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‘I don’t like him’… Tim Sherwood says he’s really not a fan of £16m Liverpool player

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‘I don’t like him’… Tim Sherwood says he’s really not a fan of £16m Liverpool player

Wataru Endo arrived at Liverpool this summer as a relative unknown.

Indeed, the £16m midfielder was something of a shock signing at Anfield from Stuttgart this summer after the Reds missed out on both Romeo Lavia and Moises Caicedo.

While many had their doubts about Endo when he arrived, it didn’t take him long to win everyone over with his solid performances for the club. Well, almost everyone was won over.

Indeed, speaking on Premier League Productions, Tim Sherwood has claimed that he’s still not a fan of Endo, claiming that he actually really didn’t like the composition of Liverpool’s midfield away at Brentford this weekend.

The pundit shared his verdict on the Reds’ summer signing.

“Look at the back to front. They’re so quick, but I didn’t like their midfield, I really didn’t I didn’t like Mac Allister in that position, I don’t like Endo. Their range of passing, hit it quickly because it never gives the defenders any respite,” Sherwood said.

Are we missing something?
Everyone is entitled to their opinions on any player, but we can’t help but wonder what Sherwood has seen that we haven’t.

Endo really hasn’t put a foot wrong since joining the Reds, and over the weekend the Liverpool midfield were absolutely fine as they dominated Brentford away from home.

Endo has been fantastic almost every single time he’s played for the Reds, and he might actually be one of the better signings of the season.

Sherwood has seen something that he clearly doesn’t like, and it’s fair enough for him to have that point of view, but we wouldn’t mind a bit more technical analysis on what he doesn’t like about Endo rather than just saying his range of passing is limited.

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Jurgen Klopp gives injury update – 5 players out vs. Luton, Jota for “months”
February 20, 2024
Jack Lusby
Jurgen Klopp has provided a vague update on injuries to five Liverpool players, with Diogo Jota facing “months” out after suffering a major knee injury.

Heading into a huge week, with the visit of Luton in the Premier League coming days before the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, the Reds are missing a host of players.

Jota (knee) and Curtis Jones (ankle) both joined the injury list during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Brentford, with Alisson (hamstring) ruled out in the buildup.

Those three players will sit out of both games this week, along with Trent Alexander-Arnold (knee), while Dominik Szoboszlai (hamstring) remains sidelined at least against Luton.

 

In his pre-Luton press conference, Klopp was asked about injuries in his squad, with Alisson out for the “foreseeable.”

For Jota “it will obviously take months,” while the manager declined to give a timeframe for Jones.

“I would like to sit here and say we have absolutely no issues but obviously we have some,” Klopp explained.

“So, not available is obviously Ali, that’s a muscle injury where we don’t know exactly how long it takes but definitely not for foreseeable time coming back.

“Then we have Diogo with a knee issue, is ruled out. Curtis, with a bone ligament issue, ruled out.”

Darwin Nunez was brought off at half-time in the victory at Brentford, while there have been rumours over a setback for Mo Salah – but Klopp was not directly asked about either.

“The others, we will deal with day by day,” Klopp explained.

“For tomorrow, you see the lineup early enough and you can see who made it and didn’t make it.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Wednesday, September 27, 2023: Liverpool’s Dominik Szoboszlai during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
The manager added: “That’s it pretty much.

“The longer-term [injuries], like Trent and Dom, are on the way back, but not in team training yet, and so that means they are not available as well.

“That’s the situation, let me say it like that.”

Thiago (hamstring), Joel Matip (ACL), Stefan Bajcetic (calf) and Ben Doak (MCL) are also ruled out with long-term issues.

Alisson, Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, Dominik Szoboszlai, Injuries, Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool vs Luton, Luton, Trent Alexander-Arnold
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Liverpool starting lineup to face Luton Town – predicted

43 MINS AGO
ANDY HEADSPEATH
Liverpool have the Carabao Cup final in sight, but before that comes the test of Luton Town at home on Wednesday night.

Considering the ever-mounting injury crisis, Jurgen Klopp could’ve done with a week off to prepare for Sunday’s trip to Wembley and a chance at the first silverware of the season. However, the fixture pile-up means that isn’t an option.

While a home clash against one of the Premier League’s bottom three is, on paper at least, one of the nicer matches Liverpool might’ve been handed, Luton won’t roll over and make it easy for the Reds as they attempt to maintain the gap over Manchester City and avoid any more fitness issues.

The Hatters may have only won one of their last five in the league, but they have been much improved of late and Rob Edwards’ side have gone toe to toe with Newcastle and Manchester United, while smashing four past Brighton in one of the shock results of recent weeks.

Who Klopp wants to pick and is able to pick for this one are probably two very different things, with rotation a necessity rather than a luxury at the moment.

