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‘What would Shankly do?’ – Is Liverpool FC really a socialist football club?

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 22:15

It’s an evocative and passionate subject which feelings range far and wide on. Here, James Nalton looks at whether Liverpool FC retains the socialist heritage which Bill Shankly helped instil.


Liverpool is widely considered one of the world’s left-wing football clubs. Names such as Celtic, St. Pauli, Livorno, Rayo Vallecano, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Boca Juniors will appear in lists of left-leaning clubs, with Liverpool among them, but this only scrapes the surface of a complicated subject on clubs whose identity can change over time.

Liverpool, as a city, has matured into one based around left-wing politics. It has been a Labour stronghold since the latter half of the 20th century and its Militant council of the 80s used a slogan: “better to break the law than break the poor.”

It is a city which isn’t English or even European. The brand of socialism which exists in Liverpool is international. But though Liverpool FC is certainly now an international force, is it a socialist club?

Beginnings

 A statue of former Liverpool manager Bill Shankly pictured before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

In an interview with Spanish outlet El Pais, Liverpool CEO Peter Moore spoke about the socialist influence on the club, and the constant reference by himself and others at boardroom level back to the question: What would Bill Shankly do?

Moore tells the interviewer that Shankly laid the foundations for the club to be built into what it is today, and the principles built into those foundations should be retained—but the way football has developed in the Premier League era, it’s not as simple as saying that Liverpool is a socialist club.

It’s rare for someone so high-up at such a big club to use this type of left-wing political language. The use of the word “socialism” can create a backlash, as it’s a widely misunderstood political ideology. In many ways, it’s a big step for the Garston-born CEO to use the word at all.

Shankly gave one of the best definitions of socialism when he said:

“I believe the only way to live and to be truly successful is by collective effort, with everyone working for each other, everyone helping each other, and everyone having a share of the rewards at the end of the day.

“That might be asking a lot, but it’s the way I see football and the way I see life.”

The aforementioned Militant Labour council of the 80s believed that the city of Liverpool had long been denied its share of the rewards by central government in London, and looked to address that imbalance, which is the reason they are viewed as a more radical left-wing outfit.

Manager Bob Paisley (centre), who took over from Bill Shankly in 1974, is flanked by trainer Ronnie Moran (l) and assistant manager Joe Fagan. (Picture by PA PA Archive/PA Images)

In his own way, Shankly was also very radical.

He changed the course of Liverpool history during his 15 years in charge. He left a legacy and a line of succession which lasted until the late 90s and then saw a brief revival during Kenny Dalglish’s second stint as manager in 2011/12.

Interpretations

This type of manager succession, influenced by those who spent long hours discussing football Liverpool’s Boot Room, was unique in football, and when explaining the club’s “this means more” slogan, Moore referred back to Shankly’s ideas and ideals:

“To say that Liverpool is unique does not mean too much.

“As a marketing expert, I wanted to unravel exactly what it meant. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Dortmund, and Bayern are special too, so how do we distil this?

“We had this incredible historical figure: Bill Shankly, a socialist from Scotland who built the foundations.

“Even today, when we talk about business, we ask ourselves: ‘What would Shankly do?’ What would Bill say in this situation?

“He was a true socialist who believed that football consisted of working together. In the marketing department, we met and said: ‘Let’s put this into words.’

“The conclusion was that Liverpool’s essential idea is that this means more. More than winning or losing. More than going to football, more than a get together in the pub and then going home.”

Bill Shankly, 14-Apr-1964 (Picture by PA PA Archive/PA Images)

That the conclusion was a marketing slogan in itself brings to question any socialist intentions.

It’s difficult for anyone or anything to have socialist ideals in a world dominated by capitalism, consumerism and an increase in right-wing political parties taking power across the globe.

Any left-wing governments, or attempts to form one, are met with obstructions within their own country and often from abroad. Some people would prefer everyone working for them, and only they take the rewards.

On-pitch

 Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop with banners "Unity is Strength" and "We Told You They Lied, Justice for the 96" before the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 1st Leg match against Manchester United at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It’s even more difficult to hold socialist values in the Premier League, one of the most capitalist football divisions in the world (at least the TV money is divided out), but at each Liverpool game, there are examples of this left-wing identity.

“Shankly defined it as socialism — not in a political sense, but in the sense of solidarity,” added Moore.

“There is a banner in the Kop that says: ‘unity is strength.’ Liverpool is a socialist city, with a working tradition, very close to the port.

