Live ‘Klopp to Liverpool’ reports

German TV station running live ‘Klopp to Liverpool’ reports

At Sport Witness we cover the world media on a daily basis and rarely is a story as widespread as Jurgen Klopp to Liverpool. The potential appointment has caught the attention of media all over Europe and beyond. It’s a major news story in sport sections of newspapers in countries including Spain, Italy, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Portugal… everywhere we’ve looked today, in Europe at least.Of course the biggest excitement is on Merseyside but in Germany they’re well up for it too. Bild, the biggest selling newspaper in Europe, had it as their main story at one point today – that’s not to say their main football or sport story, but their main story overall.

German TV Station Sport1 is running live reporting on the situation, picking up claims from their own sources and the wider British and German media. It’s safe to say they think Klopp is going to be manager of Liverpool football club very soon.

The great and good of German football are being wheeled out to have their say on the situation and any idea that Klopp was set to take over from Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich has completely been forgotten. It’s rare a story is this big in Germany when it’s not directly about one of their own clubs.

Lambert offer

Paul Lambert has stated that he will offer his services to Jurgen Klopp – if the German manager does indeed become the new Liverpool manager, as has been speculated.

Lambert, 46, has been out of work since leaving Aston Villa in February, but recently spent time alongside Klopp during Borussia Dortmund training sessions and wants to continue his association with the soon to be Liverpool manager.

Odds on

Jurgen Klopps previous club Dortmund have a host of star names on the books, with the likes of Mats Hummels, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ilkay Gundogan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus all linked to Premier League clubs.

The bookies are offering odds-on stakes of 1/2 that Klopp will sign at least one player from Dortmund during the January transfer window.

Hmmm which one would you like?


Who would benefit?

Liverpool players to flourish under Klopp

The guy has a strong view on how football should be played, describing his approach like heavy metal music, and some players will surely flourish under this ethic but some will be lost.

Klopps philosophy relies on pace and quick energy from all the outfield players.

Flourish – Danny Ings

The former Borussia Dortmund man built his front-line around strikers with speed who would continually hassle opposing defenders, and Ings fits this criteria. He still has a lot of learning in him and could be moulded into this way of playing

Fail – Christian Benteke

Benteke is a type of striker that Klopp has never really put faith in.

Klopp prefers smaller, more pacey front-men and the big-money signing could find himself used as an impact substitute.

Christian Benteke could struggle to fit in under Klopp

Christian Benteke could struggle to fit in under Klopp

Flourish- Emre Can

Emre Can has already made it clear he thinks his compatriot would be a good fit in Anfield, and if he remains faithful to the manager’s ideals he could become an essential cog in the team. Simply Klopps type of player, young, flexible, (German) willingness to learn.

Fail – Joe Allen

Joe Allen was always Brendan Rodgers’ man after he followed his boss to Merseyside from Swansea City. Failing to impress so far, and with him so heavily linked to Klopp’s potential predecessor he will find his time running out. Unless he can be moulded to a new role he may well be Brendaans first signing with a new club.

Flourish- Jordan Rossiter

Jurgen Klopp  has shown that he is not afraid to give young players a chance in the first-team, and Jordan Rossiter will be sure to benefit from that. The kid will probably get more chances ahead.

Fail – Simon Mignolet

I can’t see how the new manager will faail to ideentify pretty quickly one of our major failings. He will know that the last maan iss so important. Think bacck to how many goals Pepe Reina created with his quick outballss and his kicking accuracy.

Flourish- Jordan Ibe

Yes I know he’s gone off the raails lately but everyone knows this boy has great potential. It is almost certain that Ibe is just the type of player that Jurgen Klopp would like to get his hands on.

Ok guys thats my take – Whats yours – Fail or Flourish?

Reading between the liness

Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez has revealed that Xabi Alonso wasn’t happy about leaving Liverpool to land at the Santiago Bernabeu, but the Spanish boss claims he made a financial decision by selling the midfielder.

“When one is faced with responsibility, it’s important to assume this position”, the manager said on talkshow El Larguero on the Cadena SER network.

“I needed the money as team manager.

“You don’t get much for selling a bad player.

“He wasn’t happy about it. I was clear with him and his representative.

“Liverpool Football Club put him up for sale.

“He had just had an excellent season and we sold him for decent money that helped us rebuild the team.”

Hmmm sounds to me like the board forced him to sell. No manager in their right mind would have voluntary sold a player of such importance to the team for such a poultry amount.

Klopp vs Mourinho: what’s in store

Klopp vs Mourinho: what’s in store if Liverpool get their man

The Special One’s days as top dog in the Premier League will be over if Liverpool get their man

Jurgen Klopp is set to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool this week and his arrival will bring Jose Mourinho’s reign as top managerial dog in the Premier League to a juddering end.

When the charismatic Klopp rolls into Anfield it will be arguably the biggest managerial coronation since Mourinho declared himself to be the Special One when he parked up at Stamford Bridge over a decade ago.

Mourinho caused a sensation in his first stint with the Blues, and created the kind of buzz no manager has replicated in the years since. But his second shift at Stamford Bridge has lacked the same flamboyance and his aura has taken on a cynical hue.

The alternatives have fallen short. Arsene Wenger has become too aloof, Alex Ferguson was too blunt, the likes of Rafa Benitez, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Roberto Mancini failed to capture the public’s imagination in the same way as Mourinho.

Now, if Klopp takes over at Anfield the Premier League will once again have a maverick manager whose utterances will reinvigorate the game.