With multiple factors to consider, here’s how the Reds might line up at Anfield on Wednesday evening.

GOALKEEPER & DEFENCE

With Caoimhin Kelleher set to start the Carabao Cup final regardless, the Irishman is now set for another run in the team, with Alisson just the latest Liverpool star to be struck down by a hamstring injury.

Kelleher performed well in the Reds’ last two wins over Brentford and Burnley, but has kept just one clean sheet in four Premier League outings in 2023/24.

With Trent Alexander-Arnold out for the next couple of games at least, Conor Bradley should continue at right back.

However, the impressive youngster, who started his career as a winger, could also be an outside-the-box solution further forward given the injury crisis and his creative talents, while Joe Gomez is another option for right back.

Virgil van Dijk will likely remain in the team for midweek, though Ibrahima Konate, whose fitness record remains the stuff of concern, could be rested ahead of Sunday’s final. If so, expect Jarell Quansah to step in.

Andy Robertson should continue at left back, though Gomez and Kostas Tsimikas remain options for rotation if needed.

MIDFIELD

At the start of the month, it looked like Liverpool suddenly had choices again in the centre of the park, with Thiago’s long-awaited comeback complemented by Wataru Endo’s return from the Asian Cup.

However, Thiago has since been struck down with a new injury, while Curtis Jones and Dominik Szoboszlai have joined the 32-year-old in the treatment room.

Endo will likely continue at the base of midfield against Luton, with his industry and defensive nous required against the Hatters’ in-form and industrious paring of Ross Barkley and Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Alexis Mac Allister may then continue in a more advanced role, while Ryan Gravenberch should deputise for Jones.

Youngsters Bobby Clark and James McConnell too are options, but neither are likely to start.

ATTACK

Three of Liverpool’s regular five attackers are doubts ahead of this one, while there could be major rotation to protect players from further risk ahead of the final.

Mohamed Salah made his comeback with a goal and an assist against Brentford, but was only introduced in the first half after an injury to Diogo Jota.

There have been reports that the Egyptian is still recovering from his own hamstring issue and could be left out of the lineup here, with key games in the near future to consider.

If so, Harvey Elliott could be the man to take up the right flank, though Bradley is also an option.

Cody Gakpo should start ahead of Darwin Nuñez who was also subbed on Saturday with a possible issue.

Luis Diaz — the man who salvaged a point for Liverpool away at Kenilworth Road earlier this season — will almost certainly start on the left.

Young talents Kaide Gordon and Lewis Koumas could be part of the matchday squad, amid the availability issues.

PREDICTED LIVERPOOL STARTING XI VS LUTON TOWN
(4-3-3): Kelleher, Bradley, Quansah, Van Dijk, Robertson, Mac Allister, Endo, Gravenberch, Elliott, Gakpo, Diaz

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“I have sad news” – Major Liverpool ace has added to Klopp’s woes ahead of Carabao Cup final
CHELSEA FC LIVERPOOL FC
Posted by Jason Pettigrove2 hours ago

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The last thing that Jurgen Klopp would’ve wanted ahead of this weekend’s Carabao Cup final is more injuries to key Liverpool players.

However, despite a 4-1 win at Brentford last time out, that’s exactly what happened.

Klopp was already without Trent Alexander-Arnold for the showpiece, and with Diogo Jota having to be carried off the GTech Community Stadium turf on a stretcher, there was little doubt he was going to miss the final too.

Curtis Jones and Darwin Nunez were also substituted, but it was an injury to Mo Salah, just back after picking up a problem in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) that might be of most concern to the German.

“I have sad news, I learned that Salah suffered an injury at the end of the meeting between Liverpool and Brentford and renewed injury suffered during the camp of the Egyptian national team,” Ahmed Shoubir, speaking to Egyptian TV station OnTimeSports (h/t Liverpool ECHO) said.

“Salah unfortunately will not be able to play the next Liverpool Premier League match against Luton Town. This is my information and I hope that the news is not true, but it is largely true.”

Though Shoubir doesn’t mention Sunday’s final against Chelsea, if Salah is unable to play against Luton on Wednesday, it would surely be a huge risk for Klopp to consider the Egyptian King for the game against the Blues.

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With the remainder of the season in mind, the manager might be well advised to rest Salah from the start of the final and only think about bringing him on if the game appears to be getting away from the Reds.

What a shame from Liverpool’s point of view if their end of season starts to unravel because injuries begin to bite.

