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.

Liverpool FC need a striker

Despite spending in excess of £50m (or over £60m, depending on which reports you believe) to land Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino to bolster their attacking ranks over the summer, Liverpool have been poor in front of goal. Nobody really needed statistics to prove that statement, but OuLaLa.com have been on the prowl, and have discovered that the Reds are officially THE WORST side in front of goal in the Premier League after 12 games.

Shot Conversion Rate

184 shots and just 13 goals gives us a conversion rate of only 7.1%, putting us directly below Watford and Aston Villa… both of whom operate on a fraction of the budget being slashed around at Anfield.  Okay, the 10 goals of Jurgen Klopp’s reign in all competitions from 122 shots boosts this rating to 8.2% of late, but even that it a cause for concern, and looking to the top of this ‘division’ could be the answer.

Already linked with Liverpool, Jamie Vardy is currently banging the goals in for the most prolific side in Premier League, with 12 all told for Leicester.

The top-scoring striker from the best team in front of the net? Makes sense, doesn’t it?

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.

Brendan Rodgers sacked as Liverpool FC manager

Brendan Rodgers - 1

A draw with Everton wasn’t enough to save Brendan Rodgers, as with the arrival of the October international break FSG have acted quickly to end Brendan Rodgers’ tenure at the club.

The Merseyside derby at Goodison Park was to be Brendan Rodgers’ last game at the club after FSG released a statement that confirmed the club had parted way with the former Swansea City manager. On the official site, the three main figures at FSG jointly shared the following:

We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.

All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.

Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch. Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.

The search for a new manager is underway and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.

Rodgers can’t have any complaints after being strongly supported in the summer after a disastrous end to last season. The problem was that his signings in the summer and tactical preparations in pre-season didn’t make sense with the formation deployed over the past few weeks. He was given a chance to right the wrongs of last season but needed to start quickly. That didn’t happen and FSG have acted promptly.

For 18 months, Rodgers brought exciting football and the most credible title challenge in a generation. That work fell apart after August last year, but FSG acted before the October international break to presumably give the club enough time to appoint a new manager. It’s a shame that Rodgers couldn’t make it work at a club that gave him a platform to learn, develop, and display his credentials. He tried his best, though.

Hopefully Liverpool can appoint Carlo Ancelotti or Jürgen Klopp before another team has the sense to do so.

Liverpool FC: Christian Benteke’s a great buy

I think Christian Benteke could prove to be a great buy for Liverpool FC.

Benteke signing

Benteke was the ninth-highest scorer in the Premier League last season with 13 goals, despite the injury which saw him miss out on the World Cup restricting him to just 26 starts.

The Belgian has come up against Liverpool on six occasions since making the switch to England, earning two wins and one draw. Incredibly, he has scored five goals against the Reds during those games.

The 24-year-old is already established on the international stage, having scored seven times in 24 appearances for the Belgium national team since making his bow against Bulgaria in May 2010.

Christian Benteke scores his first goal for Liverpool with a stunning volley against Swindon Town in a pre-season friendly:

Prior to joining Aston Villa, Benteke represented Standard Liege and Genk during the early stages of his career and also enjoyed loan spells with Kortrijk and Mechelen, all in his homeland.

Benteke's volley flew past Swindon goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, who could only stand and stare

Benteke’s volley flew past Swindon goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux, who could only stand and stare

After completing his move to Anfield, Benteke told Liverpoolfc.com:

“I’m very happy to be here and I would like to thank the owners, Ian [Ayre] and of course the manager for their massive effort to bring me here.  It’s hard to show your emotion when you’ve just come from doing something [like this] but of course I am very happy.”

To read the full interview with Christian, click here.

Liverpool FC 2015/2016 Away Kit

Liverpool FC and New Balance today revealed the team’s brand new away kit for 2015-16.

New Balance took inspiration from the past to produce the sleek design, which has red trim on the collar, crests and sleeves.  Reds trio Simon Mignolet, James Milner and Martin Skrtel were in attendance to unveil the strip, which is available to purchase immediately.

Head to the Official LFC Online Store to get your hands on the away kit for the new season now.

Mignolet said: “The New Balance away kit looks great and the team are aware of past years where the club has had many successes wearing white away kits. Hopefully this kit can bring us luck away from home next season.”