“Shankly expressed in the idea of working together on the pitch under the maxim of ‘passing the ball and moving.’ It’s not exactly tiki-taka, but it happens when you play freely with quick counter-attacks. That’s our brand.”

Another regular expression of socialist ideas comes from the most visible of the club’s leading figures, the manager, Jurgen Klopp.

In Rafael Honigstein’s book, Klopp: Bring the Noise, the Liverpool boss is quoted as saying:

“I’m on the left, of course. More left than middle. I believe in the welfare state. I’m not privately insured. I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate.

“My political understanding is this: if I am doing well, I want others to do well, too. If there’s something I will never do in my life it is vote for the right.”

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp applauds the supporters after the UEFA Champions League Group E match between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at the Studio San Paolo. Napoli won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sounds familiar.

Klopp regularly calls upon the fans to assist in the club’s quest for success. This isn’t done to generate neat soundbites or quotes for fansites, or to curry favour with the supporters — it is something he genuinely believes helps his team win matches, and at the same involves everyone in any success.

Those who observed the early managerial career of the man from Germany’s Black Forest region, and his later success with Borussia Dortmund and interaction with their equivalent to the Kop, the Yellow Wall, knew his work at Liverpool would involve geeing up the fans as much as improving the team.

In almost every press conference Klopp issues some kind of rallying cry, and when looking at the overall message he is trying to convey, there are often socialist undertones.

And why wouldn’t there be? This is football, where teamwork and the collective is vital to success.

 A Liverpool supporters' banner of goalkeeper Alisson Becker on the Spion Kop before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

“If everyone does all the small jobs to the best of their ability, that’s honesty, then the world would be better and football would be better,” Shankly once said.

“What we want is hard work, and no football club is ever successful without hard work.”

This busts the myth that socialism can lead to laziness, and shows it is an ideal philosophy when it comes to football.

Klopp is not trying to be the new Shankly, it just turns out that one of the best ways to manage a football club is to have everyone working for each other, then everyone gets a share of the rewards.

This has been increasingly the case at Liverpool since Klopp’s arrival. There isn’t the discord behind the scenes which existed during the Rodgers era, and people are trusted to do the jobs they are assigned.

Ownership

 Liverpool supporters' banner "Justice for Grenfell" before the FA Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The current owners may not be socialists, but as Moore has pointed out in a couple of recent interviews, they don’t take money out of the club as others at the helm of similar sized clubs do.

“Our owners have not taken a penny,” he says.

“They do not have a dividend, and they have never collected the profits. In fact, the money goes in the opposite direction. It is invested in the club.

“We spent on Anfield’s new Main Stand, on building the new sports centre in Kirkby, on supporting technology.

“The valuation of a football club produces long-term benefits. Maybe they will wait 10 or 20 years and then reap the benefits. That is called patience. Take care of your assets, keep going, and surely good things will happen.

“If you buy good players, you improve the team, if you improve the team you win titles, if you win titles you increase your income. It is the classic virtuous circle.”

While investing the profits back into the club in order to increase the overall value of the asset are the moves of capitalists, it is probably the best type of ownership you are likely to get in the Premier League at this moment in time.

 Liverpool's owner John W. Henry and co-owner and NESV Chairman Tom Werner during the 214th Merseyside Derby match at Goodison Park. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

FSG aren’t socialists. They redeveloped the Main Stand in order to bring in revenue through extra corporate areas, but when there were protests against rising ticket prices, they listened.

The attempts to trademark certain parts of fan culture, such as the “Allez Allez Allez” song, “6 times” and even the word “Liverpool”, has left a sour taste, but though they aren’t a left-wing ownership group, neither are they the capitalist leeches some Premier League owners are—not least the Glazer family in charge of Liverpool’s historic rivals, Man United.

Some will also point to the fact that Liverpool FC was founded by a Conservative, a member of the Orange Order no less, John Houlding, which is true.

But though the club was formed by a conservative-unionist at a time when the Labour party didn’t exist and the Scouse melting pot was still mixing, there is no doubt that the Liverpool we know today was shaped by the city, on foundations laid by Shankly and supported by Reuben Bennett, Tom Saunders, Geoff Twentyman, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Kenny Dalglish, Ronnie Moran, and, later, Roy Evans.