“Klopp is an easy man to fall in love with,” says Jonathan Liew in the Daily Telegraph. He is a “gleeful non-conformist… [who] effervesces with honesty, good intentions, the pure joy of football.”

Here’s how he will take Mourinho’s crown.

Style of play:

Call it what you will, ‘gegenpressing’ or ‘heavy metal football’, Klopp’s style of play is unmistakeable.

It’s “a very high energy game where his players hunt teams down in packs. It’s high intensity and it’s good to watch,” says Bundesliga expert Archie Rhind-Tutt in the Liverpool Echo.

And Klopp wants his teams to have an “identity”. Rory Smith of The Times reports that while in charge of Borussia Dortmund he once said: “The fans should not only recognise us from our black-and-yellow shirts. Even if we were playing in red, everyone in the stadium should think: ‘Woah! That can only be Dortmund’.”

That philosophy is in contrast to Mourinho’s rather more pragmatic approach, which may also involve pressing but can be dour to watch and has not always impressed his paymaster Roman Abramovich.

Management style:

The once-entertaining Mourinho has cut an increasingly cynical figure in recent times, convinced that the officials are against him and his team and instilling a bunker mentality in his squad.

He still provides the odd moment of magic, but it is two years since he compared his Chelsea team to “little eggs in need of a mother” and 18 months since he spoke fondly of a “little horse that still needs milk”. There are even signs that all is not well in the Chelsea camp, with Mourinho publicly warning his players that they need to improve their performances.

Klopp on the other hand appears rather more positive, and has the sense of mischief that has deserted the Special One. “The abiding images of him from his Dortmund days consist of a megawatt smile, eyes glinting with a sense of fun and bear hugs for all of his players,” says Smith of the Times. Even in his final season with his former club he still managed to raise a smile.

“Dortmund, certainly, were aware that their coach’s personality helped to win fans and affection across the world,” says Smith. “Liverpool will hope to capitalise, too.”


“Klopp’s relationships last,” says Liew of the Telegraph. He has had three jobs in the past 26 years: “Mainz player, Mainz manager, Dortmund manager. In a way, his great achievement at Dortmund was in maintaining some illusion of continuity in a world where there was none.”

And a cozy relationship with Liverpool also beckons. “Klopp and Liverpool are a fit so snug they might have been matched on eHarmony.”

Mourinho, on the other hand, has never completed more than three seasons at a club, and despite his apparent love for Chelsea things fell apart last time early in his fourth season at the Bridge.

He is now in his third campaign back in west London and the cracks are starting to show. So far this season he has fallen out with the club’s medical staff and issued a back me or sack ultimatum to his notoriously trigger-happy owner.


Mourinho may also have met his match in the soundbite stakes, although Klopp does have a propensity to swear.

He once said of player Henrikh Mkhitaryan: “He fits us like an a*** on a bucket. What he offers is exactly what we need.”

And his opinion on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger? “He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It’s like an orchestra. But it’s a silent song. I like heavy metal.”

Track record:

The one area where Mourinho remains untouchable. Klopp has two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final to his name.

Mourinho has eight league titles in four countries and two Champions League triumphs under his belt.

Urgent need to address

John Aldridge on areas of the team new Liverpool manager needs to address

Liverpool legend Aldridge wants to see the defence tightened up.

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has, in the Liverpool Echo, been identifying the areas the new man in charge at Anfield will have to address when he arrives at the club.

Brendan Rodgers’ reign of just over three years came to an end on Sunday afternoon when he was sacked following the Reds’ 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby – with that decision taken on the back of a string of poor performances and indifferent results.

Reports, such as those from Sky Sports, are suggesting that former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is the frontrunner to succeed Rodgers and could be in place by the end of the week, with a view to taking charge of his first game away to Tottenham Hotspur a week on Saturday – the first fixture that follows the international break.

Aldridge wrote in his Liverpool Echo column that tightening up the side’s leaky defence has to be a priority going forward.

“We need to be strong, more rigid, more mean and keep more clean sheets. I don’t think I can state strongly enough that you have to keep clean sheets.

“We panic far too easily in defence and that will always give the opposition a chance.

“That’ll be down to whichever system the new boss employs because we he’ll have to work with the same group of players until January at the earliest.

“Obviously, we have some good players going forward. Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke and Danny Ings are all good strikers, so we are potent up top.

“We just need to make sure they get proper service.

“But if you can’t keep clean sheets then you are eventually going to find it difficult to win games.”

It has been a trait of Liverpool over the past three seasons that they have conceded too many goals, so of course it will be a part of the team that the new manager will look to get to work as soon as he is appointed, but there is also the issue of solving Liverpool’s problems in front of goal to contend with.

They have only managed to find the net more than once on one occasion this season, and since April they have only scored more than once in three games in total.

When you look at the strikers they have in their ranks in Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Christian Benteke, all three have shown they are capable of getting their fair share of goals for a side in the Premier League during the course of the season – so there’s an evident pool of talent there.

It will just be a question of how you get the best out of them. But whoever is Liverpool manager still has an opportunity if he manages to hit the ground running of engineering a pretty successful season.

The club are still in the League Cup, can qualify from their Europa League group and are currently six points away from the top of the Premier League, which is hard to believe given their performances of late, so to write off their chances of finishing in the Champions League places is a little premature.

Which area of the team do you think that the new manager need to address most urgently?

