance at Goodison.”
  4. Jurgen Klopp says that the emphatic display that Liverpool produced at Goodison Park is the level that they have to match if they want to achieve their goals this season. Bar for a patch before half time, the Reds were in complete control against their neighbours, and at times playing some sublime football that Everton clearly could not contend with. It is Liverpool’s biggest league win at Everton since November 1982 and in many ways was a cherry on the cake to an outstanding first half of this campaign which has also including a emphatic thumping of Man United at Old Trafford and a perfect five wins from as many games in their Champions League group. Once again Mo Salah was imperious and unplayable, Jordan Henderson scored and set up another with a inch perfect pass for the Egyptian while Diogo Jota rounded out the scoring with a fine finish of his own. Speaking after the match, Klopp was undeniably delighted with the performance, but certainly not content and sent a message to his players as the Official website reported. “It was, for sure, the best performance we've shown since I'm at Liverpool at Goodison. We had some good games here, but we were never as good as tonight. We were never as calm as tonight, we were never as convinced as tonight and that's why we won the game and I am really happy about that. “It doesn't mean anything for the future but it shows us that this is now our benchmark, that's what we have to reach now in each game when we play these kind of teams, because emotions are important in football. “We are a very emotional football team but, first and foremost, you need the right mood and mindset. Yes, emotion [is] good but not the only important thing." Klopp praised the efforts of not only Salah but the other two members of the front three for their ability to pressure the Everton defence and set up goalscoring opportunities. And he had a special word for the skipper who in his time under Klopp has transformed from someone who never really looked to take the game on to someone who has matured into a all-round player who can play multiple roles, not to mention his outstanding leadership. “Hendo was good but with his skillset you should be good. When you can train, when you can play, when you get rhythm and then you have the quality of Hendo, then you will play good football games. Tonight, I think it was for him as well the best performance at Goodison.” View full article
  5. Jurgen Klopp has praised the maturity of Sadio Mane despite the efforts of defenders to get under his skin. Mo Salah is largely seen by opponents as the player that has to be contained when coming up the Reds, however a number of opposition teams have gone down the route of specifically targeting the Senegal international. Like any world-class player, Mane is a competitor who wants to do all he can to get his team over the line and wont put up with being physically bullied by a opponent. But by definition he is certainly not a ‘hot head’ and this tactic which has come to fruition over the past couple of seasons has the Reds manager somewhat bemused. Klopp discussed this issue in the lead up to the clash with Mane’s former team Southampton at Anfield on Saturday as the Echo reported: "Oh yes, we have [spoken], but for sure for much longer it was a thing, even when it was not obvious to the outside. "You can see it in games they go for him because they want to wind him up, even if it is not that obvious. “But it is two different things; one is to make Sadio to be really aggressive during games, we saw that against Flamengo in the Club World Cup final (December 2019). "Rafinha wanted to go for him after he caused them some problems when we played Bayern Munich in the Champions League, it was obvious from the first second. "It was really hard and Sadio is having a discussion with him [saying]: ‘what do you want?’, fouling him and getting up and saying it was nothing, these kinds of things.” Atletico Madrid are another team which has made it a main priority to wind up Mane, but Klopp said he has come a long way since his difficult first game against the Spanish outfit in February 2020 when he had to be withdrawn at half time. “Sadio is now of an age where he is much better at that. "He's not that emotional any more, but we all need emotions obviously and sometimes we control them better and sometimes less and yes we've had these talks, of course, but that was not about that. “It had nothing to do with these situations, I really don’t think it had anything to do with the situation against Arsenal (last week), it was pretty much nothing, a normal challenge” Klopp has spoken many times about the style of game that he likes to see played and is clear that he has little time for teams who are cynical in their tactics such as the reigning La Liga champions and their recent display at Anfield. "They had the red card for Felipe and you will remember directly after the next situation a player went down and made more [of the challenge] just to make sure they get our player sent off or yellow card, so that is what I was talking about. “It is just that, The headline is 'we pay back with football'. We pay back with football, so whatever we do, we pay them back with football." Like many players, the 29 year-old struggled to display his true from during the 2020/21 season, producing his lowest goal output (16) in a league campaign since the 2016/7 season. This season he has scored nine goals from just 17 appearances in all competitions marking a return to top form, not that Klopp was in any doubt. “With Sadio, nothing was needed really, when you think about last season and this season. I didn't have long talks with Sadio or anything like that. "Sadio is a very confident person and knew....we all felt it on the first day of pre-season, after a proper break, he was completely 100 per cent there. It was clear. "It was obvious that if he was lucky with injuries it would be a really good season for him because that is the quality he has. And that is what he shows now. "So I cannot say enough how important it is for these players to have a proper break - I will speak about that until the next 20 years, but the authorities will not change it. "That is really tough for the boys. But this year Mo and Sadio had a proper break and at the moment, so far, we are getting the benefit of that." · · ·
