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TLW

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  1. Rafa Benitez says that Liverpool should not panic despite being down 3-1 after the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid. While the Reds will not have the benefit of the usual passionate Anfield crowd to help them get over the line on this European night, they received a much needed confidence boost by recording a first win on home soil since the middle of December after defeating Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday. Madrid come into the game also full of confidence after claiming a 2-1 victory over arch-rival Barcelona which saw them move to the top of the La Liga table ahead of Atletico playing their game in hand on Sunday. Benitez who is currently on the lookout for his next managerial job is one of the most astute minds when it comes to planning for a two-legged European cup-tie having tasted success in the Champions League with Liverpool and the UEFA Cup/Europa League with Valencia and Chelsea respectively. The vastly experienced manager documented his thoughts-per the Mirror: "The way the tie is, if you score once, you are back in it. Even if that takes an hour, so be it. “For me, the key will be not to get too anxious – for them to manage that anxiety – don’t rush it. Maintain concentration levels and keep focused. “With quality players, a goal will come. “But Liverpool have to be in a position where they can keep a clean sheet – and they will have to be more aggressive at Anfield and play with greater intensity over 90 minutes than they did in Madrid. “Sadly, they cannot rely on the crowd to provide the spark for that. “In my experience, the supporters at Anfield have been a huge factor in those European nights. I don’t think you can dispute that. It has been one reason for their success. One hundred per cent. “Now, that drive will have to come from within.” Benitez says despite the widely held view that Madrid are on the decline, they have a number of excellent individual talents that are worthy of respect, but there are vulnerabilities that the Reds can attack more than they did in the first leg. “Real Madrid are a balanced side. Casimero does that really well for them. He allows Toni Kroos and Luca Modric to move around. And to win football matches, you need a balance. “He also allows the full-backs to move forward. But the reality is that they weren’t exposed too much. “Nacho is a very good team player. “I don’t have any doubts about his quality in the absence of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane but Liverpool didn’t put him under too much pressure, either. “I would also include the full-backs in that and Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have it in them to cause problems in the return leg if they can find that intensity to their play.” View full article
  2. Rafa Benitez says that Liverpool should not panic despite being down 3-1 after the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid. While the Reds will not have the benefit of the usual passionate Anfield crowd to help them get over the line on this European night, they received a much needed confidence boost by recording a first win on home soil since the middle of December after defeating Aston Villa 2-1 on Saturday. Madrid come into the game also full of confidence after claiming a 2-1 victory over arch-rival Barcelona which saw them move to the top of the La Liga table ahead of Atletico playing their game in hand on Sunday. Benitez who is currently on the lookout for his next managerial job is one of the most astute minds when it comes to planning for a two-legged European cup-tie having tasted success in the Champions League with Liverpool and the UEFA Cup/Europa League with Valencia and Chelsea respectively. The vastly experienced manager documented his thoughts-per the Mirror: "The way the tie is, if you score once, you are back in it. Even if that takes an hour, so be it. “For me, the key will be not to get too anxious – for them to manage that anxiety – don’t rush it. Maintain concentration levels and keep focused. “With quality players, a goal will come. “But Liverpool have to be in a position where they can keep a clean sheet – and they will have to be more aggressive at Anfield and play with greater intensity over 90 minutes than they did in Madrid. “Sadly, they cannot rely on the crowd to provide the spark for that. “In my experience, the supporters at Anfield have been a huge factor in those European nights. I don’t think you can dispute that. It has been one reason for their success. One hundred per cent. “Now, that drive will have to come from within.” Benitez says despite the widely held view that Madrid are on the decline, they have a number of excellent individual talents that are worthy of respect, but there are vulnerabilities that the Reds can attack more than they did in the first leg. “Real Madrid are a balanced side. Casimero does that really well for them. He allows Toni Kroos and Luca Modric to move around. And to win football matches, you need a balance. “He also allows the full-backs to move forward. But the reality is that they weren’t exposed too much. “Nacho is a very good team player. “I don’t have any doubts about his quality in the absence of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane but Liverpool didn’t put him under too much pressure, either. “I would also include the full-backs in that and Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have it in them to cause problems in the return leg if they can find that intensity to their play.”
  3. Jurgen Klopp says that Sadio Mane is going through a phase that all top forwards go through in their career and there is no physical hinderance affecting his game. While Mo Salah has often taken the headlines due to his goalscoring exploits throughout his Reds career, the all-round game of Mane has been greatly underrated. Those who see the Senegalese star play on a regular basis will say that he is the individual that gels the front three together. But just like many of his teammates, this campaign has been a significant struggle for the 29 year-old. After starting the season in his customary style scoring three goals in as many league games, Mane tested positive for COVID-19 after the Arsenal game which saw him have to serve the customary two weeks of self-isolation and saw him miss the 7-2 humbling at Villa Park, his next game for the Reds against Everton saw a return to the scoresheet. Since that fixture in the middle of October, Mane has scored just three league goals with his last coming against Tottenham at the end of January. While it is worth noting that he did score in both fixtures against RB Leipzig, Mane is well below near his usual strike rate (12 goals in 39 games) and faces a significant challenge to reach the 20 goal mark (in all competitions) for the fourth consecutive season. As research steadily increases into the lasting impacts of COVID-19, more and more individuals who have had the illness say that they continue to have lingering symptoms many months down the track. We may never know how much this has been a major factor for Sadio, or if it is a matter of wear and tear beginning to show after a extremely heavy workload over the last couple of seasons and a compressed schedule during this season. According to his manager, it is nothing different to what most elite players in his position have had to deal with and he is not duly concerned as the Official site reported: “We all know how good Sadio Mane is, what a player he is. “And what he did for us. Obviously the numbers, scoring-wise now, are obviously not great at the moment – he knows that. It’s always for a player and for a player with the mindset of Sadio, he wants to do extremely well then in these moments and that’s the situation he is in. “Each striker in the world knows these kinds of situations. But I’m not concerned, but I see it as well. That’s clear. We work on it – that’s the only answer I can give. Klopp conceded that the schedule may well have played a role, but the more likely reason would be a lack of confidence in front of goal which is something that is only natural. “The schedule of the last three years was for a lot of players in world football a tough one – for him as well, that’s true. But I don’t think that’s the reason, there’s no physical problem for Sadio, not a real one. “We all need breaks from time to time, that’s clear, but it’s not a general problem or whatever. It’s just a situation. “If you don’t score for a while then strikers start thinking and there is a moment when you start thinking exactly the right things again and then it will be fine again. We have to make sure this time is not too far away.” View full article
