LFC NEWS

FA Community Shield: TV channels and live coverage details

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 14:03

Liverpool meet Arsenal in the 2020 FA Community Shield on Saturday, with kick-off at Wembley scheduled for 4.30pm BST.

The behind-closed-doors match will be broadcast live in the UK on BT Sport. 

Extended highlights will be available on LFCTV GO from 12pm on Sunday. Visit liverpoolfc.com/watch now to start a free one-month trial of LFCTV GO using the code 1920GOFREE – this can be cancelled at any time.

Our Match Centre will provide dedicated build-up, minute-by-minute updates and reaction throughout the day on Liverpoolfc.com and the Official LFC App, including video content, interactive features and live audio commentary.

For coverage schedules in regions outside the UK, visit TheFA.com or check with local broadcasters.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

FA Community Shield: TV channels and live coverage details

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 14:03
Liverpool meet Arsenal in the 2020 FA Community Shield on Saturday, with kick-off at Wembley scheduled for 4.30pm BST.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Red Neighbours' Walking Football returns

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 11:00

Liverpool FC's community team, Red Neighbours, is set to relaunch its popular Walking Football sessions next month, following their postponement in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the changes to restrictions and government advice, the sessions will return to Anfield Sports and Community Centre on Monday September 7 and Friday September 11, and at All Saints High School, Kirkby on Wednesday September 9.

Each session will now have added precautionary measures in order to maintain the health and safety of all participants and volunteers.

Walking Football is designed to encourage over 50s to engage in regular physical activity in an enjoyable and social setting. From its initial launch in Anfield in 2017, Walking Football has proved to be incredibly successful, growing from one session a week to three in two locations – Anfield and Kirkby. Attendee numbers have also increased considerably over the last three years, from six players initially to more than 80 players attending every week.

Forbes Duff, Red Neighbours manager, said: “It’s a pleasure to announce that our Walking Football session will be back up and running next month.

“Following an extremely difficult period due to COVID-19, it’s great to be able to bring back a sense of normality to the community through our weekly sessions in both Anfield and Kirkby, which we know our local residents really enjoy.

“We look forward to welcoming back our regular players along with new members as we kick-start the sessions.”

Promoting an active community is one of the four key areas of focus for the Red Neighbours programme, alongside support for the elderly; food poverty and education; and creating memorable experiences for young people.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Red Neighbours' Walking Football returns

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 11:00
Liverpool FC's community team, Red Neighbours, is set to relaunch its popular Walking Football sessions next month, following their postponement in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool are “officially interested” in Thiago – but playing a “waiting game”

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 10:20

Liverpool’s interest in Thiago has been confirmed by another reliable source on Merseyside, but a move is yet to materialise as Michael Edwards bides his time.

The Reds have become renowned for their prowess in the transfer market in recent years, largely due to the nous of their sporting director.

Edwards has been able to negotiate a host of deals that have helped return the club to the top of English and European football.

But there has always been a measure of caution about his work, with Liverpool looking to operate in a self-sustaining model, as evidenced by the arrivals of Alisson and Virgil van Dijk being paid for by the sale of Philippe Coutinho in 2018.

When it comes to Thiago, the club are playing a waiting game, but The Athletic‘s Simon Hughes has joined the local reporters confirming Liverpool’s interest in the Bayern Munich midfielder.

Hughes echoes the Independent‘s Melissa Reddy and the Telegraph‘s Chris Bascombe on this line, while the likes of the Times‘ Paul Joyce and The Athletic’s James Pearce have yet to quash speculation.

This comes despite repeated claims from the Liverpool Echo, citing ‘club sources’, that there is no intention of pursuing the 29-year-old.

All signs point towards an eventual move for Thiago, with Hughes writing that Bayern “expect” their No. 6 to move to Anfield, while adding that multiple sources had told him the player is “waiting for Edwards to make his move.”

“Officially, Liverpool are interested,” he continued, but claimed there has been a “shrugging of shoulders” from the Spaniard’s camp as to why there has been no progress so far.

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

On Wednesday, Bascombe suggested that the Reds may need to part ways with Gini Wijnaldum—who, like Thiago, is in the final year of his contract with no prospect of an extension—before a deal can be made.

Liverpool’s conviction in not renewing terms with Wijnaldum would suggest they have a replacement already lined up, and common sense indicates that is Thiago.

