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Klopp hoping to keep Liverpool’s EPL-winning squad intact

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Saturday his main focus now was to ensure the squad that delivered the Merseyside club’s first top flight title in three decades was intact.

The German said his task was to see to it the squad was not broken up in the near future.

Liverpool’s 30-year wait for their 19th English top flight title ended on Thursday after second-placed Manchester City were beaten by Chelsea.

It gave Klopp’s side an unassailable 23-point lead with seven games left.

Klopp, who took charge of Liverpool in 2015, has overseen a period of sustained dominance, delivering the UEFA Champions League last season and the league title this year.

“I cannot promise we will dominate football now, nor do I know if it is time to talk about major upheavals,” he told German newspaper Bild. “But I know our goal is to keep the team together.”

The 53-year-old Klopp believes Liverpool are not in the same boat as his former club Borussia Dortmund.

The German side lost key players such as Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski in the seasons that followed their back-to-back title triumphs in the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012.

“The problem was that our (Borussia Dortmund) team was picked up by other clubs. That hasn’t happened here and now the team has been exceptionally consistent for two and a half years,” the German added.

Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is a transfer target for Liverpool, according to British media reports, but Klopp admitted he does not envisage his side making a move for the English winger.

“The red jersey will look very good for Jadon. But I don’t think such a transfer will take place this summer. If he moved to Liverpool, I would be the most surprised of all,” he said.
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Olawale Alabi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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Manchester City appeal victory not good for football, Klopp says

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp described as “not a good day for football” Manchester City’s successful appeal against a two-year UEFA ban for allegedly breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

“I don’t think it was a good day for football yesterday (Monday), to be honest,” Klopp told a virtual news conference on Tuesday.

“FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition, so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources.”

Manchester City won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday, meaning they will now be allowed to compete in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

CAS ruled that Manchester City did not breach FFP rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship.

“It’s not up to me to judge this and I don’t, but I think this FFP framework we should stick to (it).

“I hope FFP stays just because it gives kind of borders that you can go to, but not over it, and that’s good for football,” Klopp said.

“If you start doing that, nobody has to care any more and the richest people or countries can do what they want.

“It will make the competition really difficult and I think that will lead automatically to a kind of world super league with like 10 clubs and it will depend on who owns the clubs and not the names of the clubs. It makes sense to have these rules.”

Klopp did say, however, that Manchester City’s place in the UEFA Champions League next season might at least benefit Liverpool as they try to retain their English Premier League (EPL) title.

“They won’t have 10 or 12 games less now —- no other team would have had a chance in the (Premier) league,” he said.

Liverpool face Arsenal on Wednesday knowing defeat would end their chances of equalling Manchester City’s record 100-point haul in the Premier League set two years ago.

With three games remaining they have 93 points, with Manchester City a distant second on 72.

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Manchester City appeal victory not good for football, says Klopp

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Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp described as “not a good day for football” Manchester City’s successful appeal against a two-year UEFA ban for allegedly breaking Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.

 

“I don’t think it was a good day for football yesterday, to be honest.

“FFP is a good idea. It is there for protecting teams and the competition, so that nobody overspends and have to make sure the money they want to spend is based on the right sources,” Klopp told a virtual news conference on Tuesday.

City won their appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday, meaning they will now be allowed to compete in next season’s Champions League.

CAS ruled that City did not breach FFP rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship.

“It’s not up to me to judge this and I don’t but I think this FFP framework we should stick to.

I hope FFP stays just because it gives kind of borders that you can go to, but not over it, and that’s good for football.

“If you start doing that nobody has to care any more and the richest people or countries can do what they want.

“It will make the competition really difficult and I think that would lead automatically to a kind of world super league with like 10 clubs and it would depend on who owns the clubs and not the names of the clubs.

“It makes sense to have these rules,” Klopp said.

Klopp did say, however, that City’s place in the Champions League next season might at least benefit Liverpool as they try to retain their Premier League title.

“They won’t have 10 or 12 games less now, no other team would have had a chance in the (Premier) league,” he said.

Liverpool face Arsenal on Wednesday knowing defeat would end their chances of equalling Manchester City’s record 100-point haul in the Premier League set two years ago.

With three games remaining they have 93 points with City a distant second on 72.

Edited By: Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

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Liverpool skipper Henderson ruled out for season   —- Klopp

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Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been ruled out of the rest of the English Premier League champions’ 2019/2020 campaign, manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

Klopp said the development was as a result of the midfielder sustaining a knee injury in their midweek win at Brighton & Hove Albion.

He was forced to withdraw Henderson 10 minutes from full-time in the 3-1 win after a collision with Yves Bissouma, but the German said the 30-year-old does not require surgery.

“It is the best possible of the bad news. He does not need surgery,” Klopp told reporters in a virtual news conference.

“He will not play again this season. I’m pretty positive he will be with us for the new season, he is a quick healer.