Gerrard becomes Liverpool FC penalty king

Steven Gerrard penalty record

As Steven Gerrard netted from the spot to become Liverpool’s all-time penalty king during the 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, Jan Molby watched on with self-confessed mixed emotions.

The former Reds midfielder was on media duty at White Hart Lane, enjoying a prime viewing position to see the side’s No.8 successfully stroke home a spot-kick – his 43rd for the club.

Before Gerrard became a feared foe from 12 yards, Molby himself had previously held the record, but ‘the Great Dane’ takes solace from the fact that it was the captain reaching the milestone.

“A player like me wasn’t renowned for being a goalscorer so I never had too many records but it was nice to have held that for a while.  In a way it was a little bit sad, but if a record is going to go and it’s gone to one of Liverpool’s all-time greatest ever players, then I can live with it.  Steven has worked on penalties over the years and when he takes one now you always expect him to score.  He strikes the ball really well and he puts the ball into the corners.  He is an inspirational player for Liverpool and remains a big part of the team. In my opinion, there are not that many players left in football today that can lift one team. He can.”

Asked to describe the art of taking the perfect penalty, Molby assessed that each player will have his own individual style of seeking to beat the goalkeeper – not least his own approach.  He continued:

“People have their own technique and how they want to approach a penalty. Some people make up their mind early and stick to that when they run up, but my style was slightly different.  I believe there are three things that are important when you take a penalty, which is the ball, the goalkeeper and the goal.  I used to wait for the goalkeeper to make his move and then put the ball the other way. If the goalkeeper didn’t move I would always try to put the ball low and hard to the goalkeeper’s right.”

For the second season running at White Hart Lane, Liverpool were clinical throughout and eased to victory via a strike by Raheem Sterling, Gerrard’s penalty and an Alberto Moreno stunner.

Liverpool FC: Champions League group announced

Champions League group V

Liverpool will kick off their 2014-15 Champions League campaign by welcoming Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets Razgrad to Anfield on Tuesday September 16.  The Reds end a five-year absence from the elite European tournament with a home fixture against a team that they have never previously met competitively.

The Reds were pitted against the holders of the competition in Thursday’s draw in Monaco, and they’ll also face trips to Switzerland and Bulgaria.  Madrid, who claimed their 10th European Cup with victory over city rivals Atletico in Lisbon earlier this year, last locked horns with Liverpool back in the 2008-09 campaign.  The teams met at the last 16 stage and after Yossi Benayoun’s late header secured a famous 1-0 first-leg win at the Bernabeu, the Reds ran riot in the return at Anfield – powering to a 4-0 triumph in front of the Kop.  The only other competitive game between the teams came in the 1981 final in Paris when Alan Kennedy’s goal sealed a 1-0 win for Bob Paisley’s team.

Liverpool also have recent history with Basel after they were pitted against each other in the Champions League first group stage in 2002-03.  The first encounter ended in a 1-1 draw at Anfield, while the Reds came from three goals down at half-time to draw 3-3 at St-Jakob Park.  Basel have won the Swiss league title five times in a row.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have never faced Champions League newcomers Ludogorets Razgrad previously.  The Bulgarian title holders secured their place in the competition in incredible circumstances against Steaua Bucharest in the play-offs.  After trailing by a goal from the first leg in Romania, Wanderson netted a last-minute volley to force extra time in Razgrad.  However, they were reduced to 10 men when goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off in the 119th minute.  It meant centre-back Cosmin Moti was required to go in goal for the penalty shootout – and he emerged the hero, sensationally saving two spot kicks to ensure Ludogorets progressed 6-5 on penalties.

2014-15 Champions League fixtures

September 16 – Ludogorets Razgrad (H)
October 1 – FC Basel (A)
October 22 – Real Madrid (H)
November 4 – Real Madrid (A)
November 26 – Ludogorets Razgrad (A)
December 9 – FC Basel (H)

LFC: Reina joins Bayern Munich

Pepe Reina

Liverpool have confirmed Pepe Reina has completed a transfer to Bayern Munich.

The goalkeeper has signed a permanent deal with the German club, bringing his eight-year spell at Anfield to an end.

Reina moved to Merseyside from Villarreal in the summer of 2005 and made an immediate impact, helping the Reds achieve a club record 11 successive clean sheets in all competitions.

