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Liverpool - Generation Klopp

Can Klopp Take Liverpool to the Top?
Started on 8 January 2016 by Starlord
Latest Reply on 9 January 2016 by Starlord
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Generation Klopp

Back in 2005, Liverpool was one of the household names in English Football. Under the brilliant tutelage of Rafa Benitez, the club from Merseyside were able to lift the Champions League trophy and cement themselves as one of the best clubs to ever sprout out from the Premier League and flourish with brilliance and style. With players like Dietmar Hamann, Luis Garcia, John Arne Riise and Jamie Carragher, all of whom fell under the awe-inspiring leadership of Mr. Liverpool Steven Gerrard, the team from Merseyside became a force to be reckoned with upon football pitches across the globe.

Unfortunately, times have changed.
Champions League Champs: Under the supervision and tutelage of Rafa Benitez and the leadership of Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became the Champions of Europe after an infamous night in Istanbul, where they came from 3-0 down to win the title on penalties.

The departures of influencial men like Xabi Alonso, Jamie Carragher and even the manager Rafa Benitez have all hit Liverpool hard. Steven Gerrard found himself leading a team of completely different players that were not as experienced as the men he had played alongside of at Istanbul all those years ago, and Liverpool began to lose their place as the Champions of Europe, the same place that they had so desperately tried to keep a hold of.

Everything hit an all-time low, however, when Roy Hodgson became the Liverpool manager in 2010. Under the management of the now-England manager, Liverpool became a shell of it's former self upon the pitch. With flop signings like Christian Poulsen and Paul Konchesky littering the Liverpool squad and team morale being dreadful, Liverpool began to drop further and further down the table until Roy Hodgson found himself replaced by a man that Liverpool fans have come to know and love: Kenny Dalglish himself.

Hodgson's Liverpool: Back in 2010, Roy Hodgson's led Liverpool to nothing but becoming a shell of the team who won the Champions league half a decade before.

Unfortunately, despite the renewed Liverpool squad and leadership, with additions like Raul Meireles, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez joining the squad in January, Liverpool found themselves in 7th place in the table, just able to qualify for the Europa League whilst winning the Capital One Cup and becoming the runners-up in the FA Cup.

Due to this, Kenny Dalglish found himself replaced by a man that would become a well-known man over the next three years, the Northern Irishman known as Brendan Rodgers. The Irishman brought in the likes of Fabio Borini and Joe Allen during his first summer at Anfield, but found Liverpool a harder team to please than his former club Swansea. It was not until January, when Rodgers brought in the magnificent men known as Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho did Liverpool finally manage to become the team that people had once known.

With a deadly strikeforce of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, known to the Kop as the SAS, Liverpool rocketed themselves to second place in the table during the second season of Brendan Rodgers' Anfield Reign, something that pleased the fans to no-end and thrust Liverpool back into the spotlight once more.
Brendan Rodgers' Redmen: The Northern Irishman took Liverpool to a better place than they were with under Dalglish, Hodgson and all the men before them leading up to Benitez, but Liverpool were still not the same team that they once were.

Things were not heavenly for long, however.

Brendan Rodgers' reign came crashing to a halt when Luis Suarez found himself moving to Barcelona for a record fee, while being replaced by flops like Mario Balotelli. Steven Gerrard also made the decision to end his career at Liverpool and leave for the USA, leaving Jordan Henderson to pick up the pieces that he had left behind. Injuries to Daniel Sturridge also plagued the team, adding to the goal drought that Liverpool were left with now that their infamous 'SAS' was now well and truly disbanded. All of this bad news was a burden for Liverpool and resulted in Rodgers being sacked in October 2015.

But Liverpool now have some form of hope, as German Manager Jurgen Klopp, known for his fabulous escapades at Borussia Dortmund, has taken control of Liverpool and seeks to take them to the top and allow them to become the Champions that they once were. The Normal One knows that it will not be easy, but Liverpool have the will and determination to become the Champions of Europe again.
Fantastic way to start the story. I'll be following.
Great start! I'll definitely be following
@Yanic: I'm glad that you've enjoyed the start, because I'm hopeful that you'll enjoy the rest!

@JohnWarrington: I'm glad you're a follower, I appreciate it!