Pair Jurgen Klopp with Jamie Carragher’

Ian Wright: ‘Liverpool should pair Jurgen Klopp with Jamie Carragher’

Retired Liverpool football club player Jamie Carragher arrives for a memorial service to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster at Anfield Stadium on April 15, 2014

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright has claimed that Liverpool should bring in Jamie Carragher as part of Jurgen Klopp’s coaching staff.

The former Borussia Dortmund manager is widely expected to take over at Anfield, with the club reportedly hoping to have the 48-year-old in place by the end of the week.

Wright has suggested that Carragher, who played 737 times for Liverpool before retiring in 2013, would bring local knowledge to the dressing room should Klopp be appointed.

“We all know how much stock they’ve put on the old Boot Room ethos at Anfield over the years,” “How important it has been to have a Scouser on the backroom team who understands the emotion and the passion which goes hand in hand with working at one of the world’s great clubs. And for all they have struggled at times, Liverpool is still one of the great footballing institutions.

“That has never been more important than it is right now – and can you imagine the massive shot in the arm it would give everyone to have not only Klopp but also Carragher there?”

Jurgen Klopp’s best 15 quotes

Jurgen Klopp: Good for a quote or two

Top 15 Jurgen Klopp quotes:

On the challenges of competing with Bayern Munich.

  • “We have a bow and arrow and if we aim well, we can hit the target. The problem is that Bayern has a bazooka. But then Robin Hood was quite successful.”

On Dortmund’s defeat to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley.

  • “The only thing I can say is that it was great. London is the town of the Olympic Games. The weather was good, everything is OK. Only the result is s***.”

On the crucial difference between himself and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

  • “He likes having the ball, playing football, passes. It’s like an orchestra. But it’s a silent song. I like heavy metal.”

On signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan when he was at Borussia Dortmund.

  • “Mkhitaryan fits us like an arse on a bucket. What he offers is exactly what we need.”

On a poor first-half performance.

  • I told my players during the break: Since we’re here anyway, we might actually play a bit of football.”

When asked by a Schalke fan the secret of winning the Bundesliga.

  • “How do you explain to a blind person what colour is?”

On Bayern Munich’s philosophy.

  • “At the moment, they are like the Chinese in the business world. They look at what others are doing and copy it, just with more money.”

On his wife.

  • “She wrote a book for children. It’s like Harry Potter – but it’s about football. There’s no Harry Potter flying on his f***** stick – just football.”

On Mats Hummels being linked with a summer move to Manchester United in July 2014.

  • “If that’s not a bulls*** story, I’ll eat a broomstick!”

On Hummels again. This time on the defender’s injury woes.

  • We will wait for him like a good wife waiting for her husband who is in jail.”

Klopp touching on the ‘problems’ facing modern footballers.

  • “It doesn’t make it any easier to run your heart out when you’ve just woken up in a five-star hotel. Too much comfort makes you comfortable.

On talking to the British press.

  • “You don’t understand? You should learn. There are some really good German explanations for some problems. But I don’t know how to say it in English.”

Klopp on how he remains discreet when out in public.

  • “In extreme situations, you have to think fast. At one of my mates’ stag parties, we all dressed up as Father Christmas – fully masked.”

On losing Mario Gotze to Bayern.

  • “Gotze has gone because he is Guardiola‘s personal chosen signing and he wants to play with Guardiola, in his style. I can’t make myself 15cm shorter or start speaking Spanish.”

On Shinji Kagawa’s role at Manchester United.

  • “Shinji Kagawa is one of the best players in the world and he now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United – on the left wing. My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes. Central midfield is Shinji’s best role. He’s an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw.”

One fans view

You may have seen Jamie caraghers comments Liverpool are no longer a top club but a club who thinks its a top club but in reality isn’t and the real top clubs who challenge for titles no longer see us as rivals.

I have been saying this for a number of years to me it’s patently obvious yes we challenged for the title in 2014 in exceptional circumstances before that you need to go back to 2008 under Rafa trophy wise we have won the league cup other than that we go back to 2006 and the FA cup.

Our success is greater than Tottenham I don’t recall them winning the champions league in 2005 but this is I feel simply because we started from a higher place and we are seeing moments of success as we continue on the downward trajectory

We are now very firmly in the Tottenham zone a club better than most in the premiership who has dreams but they are never fulfilled because the true ambition and quality is not there.

A quality manager will help but there are fundamental problems with Liverpool FC I gave followed them for 50 years starting from the shankly days and the club today I simply don’t recognise as Liverpool FC.

Liverpool FC for me represents the highest ambition where first is first and second is nowhere we are light years away from those days sadly

Sadly we have owners remote from the club and the city with barely any interest in the sport who,s plan is simply to market and sell the brand and induce gullible fans to buy overpriced merchandise tat and pay astronomical sums for match tickets to follow a concept that ceased two and a half decades ago.

Only a revolution can save us now that can only be with new owners who have the resources and the will to restore Liverpool FC to former glory. Failing that this is as good as it gets Yes a decent manager might do better than Rodgers but the fundamental failings of ambition still exist at the club

Pray for a miracle

Sakho and Scouse

‘Sound lads’ Sakho says Liverpool bought him Scouse dictionary

Mamadou Sakho is fast becoming a cult hero at Liverpool and French newspaper L’Equipe say he’s also now an indisputable starter for the club. Sakho has been speaking to L’Equipe at the start of the current international break and, as ever, the Liverpool player has been open, honest and entertaining.

Sakho was asked if he really feels Liverpool on the inside yet, and there was only going to be one answer to that “Oh yes, completely! The atmosphere, the fans, the team itself… When you walk into Anfield, you have a special feeling. When I hear You’ll Never Walk Alone before kickoff, it’s like hearing a national anthem. It puts me in a trance. I understand why so many people across the world want to see a match here. I feel like a Scouser.”