  6. Jurgen Klopp has praised the maturity of Sadio Mane despite the efforts of defenders to get under his skin. Mo Salah is largely seen by opponents as the player that has to be contained when coming up the Reds, however a number of opposition teams have gone down the route of specifically targeting the Senegal international. Like any world-class player, Mane is a competitor who wants to do all he can to get his team over the line and wont put up with being physically bullied by a opponent. But by definition he is certainly not a ‘hot head’ and this tactic which has come to fruition over the past couple of seasons has the Reds manager somewhat bemused. Klopp discussed this issue in the lead up to the clash with Mane’s former team Southampton at Anfield on Saturday as the Echo reported: "Oh yes, we have [spoken], but for sure for much longer it was a thing, even when it was not obvious to the outside. "You can see it in games they go for him because they want to wind him up, even if it is not that obvious. “But it is two different things; one is to make Sadio to be really aggressive during games, we saw that against Flamengo in the Club World Cup final (December 2019). "Rafinha wanted to go for him after he caused them some problems when we played Bayern Munich in the Champions League, it was obvious from the first second. "It was really hard and Sadio is having a discussion with him [saying]: ‘what do you want?’, fouling him and getting up and saying it was nothing, these kinds of things.” Atletico Madrid are another team which has made it a main priority to wind up Mane, but Klopp said he has come a long way since his difficult first game against the Spanish outfit in February 2020 when he had to be withdrawn at half time. “Sadio is now of an age where he is much better at that. "He's not that emotional any more, but we all need emotions obviously and sometimes we control them better and sometimes less and yes we've had these talks, of course, but that was not about that. “It had nothing to do with these situations, I really don’t think it had anything to do with the situation against Arsenal (last week), it was pretty much nothing, a normal challenge” Klopp has spoken many times about the style of game that he likes to see played and is clear that he has little time for teams who are cynical in their tactics such as the reigning La Liga champions and their recent display at Anfield. "They had the red card for Felipe and you will remember directly after the next situation a player went down and made more [of the challenge] just to make sure they get our player sent off or yellow card, so that is what I was talking about. “It is just that, The headline is 'we pay back with football'. We pay back with football, so whatever we do, we pay them back with football." Like many players, the 29 year-old struggled to display his true from during the 2020/21 season, producing his lowest goal output (16) in a league campaign since the 2016/7 season. This season he has scored nine goals from just 17 appearances in all competitions marking a return to top form, not that Klopp was in any doubt. “With Sadio, nothing was needed really, when you think about last season and this season. I didn't have long talks with Sadio or anything like that. "Sadio is a very confident person and knew....we all felt it on the first day of pre-season, after a proper break, he was completely 100 per cent there. It was clear. "It was obvious that if he was lucky with injuries it would be a really good season for him because that is the quality he has. And that is what he shows now. "So I cannot say enough how important it is for these players to have a proper break - I will speak about that until the next 20 years, but the authorities will not change it. "That is really tough for the boys. But this year Mo and Sadio had a proper break and at the moment, so far, we are getting the benefit of that." · · · View full article
  7. Thiago Alcantara is adamant that he made the right decision to join Liverpool and says that he is at the club for the long haul. The Spanish international with the glittering footballing resume came to the Reds last season understandably with much fanfare. But with everything that took place courtesy of the pandemic, it certainly was not the perfect time to adapt to a new league. The cause of Thiago was not helped early on by the fact that he was infected with coronavirus and not soon after, suffered a serious knee injury courtesy of a incredibly reckless challenge by Richarlison in the Derby which saw him on the sidelines for over two months. The inconsistent nature of his performances in the second half of last season led some pundits to question if he was the right player for the Reds and if his style suited the Premier League. After being fit at the start of the season, a calf injury sustained in September saw the midfielder on the sidelines for around six weeks saw more doubts raised if the 30 year-old could be relied upon on a consistent basis. It led to rumours that a return to Barcelona to play new manager and former teammate Xavi could be on the cards. After playing cameo roles in a couple of fixtures prior to the international break, his performance against Arsenal last Saturday was a illustration in what he can bring to the side. Speaking ahead of the Champions League clash with Porto (per the Mirror), Thiago made it clear that he is extremely happy where he is at this point of time. 100% I made the right choice to join Liverpool, the right move. “As I always have been, I am a guy who plays football - I am not concerned about the rumours. I’m focused on the duty I have with my team and the years I have in contract with my team.” The midfielder has won a incredible 11 league titles in his career to this stage, four with Barcelona and seven with Bayern Munich along with Champions League triumphs at both clubs, not to mention many domestic honours. Alcantara though is far from satisfied and wants to have his share of success at Liverpool. “I just want to know about this new adventure that I have here in the Premier League and try to win all the trophies I can.. “With my experience and knowledge in football, I can be better, learning new things, so why not come? “And my commitment is maximum with this team, my commitment is much more.” "With my experience and knowledge in football, I can be better, learning new things, so why not come? Along with the success that he has had, Thiago is in the fortunate position to have played under two of the outstanding managers of the modern era in Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and described the similarities and differences in the pair. “They both have the same charismatic character and have a group in their hands, they know what to do to make them perform better and to help them in difficult situations. “The differences you can see in how the teams play. One has more possession and one has wildness with control, at the same point. It’s great, both are doing what they want in the greatest way football can bring.”
