The Liverpool Tribune: August 2016 ".
LIVERPOOL QUALIFY FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFFS BY BEATING MIDDLESBROUGH 3-0 TO FINISH FOURTH..

Saturday, 27 August 2016

WE WON'T BE SIGNING A LEFT BACK THIS SUMMER

After an absorbing 1-1 encounter with Spurs at White Hart Lane, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was asked in his post-match interview about possible new signings before the transfer window shuts on Wednesday night.

Referring to the left full-back problem Klopp said: "You need more players for different positions. The only decision we made was that Millie can play there and in the style of play that we should play.
A full-back is not only a winger in the offensive situation – it’s something like a number eight in different moments.
It’s a really good position for Millie. He still has to adapt a little bit and learn because he has 500 games, but not in this position.
So we have to work on it, that’s how we work with every player, but in the end we were convinced he can play the position, that’s why we didn’t make a transfer in that position on other players. I’m not surprised that he can play there."


So that's it then, James Milner is to be our left-back for the foreseeable future, not ideal and a mistake I believe.

Milner had a good game as an attacking left back against Spurs and took the penalty well, but he was out of position for the cross that led to Danny Rose's equaliser in the 72 minute.
Don't get me wrong, a man whose has been mainly a central midfielder for most of his career, cannot be expected to suddenly become a world-class full back.

He will do a solid job there no doubt, but its a bit short-sighted of the management to fail to go into the transfer-market and buy an orthodox left-back.

Time will tell if Klopp is right or not.   

Friday, 26 August 2016

JURGEN KLOPP: "MAKE CONSISTENCY A HOBBY"



                             Tottenham v Liverpool


As he so often does, Jurgen Klopp framed the prevailing emotions at Liverpool perfectly. “The last defeat always feels stronger than the last win,” said the German as he reviewed the club’s opening three games of the season while surveying the next encounter.

Sandwiched in-between victories against Arsenal and Burton came the rattling 2-0 reverse at Burnley; the result most dwelled on in discussions about the Anfield side. It also signalled the first real signs of irritation from swathes of the fanbase towards the Reds boss, with the overreaction to the loss at titanic levels.

Rage ruled over rationale with some questioning whether Klopp really was an upgrade on Brendan Rodgers, others suggesting nothing at all has changed at the club, some writing the season off already and a few concluding that neither the manager nor the squad are good enough.

But as the 49-year-old prepares Liverpool for Saturday’s showdown at White Hart Lane - 315 days after taking charge of his opening game in English football, which also came against Tottenham - he knows his team are stronger and their approach sharper than it was 10 months ago.

The Burnley defeat may have triggered doubts from supporters desperate for success, but it has not altered the positivity of the man intent on delivering it.

On miserable afternoons like the one suffered at Turf Moor, it’s easy to forget just how much progress the Reds have made from that starting point against Spurs.

In less than a year under Klopp's tutelage, Liverpool have reached two finals, have turned in unreal performances against their fiercest rivals, are the leading goalscorers in the Premier League for 2016, have strengthened key areas of the squad while shifting deadwood, and possess a certified identity.

Their attack is well stocked and certainly not short of quality with the signing of Sadio Mane a particularly inspired one. And while there are question marks in defence, the goals Liverpool have conceded thus far have stemmed from offensive errors rather than typical failings at the back. The club have yet to play a competitive game with Loris Karius between the sticks, and the German was set to start the season as first-choice goalkeeper before breaking a bone in his hand. 

There have been cries to move for a specialist holding midfielder, but there is conviction from the backroom staff in the options already available to play as the defensive screen.

The Merseysiders are still under construction, but the foundations are secure and the vision is steely. “For us, everything could have been better, but it could have been worse,” said Klopp in summary of the past 10 months.

“We’re still on the way. My team gave me a lot of really good signs to work with. We are quite optimistic for the season.”

As per the manager’s own admission, they will have to “make consistency a hobby” if they are to fulfil their ambitions, an aim he believes will materialise once the team finds their rhythm.

In fact, there is an inherent belief within the squad that once Liverpool fully click - as they did briefly in the second half against Arsenal - they will be harrowing for opponents.

In order for that sentiment to spread beyond Melwood, they need to prove they can turn up and take maximum points with regularity.

And there’s no better place to restore optimism among the support base following the Burnley stumble than at Tottenham, where it was at its highest when Klopp sat in a dugout as Liverpool boss for the first time. 

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Saturday, 20 August 2016

EXPECT KLOPP TO MAKE CHANGES FOR THE EFL BURTON GAME ON TUESDAY

After Saturday's abject defeat to Burnley where several "stars" failed to shine in defence or attack, Jurgen Klopp is going to drop the hammer on several players in the League Cup game at Burton Albion on Tuesday night.