Like a Scouser? L’Equipe are intrigued by their fellow Frenchmen suddenly becoming a Scouser. Sakho is a proud Parisian, at leats that’s what L’Equipe thought, and the Liverpool player was pressed some more about whether he understands it all, what people are saying.

“They brought me a special dictionary just with Scouser words… If I say “Sound lads,” do you know what that means?”

Sakho said ‘sound lads’ to the newspaper in English, and L’Equipe had absolutely no idea what it meant, so Sakho helped “It means: ‘Cool man.'”

If Sakho can become as good on the pitch as he is off it then Liverpool have a legend building within their mist. He’s absolutely committed to the club, and determined to do as well as he possibly can… and enjoy his time as a Scouser.

It’s been far too long.

Finally Feeling Something with Liverpool FC Again

It’s been far too long.

365 days make up a full year, yet it feels like it’s a lot longer when it comes to football. It felt like forever since I’ve started watching football, learning the game from all aspects whilst sitting on the floor beside my dad as we watch the game on weekend nights; a cup of coffee for him, a cup of Milo for me, and a night of entertaining football. It felt like I’ve been doing so all my life when in fact, it’s only really been eight years.

I was lucky in that I picked up watching the sport and started learning and researching about Liverpool FC just before what was a photo-finish in the Premier League in 2008/09, with the team that I newly-supported getting ousted by their biggest rivals, Manchester United. It was then when I realised just how emotionally involved football is for a fan – I get pumped up when we win, yet I get sick to my stomach for the whole week whenever we don’t. Each Gerrard thunderbolt left my jaw well-dropped, each through-ball being met by a speedy Fernando Torres and nicely tucked away into the net would get fist-pumps from me, and every horrendous defending gets me genuinely agitated.

That 2008/09 season made me support Liverpool more than I ever have in my life, but then 2013/14 happened. We were closer than ever to the club’s first Premier League title, and we had a monster of a player that no one else had in Luis Suarez. Rafa Benitez had one of the most complete Liverpool squads any of us have seen in recent years for sure, but there was something about that feisty Uruguayan that I absolutely loved and as a Liverpool supporter, it sucked when he left; he was undoubtedly one of the best players to ever grace the club. Up until the 2013/14 season, I’ve groaned and moaned after every loss, so one could imagine how the loss to Crystal Palace and Chelsea that season sucked everything out of me that I loved about the beautiful game.

Since then, from politics, to owner-manager disharmony, to player mistreatment and the pre-announced loss of Steven Gerrard, I’ve felt absolutely nothing about Liverpool FC. Sure, I’ve cheered for Philippe Coutinho’s wonder goals and the signing of Roberto Firmino, but for the most part, I’m sure many share the same frustrations as me – feeling gutted and having the week ruined thanks to Liverpool FC – but imagine going from that, to feeling nothing. I’ve gone from having sleepless weekend nights after a loss, to emptiness.

Here I’ve been, in that same scenario from eight years ago: sitting on the floor beside my dad in my parents’ room – a cup of coffee for him, a cup of something for me – but in a whole different setting. My phone would be by my side now as I prepare to tweet my frustrations when eight years back, I would’ve tweeted my enjoyment. Instead of my dad going on about what a beautiful pass Gerrard made and how magnificent we played, he now goes “what have I been saying about Liverpool’s horrible defence?” From ending the night with a fuzzy feeling, it became “sighhh, goodnight Dad”. This is what the Liverpool of today has done to football nights with my dad, a memory which I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Now, for the first time in a year (which equates to something like four years in footballing years, plus-minus), as I am typing this piece up, my heart is racing and it’s full of hope and excitement once again. The last time I felt like this about Liverpool FC, was the potential signing of Luis Suarez back then to partner up with Fernando Torres up-top, being supported by Steven Gerrard playing just behind the two. It’s a weird, unfamiliar feeling but quite frankly, I’m enjoying it.

I can only feel for Brendan Rodgers, having to survive as the manager of Liverpool on a match-to-match basis, but I’m truly happy for Liverpool FC that he is no longer the man responsible for taking us forward anymore. The prospect of bringing in a fresh face at the helm, with fresh ideas to be implemented and hopefully, an exciting brand of football that can not only produce spectacular performances and results on the pitch, but also unite fans off it is one to behold. It’s one that makes me feel genuinely excited about the club again; it’s one that makes the clock turn back to eight years ago.

The new manager, whoever it may be – Klopp, Ancelotti, de Boer, whoever – is at risk of failing at Liverpool FC; it’s definitely a possibility. However, I finally feel like wins will be celebrated once again, and losses will leave a sick feeling in my stomach, make the next Monday-to-Friday feel like crap, and just break my heart, but you know what? That was my story – my story of being a young, but a passionate and excited Liverpool supporter from eight years ago, and I’m glad to finally be able to feel anything at all once again.

It’s been far too long.

(Courtesy of AnfieldIndex)

Echo writers sum things up

Brendan Rodgers: ECHO writers deliver their verdicts on the now departed Liverpool manager

Our team of Liverpool correspondents assess Brendan Rodgers’ Reds reign

Neil Jones

I’m a bore, me. I bore people about football, I bore people about footballers, and I bore people about football managers. And if you’d given me more than 200 words for this piece, I’d bore you all here as well.