  8. Thiago Alcantara is adamant that he made the right decision to join Liverpool and says that he is at the club for the long haul. The Spanish international with the glittering footballing resume came to the Reds last season understandably with much fanfare. But with everything that took place courtesy of the pandemic, it certainly was not the perfect time to adapt to a new league. The cause of Thiago was not helped early on by the fact that he was infected with coronavirus and not soon after, suffered a serious knee injury courtesy of a incredibly reckless challenge by Richarlison in the Derby which saw him on the sidelines for over two months. The inconsistent nature of his performances in the second half of last season led some pundits to question if he was the right player for the Reds and if his style suited the Premier League. After being fit at the start of the season, a calf injury sustained in September saw the midfielder on the sidelines for around six weeks saw more doubts raised if the 30 year-old could be relied upon on a consistent basis. It led to rumours that a return to Barcelona to play new manager and former teammate Xavi could be on the cards. After playing cameo roles in a couple of fixtures prior to the international break, his performance against Arsenal last Saturday was a illustration in what he can bring to the side. Speaking ahead of the Champions League clash with Porto (per the Mirror), Thiago made it clear that he is extremely happy where he is at this point of time. 100% I made the right choice to join Liverpool, the right move. “As I always have been, I am a guy who plays football - I am not concerned about the rumours. I’m focused on the duty I have with my team and the years I have in contract with my team.” The midfielder has won a incredible 11 league titles in his career to this stage, four with Barcelona and seven with Bayern Munich along with Champions League triumphs at both clubs, not to mention many domestic honours. Alcantara though is far from satisfied and wants to have his share of success at Liverpool. “I just want to know about this new adventure that I have here in the Premier League and try to win all the trophies I can.. “With my experience and knowledge in football, I can be better, learning new things, so why not come? “And my commitment is maximum with this team, my commitment is much more.” "With my experience and knowledge in football, I can be better, learning new things, so why not come? Along with the success that he has had, Thiago is in the fortunate position to have played under two of the outstanding managers of the modern era in Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp and described the similarities and differences in the pair. “They both have the same charismatic character and have a group in their hands, they know what to do to make them perform better and to help them in difficult situations. “The differences you can see in how the teams play. One has more possession and one has wildness with control, at the same point. It’s great, both are doing what they want in the greatest way football can bring.” View full article
  9. Steven Gerrard is putting at risk any hopes of becoming Liverpool manager if he leaves Rangers and joins Aston Villa according to Ally McCoist. Dean Smith was sacked on Sunday after three years at Villa where he returned the Midlands club to the Premier League and had a win percentage just over 39% during his tenure. Gerrard went into Rangers folklore last season by breaking the stranglehold that bitter rivals Celtic had on the Scottish Premiership guiding them to a unbeaten season and winning many managerial awards along the way. That led to Gerrard being linked to some Premier League jobs, firstly Newcastle and in recent days the Villa post. The momentum of Gerrard getting the job at Villa Park seems to gathering pace by the hour, however McCoist feels that he will be much better served by staying at Ibrox for the time being. Metro (via Talksport) reported the Rangers legend as saying: “Are you trying to tell me Aston Villa are a bigger club than Glasgow Rangers? Of course he should (stay at Rangers). “He wants the Liverpool job, what if he goes to Aston Villa if it doesn’t work out. He’s got a better chance of success at Rangers than he does at Aston Villa if he wants the Liverpool job. ‘So he goes to Aston Villa and it doesn’t work out he’s not going to get the Liverpool job. He could stay at Rangers, retain the league, straight into the Champions League, that’s great success and a better chance of the Liverpool job.” Gerrard has regularly said that managing Liverpool is his dream job however he has an awful lot to prove to even be considered for the job once Jurgen Klopp departs. He is even comfortable in the knowledge that it may never come his way. “Liverpool is my club. I had a great journey. Is it a dream for me to one day be the Liverpool manager? Yes, it is, but not yet and who's to say I'll ever be good enough. There's a lot of managers on this planet, we need to respect Jurgen first and foremost." Gerrard will be looking to follow the footsteps of his former manager in Brendan Rodgers who after coming down from a very successful reign at Celtic, has turned Leicester into a consistent top six club while also challenging for domestic trophies. Villa have often been referred to as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the Premier League, a club who have looked really promising at certain periods of a season, only to fail when the pressure is at its highest. So could the man who haunted the Claret and Blue so many times in his playing days (13 goals in 27 games across all competitions) be their ultimate saviour? Time will tell.