Klopp Excited by the Challenge

In his first official press conference as the new manager of Liverpool FC, former Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp answered questions for many eager reporters from both Germany and England alongside Liverpool Chief Executive Ian Ayre. He spoke about the ideals that he wanted to bring to Liverpool FC and how he was very excited to face the challenges that he would no doubt face during his management of Liverpool.

Jurgen was announced as Liverpool manager just a few days after the sacking of Brendan Rodgers, who took over the club in 2012, following a short managerial stint at the club from Kenny Dalglish. The German remains an unknown face in English football, having managed Bundesliga sides FSV Mainz and Borussia Dortmund before he signed the deal that has taken him to Anfield.

'It's not important how many faults you make in a game, it's important that nobody can remember after the game. If you win 4-0 but make four mistakes, no one will remember.'

Klopp's tactical mind and playing style is not that different to the style that Brendan Rodgers used during his stint at Anfield. Klopp uses a style of football known as 'gegenpressing', which in theory is a simplistic tactic. Basically, you press the opposition right after losing possession. The complexity comes when you have to synchronize this press as an organised team. It’s very much pack mentality, you squeeze, harass and corner the opposition with the end game being either ball recovery or having the opposition have to play the ball backwards which stops them potentially counter attacking.

Brendan Rodgers was known for using a lite version of gegenpressing, due to the fact that many teams find it difficult to do this for a full 90 minutes because of the physical impact it has on your team. You’re effectively having your team play at full pace for 90 minutes and chasing the opposition as though you’re in the final minutes of a game and you can’t concede.

'I am very excited by the challenge we face and eager to start the job. I wish to begin implementing our ideas and working with this team.'

Many fans of Liverpool FC have been anticipating the arrival of Jurgen Klopp for some time, when it was fairly certain that Brendan Rodgers' stint at Liverpool was slowly coming to an end. Many fans are looking forward to the exciting form of football he will no doubt bring to Liverpool, along with the hope that he will bring success and trophies along with him.
amazing start, outstanding detail as always! keep it up!
2016-01-08 23:38#224532 InfraRed : amazing start, outstanding detail as always! keep it up!
@InfraRed: As always, I shall!
Starlord's avatar Group Starlord
8 yearsEdited

Liverpool's First Transfer Foray

Liverpool's first foray into the transfer market is upon us, but it is a sale rather than a transfer, as many would not have guessed. Klopp has yet to bring some fresh blood into the Merseyside club, but is also seemingly throwing out those he deems are 'dead wood'.

One of these players is Jose Enrique, the Spanish left-back. Enrique joined the Merseyside club back in August 2011 for a price of £7 million, another one of the players brought in by Kenny Dalglish. He will now leave to join fellow Premier League side Watford, who have recently been promoted up a league from the Sky Bet Championship.

Born in Valencia, José Enrique started his footballing career at Levante UD before being acquired by Valencia CF. Valencia sent him to Celta de Vigo for a season-long loan spell. At the conclusion of this loan spell, he was signed by Villarreal CF in 2006 after several eye-catching performances for the Vigo side. The highly rated full-back enjoyed a successful 2006–07 season with Villarreal before his transfer to England.

From the age of seven, José Enrique was a keen athlete due to his blistering speed. He was a member of the Benimaclet running club in Valencia and was soon picked up as a hot prospect. When he turned 16, he had the difficult choice of either making a career as a sprinter and representing Spain in international competitions or as a footballer with Levante.

On 6 August 2007, it was confirmed that Newcastle United had signed José Enrique for a fee believed to be £6.3 million. He signed a five-year contract with the club, who beat off competition from Manchester City and Liverpool for his signature. He made his Newcastle debut on 29 August in a match against Barnsley in which he played the full 90 minutes. Newcastle won the match 2–0. While considered a warm up for José Enrique, his recovery pace and calm nature on the ball bode well for his ability. He finally made his debut in the Premier League as a substitute against West Ham United on 23 September.

José Enrique's appearances for Newcastle across the 2007–08 season were somewhat sporadic, with then-manager Sam Allardyce citing the fact that Enrique was still young and settling into the Premier League as the reason for this. In the absence of any other recognised senior left backs, midfielder Charles N'Zogbia was deployed in this position. When José Enrique did play, he showed a great deal of promise, proving to be a strong tackler who is adept at keeping possession. He is also admired for his ability to pick out teammates with long and very accurate passes, particularly off his favoured left foot. During his first season on Tyneside, he helped his side keep seven clean sheets out of the 28 games that he played.

