Rooney nominates Klopp for Award, snubs Mourinho

The stars were out on Monday night for the inaugural The Best FIFA Awards™ in Zurich, the first since the global body announced the end of its six-year association with France Football magazine’s Ballon d’Or last December.

The Awards are voted for by fans alongside selected journalists, national team coaches and captains.  Unsurprisingly Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo was voted the Men’s Player of the Year, while Claudio Ranieri’s historic climb to the summit of the Premier League with Leicester City last term saw him take home Best Men’s Manager.

However, a breakdown of the voting revealed that Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney, as captain of the England national squad, named Jürgen Klopp, manager of bitter rivals Liverpool on his list of coach of the year, snubbing his own boss in José Mourinho in the process.

These votes tend to be largely symbolic in nature, often with people voting for their teammates and fellow countrymen, for example, Wales manager Chris Coleman nominating Gareth Bale for Player of the Year.  It is therefore some surprise that the former Evertonian moved beyond the enduring enmity between these two arch-rival clubs, let alone what it will do to Mourinho’s frail ego.

Bournemouth deserved their win over Liverpool

Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, showed true class by praising Bournemouth following their victory over Liverpool.

After the match Klopp could be seen congratulating the Bournemouth coaching staff and players. He was full of praise for the tenacity shown by the Cherries, and thought the win was completely deserved.

“I think for a long part of the game we were the better side and we would have deserved to win, but in the decisive moment we gave the game away to Bournemouth. We opened the door and they ran through with all their heads.”

Losing a game that your side led twice by two goals is not a good feeling, but Klopp saw what all of us saw: a side that just wasn’t playing, first at 2-0 up, and again at 3-1 up. Even before our opening scores, he wasn’t happy with the passing and movement of the squad, but he thinks this could prove an important lesson going forward.

“Of course it can [help]. No way is without rocks and stones. All the time you have to jump over hurdles and things like this. I didn’t need this today. But now we have it and we strike back.”

A big part of Jürgen’s personality is his deep love for football. You might even call him a football romantic. This was what led him to take the reins of Liverpool, and today, to appreciate what Bournemouth did to his side in the closing stages of the match.

“Oh, I like these stories in football. I like it more when I’m involved in the positive side, and I even can respect it when I’m involved on the other side. Jordan Ibe as a little bit of the game changer. When he came in he did really well. He’s still a little bit our boy even if he’s a Bournemouth player now. Of course I can give credit for it, that’s not problem.”

Very classy from the Liverpool boss. I certainly think that Liverpool have no reason to panic after seeing their 15-game unbeaten run end at Bournemouth – the key is the work done on the training ground this week.

Liverpool face Tottenham in EFL Cup Fourth Round

 

efl-cup

Jürgen Klopp says he is already looking forward to Liverpool’s EFL Cup meeting with Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield next month after the sides were paired in the fourth-round draw.

The Reds are set to take on Mauricio Pochettino’s team for a place in the semi-finals of a competition they have won on a record eight occasions as a round packed with mouthwatering ties is played out.

Klopp admits to raising a smile when he saw Liverpool’s Premier League rivals paired with each other prior to his team coming out of the hat, though he remains excited by the prospect of a headline clash with Spurs.

And he believes the fixture is a good opportunity for his players and the club’s supporters to create a big atmosphere in the absence of European football this term:

“It’s exciting. It’s the first draw I watched live because I saw the game before.  I was waiting for the draw and then saw West Ham – Chelsea, a little smile to be honest; then Manchester United – City, oh nice, another smile; then a freeze in my face because we got Tottenham! But it’s good. I think it’s a big boost for the competition.

“When I came here I had to explain why we field strong line-ups and now in the competition it looks like a semi-final each game.

“It’s a big opportunity for all the teams, they all try to go through and you can see this with the line-ups. That’s pretty exciting. I am happy about playing at home.

“When we cannot have European nights, let’s take what we can get. It will be fantastic and I am really looking forward to it.”

 

The two sides have faced each other already this season, playing out a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane in a match in which the Reds had a slight advantage on balance of play.