  10. Steven Gerrard is putting at risk any hopes of becoming Liverpool manager if he leaves Rangers and joins Aston Villa according to Ally McCoist. Dean Smith was sacked on Sunday after three years at Villa where he returned the Midlands club to the Premier League and had a win percentage just over 39% during his tenure. Gerrard went into Rangers folklore last season by breaking the stranglehold that bitter rivals Celtic had on the Scottish Premiership guiding them to a unbeaten season and winning many managerial awards along the way. That led to Gerrard being linked to some Premier League jobs, firstly Newcastle and in recent days the Villa post. The momentum of Gerrard getting the job at Villa Park seems to gathering pace by the hour, however McCoist feels that he will be much better served by staying at Ibrox for the time being. Metro (via Talksport) reported the Rangers legend as saying: “Are you trying to tell me Aston Villa are a bigger club than Glasgow Rangers? Of course he should (stay at Rangers). “He wants the Liverpool job, what if he goes to Aston Villa if it doesn’t work out. He’s got a better chance of success at Rangers than he does at Aston Villa if he wants the Liverpool job. ‘So he goes to Aston Villa and it doesn’t work out he’s not going to get the Liverpool job. He could stay at Rangers, retain the league, straight into the Champions League, that’s great success and a better chance of the Liverpool job.” Gerrard has regularly said that managing Liverpool is his dream job however he has an awful lot to prove to even be considered for the job once Jurgen Klopp departs. He is even comfortable in the knowledge that it may never come his way. “Liverpool is my club. I had a great journey. Is it a dream for me to one day be the Liverpool manager? Yes, it is, but not yet and who's to say I'll ever be good enough. There's a lot of managers on this planet, we need to respect Jurgen first and foremost." Gerrard will be looking to follow the footsteps of his former manager in Brendan Rodgers who after coming down from a very successful reign at Celtic, has turned Leicester into a consistent top six club while also challenging for domestic trophies. Villa have often been referred to as the ‘sleeping giant’ of the Premier League, a club who have looked really promising at certain periods of a season, only to fail when the pressure is at its highest. So could the man who haunted the Claret and Blue so many times in his playing days (13 goals in 27 games across all competitions) be their ultimate saviour? Time will tell. View full article
  11. Andy Robertson has little doubt that Mo Salah is the best player in the World at this point of time but says he is far from satisfied and is on a mission for team success this season. The Egyptian superstar has been in truly sublime form throughout the 2021/22 campaign to date, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, including 10 in just nine games of the Premier League season. The form of Salah has been a key reason why Liverpool have made such a fine start to the season with the 5-0 thrashing of Man United being the pinnacle to date, and speaking to Sky Sports, the Reds Left-back says his confidence rubs off on the whole squad. “I think the way he's playing at the start of this season - he's been incredible. You can just see him walking on the pitch and he feels as though any chance he gets he's going to score." While the goals of Salah undoubtedly grabs the headlines, there was it is an understated area of his play that the Scottish captain also wanted to highlight. “The thing that goes under-rated with Mo is his work-rate - the way he helps out Trent (Alexander-Arnold), the way he helps out his defence behind him and everything like that. That's when he's at his best, that's when he creates the chances and gets the goals, when he's mentally so strong.” Robertson also said that while Salah is currently at the peak of his powers, he is in no mood to stop. “He's an incredible player and I think at this moment he's the world's best and he'll want to continue that. "He won't want it for nine or 10 games, which he's done so far, he'll want to do it for a whole season like he's done previously and hopefully he can do it, because it gives us the best chance of scoring goals and winning trophies." Robertson didn’t want to delve too deeply into Salah’s contractual negotiations only to say that he hopes he stays at the club for the foreseeable future. When it came to Ibrahima Konate who produced an impressive performance against Man United last week, Robertson spoke about his own experience when joining the Reds and how he is passing on that to the new signings’ “Konate is a fantastic guy, He's settled into the changing room really quickly. I knew how good the lads were when I first came here and now I'm part of that. "It's important that you try to make the boys feel as comfortable as quickly as possible because that's when you get a performance like he put in against Man Utd, because he's comfortable with his surroundings. "He's not played too much this season - he'll be wanting to play more, of course he will, but he's had to settle in - new country, new club, new environment. “He's still young which everyone forgets because he's a giant, and it's important everybody still remembers that.” ·
