Liverpool are in full build-up mode to the weekend game at Norwich and we have press conferences, injury news and squad quotes today.
Financial positives…and negatives
Winning the Premier League title is the pinnacle of football achievement in the domestic game. It’s all about the glory, the celebration and the triumph for the fans and players, but there is of course another side to the overall business.
Financially, it’s great: lots of games on television, Champions League places assured and a big pot of prize money for the eventual finish.
And the Reds have been punching above their weight financially, in terms of their outlay on playing staff salary.
Liverpool have the third-highest in the Premier League (behind the two Manchester clubs) and the ninth-highest in Europe (Spanish, Italian and German rivals are also ahead), but we’ve become champions of the world, the continent and soon the country with that bill.
On the darker side of the riches that elite-level football brings, ticket touts are expected to fleece match-going fans for over a combined £1 million for the all-important potential title-clincher at Anfield. More on that here.
Keeping it among the keepers
The squad seem to be exceptionally close, and that usually goes double for goalkeepers, the slightly strange breed who work alone, fight each other for one position and have to be near-perfect with their performance levels.
Three have spoken about the goings-on at the club in their little sub-community this week.
Alisson explained to BBC Sport how you have to keep it fun to maintain focus and intense, top-level performances, while Adrian echoed his thoughts and pointed out enjoyment is important because they have the best job on the planet.
Veteran squad keeper Andy Lonergan, meanwhile, spoke to the Times about training and being involved with such an absurdly talented squad after a career in the lower divisions, and the benefits he gets from training.
“A ‘well done’ from the lads, a ‘you’re on fire today’ shout . . . that’s the reward for me.
“It could be from Mo [Salah] or Milly [James Milner]. That is another motivation because if you are on their team, say Milly, Hendo [Jordan Henderson] or Virgil [van Dijk], you don’t want to let them down. You have to perform because they are not shy of giving you a rollicking.
“That is why they are doing as well as they are. The standards are ridiculous.”
What a group of ‘keepers!
Destination East Anglia
All focus is now on the weekend game; here’s the best of the latest news regarding Jurgen and his mighty Reds.
- James Milner and Sadio Mane are both fit and in the squad for the first game back after the winter break
- Klopp spoke on Norwich’s style, injury issues clearing up and Salah going to the Olympics in his pre-match press conference
- And we take a look at predicting the Liverpool lineup, with an almost fully fit squad to choose from for the first time in ages!
Winter break had its uses
Andy Robbo has been playing through the pain barrier, with a problematic injury on his left foot, of all places.
Thankfully, the defender says it’s cleared up somewhat over the winter break, with a week-long break before restarting training helping to ease a few aches and pains in general throughout the squad.
The knock has been affecting him on and off since November, but he has still managed to put in a whole load of minutes on the pitch for the Reds despite that.
A few nice deliveries this weekend to test out the foot properly would be good!
Quickfire LFC news
- Liverpool’s U19 side will face Benfica in the UEFA Youth League last 16 (TIA)
- A man who is accused of punching ex-Reds midfielder Gary McAllister will go on trial early next year (BBC News)
- Niall Brookwell made his comeback from injury and scored a hat-trick for the U18s in a 4-0 friendly win at the Academy (LFC)
- And ex-Reds keeper Simon Mignolet has praised the enormous strides taken by the club, saying the achievements are unbelievable (Goal)
Around the Prem
- Lyon say they’ll sell striker Moussa Dembele in summer, with Chelsea and Man United keen. Might be an easier deal to do than Fekir, that one (Mail)
- Spurs will target our weekend opponents Norwich with a £50m double bid for right-back Max Aarons and centre-back Ben Godfrey. Hopefully that price will have dropped by Monday after we stick eight past them (Express)
- Mourinho will have a busy summer, because Spurs themselves will sell Eric Dier in the summer and he might move abroad, presumably because teams there won’t have seen how badly he can play every week (Mail)
- And Andy Carroll’s latest injury apparently came as a result of kicking a ball, which…seems worrisome, given his job description (Guardian)
Stupid contract of the day
Kylian Mbappe is not a bad little footballer, but rumours of his new contract terms in French and Spanish media are little short of lunacy. With Real Madrid circling for a summer bid (and the Reds linked too at every turn), PSG apparently want to offer him a new deal worth around £41 million a YEAR. That’s £750,000 a week!
Tweet of the day
24 years ago today – the most successful manager in the English game, Robert Paisley left us for Anfield in the sky. RIP BOB ?? pic.twitter.com/9GNLkYhOkw
— Carl Clemente (@clemente_carl) February 14, 2020
What we’re reading
And this, by Phil Dawkes for BBC Sport, on how the transformation in Adama Traore‘s consistency and end product came about.