  4. Jurgen Klopp says that Sadio Mane is going through a phase that all top forwards go through in their career and there is no physical hinderance affecting his game. While Mo Salah has often taken the headlines due to his goalscoring exploits throughout his Reds career, the all-round game of Mane has been greatly underrated. Those who see the Senegalese star play on a regular basis will say that he is the individual that gels the front three together. But just like many of his teammates, this campaign has been a significant struggle for the 29 year-old. After starting the season in his customary style scoring three goals in as many league games, Mane tested positive for COVID-19 after the Arsenal game which saw him have to serve the customary two weeks of self-isolation and saw him miss the 7-2 humbling at Villa Park, his next game for the Reds against Everton saw a return to the scoresheet. Since that fixture in the middle of October, Mane has scored just three league goals with his last coming against Tottenham at the end of January. While it is worth noting that he did score in both fixtures against RB Leipzig, Mane is well below near his usual strike rate (12 goals in 39 games) and faces a significant challenge to reach the 20 goal mark (in all competitions) for the fourth consecutive season. As research steadily increases into the lasting impacts of COVID-19, more and more individuals who have had the illness say that they continue to have lingering symptoms many months down the track. We may never know how much this has been a major factor for Sadio, or if it is a matter of wear and tear beginning to show after a extremely heavy workload over the last couple of seasons and a compressed schedule during this season. According to his manager, it is nothing different to what most elite players in his position have had to deal with and he is not duly concerned as the Official site reported: “We all know how good Sadio Mane is, what a player he is. “And what he did for us. Obviously the numbers, scoring-wise now, are obviously not great at the moment – he knows that. It’s always for a player and for a player with the mindset of Sadio, he wants to do extremely well then in these moments and that’s the situation he is in. “Each striker in the world knows these kinds of situations. But I’m not concerned, but I see it as well. That’s clear. We work on it – that’s the only answer I can give. Klopp conceded that the schedule may well have played a role, but the more likely reason would be a lack of confidence in front of goal which is something that is only natural. “The schedule of the last three years was for a lot of players in world football a tough one – for him as well, that’s true. But I don’t think that’s the reason, there’s no physical problem for Sadio, not a real one. “We all need breaks from time to time, that’s clear, but it’s not a general problem or whatever. It’s just a situation. “If you don’t score for a while then strikers start thinking and there is a moment when you start thinking exactly the right things again and then it will be fine again. We have to make sure this time is not too far away.”
  5. Jurgen Klopp has sprung to the defence of Naby Keita following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. It was a surprise to see the Guinea international selected in the starting line-up ahead of Thiago Alcantara, especially when you take into account that he has been on the periphery this season due to injury and illness issues. So this rare start in his 16th appearance for the season was the perfect chance for the 26 year-old to make a significant impression in a very important game. Instead as has so often happened in his Liverpool career to date, Keita flattered to deceive and was replaced before half time which barring a injury substitution, is a very rare move for Klopp to make. But speaking after the game (per the Official site), the German was at pains to explain that the 2-0 deficit that the team was facing at the time was not the direct fault of the midfielder. “It was tactical, it was tactical. That’s now things I don’t like in the job, stuff like this. "You do that and then it’s like the one player is responsible for the performance of the first half. “Naby was not responsible for that. He didn’t play for a while, especially not from the start, and these kind of things. “We were not good in the game, Naby was not good in the game but we all saw the game so to be honest I could have made a few more changes in that moment. “So it was not about Naby but I did it and I am now not happy about it because we talk about it like it was Naby’s responsibility. It was not. But it was tactical, that’s it. “ I could have done a few more changes in that moment and thank God I didn’t." The Reds certainly picked up their performance in the second 45 minutes with a Mo Salah strike halving the deficit six minutes after the break, but Vinicius Junior put the game to bed fourteen minutes later grabbing his second for the game and the Reds facing an almighty challenge in the second leg. Klopp was not only disappointed by the overall performance, but that the treatment that dished out to Sadio Mane on the night was not properly dealt with by the referee. “The situation with Sadio, what the ref did tonight I have to say I don't understand. “For me that was something personal because he dealt with the situation with Sadio, which was a clear foul, like he was a diver or whatever. "From that moment on whenever Sadio went down he didn't get anything. That is not right. That is what I told him after the game, that I thought he was unfair with Sadio. "That doesn't change anything at all. He [the referee] didn't lose the game. We were not good enough to get a better result, but in these moments you need just an 'OK' ref. That would have been enough." Liverpool are certainly no strangers to coming back from seemingly impossible situations, however Klopp knows this will be a different challenge to what they faced two years ago against Barcelona. “If you want to have some emotional memories, you watch the Barcelona game back and 80% of this game was the atmosphere in the stadium, I would say. We have to do without that. “It’s not that I sit here and think comebacks are our thing and that we do that all the time. “We have from time to time, but we always had supporters in the stadium. We don’t have that this time. “I don’t know if we can do it, but I can promise we will give it a proper try. "The boys really want it. Today in the first half we couldn’t and for whatever reason we didn’t, and that’s what we will look to find out, to change, and to go again." View full article
  6. Ryan Gravenberch is the latest name being touted as a possible replacement for Gini Wijnaldum according to reports. The ever-dependable 30 year-old is keeping his cards very close to his chest regarding where he will be playing next season. But the longer that there is no news regarding a re-signing with the Reds, the reality increases that he will depart the club with Barcelona the likely destination. There is little doubt that the club would be prepared for both scenarios and therefore would have a number of alternatives on the table if the popular Dutchman does depart. Gravenberch is seen as one of the brightest young talents on the Dutch footballing scene. Coming through the famed Ajax academy, he started his senior career with Jong Ajax, which is the Dutch giants’ reserve team which play in the second division. His talent from a young age was clearly evident and so much so that he was quickly, promoted to the senior squad and broke the record for the youngest Ajax player to ever play in the Eredivisie at just 16 years and 130 days, breaking the 26 year club record set by Clarence Seedorf. The 18 year-old starlet has represented his country at every level from the U/16 to the senior squad. Gravenberch claimed his first first senior cap just last month in the World Cup qualifier against Turkey. Former Ajax legend Ronald De Boer gave the youngster incredibly high praise recently saying “(Mattias) De Ligt might have been an exception at that age, but Gravenberch has unrivalled qualities.” The midfielder made two appearances against the Reds this season in the Champions League group stage where he certainly did not look out of place. The Express via Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport say Liverpool and Chelsea are two of the favourites to sign the midfielder. The transfer fee is speculated to be around £30million (€35m). Standing at a imposing 6 ft.3, Gravenberch is seen as versatile, initially as a attacking midfielder, but has developed his game to such a extent where he is now seen as very dependable in the holding role. He has averaged 1.52 interceptions and 1.16 successful tackles in 25 league games this season while his performances in the Champions League (5 tackles/ 1.83 interceptions) and Europa League (3 tackles/3 interceptions per game) are even more impressive. On the creative side, Gravenberch has scored three goals in the league and recorded five assists with a successful passing percentage of 86.12%. Whether Liverpool sign Gravenberch or not, it seems like he will be an emerging star of the game in the years to come. View full article