Indeed, his maiden season would end in glory as Liverpool defeated West Ham United on penalties in the FA Cup final in Cardiff, with the Spaniard saving three of the Hammers’ four spot kicks in the shoot-out.

In April 2007, Reina’s shut-out against Blackburn Rovers meant he’d kept 28 clean sheets in his first 50 league games – setting another club record.

His penalty-saving prowess was evident once again one month later as he helped the Reds edge out Chelsea in a dramatic Champions League semi-final victory at Anfield.

In 2008, Reina claimed the Barclays Golden Glove award for a third successive campaign, while in 2009-10 he was voted as Liverpool’s Player of the Season by supporters.

The 31-year-old added one further accolade to his collection, picking up a winners’ medal as the Reds beat Cardiff City in the Carling Cup final in February 2012.

In total, Reina made 394 appearances for the club before spending the 2013-14 season on loan at Italian side Napoli.

Everyone at Liverpool FC would like to wish Pepe all the best for the future.

Rickie Lambert fails with his first spot-kick for Liverpool

Rickie Lambert - photo

Rickie Lambert, the man who never missed a penalty for Southampton FC, failed with his first spot-kick for Liverpool last night.

The striker converted all 34 of his competitive spot-kicks during his remarkable five years at St Mary’s.  But he failed to score his first penalty for Liverpool when he saw his effort during last night’s 2-0 friendly win over AC Milan saved by Christian Abbiati.

The Reds still won 2-0 in Charlotte, America, with goals from Joe Allen and Suso.

Gerrard reveals England retirement

Steven Gerrard today announced his retirement from international football with England following a glittering 14 years of representing his country.

Steven Gerrard - England

The midfielder’s journey with the Three Lions took him to three World Cup tournaments – 2006, 2010 and, most recently, this summer – and three European Championships.

After a debut against Ukraine in 2000, a total of 114 caps were amassed in the white colours, including 38 appearances as captain, making the Huyton native the nation’s third most capped player of all time.

In recognition of the Liverpool skipper’s unflinching commitment to England, he will now continue his relationship with the Football Association through an ambassadorial role.

Explaining the decision, Gerrard said:

“I have enjoyed every minute of representing my country and it is a sad day for me knowing that I won’t pull on the England shirt again.  However, I do look forward to continuing my strong relationship with The FA and helping out in any way I can going forward.

“I’d like to firstly thank my family and friends for all their support throughout my England journey. I’d also like to thank everyone who has been part of my international career, from the England managers I’ve played under to the staff at the FA and, of course, all the players I’ve been fortunate to play alongside.  In particular, the supporters have been amazing, not least in Brazil when they got behind the team despite the disappointing results.

“I’d especially like to thank Roy [Hodgson], firstly for giving me the captaincy permanently when he took the job, making me the proudest man in the country and allowing me to fulfil my childhood dream.  He has been very understanding over the past few weeks and is a man I will always hold in the highest regard.

“This has been a very difficult decision, one of the toughest I’ve had to make in my career. I have agonised over this since coming back from Brazil and have spoken to family, friends and people close to me in the game before coming to this point.

“Most importantly, Brendan [Rodgers] has been fantastic and obviously I have to look after my body as much as possible to ensure I can give everything when I take to the field.  To ensure I can keep playing to a high level and giving everything to Liverpool Football Club, I believe this is the right decision and having Champions League football back at Anfield is another big factor in my decision.”

Hodgson, who coached Gerrard both at Anfield and at international level, paid a glowing tribute to the man that captained his England side since taking the reins in 2012:

“While I’m disappointed in the decision, I can entirely understand Steven’s situation and can have no complaints given the incredible service he has given to his country.  I must respect his wishes due to the discussions we have had and the amount of thought and consideration he himself has given it.

“He is an incredible man and a fantastic footballer who we have all been blessed to see in an England shirt so often. It is never by coincidence that people reach such a staggering figure as 114 caps, it is a mark of his wonderful talent allied to a huge drive and determination to live up to the highest standard.

“He is not only a player to bring crowds to their feet with moments of brilliance; he was a tremendous captain and an exceptional role model for everyone who was fortunate to come into contact with him.  We shall miss his leadership qualities as we look ahead to the qualification campaign with a youthful group of players. I wish him all the best in the future, although I know I can count on his continued support and influence as a helpful presence moving forward.”