Tag Archives: Jurgen Klopp

Best FIFA Football awards 2019 winners

What is it?

The FIFA football awards were originally introduced in 1991 to go along side the French publication, French Football’s Ballon D’Or prize. 

The difference between the two is the organisations in charge; The Ballon D’Or was set up in 1956.

 However, both awards were combined in 2010 to create the FIFA Ballon D’Or for six years before FIFA President, Gianni Infantino reverted it back to the original separate award system in 2018.

Lionel Messi wins best player for a sixth time

Lionel Messi was voted the best men’s player at the awards in Milan.  The Barcelona man was voted ahead of fellow finalists, Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk as well as Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 32-year-old Argentine helped Barcelona win La Liga and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, scoring 54 goals in 58 games for club and country, and provide 20 assists in the 2018/19 campaign.

I think that Van Dijk should have got the award because of the impact he has made to Liverpool’s defence, particularly last season, while Messi had an impressive season; Van Dijk ultimately played a critical part in Liverpool winning their sixth Champions League trophy as well as the dramatic improvement that he has made to the reds’ defence in the league.  His former manager at Celtic, Neil Lennon, also shares this viewpoint.

FIFA however have not crowned a defender as it’s player of the year since Fabio Cannavaro won it in 2006 after the Italian led Italy to World Cup glory.

Megan Rapinoe awarded the women’s player prize

American superstar Megan Rapinoe led her country to a second consecutive World Cup win scoring crucial goals against Spain in the last 16, France in the Quarter-finals and the World Cup final itself during their victory over the Netherlands.

Rapinoe won the award with 46 per cent of the vote, just ahead of World Cup 2019 Silver Boot winner Alex Morgan, 42 per cent and Lyon treble winner and England international Lucy Bronze, 29 per cent.

Jurgen Klopp named coach of the year ahead of Pep Guardiola

Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp was announced as coach of the year after guiding his team to a Champions League win in Madrid against Tottenham Hotspur. Other notable highlights included the comeback in the Champions League Semi-finals against Barcelona, 4-3 on aggregate.

The German coach also lost only once in the Premier League during the 2018/19 season and achieved a 97 point tally, falling just one point short of eventual winners Manchester City.

The other finalists included domestic treble winner (Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup), Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.

Tottenham Hotspur coach, Maurico Pochettino was also nominated having led the London side to their first ever Champions League Final.

I think you can make a strong argument for both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola when it comes to winning coach of the year.

Pep Guardiola for me should have got it ahead of Klopp on this occasion, purely for leading his team to the first ever domestic treble, or perhaps they could have even been joint winners?

World Cup winning coach Jill Ellis named best women’s coach

Probably the least surprising award winner, Jill Ellis helped America win another World Cup in France this year.  This was following on from her 2015 success in Canada.

In the seven tournament matches her side scored 26 goals, including a record 13-0 win over Thailand and conceded just three times.

Ellis finishes her reign as American coach next month and currently is the only coach to lift the Women’s World Cup twice.

The other finalists were England coach Phil Neville, who helped the Three Lions to a fourth place finish at the World Cup as well as a first ever SheBelievesCup win back in March 2019.

Sarina Wiegman, the Dutch coach, was also nominated having got her country to their first ever World Cup Final.

Alisson Becker and Sari Van Veenendaal named the best male and female goalkeeper

Brazilian and Liverpool Goalkeeper, Alisson Becker was announced as the best goalkeeper and this was certainly justified after keeping a record high 21 clean sheets in the league. Alisson was also able to help his club side to Champions League glory, keeping five clean sheets including four in the knockout stages.

The runners-up were Manchester City’s Ederson, who kept 20 clean sheets during the last campaign and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Sari Van Veenendaal, the Dutch number one keeper, meanwhile was awarded the women’s goalkeeper award.  Van Veenendaal helped her team to their first ever World Cup final, keeping three clean sheets in the process.  She was also part of the Arsenal side who won the Women Super League title.