“We all felt for him, awful moment. We knew immediately. Hendo is an animal. He fights for everything.

“He deals well with pain but in this moment, he knew something had happened. It was a complete mood-killer.

“The boys were happy with the result but then the boys realised Hendo was hurt. No surgery needed is the good news. He will lift the trophy, he deserves to lift the trophy.”

Liverpool, who are on 92 points with four games remaining, are on course to break Manchester City’s record haul of 100 points and face Burnley on Saturday.

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No Christmas presents for youngsters, warns Klopp

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Liverpool Manager, Juergen Klopp, has warned his young fringe players that he will not give them Premier League appearances as “Christmas presents” now that the title is won.

Klopp’s side were thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City on Thursday in their first game since sealing the club’s first title in 30 years. a result that left him in a sour mood.

With six games left and numerous records to chase, Klopp played down suggestion he will give more game time to next generation players like Neco Williams and Harvey Elliott.

“I don’t think these kind of questions will be asked to (Chelsea manager) Frank Lampard, (Manchester United manager) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and stuff like this.

“We are champions now and should bring the young boys in, give them a chance? So then we lose the games and everybody is going at us ‘you have lost focus, you aren’t doing this, you aren’t doing that’.

“We want to win games, the best players have to be on the pitch. If the young boys are part of these best players then they will be on the pitch. They are so close.

“They are really good, and they are our future. But they will not play now because I want to see them in a Premier League game.

“We don’t give Premier League games as Christmas presents,” Klopp told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s game against Aston Villa.

Klopp’s side need to win five of their last six games to overhaul Manchester City’s record 100-point haul of two years ago.

They are also trying to become the first Premier League team to win all 19 home games in a season.

“We don’t think about next season, we have a lot to go for. We have six games and we felt last night how difficult it is. It’s incredible how we are in this position. We had the desire and greed and we won’t stop.

“If you want to reach something special, you have to be 100% in all these situations. We don’t like to lose 4-0 but we try to use the information from last night,” Klopp said.

Klopp was clearly rattled immediately after the City defeat at any suggestion his side had taken the night off.

He defended them again on Friday: “Our attitude was brilliant last night, just not focused in four moments.

“We didn’t lose a lot of games in the last two years but we have lost some and they always feel like defeats do. We always used that for the next games.”

Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Klopp urges Liverpool fans to celebrate safely

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has urged supporters of the Premier League champions not to spoil the work done in containing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by gathering in large numbers to celebrate their title victory.

Liverpool’s 30-year wait for their 19th English top-flight crown ended on Thursday when Manchester City lost to Chelsea and thousands of fans turned up at Anfield to celebrate.

Liverpool, Merseyside police and the City Council issued a joint statement condemning the “wholly unacceptable” behaviour after crowds gathered for a second night on Friday, sparking fears of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Please celebrate, but in a safe way and in private settings, whereby we do not risk spreading this awful disease further in our community.

“If things were different, I would love nothing more than to celebrate together, to have a parade that would be even bigger than the one after we won the Champions League last year… but it just is not possible.

“We have all done so much to fight COVID-19 and this effort cannot go to waste,”Klopp wrote in a letter  to fans in the Liverpool Echo.

Klopp thanked fans for their support during a remarkable season in which Liverpool have established a 23-point lead over second-placed City with seven games left.

“I love your passion, your songs, your refusal to accept defeat, your commitment, your understanding of the game and your faith in what we are doing.

“I am a human being and your passion is also my passion, but right now the most important thing is that we do not have these kind of public gatherings.

“We owe it to the most vulnerable in our community, to the health workers who have given so much and whom we have applauded and to the police and local authorities who help us as a club not to do this,” the German added

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)

 

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Liverpool’s history not burden anymore, says Kloppa

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Liverpool are no longer burdened by their painful 30-year title drought and have written a new chapter in the club’s history after they were confirmed Premier League champions, Manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday.

The Anfield club, which dominated English soccer in the 1970s and 1980s, last won the old First Division title in 1990, but have finished as runners-up five times since.

Seven different managers have tried and failed to recapture Liverpool’s long-lost domestic glory before Klopp arrived at Anfield in 2015 to — in his own words — turn the Merseyside club from “doubters into believers”.

“Without knowing it at the time, that was probably the most important thing I said to my players, that we have to create our own stories and history,” Klopp told Sky Sports.

“Meanwhile, the history is no burden anymore. The history is now our wonderful background, it is the basis for what we are doing.

“When I came in, we had to say, ‘Don’t compare us anymore with the fantastic people who played for this club and won everything in the past’. We needed to get the opportunity from our supporters to find our own way.”

Klopp, who also delivered Liverpool’s sixth Champions League crown last season, dismissed the idea of having a statue made in his honour, like former managers Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley, who have been cast in bronze outside Anfield.