And when Liverpool beat Norwich 3-2 on 20 April 2014, I went in to full on bore mode. That was it, I said, they’ve won it. They’ve ended that long wait for a league title. I was convinced. And I was wrong.

But Brendan Rodgers helped create that situation. He helped create a team that was the most exciting in the country. A team that didn’t have the best players – although it did have THE best player – but that found a way to compete with the better sides, to beat them, batter them, frighten them.

What’s happened since, of course, we all know. It’s been downhill; frustrating, annoying, relentless. Anfield, a beautiful place when things are going well, has been angry, irritable, at times apathetic.

He’s a rich man, Brendan, and he doesn’t need my support by any means, but it’s not been nice to see a Liverpool manager take so much flak over the past few months. The vitriol has been as ugly as some of the Reds’ worst performances.

But it wasn’t all bad for Rodgers at Liverpool, no matter what some would have you believe. In fact, for 19/20ths of a season, it was the best a generation, including this bore, had seen.

Sum up Rodgers’ time at Liverpool in a word? Nearly.

Ian Doyle

It’s the hope that kills you. Such was the fate that befell Brendan Rodgers, who made the mistake of almost winning the Premier League title with Liverpool.

Gerard Houllier finished second, and was gone within two years. Rafael Benitez lasted barely a year after coming up short.

Now Rodgers has been giving the boot less than 18 months after one of the most thrilling, exhilarating Liverpool seasons in a generation.

Certainly, in 15 years covering the Reds there wasn’t anything quite like the final four months of the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, when they produced arguably their most eye-catching attacking football since the 1987-88 vintage of Barnes, Beardsley and Aldridge.

Maybe the cup treble year under Houllier ran it close in terms of pure drama. But nothing truly compares with the raw excitement of the team in which Rodgers harnessed the talents of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and upcoming duo Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho.

The win over Arsenal was a genuine highlight, although my personal pinnacle came with Suarez’s shot that crashed against the post.

In some ways, it encapsulated the Rodgers reign. At times incredible, but not quite the desired finish.

Liverpool – their players, their fans, arguably the manager – never quite got over the way the title challenge faltered at the final hurdle. And that’s why Anfield regulars just couldn’t bring itself to contemplate yet another squad rebuilding programme – a change was needed.

Hopefully, history will be kind on Rodgers. He did his best and has utter faith in his methods. They just weren’t quite good enough to succeed in the current Liverpool landscape.

Sum up Rodgers’ time at Liverpool in a word? Frustrating.

Kristian Walsh

Snaking through the streets which, eventually, would lead to Anfield Road, a dense, red mist filtered up my nostrils. Ahead, prior to kick off against Chelsea in what was essentially a title-deciding fixture, was a huge swell of people welcoming the home team bus as it crawled into the stadium.

Banners were being waved, songs were being sung, smoke bombs released to add colour to the setting – and a few problems to anyone with asthma, admittedly. The stadium was buoyant, alive, and full of belief.

That was less than 18 months ago. That was a magnificent time for the football club. That, in part, was because of Brendan Rodgers.

It’s easy to ignore a lot about Rodgers’ reign. Ignore 2013-14 as a whole focusing on what followed; ignore the intelligent tactics and lay it all at the feet of Luis Suarez. Ignore, fundamentally, how he made a team and its supporters dream.

His critics, plentiful and vociferous, are right to point to his failings. The end to the last campaign was unforgivable, the start to this one not much better in terms of lifting the mood. The signings, whoever made them, were either not good enough or implemented well enough.

But he leaves Liverpool, arguably, in a better state than he found it. The progress was ultimately not enough after over three years and £300m spent.

As the club edged towards progress, however, it took the most fantastical detour. Given football is meant to be fun, he should be waved goodbye with that in mind, more than anything else.

And a little bit of resentment he couldn’t recreate it one more time.

Sum up Rodgers’ time at Liverpool in a word? Enigmatic.

Andy Kelly

Of course I see the arguments in favour of sacking Brendan Rodgers – I just don’t think he was the main problem at Liverpool Football Club.

He is undoubtedly a good coach, capable of developing players and an intelligent, thoroughly modern manager.

Mistakes undoubtedly – principally in cahoots with the transfer committee in recruitment, possibly in believing his own publicity a little too much – but weren’t we all in this together? What’s wrong with patience, loyalty and the long game?

You don’t need me to talk you through the second half of 2013/14, where his wonderful team almost achieved the preposterous.

He ultimately failed because FSG could not attract or, in other cases, keep the world’s best players but he certainly should have done better with the ones he had in the last 14 months.

His removal means the owners’ Plan A has failed.

Plan B looks like being Klopp’s charisma or Ancelotti’s respect and esteem.

In the short term it will probably bring about at least some improvement but I think sustained success will only come with changes more fundamental than simply the name on the manager’s door.

Sum up Rodgers’ time at Liverpool in a word? Committ-ed

John Thompson

Dominic King of the Daily Mail, summed it up perfectly that day. February 8, 2014.

‘If they keep scoring at this rate, it will end 19-0 to the Reds’, he calculated aloud.

Martin Skrtel (2) Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling had scored four goals inside the first 19 minutes as Brendan Rodgers’ Reds blitzkrieged the Gunners.

It ended 5-1 as the run rate slackened.

But it was a remarkable Liverpool performance and not atypical that season – one dominated by the goals of Luis Suarez, a player who that day didn’t for once get in on the act.

It was a display fitting of any of the great Liverpool sides of the 60s, 70s and 80s. And better than very many of them.

