LFC NEWS

‘Twenty’s Plenty’, the travelling Kop & importance of Liverpool’s away fans in the title race

ThisIsAnfield.com - Tue, 02/12/2019 - 07:00

After the £30 cap on away ticket prices in the Premier League was extended for the next three seasons, we look at the title race, the importance of travelling fans, and why this cap should be lowered further.


“Jurgen’s cracking up,” sang the Man City fans as they filed out of Goodison Park last Wednesday, having just watched their side see off Everton.

It was one of those ghost games which takes place in midweek—not shown live, and no MOTD highlights—but unlike many such games in the past which can go unnoticed, this one didn’t.

The away fans were jovial. Typical City. The City which spent seasons in the lower leagues and seemed to quite enjoy it, singing songs about the Invisible Man and poking fun at themselves rather than the standard of opposition they came up against.

They were singing about Manuel Pellegrini, whose West Ham side had held Liverpool to a draw on the Monday, just as Liverpool fans had belted out the name of Rafa Benitez at Anfield after his Newcastle side defeated City.

They might sing songs of former managers anyway, but the welcome and continued presence of Pellegrini and Benitez in the Premier League, affecting the title race, adds to the entertainment.

They were also singing primarily about their own side, just as Liverpool fans do.

 Liverpool supporters celebrate the victory after the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at Wembley Stadium. Liverpool won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The occasional moment was reserved for their title challengers, as well as Man United, similar to the barbs of travelling Reds aimed at Everton, Man United, and, erm, Nottingham Forest.

But this was support of the team with humour thrown in. There were no nerves, even at 0-0.

Chants of “sit down for the champions” were directed to a disgruntled Park End, who may have been buoyed by the fact their team were in the game until the end in terms of getting a result, but they weren’t going to stand regardless of what the City fans threw at them.

For the travelling Kop there may be the usual individual worries which have become ingrained in Premier League era Reds fans, but as a whole Liverpool’s away support isn’t nervous either.

Away games are more a celebration of the bigger picture of what is happening at this club, rather than trepidation at the possibility of not winning the league.

Contrast these emotions to those experienced at home.

Home Truths

 A general view of Liverpool's Main Stand during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Etihad has become a hive of expectation. The Tunnel Club wants to be entertained and the new generation of City fans expect to win and win like Barcelona did under Guardiola.

There are Emirates-esque pockets of anger and annoyance when things don’t go their way, and even though a section of their support—probably those who also travel to away games—maintain some of the Maine Road spirit, they are now a minority.

Anfield, meanwhile, can be a bag of nerves.

Klopp thought he had eradicated this by replacing Simon Mignolet with Alisson and bringing Virgil van Dijk into the defence, but there can still be a lack of confidence which gives the impression there are still more doubters than believers.

Maybe the lack of atmosphere at the Etihad is better for players than the tense nervousness which can engulf Anfield, but it’s not better for the game as a whole.

The Kop tries to get things going when the chips are down, even after opposition goals, but sometimes they are fighting a losing battle.

Even Klopp himself has gestured his anger towards the Main Stand when it groans at some slight mistake on the pitch.

 Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (R) and Virgil van Dijk after the 1-1 draw during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It sounded like it [was nervous],” Van Dijk said of Anfield after the draw at home to Leicester, and though he said it doesn’t affect him, not all players are the same.

“Nah, not to me! But, obviously, you get that feeling as well from the crowd and I think it’s not really necessary at the moment.

“But, obviously, everyone wants to win so bad and that’s what we want as well but sometimes you need to be very patient.”

This was certainly improved in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, and this must now be extended across the rest of the season.

The Importance of Away Fans – Twenty’s Plenty

 Liverpool supporters' banner "Twenty's Always Plenty" as they protest against high ticket prices during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But either way, this shows the importance of away supporters, not just in a title race but in football generally.

On the rare occasion that there is a decent atmosphere at a Premier League game, it is almost always triggered by the travelling fans.

Most sets of away supporters sing the same set of songs, regardless of the club they are supporting, but they do sing, and it does help to create an atmosphere.

If you wonder why you can only hear the away fans when watching a game on TV or online, it’s because broadcasters want to transmit the best product, so will turn up the mics near to where there is singing—which, more often than not, is from the away fans.

They’ll quickly turn it down again if said singing is unsavoury!

For the most part they can predict what they will hear. The usual renditions of “is this a library?” and “your support is fucking shit” can be heard at almost every game from unimaginative away fans.

But other groups of away supporters have their own creations.

 The Liverpool fans react after the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

They sing about their own team as well as their bitter rivals. The northwest clubs are among the best for this, with Liverpool, Everton, City and United all boasting a number of original creations.

Further south towards the Midlands, clubs like Stoke City and West Brom will have their own signature tunes, which make for a much more enjoyable afternoon than hearing the umpteenth airing of “is there a fire drill” as some bloke goes for his half-time pie five minutes before the end of the half.

There’s nothing like the West Brom fans’ version of ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ (except maybe Schalke 04 fans signing Mike Oldfield’s ‘Moonlight Shadow’).