Sweden’s Hedvig Lindahl, who played an integral part in her side finishing third at the World Cup, was the runner-up.

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Zsori wins the Puskas award for best goal

Daniel Zsori was awarded the best goal prize by scoring a stunning bicycle kick in stoppage time in what proved to be the winner for his club side Debrecen against rivals Ferencvaros in February 2019.

Incredibly Zsori was making his first senior appearance for the club.

Silvia Grecco chosen as FIFA fan winner

Silvia Grecco was given this award because she was seen with her son, 11-year-old Nickollas, who is blind and mildly autistic, describing and commentating on a Palmeiras football game for him against rivals Corinthians.

The footage of this went viral all over Brazil and the mother later explained that she had been doing this for a few years.  Grecco won the award with roughly 58 per cent of the vote.

Fifa Fifpro Men’s Team of the Year

Goalkeeper – Alisson (Liverpool/Brazil)

Defenders – Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax and Juventus/Netherlands), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid/Spain), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool/Netherlands), Marcelo (Real Madrid/Brazil).

Midfielders – Luka Modric (Real Madrid/Croatia), Frenkie de Jong (Ajax and Barcelona/Netherlands), Eden Hazard (Chelsea and Real Madrid/Belgium)

Forwards – Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain/France), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Portugal), Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina)

Fifa Fifpro Women’s Team of the Year

Goalkeeper – Sari van Veenendaal (Arsenal/Netherlands)

Defenders – Lucy Bronze (Olympique Lyonnais/England), Wendie Renard (Olympique Lyonnais/France), Nilla Fischer (Linkopings FC/Sweden), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC/USA)

Midfielders – Amandine Henry (Olympique Lyonnais/France), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars/USA), Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit/USA),

Forwards – Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC/USA) and Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride/USA)

Were some of these inclusions justified?

Certainly there were a few surprising inclusions such as Real Madrid player’s Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and even Luka Modric.

Sergio Ramos in particular as he admitted after the first leg of the last 16 ties against Ajax that he picked up a deliberate yellow card to rule himself out of the return leg, that Real Madrid ultimately lost.

Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe was impressive in Ligue 1 and domestic competitions in France but he did not make much of an impression on the Champions League stage last season.

I would have chosen Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte who played a crucial role in their treble winning campaign ahead of Sergio Ramos. Laporte helped his side keep 23 clean sheets out of 48 games.

Liverpool’s Andy Robertson at left back instead of Marcelo, again due to his influential displays in their Champions League and Premier League campaigns. Last season Robertson was responsible for 13 assists from his position at left back.

Christian Eriksen also I think gets in ahead of Luka Modric as he played an important role in Tottenham Hotspur getting to their first ever final. Eriksen was responsible for eight goals and 12 assists from 35 appearances during the London clubs previous campaign.

Finally I would bring in Mohamed Salah instead of Kylian Mbappe, purely because of the importance of the goals that he scored and the impact that he made in crucial moments of the campaign contributing 22 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

Unlucky absentees?

Both Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane were unlucky to just miss out as well having both had superb seasons with their respective clubs. Tottenham’s Heung-Min Son and Ajax’s Dustin Tadic were also outstanding.

Do any 24/7 readers have views on the award winners and who would you choose in your team of 2018/19? 

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Liverpool 3-1 Newcastle United: Subtle Reds create Premier League history

Liverpool cruised to a comprehensive 3-1 victory over Newcastle United to retain the top spot in the Premier League standings.

Anfield witnessed yet another sublime display as Liverpool outplayed the Magpies on quality and matched a Premier League record. Their triumph against Steve Bruce’s side means it’s Reds’ 14th consecutive win in Premier League, just 4 short of Pep Guardiola’s consecutive win record. Liverpool are the first team in top-flight history to win 14 straight matches, by scoring more than once in each win.

However, Liverpool did have an unusually slow start and the visitors made the most out of it as Jetro Willems scored with a sublime right-footed strike. Nevertheless, the hosts responded in stunning fashion, as in-form Sadio Mane dispatched a crucial equalizer on the 27th-minute mark. Minutes before the second half, Jurgen Klopp was forced to make a substitution which saw Roberto Firmino coming off the bench to replace injured Divock Origi.