The only Bootroom Klopp can visit is the Boot Room Sports Cafe, a restaurant inside Anfield, and another example of the capitalists making money from socialist values, but Klopp has the Bootroom spirit and he and his coaching staff have gone some way to reviving it.

“Klopp is classic Liverpool,” says Moore.

“Shankly used to say ‘I was made for Liverpool and Liverpool was made for me’ and Klopp can say the exact same thing.

“He understands the socialist elements within the club and the city, the challenges and the emotion. The Beatles were a symbol of the city during one era. Now it’s football.”

Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited is not a socialist business venture. The club is owned by capitalists, not by supporters, but even if clubs are not owned by their fans, they are often defined by them.

Liverpool, defined by its fans, its history and its present, has a strong case for being a socialist football club.

The aforementioned ‘unity is strength’ banner bears the images of current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a true left-wing Labour leader at a time when the powers-that-be are trying to convince people that the centre is the left in order to make the extreme right appear more palatable, and make Labour seem more extreme when it has merely returned to its roots.

It shows shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who was born in Liverpool, and it also shows support for the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, the Shrewsbury 24 campaign and the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

It’s also no coincidence that the banner containing the portraits of Liverpool’s most successful and iconic managers, to which Klopp has recently been added, is based on a Soviet banner bearing the images of Karl Marx, Freidrich Engels and Lenin alongside a red star, one of the symbols of communism.

The Liverpool Football Club and Athletic Grounds Limited is not a socialist company, but Liverpool, defined by its fans, its city, its current manager, cooperative and accommodating but not trademarked, is a socialist football club.

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Premier League given assurances over Champions League places

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 22:14

The Premier League has received assurances that there are no current proposals to cut the number of Champions League group stage places for English clubs.


The PA news agency understands the league was surprised and disappointed by the suggestion last week from European Leagues president Lars-Christer Olsson that England, Germany, Italy and Spain might have to accept a drop from four automatic places to three in a revamped competition from 2024.

The league has since held talks with European Leagues, a group which represents 36 professional leagues across 29 countries, and been reassured that there are no fixed proposals at this stage, with the principles behind a new-look competition still being worked on.

The relationship between the Premier League and European Leagues is understood to remain very strong, and the English league will host the continental body’s club advisory platform and general assembly in London over Thursday and Friday.

Delegates from nearly 200 European clubs will attend the event, as will speakers from the world players’ union FIFPro and various supporters’ groups.

Olsson said last week that clubs from England, Germany, Italy and Spain may have to consider a cut to improve access to the competition for teams from other countries.

Discussions are ongoing about how Europe’s top club competition might look from 2024-25 onwards.

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk lifts the trophy after the UEFA Champions League Final match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Metropolitano. Liverpool won 2-0 to win their sixth European Cup. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Club Association (ECA), has proposed a model featuring more group-stage matches, promotion and relegation between the Champions League and Europa League and a large increase in the number of clubs qualifying for Europe via continental competition, rather than performance in their home league.

He said last week the model would reduce risk and provide greater stability for big clubs in smaller leagues, such as Celtic and Ajax, by helping them avoid elimination at the play-off stage.

European Leagues is opposed to the ECA plan, with Olsson calling it a “closed league” which would “kill” interest in domestic competition. Olsson also said the current 13 games from the start of the group phase to the final was “the limit”, citing player welfare as a key concern.

UEFA announced in August 2016 that four clubs each from England, Germany, Italy and Spain would be given automatic places in the group phase from the 2018-19 season onwards.

LaLiga is understood to be open to the idea of fewer automatic places, but it is unlikely it would agree to it unilaterally.

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Pogba, De Gea ruled out of Liverpool clash

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 18:00
Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday from 3pm on Sky Sports Premier League; kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 16/10/19 6:09pm

Paul Pogba has been ruled out of the Super Sunday clash with Liverpool Paul Pogba has been ruled out of the Super Sunday clash with Liverpool Paul Pogba has been ruled out of the Super Sunday clash with Liverpool

Paul Pogba and David de Gea will miss Manchester United's Super Sunday clash against Liverpool through injury.

De Gea was forced off the field during Spain's European Qualifier with Sweden. The goalkeeper was clearing the ball upfield just before the hour mark when he appeared to pull his groin, immediately dropping to the ground in pain.

More to follow...

How to watch Manchester United vs Liverpool

Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday from 3pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 4.30pm.

Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

Soccer Saturday Super 6

FREE TO PLAY: Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 jackpot for the fifth time this year!

