Georginio Wijnaldum talked to Liverpool Echo and the 19 August 2016: the headline quite bravely says it all: “Wijnaldum – Liverpool can write history under one of a kind Klopp”
“You experience it in a meeting – how he talks, the way he coaches from the sidelines with a lot of passion,” Wijnaldum said. “You can see that he believes in the team and he wants to get the team to a higher level. I think he’s the right man to achieve things with the club and the team that we have right now. How he talks with players gives you belief and confidence, and that’s what we need. He forces us to use our quality and that’s good. He gives us the confidence not to be scared to make mistakes and when he talks about the team or the players he says that we have to use our quality because he knows we can. That gives you a good feeling.”
“Wijnaldum told the latest edition of #LFCWORLD: ‘I want to win titles. Liverpool is a club with a beautiful history, but we have to make new history and we can do it with titles and winning games. We have a good team, really talented, and if we work as a team I think we can achieve a lot of things. A club like Liverpool deserves it. The players before us already wrote history and now it’s on us to write more.'”
Gini Wijnaldum says: “We have to believe that we can do something – that we can win titles. And if we can do that I’m sure it will be a big opportunity for us to win things – that’s what I want to achieve with the team. Liverpool is a big club and you have to do everything to write history with them – that’s what we have to do this season. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.”
Soon after Liverpool’s 2016/17 season started off with a 4-3 win at Emirates, Jordan Henderson was quick to admit things looked good although there were a lot of things to improve on and work on, and he was thinking about the defence as well as of himself when employed in a defensive midfield role.
Talking to Liverpool Echo, Jordan Henderson said: “We’ve got to be delighted to come to the Emirates and get three points. Certainly the second-half performance at times was very good, especially when we went two or three goals in the lead. But after that we need to manage the game better, especially when they scored the second and gathered momentum. We just need to be a little bit more streetwise there. Going forward, at times we were outstanding. But we’ve got to be a little bit more disciplined at times, especially myself if I’m playing that role in the team.“
“When I was a child I wanted to play in the Premier League and Liverpool was a great and famous club that everybody knows so it was a great honour to be playing for them,” Joël Matip said in his first Liverpool Echo interview. “It was an easy decision and I am happy with it. I had a decision to stay at Schalke or go out in to the world and I am happy with the decision I made.”
Matip is relishing the prospect of coming up against the likes of Sergio Aguero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Diego Costa, Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane this season. The 6ft 4ins defender will provide some much needed aerial prowess to the Liverpool backline.
“That’s why I came here – I want to play against the best to become better. That was my thinking and my choice and I’m really looking forward to it. There’s pressure but I want that – it’s the reason why I came here. I think I am good enough and I’ll show this.”
Alberto Moreno is a player who has been shielded from all sorts of critique after an Arsenal match that made Liverpool fans furious at the left back’s defensive capabilities. Most of these fans – and it was millions of fans, not three or four fans he could easily ignore – simply echoed the views already heard coming from the likes of former players Jamie Carragher, John Arne Riise and John Aldridge in the weeks before the first match of the season; a 4-3 victory against Arsenal at Emirates.
Jürgen Klopp insisted he would not be talking about a single player although he was conserned about some defensive errors made. Jan Mølby in his Liverpool Echo column echoed the words of Klopp, saying Alberto Moreno is a very good player who is just the kind of player who is much liked by the boss, and will also progress further as a player under a coach and manager like Klopp.
Jürgen Klopp has come to believe James Milner can provide cover for Alberto Moreno in the left back position, Milner responding by way of saying he will try to be Mr. Versatile for Liverpool this season.
Another left back option could be the left footed centre back Ragnar Klavan, who knows this role from his time in Augsburg and also at times when he plays for Estonia’s national team.
Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino are seen as the players to really watch out for and be on a high alert of this season, and this means something all other clubs’ fans and managers are fully aware of. No one will forget about these three, nor will anyone forget about Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge whenever they are to defend themselves against a formidable Liverpool attack with pace, good passing, dribbling skills and shooting skills. All this, however, is cancelled out by Liverpool’s all-too-obvious defensive weaknesses and sloppy defending in front of a good but not great Belgian goalkeeper who is not really relished as an asset.
After the Arsenal match at Emirates, Simon Mignolet lept to the defence of Liverpool’s backline, saying the goals against us didn’t come as a result of their mistakes, yet he also had to admit there were a lot of lessons to learn from the experience which was quickly branded a thrilling 4-3 win.
Talking to Liverpool Echo, Simon Mignolet concluded: “There are a lot of things we can learn from this game but it’s great to start with a victory, especially with it coming at the Emirates, a ground where we haven’t taken many points in the last few years. As a team we have lots of attacking options now. A lot of players with pace who can make the difference going forward. The second half at Arsenal was like how we played against Barcelona. We can build on this.”
In a TV interview before the second match of the season versus Burnley, Adam Lallana had a thing or two to say: “We have options everywhere. Defensively, out wide, players that play between the lines, midfielders, pace. So the manager’s got a good squad and I’m sure he will pick a team that he feels can go there and win the match.”
Before that very same match at Turf Moor – a pathetic 2-0 loss – Liverpool Echo talked to legends from the Shankly era. Ian St John especially praised Klopp’s enthusiasm. Ian St John said: “He’s enthusiastic which is great. We haven’t seen it for a while where the manager runs and hugs the players. If it rubs off on all the players then you’ve got a team that are fired up and working for the cause and fans can relate to that. They’re happy. The players are working hard and the class players stand out, which is what it’s all about.”
Ian Callaghan added: “Even the Evertonians like him. My Evertonian mates say ‘that boss of yours is great.”
After the match, Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was just like he always is. Open and honest when approached by members of the British press.
“It was a difficult game for us. We lost the ball in the wrong moments, where we were open to the counter attack, our decision-making wasn’t good. But even at half time I had the feeling that there was still a lot in this game for us. So then we tried again, but no. The first half was not good for our self-confidence. We lost our timing, our patience in offensive situations. We were really not good.”
“We lost a game in which we had 80% possession, but there are different ways to play football and it’s absolutely OK. The two strikers of Burnley did especially well. They were big and strong, and defended hard, and I respect this. But usually, in a game like this, we would win. But we made the mistakes in the wrong moment, and we have to accept this and carry on. I don’t have a problem with Burnley playing with 13% possession in the second half. They did it well!”
Written by @MagneLeoKarlsen