  7. Ryan Gravenberch is the latest name being touted as a possible replacement for Gini Wijnaldum according to reports. The ever-dependable 30 year-old is keeping his cards very close to his chest regarding where he will be playing next season. But the longer that there is no news regarding a re-signing with the Reds, the reality increases that he will depart the club with Barcelona the likely destination. There is little doubt that the club would be prepared for both scenarios and therefore would have a number of alternatives on the table if the popular Dutchman does depart. Gravenberch is seen as one of the brightest young talents on the Dutch footballing scene. Coming through the famed Ajax academy, he started his senior career with Jong Ajax, which is the Dutch giants’ reserve team which play in the second division. His talent from a young age was clearly evident and so much so that he was quickly, promoted to the senior squad and broke the record for the youngest Ajax player to ever play in the Eredivisie at just 16 years and 130 days, breaking the 26 year club record set by Clarence Seedorf. The 18 year-old starlet has represented his country at every level from the U/16 to the senior squad. Gravenberch claimed his first first senior cap just last month in the World Cup qualifier against Turkey. Former Ajax legend Ronald De Boer gave the youngster incredibly high praise recently saying “(Mattias) De Ligt might have been an exception at that age, but Gravenberch has unrivalled qualities.” The midfielder made two appearances against the Reds this season in the Champions League group stage where he certainly did not look out of place. The Express via Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport say Liverpool and Chelsea are two of the favourites to sign the midfielder. The transfer fee is speculated to be around £30million (€35m). Standing at a imposing 6 ft.3, Gravenberch is seen as versatile, initially as a attacking midfielder, but has developed his game to such a extent where he is now seen as very dependable in the holding role. He has averaged 1.52 interceptions and 1.16 successful tackles in 25 league games this season while his performances in the Champions League (5 tackles/ 1.83 interceptions) and Europa League (3 tackles/3 interceptions per game) are even more impressive. On the creative side, Gravenberch has scored three goals in the league and recorded five assists with a successful passing percentage of 86.12%. Whether Liverpool sign Gravenberch or not, it seems like he will be an emerging star of the game in the years to come.
  8. Jurgen Klopp has sprung to the defence of Naby Keita following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. It was a surprise to see the Guinea international selected in the starting line-up ahead of Thiago Alcantara, especially when you take into account that he has been on the periphery this season due to injury and illness issues. So this rare start in his 16th appearance for the season was the perfect chance for the 26 year-old to make a significant impression in a very important game. Instead as has so often happened in his Liverpool career to date, Keita flattered to deceive and was replaced before half time which barring a injury substitution, is a very rare move for Klopp to make. But speaking after the game (per the Official site), the German was at pains to explain that the 2-0 deficit that the team was facing at the time was not the direct fault of the midfielder. “It was tactical, it was tactical. That’s now things I don’t like in the job, stuff like this. "You do that and then it’s like the one player is responsible for the performance of the first half. “Naby was not responsible for that. He didn’t play for a while, especially not from the start, and these kind of things. “We were not good in the game, Naby was not good in the game but we all saw the game so to be honest I could have made a few more changes in that moment. “So it was not about Naby but I did it and I am now not happy about it because we talk about it like it was Naby’s responsibility. It was not. But it was tactical, that’s it. “ I could have done a few more changes in that moment and thank God I didn’t." The Reds certainly picked up their performance in the second 45 minutes with a Mo Salah strike halving the deficit six minutes after the break, but Vinicius Junior put the game to bed fourteen minutes later grabbing his second for the game and the Reds facing an almighty challenge in the second leg. Klopp was not only disappointed by the overall performance, but that the treatment that dished out to Sadio Mane on the night was not properly dealt with by the referee. “The situation with Sadio, what the ref did tonight I have to say I don't understand. “For me that was something personal because he dealt with the situation with Sadio, which was a clear foul, like he was a diver or whatever. "From that moment on whenever Sadio went down he didn't get anything. That is not right. That is what I told him after the game, that I thought he was unfair with Sadio. "That doesn't change anything at all. He [the referee] didn't lose the game. We were not good enough to get a better result, but in these moments you need just an 'OK' ref. That would have been enough." Liverpool are certainly no strangers to coming back from seemingly impossible situations, however Klopp knows this will be a different challenge to what they faced two years ago against Barcelona. “If you want to have some emotional memories, you watch the Barcelona game back and 80% of this game was the atmosphere in the stadium, I would say. We have to do without that. “It’s not that I sit here and think comebacks are our thing and that we do that all the time. “We have from time to time, but we always had supporters in the stadium. We don’t have that this time. “I don’t know if we can do it, but I can promise we will give it a proper try. "The boys really want it. Today in the first half we couldn’t and for whatever reason we didn’t, and that’s what we will look to find out, to change, and to go again."
  9. Nat Phillips has expressed his delight in claiming the Standard Chartered Men's Player of the Month for March. The Central defender claimed the award ahead of Mo Salah and Ozan Kabak in the most recent fan poll. Phillips spent last season on loan at Stuttgart - who at the time were in the German second division - and at the start of this campaign was not even in the conversation for a place on the bench, such is the quality and depth in the central defensive position. But as the injuries started to build, the reality hit home for the 24 year-old that he would indeed have an important part to play. Incredibly, he has now become an integral part of the team and is set for an extended run as we enter the business end of the season. His partnership with Kabak has yielded three consecutive clean sheets and a win over Arsenal this weekend could be a springboard to mounting a charge at overhauling Chelsea in fourth place. The reigning Champs are still underdogs with the bookies to finish in the top four but with stability returning at the back and Diogo Jota back from injury to add more goals at the other end, now might be a good time to take advantage of premier league betting offers. Speaking to the Official Site after collecting the award, Phillips, who has now made 11 appearances for the Reds this campaign, admitted that he never expected a season like this. “It didn't cross my mind for a second and obviously I'm really happy that things have gone the way that they have done. “But if someone would have told me at the start of the year that this would be happening, I wouldn't have believed them. “We've been going through a bit of a difficult period after Christmas, so it's taken a lot from all of us to group together. The 24 year-old said after all the adversity and difficult moments that the side have been through, it has been important to get results, no matter how they come. “There's been quite a few games where we've got results where we've had to group together and dig in as a team and just get the job done – for example, the Wolves game, the Sheffield United game as well. Phillips says as one of the more inexperienced members of the current first team squad, he has lent on his more senior teammates for support and could not ask for any more. “I couldn't have won this award without them [his teammates] and it's been nice to have seen that from all the boys. “It was a nice surprise for myself and it's obviously a huge compliment that the people who voted thought that I'd deserved it. “It's really nice to feel that sort of love and I'm hugely appreciative of it. “But at the same time, I try not to pay too much attention to it and just concentrate on the job at hand that I've got for myself, and carry on doing what I was [doing] to get myself into this position. “We've just got to carry on and keep going with performances and getting good results.” One person who is not surprised by the progression of Phillips is assistant manager Pep Lijnders who said the Bolton-born defender has a level of determination that is incredibly admirable. “Nathaniel is an example where determination and respect can bring you, and an example how collectively this team and staff is working. "He puts his head where other players don't put their feet. He has a heart like a lion. Probably if I need to survive in a jungle, the first two people I'd choose are Nathaniel and Millie! “It's not the first time this (Nat’s journey to the first team) will happen in our club and not the last, for sure. The passion, the ambition, the love for the game will always make or break you. "Luckily, we have many stories like that already. The willpower and character was the base of many of our boys to win with us. That gives me confidence that we will be back."
