Firmino laments fans’ absence & De Boer plans for Van Dijk at Euros – Liverpool FC Roundup

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Liverpool are left to lick their wounds after defeat to Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday, with the fall-out to the game predictably dismal.

 

Firmino points to fans as real reason for drop-off

Bobby isn’t soft. He knows the Reds aren’t anywhere near their best at the moment…and he knows one of the contributing factors.

Liverpool’s style has often relied on the togetherness, atmopshere and energy created between the team and the fans in the ground and, without them, the Reds have suffered, he told ESPN Brasil.

“Especially for the Liverpool team, which has always been very… I won’t say dependent on the fans, but it made a lot of difference. Playing with the fans, the feeling is incredible. The adrenaline, the atmosphere they give us. They’re certainly one more player on the pitch. But we can’t make excuses for that. We already adapted, we’re used to it. Anyway, of course we pray for that, we believe it will soon pass and they’ll return to the stadiums to encourage us and help us on the pitch.”

As the man says, it can’t be an excuse as such, as every team has been the same, but there’s no doubting we can play our own part whenever supporters are allowed back into the grounds.

 

Van Dijk back for the group stage?!

Virgil van Dijk of Holland during the UEFA Nations League A group 1 qualifying match between The Netherlands and Germany at the Johan Cruijff Arena on October 13, 2018 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (Tom Bode/VI Images/PA Images)

Oh, this is fun to hear.

Just a day or so after Jurgen Klopp suggests there’s next to no chance of Virgil van Dijk returning to play this season, his Netherlands national team manager Frank de Boer states his hopes of the defender playing at the Euros.

Talking to De Telegraaf in an interview, he says “it’s going to be close for Virgil” and he hopes to have him back in time for the opener.

“If Virgil does not suffer a setback and if it [recovery] goes a little faster than expected, he must be able to make it to the European championship opening against Ukraine on June 13th. He’s very important to our team, on and off the pitch.”

You know what Frank? He’s very important to our team, too, so we’d kind of prefer to not be taking any risks with his first steps back on the pitch.

 

An end to title talk

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 3, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Disappointing, but almost certainly for the best right now. Liverpool’s focus must be on finding consistency, not worrying about trophies for the next few weeks and months.

 

Quickfire LFC news

  • Van Dijk has continued his rehab with some light work in Dubai (TIA)
  • Fabinho says he felt “discomfort” in training which has led to him missing games, but aims to be back ASAP (Echo)
  • And German media have given Ozan Kabak a fairly abysmal rating for his half-campaign with Schalke (Kicker)
  • Young defender Jarell Quansah has signed his first professional contract with the Reds (LFC)

 

Around the Prem

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND- SUNDAY NOVEMBER 28th 2004: Liverpool's Neil Mellor celebrates scoring the winning goal in injury time as Arsenal's Patrick Vieira looks on dejected during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Proparganda)

  • Chelsea‘s new boss Thomas Tuchel wants Niklas Sule as his big summer signing, with the emphasis on big…very big. And very good. (Bild)
  • Sheffield United won’t sack Chris Wilder even if they are relegated, which should give plenty of motivation to improve results without fear of losing his job (TS)
  • Barcelona forward Martin Braithwaite rejected a move to WBA in the January window – presumably we don’t have to explain why (Sport)
  • And the real world officially feels like an old game of Football Manager when you get about 15 seasons in, with news of John Terry and Patrick Vieira being the front-runners to be the new manager at Bournemouth (Mail)

 

Stupid rumour of the day

Dortmund, that side famous for selling players on the cheap and easy, are apparently willing to drop Sancho’s asking price by £20m to “reignite interest”.

Sorry, were you all on a different planet when they named a fee last summer and simply refused to budge from it, rumour and rumour, week after week? Yes, sure they’ve definitely now suddenly decided he can leave at a discount.

 

Tweet of the day

 

Worth watching tonight

You have a choice. Spurs vs Chelsea at 8pm, or Betis vs Athletic in the Copa del Rey at the same time. Take the Prem match!

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