It may depend further on sales of the likes of Marko Grujic, Harry Wilson and Xherdan Shaqiri, and whether Thiago is willing to wait for the club he believes, according to one source, are “the best team on the planet aside from Bayern.”

Hughes notes that deals for both Alisson and Van Dijk were far from straightforward, and in a way this should soothe any concern over why a move has not been engineered yet.

But Edwards’ overriding priority is said to be “a quest for financial balance.”

 ©UEFA)

Jurgen Klopp will likely be eager to bring Thiago in before the start of the Premier League campaign on September 12, but it is no surprise that a deal is yet to be agreed with Bayern.

Thiago’s last game for the club was the Champions League final, less than a week ago, and he will now embark on a short break before the start of the new season.

The hope is that he will begin 2020/21 in the same colours, but at a different club in Liverpool.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jordan Henderson exclusive: There's been no title talk during pre-season

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 10:00

Talk of Liverpool's Premier League title win hasn't been on the agenda during pre-season, Jordan Henderson has revealed - with the Reds' focus now on the forthcoming 2020-21 campaign.

Jürgen Klopp's squad returned to Merseyside this week after reconvening for the first time since ending the club's 30-year wait for the championship at a training camp in Austria.

However, there's been no chatter among the players about being England's champions, the captain told Liverpoolfc.com, during an extended sit-down interview at the team hotel on the outskirts of Salzburg.

"To be honest, we haven't spoken about it," Henderson said. "It's more about, 'Have you enjoyed your holiday?' We've been cracking on, really working hard. New season, new start and a lot more things we want to go on and achieve.

"[I'm] really excited to see what we can do this season, another big season for us. Hopefully we can take confidence from the last year or two but we need to stay hungry and need to keep the desire to go and want more.

"I can certainly see that from the first days that I've watched training in pre-season."

LFCTV GO: Watch our Jordan Henderson exclusive in full

Liverpool undertook double sessions most days in Austria to start preparations for the new season.

Henderson - who is continuing his rehabilitation from a knee injury - was impressed by what he has witnessed in training.

"You've got to look at the players in the squad and the manager as well, it's always about looking forward and wanting more and improving," continued the skipper.

"I think that's just natural to us now. We've always looked at the next game as we always see it as the biggest one and that 90 minutes we give everything to win.

"Pre-season is no different, you know you've got to train so hard to be ready for the first game of the season, which for us comes against Arsenal in the Community Shield – so a little bit earlier than everybody else.

"We've got to be right at it come that first game and we've got another chance to win silverware. After that, the Premier League starts pretty quick after that as well, so you need to be ready, as you do in every season. As I say, by the looks of it, we are."

Henderson is one of several members of the Liverpool squad to have been a fan of Netflix's hit series The Last Dance – the behind-the-scenes documentary about the Chicago Bulls' relentless success of the 1990s.

Each season carried a theme for the NBA side as they strode towards six championships in seven years.

So, what would Liverpool's theme be for the new season?

"To go again, to improve, to be better, to keep that desire, that hunger and that competitiveness as we've shown over the last few years," Henderson replied.

"Just to keep going and win as many trophies as we can because we've proven that over the last few years we're a top, top team. But that's all down to the hard work and dedication that's been over the whole season or the whole two, three, four years – however many years you want to go back – every single day in training was top level, 100 per cent.

"No matter whether you were playing, maybe playing every game or you hadn't played that much, training has always had a high level and we've got to keep that going forward.

"If we do that, we'll always have an opportunity to be more successful in the future."

Watch our extended interview with Jordan Henderson on LFCTV GOUse code 2021GOFREE to start a free one-month trial of LFCTV GO now - this can be cancelled at any time.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Jordan Henderson exclusive: There's been no title talk during pre-season

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 10:00
Talk of Liverpool's Premier League title win hasn't been on the agenda during pre-season, Jordan Henderson has revealed - with the Reds' focus now on the forthcoming 2020-21 campaign.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Premier League in talks to show every game live on TV until fans return

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:33

The Premier League could U-turn on their plan to return to a normal broadcasting schedule next season, with there a possibility all games will be shown live.

It emerged last week that the Premier League could see 160 games not broadcast live in the UK in 2020/21, despite there still being restrictions on fans attending.