 

 

Liverpool have confirmed their EFL Cup fourth-round tie with Tottenham Hotspur will be played on Tuesday October 25 at 7.45pm.  The pairing of a number of the remaining bigger clubs this time around means that at least a few lower league sides should make it through to the quarter-finals in November. The EFL Cup then takes a break for December before the remaining teams face a two-legged semi-final in January.

Liverpool FC: One year on

Philippe Coutinho is mobbed after scoring Liverpool’s second goal at Derby. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters
Philippe Coutinho is mobbed after scoring Liverpool’s second goal at Derby. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

A year is a long time in the world of football.  It was only a year ago that the team was playing so poorly that Brendan Rodgers lost his job.

Jürgen Klopp has brought a different style of football – more entertaining and effective style of football – not always needing to pass the ball into the back of the net.  As an example, last season from the 9th August when the Premier League season began to when Liverpool completed their 3rd round League Cup match against Carlisle, the team only scored six goals in all competitions.  Compare that to the 19 goals that Liverpool have scored in one less game so far this season – and that’s including the awful goalless game against Burnley.

And at the opposite end of the pitch in 2015 we were leaking goals: three against West Ham, and three against Manchester United.  This season we see a much-improved Lovren, and exciting performances from Matip and the steady hand of Klavan.

The new look team has got off to a strong start, the goals are flying in, and in these early days, Klopp’s Reds aren’t a team you’d want to bet against.  There’s no telling what the future will hold for Liverpool, but a look back at the recent past can give us hope for brighter days ahead.

Liverpool FC sign Loris Karius from FSV Mainz

Liverpool FC sign Loris Karius from FSV Mainz

Liverpool today officially completed the signing of FSV Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius in a bargain £4.7M deal.

Having already secured the services of Joel Matip and Marko Grujic for next season, Liverpool have today completed the signing of Loris Karius after the club triggered his £4.7M release clause. The goalkeeper will officially become a Liverpool player at the start of next month, and the club have officially announced his signing today.

With Matip a free transfer and Grujic signed in Janaury before being loaned straight back to Red Star Belgrade, Karius is the first paid transfer of the summer for Liverpool, and given his low release clause it’s quite the bargain for a player voted second best goalkeeper in the Bundesliga last season by his peers. The only shot stopper rated higher was Manuel Neuer.

Loris Karius

Karius will arrive at Liverpool expecting to become the starting goalkeeper, and he will look to use that as a platform to succeed Neuer as Germany’s goalkeeper following the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The only question is how long it takes him to become Liverpool’s starter, which could be complicated by rumours he will be called up to Germany’s Olympic squad.

If so, it would mean he will miss his first pre-season with the Reds, potentially allowing Mignolet to hold on to the number one job for at least a little while longer. Karius spent two and a half seasons with Manchester City, leaving him six months shy of being eligible to count as homegrown. He started 36 games for FSV Mainz last season and recorded ten clean sheets.

In total, the 22-year-old has made 96 senior appearances for Mainz since he moved there from City in January of 2013. Though he has yet to make a single senior appearance for the German team, he has represented his country at every youth level, and getting him signed quickly was a priority for Jürgen Klopp and Liverpool’s staff following the end of the season.

Jürgen Klopp said:

“I am really pleased that we were able to move so quickly to get him and that Loris has shown such a desire to come to Liverpool with a lot of other clubs interested in him.  I know he will add to the quality we have in this position and I look forward to working with him and all our players when we return for pre-season.”

Klopp gives reaction to drawing Borussia Dortmund

Klopp gives reaction to drawing Borussia Dortmund

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has stated that he is happy to have drawn former club Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League.

The Reds won an epic battle against Manchester United in the last round, in the first time the sides had met in European competition.

The Merseyside outfit are now in the quarter-finals of the tournament and have a chance of ending an inconsistent campaign with silverware.

Klopp was in charge at Signal Iduna Park for seven years but left the Bundesliga giants at the end of last season, with Thomas Tuchel taking his place.

The German has since assumed the role at Anfield and is being charged with bringing the glory days back to the club.

A reunion with his former employers will surely be an emotional and surreal experience, but Klopp has stated that he wanted his current club and his old one to be paired at Friday’s draw.

He told the Liverpool website:

“I am really happy with the draw.  Yesterday I said why should I wish [to get] the strongest team in the tournament, but obviously if you want to win the Europa League, and when you are in the quarter-final, then you have to beat the strongest teams.