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I was sacked in blunt meeting in manager’s office after costly Liverpool mistake
John Arne Riise’s Liverpool career came to an end after a costly mistake against Chelsea – but the seeds might have first been sown against Luton Town three months earlier

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ByTheo SquiresLiverpool FC Writer
03:00, 20 FEB 2024
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John Arne Riise of Liverpool is dejected in defeat following the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge
John Arne Riise of Liverpool is dejected in defeat following the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge
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Liverpool welcome Luton Town to Anfield for the first time since January 2008 on Wednesday, as they look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table.

The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw by the Hatters at Kenilworth Road back in November as they required a Luis Diaz last-minute equaliser to earn a share of the spoils. But with Wednesday marking a year since they last lost at home (5-2 to Real Madrid in the Champions League), they’ll be hoping things are a little more straightforward against Luton at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have won 23 and drawn four of their 27 home matches over the past year, winning 16 of their 20 Premier League games at Anfield. Meanwhile, only Arsenal and Manchester United have stopped Liverpool from winning at home this season.

In truth, they found things rather simple the last time they hosted Luton too, running out 5-0 victors in the FA Cup third round 16 years ago. Ryan Babel opened the scoring just before half-time, before the Reds ran riot in the second half as Steven Gerrard netted a hat-trick and Sami Hyypia also scored.

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota injury latest as Liverpool suffer major Carabao Cup final blow

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While Gerrard started that day, he didn’t actually captain the side. Instead, Jamie Carragher wore the armband as he made his 500th appearance for the club.

Meanwhile, the midfielder was withdrawn instantly after scoring Liverpool’s fifth goal in the 71st minute. But he had to beg Rafa Benitez to leave him on earlier in the game as he went in search of his hat-trick.

“The manager called me over and said he was about to take me off,” Gerrard revealed at the time. “I pleaded with him to give me five minutes more because I wanted to get my hat-trick. I’m made up he let me because it’s always nice to get three goals.”

Yet while the Reds enjoyed a comfortable night at Anfield, they hadn’t when first facing Luton nine days earlier. Their 5-0 victory was a third round replay, with Liverpool held to a 1-1 draw in the initial meeting at Kenilworth Road.

Peter Crouch had opened the scoring in the 73rd minute in the original tie, only for a John Arne Riise own goal three minutes later to set up a replay. And in truth, the strike was perhaps a forewarning for the Norwegian as he navigated what would prove to be his final months at the club.

Attempting to defend Drew Talbot’s cross from the Liverpool right-side at the near post, Riise unwisely attacked it with his stronger left foot, under pressure from David Edwards, and ended up diverting it past goalkeeper Charles Itandje.

Three months later the left-back would make a similar error but in much more costly circumstances as the Reds faced Chelsea in the Champions League semi-finals.

Leading 1-0 thanks to Dirk Kuyt’s opener, they were closing out a valuable win when Salomon Kalou sent in a searching cross from Liverpool’s right-hand side in stoppage-time. While Riise would this time avoid attacking it with his stronger left foot, his preference to avoid using his weaker right foot, which would have been a safer decision in an attempt to clear upfield, would again prove costly.

Stooping low under pressure from Nicolas Anelka, he ended up beating Pepe Reina with a diving header to give Chelsea a valuable, and ultimately decisive, away goal.

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Starting the 3-2 second leg defeat a week later, it would prove to be his final appearance for the club as Benitez called him into his office to bluntly tell him he would be sold and wouldn’t be involved for the remaining games of the season.

“He smiled at me from behind his desk. Then he said: ‘I think it’s time we go our separate ways’,” Riise recalled in his 2018 autobiography. “‘You could benefit from new challenges and we’ve bought a new left-back that we intend to rely on’…

“Liverpool had purchased Andrea Dossena from Udinese for £7million, but that kind of thing had happened before. On each occasion I had accepted the challenge and emerged victorious from it.

“So I hadn’t expected this. I just sat there, half in shock…. ‘You’re a big name, you can play anywhere at all. We’ll help you find another club if you like’.

“‘Can I play the last matches?’ was all I could say. For some reason it was important that I reach 350 matches and an exact average of 50 per season. Benitez just shook his head… I’d got the sack, plain and simple…”

In truth, the left-back’s standards had arguably slipped in his final two seasons with Liverpool as he fought with Fabio Aurelio for a starting role, with only the Brazilian’s injury record ensuring he didn’t retain the position permanently.

Ultimately forced out by Benitez in the summer of 2008 at the age of 27, he ended up joining AS Roma in a £4m deal. In truth, Liverpool would arguably end up regretting Riise’s exit, with Dossena, Paul Konchesky, Jose Enrique and Alberto Moreno all struggling as left-back became a problem position for the Reds for the best part of a decade.

Fortunately the arrival of Andy Robertson in 2017 at least saw Jurgen Klopp solve such a dilemma, with James Milner, Kostas Tsimimas, and Joe Gomez all proving to be most capable deputies.

