TTT Free Friday – 18th November 2022
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Here’s a comment from Terry discussing one of the articles published this week that looked at Alisson’s performances compared to other goalkeepers in the league (and worldwide):
Good look at the numbers and behind the scenes. Thankyou.
There are at least two players on our team that are not just world class players, but I think are world class people. One does not have to look far to find a surplus of examples of stars and superstars who are or have become narcissists - disconnected from the fans, disconnected from reason, and whose actions would embarrass themselves, if they could be embarrassed by their own actions. However, Alisson Becker and Mo Salah seem like the salt of the earth. They are both men who have attained some of the highest heights and praise of man, and yet they have found a way to stay grounded. They both seem to genuinely love their families and have many close friends, amongst their team mates and other teams - and don't surround themselves with sycophants. I am not just thankful they play for Liverpool because they are so good, but I am proud our team has so many genuinely good people amongst the ranks. For balance and the ego-sphere, Alisson is definitely a keeper.
(heh, see what I did there ... eh?)
Please can you share the video below if at all possible!
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Paul' published another excerpted chapter from his most recent book This Red Planet:
Note: of all the ‘dickheads’ and ‘lost boys’ discussed in this chapter, arguably only one has managed to turn the situation around in the interim (Marcus Rashford, who knuckled down super-hard in a special training camp in the summer, to stop his career drifting away; hard work is almost always the solution).
Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo has only further cemented my argument as to why he was a disastrous buy for Man United, and Dele Alli sank without trace at Everton.
And Liverpool continue to avoid buying players who will disrupt the ‘egosystem’, as I call it.
The chapter ends with a special focus on Luis Díaz, as an anti-dickhead and starman, who has battled hard to make it to the top.
Here’s Chris’ look at the upcoming World Cup, with particular focus on the Liverpool players involved.
The analysis by Mizgan is usually on The Transfer Hub & Deep Dives (separate subscriptions are required for the different Substacks that people can opt in to if it interests them), but for this one article for a wider audience on the Main Hub.
Five years ago, Liverpool were still reeling from the 4-1 thumping at Spurs three games earlier, which left the Reds 9th in the table; 3-0 wins against Huddersfield and Maribor at Anfield did not exactly ease all the pressure.
I had to seriously defend Jürgen Klopp at that time, as his record was identical to that of Brendan Rodgers' tenure. I was told he was a fraud, that his methods didn't work. Shut up, was my lofty response.
Liverpool had failed to land Virgil van Dijk that summer, and there was outrage at the "reckless" failure to seek an alternative. Philippe Coutinho was about to leave, and there was outrage at the "reckless" failure to hold onto a player upon whom all succeed hinged.
In time I'm going to write a lot more about what Liverpool should be grateful for from the FSG era – if and when that era potentially comes to an end.
Transfer Hub and Deep Dives
Brief Media Roundup
Collated by Daniel Zambartas
World Cup player welfare in the Athletic by Joey D’Urso
“As well as the risk of exhaustion, there is insufficient time for conditioning players who have not played much, says Darren Burgess, a high-performance specialist who has worked with Liverpool and Arsenal among other teams.”
“FIFPRO also highlighted the potential mental health toll and disruption to family life.”
“FIFPRO has compiled detailed statistics of player workload between July 2021 and October 2021. The team whose players had played the most collective minutes was Portugal, followed closely by Brazil. Both squads played over 30,000 minutes in the measured period.”
“Sadio Mane appeared in 93 competitive matches since the start of last season, according to FIFPRO’s figures, among the highest of all players at the tournament. In a 46-day period across March and April 2022, while Liverpool were competing for four different trophies, Mane accumulated 1,151 minutes.”
“He suffered an injury in Bayern Munich’s match against Werder Bremen on November 8 and is a doubt for Qatar despite being included in Senegal’s squad.”
“Burgess says this could be a particular problem in extreme temperatures such as that in Qatar.”
“FIFPRO experts described “post-tournament blues”, where players struggle to mentally recover after disappointing results and an exhausting schedule.”
“These things can all combine to ultimately shorten a player’s career as individuals cannot sustain the physical exertion for such a long time.”
Liverpool plans for the World Cup, in the Athletic by Anthony Hay
“Arsenal and Liverpool will both face Lyon and AC Milan next month in preparation for the return of the domestic season after the World Cup.” (Arsenal and Liverpool will not play each other).
“Liverpool will face Lyon on December 11 at 2pm and then AC Milan at 7.30pm on December 16th.”
“Jurgen Klopp’s side will spend 12 days in the United Arab Emirates and Liverpool’s players at the World Cup will be expected to join the rest of the group once they have exited the tournament.”
The Anfield Wrap podcast review of Liverpool 3-1 Southampton: Neil Atkinson on Harvey Elliot
“It’s a great ball for the goal. It’s the quintessential performance from Elliot. When he puts the ball in to make it 2-1, after having had a period of time where it feels as though he’s exposing us, you then go: Ah, that’s the benefit, that’s why it’s all worth it.”
“I think he’s better able than Henderson (when crossing the ball from that position). Henderson curls the ball away from the goal, so if it’s not perfect, it’s likely to miss everyone; Elliot’s ball curves towards goal, which makes it easier to deal with. It’s gorgeous.”
Michael Oliver rumoured to have apologised to Klopp for Arsenal game- Football insider
“Oliver came face to face with Klopp for the first time after the Arsenal match when he officiated Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Leeds United on 29 October.”
“It is believed Oliver spoke to Klopp in the tunnel beforehand and said to the Liverpool boss, “I owe you an apology, Jurgen”.
“The German accepted Oliver’s apology in good faith, with the two understood to have a good relationship behind the scenes.”
Taki Minamino interview with Kyodo News on his time at LFC
"(Mohamed) Salah and (Sadio) Mane were the two players who trained more than anyone," he said. "Thiago (Alcantara) got lots of injuries but he was really professional, trying to avoid them by doing exercises I've never seen before. (James) Milner was a real veteran but was fresher than anyone and led with his voice in training."
Tyler Morton interview with Caoimhe O'Neill in the Athletic
“Hendo and Milner were brilliant with me especially before I came here on loan,” he reveals. “I spoke to them quite a bit because they are very experienced professionals. I wanted to talk to them about what I was planning on doing, going out on loan. I got quite a bit of life advice from them. They are amazing with me.”
On Klopp and his staff: ““We speak every now and then. There are messages from them which say good luck and then there is praise, too, when it’s due. With the lads on loan, they like to check in on us and speak to us. They’re very good to us even though we aren’t at Liverpool this season. It is nice to stay connected because they are a big part of your career.”
“The time that sticks out was when we had an in-house game against the first team during an international break. They told me I was playing centre-mid against a midfield three of Trent (Alexander-Arnold), Fabinho and Ox (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain). It was me, Leighton Clarkson and Jake Cain.”
“I was like I need to switch on because I’m getting dizzy here. We were getting absolutely battered. I don’t remember us scoring and I think we had to pick the ball out of the net about three times. But it was that game when I switched on and kicked on. I started training with them quite regularly and eventually full-time. That’s when I really found my feet and my confidence.”
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The ZenDen is all about me finding positives, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t negatives. I provide a more rounded analysis on The Main Hub, but the ZenDen is for those who feel like they’re drowning in doom-and-gloom reactions and hysterical hot-takes.