  12. Andy Robertson has little doubt that Mo Salah is the best player in the World at this point of time but says he is far from satisfied and is on a mission for team success this season. The Egyptian superstar has been in truly sublime form throughout the 2021/22 campaign to date, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, including 10 in just nine games of the Premier League season. The form of Salah has been a key reason why Liverpool have made such a fine start to the season with the 5-0 thrashing of Man United being the pinnacle to date, and speaking to Sky Sports, the Reds Left-back says his confidence rubs off on the whole squad. “I think the way he's playing at the start of this season - he's been incredible. You can just see him walking on the pitch and he feels as though any chance he gets he's going to score." While the goals of Salah undoubtedly grabs the headlines, there was it is an understated area of his play that the Scottish captain also wanted to highlight. “The thing that goes under-rated with Mo is his work-rate - the way he helps out Trent (Alexander-Arnold), the way he helps out his defence behind him and everything like that. That's when he's at his best, that's when he creates the chances and gets the goals, when he's mentally so strong.” Robertson also said that while Salah is currently at the peak of his powers, he is in no mood to stop. “He's an incredible player and I think at this moment he's the world's best and he'll want to continue that. "He won't want it for nine or 10 games, which he's done so far, he'll want to do it for a whole season like he's done previously and hopefully he can do it, because it gives us the best chance of scoring goals and winning trophies." Robertson didn’t want to delve too deeply into Salah’s contractual negotiations only to say that he hopes he stays at the club for the foreseeable future. When it came to Ibrahima Konate who produced an impressive performance against Man United last week, Robertson spoke about his own experience when joining the Reds and how he is passing on that to the new signings’ “Konate is a fantastic guy, He's settled into the changing room really quickly. I knew how good the lads were when I first came here and now I'm part of that. "It's important that you try to make the boys feel as comfortable as quickly as possible because that's when you get a performance like he put in against Man Utd, because he's comfortable with his surroundings. "He's not played too much this season - he'll be wanting to play more, of course he will, but he's had to settle in - new country, new club, new environment. “He's still young which everyone forgets because he's a giant, and it's important everybody still remembers that.” · View full article
  13. TLW

    Opposition View- Brighton

    After a league victory that will live long in the memory, Liverpool return to Anfield to play Brighton on Saturday looking to continue their fine form. While in the past this fixture would have been viewed as a sure three points, the Reds will be coming up against a highly improved outfit and a manager in Graham Potter who is one of the most tactically astute in the top flight. While many teams throw up the white flag when coming up against the “big boys” Brighton proved that they are far from intimidated taking four points from the Reds, along with coming back from 2-0 down to defeat champions Man City last season. Currently sitting sixth, Scott from @wearebrighton discusses the improvement in the team under Potter and why Adam Lallana is so valued by the club hierarchy. Nine games into the Premier League season and sitting in the top six, you must be pretty satisfied with your start? Satisfied and surprised. A lot of opposition fans have pointed to the fixtures Brighton have faced and said that the reason we are flying so high is because they are ‘easy games’. That though is what makes this start so good, as last season these were the exact type of matches the Albion lost. Whilst Graham Potter masterminded four points from Liverpool, three from Manchester City and three from Spurs, Brighton failed to beat any of the relegated sides home and away. In fact, the only team in the bottom eight we defeated were Newcastle. It now appears as though Brighton have found a way to see off those clubs who we would expect to be around in the bottom half of the table. If the Albion can combine that with last season’s ability to defeat the European Super League elite six, then this could be one of the best campaigns Brighton have ever had. Can you talk to about the impact of Graham Potter. His backstory of managing a obscure team in Sweden, then taking over at Swansea before moving to the bright lights of the Premier League is fascinating. How has he changed Brighton following on from the fine work of Chris Hughton? Getting rid of a safe pair of hands like Hughton was a huge gamble. The likes of Stoke City, Charlton Athletic and West Brom offer a cautionary tale of what can happen when you swap a solid, defensive manager in the hope of playing a more attacking brand of football. Nobody can doubt now though that the change has worked out. There have been plenty of speedbumps along the way; Potter has overseen runs of two wins in 19 matches on two occasions, was responsible for a club-record sequence of 14 home games without victory and recorded the worst ever start to a top flight campaign in Brighton history last season A lot of chairmen would have sacked Potter at various occasions over the past three seasons, especially when the Albion were on the verge of getting sucked into the relegation zone last January. Tony Bloom therefore deserves an equal amount of credit. He stuck with his manager, looking at the bigger picture of how the club were progressing in terms of playing style and the profile of a younger squad rather than just focussing on results. Potter still does make decisions