Arsene Wenger dominated the headlines on Friday after he confirmed that he will leave Arsenal at the end of the season, bringing an end to an incredible 22-year reign that yielded three Premier League titles and a record 7 FA Cup triumphs.
Wenger took charge of Arsenal in 1996 and he is currently the Premier League’s longest-serving manager after overseeing a record 823 games.
After the news broke out, Jurgen Klopp paid a classy tribute to Wenger in his press conference ahead of the West Brom game on Saturday.
“First of all, I heard it when I came in this morning. I was surprised but it’s his decision, first of all we have to respect that and I have no problem with respecting that,” Klopp told in his pre-match presser (h/t Liverpoolfc.com)
“Today we could probably say he was, and is still, an influencer in football. He has a fantastic career, outstanding personality, [he’s] just a really big player in that business. We usually change overnight and he was there for so long, 22 years – that’s long!
“[He has been] very, very successful, that’s how it is. Maybe in the last few months not everybody was happy anymore about this or that result, but that’s normal and part of the business. But he always developed teams, brought fantastic players in, was a dominating guy in the mid-90s, early 2000s when he was really winning pretty much everything and played wonderful football.”
Wenger’s departure from Arsenal may be overdue but his legacy is undeniable. The French manager built Arsenal into one of the formidable sides in English football, ended Manchester United’s lengthy dominance in the league and revolutionised the game.
He brought a different flair to the Arsenal team and made them champions of England on three occasions. That Arsenal team which consisted of the likes of Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Sol Campbell to name a few, made waves whenever they took the field.
Klopp added that Wenger was a “role model” for him when he made his name as a manager at Mainz and Dortmund, citing that he hopes to meet the 68-year-old again one day.
Wenger has seen a lot of ups and downs in his 22-year reign as Arsenal boss. The 1998 double winners and 2004 “Invincibles” stand out, while his later years, especially the last five, saw him receive a lot of criticism not only from Arsenal fans but from the entire football fraternity.
It is indeed going to be difficult to see Arsenal without their most iconic and loved personality from next season onwards.
Speaking about tomorrow’s game, Liverpool cannot afford to take West Brom lightly as the Baggies pulled off an upset last weekend against Manchester United.
Although relegation looms large for the Baggies, Klopp and co. must ensure that they remain focused and get three points on board to secure our position in the top-four.
Paris Saint-Germain set to sell 23-year-old Liverpool target for €15m this January
The Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the season, and PSG are not willing to let the midfielder leave for nothing.
The report adds that Barcelona were close to landing Rabiot on a free but PSG claimed that the Catalans did not act “correctly”.
Rabiot’s wage demands could increase the overall value of the transfer, and the report adds that PSG are not willing to deal with Barcelona any more.
Liverpool could do with another quality midfielder in their side, despite having several options in the side.
However, Adam Lallana has had a tough time related to injuries while James Milner isn’t getting any younger at 33.
Jurgen Klopp has pulled off some great cheap signings with Joel Matip joining on a free while Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri have been smart purchases.
Rabiot has the talent to be one of the best in the world, but he needs to be under the right manager. Klopp has performed miracles with some players at Anfield, and it would be great to have a talent like the Frenchman playing for us.
Former Manchester City midfielder “scared” of Liverpool in Premier League race
Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has claimed that he is scared of Liverpool in the race for the Premier League.
The Ivorian won the Premier League with City a few years ago and was speaking on Sky Sports where he claimed that the Reds were doing well and were “very strong” (h/t Daily Star).
The midfielder lauded our efforts at reaching the Champions League final last season and claimed we were growing together.
Winning the Premier League in consecutive seasons is extremely tough, something that Toure touched upon. The former Barcelona midfielder spoke about Manchester City keeping hold of their title this season before adding that he was scared of the Reds:
“This year I know everybody was asking the question of what City are going to do this year.
“And I think we have to see what’s going to happen.
“To be honest, Liverpool are in good, good shape at the moment and I’m very scared of them.
“Liverpool are looking very, very scary this year.”
The Reds are four points clear at the top of the table after the latest round of fixtures. Liverpool needed to return to winning ways after losses against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were professional against Brighton at the weekend with Mohamed Salah scoring the only goal of the game.
The Reds have some relatively easy fixtures coming up to keep hold of their lead in the Premier League, and hopefully, we can celebrate a first Premier League title this season.
33 wins, 24 clean sheets – The numbers from this Liverpool star’s first 50 games for the Reds are incredible
Virgil van Dijk played his 50th game for Liverpool against Brighton, and the Reds picked up all three points thanks to Mohamed Salah’s winner.
The Reds also kept a clean sheet, something that the defender would cherish and the Liverpool website shared some interesting facts from the Dutchman’s 50 games under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool established their second longest run without conceding a league goal at Anfield in 2018. The Reds did not concede for 918 minutes as Callum Paterson scored for Cardiff in October to break a streak that started in Feb.
The Dutchman was the only defender to have played in all games that lasted the run.
24 clean sheets
This has got to be the best record of them all with almost half of the games Van Dijk played in yielding a clean sheet.
This season has been better with 13 clean sheets from 22 Premier League games as the Reds have tightened up the back thanks to the signing of Alisson.
Dominating the opposition
Van Dijk has an incredible success percentage when it comes to duels, with the defender winning 71.69% of the 445 contested duels.
The defender also leads the team in clearances (272), blocks (21) and interceptions (59).
Incredible passing numbers
Van Dijk has attempted more passes (3,643) than any other Liverpool player and has an accuracy of 88.64%.
The Reds have been supreme this season with Van Dijk leading from the back, and we have lost just one game in the Premier League too.
Liverpool have won 33 of the games that Van Dijk has played in with seven draws and 10 defeats so far.
The Dutchman has been one of our best signings under Klopp and is well on his way to becoming a legend at the club if he keeps playing this way.
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