  10. Nat Phillips has expressed his delight in claiming the Standard Chartered Men's Player of the Month for March. The Central defender claimed the award ahead of Mo Salah and Ozan Kabak in the most recent fan poll. Phillips spent last season on loan at Stuttgart - who at the time were in the German second division - and at the start of this campaign was not even in the conversation for a place on the bench, such is the quality and depth in the central defensive position. But as the injuries started to build, the reality hit home for the 24 year-old that he would indeed have an important part to play. Incredibly, he has now become an integral part of the team and is set for an extended run as we enter the business end of the season. His partnership with Kabak has yielded three consecutive clean sheets and a win over Arsenal this weekend could be a springboard to mounting a charge at overhauling Chelsea in fourth place. Speaking to the Official Site after collecting the award, Phillips, who has now made 11 appearances for the Reds this campaign, admitted that he never expected a season like this. “It didn't cross my mind for a second and obviously I'm really happy that things have gone the way that they have done. “But if someone would have told me at the start of the year that this would be happening, I wouldn't have believed them. “We've been going through a bit of a difficult period after Christmas, so it's taken a lot from all of us to group together. The 24 year-old said after all the adversity and difficult moments that the side have been through, it has been important to get results, no matter how they come. “There's been quite a few games where we've got results where we've had to group together and dig in as a team and just get the job done – for example, the Wolves game, the Sheffield United game as well. Phillips says as one of the more inexperienced members of the current first team squad, he has lent on his more senior teammates for support and could not ask for any more. “I couldn't have won this award without them [his teammates] and it's been nice to have seen that from all the boys. “It was a nice surprise for myself and it's obviously a huge compliment that the people who voted thought that I'd deserved it. “It's really nice to feel that sort of love and I'm hugely appreciative of it. “But at the same time, I try not to pay too much attention to it and just concentrate on the job at hand that I've got for myself, and carry on doing what I was [doing] to get myself into this position. “We've just got to carry on and keep going with performances and getting good results.” One person who is not surprised by the progression of Phillips is assistant manager Pep Lijnders who said the Bolton-born defender has a level of determination that is incredibly admirable. “Nathaniel is an example where determination and respect can bring you, and an example how collectively this team and staff is working. "He puts his head where other players don't put their feet. He has a heart like a lion. Probably if I need to survive in a jungle, the first two people I'd choose are Nathaniel and Millie! “It's not the first time this (Nat’s journey to the first team) will happen in our club and not the last, for sure. The passion, the ambition, the love for the game will always make or break you. "Luckily, we have many stories like that already. The willpower and character was the base of many of our boys to win with us. That gives me confidence that we will be back."
  11. Liverpool are reportedly leading the race to sign young PSV striker Donyell Malen. The 22 year-old started his career at Ajax before spending a couple of seasons in the Arsenal academy where he showed his talent by scoring 44 goals at youth level but failed to make a senior appearance. Malen returned to his homeland after two years and joined PSV where he has flourished scoring 51 goals in just 110 appearances for the club. Malen has scored 23 goals during this campaign with 15 coming in the league, seven in the Europa League along with another in domestic cup competition. The Mail (via La Gazzetta dello Sport) report that despite Juventus and AC Milan showing considerable interest in the Dutch international, it is Liverpool who are in pole position to sign him. The proposed fee should PSV decide to cash in on the seven-times capped Dutch international is in the region of £30 million. Observers in Holland say that Malen prefers to operate a centre forward within (PSV manager) Roger Schmidt’s favoured 4222 formation, although he can also play out on the left of an attack. Despite being right-footed, Malen is more than happy to use his left when required to produce shots on goal or produce a pass for a teammate. Standing around 5ft10, he is happy to use his physical attributes and put himself about the place which will come in handy in the more physical Premier League. As well as consistently putting the ball in the back of the net, Malen is more than comfortable in the role of provider and has produced six assists and averages 5.76 dribbles per 90 this season with over 42% proving successful. With Divock Origi likely to depart this off-season, Malen seems like a very handy replacement. Unlike some young strikers coming from leagues like the Eredivisie, Malen will not be under instant pressure to perform. Instead he can learn from the elite set of forwards at the club and nurture his game under one of the best managers in Jurgen Klopp.
  12. Sadio Mane has given his biggest indication that he is set to stay at Liverpool for the foreseeable future. The Senegal winger has had an under-par season compared to the incredible standard that he has set over his Reds career. In 37 appearances across all competitions this season, Mane has scored 12 goals with seven coming in the Premier League. Mane actually started the current league campaign in blistering form scoring four goals in as many games but with the amount of injuries and alterations to the starting line-up, has only scored one (against Tottenham) since the start of the new year. But despite the tough spell that he and his his teammates have had to deal with, the superstar says that morale is still extremely high as the Echo reported. “Let's be honest, we are in a difficult time and this sometimes happens to teams, which again is part of football. We have to deal with the situation and not stop believing, but keep fighting, keep our motivation and go again. "When you are a fighter you never try to make excuses, we are here to find solutions. There is often conjecture if the front three will be broken up and if so, who will depart. But going by the comments of the 28 year-old, he is staying put and believes the squad can regroup and challenge again. “Being together with my teammates always gives me high energy. "We have always been successful, but now this has happened and we can see it is like how life is. “To change it? Nothing else but stick together, be positive and fight. "This is what we try to do to change this situation and I'm sure that it will change. I am more proud than ever to be a Liverpool player. "I am happy, I am really enjoying being here and sharing the pitch with my teammates for Liverpool Football Club.”
