Liverpool’s Best Summer Signing

11 Sep

Liverpool’s season kicks off tomorrow against newly promoted Leeds United at Anfield.

But there’s been a lot of criticism by Liverpool supporters regarding the lack of transfer business this summer.

So far this summer Liverpool have only added Konstantinos Tsimikas to their squad as cover for Andy Robertson, and fans are a bit worried as rival clubs, especially Chelsea, have invested heavily in strengthening their squads.

The fact is other teams need to catch up on Liverpool, as the champions have proved they have the best team, and have a squad capable of winning the title that eluded them for so many years.

However, it is important that Liverpool don’t lose any of their important players like Salah, Mane or Firmino to name a few.

But there has been constant speculation that the Reds could lose Georginio Wijnaldum to Barcelona this summer.

The Dutch international is going into the final year of his contract at Anfield and new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is believed to be wanting to bring Wijnaldum to Spain as he tries to rebuild the fallen giants.

The transfer speculation surrounding Wijnaldum is fuelled by the rumours that Champions League winners Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcântara could move to Liverpool.

In my opinion, signing Thiago would be a bonus, but keeping Wijnaldum is a must.

Gini has proved to be a very important player for Liverpool in recent seasons, and he is one of Jürgen Klopp’s first names on the team sheet for the most important games.

Wijnaldum’s work rate and discipline in Liverpool’s midfield allows others to push forward, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson thrive on the freedom to get forward that the midfielder’s role allows.

The Dutch midfielder is also very durable and very rarely injured, so I believe that Wijnaldum signing a new contract would be the best transfer business Liverpool could do this summer.

5 Key Points From Liverpool’s Community Shield Loss

31 Aug

Liverpool lost the chance to add more silverware to their trophy cabinet on Saturday as they lost on penalties to FA Cup winners’ Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Here are 5 key points I took from a Liverpool point of view from Saturday’s defeat.

1- Trent Alexander-Arnold was badly missed on Saturday. The young talented Scouser is becoming one of Liverpool’s most important players and his absence was noticeable.

Neco Williams was given another chance in Liverpool’s first team with Alexander-Arnold still recovering from an injury, but it was a tough game as he found himself having to deal with one of Europe’s best strikers in the shape of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Williams was well beaten by the striker as he skipped inside the young full-back to rifle Arsenal into the lead.

Williams found himself on the back foot for most of the game with Kieran Tierney bombing forward in support of Aubameyang and found it extremely difficult to get forward.

Liverpool had basically no attacking threat down the right flank as Alexander-Arnold’s ability with his crossing and passing ability was sorely missed.

Hopefully Trent-Alexander is fit for the start of the season.

2- Jürgen Klopp’s substitutions in the second half led to Liverpool getting back into the game with the introduction of Naby Keita and Takumi Minamino. The duo provided the Reds with much more creativity as the Premier League Champions struggled to break down a resolute Arsenal defence.

Keita and Minamino’s pre-season form is encouraging for the season ahead.

3- I was very disappointed to see Rhian Brewster only brought on for penalty duties, which his unfortunate miss proved to be crucial as Arsenal won the shootout to result in them lifting the Community Shield.

Liverpool need more attacking options to compliment Mane, Salah and Firmino, and with Divock Origi being the only other striking option.

Brewster’s form on loan at Swansea City last season was impressive, and he scored three goals in Liverpool’s two friendlies in the past week, and I would have loved to have seen him play 20 minutes or so against Arsenal.

I hope Klopp keeps him this season because I think he is the kind of out and out striker that we haven’t had for a while. Brewster looks like a natural finisher in the mould of Robbie Fowler and although Mane, Firmino and Salah can all score goals I wouldn’t say any of them are natural goal scorers.

It would be a shame to see Brewster loaned out again because I think he is ready to make the step up into Liverpool’s first team.

4- Are teams starting to work Liverpool out?

Arsenal got their tactics spot on against Liverpool on Saturday as they defended compactly and deep, with a threat on the counter-attack.

This is the second time in succession that Mikel Arteta’s team have beaten the Premier League champions.

Although Liverpool did eventually find a way through to level things up during the 90 minutes on Saturday before losing on penalties, they were left frustrated for long periods with Arteta’s tactics.

Arsenal’s recent good results against Liverpool makes you wonder if teams are learning how to stop them, it certainly will be interesting when Liverpool meet them very soon on the third league game of the new season.

5- Is Liverpool’s loss a good omen?

Liverpool lost on penalties for the second year in a row in the Community Shield after losing to last season’s treble winners Manchester City last year.

Liverpool shrugged off the disappointment of losing last season’s Community Shield to go on a historic season to win the Premier League for the first time, so hopefully Saturday’s disappointment will be a lucky omen for the season ahead.