A sign too that in Rodgers, Liverpool had an unstoppable young manager as well as an unstoppable side.

Many still say it was all down to Suarez that season. But that was the same Luis Suarez who had been hoping to be in the Gunners’ side that afternoon – his public summer demands for a transfer to the Emirates all too evident.

The same Luis Suarez too who was consequently banished to train alone at Melwood by the Reds boss, until he repented. Some tune Rodgers got out of him after that!

Suarez has gone. Now Rodgers has gone too. But memories remain of an incredible 19 minutes that shook the Kop – and simply blew the Gunners away.

Sum up Rodgers’ time at Liverpool in a word? Cruel.

Coutinho ‘happy to sign’ for Barcelona

Spanish newspaper Sport on Tuesday have Coutinho splashed across their front page. Barcelona are now continually being linked with a move for the player and it all appears to have been kicked off by Neymar’s recent comments.

The newspaper claim that Coutinho would be ‘happy to sign’ for Barcelona, and they point out that the club have an excellent relationship with the player’s agent. Sport don’t feel it’s any coincidence that David Luiz, who shares the same agent, has recently talked up a Coutinho transfer.

None of that means it’s happening. Sport say Barcelona are keen but could be put off by the huge economic cost of signing Coutinho from Liverpool. There are cheaper options available, especially when it’s likely the Brazilian would mainly be used as back-up to Barcelona’s front trident.

Arda Turan is available from January onward and there are still big hopes for Rafinha, despite his recent injury. Sport are based in Barcelona and naturally biased, they say Real Madrid are interested too but that Coutinho would prefer the Barca option.

Coutinho has given no suggestion during interviews that he’d like to leave Liverpool. Even when speaking to the media in Brazil recently, Coutinho didn’t take any bait to talk up a potential transfer to Barcelona, instead insisting that he wants to win silverware where he is.

The real issue for Liverpool would be Coutinho wanting to play Champions League football but, with the optimistic outlook at Anfield right now, that’s starting to look achievable. Good will and want won’t get Liverpool to the Champions League, but Jurgen Klopp may.

 (courtesy Sportingwitness)

Michael Owen: We must appoint Jurgen Klopp

Michael Owen: This is why Liverpool have to appoint Jurgen Klopp

MICHAEL OWEN has told Liverpool to appoint Jurgen Klopp as he’s hungrier than Carlo Ancelotti.

By Jack Wilson
The Kop board are on the lookout for a new boss after axing Brendan Rodgers yesterday.Klopp and Ancelotti are battling it out with Anfield chiefs already having touch based with the pair of them.

An appointment is expected before Liverpool’s clash with Tottenham on October 17.

Owen said: “Klopp is the better fit for Liverpool at this time.

“Nobody can fault Ancelotti’s track record over the years and with a coaching resume that includes Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris St-Germain and Real Madrid there can be little doubt that he would be a success at Liverpool.

“However, I’m not sure that Liverpool need a safe pair of hands at this time.”I think that a younger and potentially hungrier manager in Jurgen Klopp would be the best fit for Liverpool in their current predicament.

“Klopp may have significantly less experience than Ancelotti but given what he achieved with Borussia Dortmund I think he has all the attributes that Liverpool need right now.

“His appointment would certainly excite the Liverpool fans, who had become so disillusioned with Rodgers, and in this day and age their part in the whole process cannot be over-estimated.

“With Klopp at the helm the club began to make it’s way back to football’s top table and this is precisely what Liverpool will be hoping for”

Michael Owen

“He would also bring a burning desire to succeed and to take the club from their true position of ‘top six’ to right back in the mix for winning the title and where finishing top four is a given every season.

“The other big advantage that Klopp has over Ancelotti is that whereas Ancelotti has generally managed at clubs who were already very successful with a squad full of top players, Klopp took over at Borussia Dortmund when they were in a similar position to that which Liverpool find themselves in now.

“Borussia Dortmund enjoyed great success in the 90s and early 2000s before it all began to slip away. A number of fallow years followed before the appointment of Klopp in 2008.

“With Klopp at the helm the club began to make it’s way back to football’s top table and this is precisely what Liverpool will be hoping for should his appointment be confirmed in the next few days or weeks.”

Brendan Rodgers expresses disppointment

Brendan Rodgers expresses disppointment and thanks Liverpool fans and board with LMA statement

Rodgers Rodgers leaves with no ill feeling towards Liverpool’s owners. Photo: PA

Brendan Rodgers has released a statement through the League Managers Association expressing his disappointment at being sacked, while thanking everyone at Liverpool for his time as manager.

Rodgers reserved “special mention to John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Mike Gordon” for giving him the opportunity to manage Liverpool despite conceding he was “incredibly disappointed” to be leaving the club.

In a lengthy statement, the former Reds boss said:

I am, of course, incredibly disappointed to be leaving Liverpool Football Club. It has been both an honour and a privilege to manage one of the game’s great clubs for the last three years.

I have worked every day to represent the club to the best of my ability, to develop both individual players and a team that the club’s magnificent fans can be proud of. There have been some very memorable moments during my time at Liverpool and I would like to thank all of the players for their hard work and commitment.

The current squad is one in transition, but they have some real talent and are showing a strong sense of togetherness. I expect to see them continue to grow and develop over the coming weeks and I wish them and my successor well for the rest of the season.

Liverpool has a magnificent football heritage and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the history, tradition and values that make the city and the club so exceptional.