  13. Liverpool could be without Mo Salah for the start of the new season with Egypt set to name him in their preliminary squad of the Olympic Games in Japan. The 28 year-old is one of three over-age players named as part of the squad for the African nation with the delayed global sporting showcase taking place between the 23rd of July and 8th of August. The Mirror says that timeline will see the superstar miss part of the Reds pre-season campaign and at least the opening game of the Premier League season. The Egyptian Football federation have not contacted Liverpool to this stage but they have due for key talks later this month. Egypt U/ 23 coach Shawky Gharib confirmed this as well as the selection of Salah in a statement. “Salah is currently one of the most important players in the world and it’s normal to call him for Egypt’s Olympic squad. "We will start the official talks with Liverpool after the international break in March." With the season that Liverpool have had in terms of key absentees, Jurgen Klopp will be hell-bent on starting the new campaign with as strong a team as possible and you can guarantee there will be a fair bit of pushback from the club on these plans. Regarding the future of Salah at club level, there is often speculation that he may look for a new challenge with Real Madrid often mentioned. However Klopp knows how pivotal Salah to the fortunes of the squad and remained rock solid in his view that Salah is not going anywhere. “It's just a bit awkward when I have to praise my own players, which I like to do to be honest, but especially in Mo's case, the numbers speak for themselves. "Mo is not only a goalscorer, he has developed as a footballer as well. “He is a very, very important player for us and hopefully he will be that for a very long time of course." View full article
  14. Liverpool are reportedly leading the race to sign young PSV striker Donyell Malen. The 22 year-old started his career at Ajax before spending a couple of seasons in the Arsenal academy where he showed his talent by scoring 44 goals at youth level but failed to make a senior appearance. Malen returned to his homeland after two years and joined PSV where he has flourished scoring 51 goals in just 110 appearances for the club. Malen has scored 23 goals during this campaign with 15 coming in the league, seven in the Europa League along with another in domestic cup competition. The Mail (via La Gazzetta dello Sport) report that despite Juventus and AC Milan showing considerable interest in the Dutch international, it is Liverpool who are in pole position to sign him. The Reds have a star studded forward line but their much vaunted front three has not performed to the high standards they set themselves this season and but for the impressive contributions of new boy Diogo Jota Liverpool's dreadful season would have been even worse. Sadio Mané has fallen off a cliff since the turn of the year and Bobby Firmino has been a shadow of himself for two years now. Mo Salah is the one constant as his goal output has remained high and he currently leads the race and is the bookies favourite for the Golden Boot. If you are going to bet, then I found a long list of offers available for this year. The proposed fee should PSV decide to cash in on the seven-times capped Dutch international is in the region of £30 million. Observers in Holland say that Malen prefers to operate a centre forward within (PSV manager) Roger Schmidt’s favoured 4222 formation, although he can also play out on the left of an attack. Despite being right-footed, Malen is more than happy to use his left when required to produce shots on goal or produce a pass for a teammate. Standing around 5ft10, he is happy to use his physical attributes and put himself about the place which will come in handy in the more physical Premier League. As well as consistently putting the ball in the back of the net, Malen is more than comfortable in the role of provider and has produced six assists and averages 5.76 dribbles per 90 this season with over 42% proving successful. With Divock Origi likely to depart this off-season, Malen seems like a very handy replacement. Unlike some young strikers coming from leagues like the Eredivisie, Malen will not be under instant pressure to perform. Instead he can learn from the elite set of forwards at the club and nurture his game under one of the best managers in Jurgen Klopp.
  15. Sadio Mane has given his biggest indication that he is set to stay at Liverpool for the foreseeable future. The Senegal winger has had an under-par season compared to the incredible standard that he has set over his Reds career. In 37 appearances across all competitions this season, Mane has scored 12 goals with seven coming in the Premier League. Mane actually started the current league campaign in blistering form scoring four goals in as many games but with the amount of injuries and alterations to the starting line-up, has only scored one (against Tottenham) since the start of the new year and Liverpool now face a battle against the odds to even finish in the top four. Many new sports betting sites have them as outsiders behind both Manchester clubs, Leicester City and Chelsea. But despite the tough spell that he and his his teammates have had to deal with, the superstar says that morale is still extremely high as the Echo reported. “Let's be honest, we are in a difficult time and this sometimes happens to teams, which again is part of football. We have to deal with the situation and not stop believing, but keep fighting, keep our motivation and go again. "When you are a fighter you never try to make excuses, we are here to find solutions. There is often conjecture if the front three will be broken up and if so, who will depart. But going by the comments of the 28 year-old, he is staying put and believes the squad can regroup and challenge again. “Being together with my teammates always gives me high energy. "We have always been successful, but now this has happened and we can see it is like how life is. To change it? Nothing else but stick together, be positive and fight. "This is what we try to do to change this situation and I'm sure that it will change. I am more proud than ever to be a Liverpool player. "I am happy, I am really enjoying being here and sharing the pitch with my teammates for Liverpool Football Club.”
  16. Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the financial importance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. This time last year, the Reds were on the cusp of claiming their first league title in 30 years as they left all their main rivals in their wake. This season for many different reasons which have been been regularly documented, it has been a much more difficult campaign. Due to these circumstances, rather than repeating the title success, clinching a top four berth has been become a main objective for Jurgen Klopp and his side this season. Liverpool face a major test of those credentials this evening when they face Chelsea who are also in the top four race after overcoming a sluggish start to their season. And with Man United and Leicester faltering in recent games, this clash has grown in its importance. That is, indeed, a tight situation, so everybody in the UK that is eager to place a bet should monitor the situation carefully. Klopp outlined his thoughts of where his team is currently placed per the Mirror. “We all understand this situation - that’s it pretty much. “It's not that the owners called me and said 'if you don't qualify for the Champions League then this or that will happen', because we are all in this situation together, we all understand. “The main reason for qualifying for the Champions League was always for financial reasons. For the club it’s about- about finances and this year is no different. Of course it will be very important absolutely. “But that it is so important cannot change things. I hope people still see that we do our absolute best and try absolutely everything to make it happen.” Klopp says it is only natural that top players want to play in the elite club competition and his main goal when he arrived in England was to get Liverpool a seat at the top table again. “You want to excite players to join you...at the beginning (when I arrived at Liverpool) it wasn’t like this. “I'm sitting here and players (I was talking to) have offers from clubs who were playing in the Champions League and it was like, 'ok, sorry we can only offer nothing or the Europa League." In terms of league form, the first couple of months in 2021 can only be described as dismal. It seemed everything that could go wrong did so, however a little bit of blue sky is starting to peep through from the storm clouds and an opportunity now presents itself. “I think a week ago we were out, now we are around again so for us the challenge and the job is clear. “We have to win games, as many as possible, to make it in the top four. Since I was in England, first year we had no chance, then two years later we had a fight with Chelsea to get to the Champions League. “But there are other teams; our neighbours, Tottenham, West Ham, Leicester, and maybe United not really involved any more. "City is already gone. For the neutrals exciting, for the Liverpool fans exciting, maybe not as we want, but we will give it a proper try.”