“It is better to play against them in two games than in only one game. I am really happy to introduce my new team to Dortmund.

“I am really happy to show the boys this wonderful stadium and a great city. It’s a story only football can write. We’re all happy.

“During the draw we had our video analysis meeting for Southampton and after that we were immediately training, so maybe my cell phone is full of messages – I need to have a look on there!”

Jürgen Klopp On “Serious Pain” and Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge - Getty

Liverpool’s manager says the striker must be aware of the difference between pain and serious pain after the striker’s latest injury setback.

Isaac Newton’s relatively obscure Fourth Law of Motion states that if Daniel Sturridge is moving towards a return to regular playing time, there will also be an injury moving directly towards him arriving just in time to ensure he never steps foot on the pitch.

Sturridge—the most talented striker at the club—is injured. Again. The striker was ruled out of Thursday’s victory over Bordeaux with a foot injury. With Daniel Sturridge, injuries and niggles seem to keep on coming. For Klopp, however, there is some learning to do when it comes to managing pain.

The situation is Daniel was very often injured in the last few months, and maybe years, so it is normal when you get back in training usually it is not the quality, but you need training. Your body has to learn to adapt to new intensities of training and in this time you have to learn what is serious pain and what is only pain. When Daniel comes back after this long break you would train five weeks in a row and play only in friendly games. That would be the best, but of course we know the world is not perfect so we have to try the best and the quickest.It is a really long period so now we have to stay patient I am sorry to say. I’m sorry for you, sorry for me, sorry for him.

We’re all sorry and probably more than a little frustrated at the moment, but it’s important to remember that the player isn’t suffering injuries on purpose or part of some shady scheme to hamper Liverpool’s prospects. Sturridge has missed an incredible 68 games for Liverpool and played in 70 games, underlining the need for depth up front.

Liverpool will hope that this latest setback is just part of the recovery process as Klopp pointed out, but there may be a possibility that Sturridge’s problems with injuries aren’t just physical. It’s difficult to say either way without intimate knowledge of the situation, but hopefully the scans will bring good news so that Sturridge can be available for action relatively soon.

Jürgen Klopp “Not Satisfied” with Manchester City rout

Jurgen Klopp

There’s no question that new manager Jürgen Klopp has, in just a month at his new club, changed Liverpool for the better.  After more than a year marked by dull football and some very poor results, the changes wrought by the German in a few short weeks have been nothing short of miraculous.

The best performances and results, recently have come away from Anfield.  Two fantastic results against Chelsea and Manchester City; a tense and well earned three points in difficult conditions in Russia; a promising, pressing first performances against Tottenham.  On the road, Liverpool have looked great.  At home, there’s still work to be done.

Klopp said following Saturday’s victory:

“I would love to win a game like this at Anfield.  That’s our next challenge.  We now play Bordeaux and then Swansea, and at this moment I don’t know enough about Swansea.  If they saw our game against Crystal Palace maybe they will stay with 50 people deep in the space and shoot only long balls.”

The manager is confident that he can come up with solutions, and that by the time Swansea arrive at Anfield he will know how to approach the match:

“We have to find a solution.  And we will have a solution.  But then we have to score goals in the right moments.  On and on.  Development.  We need results like this, we need performances like this, so that we start believing in ourselves.  Now we have more confidence.  Everybody could see it.  We are not satisfied, though.”

Liverpool’s improvement under Klopp has been stunning, and with it continuing against Manchester City following the November international break it’s clear it’s not just a case of the new manager bump.  There are real, tangible improvements on display; a new mode of play and a newfound belief on display.  And there’s still room for improvement.

Let’s see what happens against Swansea this weekend.

Klopp underlines Liverpool FC’s commitment to Capital One Cup

Jurgen Klopp LFC pre-match

Jürgen Klopp insists Liverpool will treat the Capital One Cup as ‘the most important cup in the world’ when they face AFC Bournemouth in the fourth round on Wednesday.

A place in the quarter-finals of the competition is at stake when the Reds resume their campaign against Eddie Howe’s men at Anfield tomorrow.