Riise remains a firm Liverpool fan-favourite, having won the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, and the European Super Cup during his seven seasons at Anfield after signing from AS Monaco. But such exploits weren’t enough to stop Benitez from losing patience with the Norwegian.

While his costly own goal against Chelsea would prove to be the final nail in the coffin for Riise’s Reds future, seeds were perhaps being sown in his manager’s mind long before. Not learning from previous mistakes, his own goal against Luton was potentially the beginning of his Liverpool end.

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This “confident” Liverpool teen could be Jota’s surprise replacement
BY
ANGUS SINCLAIR
PUBLISHED 1 HOUR AGO
Klopp’s title-chasing team have been hit by a catalogue of recent injuries.

Diogo Jota injured for Liverpool.
There is a ripple of trepidation surging throughout Merseyside right now, with all associated with Liverpool waiting for clarification on the roll of injuries that threaten to hinder a thrilling campaign.

Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota are the latest victims, both withdrawn against Brentford on Saturday and both leaving the Gtech Community Stadium braced in protective gear – Jota with a suspected knee injury.

jurgen-klopp-liverpool-premier-league
Jurgen Klopp’s side marched on, however, and secured three points to preserve their slender lead at the Premier League summit, two points ahead of Arsenal and five above Manchester City, who have a game in hand.

Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Dominik Szoboszlai are also recuperating from injuries, while Joel Matip, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic are longer-term absentees.

Liverpool still boast a high-quality crop of players but, as Klopp conceded, this is “not cool”. Liverpool play across three competitions over the next nine days, hosting Luton Town in the Premier League on Wednesday before heading southward to Wembley to face Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final ahead of an FA Cup clash with Southampton next week.

Klopp needs all the players he can find, and while the setbacks are each damaging in their own way, the blow to Jota might be the biggest detriment to the forthcoming torrent of fixtures.

Diogo Jota’s season in numbers
Mohamed Salah might have taken the limelight for much of the campaign, scoring and assisting at a frightening rate, but Jota has been sublime this term and has posted 14 goals and four assists across just 18 starting appearances.

Since missing most of December with a muscular problem, the Portugal international has clinched six goals and four assists, leading Reds correspondent Neil Jones to hail his “clinical” efforts.

Only days ago, the 27-year-old ace displayed his creative side by dinking a deft header into Darwin Nunez’s path, allowing the brazen Uruguayan to chip Mark Flekken for the opener.

Unfortunately, Jota would be carried off the pitch on a stretcher less than ten minutes later, facing the possibility of a long-term injury.

His absence, to put it plainly, will be a big blow. As per Sofascore, Jota has scored nine goals and supplied three assists from just 13 Premier League starts, averaging 1.1 key passes per match and thriving wherever played – right, left, central, he is a menace and offers unfavoured laterality in his striking, dangerous from every angle.

luis-diaz-diogo-jota-liverpool-opinion
To emphasise his prowess, perhaps his FBref metrics would help paint the full picture of his value to Liverpool – the £140k-per-week forward ranks among the top 4% of positional peers for goals scored, the top 11% for assists, the top 7% for progressive carries, the top 10% for passes attempted and the top 2% for tackles made per 90 across the Men’s Big Five Leagues and European competitions over the last 365 days.

Salah’s return is a massive boost to Liverpool’s chances over the coming period, but the Egyptian machine would always be the first name on the team sheet from an attacking viewpoint, and it could be Cody Gakpo who will now need to step up with increased responsibility.

Cody Gakpo the likely replacement
Liverpool signed Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven in a £35m transfer just over one year ago, the Dutchman arriving off the back of a striking string of performances at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Mohamed Salah celebrates for Liverpool.
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So far, the 24-year-old has clinched 17 goals and eight assists from 60 outings for the Anfield side, grabbing his tenth of the season off the bench against the Bees last weekend.

Once lauded for his “absolutely phenomenal” development on the pitch by talent scout Jacek Kulig, Gakpo matches Jota for versatility and offers a dynamic approach to his attacking play while boasting a fearsome shot to boot, so he’s the obvious pick to fill his peer’s shoes.

Cody Gakpo: Similar Players

#

Player

Club

1.

Kingsley Coman

Bayern Munich

2.

Vinicius Junior

Real Madrid

3.

Dominik Szoboszlai

Liverpool

4.

Ousmane Dembele

Paris Saint-Germain

5.

Marcus Rashford

Manchester United

Source: Football Transfers

Showcasing this, Gakpo ranks among the top 17% of forwards for assists, the top 18% for passes attempted, the top 5% for progressive passes, the top 16% for progressive carries, and the top 2% for tackles in the Men’s Big Five Leagues and European competitions over the last 365 days.