Expect Manninger to replace Mignolet in goal and Joel Matip to start as central defender with either Lovren or Klavan missing out.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will replace Clyne after his error at the back led to Sam Vokes' opening goal for Burnley.

Grujic and Can should start in midfield as the Liverpool manager utilises his full squad. Wijnaldum may keep his place if only to integrate him into Klopp's style of football.

Would love to see Danny Ings get a start upfront as he is a great talent who has been out for a year now recovering from a cruel ACL injury. I imagine Origi will lead the front line in a game everyone is desperate to win on Tuesday evening.


Burton Albion are no mugs. Under former red Nigel Clough, they are in the Championship and they lie in 17th in the division. But Liverpool nowadays are prone to defeats to underdogs so anything can happen.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

KLOPP'S BLINDSPOT


Jurgen Klopp is a very good manager, maybe even a great manager and Liverpool are fortunate to have him at Anfield.

He is a great tactician, a great motivator of players and a proven winner in his time at Mainz and Dortmund.
He inherited an average squad from Brendan Rodgers last season when he took over at Liverpool, yet he managed to guide the team to the League Cup and Europa League finals, losing both sadly.

This season should be better as Klopp has been busy in the transfer-market in both buying and selling players, Benteke the latest to be offloaded at a good price.

The squad and the team now looks stronger in almost every department: Karius in goal, Matip and Kavlan in defence, Grujic and Wijnaldum in midfield and Mané a lethal addition upfront.
       
        
  So what's my point, its a certain Alberto Moreno.

The left back who is plainly not a left back has not been replaced and as yet,  nobody has been signed as cover for him in a squad which Klopp has called ''my own''.


Liverpool were after young Ben Chilwell from Leicester, but the £10 million fee was considered excessive and the pursuit was dropped earlier this Summer.

Klopp, who earlier this week rounded on the critics of Moreno who cited his penalty mistake v Arsenal, lack of marking for the first goal and his errors in The Europa League Final where he was to blame for two of Sevilla's goals.

Throughout his time at Liverpool, the young Spaniard has impressed all too briefly and it is hard to understand what our Manager actually sees in Moreno.

James Milner is to be Pidgeon-holed into that position at left back it seems, a role he has openly said to be unhappy about and so he should be.

It appears that the normally ruthless Jurgen Klopp may have a blindspot when it comes to Alberto Moreno unfortunately.  

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

SADIO MANÉ: INJURY NOT SERIOUS

Earlier today new Liverpool forward Sadio Mané suffered a damaged shoulder in training and was rushed to Hospital fearing a long lay off.


However, after tests the Striker has just incurred a muscle injury and it is believed that although, he will miss the game against Burnley on Saturday, he should be available for selection again thereafter.

This is sure to be a relief to Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool as the £36 million man has already proved his class for the club with his great goal in the 4-3 win against Arsenal last Sunday.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

POSSIBLE LIVERPOOL TEAM SELECTION V ARSENAL


Liverpool begin their Premier League Campaign with an away trip to Arsenal this Sunday at 4pm at The Emirates Stadium.

Jurgen Klopp has assembled a strong squad over the summer and despite injuries to some of his players: Sakho, Gomez, Sturridge and maybe James Milner, he can still select a strong line-up against top-four rivals Arsenal.

Simon Mignolet is a lucky man as the pre-season injury to Karios means he is number one goalkeeper for the moment.

With Joel Matip only playing his first full match in the 4-0 loss to Mainz last week, Klopp may go with Lovren and Klavan in the heart of the defence alongside Clyne and Mr Moreno as the full backs.

Midfield is much harder to predict as we are well-stocked in that area. Emre Can has admitted himself that he is not yet back to full fitness following the Euro's in France, so I leave him out this week.
Henderson as Captain and Gini Wijnaldum are my picks in the centre with Mané and Coutinho on the wings.

Daniel Sturridge has a slight hip problem suffered in training so I think the ever-improving Divock Origi alongside Roberto Firmino to start up-front.

          

That's my selection although a case can be made for Adam Lallana and others to start.

Lets hope for a good performance and hopefully a win against the Gunners.







Tuesday, 9 August 2016

NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO PLAY ARSENAL

Liverpool play their opening game of the new season away to Arsenal at the Emerites stadium. Klopp's new look team will hope to get their campaign off to a good start against an always difficult opponent.

Wenger's side always finish in the top four every season, almost without fail and his long tenure in the job has ensured a fair degree of success despite his critics.

However, this opening weekend will see The Gunners with something of an injury crisis at the back. Gabriel Paulista could be out with an ankle injury while Per Mertesaker is already out.
Laurent Koscielny got an extended summer break as did Mesut Ozil, who also will not be fit to play against the Reds.