that leave everyone scratching their heads, but he is a young and relatively inexperienced manager learning on the job. Thankfully, they are fewer and far between then when people genuinely thought he picked his team using a roulette wheel last winter. He will surely go onto bigger and better things than Brighton at some point, but it is doubtful he will ever work for a chairman like Bloom again. It’s never easy to replace a key member of your squad like Ben White especially for a team looking to climb the table. Yet you presently have the equal fourth best defensive record so how have gone about filling that all-Important position? The thing you have to remember about Ben White is that he was only the third most important centre back in our three-man defence last season. If Lewis Dunk or Adam Webster had been sold, then Brighton would have been in real trouble. Instead, the Albion pocketed £50 million for White, tied Webster down to a new long-term contract and used existing assets to fill the space left by White. Shane Duffy has been impervious since returning from his disastrous loan spell at Celtic last season. There was a lot going on in his personal life and the general consensus is that he has returned to Brighton more focussed on his football than he has ever been. The Albion also completed one of the under-the-radar, bargain buys of summer 2020 when signing Netherlands international centre back Joel Veltman from Ajax for £900,000. Veltman spent most of last season playing as a right wing back to cover for the injured Tariq Lamptey. He though is a central defender by trade, every bit as good on the ball as White. With Lamptey now back and Marc Cucurella signed to fill the left wing back position, Brighton have an embarrassment of defensive riches. While you sold White, you were able to keep hold of another important player in Yves Bissouma who was regularly linked to the Reds during the summer? How do you think he dealt with all that transfer speculation and has he been able to knuckle down and perform to his usual standard during this campaign? He has been as brilliant as he was last season. Quite why nobody came in for him in the summer is a genuine mystery. You can see how important he is to Brighton though – since he got injured against Leicester in September, we have not won a Premier League game, drawing with Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Norwich and getting thumped by Manchester City. Adam Lallana was someone loved by teammates and managers alike at his time with the Reds. The fans had a rather mixed opinion of him mostly to do with his consistent injury layoffs. As a Premier League veteran with a number of honours to his name, what impact has he had with Brighton on and off the pitch? Brighton have a very young squad and so it is Lallana’s experience and leadership which are arguably more valuable than what he contributes on the pitch, as you elude to. When he is fit, he is a joy to watch. You still see glimpses of the vision and skills that made him one of England’s best midfielders circa 2016. When he is not fit, you still know he is contributing on the training ground. A lot of eyebrows were raised when Brighton gave Lallana a three-year contract, but that was clearly designed to keep him at the Amex beyond his playing days. The club have a very clear pathway for retired players who want to go into management to follow, one which the likes of Andrew Crofts, Gary Dicker, Steve Sidwell, Liam Rosenior and Bruno have all embarked on. Brighton clearly see Lallana as having all the attributes needed to make a top class coach and that is part of the reason he was brought to Sussex in the first place. In your opinion, what is the key element missing that can turn Brighton into a team that regularly finishes in the top half of the table? A clinical striker. Most Brighton fans still have nightmares about xG, whereby last season we could have finished as high as fifth if we had lived up to our expected goals. No new centre forward was incoming over the summer, which makes the Albion’s current lofty position even more impressive. The lack of signing was hardly a surprise – Brighton made a £67 million loss in 2019-20 and that figure will be even higher for 2020-21 with the covid-hit season. The club do not have the money to go and chuck around £30 or £40 million on a striker, so instead we make do with what we have got. The result is that the Albion have not scored from open play for three matches now, but we still are not doing badly. Your last visit at Anfield was a memorable one recording a deserved 1-0 victory, adding to the point collected at home in November. With Liverpool’s confidence sky high following the 5-0 triumph at Old Trafford, how do you think Potter will set up and look to nullify the many attacking threats of the home side? I imagine that he will recognise this is a very different Liverpool side to the one who were struggling a bit – by your high standards anyway – when Brighton took those four points last season. Having said that, I think he will nullify Liverpool by trying to get Brighton on the front foot. The Albion were terrific in the second half against City last Saturday once Lamptey and an advanced midfielder in Enock Mwepu came on. City registered only one shot and that came in the final seconds – although admittedly, they did score from it. It is a different game away from home obviously, but I think the Albion will take heart from what happened when they took the game to Liverpool last season at Anfield too. Have you got a score prediction for this fixture? Liverpool 2-1 Brighton.