  17. Divock Origi looks set to move on come the end of this season and Inter Milan are seemingly one of the clubs keen on the striker. Despite seemingly being around for a long time, the Belgian international is still only 25 and after making just 17 appearances (including two starts) during this campaign would understandably be looking at a fresh start. CalcioMercato (via the Mirror) reports that Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte is a very big fan of Origi despite having the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Lautaro Martinez at his disposal. In his six seasons at the Reds Liverpool career, Origi has made 157 appearances and scored 35 goals. The striker is blessed with power and pace, but the combination of injuries, a lack of opportunities and inconsistent performances when given the nod have meant that he has not lived up to his true potential. Origi has been linked to Wolves on a couple of occasions, but stayed with the club and got his just rewards when he played a big part in the Reds Champions League success for which he will always be remembered. He is currently contracted until the end of the 2023/24 season so it will be interesting to see what transfer fee Liverpool will receive. Remaining in Italy and the reigning league champions have been linked to a familiar face in Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey left Arsenal at the end of the 2018/9 season after 11 seasons, but his spell at the Turin giants has been anything but smooth. The injuries which littered throughout his time at Arsenal have continued, meaning that he has lacked the continuity needed to make a real impression in a side who could had done with his guile and experience this season. With Gini Wijnaldum reportedly set to leave in the summer, Liverpool will look to the transfer market to fill the sizable void that the Dutchman will leave. To this point, the 30 year-old has made 61 appearances and scored six goals for Juventus and while he would certainly add some quality to the squad, Jurgen Klopp will be looking for someone with great durability to fill the Wijnaldum role, and Ramsey does not tick that box. View full article
  18. TLW

    Report: Inter keen on Origi

    Divock Origi looks set to move on come the end of this season and Inter Milan are seemingly one of the clubs keen on the striker. Despite seemingly being around for a long time, the Belgian international is still only 25 and after making just 17 appearances (including two starts) during this campaign would understandably be looking at a fresh start. CalcioMercato (via the Mirror) reports that Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte is a very big fan of Origi despite having the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Lautaro Martinez at his disposal. In his six seasons at the Reds Liverpool career, Origi has made 157 appearances and scored 35 goals. The striker is blessed with power and pace, but the combination of injuries, a lack of opportunities and inconsistent performances when given the nod have meant that he has not lived up to his true potential. Origi has been linked to Wolves on a couple of occasions, but stayed with the club and got his just rewards when he played a big part in the Reds Champions League success for which he will always be remembered. He is currently contracted until the end of the 2023/24 season so it will be interesting to see what transfer fee Liverpool will receive. Remaining in Italy and the reigning league champions have been linked to a familiar face in Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey. Ramsey left Arsenal at the end of the 2018/9 season after 11 seasons, but his spell at the Turin giants has been anything but smooth. The injuries which littered throughout his time at Arsenal have continued, meaning that he has lacked the continuity needed to make a real impression in a side who could had done with his guile and experience this season. With Gini Wijnaldum reportedly set to leave in the summer, Liverpool will look to the transfer market to fill the sizable void that the Dutchman will leave. To this point, the 30 year-old has made 61 appearances and scored six goals for Juventus and while he would certainly add some quality to the squad, Jurgen Klopp will be looking for someone with great durability to fill the Wijnaldum role, and Ramsey does not tick that box.
  19. The search for a new Centre Back has reportedly seen Liverpool cast their eyes to Italy with Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni linked. The key defensive absentees have been well documented this season and a number of stop-gap measures have had to be put into place by Jurgen Klopp. Taking all the adversity into account, the back four have held up remarkably well with the emerging partnership of Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips impressing many observers. Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are set to return for the new campaign but with all three coming off long-term injuries, they will not be at their sharpest and their minutes may well have to be monitored to guard against the risk of muscular injuries on their return. Liverpool do have the option to sign Kabak on a permanent deal from Schalke in the summer while the future of Ben Davies is uncertain with the former Preston man not having played a competitive minute since arriving at the end of January. It is perhaps why, Liverpool are continuing to scour the market and Gazzetta dello Sport (via Metro) report that Bastoni is high on their list. Bastoni was signed by Inter for a fee of €31m (£26.5m) in 2017 and was immediately loaned back to Atalanta for the 2017/18 season. The centre-back spent the next year on loan at Parma before returning to Inter last term to play a key role under Antonio Conte. The consistent play of the 6 ft 3 in youngster who has already won three caps for Italy, has alerted many of the top clubs in Europe including Barcelona and Bayern Munich and it is believed he will cost in the region of £43million. The scouting notes on the youngster say that he excels with the ball at his feet. He is eager to take risks and move the ball out of defence, and does so with sharp short passing and competent long passing skills. He loves to bring the ball out with mazing dribbles down the left flank and does so with confidence. Bastoni is viewed as an aggressive defender and isn't afraid to step out and tackle high up to snuff out any danger early on. Some of the things that Bastoni can work on include his quickness which cause his team problems when defending a high line, as he doesn’t have the lightning pace to recover and beat his opponent in a foot race. In order to compensate for his lack of speed, he must improve when it comes to his positional awareness, namely, marking his opponent and following blind-side movements. Liverpool will be certain to be linked to more central defenders as we move closer to the summer transfer window. Bastoni looks like someone with a strong pedigree at a good age but on the other side of the coin, there have been countless tales of Italian defenders coming over to England and struggling to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. So time will tell whether this move comes to fruition. View full article
  20. The search for a new Centre Back has reportedly seen Liverpool cast their eyes to Italy with Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni linked. The key defensive absentees have been well documented this season and a number of stop-gap measures have had to be put into place by Jurgen Klopp. Taking all the adversity into account, the back four have held up remarkably well with the emerging partnership of Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips impressing many observers. Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are set to return for the new campaign but with all three coming off long-term injuries, they will not be at their sharpest and their minutes may well have to be monitored to guard against the risk of muscular injuries on their return. Liverpool do have the option to sign Kabak on a permanent deal from Schalke in the summer while the future of Ben Davies is uncertain with the former Preston man not having played a competitive minute since arriving at the end of January. It is perhaps why, Liverpool are continuing to scour the market and Gazzetta dello Sport (via Metro) report that Bastoni is high on their list. Bastoni was signed by Inter for a fee of €31m (£26.5m) in 2017 and was immediately loaned back to Atalanta for the 2017/18 season. The centre-back spent the next year on loan at Parma before returning to Inter last term to play a key role under Antonio Conte. The consistent play of the 6 ft 3 in youngster who has already won three caps for Italy, has alerted many of the top clubs in Europe including Barcelona and Bayern Munich and it is believed he will cost in the region of £43million. The scouting notes on the youngster say that he excels with the ball at his feet. He is eager to take risks and move the ball out of defence, and does so with sharp short passing and competent long passing skills. He loves to bring the ball out with mazing dribbles down the left flank and does so with confidence. Bastoni is viewed as an aggressive defender and isn't afraid to step out and tackle high up to snuff out any danger early on. Some of the things that Bastoni can work on include his quickness which cause his team problems when defending a high line, as he doesn’t have the lightning pace to recover and beat his opponent in a foot race. In order to compensate for his lack of speed, he must improve when it comes to his positional awareness, namely, marking his opponent and following blind-side movements. Liverpool will be certain to be linked to more central defenders as we move closer to the summer transfer window. Bastoni looks like someone with a strong pedigree at a good age but on the other side of the coin, there have been countless tales of Italian defenders coming over to England and struggling to adapt to the pace of the Premier League. So time will tell whether this move comes to fruition.
