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Liverpool

How this new signing has given hope to Jurgen Klopp

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Liverpool have started the summer transfer window on the right path as they are now assured of a new partnership, with the addition of Ibrahima Konaté to the team.

Ibrahima Konaté has impressed his new Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, so far, which hints at a new partnership with Joël Matip for the 2021/22 season.

The Reds boss Jürgen Klopp has told the fans that their pre-season campaign, which starts on Tuesday, would see a centre-back duo of Joël Matip and the new £35m signing.

This is because Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez, the team’s last season’s regular centre back partnership are still battling to regain fitness from their last season’s injury.

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Ahead of the first friendly match of the pre-season, against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart (two back-to-back 30-minute matches), Jürgen Klopp — speaking to Liverpool’s official website, said “He can play on Tuesday. For Ibou it is important that he gets minutes quickly, that’s what preseason is for,” Klopp explained.

“All the people from outside will say there are similarities between Leipzig and us and that is true, but anyway there are differences as well and the similarities are important but the differences are more important because you see that in training. There are some little habits where he is doing different to what we usually do, so we work on that.

“The first few days are there to realise what is the boy doing when he is not thinking. So, natural stuff. And then from there, we start and that’s why he has to play and that’s what will happen. Then we will see how quickly we can get all this information together for him and then everything is fine. For a defender, it’s not as difficult as it would be for other players but it’s still a job to do, and that is what we are doing.”

He added that “Ibou is doing really well. He comes from a different style, but there are some similarities and he has adapted well to what we want. You see him, he is really calm on the ball, he knows how to attack and when to step in when with the ball, when to play the outside pass when to play the inside pass, when to switch the game. He has a good understanding of the game, attacking-wise.

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“Defensively, he is strong and it is something we wanted because we play high – our centre-halves and full-backs need to be able to catch players when they break because when you play so offensively, when players slip through we do, of course, have Ali but we firstly want to catch them with our legs – solve the problem with legs. One thing Ibou has is legs!”

Chelsea

What Thomas Tuchel and Klopp said about Ralf Rangnick, might not be what you expected

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Man United have reportedly settled for German manager, Ralf Rangnick as their interim boss and he is expected to take charge of the game between the Red Devils and Arsenal early December.

Chelsea and Liverpool managers, having worked in Germany and played against him, have reacted to the reported recruit of Rangnick as it is yet to be official.

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had to react to Rangnick’s expected arrival. He did not speak of the challenge he would bring to the EPL as expected but hailed the tremendous impact his compatriot has had on his own career at his pre-match press conference.

‘He helped me a lot because he was my coach and then he was one of the main figures to convince me to try coaching so he had a huge influence on all of us at this time,’ the Chelsea head coach said.

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‘He showed us it’s not necessary to follow people to the toilet in football games because that was the belief in these days, that the defenders follow the strikers wherever they go. He showed us it’s possible to defend everybody in a zone.

‘But listen, before I get carried away and talk too much, he is not appointed yet and let’s respect everybody.

‘Let’s respect Ralf and the club’s decision and when things are done then you can maybe talk about it.’

Also on his part, Liverpool head coach Klopp, speaking at his press conference, said that United were ‘unfortunately’ making a very shrewd move by bringing in Rangnick as their manager until the end of the season.

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‘So it’s a bit tricky, usually we don’t talk about things that are not confirmed yet but if you tell me it will happen then I might believe you,’ Klopp told reporters ahead of Liverpool’s clash with Southampton.

‘Yeah, unfortunately a good coach is coming to England, that’s how it is, to Manchester United.

‘He’s obviously a really, really experienced manager. He built most famously two clubs from nowhere to proper threats and proper forces in Germany with Hoffenheim and Leipzig.

‘He’s done a lot of different jobs in football but always his first concern was being a coach actually, being a manager, and that’s what his best skill is obviously.

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‘United will be organised, I think, on the pitch. I think we should realise that and that’s obviously not good news for other teams.

‘But like all coaches in the world, we need time to train with our teams and Ralf will pretty quickly realise he has no time to train because they play all the time so that makes it a bit trickier for him.

‘But apart from that a really good man and an outstanding coach, if it happens, will come to England.’

Asked to expand on Rangnick’s reputation in Germany and their personal relationship, Klopp added: ‘Between the coaches he is very highly regarded obviously.

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‘Where he was, he did incredible jobs. It started early as a very, very young man at Stuttgart coaching the second team, going from there.

‘I don’t know all the early clubs he had but I’m pretty sure he went to Ulm and brought them to the Bundesliga which was absolutely insane at that time and then made his way up from there.

‘We faced each other for the first time really when I was a really young coach and he was at Hannover.

‘He might have forgotten that but they played always our opponent a week later so he called me the young manager of Mainz and asked plenty of questions.

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‘I was happy that big Ralf Rangnick was calling me but he got all the information he needed and they got promoted and we didn’t so he owes me still something and apart from that in the football world in Germany he is very, very well regarded and rightly so.’