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Some sets of supporters may have playlists which are no more imaginative than that of a commercial radio station, but they regularly light the touch-paper for the home fans to become more involved in the game.

It’s for this reason that the recent decision to extend the £30 cap on away ticket prices for another three seasons is welcome, but that there was doubt in the first place is worrying.

Great news for supporters and a victory for those who campaigned for its introduction and to be continued.

No one just gave fans this – fans fought for it https://t.co/qgddBmXc8R

— Jay McKenna (@JayMcKenna87) February 7, 2019

If there are any rumblings of this changing, it should be in the other direction, supporting the Twenty’s Plenty campaign.

If away fans can no longer afford to go to games—and this is about travel costs, kickoff times, and time off work as much as it is ticket prices—then away sections will become more and more like many of the sections of home support, or empty.

Where will the TV companies direct their microphones then? What’s a relegation scrap or a title race without fans there who care? Lower ticket prices are in the interests of the TV companies, too.

Average away capacity in Premier League: 2,800.

Average broadcasting revenue for Premier League club last season: £121m.

Reduction in ticket prices from £40 to £30 would cost club £532,000 per season. Or just 0.4% of average broadcasting revenue alone.https://t.co/Rp90cHk0lJ

— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) February 6, 2019

In this season’s title race, there’s a feeling that away supporters of the clubs involved are detached from many of the petty issues argued among fans on social media.

There is no bottling it on these terraces, and win or lose they will have enjoyed the ride.

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Photos: Liverpool arrive in Marbella for training camp

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 20:00

Liverpool have arrived in Marbella for a four-day training camp.

The Reds touched down in Spain around 7pm local time after departing John Lennon Airport earlier on Monday.

A 31-man squad has travelled to the Andalusian coast, with a double session planned for Tuesday.

Liverpool will return to England on Friday afternoon ahead of next week’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich at Anfield.

See the squad arriving at the team hotel in our gallery below - and stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com throughout the week for exclusive photos, videos, interviews and more from the training camp in Marbella.

Photos by Andrew Powell

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Categories: LFC NEWS

Photos: Liverpool arrive in Marbella for training camp

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 20:00
Liverpool have arrived in Marbella for a four-day training camp.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool FC in Marbella: The pros and cons of warm-weather training camps

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 18:30

As Liverpool FC head to Southern Spain for a second warm-weather training camp of 2019, sports performance scientist Dr. Rajpal Brar looks at the pros and cons of such trips.


Since Jurgen Klopp took the mantle as Liverpool manager in 2015, he has taken the Reds away for warm weather training camps, with trips to Marbella, Tenerife, La Manga, and most recently to Dubai.

This week, they return to Marbella – where Klopp took the Reds twice in 2018. Such training camps were routine during his time at Borussia Dortmund during the Bundesliga’s winter break.

Klopp explained his rationale for this warmer weather training when he said:

“Here you can only run and shoot and tackle, with the weather it is really cold. That’s how it is.

“There’s nothing good in going out of competitions, but if you are out you can suffer or you can use the time. We decided to use the time.”

The benefits of training in warmer weather – which I’ll go through in detail below – are frequently touted but, as Liverpool may be finding out after their recent form after their last warm weather camp and reports of illness among several players, there are also inherent risks that come along with such a trip.

Lets go through both the benefits and risks of these trips, starting with the benefits.

The Benefits

 Liverpool's goalkeeper Alisson Becker during a training session at Melwood ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool FC. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The first benefit is physiological – it’s much easier to warm-up the body and muscles in warmer temperatures compared to the biting cold of Melwood winters which require significant warm-up periods, cutting into training time and frankly killing motivation. We all want to stay in that warm, snugly bed when it’s freezing outside.

Another physiological benefit is Vitamin D exposure. Research shows that up to 60 per cent of athletes in the UK are vitamin deficient, with such deficiency being linked to increased chance of illness, poor bone health, increased injury risk, and decreased muscular function and adaptation to strength training.

Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson believed so strongly in the importance of Vitamin D levels that he installed tanning booths at their training ground to boost Vitamin D and provided key players extra rest in winter to head abroad for a sunshine break.

The second benefit is mental. Just getting out of the dark, dreary winter of the UK and into a bright environment will change the mood.

Further, the change in scenery can help break up the same routines and patterns for players and staff alike and help refocus the group during the dredges of the long season.

There’s a lot to be said about simply getting away from the constant stress, pressure, and expectations that come with being a professional footballer in the Premier League. Get away, let that stress melt away.

Also, these trips serve to reinforce the bonds between coach, staff, and teammates. You’re in close proximity with each other for extended periods of time and able to enjoy some downtime together, get to know each other on a personal level. This is critical for team cohesion and success.

Liverpool’s Training Camps Under Klopp

March 2016 – Tenerife
February 2017 – La Manga
March 2017 – Tenerife
January 2018 – Dubai
February 2018 – Marbella
May 2018 – Marbella
January 2019 – Dubai
February 2019 – La Manga

The final benefit is simply time. With longer daylight hours and warmer temperatures, training can be spread out across the day rather than truncated into one shorter period of the day. This allows for training quality and consistency.