The Brazillian had a lightning-quick impact on the game, and submitted a delicious pass for The Reds’ second goal. The European champions were ahead in a flash.

After the second one, they looked relatively more comfortable, predominately Roberto Firmino was under a constant spotlight, displaying a unique extravaganza of subtle twist and turns and exquisite passes. Salah’s first and Liverpool’s third came due to Brazillian’s wonderful backheel. It was just wonderful to watch.

Moreover, Reds’ midfield also did a good job, and Oxlade-Chamberlain’s return was one of the positive signs.

Liverpool sit at the top of the pile with a five point lead on Manchester City. They are looking very sharp and looking hungry from the very start to land their first Premier League title

Player Ratings:

Liverpool:

Adrian – 6, Van Dijk – 8, Matip – 7, Alexander Arnold -7, Robertson – 7, Fabinho 8, Oxlade Chamberlain 8, Wijnaldum -7, Mane -8, Salah – 7, Origi -6

Subs:

Firmino- 9, Milner – 6, Shaqiri -6

Newcastle United:

Martin Dubravka- 5, Krafth -6, Schar -6, Lascelles -6, Dumeett -6, Willems -7, Almiron-6, Hayden-6, Shelvey -6, Atsu-5, Joelinton -6.

Subs:

Muto- 6, Fernandez-6, Manquillo-6.

 

 

Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal: Gunners’ new faces fail to impact as Reds run rampant

Dominant Liverpool put forth a stunning display at jumping Anfield as they strolled past Arsenal 3-1 to stretch their winning streak in the Premier League to 12.

The matchday 3 of the Premier League saw Liverpool going toe to toe with Arsenal at Anfield, which promised to be a mouthwatering clash between two attacking units. Anfield has turned out to be a nightmare for Arsenal in the recent past as they witnessed a sheer humiliation in their recent trips to the Red Half of Merseyside. With an eye-catching business in the transfer window, Arsenal were seeking a positive result after recent catastrophes against The Reds.

However, it didn’t turn out be an outing their twelfth man had hoped for.

Liverpool, with their sheer class, quality and attacking proficiency were capable of achieving a grip on the game from very early stages. Full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson were under constant spotlight, turning the game into a crossing session in the first half.

Liverpool’s error did hand gunners with some really good chances of scoring but they couldn’t capitalise on them. At last in the dying moments of the first 45, a breakthrough came. It was Reds’ defender Joel Matip who put Reds in front and their all hard work of the first half was paid off. It was more of psychological relief.

Neither of the two made the changes in the half time. The start of the second period was electric for Reds and David Luiz’s blunder of pulling Mohamed Salah’s shirt offered Liverpool to double their lead from the spot. The Egyptian, with a sublime penalty, fired Liverpool to a two goal lead and it started feeling like Arsenal’s past trips to Anfield are going to be repeated.

The tie had swiftly turned into the favor of hosts. The European Champions were in complete control and looked to cause Arsenal more of problems. On the 58th minute mark, Salah yet again fired Liverpool to a three-goal lead. But this time, the goal was sumptuous. With a sublime turn, he nullified David Luiz and then struck a well taken shot to the left bottom corner. Liverpool 3- 0 Arsenal.

Lucas Torreira scored a late consolation goal for arsenal which injected small unrest in the stands of Anfield. However, it ended as Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal.

Liverpool have started yet another season on a big high while Arsenal’s 100% start in the Premier League season has been broken. However, despite the result, there are some positives for Arsenal. Nicolas Pepe showed glimpses of what he can do while Torreira’s impact after coming from the bench is also a positive.

Player Ratings:

Liverpool:

Adrian (7), Van Dijk (8), Matip (9), Robertson (7), Alexander Arnold (7), Wijnaldum (6), Henderson (7), Fabinho (8), Mane (7), salah (9), Firmino(8).