Saturday will see the first top-level English game played in front of fans since March as Brighton host Chelsea in a pre-season friendly, with 2,500 supporters permitted entry to the Amex.

But issues between the 20 clubs and rights holders have so far led to no agreement over broadcasting 42 percent of the games despite there being no guarantee of full stadia at any point in the season.

Fans would undoubtedly suffer as a result, with the news prompting widespread criticism—the main argument being that supporters would find any means to watch their side, regardless of whether they are on TV in the UK or not.

Now, the Times report that talks are underway between the Premier League and the government in a bid to allow fans access to games on TV while they are unable to attend.

Sky Sports and BT Sport are said to be “also making preparations to expand their coverage in case they are asked to do so.”

 Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, there is no inclination to make games free-to-air as was the case at the back end of last season, when a host of fixtures were broadcast on Sky Pick or BBC One.

It is a sensible development, with the interest of public safety in mind while mass gatherings are still banned, and it could, in turn, boost the hospitality trade further.

With pubs and bars now reopened following lockdown measures in the UK, games will be able to be shown live in 2020/21, allowing fans another option to meet safely and watch their side.

Liverpool kick off the Premier League campaign at home to newly promoted Leeds, and while the fixture is currently scheduled for 3pm on Saturday, September 12, that will undoubtedly be moved for broadcast.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'prepare to make Thiago approach in the coming days'

HEAD NEWS - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:19

Hansi Flick has admitted that Bayern Munich will 'lose some players who have tremendous quality'.

Despite winning the Champions League, Bayern's squad could be rather different next season, with Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara amongst those who could depart.

Flick's comments come as Liverpool are preparing to make an approach for Thiago in the coming days, according to SportBILD.

Full story: MailOnline

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

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'prepare to make Thiago approach in the coming days'

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:19

Hansi Flick has admitted that Bayern Munich will 'lose some players who have tremendous quality'.

Despite winning the Champions League, Bayern's squad could be rather different next season, with Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara amongst those who could depart.

Flick's comments come as Liverpool are preparing to make an approach for Thiago in the coming days, according to SportBILD.

Full story: MailOnline

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

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool 'prepare to make Thiago approach in the coming days'

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:19
Hansi Flick has admitted that Bayern Munich will 'lose some players who have tremendous quality'.
Categories: LFC NEWS

'It's boss playing Scouse music in America' - Banners picks his LFC playlist

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:06

Liverpudlian artist Michael Joseph Nelson – who performs under the name Banners – has kicked off our new series of guest music playlists.

Nelson, whose debut album Where the Shadow Ends was released in October 2019, comes from a family of lifelong Reds and a thread of local tunes runs through his selection of songs for Liverpoolfc.com.

“I wanted to have a load of Liverpool music in there so I thought I’d make a home and an away team,” he explained. “The home team is obviously all Liverpool bands and the away team is music from everywhere else that I really love!

“Which Beatles song to pick was a bit of a tough one but I went with She Loves You because the Kop are singing it in that Panorama documentary from the ‘60s. They’re singing Cilla Black too but she didn’t make the cut on my playlist. Sorry Cilla.

“Before I play gigs I have an entirely Liverpool bands playlist. It’s boss playing in North America and getting the crowds to listen to Scouse music.

“I also come on stage to Heart As Big As Liverpool by Pete Wylie and the Mighty Wah so I’ve got that on there too. (If Pete is reading this, I hope that’s alright with you, mate.) Up the Reds.”

Listen to Banners’ playlist on Liverpool FC Spotify below – and scroll down for our interview with Nelson on all things LFC, Liverpool and music…

How did you become a Liverpool fan?

My family have supported the Reds for generations so there wasn’t a choice really. The first game I went to was in 1994, I don’t remember loads from it other than Robbie Fowler getting the ball on the touchline. Me and my dad were in the Centenary Stand, now the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand, on about the halfway line. The bit that I do remember really, really vividly was walking up the concourse steps. Seeing the night sky lit up by floodlights, then the lights on the top of the old Main Stand, then the crowd, then the greenest, most beautiful pitch. Like it was glowing. There’s no going back then, is there?

What’s your matchday routine?

