27 Sep 2016

Klopp insists: 'Outstanding' €36m international is the 'best in the world'. Agree?

Who is the best goalkeeper in the world? One thing's for sure, it most definitely 'aint Simon Mignolet, but Jurgen Klopp has a view on the issue, and unsurprisingly, he's gone with the obvious choice. In an interview last week with The Guardian , Klopp mused: “At the moment, the best goalkeeper in the world plays at Bayern Munich, and he’s German. We always have good ones. That’s the kind of mentality we have, we like this job. Kids like to wear the gloves". I don't think many will disagree with Klopp's assessment here. Neuer's record at Bayern is formidable, and he's on fire again this season, with only 1 goal conceded in 8 games (7 clean sheets!). Granted, Bayern have a superb defensive unit, and a key component of their defensive solidity is the use of a dedicated defensive-midfield. Whether it's Kimmich, Vidal, or Martinez, Bayern play with a DM, and it makes a massive difference to their defensive solidity. One goal conceded in 8 game

26 Sep 2016

Carra insists: Klopp will 'probably' replace Jordan Henderson with 'excellent' £33m star as Liverpool's 'holding midfielder'

Is Emre Can now a squad player? Reds legends John Aldridge and Jamie appear to disagree on the issue, but according to Carra, Can - when fully fit - Last week will usurp Jordan Henderson as the Reds' number 6. Last week, Aldo told the Liverpool Echo : "Emre Can is an excellent player but...how does he get into that midfield? As things stand, he's waiting for an injury, or for someone to slip up". Carra has a different view, though, and when asked about Can's first team chances over the weekend, he noted : "The holding role is earmarked for Emre Can, and I expect him to return to that [when he's fit]. Jordan will probably play a slightly different position". I'm not so sure. Jurgen Klopp seems pretty enamoured with the Wijhendallana axis right now, and I suspect he'll stick with it, even if the Reds continue to leak goals. I'm not Can's biggest fan, but there's clearly room for a dedicated defensive-midfielder in the

Klopp insists: €14m Liverpool star cannot be 'outstanding' until he improves his 'skills' in one area

After starting against Derby last week, Marko Grujic returned to the bench for Saturday's victory over Hull, and according to Jurgen Klopp, Grujic must improve in one specific area if he's to have any chance of becoming a first-team regular. When asked about Grujic after the Derby game, Klopp hailed the Serb's performance as 'wonderful', but warned : “If [Grujic's] defensive skills had the same quality as the offensive skills then he will be an outstanding player. We are working on it". Grujic has already conceded that he needs to improve his defensive work. Speaking to the Liverpool Echo last week, he admitted: "When I came from the Serbian league, I didn’t really do a lot of defensive things. I know that. Klopp wants me to do more in defence. He has said that". Grujic is young, so he has plenty of time to work on the defensive side of the game, but given the intense physical demands Klopp places on his players, the €14m -rated midfie

Anfield Surprise: Klopp hails 'brilliant' €28m outcast and claims he's 'one of the best' players in training

Is it game over for Alberto Moreno? The error-prone Spaniard has been bench-bound for six of the last seven games, but based on Jurgen Klopp's latest comments, there may be a way back for Moreno. In his post-Hull press conference, Klopp enthused : "One of the best players in training in the last few weeks has been Alberto Moreno. He took the situation brilliantly and is in a really good moment". Moreno started Liverpool's midweek League Cup victory over Derby, and helped the club keep a clean sheet, so that's obviously a positive. When it comes to the league, though, James Milner has his feet firmly under the table, and given the Reds' superb current form, it will take a lot to displace him. I honestly believe that Moreno - who is dubiously rated at €28m by CIES - can still have a future at Liverpool, but only if Klopp coaches out his bad habits, specifically: * Reckless tackles,  some of which are so brainless that it's hard to comprehend how a

Boss Confirms: 'Yes', I tried to sign 'incredible' €20m Liverpool attacker; transfer failed due to 'high' cost

Prior to signing for Nice, ex-Red Mario Balotelli was heavily linked with a move to Palermo, and the Serie A side's President has now confirmed that he wanted to sign the Italian. On August 28th (three days before the transfer deadline), Palermo Vice-President Guglielmo Micciche told reporters : “We made an offer [for Balotelli]. now it’s up to Liverpool and the player. ". When asked this weekend about the deal, Mauricio Zamparino told Rai Sport : “Did I want Balotelli? Yes. The cost for Palermo was too high, I can’t allow that type of thing anymore. He is a golden boy. I am pro-Balotelli!” Balotelli has contributed 4 goals in his first two league games for Nice, but due to a new injury, he missed the club's 1-0 victory over Nancy on Sunday. According to the BBC , Balotelli 'was absent with an adductor muscle problem'. After such a great start in France, the last thing Balotelli needs is an injury disrupting his momentum... * Jul 2016: Described as a