Just Enjoying Sitting Back On Our Perch

19 Aug

After winning the Premier League for the first time and the league title for the first time in 30 years, I am just enjoying the moment.

It has been such a very long time, I am fortunate enough to have seen Liverpool win so many league titles and trophies when I was younger but it is great to see the younger generation of supporters finally witness Liverpool win a title.

I was beginning to think we would never win another league title, although I have been excited and hopeful since Jürgen Klopp arrived at Anfield.

But after painfully missing out on the Premier League title by one point to Manchester City last season, it felt like we would never win that elusive Premier League title, even after winning our 6th Champions League.

Liverpool were relentless in their quest to win that Premier League title this year and even the magnificent Manchester City couldn’t keep pace as Klopp’s juggernaut steamrolled to the top, not even the coronavirus pandemic could stop Liverpool, and what a feeling it was to see Jordan Henderson finally lift the trophy at Anfield.

Klopp has already bought another left back to strengthen the squad but probably for the first time ever, I am not bothered if we sign anyone else because we have such a good team and the way Liverpool play, the team is such a finely tuned machine that doesn’t need much tinkering and it is very difficult to change things.

Like every supporter I am really looking forward to the new season starting and hopefully see us win more trophies with Klopp in charge.

This is a tremendous period to be supporting Liverpool and I just feel very fortunate to be a supporter and I hope you all are still enjoying this moment of being Premier League champions because I am.

Liverpool Keep Finding Ways To Win

8 Oct

At quarter to 5 last Saturday I was resigned to believing that Liverpool were going to only win a point at home to Leicester City after James Maddison’s later equaliser.

The thought of dropping 2 points at home worried me more because I thought Manchester City were certainties to beat Wolves at home on Sunday which would have resulted in Liverpool’s lead at the top of the league being trimmed to just 3 points.

But fast forward 24 hours and the unthinkable happened, first James Milner scored from the penalty spot to give Liverpool all 3 points before Wolves stunned Manchester City 2-0 the following day to give Liverpool an 8 point lead over the Premier League champions going into the international break.

Liverpool’s 8 point lead was unthinkable at that late stage of the game at Anfield but once again Jürgen Klopp’s men found another way to win.

Liverpool keep finding ways to win games in so many different ways, and that is a sign of champions.

The Reds found many ways to win last season and they are continuing to do so this season.

Their 1-0 win over Sheffield United last weekend wasn’t pretty and they were fortunate to win courtesy of a blunder by the United keeper after struggling to create many chances against a resilient home side.

Then on Wednesday Liverpool played some superb football to take them to a 3-0 lead against Salzburg, but it looked like they had thrown it away when the visitors roared back to level the score in the second half.

But once again Liverpool found a way to win the game when Salah produced a clinical finish to earn the Reds a 4-3 win.

Saturday’s late win over Leicester was another game that looked likely of ending up a draw until Sadio Mane was felled in the box in stoppage time to give James Milner the opportunity to win the game from the spot, which he gratefully accepted.

The different ways that Liverpool are finding to win games is vital if they are to win the league because they can’t expect to blow teams away every time with their superb football that we have witnessed so many times in the past.

It is still very early in the season and despite leading Manchester City by 8 points there are so many games still to play, but the size of the lead is very unexpected, but a grateful bonus at this early stage of the season.

It has been a tremendous start to the season for Liverpool and it is nice to enjoy this two week international break at the top of the league.

Looks Like Liverpool Have Blown The Title, Doesn’t It?

26 Feb

Liverpool’s 0-0 draw away to bitter rivals Manchester United last Sunday saw the Anfield club move back to the top of the Premier League.

But although they have moved back to the top with a one point lead over Manchester City, it amazingly looks like they have blown the chance to win their first league title in 29 years.

Many Liverpool supporters took to social media to vent their frustration at Liverpool’s failure to take all 3 points from Sunday’s clash, and many media experts believe nerves are getting to Jurgen Klopp’s men.

Their is no doubt that Liverpool had a great chance on Sunday to put their rivals to the sword, especially after United had to use all of their substitutes before half time due to bad luck with injuries.

It really felt like a missed opportunity with failure to take all three points from Old Trafford, but I think most Liverpool supporters would’ve taken a point before the game started.

Liverpool have another difficult fixture out of the way and with 11 league fixtures remaining they are perfectly placed to win their first Premier League title.

Yes, Liverpool have stuttered in recent games with draws against Leicester and West Ham, and their is a slight concern that their famous attack is struggling.

But with Liverpool’s improved defence this season, there hasn’t been such an need to score three or four goals to win games.

Personally I have been disappointed the way Liverpool have played this season because there hasn’t been the same high-tempo, exciting football that produced goals galore like last season.

In fact, I could probably count on one hand how many great performances I’ve seen this season, but Liverpool must be doing something right because they are sitting at the top of the table ahead of one of the best teams in Premier League history.