  21. Steven Gerrard is the man that the Liverpool owners see as the perfect replacement for Jurgen Klopp. Reports coming from Germany say that their football federation are growing more confident that Klopp will say yes to succeeding current national manager Joachim Low. The under-fire 61 year-old has a contract until the end of next years World Cup in Qatar but there is a strong belief that he will not get to that point if Germany struggle in the European Championships this summer. Low has been in charge of Germany since 2006 and in that time has won the World Cup in 2014 and runners-up in the 2008 European Championships. The defence to their World Cup triumph at Russia 2018 was shambolic to say the least ast they finished bottom of their group and the first time in 80 years that the powerhouse had been eliminated in the group stage. Since that time, the spotlight has been well and truly in Low and results have been inconsistent,to say the least with their last game in the Nations League being a 6-0 humbling at the hands of Spain. Klopp’s current contract with the Reds ends in 2024 and in the midst of the tough current run the team is on, there has been speculation that he may look to move on before then. The man himself has categorically denied any thoughts of leaving, but if Klopp is lured to the national job before time, The Mirror reports it appears Gerrard is the man that John Henry and Tom Werner have identified as the successor. This is certainly not the first time that the former talismanic captain has been linked to the post,and while at first it may have been purely on his playing deeds, Gerrard has certainly grown into his managerial craft north of the border after previously doing some very impressive work at the Liverpool academy. The Champions League winning captain is on the cusp of guiding Rangers to their first league title since the 2010/11 season, ending the stranglehold that Celtic had on the league. Gerrard has also done fine work in the Europa League as Rangers have advanced to the R16 stage for the second season in a row. The argument against appointing Gerrard is somewhat valid when you consider the gulf in standard between the Scottish and Premier League and taking on a job as big as Liverpool at such a young age that could set him back immeasurably if it does not go well. We saw what happened at Chelsea when Frank Lampard took on the role which in hindsight was a bit too early in his managerial career. Gerrard has not hidden his ambitions of taking over the managerial hot-seat at his boyhood club, but to this point in time he is going about things in a very considered fashion. Whether he decides to build a culture of success at Rangers much like Brendan Rodgers did at Celtic before coming back to England will be interesting to note. In a perfect world Liverpool will hold on to Jurgen until the end of his current contract but as we know all too well, things do not often go to strictly to plan. View full article
  22. Xherdan Shaqiri has experienced plenty of highs and lows during his decade long professional career and says that it dealing with disappointments is one of the challenges that you learn to overcome as a Footballer. The Swiss star came to Liverpool from Stoke City at the end of the 2017/8 season when the Potters was relegated from the Premier League. Speaking to Sky Sports, Shaqiri recalled that tough moment which in turn has helped him deal with the loss of form by the reigning Premier League champions. “They were not good times. I know how it is when everything is not going well. "Here (at Liverpool), everything is bigger. People from outside speak a lot more. The club is so big that there are always people talking, left and right. “This is normal. It is a big club and you have to deal with that because we are also a great team. Every team can have its ups and downs. "We are human beings. But we try to stay calm." While Footballers get paid incredibly handsomely compared to most in the community, they are certainly not immune from the daily struggle that any that we all have to deal with, especially in these most difficult times. The winger detailed the personal impact of what this gruelling season has had. “I have not seen my family for five or six months now. It has not been simple for me also because I am very close to my family. I cannot wait to see them again so hopefully everything gets better soon." The current home losing streak in the league has been discussed at depth, and while every club is dealing with the lack of fans due to the pandemic it has hit Liverpool more than most. “Everybody knows how our fans are when they push us. Everybody knows how many games we have managed to come back in if we concede a goal. I think there are many, many games where you can see that, many examples. Of course, we miss them a lot. "For the smaller teams, it is easier to come to Anfield with no fans. There is no pressure. You can see that in many ways and in many games. The smaller teams have more of a chance." Shaqiri believes that one of the main ways to get out of this form rut is to keep a positive mindset. “We need to get back on track and get the confidence back to win games. But we are a big team and I am pretty sure that we are going to get back to winning. "We speak a lot together and the coach gives us the right directions. I don't want to tell everyone what is said in our dressing room but we are speaking a lot and we know we have to come back stronger and give what he wants on the pitch. We have to stay positive." While falling victim to a number of leg muscle injuries during his Reds career, the Swiss international is someone who the fans have a special fondness for. Be it his creative mindset, exquisite technical ability or his generally happy demeanour, Liverpool look a better side when he is fit and firing. Andy Robertson recently highlighted that fact by saying that Shaqiri has the best left-foot in the squad, even superior to Mo Salah. As someone who is on the fringes of the first team, Shaqiri knows he always has to be ready for his number to be called but knows what he can offer the team. “It is important to stay mentally strong and this is one of my strengths, staying focused on the game even when it is not going well. When the time comes, you need to be there. "I am a player who likes to take risks on the pitch. That is what I try to give the coach." While the team may not be in the best place at this point of time, Shaqiri looks to have put his injury woes behind him in 2021 and has been a consistent figure in the first team squad making 12 appearances in all competitions. Shaqiri will hope that his qualities are called upon this evening as Liverpool return to league action coming up against Wolves. They head to Molineux after a strong win against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the competition. But he knows that performance must become the norm, not just a one-off. “We are going there with better confidence now, for sure, after the Leipzig game where we won and kept a clean sheet. "That can drive us on, especially in this game before the international break. If we win three points we can go to the national team in a good mood. “We are trying. We just need to improve performances and then I am sure we can succeed again. We have to stay positive and work hard. "This club has to be successful. It has to be at the top."