My grandad has been going with the same group of mates since the FA Cup final in 1965 and they’ve been meeting up at the same pub the whole time. So I’ll pick up my dad and my brother and meet up with the rest of my family at the King Charles pub off Oakfield Road. I’ll put my pound in and pick the first goalscorer out of the hat. My grandad runs this and is absolutely rubbish at spelling players’ names. Coutinho used to be spelled “Cortina”, for example. I’m excited to see how he gets on with Tsimikas. I don’t know if you can have a word but it’d do us all a favour if he can go by “Kostas” for the season. I like getting into the ground for the warm-ups. Everyone’s season ticket is row 11 of the Kop just behind the goal so I’ll watch shooting practice from there and leg up to the back where my ticket is, in block 306, for kick-off. Kiss my scarf for luck and then sing my little heart out.

What is your favourite Liverpool memory?

So hard to pick one! Actually it’s probably not a matchday one. For the 20th anniversary of Hillsborough there was a charity version of The Fields of Anfield Road recorded. My dad produced it and I helped out with some engineering, and did some singing. I’m doing the harmonies in there. During the anniversary service at Anfield it got played to the 33,000 people that were there and then it got a big round of applause. Just to have had a small part in a thing that’s so important to us all, that was playing at Anfield and then applauded by the crowd, is something I’ll never forget. Oh and when Dudek saved Shevchenko’s penalty!

What is your favourite Liverpool chant or song?

I’ve always really loved singing “Oh come let us adore them” at Christmas. Of the more recent ones the Van Dijk/Pogues one is boss and I love the “La, la, la, Liverpool, Liverpool” to the tune of Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel. We’re lucky to have such inventive fans, aren’t we? So many boss songs!

Who is your favourite Liverpool player?

I genuinely love them all so it’s a bit like choosing a favourite child, but I think it’s Bobby Firmino you know. I don’t think it gets better than having a Brazilian No.9, especially one that plays like he does. What a fella. I also love Henderson and I’m so happy for him. I think he’s such an inspirational captain. I used to love Robbie Fowler and McManaman when I was a kid. Then Michael Owen (I know, I know) and Stevie Gerrard. My grandad would like me to mention Billy Liddell at this point, who was apparently better than all of them put together.

What’s your favourite thing about Liverpool as a city?

That it’s so welcoming to outsiders. That it’s a port city so it’s made up of a huge mix of cultures that make it totally unique. That it’s a little republic out on its own. Scouse not English! And that wherever you go in the world people know it because of the footy and music. We’re so lucky to have a football team that represents our city so well, and a manager and players that understand how important it is to be good ambassadors for the city.

What are your predictions for the new season?

I think it’s gonna be brilliant. I think the players are going to want to win the league in front of supporters and I think that’s going to drive them on. I’d expect other teams to strengthen but I think that there’s areas that Liverpool are gonna get better too. As crazy as that sounds! I trust our manager so much that I’m dead excited to see what he, Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz come up with over the summer. I think Tsimikas looks a really good signing and I’m dead, dead excited about seeing more of Curtis Jones, Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott.

If you had to pick one – football or music?

Football. Next question!

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

'It's boss playing Scouse music in America' - Banners picks his LFC playlist

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 09:06
Liverpudlian artist Michael Joseph Nelson – who performs under the name Banners – has kicked off our new series of guest music playlists.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Inside Salzburg: Behind the scenes of Reds' pre-season friendly

LiverpoolFC.TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 08:55

Enjoy Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Salzburg from a different perspective in our latest behind-the-scenes video.

Inside Salzburg offers a fresh look at the pre-season friendly at Red Bull Arena, which ended all square thanks to Rhian Brewster's clinical second-half brace.

Take a look for yourself below.

[embedded content]

Use code 2021GOFREE to start a free one-month trial of LFCTV GO now - this can be cancelled at any time.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Inside Salzburg: Behind the scenes of Reds' pre-season friendly

LiverpoolFC TV - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 08:55
Enjoy Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Salzburg from a different perspective in our latest behind-the-scenes video.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Team spirit key to Liverpool’s success – just like it was in the ’80s

ThisIsAnfield.com - Thu, 08/27/2020 - 07:00

Liverpool legend Ian Rush has drawn comparisons with the mentality and team camaraderie of Bob Paisley’s sides in the 1980s with that of Jurgen Klopp‘s champions.

Liverpool’s most prolific goalscorer was a key cog in the success the club achieved in the ’80s, a member of five league title-winning sides in an era where having a winning mentality was non-negotiable.