Although the manager admitted he may need to make changes to his team as they face a fourth fixture in the space of just 11 days, he was keen to emphasise that it is not because cup success is not a priority:

“It is the same thing in Germany, the cups are very important – but when I came here, everyone said we [Borussia Dortmund] won the title twice.  Nobody said we were the first double winners in Dortmund’s history.  In Germany, [the cups] are a very important thing – but [in England] it was more interesting that we’d played in the final of the Champions League.”

“I have not been here long to understand fully the English feeling about the cups, but for me they are all the same – I want to win games. That is all.  I don’t want to give up before we have to. It is the most important cup in the world because it is the only game we will play tomorrow.”

Liverpool have scored just two goals in the three draws Klopp has overseen since taking the reins at Anfield.  But the German is working hard to identify the issues that are causing his players to stutter in the final third and knows it is not down to a lack of quality in the squad:

“These players have the skills to make goals, so many skills are great.  But in the decisive moments we don’t make the right decisions, that’s always how football looks when you’re not in the perfect shape.  I don’t think there’s any doubt about the quality of the players and we have to learn more and more and try and understand why things happen like they happen.  We don’t have too much time for this [in training] so each game is very, very important.  That’s what I saw [against Southampton] and now I have to understand and work with this information but that’s only one thing.”

Klopp also offered his thoughts on the ongoing development of his team, which has been somewhat hampered by the inability to train regularly due to a packed fixture schedule.  The 48-year-old says it is normal to take a small step backward before progressing but has been surprised by how quickly the squad has adapted to his methods thus far.

“How I understand development is, if you bring new information, you go a step down usually, then you can start and it goes in the other direction.  That’s pretty normal. We all want that they can play from [a high level] but it’s time you need to change your movements and all these things.  I’m surprised by how big the steps we’ve taken are but of course everybody can see we need the results.  My faith in this team is big and all the players who work with us since I’m here have a good working atmosphere.”

“I like what I do and if somebody hoped that it’s quicker or faster then I’m sorry for this but I don’t think it’s better that we win the first game and don’t know why.  I think it’s important that we find a way that we win games in the future and know why, then we can take this into the next game and know if we make this better that we’ll get better.”

Liverpool FC confirm Jürgen Klopp appointment

Jurgen Klopp LFC

Liverpool’s leadership have acted swiftly to appoint Jürgen Klopp as Brendan Rodgers’ successor as manager.

Liverpool Football Club have confirmed the appointment of Jürgen Norbert Klopp as Liverpool manager. A one-club man as a player, Klopp showed his talents at Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund with a tactical system based on gegenpressing, fast breaks, and exciting football. Željko Buvač and Peter Krawietz are expected to join Klopp as part of new coaching team at Anfield after letting Gary McAllister, Sean O’Driscoll, Chris Davies, and Glen Driscoll go. McAllister, however, will remain with the club in an ambassadorial position.

The 48-year-old agreed a three-year contract to succeed Brendan Rodgers in the dugout in his first coaching position outside of his native Germany. He has been the overwhelming fan-favourite for the job since the summer and brings hope of a revival at Anfield. FSG have lived up to promises of acting “in a decisive and timely manner” to secure the services of one of football’s most sought-after managers. Within a week of sacking Rodgers, Liverpool have one of the most exciting figures in the game as a replacement.

After a disappointing campaign, the former Borussia Dortmund head coach left his role at the North Rhine-Westphalia club in the summer to take a sabbatical after 14 years of coaching without a break. He also spent his entire playing career at Mainz 05 before succeeding Eckhard Krautzun in the dugout. After making history with Mainz by steering them to a first Bundesliga appearance, Klopp resigned after failing to achieve promotion.

The footballing philosophy, charisma, and bright mind displayed during Klopp’s tenure at Mainz 05 was rewarded with a position immediately after officially departing a club where he spent 21 years as player and head coach. Thomas Doll’s struggles at Borussia Dortmund created an opening, and the Stuttgart native enhanced his reputation in his second coaching job by winning two Bundesliga titles, destroying Bayern Munich to win the club’s third DFB-Pokal, and reaching the club’s second-ever Champions League final.

Jürgen Klopp becomes Liverpool’s twentieth full-time manager. Liverpool is only the third club to be associated with Klopp in a senior playing and coaching career that began in 1989.

Klopp’s first game will be at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur after the international break.