  14. After a league victory that will live long in the memory, Liverpool return to Anfield to play Brighton on Saturday looking to continue their fine form. While in the past this fixture would have been viewed as a sure three points, the Reds will be coming up against a highly improved outfit and a manager in Graham Potter who is one of the most tactically astute in the top flight. While many teams throw up the white flag when coming up against the “big boys” Brighton proved that they are far from intimidated taking four points from the Reds, along with coming back from 2-0 down to defeat champions Man City last season. Currently sitting sixth, Scott from @wearebrighton discusses the improvement in the team under Potter and why Adam Lallana is so valued by the club hierarchy. Nine games into the Premier League season and sitting in the top six, you must be pretty satisfied with your start? Satisfied and surprised. A lot of opposition fans have pointed to the fixtures Brighton have faced and said that the reason we are flying so high is because they are ‘easy games’. That though is what makes this start so good, as last season these were the exact type of matches the Albion lost. Whilst Graham Potter masterminded four points from Liverpool, three from Manchester City and three from Spurs, Brighton failed to beat any of the relegated sides home and away. In fact, the only team in the bottom eight we defeated were Newcastle. It now appears as though Brighton have found a way to see off those clubs who we would expect to be around in the bottom half of the table. If the Albion can combine that with last season’s ability to defeat the European Super League elite six, then this could be one of the best campaigns Brighton have ever had. Can you talk to about the impact of Graham Potter. His backstory of managing a obscure team in Sweden, then taking over at Swansea before moving to the bright lights of the Premier League is fascinating. How has he changed Brighton following on from the fine work of Chris Hughton? Getting rid of a safe pair of hands like Hughton was a huge gamble. The likes of Stoke City, Charlton Athletic and West Brom offer a cautionary tale of what can happen when you swap a solid, defensive manager in the hope of playing a more attacking brand of football. Nobody can doubt now though that the change has worked out. There have been plenty of speedbumps along the way; Potter has overseen runs of two wins in 19 matches on two occasions, was responsible for a club-record sequence of 14 home games without victory and recorded the worst ever start to a top flight campaign in Brighton history last season A lot of chairmen would have sacked Potter at various occasions over the past three seasons, especially when the Albion were on the verge of getting sucked into the relegation zone last January. Tony Bloom therefore deserves an equal amount of credit. He stuck with his manager, looking at the bigger picture of how the club were progressing in terms of playing style and the profile of a younger squad rather than just focussing on results. Potter still does make decisions that leave everyone scratching their heads, but he is a young and relatively inexperienced manager learning on the job. Thankfully, they are fewer and far between then when people genuinely thought he picked his team using a roulette wheel last winter. He will surely go onto bigger and better things than Brighton at some point, but it is doubtful he will ever work for a chairman like Bloom again. It’s never easy to replace a key member of your squad like Ben White especially for a team looking to climb the table. Yet you presently have the equal fourth best defensive record so how have gone about filling that all-Important position? The thing you have to remember about Ben White is that he was only the third most important centre back in our three-man defence last season. If Lewis Dunk or Adam Webster had been sold, then Brighton would have been in real trouble. Instead, the Albion pocketed £50 million for White, tied Webster down to a new long-term contract and used existing assets to fill the space left by White. Shane Duffy has been impervious since returning from his disastrous loan spell at Celtic last season. There was a lot going on in his personal life and the general consensus is that he has returned to Brighton more focussed on his football than he has ever been. The Albion also completed one of the under-the-radar, bargain buys of summer 2020 when signing Netherlands international centre back Joel Veltman from Ajax for £900,000. Veltman spent most of last season playing as a right wing back to cover for the injured Tariq Lamptey. He though is a central defender by trade, every bit as good on the ball as White. With Lamptey now back and Marc Cucurella signed to fill the left wing back position, Brighton have an embarrassment of defensive riches. While you sold White, you were able to keep hold of another important player in Yves Bissouma who was regularly linked to the Reds during the summer? How do you think he dealt with all that transfer speculation and has he been able to knuckle down and perform to his usual standard during this campaign? He has been as brilliant as he was last season. Quite why nobody came in for him in the summer is