Alongside that was a team spirit which propelled the Reds to highest of highs both domestically and in Europe, where it is, to borrow Klopp’s adage, all “about pushing the train, not jumping on the running” one.

In Rush’s era, the most successful period in Liverpool’s history, the standards and mentality were instilled by the likes of Paisley, Ronnie Moran, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Joe Fagan.

And when you fast-forward 30 years you can draw parallels between the two teams’ road to the top of not only English football, but European and the world – with Klopp, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Virgil van Dijk helping to lead the way.

“The team spirit [has been key to the current success],” Rush said in an all-encompassing chat with five lucky Liverpool fans as part of a Lavazza digital breakfast.

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)

“I think what Jurgen Klopp has done is managed to get a great team spirit going, they are individual players but he’s got them to play as a team,” says Rush.

“I remember when we played in the ‘80s under Bob Paisley, he said: ‘The easiest thing is the XI that starts, the hardest thing as a manager is keeping the people who are not playing happy.’

“That’s a sign of a good spirit, because if you’re not playing you want the team to lose because you want to get in the side.

“In the ‘80s, even the players who were not playing wanted the team to win. And I can see exactly the same in this squad as well. Jordan Henderson, his leadership has been absolutely fantastic.

“And I just think it’s a complete utter team spirit that comes from the manager.”

It’s not in Liverpool’s DNA, however, to reach the top and put on the breaks, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Ronnie Moran’s dressing room move with the league winners’ medals is well documented and for Rush, it was an early eye-opener into life at Liverpool and how success was measured by what came next.

“I remember when I first won my medal it was against Tottenham and I remember Ronnie Moran put the medals on a chair and said: ‘Right, anyone who thinks they deserve a medal come and take one’,” Rush recalled.

“And myself and Ronnie Whelan were only youngsters at the time and we panicked so badly. The only two that got up were Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness, and me and Ronnie wouldn’t get up.

“Then he said ‘I’m only joking, go and get your medals.’ So we got our medals and as soon as we put them around our neck, he said: ‘don’t worry, it’s three weeks and four days until pre-season – enjoy yourself now but be ready.’

“And that was Ronnie Moran all over, he made sure you kept your feet on the ground.”

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain notably echoed that sentiment when he questioned: “what’s the next thing we can go and win?” after the Premier League trophy presentation, as the job is far from over.

Liverpool celebrate with the Premier League trophy after the Premier League match at Anfield, ( Phil Noble/PA Wire/PA Images)

But the challenge for the Reds now is that “everyone wants to beat Liverpool. Paisley told us is that ‘the easiest thing is winning it, the hardest thing is retaining it.’”

Rush won three First Division titles in a row from 1982 to 1984 and his insight into the Reds and the various legendary figures is one to be cherished.

Alongside discussing the current Reds, in the brilliant chat with five fans, Rush also discussed his relationship with Bob Paisley, his pride over his goals against Everton taking prominence in ‘Poor Scouser Tommy’ and his short time short in Juventus.

* Lavazza UK are Liverpool’s official coffee partner, their LFC-branded Tiny Edition coffee machine is currently on offer, get yours here.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Subtly indispensable: The importance of Gini Wijnaldum to Klopp’s Liverpool

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 08/26/2020 - 19:00

Gini Wijnaldum’s influence may not jump out on the stats sheet but it is his subtle brilliance and reliability which makes him a key cog for Jurgen Klopp, and it must not be forgotten in the midst of clamour for a certain Spaniard, writes Jason Hughes.

Recent weeks and months have seen growing excitement among Liverpool fans at the prospect of Jurgen Klopp transitioning from his largely functional midfield towards a more progressive one, be it via a resurgent Naby Keita or the acquisition of Spanish playmaker Thiago.

The most likely casualty should such an ‘upgrade’ occur appears to be Gini Wijnaldum, whose contract continues to dwindle towards its end with no indications of a new one being tabled, with many seemingly viewing Gini as dispensable or upgradable.

However, while Thiago is undoubtedly a world-class midfielder who would add a different skillset to the Reds’ midfield, it should not be overlooked how Wijnaldum has quietly established himself as a crucial cog in Klopp’s all-conquering Liverpool machine.