While the 6 foot 1 star will be expected to maintain a positive level of performance over the crucial business end of the campaign, he’s not the only player who might be called upon to take Jota’s place, with teenager Bobby Clark and-unlikely, but potentially apt, stopgap.

Why Bobby Clark could replace Jota
Klopp has not exactly shown an aversion to entrusting younger players with first-team roles throughout his Liverpool tenure, with Alexander-Arnold, Jones and Harvey Elliott regular and influential members of the squad.

This season, Conor Bradley and Jarell Quansah have emerged as exciting options but neither defender would be a suitable replacement for the injured Jota, obviously.

However, Clark may well be, having already earned five appearances in all competitions, coming off the bench in three of the past five Premier League games.

bobby-clark-liverpool-in-the-pipeline-jurgen-klopp-trent-alexander-arnold-premier-league
Spending his early days as a winger but since converted into an all-action midfield playmaker, the 19-year-old has landed 18 goals and 13 assists from 69 matches in all competitions for Liverpool’s development sides.

These statistics suggest that he has the potential to step up as both a scorer and a creator of goals at the top end of the pitch, to make up for the attacking contributions that Jota has provided throughout the season, and throughout his time at the club in general.

His youth manager, Barry Lewtas, is certainly a big believer in his qualities, saying: “He’s extremely talented and his pressing is excellent. He’s been a really good player for us, but I also think he’s made massive strides as well, big improvements, and that’s what he’s going to have to continue to do.”

Praised for his “confident” disposition by the aforementioned Jones, Clark has the flair and multi-functionality to step in for his senior teammate, with his ‘excellent pressing’ exactly what is needed.

Indeed, Liverpool’s assistant coach Pep Lijnders has previously gushed over the Portuguese ace’s energy and tenacity, calling him a “pressing monster”, and Clark seemingly has the innate traits to emulate this.

The young gem already made an initial mark on Liverpool’s senior set-up and now is the time for him to walk the same path as Bradley, Quansah, and co and start making a real impact under Klopp’s leadership.

It is now down to him to take his opportunity to nail down a place in the first-team on a regular basis if the German head coach does provide him with a chance to stake a claim for Jota’s spot.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angus Sinclair • Opinions & Feature Writer
(2012 Articles Published)
Angus is a freelance analytical writer for Football FanCast.

Having graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2022, Angus found a home at FFC after previously writing for Vavel and OurSoundMusic.

A passionate Liverpool supporter and a lover of statistics, Angus also holds a fondness for MMA and Tennis.

Outside of football, he is a voracious reader with a particular love for fantasy and historical fiction.

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Jamie Carragher has heard new name ‘mentioned’ in FSG search for next Liverpool manager
Liverpool are set to embark on a period of change with Jurgen Klopp departing at the end of the season and FSG will need to get the new manager appointment right.

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ByJoe RimmerHead of FootballMatt AddisonLiverpool.com Editor
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Liverpool are set to see some big changes with Jurgen Klopp leaving at the end of the season and Jorg Schmadtke already gone after the January transfer window.

FSG will need to make sure they pick the right new manager and sporting director as choices that will shape the future of Anfield.

At the moment, Xabi Alonso is a being tipped for the job because of his great work with Real Sociedad B and now Bayer Leverkusen (the German team are eight points ahead with 12 games left in the Bundesliga). But Liverpool will also be considering other options. It’s no secret that Mike Gordon, who is leading the search for FSG, will be using data to help them figure out who would be the best fit for the manager’s role.

READ MORE: Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota injury latest as Liverpool suffer major Carabao Cup final blow

READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp may be forced to scrap Liverpool rule as injury crisis gets worse

Alonso seems like a good choice but Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has suggested another name that he’s heard people talking about.

“There’s the guy at Benfica that I’ve heard mentioned, Roger Schmidt,” he said on The Redmen TV. “I think he has got that link to the sort of Red Bull school… I think when people are mentioning him, it’s almost sort of the style is similar to Klopp’s style, so you think, ‘Okay, would that be a good fit and would you have to change that much?'”

Roger Schmidt has been successful in four different countries and has made a big impact at Benfica in Portugal. In his first season, Benfica won the Portuguese league and they’ve continued their form this season.

Benfica are currently three points ahead of Sporting CP in the league, albeit having played two more games than their rivals.

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FOOTBALLTim Sherwood blown away by Liverpool forward Diogo Jota v Brentfordby stevenmangan19 February 2024

Liverpool forward Diogo Jota played a crucial role in the 4-1 victory against Brentford but he could be out for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

The 27-year-old provided an assist for Darwin Nunez’s goal with a terrific glancing header at the Gtech community stadium on Saturday (17 February) as Liverpool picked their first win at Brentford in the Premier League era.

