Klopp Might Quit Football Post Liverpool

Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury, north-west of Birmingham in England on January 26, 2020. Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Jurgen Klopp says he might turn his back on football once his present contract with Premier League champions Liverpool ends in 2024.

The 53-year-old German had wanted to take a year off after he left Borussia Dortmund in 2015 but Liverpool came calling that October asking him to replace Brendan Rodgers.

Since then he has guided them to the Champions League trophy in 2019 and this year ended a 30-year wait for the league title.

However, he told German website Sportbuzzer that taking a year out in 2024 will give him time to reflect on what he wants to do next.

“I will take a year off and ask myself if I miss football,” Klopp said.

“If the answer is in the negative, then that will be it for Jurgen Klopp as a coach.”

Klopp — who broke Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on the German title winning it with Dortmund two years running (2010/11, 2011/12) — also revealed what he would miss least about the high-pressure business of football management.

“If one day I’m not a coach anymore, there’s one thing I won’t miss: The brutal tension just before the game,” he said.

“That’s no laughing matter.”

Having landed the first English league title for Liverpool in 30 years, Klopp said the new champions are eager for more silverware.

The task facing Liverpool in defending the league crown is formidable as only Manchester City in the past 11 years has achieved that (2017/18, 2018/19).

“The whole club is up for the new season and wants to do it even better,” said Klopp.

“We want to chase our opponents and continue to be a super unpleasant team that is not fun to play against.

“We’re not defending any titles, we want to get new ones, we’ve only just started winning.”

AFP

EPL: Liverpool Left To Wait And Wonder After Virus Strikes

Liverpool’s German manager Jurgen Klopp gestures from the sidelines during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between Shrewsbury Town and Liverpool at the Montgomery Waters Meadow Stadium in Shrewsbury, north-west of Birmingham in England on January 26, 2020. Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Liverpool could have been crowned Premier League champions on Monday for the first time in a generation at the home of local rivals Everton. Instead, the stadium will be silent.

Jurgen Klopp’s team would have needed Manchester City to lose to Burnley on Saturday to have given them a chance to seal the deal at Goodison Park.

Regardless of whether it would have happened on Monday or over the coming weeks, Liverpool’s first top-flight title for 30 years was a mere formality.

But now fans are wondering when, or even if, they will be crowned champions after the coronavirus laid waste to the global sporting calendar.

The message coming from Liverpool is that there are more important issues than football to talk about, even with the club tantalisingly close to glory.

“I’ve said before that football always seems the most important of the least important things,” Klopp said in a statement on Friday.

“Today, football and football matches really aren’t important at all.

“If it’s a choice between football and the good of the wider society, it’s no contest. Really, it isn’t.”

Klopp’s stance won him the support of World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who thanked him for his “powerful message”.

Liverpool supporters, desperate to reclaim their position at the pinnacle of the English game, agree with their German manager, saying the pandemic overshadows football.

Supporters’ union Spirit of Shankly is focusing on the damaging fallout from the COVID-19 virus.

“In talks with @lfc we asked for assurances that non-playing staff will not lose their pay as a consequence of shifts being cancelled,” it said in a statement.

“We also need to keep in mind those most vulnerable. Cancelling football games means (foodbanks) will be hit hard.”

– Deserving winners –

Liverpool have stumbled in recent weeks, knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid and dumped out of the FA Cup by Chelsea.

But they have been peerless in the Premier League, leaving their rivals in their wake to race 25 points clear of defending champions Manchester City.

With Alisson Becker in goal, Virgil van Dijk marshalling the defence and their devastating front three of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, Klopp’s men have been irresistible.

Paul Hayward, writing in the Daily Telegraph, said Liverpool should be crowned champions for the 19th time even if no more games are played.

“If a season ends too soon, its natural winning line is the point it reached before the halt was called: emphatically so, 29 games into a 38-match campaign, which is a respectable distance,” he wrote.

“‘Voiding’ the 2019/20 football season would be nonsense,” he added. “Handing over the trophy at any point where clubs were forced to give up would feel morally correct.”

Brighton and Hove Albion chief executive Paul Barber said if the season were to be “frozen” it would be unjust on Liverpool.

“Everybody in the game appreciates what a fantastic season they’ve had and what a wonderful team they are,” he told the BBC.