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Huge praise for Reds duo & Kuyt’s big statement – Wednesday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 16:03

We round up the latest Liverpool news on Wednesday, as the weekend clash with Man United fast approaches.


Today’s Main Headlines Trent Hails Van Dijk as Greatest Teammate

 Richard Sellers/PA Wire.)

Trent Alexander-Arnold is enjoying a memorable early few years in his career, starring for his boyhood club during a wonderful time to be at Liverpool.

The 21-year-old is surrounded by top-class talent, but it appears as though he cherishes Virgil van Dijk more than anyone.

Speaking to Guinness World Records, Alexander-Arnold hailed the Dutchman as the best footballer he has played alongside:

“He is a world-class player and the best I have played with.

“We benefited a lot last season knowing we have players like Virgil giving us the protection behind us.”

It’s hard to disagree with the right-back, even though he also shares a dressing room with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

Klopp’s Liverpool Pips Class of 2008/09, says Kuyt

Dirk Kuyt was a key man in Liverpool’s 2008/09 side, a team that remains beloved by many Reds supporters.

Rafa Benitez’s men came close to winning the Premier League title and, in Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, they possessed world-class players.

Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, however, Kuyt believes this current side is better:

“We were very close to success. We just missed a small detail to go one step further.

“With the likes of Stevie and Carra, Mascherano, Torres and many other very good players, we just missed a little something.

“If you see the build-up of the team of Klopp, you see it progressing every time and it looks like it’s now coming to success also in the Premier League. We were a particular team like that, only we couldn’t go one step further at that time.

“Hopefully this team will do it because, in my opinion, this team now on the pitch is even better than ours.”

The Dutchman is spot-on in his assessment, considering the faultless, relentless nature of this side and the quality in its ranks.

Enrique Lauds “Unbelievable” Robertson

 Liverpool's Andy Robertson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jose Enrique knows a thing or two about playing at left-back for Liverpool, with the Spaniard an up-and-down performer during his time at the club.

He has been full of praise for Andy Robertson, calling him the best player in the world in his position.

“He is unbelievable. I’ve said it before, for me, last year he was the best left-back in the world,” Enrique told Sky Sports.

“He gives so much to that side. And him and Mane together [on Liverpool’s left] – I wouldn’t want to be on the right side for the other team.”

Enrique also discussed the magnitude of clashes between Liverpool and Man United, saying being in the tunnel and taking part in such a huge fixture always felt special:

“It’s an amazing feeling. I like the pressure when you play for big teams like Liverpool and Manchester United.

“Every player likes the pressure—that’s why they play for these teams—but when you go there you forget about everything.

“You focus on the game and it is a really rough game, a lot of tackles, a lot of intensity but you feel privileged to be there. That is how I was feeling.”

Besiktas Won’t Keep Hold of Karius

Goalkeeper Loris Karius of Besiktas during the Turkish Superlig Match between Bursaspor and Besiktas at Buyuksehir Belediye Stadium in Bursa , Turkey on September 02 , 2018 (Seskimphoto/Imago/PA Images)

Loris Karius is still trying to repair his reputation, following his disastrous performance in the 2018 Champions League final.

The 26-year-old is on a two-year loan deal at Besiktas currently, where there were rumours that he would have to be kept on when the deal ended.

Those claims have been rubbished by one of the Turkish giants’ presidential candidates, Serdal Adali, who told Beyaz TV, via Sport Witness, that Karius will leave at the end of the season.

If true, it means the German will likely play a part in pre-season at Liverpool next summer, assuming he doesn’t swiftly find a new permanent club.

He has no future at Anfield, with Alisson and Adrian now Jurgen Klopp‘s options in goal, not to mention youngster Caoimhin Kelleher and on-loan Kamil Grabara.

Gini’s Brilliant Social Media Post

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates scoring the only goal of the game during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Alexander-Arnold entered the Guinness World Records book for 2020 on Wednesday, having chalked up the most Premier League assists (12) by a defender in a single season.

It is a great achievement by the youngster, but Gini Wijnaldum‘s subsequent social media antics could be even greater!

Responding to Liverpool’s official Twitter account’s post about Trent’s accomplishment, Wijnaldum brilliantly replied:

fastest corner?

— Gini Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) October 16, 2019

Needless to say, it went down a storm with Reds supporters, bringing back special memories of that memorable set-piece against Barcelona.

What a team spirit there is at Liverpool these days.