Reliable and durable

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Perhaps one of the most underrated attributes in football, Gini’s virtual ever presence in Klopp’s side demonstrates not only his remarkable resilience to injury but also the faith that the manager places in him to perform a key role in making the side tick week in, week out.

The 29-year-old has played 186 out of a possible 213 games across all competitions since his arrival in the summer of 2016 and is one of the fittest among the Reds’ squad.

Wijnaldum’s importance to the Reds is highlighted further by the fact he made 37 appearances in the Premier League last season, 35 of which were starts, racking up 2948 minutes in the process.

These numbers saw Gini comfortably rank as Liverpool’s most relied upon midfielder last term, playing over 700 league minutes more than second-placed Jordan Henderson, with his almost impeccable fitness record allowing Klopp to consistently depend on him in the Reds’ engine room.

This constant availability is perhaps even more impressive considering the physical demands the German places on his midfielders, with Wijnaldum covering 283.86km in the Premier League prior to lockdown, second only to Roberto Firmino.

A key cog in the possession game

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum during the pre-match warm-up before a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

However, Wijnaldum’s importance to Klopp’s system goes far beyond his physical resilience, with his particular skillset and tactical nous making him the ideal candidate to perform a crucial, yet often underappreciated role in the side.

Liverpool’s use of a high defensive line that allows the full-backs to push up and provide width and creativity is well documented, and this high-risk strategy requires complete trust in every player to retain possession, in order to protect the centre-halves from becoming isolated on the counter.

While the Dutchman is not a creative midfielder, providing just six goals and zero assists in all competitions last season, his ability to keep the ball moving without conceding possession is evidenced by a passing accuracy of 90.8 percent across his average 43.9 passes per Premier League game.

It makes Wijnaldum Liverpool’s most accurate passer to have played five or more topflight games in 2019/20.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (L) and Georginio Wijnaldum during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

His detractors will point to his relatively low-risk passing style as a criticism, but ultimately Gini’s safe but efficient use of the ball is what allows Robertson and Alexander-Arnold to play high and wide without fear of being caught out of position on the counter-attack.

Wijnaldum’s knack of keeping Liverpool ticking over in possession is aided by his ability to protect the ball through his impressive strength and intelligent use of his body, with the sight of him holding off one or more opponents by shielding the ball until he breaks free or wins a free-kick now a common one for supporters.

In fact, only four Liverpool players bettered Gini’s 1.1 dribbles per game in the league last season, while only Sadio Mane was fouled more times per game.

Master of defensive positioning

 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)

Not only does Wijnaldum perform an important function in possession, but his positioning and work rate also allows him to cover for Robertson when he drives forward, just as Henderson covers Trent on the opposite flank.

While the 29-year-old’s defensive work is often less eye-catching than that of Fabinho and Henderson – he completed less than half as many tackles per game than the pair across 2019/20 – he boasts superior ball recoveries, making 189 in the league last season.

It demonstrates how his intelligent positioning not only protects Liverpool from the threat of a counter-attack but also allows the Reds to sustain attacks of their own by penning the opposition in their own half.

This positional sense is allied with the composure to avoid committing himself, highlighted by the fact that he is dribbled past on an average of just 0.8 times per game, less than his fellow midfield regulars – therefore, holding up opposition counter-attacks and allowing the Reds to regain their defensive shape.

While often understated and falling victim of statistics that don’t measure the intangibles, Wijnaldum’s role in the team is fundamental to the way Klopp’s Liverpool play, whether that be through retaining possession, sustaining attacks or snuffing out danger.

A big game player

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum (L) celebrates scoring the third goal with team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

While much of his work seems to go under the radar, he undoubtedly saves his headline moments for the big occasions under the lights, with Roma, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid all falling prey to the Dutchman’s aerial ability on huge European nights.

When added to Premier League strikes against Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Everton, it appears that Wijnaldum thrives against top opposition (and Everton). This ability to make a telling impact in high-pressure games is the cherry on top of Wijnaldum’s subtly brilliant cake.

In short, Wijnaldum’s durability, tactical nous, and technical and physical capabilities make him an invaluable asset who Jurgen Klopp wholeheartedly trusts to perform a vital role in a Liverpool team that strolled to the title last time out.

None of this is to say that the Reds shouldn’t seek to add a world-class operator such as Thiago to the ranks, however among the clamour for a marquee signing we must not underestimate the importance of Gini Wijnaldum’s subtle brilliance to how this Liverpool side functions.