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Soon after, he picked up a nasty injury after Brentford skipper Christian Norgaard landed on his knee following an aerial challenge.

Jota, who was superb for Liverpool in the absence of Mohamed Salah, received treatment from the club doctor immediately. His knee bent awkwardly and was stretched off.

Tim Sherwood, while analyzing the game on Premier League TV production, said during the half-time break that Jota showed “unbelievable” vision while creating the chance for Nunez.

Jermaine Jenas, speaking on TNT Sports (as relayed by BBC Sport), also echoed a similar sentiment.

“That header, that is an unbelievable vision from Jota,” said Sherwood while analyzing Nunez’s goal.

Diogo Jota – huge miss for Liverpool
Jota managed nine goals and three assists in the Premier League this season in just 13 starts for the club. He also scored five goals in other cup competitions, and missing him would be a massive blow for the Reds.

The Portuguese striker walked freely to the treatment room and it felt like the injury may not be serious. However, Klopp confirmed that early signs indicate that it’s not looking good.

According to a report from the Portuguese newspaper Record, Jota has picked up a cruciate ligament injury, and this is not a worst-case scenario. It is not an anterior tear, rather the impact of the injury is likely to be posterior.

It has been suggested that Jota could miss out on at least two months of action. The good news is that Jota could be available at some point again this season. But, he is expected to miss some crucial games, as we approach the business end of the season.

He will definitely miss the Carabao Cup final and also the next FA Cup game. He is likely to miss crucial Premier League clashes against Manchester City, Everton and Manchester United as well.

In other news, Tony Cascarino left extremely impressed by one Liverpool player who has incredible energy.

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Jurgen Klopp lifts lid on Darwin Nunez substitution and make “worst” Liverpool injury

Three Playera Decided To Follow Jurgen Klopp Out Of Anfield Today Saga

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Mauricio Pochettino has found the formula to hand Chelsea a shot at glory in the Carabao Cup final… their set up in their draw with Man City is their best chance of upsetting Liverpool at Wembley
By Jack Gaughan for the Daily Mail
22:31 GMT 18 Feb 2024 , updated 22:31 GMT 18 Feb 2024

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An improved Chelsea came close to taking all three points at Manchester City
Mauricio Pochettino’s Etihad set-up is their best chance of beating Liverpool
Liverpool must be ruthless – Jurgen Klopp has to hang on to two-point lead until title clash with Man City – It’s All Kicking Off podcast
These are not the kind of days that have defined Mauricio Pochettino’s first months in one of the country’s hottest seats. His Chelsea side tend to do well against the elite – the rest, not so much.

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Chelsea have now taken two points off Manchester City, one from Arsenal, three from Tottenham.

A defeat at Manchester United felt unfortunate given the chances they created. A point from Liverpool as well, although last month’s heavy defeat at Anfield will be fresh in their minds when they roll up at Wembley for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

Pochettino was rightly praised for Chelsea’s set-up at the Etihad Stadium. At least until the 71st minute, when the assured Cole Palmer exited for Trevoh Chalobah and the visitors attempted to cling to a one-goal advantage with five at the back.

They could not quite do it but green shoots were evident.

Mauricio Pochettino’s set-up in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City was largely effective
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Mauricio Pochettino’s set-up in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester City was largely effective
Raheem Sterling made the breakthrough against his former club before a last-gasp equaliser
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Raheem Sterling made the breakthrough against his former club before a last-gasp equaliser

Chelsea prefer these games, when the onus is on the opposition to take charge, and they can pick their moments to counter attack in much the same way Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did when he was reviving United. Solskjaer’s issue was always turning his team into one ready to dominate possession and he never truly managed it.

Pochettino has a remarkably similar task, managing a bloated squad, many of whom he doesn’t want, and a need to find a system that works in the short term.

Their set-up against City gives them the best chance of upsetting Liverpool. It’s Conor Gallagher’s pressurising, Raheem Sterling’s floating, Palmer’s vision. Chelsea have the weapons to hurt the best and, for lengthy spells here, they did just that.

‘We had chances to finish the game off, although so did they in fairness, but we had some really good opportunities to seal the win,’ said Sterling.

‘There’s a bit of disappointment not to win the game. We just had to stay with City, use our brains and the opportunities would come in the transition.’

With Sterling’s floating and the ability of other players, Chelsea can hurt the best teams
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With Sterling’s floating and the ability of other players, Chelsea can hurt the best teams
Sitting Enzo Fernandez (left) and Moises Caicedo in a pair allows both midfielders to flourish
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Sitting Enzo Fernandez (left) and Moises Caicedo in a pair allows both midfielders to flourish
The counter-attacking tactics that Sterling spoke of have become something of a necessity because of the club’s confused recruitment. The expensive pairing of Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez are both terrific midfielders, yet often perform parallel roles. Sitting as a pair, as they did at City, allows both to flourish.