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Watch now: A BOSS Night with a difference...

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:55

The latest BOSS Night was held in Liverpool city centre over the weekend... but this time with a little bit of a difference.

The first ever BOSS Kids event was hosted at the Camp and Furnace on Sunday - and it was strictly for young Reds fans.

Jamie Webster was, of course, on hand to lead the audience through the songbook, while there was also music from Charlie Hewitt and DJ Harry Mc.

Our cameras were there to capture the event, too - and you can see the best of it in our YouTube clip below now.

[embedded content]

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Watch now: A BOSS Night with a difference...

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:55
The latest BOSS Night was held in Liverpool city centre over the weekend... but this time with a little bit of a difference.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool left short of full-back cover as Ki-Jana Hoever earns World Cup call-up

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:38

Liverpool will be without a natural right-back cover option for up to six games, with Ki-Jana Hoever called up for the Netherlands U17 World Cup squad.


The teenager has been on the fringes of the action this season, learning his trade with the U23s and U19s for the most part.

He did, however, play a big part in pre-season—where he played on the left, as well as the right of defence—and started against MK Dons in the League Cup third round, scoring his first goal for the Reds in the process.

With Jurgen Klopp opting against signing players in a number of positions this summer in order to give game time opportunities to the talented youngsters at the club, Hoever will hope for more senior action over the coming months.

But with his call-up for the U17 World Cup, he won’t be available to Liverpool for up to six games, including the League Cup fourth-round tie against Arsenal.

While that will simply present an opportunity for another player to stake a claim, it does mean that the Reds will be entirely without a natural, offensive-minded right-back during his absence, even if he is an inexperienced one.

 Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold prepares to take a throw-in during the FA Premier League match between Chelsea's FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Trent Alexander-Arnold will naturally play every major fixture he is fit for, but the League Cup game and potentially Aston Villa away in early November might have been games Klopp wanted to rest him in.

Joe Gomez and James Milner are the usual alternatives, though neither offer the kind of acceleration, creativity and reliable delivery that the first-choice option does.

Hoever will miss up to six games, with the U17 World Cup running from 26 October to 17 November in Brazil, along with some preparation time ahead of the tournament.

After the aforementioned senior duo, Jurgen Klopp has a few other options to turn to from the youth ranks at right-back.

Yasser Larouci or Adam Lewis could play on the opposite side to their usual role on the left, while Neco Williams is the U23 regular and Sepp van den Berg has also featured at full-back previously.

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Ki-Jana Hoever gets Netherlands call for U17 World Cup

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:05

Ki-Jana Hoever has been named in the Netherlands squad for the forthcoming FIFA U17 World Cup.

The Liverpool defender is one of 21 players to have been selected by Holland for the tournament, which takes place in Brazil later this month.

Hoever and his teammates face Japan in their opening group-stage game on October 28, before taking on Senegal (October 30) and the United States (November 3).

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Ki-Jana Hoever gets Netherlands call for U17 World Cup

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 15:05
Ki-Jana Hoever has been named in the Netherlands squad for the forthcoming FIFA U17 World Cup.
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Miles travelled and minutes played by Liverpool players on international duty

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 14:32

For two weeks, Melwood has been a place of quiet: a few non-internationals, a handful of youngsters and Jurgen Klopp‘s coaching crew planning their attack on Man United. But around the rest of the world, Liverpool’s players have been busy.


With the qualifiers, friendlies and other international games now over and done with, the likes of Jordan Henderson, Roberto Firmino and Co. will all be back in training with Liverpool within a day, if they aren’t already.

It doesn’t leave a huge amount of time to prepare for the Premier League trip to Old Trafford, but Klopp will be pleased that no Reds appear to have picked up injuries during domestic action’s two-week hiatus.

But avoiding injuries are only one part of the issue: fatigue sets in to players for a number of reasons, game time and travel being two prominent ones.

So who travelled furthest, and played the most, for Liverpool in this international break? The first table below shows the breakdown by miles (as posted by one helpful Reddit user); the second shows those who played no match minutes at all.

Without question, the most affected player from the international break is key forward Roberto Firmino: he travelled the joint-furthest and played a significant part in both matches, with Sadio Mane playing the full 90 in just one game at the same location, Singapore.

Fabinho, frustratingly from his perspective, only managed a brief cameo once after such a long journey—but for Liverpool, the good news is that Brazil finished their fixtures early and both players should have returned midweek. Senegal only had one game, so Mane, too, would not have been delayed in getting back to Melwood.

