Crouch’s ‘return’, Critchley’s exit & ban for Sturridge – Monday’s Liverpool FC News

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Liverpool are preparing for their trip to Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round, but there’s lots going on off the pitch, too.

 

Daniel Sturridge banned for four months

You may remember at the end of last season there was an investigation ongoing into Daniel Sturridge and his loan move the previous campaign.

The ex-Reds striker was accused of giving inside information, essentially, breaching FA Betting Rules – and he was found guilty in July, given a two-week ban.

When the forward terminated his Trabzonspor contract earlier on Monday with immediate effect, it was thought by most to be an indication of an impending move to MLS or elsewhere—but, as it turns out, it’s rather more severe than that.

The FA appealed against Sturridge’s ban as being too lenient and he has now had that suspension extended to four months, meaning he’s not allowed to play anywhere in the world until 17 June.

Another new club in the summer looks the most likely outcome, once he’s allowed to partake in football activities again, at which time he’ll be just shy of his 31st birthday.

UPDATE: The striker has released a video with his response to the ban.

 

New boss needed for LFC U23s

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 4, 2020: Liverpool's Under-23 manager Neil Critchley celebtates after the FA Cup 4th Round Replay match between Liverpool FC and Shrewsbury Town at Anfield. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There can’t be too many youth level managers around the English game who have earned the exposure that Neil Critchley has this year.

Liverpool’s U23 boss took charge of two senior matches when Jurgen Klopp was otherwise unavailable: the League Cup quarter-final in December, with the first-team en route to Qatar for the Club World Cup, and the previous round in the FA Cup, which saw the Reds’ youngsters triumph over Shrewsbury.

Critchley’s team-leading skills haven’t gone unnoticed, and Blackpool have today made him head coach of the senior side in League One.

The third-tier side are mid-table right now, so assuming they stay in the league this season, we may well expect to loan out one or two youngsters to Critchley next season.

Jurgen Klopp has wished his new fellow manager well, saying the progression from Academy to senior roles is exactly as it should be – for players as well as coaches.

 

Cup time

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Saturday, February 15, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Fresh from a rare defeat, Jurgen Klopp‘s next challenge was to face the press ahead of our trip to Chelsea.

 

Return of the robot

Liverpool's Peter Crouch scores his second goal of the game (Peter Byrne/PA Archive/PA Images)

Peter Crouch is coming back to Anfield! The brilliant centre-forward’s playing days are over and he’s more about podcasting than goal-poaching these days, but he’ll take part in a Liverpool FC Legends team for the first time in March.

The Reds face Barcelona at Anfield on the 28th of the month and a whole host of names were confirmed on Monday.

Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Steve McManaman also headline the attacking names added to the squad, with Patrik Berger, Luis Garcia and Salif Diao now added to those who were previously named, which include Daniel Agger, Jerzy Dudek and Jamie Carragher.

Barcelona will have Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Javier Saviola and Juliano Belletti in their own squad.

 

Quickfire LFC news

CARDIFF, WALES - Sunday, January 12, 2020: Swansea City's Rhian Brewster applauds the supporters after the Football League Championship match between Cardiff City FC and Swansea City FC at the Cardiff City Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • The Reds and United are linked with Thomas Partey, who has a €50m buyout clause (Cadena Ser)
  • Physio Andy Massey has left the Reds for FIFA but says working at Anfield was a “dream come true” (BBC Sport)
  • And finally, the Reds have completed the second stage of public consultation regarding the proposed Anfield Road end expansion to the stadium (LFC)

 

Around the Prem

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 5, 2016: Manchester City's coach Mikael Arteta during the FA Premier League match against Middlesbrough at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

  • Jose Mourinho wants Chris Smalling to lead his Tottenham summer rebuild, because there just aren’t enough columns already calling the Spurs boss a ‘yesterday manager’ (Calciomercato)
  • Arsenal posted a near-£30m loss this week and it means they have to sell to buy this summer. Who fancies a cheeky lowball bid on Bukayo Saka? (Goal)
  • Roy Hodgson has 1-0’d his way to yet another new contract, meaning another year of trying to avoid Crystal Palace games on TV (Telegraph)
  • And initial discussions will be held surrounding possible delays or cancellations of Champions League and Euro 2020 games, due to the spread of coronavirus around the world (Various outlets)

 

Tweet of the day

 

What we’re reading

You may have seen the Hoffenheim-Bayern Munich game over the weekend, where players on both teams passed the ball between themselves for the last 15 minutes in protest at banners from the away fans toward the home club’s owner. Andy Brassell breaks down a complicated situation for the Guardian.

And sticking with the same outlet and European action, El Clasico was a million miles away from the brilliance of yesteryear, but it still has big implications for LaLiga. Sid Lowe explains all.

 

Worth watching tonight

Portsmouth vs. Arsenal in the FA Cup is about as good as it gets. 7:45pm, BT Sport 1.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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