As well as my players, I would like to thank everyone connected with the club; Fenway Sports Group, the Liverpool Directors, in particular Ian Ayre, my coaching staff, the staff throughout the club, the volunteers, the Academy staff and its young players and of course the amazing Liverpool fans for their unwavering support, passion and dedication which has made my time at the club so special.

Finally, I would like to give a special mention to John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Mike Gordon. They gave me this great opportunity and even though we will no longer be working together I am sure our relationship and friendship will continue into the future.

– Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

Did You Know!

That Jurgen Klopps previous team Borussia Dortmund had the highest average home attendance in Europe for league games. And that included both Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern!

The guy would not be intimided by fan pressure!

Reus, Hummels and Subotic to follow

Reus, Hummels and Subotic to follow Klopp to Liverpool? Transfer chances revealed

JURGEN KLOPP is unlikely to bring a host of Borussia Dortmund stars to Liverpool if he gets the top job.

Winger Marco Reus, striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and defender Mats Hummels have been linked with big moves to the Premier League.But Bundesliga expert Archie Rhind-Tutt has ruled out any of those trio – or Bosnian Neven Subotic – following Klopp to Anfield.

He told the Liverpool Echo: “He [Klopp] does have his favourites, players like Neven Subotic, but he’s a little over the hill now.

“I would be very surprised if he went back to Dortmund for some of their players. He is a progressive coach and I think he could work with what he has.

  Jurgen Klopp
AFP/GETTY KOP MOVE? Jurgen Klopp could replace Brendan Rodgers

“Klopp is in pole position to replace Brendan Rodgers”

“He arrived at Borussia Dortmund when expectations were very low and the club had almost gone bankrupt and he was responsible for turning them into a team watched by 80,000 every week.

“That gave him the time and breathing space to develop players like Mats Hummels, Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski – for me currently the best striker in Europe.

“He is revered in Dortmund and there’s a certain irony that after six really good years and becoming the longest serving manager Dortmund had ever had, the one not so good year he had did for him.”

Klopp is in pole position to replace Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked by Kop bosses yesterday.

Pepe wants “old Liverpool” back

Pepe Reina wants “old Liverpool” back following Brendan Rodgers axe

Bayern Munich's Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina takes part in an official training session of German first division Bundesliga football club Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena stadium in Munich, southern Germany, on August 9, 2014

Pepe Reina is hopeful that the “old” Liverpool will return following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday.

The Spanish goalkeeper was sold by Rodgers to Bayern Munich last year after being sent on loan to Napoli in the previous season.

Reina, who has since returned to Napoli, spent nine years at Anfield, winning the Champions League and FA Cup with former manager Rafael Benitez.

After hearing the news that Rodgers had been sacked, Reina tweeted: “I will always be a fan & all I want now is to see the old Liverpool come back for the players and the supporters who deserve the best. YNWA.”

Liverpool’s American owners FSG are believed to be keen to make a swift appointment and former Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp is expected to hold talks with the club this week.

Rodgers spotted in public for the first time

Sacked Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been spotted in public for the first time since his dismissal yesterday afternoon.


The Northern Irish boss boarded a private jet at Liverpool airport this morning with partner Charlotte Hind and her daughter.

The plane flew to the Spanish city of Malaga, where Rodgers and Hind have holidayed in the past.

They were photographed leaving the airport shortly after landing at their destination.

Klopp sounds out Didi Hamann

Exclusive: Jurgen Klopp sounds out Didi Hamann over Liverpool job

Jurgen Klopp has been speaking to compatriot Dietmar Hamann ahead of a potential move to become the new Liverpool manager.

04.08.2010, Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, GER, Freundschaftsspiel, Borrussia Dortmund vs Manchester City, im Bild: Dortmunds Trainer Jürgen / Juergen Klopp (GER) mit Daumen hoch, gibt Anweisungen, EXPA Pictures © 2010, PhotoCredit: EXPA/ nph/ Scholz+++++ ATTENTION - OUT OF GER +++++

Klopp is the favourite and leading contender to replace Brendan Rodgers at Anfield after the Northern Irishman was sacked following Sunday’s 1-1- draw with Everton on Sunday.

And Klopp, the former Borussia Dortmund manager, has been seeking advice from former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann ahead of a potential move to Merseyside.

We understand that Hamann, who is currently in Germany, has spoke to Klopp in recent weeks and could even be offered a role on the 48-year-old’s backroom staff should he be confirmed as the new manager.

Hamann, who completed his UEFA Pro Licence coaching qualification in 2013, has been providing advice to Klopp and recommending the move to Liverpool.

Hamann, who played for the Reds from 1999 to 2006 – winning every trophy except the title during his seven year stay – is unlikely to accept an official role should he be offered one.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 15, 2001: Liverpool's Dietmar Hamann and Everton's Thomas Graveson during the Premiership match at Goodison Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp will likely be keen appoint a former player and Hamann, along with former forward Robbie Fowler are two that would be in the running. Fowler had put himself forward for the first-team coach role that Gary McAllister eventually was appointed to in the summer.

We understand that McAllister and assistant manager Sean O’Driscoll will definitely be leaving the club along with Rodgers.