'I know him': Klopp confirms he will 'talk' with 'brilliant' €23m international 'if he wants to'

After being dropped for Saturday's 5-1 victory over Hull, Simon Mignolet is on the outside looking in right now, but Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that he's willing to discuss the Belgian's relegation to the bench. When asked on Sunday about the possibility of Mignolet having a negative reaction to being dropped, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo : “If he [Mignolet] wants to talk we can talk, but it will be not a problem because I know him. We cannot promise line-up positions. After the game if someone wants to talk about it we can talk about it". Being dropped is a hammer blow for Mignolet's career, especially given the fact he's already second-choice goalkeeper for Belgium. If Mignolet remains a back-up at Liverpool, then there's little chance of him usurping Thibaut Courtois on the international stage. Mignolet may be magnanimous about the situation right now, but if he's on the bench for the next 8-9 months, I doubt he'll want to stay

25 Sep 2016

Anfield Smackdown: 97% of Liverpool fans insist Mane is better than 'fantastic' £63m attacker (Local Site Poll)

On Wednesday, Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier claimed that Sadio Mane is outperforming Raheem Sterling this season, and despite the fact it's actually the other way round (statistically), it comes as no surprise that Liverpool fans will - given the choice - take Mane over Sterling every day of the week. Speaking to Sky Sports this week, Le Tissier named Mane ahead of Sterling in his team of the season so far. He explained: "Mane has just a little bit more end product [than Sterling] and seems more in control of himself". I conducted a poll asking fans who they perceived to be the superior player, and results were emphatic: 97% of participants voted for Mane. Obviously, the result is significantly biased, but given his acrimonious exit from the club, Sterling - hailed by Pepe Guardiola as 'fantastic' - isn't likely to garner much support from the fanbase. Sterling and Mane both scored again over the weekend, but overall, Sterling's end produ

Anfield Alert: 68% of LFC fans urge 'wonderful' £20m attacker to leave Liverpool in January loan

Jurgen Klopp snubbed Danny Ings (again) for Saturday's victory over Hull City, and with the Liverpool's attacking players in such irresistible form, it's hard to see how he'll ever get a consistent run in the team. Is it time for Ings to consider moving on? Liverpool fans certainly seem to think so. Last week, I conducted a poll asking fans if Ings should leave Anfield to get regular first-team football. 68% of participants voted for him to go out on loan in January, and in my view, that's the best possible scenario. Prior to his transfer, I repeatedly argued against signing Ings as it was obvious (to me, anyway) that he'd never be given the chance to stake a claim as Liverpool's first (or even second) choice striker. Right now, Ings has Sturridge, Origi, and Firmino ahead of him in the pecking order, and if the worst case scenario happens, and all three get injured at the same time, Klopp will probably play Sadio Mane up-front (!) Ings is wasting

Liverpool Superstar: Prem legend compares Sadio Mane to 'outstanding' £55m attacker. Who's better?

With 24 goals/assist (combined), Liverpool's core set of attacking midfielders are on fire this season, and according to BBC pundit Robbie Savage, Sadio Mane is having a De Bruyne-like impact at Anfield. Reacting to Liverpool's 5-1 humbling of Hull City, Savage enthused : "He [mane] has made a big difference to Liverpool, and he could prove THE difference between glory and a near-miss. Over the first six weeks, only Kevin De Bruyne has shone as consistently as Mane". Mane has hit the ground running at Anfield, but the entire attacking unit has clicked this season, and if that continues, Liverpool will have a great chance of finishing in the top four. Stats so far: * Coutinho : 4 goals/3 assists in 7 apps (One every 62 mins) * Mane : 3 goals/ 3assists in 6 apps (One every 89 mins) * Lallana : 3 goals/3 assists in 7 apps (One every 92 mins) * Firmino : 3 goals/2 assists in 7 apps (One every 98 mins) It's rare for four attacking midfielders to reach d

Legend raves: Forget Lallana. 'Outstanding' £120k-a-week Liverpool star was MOTM vs. Hull. Agree?

Who was Liverpool's 'Man of the Match' against Hull City? There are several compelling candidates, but according to Saints legend Matt Le Tissier, makeshift left-back James Milner delivered the best performance of the day. Analysing the Reds' 5-1 victory for Sky Sports, Le Tissier raved : “Lallana was excellent [but] Milner’s outstanding performance stopped him getting man of the match.” Milner put in an impressive shift, but I'd have to go agree with the majority of Liverpool fans, who - via the club's official website - selected Adam Lallana as MoTM. I'm a major critic of Lallana, but only because he has consistently failed to deliver the goods over the last two seasons. However, this season, he has hit the ground running, and deserves credit for that. As regular visitors will attest, I judge all players the same way (i.e. using, where possible, objective criteria to establish if a player is fulfilling their primary role in the team), and if Lal

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