After Newcastle's relegation in May 2009 after the 2008–09 season, the club had to sell many of its premier players and numerous key defenders, including Habib Beye and Sebastien Bassong. The mass exodus, along with José Enrique's impressive form, prompted several clubs to keep an eye on him, including Sunderland, although on 1 December in an interview with The Journal, when asked about a move to Sunderland, José Enrique said, "I don't care about Sunderland. Even if the newspapers said Chelsea I wouldn't care. I worry for my team — I love the city, I love the club, and I don't care about signing for another team."

José Enrique's performances were rewarded when he was made the official Newcastle United Player of the Season for 2009–10, voted for by the fans. He also achieved the accolade of being named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year alongside fellow Newcastle players Fabricio Coloccini, Kevin Nolan, and Andy Carroll. José Enrique scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 league win over promotion rivals Nottingham Forest on 29 March 2010. On 16 August 2010, he started and played the full 90 minutes in the left-back slot in a 3–0 defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a Premier League fixture. At the end of the 2010–11 season, he made 36 Premier League appearances in total for the Magpies.

On 13 August 2011, José Enrique made his debut in Liverpool's first game of the 2011–12 Premier League, starting at left back in a 1–1 draw against Sunderland. On 20 August 2011, Enrique made his second appearance and played the full 90 minutes in a 0–2 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, also being named man of the match.

On 24 September, José Enrique provided the assist that helped Luis Suárez to score in the 2–1 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield. On 1 October, José Enrique appeared in his first Merseyside derby for Liverpool, providing an assist for Andy Carroll in a 2–0 win for the Reds over rivals Everton. On 2 October, it was announced that the player had been voted best summer signing by Liverpool fans with 74.5% of votes, ahead of the likes of Charlie Adam and Craig Bellamy.

On 23 December 2011, José Enrique was picked in's Premier League Best XI for the first half of the season. On 26 February 2012, he helped Liverpool to win their first trophy since 2006 when they won the League Cup. On 1 April 2012, he was forced to play as a goalkeeper for the remaining 13 minutes of the match at his old club Newcastle United after Pepe Reina was sent off for headbutting Magpies defender James Perch. Although Enrique kept a clean sheet, the Reds, being down 2–0 at the time of Reina's red card, failed to level the score.

On 17 November 2012, in a league match against Wigan Athletic, José Enrique scored his first goal for Liverpool in the 65th minute, having been increasingly reinvented as a left wing back in an unconventional 3–5–2 formation under the tenure of Brendan Rodgers. He scored his second goal of the season when he finished off a team goal against Swansea City on 17 February 2013. In the first half of the 2013-14 season Enrique saw less playing time due to injuries. He recorded his first assist of the season against Aston Villa with a cross for Daniel Sturridge's only goal of the game and grabbed another one for Suárez against Crystal Palace. This was Enrique's last appearance for Liverpool of the 2013-14 season.

Klopp's First Transfers

Liverpool have completed their first summer signing in the form of young Charlton Athletic defender Joe Gomez. Gomez prefers to play as a centre back but can also play as a full back on either side, making him a good signing to reinforce the usually shaky defence of Liverpool.

Born in Catford, London, Gomez graduated through the academy at nearby Charlton Athletic, making his debut for the club's Under-18 side at just 13 years old. Despite strong interest from numerous other clubs, Gomez signed his first professional deal with the Addicks in 2014. His senior debut came in a 4–0 League Cup victory over Colchester United at The Valley on 12 August 2014, playing the full 90 minutes as the right back.A week later he made his league debut in a 3–2 home win against Derby County in the Championship. Gomez went on to make 24 appearances during his first season including 18 starts, both at right back and in his preferred position of centre back.

Gomez has been capped by England at under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels. In May 2014, he was part of the squad that won the 2014 UEFA European Under-17 Championship in Malta, playing every minute of England's five games and being named in UEFA's team of the tournament.

Gomez has been described as a complete footballer and composed ball-playing centre back with his style of play being compared to that of Rio Ferdinand whom he idolised growing up. Gomez is also noted for his athleticism and strength; he is able to produce powerful and dangerous runs up-field on the counter-attack and in defence is rarely physically dominated by an opponent.