Ask them to do something differently against, say, Wolves at home, and the results are not quite so flattering. And that’s before another deeper midfielder, Romeo Lavia, returns.

Pochettino realises that he needs to be flexible in his philosophy to get this season done. Chelsea sold fairly well last summer and will need to do so again if they are to secure a new striker and central defender, the areas identified as their priorities for transfer business.

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But there have been encouraging signs recently, with a strong win at Aston Villa in the FA Cup and a victory over Crystal Palace that showcased character.

Pochettino needs more time but there is belief now that he has something to build on.

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Steve Nicol simply isn’t having 50-year-old possibly becoming Liverpool boss instead of Xabi AlonsoPhoto by Grzegorz Wajda/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
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STEVE NICOL SIMPLY ISN’T HAVING 50-YEAR-OLD POSSIBLY BECOMING LIVERPOOL BOSS INSTEAD OF XABI ALONSO
Amir Mir
Amir Mir
Sun 18 February 2024 19:30, UK
Football is all about timing and that is proven by how things are faring with Thomas Tuchel and how far away he is from the Liverpool manager’s job.

Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the season and the talk is now around who will replace the German in the Anfield dugout.

With Bayer Leverkusen flying at the top of the Bundesliga, Xabi Alonso’s name has been talked about more than most, as sources have told HITC Football.

When Steve Nicol was asked how he would feel if Thomas Tuchel became Liverpool’s manager instead of Xabi Alonso, he simply just wasn’t having it, as he told ESPN.

The Liverpool legend stated that there is ‘zero’ chance that is going to happen, as he simply pointed towards the performances of Bayern Munich this season.

The German giants have won 11 titles in a row, but after losing to Vfl Bbochum on Sunday, their third consecutive loss, they are now eight points behind leaders Leverkusen.

It wasn’t so long ago that Thomas Tuchel was winning the Champions League in the colours of Chelsea.

If Jurgen Klopp had left Liverpool at that time, then his counterpart would have been top of many people’s lists, but not anymore.

Thomas Tuchel at Liverpool
“Oh no,” responded Nicol on if Tuchel replaced Klopp instead of Alonso. “I wouldn’t be happy. Have you seen Bayern play this year? Right there you go, that’s all you need to do.

“You want percentages. Zero!”

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-BOCHUM-BAYERN MUNICH
Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images
Xabi Alonso outdoing Thomas Tuchel
Never mind Tuchel taking another big job, the 50-year-old is going to be lucky to remain in his current big job because it wouldn’t be a surprise if Bayern booted him sooner rather than later.

The German club are facing the prospect of going trophyless this season, which is just staggering for a team that wins trophies in their sleep.

Harry Kane must be thinking he has the worst luck in the world because he is facing another season without a trophy.

Unless Leverkusen produce the biggest of all slip-ups or Bayern turn things around massively in the Champions League, then Liverpool’s next potential boss might be heading to Anfield as the champion of Germany and dethroning the might of Bayern.

MORE: Gianfranco Zola raves about £14m star transformed after Chelsea sale

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Jamie Carragher gave X-rated reaction to Xabi Alonso’s pointed Liverpool comments
Xabi Alonso was only 22 when he signed for Liverpool, but that didn’t stop the midfielder from giving his opinion on Rafa Benitez’s team – much to the surprise of Jamie Carragher

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ByNathan RidleySenior Sports Reporter
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A gobsmacked Jamie Carragher couldn’t believe when new teammate Xabi Alonso was already pointing out how Liverpool could improve during talks with Rafa Benitez – before even making his debut.

Having signed for the Reds in 2004 from boyhood club Real Sociedad, a 22-year-old Alonso had everything to prove at Anfield, but he immediately demonstrated his footballing brain in private discussions with new boss Benitez. Two decades later and Alonso is the favourite to follow in Benitez’s footsteps, as current manager Jurgen Klopp has announced that he’ll be leaving at the end of this season.

Carragher is one of his ex-teammate’s most prominent backers, with Alonso guiding German side Bayer Leverkusen to a five-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with 12 games to go. Add to that the fact it’s his first senior managerial role and his first full season at Leverkusen, it’s easy to see why Alonso, now 42, is receiving so many plaudits.

