Trent Alexander-Arnold becoming Premier League’s best at Liverpool

Trent Alexander-Arnold Liverpool Premier League

To paraphrase Jamie Carragher, nobody wants to be a full back. Players like Trent Alexander-Arnold are going a long way to changing that notion. Despite being 20-years-old, the Liverpool full-back is fast on his way to becoming the best in the Premier League.

Since breaking into the team three years ago, Alexander-Arnold has not looked back. The intervening years have seen him develop drastically under Jurgen Klopp’s careful tutelage.

Three years on from his debut he’s the Reds undisputed first choice at right back, and it won’t be long before he holds that status on the international stage as well. This season has been his best so far and feels like a sign of things to come.One goal and six assists in 27 games mean he has matched his total from last season. Continue reading

Virgil Van Dijk becoming the world’s best defender

Virgil Van Dijk Liverpool

Few central defenders keep Robert Lewandowski completely quiet. There’s even fewer who do it in the manner in which Virgil van Dijk did on Wednesday.

Rio Ferdinand may think otherwise, but the evidence has become compelling, Van Dijk is the best central defender in world football. The giant Dutchman is yet to put a foot wrong since arriving at Anfield for a world-record fee.

Plenty raised their eyebrows when Liverpool paid £75 million for his services, questioning whether he was actually good enough to warrant such a fee. The doubts were raised as a result of his nondescript performances for Southampton in the months leading up to the move. Continue reading

What’s happened to Mohamed Salah at Liverpool?

Mohamed Salah Liverpool

As Liverpool have struggled to maintain their push for the Premier League in recent weeks, there has been one standout issue. Mohamed Salah is not quite the player he was last season.

Suggesting the Egyptian is having a bad season is a foolish notion on multiple fronts. He remains Liverpool’s top goalscorer with 20 so far, five ahead of Sadio Mane. 17 of those goals have come in the Premier League, meaning he’s just one behind Sergio Aguero in those charts. Factor in his seven assists and he’s level with the Argentine when it comes to overall goal contributions. The pair sit on 24 respectively in that regard. In fact, Salah has scored more goals individually than Huddersfield Town have managed collectively.

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Liverpool must unleash Salah, Mane and Firmino to hold off Manchester City

 

Liverpool Klopp Salah Firmino Mane

Jurgen Klopp needs to unleash Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane to get Liverpool to the title.

 

As Liverpool smashed Watford at Anfield on Wednesday night, there was a sense of the old Liverpool coming back to the fore. Two 0-0 draws inside a week had some concerned about the Reds.

They were particularly worried about the form of their front three. More than one claim that trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino haven’t been the same this year. In the numbers alone, that seems a strange argument to make.

Salah has 20 goals in all competitions and is the top scorer in the Premier League. Mane has 15 to his name and in some parts of the campaign has been near on world-class. Firmino, meanwhile, has chipped in with 11 and continued his rise to the best false nine in Europe. Continue reading

Bayern result shows Liverpool focus is on the Premier League

Liverpool Manchester United Bayern Munich Premier League Champions League

It’s been a while since Liverpool had to choose between the Premier League and the Champions League. With the top four the best they could hope for in recent years, the latter took precedence.

For a club with as rich a history in Europe as the Reds, it made sense. A run to the Europa League final in 2016 provided cherished memories for fans that had been starved of anything special for several years.

The run to the Champions League final last season did the same. Thrilling wins over the likes of Manchester City and Roma are still talked about. They were exciting occasions that sit among Liverpool’s best nights in Europe.  Continue reading

Sadio Mane becoming world-class for Liverpool

 

Sadio Mane

Ask Jurgen Klopp to list his biggest regrets from his time at Borussia Dortmund and not signing Sadio Mane is one of them. It was a mistake the German was keen to avoid at Liverpool.

When the Reds paid £36 million to secure him from Southampton, many eyebrows were raised. Some suggested Mane would be another example of the club paying over the odds for a Saint. Dejan Lovren and Adam Lallana were examples of such errant spending. Klopp had no such doubts, though.

Three years on his faith that Mane would be worth the money is justified on a weekly basis. Ask Liverpool fans who watch on a regular basis and they are have not missed Mane’s excellence. Continue reading

Defensive crisis drags down Liverpool title challenge

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As 2018 came to an end, Liverpool would have been very happy indeed. Champions League heartbreak aside they had enjoyed a very good year. Having matched Manchester City toe to toe across 2018 they entered 2019 top of the Premier League table and four points ahead of the champions.

Adding Virgil Van Dijk in the January transfer window and Alisson Becker in the summer had transformed the once weak Reds backline into a formidable outfit. 12 of their 21 games before the turn of the year had seen them keep clean sheets. They had conceded just ten goals in that period, the best in the league. Manchester City were their closest competitors with a tally of 17 conceded.

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Sales the priority for Everton in January

Everton January Transfer Window

As the January transfer window heads into its final days, Everton’s door appears to be one that is closed for incoming players. Marcel Brands’ focus this month has remained on shipping people out.

The Blues Director of Football welcomed six new players in the summer but since day one his priority has been outgoings. Reducing a bloated playing staff was a target but it also went beyond that.

His list of players the club had no need for was extensive, the deadwood plentiful. No fewer than 15 players were sent packing last summer, the majority on loan. Mason Holgate and Oumar Niasse have joined them in departing temporarily. Continue reading

Why Idrissa Gana Gueye to PSG may be a good deal for Everton

Idrissa Gueye PSG

Propose the idea that Everton would be willing to sell Idrissa Gana Gueye to Paris Saint Germain this month and you will be met with derision.

When ranking Everton’s best players in recent years the Senegal player is a regular at the top. He remains one of few success stories from the short reign of former Director of Football Steve Walsh.

Even last season, when the Blues were one of the worst sides in the Premier League, Gueye came out with his head held high. That is a status few of his teammates can claim. This season under Marco Silva he has flourished once again. The Portuguese manager’s progressive, forward-thinking system has afforded Gueye a key role. Continue reading

Everton seek to reset against Bournemouth

Marco Silva Everton Bournemouth Premier League

As months go Everton won’t have looked back on theirs fondly. December 2018 turned out to be a write off for Marco Silva and his squad.

A 1-0 loss to Liverpool at the beginning of the month, courtesy of Jordan Pickford’s moment of madness, set the tone for what was to come. Losses to Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton, coupled with home draws against Watford and Newcastle, made it a miserable end to a miserable year.

Even a 5-1 hammering of Burnley on Boxing Day did little to raise the spirits at Goodison Park. While it was the perfect response to the drubbing by Spurs, it turned out to be little more than a small rise in an otherwise rapid decline. Continue reading