  23. Xherdan Shaqiri has experienced plenty of highs and lows during his decade long professional career and says that it dealing with disappointments is one of the challenges that you learn to overcome as a Footballer. The Swiss star came to Liverpool from Stoke City at the end of the 2017/8 season when the Potters was relegated from the Premier League. Speaking to Sky Sports, Shaqiri recalled that tough moment which in turn has helped him deal with the loss of form by the reigning Premier League champions. “They were not good times. I know how it is when everything is not going well. "Here (at Liverpool), everything is bigger. People from outside speak a lot more. The club is so big that there are always people talking, left and right. “This is normal. It is a big club and you have to deal with that because we are also a great team. Every team can have its ups and downs. "We are human beings. But we try to stay calm." While Footballers get paid incredibly handsomely compared to most in the community, they are certainly not immune from the daily struggle that any that we all have to deal with, especially in these most difficult times. The winger detailed the personal impact of what this gruelling season has had. “I have not seen my family for five or six months now. It has not been simple for me also because I am very close to my family. I cannot wait to see them again so hopefully everything gets better soon." The current home losing streak in the league has been discussed at depth, and while every club is dealing with the lack of fans due to the pandemic it has hit Liverpool more than most. “Everybody knows how our fans are when they push us. Everybody knows how many games we have managed to come back in if we concede a goal. I think there are many, many games where you can see that, many examples. Of course, we miss them a lot. "For the smaller teams, it is easier to come to Anfield with no fans. There is no pressure. You can see that in many ways and in many games. The smaller teams have more of a chance." Shaqiri believes that one of the main ways to get out of this form rut is to keep a positive mindset. “We need to get back on track and get the confidence back to win games. But we are a big team and I am pretty sure that we are going to get back to winning. "We speak a lot together and the coach gives us the right directions. I don't want to tell everyone what is said in our dressing room but we are speaking a lot and we know we have to come back stronger and give what he wants on the pitch. We have to stay positive." While falling victim to a number of leg muscle injuries during his Reds career, the Swiss international is someone who the fans have a special fondness for. Be it his creative mindset, exquisite technical ability or his generally happy demeanour, Liverpool look a better side when he is fit and firing. Andy Robertson recently highlighted that fact by saying that Shaqiri has the best left-foot in the squad, even superior to Mo Salah. As someone who is on the fringes of the first team, Shaqiri knows he always has to be ready for his number to be called but knows what he can offer the team. “It is important to stay mentally strong and this is one of my strengths, staying focused on the game even when it is not going well. When the time comes, you need to be there. "I am a player who likes to take risks on the pitch. That is what I try to give the coach." While the team may not be in the best place at this point of time, Shaqiri looks to have put his injury woes behind him in 2021 and has been a consistent figure in the first team squad making 12 appearances in all competitions. Shaqiri will hope that his qualities are called upon this evening as Liverpool return to league action coming up against Wolves. They head to Molineux after a strong win against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the competition. But he knows that performance must become the norm, not just a one-off. “We are going there with better confidence now, for sure, after the Leipzig game where we won and kept a clean sheet. "That can drive us on, especially in this game before the international break. If we win three points we can go to the national team in a good mood. “We are trying. We just need to improve performances and then I am sure we can succeed again. We have to stay positive and work hard. "This club has to be successful. It has to be at the top." View full article
  24. Thiago Alcantara feels he has played below the standard he sets for himself since arriving at the club. The 29 year-old with one of the finest pedigrees in modern day football came to the Reds in October to much excitement from the fanbase. His first outing against Chelsea was just 45 minutes, but it was a cameo which certainly whetted the appetite in what he could deliver to a team that was already full of confidence and quality. He continued that form in his second game against Everton but towards the end of that contest, he was at the end of a highly reckless challenge by Richarlison which saw the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona man on the sidelines for over two months with a knee injury. Thiago returned to the side in late December but understandably took a while to get to speed. But as the form of the side started to dip, the frustration of his slightly underwhelming performances started to grow louder and critics were not shy in questioning whether he was a good fit for this side. Alcantara has been around the game long enough not to get swept up in any background noise, but as someone who takes incredible pride in his performance, knew that he had to raise his game. The Echo (via TNT Sports Brasíl) reported the midfielder as saying: “I don't read a word about what people talk about me. "I know that I receive some criticism about my performances, but I'm not happy with my performance since I came here. “A new club, a strange situation (COVID), I had a strong injury, so get to into the rhythm it was hard, but it's not an excuse.” A fallout of the defensive crisis meant that Fabinho and Jordan Henderson had to deputise in central defence, meaning that Thiago could not strike up a working relationship with the duo. Wednesday night was only the second time since he arrived that he had played with Fabinho in midfield, and certainly relished the opportunity to do so. “He(Fabinho) is a great player. “He gives us a lot of confidence in our backs, and it's awesome to play alongside him. "It frees me up a bit, I can move some lines forward and with that I can be more confident and player (nearer) with the strikers. “I enjoy playing a bit more advanced because you're always near the goal and you can create chances and score. It's a nice position." View full article
  25. Thiago Alcantara feels he has played below the standard he sets for himself since arriving at the club. The 29 year-old with one of the finest pedigrees in modern day football came to the Reds in October to much excitement from the fanbase. His first outing against Chelsea was just 45 minutes, but it was a cameo which certainly whetted the appetite in what he could deliver to a team that was already full of confidence and quality. He continued that form in his second game against Everton but towards the end of that contest, he was at the end of a highly reckless challenge by Richarlison which saw the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona man on the sidelines for over two months with a knee injury. Thiago returned to the side in late December but understandably took a while to get to speed. But as the form of the side started to dip, the frustration of his slightly underwhelming performances started to grow louder and critics were not shy in questioning whether he was a good fit for this side. Alcantara has been around the game long enough not to get swept up in any background noise, but as someone who takes incredible pride in his performance, knew that he had to raise his game. The Echo (via TNT Sports Brasíl) reported the midfielder as saying: “I don't read a word about what people talk about me. "I know that I receive some criticism about my performances, but I'm not happy with my performance since I came here. “A new club, a strange situation (COVID), I had a strong injury, so get to into the rhythm it was hard, but it's not an excuse.” A fallout of the defensive crisis meant that Fabinho and Jordan Henderson had to deputise in central defence, meaning that Thiago could not strike up a working relationship with the duo. Wednesday night was only the second time since he arrived that he had played with Fabinho in midfield, and certainly relished the opportunity to do so. “He(Fabinho) is a great player. “He gives us a lot of confidence in our backs, and it's awesome to play alongside him. "It frees me up a bit, I can move some lines forward and with that I can be more confident and player (nearer) with the strikers. “I enjoy playing a bit more advanced because you're always near the goal and you can create chances and score. It's a nice position."
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