Subs: Milner (6), Oxlade chamberlain (6), Lallana (N/A).

Arsenal:

Leno (6), Luiz (4), Sokratis (6), Monreal (5), Maitland Niles (6), Xhaka (6), Guendouzi (6), Willock (6), Ceballos (6), Aubameyang (5), Pepe (6).

Subs

Torreira (7), Lacazette (N/A).

 What Next?

Liverpool face Burnley in matchday 4 at Turf Moor, while another tough clash awaits for Arsenal as they face arch-rivals Tottenham next week.

From a bhoy to a Fox? Brendan Rodgers to Leicester?

After sacking Claude Puel on Sunday Leicester city have moved quickly to get their man and it seems that man is current Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers. Reports today suggest that the Bhoys have allowed Rodgers to travel to Leicester to discuss a move to the Midland club. Many suggested that any move for the Irishman would have to wait until the summer but it seems Rodgers has made his wishes clear to the Celtic board to leave now.

Is this a good move for Leicester City?

Currently in 14th position in the Premier League the Foxes are without a win in 7 games which includes the 2-1 loss to league 2 Newport County in the FA Cup 3rd round.

Some positivity and confidence is needed and a new manager often provides this, Brendan Rodgers wants another shot at the Premier League after a disappointing end to his Liverpool tenure and with Leicester, a club that has won the Premier League, has solid owners with deep pockets and a squad of talented players he has the ideal place to make a great start and rebuild his reputation to a degree.

One of Rodgers main strengths is his coaching ability and with the likes of Demarai Gray, Ben Chilwell and James Maddison there he really could get those players to the next level like he did with Raheem Sterling in his early years. Oliver Burke transferred to Celtic at the start of the season because of Rodgers, Burke felt that the Irishman could get his career back on track, and possibly the biggest compliment Rodgers has received came from Brazilian icon Pele when he said “I think Celtic are very lucky to have a manager with the qualities of Brendan. Luis Suarez was a really good player when he went to Liverpool but I believe Brendan gave him great coaching, guidance and advice and made him a better player and a better person”.

So what would Leicester be getting in Brendan Rodgers?

Someone with the ability to coach players and make them better, a coach who has managed at the top level and who came within 2 points of delivering Liverpool their first Premier League title, a title they’ve never been closer to winning since. Rodgers has plenty of experience in the premier league having managed Swansea after he guided the Welsh club up from the championship and Liverpool, showing his ability to manage clubs at both ends of the league, so he’s no stranger to life in a club outside the ‘top 6’.

Time will only tell if Brendan Rodgers will be a good fit for Leicester city but with his pedigree and track record of trophies and success, the Foxes will be in good hands.

Wayne Edge @oasis1711

Is Loris Karius the answer to Liverpool’s goalkeeping problems?

Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet have been heavily criticised this season and last for being at fault for being too weak to play for Liverpool FC.

However, since a reported altercation between Mignolet and Jurgen Klopp, Karius has been playing regularly instead of swapping games with the Belgian.

Since the start of 2018, Karius has played all games for Liverpool apart from the New Years’ Day victory at Burnley and the 3-2 FA Cup loss to West Brom.

Since this run, Karius has kept seven clean sheets out of 14 games, conceding 11 goals, three of them in the thriller against Manchester City.

But now, with Karius looking like Liverpool’s number one, the Reds are now third in the Premier League and are 3-0 up in the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.

It looked like Klopp would be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper, but Karius now looks to be paying back the German manager for his faith in him.

Karius has two big games to prove himself further to the Anfield faithful, the Merseyside derby away at Goodison Park and the Champions League second leg at the Etihad.

The Reds have six games left to play before Klopp starts preparing for next season, where the goalkeeping position may not now be his priority.

Karius is still only 24 and has many years to play and has now proven himself and adapted to the English game following his difficult start.

It now looks like if Klopp were to bring in a new goalkeeper in the upcoming transfer window, it may be as a back up if Mignolet were to leave.