“I don’t want a statue, that is not my motivation,” the German manager said.

“It’s clear the team are in a good moment, we are young enough to still go for something.

“It’s a moment like last year’s Champions League final, you carry on. It’s good to be in this club at the moment.”

Liverpool’s next match is a trip to Manchester City next week, and Klopp laughed at the idea of receiving a guard of honour from last year’s champions as well as any other opponent they play in their remaining games.

“We’ll see, I don’t think we can influence that. “We are champions, and on the pitch, we will behave as though we have never won it,” he added.

Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/ijeoma Popoola (NAN)

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Statistics show how Klopp’s “heavy metal’’ Liverpool hit the right notes

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Liverpool are on the cusp of winning their first-ever English Premier League (EPL) trophy and their stellar run has highlighted their transformation.

It is a story of how manager Juergen Klopp transformed a club struggling to mount consistent title challenges into one of the best teams in the world.

With 27 wins and 82 points under their belt after only one defeat all season, red-hot Liverpool have set a record-breaking pace to leave teams behind them in their wake.

They are now six points shy of ending a 30-year wait for the top-flight title.

Compared to Klopp’s predecessor Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool have vastly improved at both ends of the pitch —– creating more chances, converting chances more effectively and conceding fewer shots on goal.

In 173 matches after adopting Klopp’s aggressive “heavy metal” approach, Liverpool have scored 2.15 goals per game compared to 1.9 under Rodgers.

Their shot conversion rate has also gone up from 11.09 percent to 13.24 percent, according to Gracenote data.

“Liverpool have improved the quality of their chances under Klopp’s leadership,” said Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Gracenote.

“During the 2015/2016 season in which Klopp took over, the average chance of a Liverpool goal attempt going in was 9.5 percent according to Gracenote’s statistical modelling. This season, that critical number sits at 12.8 percent.”

Much of that is down to Klopp’s lethal front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

They scored 38 goals and grabbed 20 assists to push Liverpool a whopping 22 points clear at the top.

Meanwhile, Trent Alexander-Arnold has redefined the role of a full-back with 12 assists —- second only to Manchester City’s playmaker Kevin De Bruyne who has 16.

In defence, Liverpool now concede 8.26 shots per match compared to 10.7 under Rodgers.

The drastic improvement is largely due to the club record 75 million pound (92.85 million pounds) signing of centre-back Virgil van Dijk in 2018.

In 83 games since the Dutchman’s arrival at Anfield, Liverpool have lost only five times and conceded 56 goals.

This is compared to 24 defeats and 100 goals conceded in the same period prior to the club securing his services.

“Since his debut in January 2018, the club have almost cut the number of goals they concede by half and have taken a third more points in comparison to the same number of matches prior to his arrival,” Gleave added.

As things stand, the European champions are on course to eclipse league records for most points in a season (100), most points at home (55) and most wins (32).

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Klopp urges Liverpool fans to avoid gathering at stadium

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Liverpool manager, Juergen Klopp, has urged supporters to stay home and not gather at stadiums as the Premier League leaders prepare to resume their quest for a first English top flight title in 30 years.

The league is set to return later on Wednesday following a three-month break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Liverpool need six points from their remaining nine games to win the title and could even secure it on Sunday if they beat local rivals Everton and second-placed Manchester City lose to Arsenal later on Wednesday.

Games will be played without fans present in the stadiums and British sports minister Nigel Huddleston told Sky Sports the government could revisit plans to stage some matches at neutral venues if large crowds gather in front of venues.

“Football is back. It will be obviously for some reasons completely different but you can still make it really, really special,” Klopp said in a video on Liverpool’s website.

He added that the players would still feel their support despite the empty stands and that it would fuel their drive to the title.

“We’ll use that but the final message (is): stay safe, support us from home,” Klopp said.

Edited By: Joseph Edeh/Salif Atojoko (NAN)

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Liverpool will not ease up after sealing EPL title  —- Klopp

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Liverpool will not ease up in their nine remaining English Premier League (EPL) games even after they secure the wins they need, manager Juergen Klopp said.

Liverpool are seeking to seal a first top flight crown in 30 years.

The club have a 25-point lead over second-placed Manchester City as the Premier League prepares to resume this month following the COVID-19 disruption.

Liverpool can also secure the title with a win against Everton in their first match back if Manchester City lose to Arsenal when the league restarts on June 17.

“It’s nice to think about it but we are not champions yet and we know that,” Klopp said.

“We know we’re close, but close is not there. There are 27 points left for us and we will try everything to take them all.

“We don’t want to stop winning after two games …”

The league was suspended on March 13 due to the pandemic, with teams returning to training in small groups before voting last week to return to contact training.

“I have missed it so much it’s unbelievable,” Klopp added.

“I know it’s not the most important thing in life but it is my passion. I hope the people are looking forward to it because we are.”
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