The title race is still in Liverpool’s hands and if they can beat Watford on Wednesday night and Everton on Sunday then they will be back on track.

Does anyone reading this think Liverpool have blown the title?

Do You Agree With Warm Weather Training?

29 Jan

Liverpool’s exit in this season’s FA Cup has freed up some extra time for Jurgen Klopp’s players, and last week they took advantage of having no game last weekend by taking a warm weather break to Dubai.

Warm weather breaks are common nowadays with many teams taking advantage of an extended break during the season to re-charge the batteries.

A trip away to somewhere warmer at this time of year sounds like a great idea where the weather is better for training, but is it really a good idea?

Teams never took trips to the sun in the old days, they trained here in this country, in the weather that they had to play in.

Yes, the sunshine does lift everyone’s spirits and makes people feel better, but, is the change of weather good for the players?

Three or four days training in the warm weather is stark contrast to the cold conditions players can expect to play in a British winter.

How many times do you come back from a holiday and end up with a miserable, heavy cold due to the change in climate.

Players are no different to us and it would be interesting to know if this climate change has affected one of Liverpool’s most important players Virgil van Dijk this week.

Because reports have suggested that the big defender is struggling with illness ahead of tomorrow night’s important clash against Leicester City at Anfield.

I wonder if the change has contributed to van Dijk’s illness?

It’s just a personal view that I’m not all for sunshine training breaks that are a stark contrast to playing conditions that players have to play in here.

Call me old fashioned but I’d be interested to hear your views on this subject.

No Pleasing Some Supporters

23 Oct

I was working on Saturday night and wasn’t able to watch the Liverpool match against Huddersfield, I only managed to catch about 10 minutes of commentary on the radio.

It didn’t sound like a great game or performance from Liverpool but we won and that was the most important thing.

After the game I had a look at Twitter to see the reaction from Liverpool supporters, and most weren’t happy despite the win.

I think many supporters thought Liverpool should be beating a struggling Huddersfield team by 4 or 5 goals, but football doesn’t always work out the way us supporters expect.

A scrappy 1-0 win is just as important as a 5-0 win at the end of the day, it wins 3 points, although it is far more encouraging to score plenty of goals and play exciting and attractive football.

In fairness to the frustrated Liverpool supporters out there, we haven’t really witnessed any of the exciting attacking football from last season as Mane, Firmino and Salah in particular ripped apart defences on a regular occurrence.

But Liverpool are sitting joint top of the Premier League level on points with Manchester City.

This time last season we were already 12 points behind City despite playing more attractive football.

However, this season Jurgen Klopp’s men are not so reliant on scoring goals because they are more solid in defence with the additions of Alisson as goalkeeper and Virgil van Dijk in the centre of defence as key improvements.

Liverpool’s attacking form has struggled this season but surely it is only a matter of time before they click into gear again, so there is much more to come from this team and that must be frightening for the rest of the league as we sit in a great position in the league.

But unfortunately there will always be supporters that are never happy.

Liverpool 4-0 West Ham United Match Report

15 Aug

Liverpool started the season with an emphatic 4-0 win on Sunday against West Ham United at Anfield. The Reds are rated as one of the biggest challengers to Manchester City’s Premier League crown this season, and they got off to an impressive start with goals from Mo Salah, 2 goals from Sadio Mane and a late goal from Daniel Sturridge sealing the win.

Team

Big money signing Alisson started in goal for Liverpool with Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk selected as his defence in front of him. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had a selection headache regarding his centre of defence with Dejan Lovren, Klavan and Joel Matip all unavailable, thankfully Gomez was passed fit to start.

Klopp has a number of midfield options after strengthening his squad this summer, but for the first game of the season he selected James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum and new signing Naby Keita to start.

There was no surprises with Klopp’s attacking selection with Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane all starting.

The Match

Liverpool totally dominated the game from start to finish, it really was an impressive performance from Klopp’s team, although West Ham didn’t provide much of a test.

The visitor’s defensive tactics of playing a high line fell right into Liverpool’s hands as they created numerous chances throughout the 90 minutes.

It was no surprise to see Salah score the first goal of Liverpool’s season in the 19th minute after he knocked home a cross from Andy Robertson.

It was a surprise that Liverpool took so long to add a second goal with their domination of the first half, but it came right on the stroke of half-time when Mane turned in a cut-back from James Milner.

Liverpool added a third goal early in the second half to end the game as a contest when Mane drilled an effort past the hapless Fabianski after receiving a clever pass from Firmino, however, replays showed the Senegalese was marginally offside.

The remainder of the game was nothing more than a training session for Liverpool but  Daniel Sturridge put the icing on the cake of an impressive performance by scoring with his first touch after coming on for Salah.

Summary

This really was a very impressive performance from a Liverpool team that are expected to be Manchester City’s biggest challengers.