With Danny Welbeck out for the majority of next season, Arsenal’s current striker options are limited.
Olivier Giroud has been given three weeks off before he must report for training at the start of August, which leaves Theo Walcott and Chuba Akpom as the only available strikers for the start of the season.


Liverpool had a mixed pre-season with losses to Chelsea and Mainz and a ruthless 4-0 demolishing of Barcelona at Wembley.
Klopp is in the process of fashioning the team to his own liking and it has very much been a bedding-in process this Summer.

However, if Liverpool can play their high-tempo pressing game like they played against Barca last week, then a win is a definite possibility.

Sunday at Arsenal should be a great game with Klopp's highly motivated team and Wenger's injury-hit side. It all makes for a great chance of a Liverpool victory.




Sunday, 7 August 2016

STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN IN PRE-SEASON


             
After dishing out a 4-0 thrashing to Spanish Giants Barcelona on Saturday, Liverpool travelled to Germany and lost by the same score line in defeat to Mainz at The Opel Arena on Sunday.

Manager Jurgen Klopp, naturally, made several changes for this game against the team he once played for and then managed successfully in his homeland.

However, his altered line-up were ruthlessly exposed by a team that dominated a lethargic Liverpool in a composed display by Rouven Schröder's team.

You could argue that Liverpool were tired after playing out of their skins in beating Barca the day before and then having to fly over-night to Germany to play again so soon

You could also say that a lot of that side against Mainz 05 under-performed were below par and won't make the first team against Arsenal on Sunday.

Yet, it was only a friendly and in pre-season amid all the hard running, tactical exercises and team structures that have taken place, any football game played was just going to be about resting the right players, bringing back others from injury, like Matip and Grujic and giving another run out for the younger players like Woodward, Gomes and Randall.

The serious business starts away to Arsenal next Sunday afternoon when pre-season will be over and the real thing gets underway and not a minute to soon.





Thursday, 4 August 2016

LUIS SUAREZ ON LIVERPOOL SHOWDOWN AT WEMBLEY

Saturday evening will be a special one for all Liverpool fans and in particular fans of Luis Suarez as Liverpool face Barcelona at Wembley Stadium in The Champions Cup.

The game itself will be a great occasion, two of Europe's most successful teams in action in the Capital.
But for one man this is more than just another pre-season friendly, its a chance for Luis Suarez to meet up with his old club where he begun to forge his name as one of the great goal scorers of the modern game.



Now settled in Spain with Barcelona, the genial Uruguayan has shared his thoughts on his reunion with his old club.

It’s a really nice moment for the supporters. I have some friends there and I think it’s a really good moment to come back to play against Liverpool,” Suarez told Liverpoolfc.com


“Everybody knows Liverpool is so important in my life, in my career, and my family as well. My second child was born there and I had a really good moment there. I think it’s a nice moment for me.”


They had a chance to win the Europa League and in the Premier League they played really well. Now it’s a new season, I think the manager [will] have confidence they can finish in the top four.”

It’s important for this game that it’s a friendly game because if it was in the Champions League or a really good tournament, it’d be difficult to play against Liverpool. But a friendly game is to enjoy.”
 

Looking forward to the game Luis, lets hope another former Reds in Javier Mascherano plays as well as he never had a proper exit from Liverpool when he also left for Spain.


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

BENTEKE MAY FINALLY HAVE BUYERS

Liverpool outcast Cristian Benteke may have found a welcome way out the Anfield door, if all is to be believed.

The Mirror reports that both Everton and Sunderland are very interested in the Belgian hotshot who scored 10 in over twenty appearances for Jurgen Klopp last season, Benteke was on the bench against Roma on Monday but did not feature.

Everton are holding out for £75 million from Chelsea for their prized forward Romelu Lukaku, and should they get that kind of money they will immediately offer Liverpool the £30 million they want for Belgian International Benteke who is willing to consider a move as he knows he is not in Jurgen Klopp's plans going forward.



Sunderland's new boss David Moyes is also in need of another striker claiming: “I think it’s well documented that we’ve only got one centre-forward really in Jermain Defoe – we’ve got others who can do the job at other times. But I would like to strengthen in most areas if it comes up.”

Doesn't say much for former red Fabio Borini who is almost a cult figure at the stadium of light and I doubt if Sunderland will cough-up the £30 million value of Benteke.

Arrogant Alan Pardew now of Crystal Palace was earlier mentioned as a potential Benteke buyer but baulked at the fee, what a shame!

Sending him out on loan is not an option Liverpool should even consider, he is too good a player for that and is well worth a proper transfer away.

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