All the signings

Liverpool signings during Rodgers’ reign

  • Fabio Borini, £10.4m
  • Joe Allen, £15m
  • Oussama Assaidi, £3m
  • Samed Yesil, £1m
  • Daniel Sturridge, £12m
  • Philippe Coutinho, £8.5m
  • Luis Alberto, £6.8m
  • Iago Aspas, £7m
  • Simon Mignolet, £9m
  • Mamadou Sakho, £15m
  • Tiago Llori, £7m
  • Rickie Lambert, £4.5m
  • Adam Lallana, £25m
  • Emre Can, £9.75m
  • Lazar Markovic, £19.8m
  • Dejan Lovren, £20m
  • Divock Origi, £9.8m
  • Alberto Moreno, £12m
  • Mario Balotelli, £16m
  • Joe Gomez, £6m
  • Nathaniel Clyne, £12.5m
  • Roberto Firmino, £29m
  • Christian Benteke, £32.5m

Make your own mind up on the wasted millions

Captain observations

Yesterday was very noticable just how James Milner looked every inch our captain.


I watched him manhandle Emre Can when the youngster blew his top. Never seen that with our captains, not even the great StevieG did that when Suarez got out of hand a few times.

Milner knew that Can was heading for the tunnel and took decisive action, literally dragging him half way down the pitch. Now thats what a captain should be doing. No nonsense

The actual captain, Jordan Henderson backed out of such actions last year, seemingly to bottle it.

Now that Rodgers has gone, perhaps the new manager will not see Henderson as his pet and give him titles he cannot live up to.

Far from certain to end problems

Liverpool FC talking point: Dismissal of Brendan Rodgers far from certain to end problems at Anfield

Liverpool owner John W Henry before kick-off between Liverpool and Man City at Anfield Photo by James Maloney Liverpool owner John W Henry before kick-off between Liverpool and Man City at Anfield Photo by James Maloney

In the end a parting of the ways became inevitable.

For if Brendan Rodgers was not to blame for a lack of progress at Liverpool Football Club, the finger could only point in one other direction.

And that is across the Atlantic, to a group of largely absentee landlords who – despite the decision being pre-planned – did not even deign to deliver the eviction notice from the Anfield dug-out face-to-face.

Chief executive Ian Ayre – the local bailiff if you will – did the job after an initial call from across The Pond, ending a three and a half year reign which came agonisingly close to glory.

Rodgers will never forget the what might-have-beens of that heart-stopping title challenge in 2014, nor will anyone who shared the stands and lined the Anfield streets to acclaim it.

They were joyful, unfettered months when anything seemed possible. Anything, but not this, not less than 18 months on?

But there it was, in black and white, in five brief paragraphs, the end of the line writ large.

Those words represented a verdict on Rodgers, yes, and the many mistakes he has made, not least in player recruitment, where accountability remained strangely blurred between the manager and the infamous Transfer Committee.

But it also offered a similarly damning verdict on the club’s American owners.

Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Jurgen Klopp before the Pre Season Friendly match between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on August 10, 2014
Brendan Rodgers shakes hands with Jurgen Klopp before the Pre Season Friendly match between Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund at Anfield on August 10, 2014

What is Liverpool’s vision now?

For while Rodgers remained so too did the vision that Fenway Sports Group (FSG) once had for Liverpool.

A vision for which, remember, they were happy to dispense with the services of one of the club’s greatest ever figures in Kenny Dalglish.

A vision of a club which could succeed against the billions of the Middle East and the oligarchs by doing things differently, by doing things better.

A young manager with an ability to improve young players and a philosophy of attacking, possession-based football which could challenge the chequebook Charlies at the Etihad, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.

It was a vision perhaps fatefully undermined by the watering down of Financial Fair Play, the move towards a level playing field upon which FSG made so many of their assumptions.

But it has also been undone by their own lack of ambition and decision-making.

A young group of players increasing in value, experience and talent only delivers if you hold on to those assets for a long enough period.

There was no lack of mitigation but ultimately FSG were forced to cash in £75m on Luis Suarez and £49m on Raheem Sterling because neither player truly believed in their vision for the club’s future.

What FSG have most disappointingly done, for many, is to water down expectations of where Liverpool Football Club is capable of going.

The owners gave Rodgers plenty of money yes – though net spend remains well below the fanciful £300m you’ll see thrown in the air – but the Reds still remained unable to compete at the absolute top end of the market. Steven Gerrard texts buy you only so much goodwill.

Rodgers himself went from “Make us Dream” to the dull reality of “fifth is par”.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on the touchline

The situation was hardly irretrievable

So why now?

Much better could have been expected, even this early into a new season, but the situation was hardly irretrievable.

But FSG are well aware of the power of the Liverpool fanbase – its global reach was intrinsic to their decision to invest in the club five years ago, indeed it was intrinsic in their being able to invest, after fans played such a key role in the removal of Hicks and Gillett from the board room.

As supporters’ disquiet over Liverpool’s poor form became ever more apparent – whether in early walk-outs at Anfield, boos or internet rage – the risk of supporting Rodgers simply became too great.

Their investment in Liverpool has already seen their asset double in value. The giant new Main Stand rising over Anfield will only add to that and effectively became a Sword of Damacles hovering over Rodgers’ head.

Another 10,000 seats only works financially if people are desperate to see your product.

Ironically the dreadful season start from rivals Chelsea – which Rodgers could only have dreamed of in August – will have focused minds towards the huge opportunity of swiftly re-establishing the Reds in the Champions League at the expense of Jose Mourinho’s men.

Bizarrely the Northern Irishman used his last press conference to reveal he had never even been given a top four target from anyone at the club – a statement which almost defies comprehension.

Surely the new man, whether Klopp, or Ancelotti, or AN Other will be left in no such doubt,.

Liverpool have lost a good man in Brendan Rodgers, whose team played some of the finest football many Reds’ fans have ever seen.

Now FSG must find a great man to replace him and a new, coherent vision for the future of our great club.