 Liverpool's Andy Robertson (L) celebrates scoring the second goal with team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Liverpool FC and FC Salzburg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

With the demands placed on Liverpool’s full-backs, it’s perhaps as well that Trent Alexander-Arnold didn’t feature once for England, given his partner in crime on the opposite flank, Andy Robertson, didn’t miss a minute for Scotland.

Divock Origi‘s sharpness won’t have been helped by long trips without any involvement, but Dejan Lovren—after playing once against Leicester before the break—has now played three games in two weeks, a nice step-up in involvement.

The Reds’ Dutch duo had the mixed bag of full involvement but relatively short-haul flights, while none of the youngsters are likely to feature against Man United in any case. Curtis Jones started once and came on as sub once for England U19s, but at the time of writing there is no record of his game time off the bench.

Perhaps the key table for Jurgen Klopp and his decisions on team news, though, is the second—and the number of players who could be fresh for the trip to Man United.

Mo Salah being excused from duty, Alisson‘s final stages of injury recovery and the non-involvement for his nation of Joel Matip gives three key pillars of the team the chance to be fit, fresh and ready for a massive game.

Add in that there is every possibility that at least one of James Milner or Naby Keita start in midfield, and the Reds can count themselves reasonably well-off for senior players being ready and rested ahead of this fixture.

It’s more than likely in midfield where the boss will once again have a big decision to make as far as the starting lineup goes, but the relative lack of action at full-back, for the alternative attackers off the bench and for several key starters down the spine all means Liverpool should be able to play at full power and intensity at Old Trafford.

And that’s a difficult prospect to stop at the best of times, let alone when we’re top, have a perfect record and are chasing victory to equal another pair of league records.

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Man Utd-Liverpool 'still the biggest game'

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 12:52
Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday from 3pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 16/10/19 4:38pm

1:37 Manchester United against Liverpool remains the biggest game in English football, says Jose Enrique Manchester United against Liverpool remains the biggest game in English football, says Jose Enrique

Manchester United versus Liverpool remains "is still the biggest game" of the season, says Jose Enrique.

Just eight games into the season, United trail Liverpool by 15 points ahead of this weekend's clash between the two sides, which is live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm on Sunday.

Man Utd vs Liverpool

October 20, 2019, 3:00pm

Live on

But despite the gap between the teams, former Liverpool defender Enrique says nothing compares to the blood and thunder of a clash between English football's two most successful sides.

"It is and it still is [the biggest game of the season] even if United is not doing as well now," Enrique told Sky Sports News.

0:48 Dirk Kuyt says the current Liverpool side have enough belief to beat Manchester United on Sunday Dirk Kuyt says the current Liverpool side have enough belief to beat Manchester United on Sunday

"For the players, for the fans, it is still the biggest game. Even Liverpool's rivalry with City, even with the way they are doing [pales in comparison]. The rivalry between United and Liverpool is different.

"The preparation is the same. The only thing when you play this game is in your mind you are more nervous than other games - that is obvious.

"It's another game, it's [potentially] three points more, but for the fans and the players it means more. So if you win it, you have a good night after the game!"

0:28 Darren Fletcher is backing Marcus Rashford to have a big impact when Manchester United host Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports Darren Fletcher is backing Marcus Rashford to have a big impact when Manchester United host Liverpool on Sunday, live on Sky Sports 'It is a really rough game'

Asked what it is like for the players in the Old Trafford tunnel before they walk out, Enrique said: "It's an amazing feeling. I like the pressure when you play for big teams like Liverpool and Manchester United.

"Every player likes the pressure - that's why they play for these teams - but when you go there you forget about everything.

"You focus on the game - and it is a really rough game, a lot of tackles, a lot of intensity but you feel privileged to be there. That is how I was feeling."

Jose Enrique ended his career at Real Zaragoza in his homeland Jose Enrique ended his career at Real Zaragoza in his homeland Jose Enrique ended his career at Real Zaragoza in his homeland 'Roberston is unbelievable'

Former left-back Enrique played 99 games across five seasons in all competitions for Liverpool after completing a £7m switch to Merseyside from Newcastle in 2011.

Current Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson is just nine appearances shy of the Spaniard's Liverpool tally and Enrique believes the Scotland captain can lay claim to being considered as the best player in the world in his position.