Barcelona identify their No.1 target to replace Xavi in potential blow to Liverpool

Adam Lallana admits worry about next Liverpool manager as “something didn’t feel right”
But back when Liverpool supporters weren’t so familiar with the midfield maestro – who’d go on to star for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich – Alonso irked Carragher with comments about Benitez and Co’s shortcomings. Speaking to The Redmen TV, the Anfield icon explained: “I remember Rafa saying – and don’t forget Xabi was only 22 – ‘We’ve got this player coming in, I think he’s a fantastic player. He’s already spoken about where the team can improve, other tactical things’.

“And I’m reading this thinking, ‘Who the f****** hell does he think he is? 22, coming over from Spain, telling us where we’re going wrong. F****** let’s see you in the shirt first!'”

That to Carragher, though, proved to be the first sign of Alonso’s aptitude for coaching. “We used to speak a lot about football,” Carragher, who won the 2005 Champions League alongside the Spain international, added. “He was always someone who was interested in football and he did watch a lot of football.”

Your turn! Is Xabi Alonso the right man for Liverpool? Give us your verdict in the comments section.

LONDON – OCTOBER 26: Xabi Alonso of Liverpool celebrates with Jamie Carragher of Liverpool after they beat Chelsea at home during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on October 26, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Xabi Alonso is Jamie Carragher’s pick to become Liverpool’s next manager ( Image: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The ex-Reds defender now believes that Alonso is the “standout candidate” to replace Klopp, despite only managing 69 senior matches. “It’s still very early in his managerial career,” Carragher admitted on CBS Sports earlier this week. “In an ideal world you’d say, ‘It’s Xabi Alonso but he’s had another job, he might have won a Champions League somewhere else, he’s won a league here’ and all these different things.

“But, I don’t see where he is right now, anyone that would be in front of him in terms of what Liverpool fans want or maybe the Liverpool board want. I don’t know what the Liverpool board want but he just feels like he is the standout candidate.”

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No one is talking about 40-year-old former Liverpool coach who is doing an incredible job right nowPhoto by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
No one is talking about 40-year-old former Liverpool coach who is doing an incredible job right now
Sun 18 February 2024 13:00
Bence Bocsak
For us Liverpool fans all the focus was on Brentford and Manchester City of course. First Liverpool needed to get a result against Brentford, and then it was important for Manchester City to drop points against Chelsea.

Fortunately, both results ended up in Liverpool’s favour. Jurgen Klopp’s side demolished Brentford 4-1 away from home in a very impressive display. Meanwhile, City were less than impressive at home and merely managed to eke out a 1-1 draw against their opponents.

But while those will be the headline results for Liverpool fans, arguably one of the biggest upsets of Saturday was in neither of those games. Instead, it was Wolves’ victory in London against Tottenham. Quietly, Wolves are in great form now, and all of that is thanks to someone who previously worked at Liverpool as well.

Tottenham Hotspur v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League
Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images
Gary O’Neil doing an exceptional job at Wolves
Wolves’ manager is of course Gary O’Neil, who began his coaching journey as an assistant manager for Liverpool’s U21 side back in 2020. He spent just over six months at Liverpool before moving onto Bournemouth initially as an assistant manager and then taking over the role as head-coach.

Last summer he was surprisingly let go at Bournemouth despite doing a stellar job. He was quickly hired by Wolves, where O’Neil has thrived this season.

Currently, his side are in 11th place level on points with Chelsea on the Premier League table. Just only in the last two months alone, O’Neil’s side has beaten Chelsea twice, Tottenham once, and came very close to getting a result against Manchester United as well.

Yet despite the impressive results no one is really talking about O’Neil at the moment. Even though his Wolves side playing attractive offensive football, and he’s clearly a bright young manager in the game. At 40-years-old, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. Considering he made his mark at Liverpool as a manager, the club should keep a close eye on him.

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(Video) Manchester City’s embarrassing bus welcome shows how soulless they are
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Posted by Peter Kenny Jones2 hours ago
(Video) Manchester City’s embarrassing bus welcome shows how soulless they are
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Manchester City are the champions, coming off the back of a treble season and were about to face Chelsea to stay in control of their own destiny this season.

However, their bus welcoming for the match at the Etihad Stadium was nothing short of embarrassing – looking more like a school sports day than top tier football.

READ MORE: (Video) Wataru Endo continues to impress Liverpool fans with Brentford performance

There’s no questioning the quality of their players and manager but the supporters of the Citizens are so far below the standard of what they see on the pitch.

Ignoring the huge volume of financial breaches too, they simply don’t deserve the success they’ve been lucky enough to witness.

You can watch the City bus welcoming via @afcthew on X:

There’s absolutely NO WAY this is real💀💀💀 pic.twitter.com/lnm5p37A3x

— 𝐓𝐡𝐞𝐰🇨🇿 (@afcthew) February 17, 2024

🕯️ EOTK Insider: A tribute to Alex South; a remarkable man with a special Kop moment

 

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