A selection of Liverpool Football Club-related stories and titbits you may have missed over the past seven days…
Today, Wednesday March 15 2017, marks the day that Liverpool FC was formed 125 years ago. The day that Founder, John Houlding, famously broke from the board of Everton to form a new club – Liverpool. Many happy returns from all at Vital Liverpool!
Reds goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who was regarded by many observers as the Man of the Match in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Burnley, believes the gritty nature of the display will need to be replicated again before the season is over. “The only thing that mattered was the three points,” commented the former Sunderland custodian to Liverpoolfc.com. “That was our objective and we achieved it with a lot of hard work and by winning a lot of battles out there. It’s not really hard to do; it’s just about making sure your mindset is right and being prepared for it. You have to accept that sometimes you need to grind out three points. It’s a big step forward for us and we have to learn from this. We need to use the experience of this game because there will be other games like this before the end of the season.”
The victory was secured despite the ongoing absence of captain Jordan Henderson through a foot injury and manager Jürgen Klopp has subsequently confirmed the midfielder will again be missing when Liverpool face Manchester City this weekend and also when the England national team convenes for two friendlies later in the month. “That’s how it is,” remarked the Kop boss at his post-Burnley press conference. “He cannot train, he for sure cannot play against City and it makes sense that he is doing the rehab. Hopefully he can run in the second week of the international break and then we have to see.” After City, Liverpool’s next game is the Merseyside derby against Everton on April 1.
Match winner Emre Can, who is about to enter the final 12 months of his existing contract, has quashed speculation that negotiations over a new deal have stalled because of his wage demands. In quotes published by Sky Sports, the German midfielder said: “We’ve had a few good meetings and everything is fine. I just wanted to say it is never about the money. It is about the future, what happens. You never know what will happen in football, but I am happy here. We will speak in the next few weeks and months and see what happens. The meetings are with my agent, but I am very happy at Liverpool. In the future I can play for many years at Liverpool.”
Ahead of Burnley’s visit, Reds full-back Jon Flanagan, who is currently on loan at the Clarets, reiterated his desire to return to his parent club and prove his worth. “I’ve got a job to do for Burnley until the end of the season but after that I want to go back and prove what I’m all about at Liverpool,” Flanagan exclusively told the Liverpool ECHO. “One of my greatest strengths is my self-belief. What I’ve done in the past is change people’s opinions of me and force my way into a very good Liverpool team. I’ve shown that I can perform at the highest level. I am more than confident of doing the same again. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to offer. I am really excited and looking forward to the challenge.”
In-form Georginio Wijnaldum has been named in the provisional Netherlands squad for their fixtures against Bulgaria and Italy later this month. The Liverpool midfielder is one of the 27 players called up for the World Cup qualifier on Saturday March 25 and friendly on Tuesday March 28.
According to the ECHO, Liverpool are in talks about the possibility of participating in the Audi Cup in early August. The prestigious pre-season competition, which is hosted biennially by Bayern Munich at their Allianz Arena, sees four teams compete over two days and was last contested in 2015 by Bayern, Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan.
Current Bayern man, and former Liverpool star, Xabi Alonso won’t be featuring in any possible meeting between the two though after announcing he is retiring at the end of the present campaign. Following the news, Liverpool released a statement praising his accomplishments and posted memories of his best moments across their social media channels. Former club captain Steven Gerrard also made a touching tribute to the ex-Spain international on Instagram.
Marseille starlet Maxime Lopez has claimed he seriously considered a move to Liverpool during the 2014/15 season before committing his future to the French side. “They approached me in a positive way,” remarked the 19-year-old to L’Equipe. “I even met Steven Gerrard at the stadium after the game. I wanted to go there but I also wanted to stay at OM. Leaving like that, at that age – even with your family – is very tough. I noted that they had a squad of 30 youth players, not to mention the first-team players. You really have to be mentally prepared.”
A superb free-kick from Trent Alexander-Arnold and a Harry Wilson penalty helped a strong Liverpool U23s to a comfortable 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Prenton Park on Monday night. Defender Dejan Lovren came through 75 minutes with no visible problems as he tested his fitness following five games out. LFC U23s: Kelleher, Alexander-Arnold, Randall (Whelan, 90′), Gomez, Lovren (Phillips, 75′), Stewart, Wilson, Virtue, Brewster, Grujic, Ojo.
Speaking of the U23s, Mike Garrity’s side have been drawn away to Hull City in the last 16 of the Premier League Cup. The tie will be played between the March 17 and 20.
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