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Arsenal

Ramsdale reveals why Arsenal lost to Liverpool

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Arsenal goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale has claimed that the team lost because they sticked too rigidly to their original game plan against Liverpool.

Ramsdale made clear that Arsenal will learn have to learn from the experience.

“For the first 30 to 40 minutes, we did well – they might have had more possession and more shots, but we contained them,” he told Arsenal.com.

“At the start of the second half, we gave them chances and from then on, it was a mountain to climb. It was one of those nights but it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and this team will go again. We’ll learn from tonight.”

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Assessing the error-riddled first 15 minutes of the second period, he added: “I think that’s where we need to learn on the pitch.

“We obviously had our gameplan but as a young team, sometimes we stick to the gameplan too much and we need to learn to possibly be strong with each other and talk more to try and weather the storm.

“The quality that they’ve got – we’re aspiring to get there. We’re working and like I say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Bouncing back quickly is going to be very important. “Yeah, definitely – the boss has just said it in there and a couple of us have said it as well,” said Ramsdale.

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“We won’t have people moping around with their heads down. We’ll come in and evaluate the game. We’re an honest bunch of players. Mistakes happen – we want to play that way, so full focus now ahead of Newcastle.

“We’ve been on a 10-match unbeaten run, with eight of those in the league, so we can hopefully start another [run] like that.

“After three games, everyone was talking about us and then you produce a mini-run. I don’t feel like anyone hid today, although there were mistakes made from all of us. We’re still trying to play our philosophy and that’s the way it goes. Hopefully we get to this stage in our career with our team where we’ll be doing this to other teams.”

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Arsenal

Why I wanted to fight Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, Klopp speaks

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Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta and Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp both had a heated argument with the two coming close in what would have been a physical combat.

This happened when the scores were level at 0-0 after Sadio Mane ‘s aerial challenge on Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Both managers were issued yellow cards for distracting the game and Juegen Klopp has come out to explain what happened.

“It was about the situation that it was no foul from Sadio [Mane] but the Arsenal bench went up like it was a red card.

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“I asked what they want in that situation. It’s just not okay. We had to take Sadio off against Atletico [Madrid in the Champions League] because they wanted him to get a yellow card.

“The referee did really well in that situation – I deserved a yellow card. It wasn’t not OK and that is what I said. It just happened in the moment.”

Klopp was asked whether the exchange actually fired up both the Anfield crowd and his players, to which he jokingly quipped: “I don’t know, I’ll have to watch it back – I’ll do it more often if that’s the case.”

Mikel Arteta was asked the same question and he said “Nothing prompted it, I was defending my team, he was defending his.

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“I spoke to him afterwards and congratulated him on the performance, for me these incidents – they stay there, they are part of the heat and the way we like to compete.”

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Arsenal

Souness reveals how ‘angry’ Liverpool will approach game against Arsenal and why

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Former Liverpool boss, Graeme Souness has claimed that the Reds will be an ‘angry team’ when they meet Arsenal this weekend because they suffered their first defeat of the season last time out at West Ham and will want to bounce back.

Recall that Liverpool suffered a 3-2 defeat to the London club, a development that could hurt their bid to win the Premier League title this season.

The former Liverpool boss told Sky Sports’ Essential Football Podcast: ‘I think Liverpool will be the angry team having lost last time out where they were not at their normal standards.

‘So I’m expecting a full throttle Liverpool against an Arsenal team who will be turning up with a bit of confidence and I’d be cautious with that. 

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‘But given the teams they (Arsenal) have been playing of late, they’re not exactly top of the table teams: an average Leicester this year, a draw with Brighton, beating Watford, Norwich and beating a very poor Spurs team.

‘They’ve got some confidence from winning games and they’re sitting in a very healthy position in the league but the hard part of their season is ahead.’

Souness added that Arsenal’s recent Anfield record will continue on Saturday afternoon, especially after Liverpool lost to West Ham United last time out.

‘(It will go the) same way, Souness said when asked how the match will pan out given given Arsenal’s bad form at Liverpool. ‘No matter what Liverpool team play, whatever the selection is, I think Liverpool will be an angry team with a point to prove at the weekend.

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But should Arsenal win the game, they will be one point ahead of Liverpool who are just two points ahead before the game.

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Arsenal

Michael Owen exposes Arsenal, gives Klopp hints to defeat Gunners in Saturday’s clash

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Former Man United and Liverpool player, Michael Owen has exposed Arsenal ahead of their match against Liverpool on Saturday to give Jurgen Klopp’s men the advantage going into the game.

This is as he predicts victory for the Merseyside outfit ahead of the North London team.

Liverpool suffered a 3-2 defeat against West Ham United in their last Premier League game and would be looking forward to bouncing back against Arsenal.

However, Owen has exposed Arsenal, saying they do not have the defenders that can stop Liverpool. He stressed that he does not trust Mikel Arteta’s defence.