a genuine mystery. You can see how important he is to Brighton though – since he got injured against Leicester in September, we have not won a Premier League game, drawing with Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Norwich and getting thumped by Manchester City. Adam Lallana was someone loved by teammates and managers alike at his time with the Reds. The fans had a rather mixed opinion of him mostly to do with his consistent injury layoffs. As a Premier League veteran with a number of honours to his name, what impact has he had with Brighton on and off the pitch? Brighton have a very young squad and so it is Lallana’s experience and leadership which are arguably more valuable than what he contributes on the pitch, as you elude to. When he is fit, he is a joy to watch. You still see glimpses of the vision and skills that made him one of England’s best midfielders circa 2016. When he is not fit, you still know he is contributing on the training ground. A lot of eyebrows were raised when Brighton gave Lallana a three-year contract, but that was clearly designed to keep him at the Amex beyond his playing days. The club have a very clear pathway for retired players who want to go into management to follow, one which the likes of Andrew Crofts, Gary Dicker, Steve Sidwell, Liam Rosenior and Bruno have all embarked on. Brighton clearly see Lallana as having all the attributes needed to make a top class coach and that is part of the reason he was brought to Sussex in the first place. In your opinion, what is the key element missing that can turn Brighton into a team that regularly finishes in the top half of the table? A clinical striker. Most Brighton fans still have nightmares about xG, whereby last season we could have finished as high as fifth if we had lived up to our expected goals. No new centre forward was incoming over the summer, which makes the Albion’s current lofty position even more impressive. The lack of signing was hardly a surprise – Brighton made a £67 million loss in 2019-20 and that figure will be even higher for 2020-21 with the covid-hit season. The club do not have the money to go and chuck around £30 or £40 million on a striker, so instead we make do with what we have got. The result is that the Albion have not scored from open play for three matches now, but we still are not doing badly. Your last visit at Anfield was a memorable one recording a deserved 1-0 victory, adding to the point collected at home in November. With Liverpool’s confidence sky high following the 5-0 triumph at Old Trafford, how do you think Potter will set up and look to nullify the many attacking threats of the home side? I imagine that he will recognise this is a very different Liverpool side to the one who were struggling a bit – by your high standards anyway – when Brighton took those four points last season. Having said that, I think he will nullify Liverpool by trying to get Brighton on the front foot. The Albion were terrific in the second half against City last Saturday once Lamptey and an advanced midfielder in Enock Mwepu came on. City registered only one shot and that came in the final seconds – although admittedly, they did score from it. It is a different game away from home obviously, but I think the Albion will take heart from what happened when they took the game to Liverpool last season at Anfield too. Have you got a score prediction for this fixture? Liverpool 2-1 Brighton. View full article
  15. Joe Gomez has a determination to get back in the England squad but to do that he needs to become a regular member of the Liverpool starting lineup. And there lies the issue for the 24 year old central defender who is yet to start a Premier League game this season due to the excellent partnership of Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip. Gomez has started once in the Carabao Cup against Norwich and in the Champions League group game against Ac Milan but in the league he has been restricted to cameo appearances against Burnley and Man City. When Matip was rotated for the match on the weekend against Man United, Klopp surprisingly gave the nod to new signing Ibrahima Konate but the young Frenchman did not let anyone down. Gomez who missed a large chunk of last season with a knee injury was left out of Gareth Southgate’s latest squad and according to the 90 min website, it has left Gomez somewhat concerned that he will be left out of the 2022 World Cup squad. Gomez is said to have confidence in his ability to be the best partner for Virgil Van Dijk and being a starting central defender for England although he is under no illusion in the amount of work he has to do. And there is no indication that he is agitating for a move away from the Reds at this stage, however if he continues to be on the substitute bench, he will certainly look at all possible options on the table. After Liverpool were caught significantly short with long term injuries to their central defenders, it seems highly unlikely that any move will be on the cards before next summer. While understandably frustrated, in the back of Gomez’s mind he will know how good a position the club is in at this point of time, as well as the fact that a starting opportunity may arise at any stage.
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