Klopp’s team dominated from start to finish and West Ham couldn’t cope with their energy and movement.

Liverpool’s attacking trio started off where they left off last season, with Salah opening the scoring before Mane scored a brace.

New signing Keita and Milner shone in midfield as they were influential in Liverpool’s win, but the most noticeable improvement from last season was how strong the Reds’ bench was, with Clyne, Shaqiri, Karius, Fabinho, Lallana and Sturridge all good options for Klopp.

Next up for Liverpool is a testing trip to Crystal Palace next Monday night.

Liverpool Are Ready To Challenge

1 Aug

Last season was an exciting one for Liverpool supporters, finishing in the top four was vitally important, but the way Jurgen Klopp had his team playing on-route to the Champions League final had fans ecstatic despite the disappointment of losing to Real Madrid.

It really was quite a remarkable season for the Reds considering their weaknesses. Klopp didn’t have many options at the latter end of the season when a few of his key players picked up injuries and his goalkeeping problems cost him dear in the Champions League final.

But this summer has been a busy one for Liverpool with Klopp making some big money signings to strengthen his squad.

Alisson Becker will hopefully sort Liverpool’s goalkeeping problems and despite the loss of Emre Can to Juventus, Klopp has strengthened his midfield with the arrival of Naby Keita and Fabinho, Shaqiri will give another attacking option highlighted by his spectacular goal in the 4-1 win over Manchester United at the weekend on his debut.

Mane, Firmino and Salah will continue to terrify defences but the addition of a top goalkeeper will only help Liverpool’s defence and Keita and Fabinho will be key players in midfield.

Liverpool look a lot stronger going into the new season and there is a great sense of excitement going into the new season with many supporters believing that Klopp’s men are serious title challengers.

After Another Frustrating Day, Liverpool Are Still Sitting Pretty

7 Feb

Once again Liverpool were left frustrated by refereeing decisions going against them, two controversial penalty decisions awarded by referee Jon Moss infuriated the home support.

The first penalty awarded was spurned by Tottenham’s prolific striker Harry Kane as Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius saved his effort from 12 yards, but the England striker made amends in the final seconds when he converted his second spot-kick of the game to keep Spurs just two points behind Liverpool in the Premier League table.

A draw was probably a fair result to end such a titanic contest between to teams playing to win, Liverpool had the better of the first half but Tottenham were very impressive in the second half and didn’t deserve to lose.

But despite the result being fair, the same can’t be said about the decision making by the match officials, and it’s not the first time this season that Liverpool have been left frustrated by decisions going against them.

Personally I wouldn’t want to see Jon Moss referee another Liverpool game again, I thought it was harsh when he sent Mane off against Manchester City earlier in the season but Sunday’s performance was so bad it felt like Liverpool were playing against twelve men and he was doing all he could to prevent the home side winning.

 

The warning signs were there in the first half when Liverpool players were correctly punished by Moss blowing his whistle to give free-kicks but the same didn’t go for Tottenham’s players committing fouls, as Moss just waved play to continue and his reluctance to give Liverpool a free-kick was rewarded by one of the loudest cheers of the game when finally gave the home side a decision midway through the first-half.

The debate has raged whether Moss was right or wrong to give the penalties, but there is no doubt that both were very soft awards.

Positives

Despite the disappointment and frustration, Liverpool can take many positives from the game.

Loris Karius has a lot to prove to remain Liverpool’s first choice goalkeeper, but I thought he played very well against Spurs and felt it was extremely harsh to criticise him for the punch the led to Victor Wanyama’s thunderbolt.

Karius looked confident and assured and his decision making was much better.

Salah was once again the star man and his goals are so valuable to Liverpool’s chances of finishing in the top four, he is unplayable at times.

Liverpool’s midfield were superb in the first half against a very strong Tottenham midfield, although they ran out of gas in the second half, we must realise that they won’t play against such a good midfield often this season, and it was great to see Henderson have such a good game despite fading in the second half.

Firmino once again showed how he is so important to Liverpool’s attack with his workrate and link-up play.

Trent Alexander-Arnold was superb on the right side of defence by providing some great defensive cover combined with some brilliant attacking play that resulted in some tremendous crosses.

Andy Robertson is making the left-back position his own with some fine performances and this was another, and the Scot is proving to be a dependable defender in the left-back berth that we’ve not seen for a while at Anfield.

The defensive partnership of Dejan Lovren and Virgil van Dijk proved to be a good selection by Jurgen Klopp, the two defenders were superb in the heart of Liverpool’s defence despite both being involved in Tottenham’s two penalty awards.

As a unit Liverpool defended superbly for the best part of the game and there is no doubt that van Dijk makes the defence much stronger with his leadership qualities.

After the weekend results Liverpool are still third in the Premier League table and they are still looking very good to finish in the top four at the end of the season.

 

 

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