"He is unbelievable," Enrique said. "I've said it before, for me, last year he was the best left-back in the world.

"I know that was given to Marcelo but that was not fair in my opinion. Not just because Liverpool won the Champions League but because he has been an amazing player fort Liverpool.

"He gives so much to that side. And him and Mane together [on Liverpool's left] - I wouldn't want to be on the right side for the other team."

How to watch Manchester United vs Liverpool

Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Super Sunday from 3pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 4.30pm.

Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold enters Guinness World Records book

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 10:18

Trent Alexander-Arnold has officially been entered into the Guinness World Records book for 2020.

The 21-year-old has been recognised for claiming the most English Premier League assists by a defender in a single season after tallying 12 in the division last term.

Alexander-Arnold said: "It's an honour. I've always wanted to go forward and help the team to create as many chances as possible.

“It's obviously down to the lads to put the ball into the back of the net, because football is a team game and without them, the manager and all the support in the background, this record wouldn't be possible.

“I always used to read [the Guinness World Records book] as a kid because they’re fun to read, to see the different records and what people are up to all around the world. It’s an unbelievably proud moment for me and all of my family – and hopefully something that will stand for a few years.”

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Alexander-Arnold was famously in friendly competition with fellow Liverpool full-back Andy Robertson to see who could end 2018-19 with the most assists.

The No.66 joked: "He probably thought he had the competition wrapped up!

“Near the end of the season we both hit really good form, we were both getting lots of assists and it was good to help the team in those games that we needed to win.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold enters Guinness World Records book

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 10:18
Trent Alexander-Arnold has officially been entered into the Guinness World Records book for 2020.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Man Utd vs Liverpool: Who's fresher?

Liverpool FC on Sky Sports - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 10:00
Adam Smith

Data and Analysis @AdamDatasmith

Watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm on Sunday; Kick-off 4.30pm

Last Updated: 16/10/19 2:39pm

Manchester United host Liverpool in a blockbuster clash live on Sky Sports Premier League this Sunday - but which team is fresher after international duties?

Liverpool are more likely to suffer from fatigue this weekend after clocking 66,553 air miles over the past week - three times the distance covered by Manchester United players.

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In addition, Liverpool's travelling contingent collectively played 1,121 minutes for their national sides, compared with 913 minutes by United players.

Fabinho and Roberto Firmino faced team-mate Sadio Mane as Brazil and Senegal played out a 1-1 draw in Singapore - the most distant destination - with Firmino opening the scoring and Mane winning the equalising penalty.

Divock Origi also covered considerable distance on duty, sitting on the bench during Belgium's 9-0 win over San Marino on native soil, before spending another 90 minutes on the sidelines in a 2-0 win in Kazakhstan.

Who played the most?

Five Liverpool players clocked every minute in both fixtures, including Jordan Henderson (England), Georginio Wijnaldum, Virgil van Dijk (both Netherlands), Andy Robertson (Scotland) and Dejan Lovren (Croatia).

4:06 Georginio Wijnaldum scored a match-winning double for the Netherlands against Belarus Georginio Wijnaldum scored a match-winning double for the Netherlands against Belarus

For United, only Harry Maguire (England) and Daniel James (Wales) played every minute, with the latter appearing to suffer concussion in a 1-1 draw with Slovakia - only for manager Ryan Giggs to claim he was simply being "streetwise".

0:34 Ryan Giggs admits Daniel James 'was just using his nous' when receiving lengthy treatment from medics on the pitch after being clattered by Domagoj Vida Ryan Giggs admits Daniel James 'was just using his nous' when receiving lengthy treatment from medics on the pitch after being clattered by Domagoj Vida

In total, four players failed to clock game time during the international schedule, including Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Origi for Liverpool, and Tahith Chong for United.

United youngster Angel Gomes has experienced only nine minutes in the Premier League this season but netted both goals as England U20s drew 2-2 with Italy U20s, before featuring in a dismal 3-0 defeat to the Czech Republic U20s.

Meanwhile, team-mate Marcus Rashford ended a three-game goal drought in an England shirt during the racism-marred 6-0 win against Bulgaria in Sofia.

5:02 Highlights of the European Qualifying Group A match between Bulgaria and England Highlights of the European Qualifying Group A match between Bulgaria and England Injury news

Did James suffer concussion on duty for Wales? If he did, he would almost certainly be ruled out this weekend. But United have one more serious doubt for Sunday.