The second signing of Jurgen Klopp's reign, although both current signings were signed by previous manager Brendan Rodgers prior to his release, is former Manchester City midfielder James Milner. He has joined the Merseyside club on a free transfer and has been handed the vice-captain's armband, serving under the former vice-captain and new captain Jordan Henderson after Steven Gerrard's departure to LA Galaxy.

Milner brings a vast experience to Liverpool, having previously played for Leeds United, Swindon Town, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Manchester City. Playing as a central midfielder with Aston Villa, Milner was named PFA Young Player of the Season and in the PFA Team of the Season for the 2009–10 Premier League season; however, after his move to Manchester City, Milner was more often utilised as a winger.

Born in Leeds, Milner played most of his childhood football for Westbrook Lane Primary School in Horsforth. He was later educated at Horsforth School. Graeme Coulson, a coach from Rawdon, recognised Milner's talent and persuaded him to play for Rawdon in several tournaments, including a tournament at Rawdon Meadows, where Milner scored four goals in their victory in the final.

Milner was described as a "first class" student at his school; he left with 11 GCSEs and an award for his performance in physical education. Milner also showed talent in cricket, sprinting and long-distance running. He played for the Yorkshire Schools cricket team, was the cross-country champion at his school for three consecutive years and was the district champion over 100 metres for two years in a row. He then completed his studies at Boston Spa School; at which the sports college was a partner to the football club.

Milner supported his hometown club Leeds United from a young age. His earliest memory of the team was watching them win the FA Youth Cup in 1993. He and his parents, Peter and Lesley, were season ticket holders and Milner later became a ball boy for the club.

When Milner was 10 years old, he joined the Leeds United Academy after being spotted by a scout while playing for Westbrook Juniors in Horsforth. At the academy, Milner played against contemporaries from other clubs in the north, including future Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney. His role model was Leeds-born Alan Smith, who was then a Leeds United striker.

Milner believed playing with Smith put him through a learning curve, as Smith had done what Milner aspired to do; that is, to come through the academy and play for the first team. Having made good progress at the Academy, Milner was taken on as a trainee after leaving school. However, his father insisted that he attend college once a week to continue his education. Milner remarked later that he did not want to get excited and think that he "had already made it". He also said he could hardly believe he was playing alongside first-team Leeds players such as David Batty and Olivier Dacourt.

He continued to excel in the youth team, and played for England at under-15 and ?17 levels. He helped the England under-17 team win the 2002 Nationwide summer tournament against Italy, Czech Republic and Brazil, scoring a goal against the latter. Milner claims to have never consumed alcohol throughout his life, despite pressures from those around him when he was growing up.

After representing England at the under-15 and under-17 levels, Milner was promoted to the under-20 level and called up for the 2003 World Youth Championship. Soon after this, Under-21 manager Peter Taylor called him up to the England Under-21 side and Milner made his debut against Sweden on 30 March 2004.

Milner scored his first goal for the England Under-21 side during the 2004–05 season in a qualification game for the 2007 European Under-21 Championship, against Wales. During the game, in which he played in the centre of midfield, he also set up a scoring chance for Darren Bent as the Young Lions won 2–0. Despite domestic club troubles, he continued to make progress at international level, scoring the winning goal for the England Under-21 side in a 3–2 win over Switzerland. The win secured England a place in the playoff stage of the 2007 Under-21 European Championship qualifiers.

In August 2009, Milner made his debut for the full England team, when he came on as a substitute in a friendly match against the Netherlands for the final 23 minutes. The match ended in a 2–2 draw. He played twice more for England the following month against Slovenia in another friendly and made his competitive debut four days later in a World Cup qualifier against Croatia, where he played the final nine minutes.

England won the latter match 5–1 to secure qualification for the 2010 World Cup. He was named in the final 23-man squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa and was selected in the starting eleven for England's first match of the tournament against the United States, however he was substituted after 30 minutes. In England's third match against Slovenia, he set up the only goal of the match with a cross for Jermain Defoe. He captained England for the first time for the final 10 minutes of the match in a 1–2 loss against France on 17 November 2010, when both Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard had been substituted.

Milner played in six matches during qualifying for Euro 2012, and was named in Roy Hodgson's 23-man squad for the tournament. Milner started Hodgson's first match in charge, a 1–0 friendly win against Norway. On 7 September 2012, Milner scored his first international goal in a 5–0 win away to Moldova during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying.

Both men have completed their medicals and are due at Anfield tomorrow morning.

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