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Writing in his column for BetVictor, Owen said: “This fixture has produced some classics down the years, could we see another here?

“The Reds followed up that draw against Brighton with a defeat against West Ham and Jurgen Klopp was understandably not happy. They’ve had some defensive issues in recent weeks and that will need sorting.

“That’s now three wins in a row for Arsenal and just one goal conceded in that time. This will be a major test of where they are though.

“I fancy Liverpool to get back to winning ways here. I can see Arsenal scoring but I don’t trust their defence, 3-1 Liverpool.”

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Arsenal

Arteta’s words in the past that proves Arsenal still have Liverpool fears

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Arsenal will be on the road to Liverpool on Saturday afternoon as they return to Premier League action after the international break.

The North London outfit were in great form before the break with 10 games unbeaten in all competitions following a poor start to the season.

However, there are suggestions that manager Mikel Arteta still has some fears going into the game because the Liverpool team he played last season is no different, strength wise from this season.

Speaking after Liverpool beat Arsenal 3-1 last season, Arteta said: “They set incredible standards and they dominate every aspect of the game.

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“They have different weapons. When you go to the opposite side and do the high press perfect, they have Van Dijk and he plays a 60-yard pass into Salah’s chest and they are out. That’s quality.”

A win for Arsenal could fire the North London outfit to a high on the Premeir League table.

Howbeit, Liverpool have major injury concerns but some good news might be released from the Reds camp before the clash.

“Bobby is not good news with a serious hamstring injury, really unfortunate,” Klopp said.

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“We don’t know exactly how long he will be out but it will be not now after the international break directly. We have to work on that.”

Jordan Henderson and Andy Robertson are also doubts for the clash against the Gunners at the weekend. They will have to be accessed before any confirmed statement.

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Arsenal

Arteta gets major boost as Real Madrid hero asked Asensio to join Arsenal ahead of Liverpool

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Former Real Madrid midfielder, Steve McManaman has advised Real Madrid star Marco Asensio to choose Arsenal over  Liverpool if he was to leave the Spanish capital in the summer.

Asensio is understood to be having a nightmare at Real Madrid at the moment as he has not been handed playing time and reports in England says the Gunners and Liverpool are leading contenders to rescue him.

McManaman opined that that Arsenal have ageing forwards, such as Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, and that would help Asensio to get more football in north London compared to Anfield.

‘Marco Asensio hasn’t played enough at Real Madrid,’ McManaman told Horseracing.net. 

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‘His reputation was probably better two years ago when he first came onto the scene and scored a bunch of lovely goals, in the Champions League final against Juventus in 2017 in Cardiff and in the Super Cup, a lovely goal, against Barcelona. 

‘But since then he’s had injuries and of course Real Madrid aren’t the team that they were four years ago, and his level has come off. 

‘If (he was to move to) a club next year I’d say it would be Arsenal. Aubameyang’s coming to the end of his career – or he’s certainly into his thirties – and with Lacazette in a similar position and coming to the end of his contract, Asensio could be at a club where he’d probably have more joy of playing.

‘If he’s to leave in 18 months, it’s still a long, long way away. But I think he’s an Arsenal type of player, like an [Martin] Odegaard, who’s good on the ball, not necessarily really quick, but turns well, scores goals and makes chances.’

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Chelsea

Ian Wright, Roy Keane favour Chelsea star ahead of Liverpool player for England’s rightback

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Football legends, Ian Wright and Roy Keane have spoken in favour of Chelsea star, Reece James ahead of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold in the debate of who should man England right-back spot.

Alhough, they both came to an agreement that Trent Alexander-Arnold is a good player who has his pedigree but he has not been at his best and has not been played to his strength by manager Gareth Southgate.

James is seemingly Gareth Southgate’s first-choice on the right hand side of defence, with Alexander-Arnold  undoubtedly not showing the same form for his country 

Speaking on ITV, both Wright and Keane weighed in on the debate, that has been much talked about by the Chelsea and Liverpool fan bases in recent times, on who should be starting for England out of James and Alexander-Arnold.

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Wright said: “You cannot ignore how unbelievable a player Trent Alexander-Arnold is and you have to see Reece James and what he is doing.

“The thing is you have to change it if you want to fit, you have to play him like he plays for Liverpool. That is how he is comfortable. They tried to start playing him in midfield and that lasted 45 minutes. I don’t think you can force him in, you have got to play him to his strengths and that would mean change the way they play for him to be comfortable.”

Keane however, hailed Alexander-Arnold’s abilities: “He is 23, he is learning about the game. Sometimes you do have to adapt if you want to get in at wing-back, I think he can play the role. Obviously his strength is at right-back and he is brilliant at it, absolutely brilliant.

“But he’s 23, he is still learning about his game. He is not at his peak yet, of course he has to improve at it (defending) but that is part of the journey of being a professional footballer.”

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