David de Gea suffered a groin strain on the hour mark during Spain's 1-1 draw with Sweden, which also saw Victor Lindelof start for the opposition - despite injury concerns of his own.

3:15 Spain sealed qualification in second-half stoppage time against Sweden Spain sealed qualification in second-half stoppage time against Sweden

A host of other United stars have been sidelined with injuries, but Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Mason Greenwood and Phil Jones are all in contention to be fit, while Paul Pogba remains a doubt.

As United's No 1 looks set to be sidelined, Liverpool stopper Alisson is on course for a return after suffering a calf injury in the opening game of the season, while Joel Matip, Mo Salah and Xherdan Shaqiri should be fit.

Could Sergio Romero be called into action for Manchester United? Could Sergio Romero be called into action for Manchester United? Could Sergio Romero be called into action for Manchester United?

So will Liverpool feel the fatigue with key frontmen Firmino and Mane collectively racking up more than 27,000 air miles alone, while regulars Henderson, Wijnaldum, Robertson and Van Dijk all endured two full games on duty.

Meanwhile, are De Gea and James fit to start for United? You can watch Manchester United vs Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League from 3pm (kick-off 4.30pm) on Sunday to find out...

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Internationals: Brewster assists in emphatic England U21s victory

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 09:43

Rhian Brewster claimed an assist and won a penalty as England U21s defeated Austria 5-1 at Stadium MK on Tuesday night in UEFA U21 EURO qualifying.

The Liverpool forward entered the action as a substitute just after the hour mark and wasted little time in making his mark.

Brewster’s low cross from the right was clinically tucked away by Eddie Nketiah – currently on loan at Leeds United from Arsenal - to complete his hat-trick.

The Reds youngster was then felled inside the area to win a spot-kick, but this time Nketiah was foiled by the goalkeeper.

Elsewhere, Caoimhin Kelleher was between the posts for the Republic of Ireland U21s, but couldn’t prevent them going down to a 1-0 defeat to Iceland.

Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen's first-half penalty clinched the points for the home side in Reykjavik.

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Internationals: Brewster assists in emphatic England U21s victory

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 09:43
Rhian Brewster claimed an assist and won a penalty as England U21s defeated Austria 5-1 at Stadium MK on Tuesday night in UEFA U21 EURO qualifying.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool linked with bid for Leeds loanee

HEAD NEWS - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 09:09

Brighton are determined to keep Ben White despite interest in the defender from Liverpool.

The 22-year-old is currently on a season-long loan with Leeds United and his impressive start to the season with the Yorkshire club has caught the attention of Liverpool.

And according to the Brighton and Hove newspaper, The Argus, Liverpool are willing to pay Brighton £20million for White.

However, the report also claims Brighton have no intention of selling their young prospect.

White, who has previously been sent out on loan to Newport County and Peterborough United, has already established himself as a key starting player for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Southampton academy player has played in 10 of Leeds' 11 Championship games this season.

He has also been a vital part of the improvement seen in Leeds' defence this season - they have only conceded seven goals in 11 games, the fewest in the league.

And Bielsa has spoken highly of the centre-half, who can also fill in as a right-back. He thinks the youngster is composed on the ball and does not make a lot of mistakes, while also taking risks.

Source: Daily Express

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Liverpool linked with bid for Leeds loanee

LiverpoolFC.TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 09:09

Brighton are determined to keep Ben White despite interest in the defender from Liverpool.

The 22-year-old is currently on a season-long loan with Leeds United and his impressive start to the season with the Yorkshire club has caught the attention of Liverpool.

And according to the Brighton and Hove newspaper, The Argus, Liverpool are willing to pay Brighton £20million for White.

However, the report also claims Brighton have no intention of selling their young prospect.

White, who has previously been sent out on loan to Newport County and Peterborough United, has already established himself as a key starting player for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa.

The former Southampton academy player has played in 10 of Leeds' 11 Championship games this season.

He has also been a vital part of the improvement seen in Leeds' defence this season - they have only conceded seven goals in 11 games, the fewest in the league.

And Bielsa has spoken highly of the centre-half, who can also fill in as a right-back. He thinks the youngster is composed on the ball and does not make a lot of mistakes, while also taking risks.

Source: Daily Express

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool linked with bid for Leeds loanee

LiverpoolFC TV - Wed, 10/16/2019 - 09:09
Brighton are determined to keep Ben White despite interest in the defender from Liverpool.
Categories: LFC NEWS

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