“But equally it would be unjust for teams to be relegated when there are still eight, nine, ten games to play of the Premier League.”

But West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady said if the fixtures could not be completed, the only fair solution would be to declare the season “null and void”.

Writing in the Sun, Brady, whose club are just two places above the relegation zone, said: “Who knows who would have gone down or come up if the games have not actually been played in full?

“A huge blow to Liverpool, who might be robbed of their first title in 30 years.”

Nobody knows when football will return but, when it finally does, many in the game hope Liverpool are given the chance to complete their long journey back to the top.

AFP

Conte Still Confident In His Ability At Chelsea

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte insisted he remains the best man to lead the Londoners despite an alarming dip in form from the Premier League champions in his second season in charge.

Wednesday’s shock 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth left Chelsea down in fourth, 18 points off runaway league leaders Manchester City, and fighting just to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Conte has also repeatedly voiced his frustrations at his lack of input over the club’s transfer policy, further fuelling speculation he won’t remain in charge at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season.

“I trust in my work and this is the only way that brought me to be one of the best managers,” said Conte, who won three Serie A titles in a glorious three-year spell in charge at Juventus.

“I don’t trust in anything else, only in my work and my job.”

Conte labelled his preparations for Wednesday’s defeat as “disastrous” as Chelsea finally landed Olivier Giroud from Arsenal as a striking alternative to the injured Alvaro Morata, whilst the out of favour Michy Batshuayi was allowed to join Borussia Dortmund.

However, Conte is wary of throwing Giroud straight into his starting line-up for Monday night’s trip to Watford.

“We are working with him and we have to check his physical condition. It won’t be easy for him to start against Watford,” added Conte.

AFP

Mourinho Will Turn Things Around At Chelsea – Ferguson

fergusonFormer Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, has backed Jose Mourinho to turn things around at Chelsea.

The Premier League champions have made a bad start to the season, losing eight times already in 15 games.

However, despite his current travails, Ferguson believes Mourinho will eventually find a solution to the poor run of form.

Chelsea are 14th on the log with 15 points and travel to face league leaders, Leicester City on Monday, December 14.

Mourinho had earlier admitted that Chelsea may have to accept that a top-four finish is beyond them.

Iheanacho Scores Last-Gasp Winner As City Beat Palace

iheanachoNigerian youth international, Kelechi Iheanacho, scored a last-gasp winner as Manchester City edged Crystal Palace on Saturday to maintain their 100 per cent start to the 2015/2016 premier league season.

Iheanacho’s late goal helped Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in their English Premier League match at Selhurst Park.

Super Eagles forward, Odion Ighalo also scored the winner for Watford in their 1-nil win over Swansea City.

Premier League Champions, Chelsea lost for the 3rd time this season with Stephen Naismith inspiring Everton to a 3-1 win at Goodison Park.

In other results, Arsenal beat Stoke City 2-0, Norwich City beat Bournemouth 3-1, West Brom and Southampton battled to a goalless draw, while Manchester United beat Liverpool 3-1 in the day’s last game.

Chelsea Sign Falcao On Loan From Monaco

FalcaoPremier League champions, Chelsea Football Club, on Friday announced that they have agreed terms with Monaco for the season-long loan of Radamel Falcao.

The Colombian international will link up with Jose Mourinho’s squad for the 2015/16 campaign.

Falcao told chelseafc.com; “I am very happy to be joining Chelsea and can’t wait to start training and help with our aim of retaining the league title and being successful in Europe.”

The 29-year-old started his career as a teenager in his homeland before joining Argentinian giants River Plate in 2001 and going on to build a reputation as one of Europe’s most feared strikers.

Eight years later, Falcao arrived in Europe at Porto, where he made his Champions League debut against Chelsea.

He lifted successive Europa League titles, first with Porto and the second after joining Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011.

The striker left Madrid for Monaco in the summer of 2013, enjoying an impressive first half of the campaign before injury ruled him out of the rest of the season and the following summer’s World Cup. He scored a hat-trick against the Blues in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup.

After two goals in three games at the beginning of last season, he joined Manchester United on loan, scoring four goals in 29 games to help Louis van Gaal’s side back into the Champions League.

Falcao is now reunited with former Atletico team-mates; Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luis and Diego Costa, as well as international colleague, Juan Cuadrado.