* This is a guest article for This Is Anfield. If you’d like to contribute a piece for consideration please see this page. Follow Jason on Twitter, @Jason_Hughes66.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Klopp won’t dismiss Thiago ‘interest’ & no new Gini contract – Liverpool FC Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Wed, 08/26/2020 - 17:22

Liverpool’s transfer rumours continue on Wednesday, with talk of Wijnaldum’s exit, Thiago interest and more as we head toward the Community Shield.

Wijnaldum doesn’t have a new deal offer

If Thiago is to join, someone else has to leave. Maybe more than one someone. Marko Grujic seems a probable departure, but Gini Wijnaldum is also a possibility, according to some.

Now Chris Bascombe of the Telegraph reports that Wijnaldum, whose deal runs out in a year, won’t be offered a new contract to stay beyond 2021 – and so could be allowed to depart to make room for the Bayern man.

That is clarified somewhat by suggesting there’s no imminent departure for the No. 5, but also no definitive stance that a bid would be rejected out of hand.

Clearly, the midfield conundrum still has a way to run this summer.

Klopp opts against rejecting Thiago question

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp celebrates as the Reds are crowned Champions after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Shall we get excited yet? Asked about Liverpool’s rumoured interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, Jurgen Klopp could have done what he has done many times before.

A shake of the head, a rueful grin, a firm ‘no’ about a supposedly linked player. On occasions it’s an appreciative variation of “he’s good, but he’s not for us.”

Not so on this occasion, when ServusTV asked about the Spanish playmaker, instead offering a laugh and a non-committal reply.

“There are a lot of interesting players out there, but if someone is interesting for us I can´t say right now. Due to Covid you have to think five times about what you can and what you can´t do.

“We always have to pay attention to the financial aspect. We don´t know how much money will come in. Nobody knows but it seems like some other teams have a more positive outlook on the future. If you take a look at Chelsea, for example, yeah!

“But I am very happy with my team right now. If something transfer-related will happen we have to see.”

Rhian’s role and Wembley

 Liverpool's Rhian Brewster celebrates scoring the second goal during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

Three goals in two games is a good way to get yourself noticed in a shortened pre-season, but what’s next for our young striker?

Quickfire LFC news

 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah during a preseason friendly match between FC Red Bull Salzburg and Liverpool FC at the Red Bull Arena. (Pic by Propaganda)

  • Salah has been listed as the fourth-highest paid player in the world (TIA)
  • Brewster could move to Sheffield United on loan after the Blades held talks with the Reds (90 Mins)
  • Wales have called up Neco Williams to the senior squad as they look to cement his UEFA nationality for years to come (Echo)
  • And our Community Shield opponents Arsenal have goalkeeper Bernd Leno back, but Pablo Mari, Gabriel Martinelli and a handful of others are still injured (AFC)
Around the Prem

 FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks dejected during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Chelsea are finally completing a defensive signing: Thiago Silva from PSG. Let them attack and counter them with a high line, then! (Sky)
  • Coutinho wants to return to the Premier League rather than stay at Barca, with United, Chelsea and Arsenal all convinced enough by his two-goal cameo to suddenly be interested again (Marca)
  • And Fulham also now want Ollie Watkins, who should definitely be sacking his agent if he makes the wrong move or gets a poor deal, judging by the number of teams in for him (Sky)
Stupid incident of the day

The entire Harry Maguire fiasco, and we’re still not sure who is most to blame.

Tweet of the day

We all miss Daniel Agger.

That's one way to score your first ?#OnThisDay in 2006, Daniel Agger netted his reds debut goal… ?? ????? ? pic.twitter.com/AYNs51l7nj

— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 26, 2020

What we’re reading

LaLiga journalist Andy West details the Messi fallout and looks at what comes next, for BBC Sport.

And the Athletic have a lovely look back at Liverpool inflicting enormous “trauma” on Barcelona with the 4-0 Anfield comeback.

Worth watching tonight

For all you Champions League diehards and historical football buffs, Celtic vs Ferencvaros is the perfect crossover combination. 7:45pm on Premier Sports 1.

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Categories: LFC NEWS

Pages

Subscribe to LFC.SUpporters aggregator - LFC NEWS