With all those benefits, why not whisk away to a warm destination for training? Well, there are also some risks that come along with that…

The Risks

 Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC. (Pic by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)

Along with that increased time for training and quantity, comes the very real risk of over-training.

Over-training has been linked to weakening the immune system and strongly linked to increased risk of injury, with some the risk for certain muscular injuries increasing by upwards of 5,000x (that’s not a typo).

Secondly, although everyone being in closer quarters and with each other can be great for camaraderie, it’s also a potential smorgasbord of bacteria and viruses. If one player or staff member gets sick, everyone else now has increased exposure due to that closer and constant proximity.

The third risk comes from inherent risks of travel, particularly if the team is changing time zones. This will alter the body’s internal body clock resulting in changed sleep patterns and potentially impaired sleep quality.

Sleep is the foundation of good health and poor sleep has been linked to a number of issues including injury risk and illness.

LFC Results After Training Camps Under Klopp

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Tenerife – March 2016: Drew vs Spurs, drew vs Dortmund, won vs Stoke

La Manga – Feb 2017: Lost vs Leicester, won vs Arsenal, won vs Burnley

Tenerife – March 2017: Won vs Everton, drew vs B’mouth, won vs Stoke

Dubai – Jan 2018: Won vs Man City, lost vs Swansea, lost vs West Brom

Marbella – Feb 2018: Won vs West Ham, won vs Newcastle, drew vs Porto

Marbella – May 2018: Lost vs Real Madrid

Dubai – Jan 2019: Drew vs Leicester, drew vs West Ham, won vs B’mouth

The other inherent risk with airline travel is dehydration. Flying at altitude is naturally dehydrating and you need more fluids than usual to maintain the previous level of hydration.

The last risk is simply this: for all the benefits that I mentioned above, it begs the question – how does it affect the players when they get back to the dark, dreary, frigid winter?

The team now has to re-adapt to those realities after spending time in a warm summery embrace.

All in All

 Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp calls time on the open session for the media during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool FC and SSC Napoli. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

For Liverpool, warm weather camps have become the norm under Klopp and for good reason. The results shown above immediately after such trips should not be taken as indicative as their ‘success,’ with the benefits being more nuanced and long-term.

Clearly, there are many benefits and you can guard against some of the risks via methodical planning and oversight of training. However, that doesn’t eliminate the risk completely.

If one player gets sick, for whatever reason, it may spread to other players – as it seemingly did after the trip to Dubai last month, with Virgil van Dijk, James Milner and Gini Wijnaldum among those to suffer from sickness since.

If a player gets into a borderline over-training threshold, they might get injured. When the players face the stark reality of being back in the cold and all the stress and expectations from the media, family, friends, fans, each player is going to react differently and require a different adjustment period.

Does that affect their game and the team’s outcomes? Hard to say but these are certainly variables to be aware of.

While you ponder that, I’m off to Mallorca for some warm weather writing…

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Categories: LFC NEWS

De Ligt links resurface & Wijnaldum calls for focus – Monday’s Liverpool FC News Roundup

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 16:00

We round up the latest Liverpool news and transfer rumours on Monday, as the Reds head to Marbella to prepare for next week’s clash with Bayern Munich.


Today’s Main Headlines Liverpool Put Off by De Ligt’s Agent?

Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax Amsterdam and Willem II Tilburg at the Amsterdam Arena on December 24, 2017 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Gerrit van Keulen/VI Images/PA Images

According to the Mirror, Liverpool and their five rivals at the top of the Premier League have all been keeping tabs on Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt.

The young centre-back is arguably seen as the most exciting young player in world football, having recently won the prestigious European Golden Boy award over the likes Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kylian Mbappe.

There is an issue regarding the situation, however, with the six clubs all reluctant to talk to Ajax because De Ligt is represented by controversial agent Mino Raiola.

Liverpool have had no major issues with Raiola in the past, unlike a number of their rivals, but they still appear unsure about doing business with him.

This might not be one to read too much into, although the prospect of signing De Ligt is a mouthwatering one.

Gini Demands Consistency

 Liverpool's goalscorer Georginio Wijnaldum applauds the supporters as he is substituted during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gini Wijnaldum was superb in Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday, scoring a beautiful individual goal and standing out in midfield, despite illness.

Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com, the Dutchman says the Reds must remain focused, adding that table-toppers Man City were always going to be a formidable competitor:

“We must make sure we respond every game, not just one game.

“It is difficult [competing with City] but we already knew from the beginning that it would be difficult.

“We have to control our results and performances. We have to give everything in every game and in the end see where we are.

“You could see at the beginning of the season we have improved. We just have to keep it going.”

The trip to Man United in Liverpool’s next Premier League game on February 24 is particularly key—winning at Old Trafford for the first time since 2013/14 would be a significant moment in the season.

Rangers “Keep Asking” for Kent Deal

Rangers Ryan Kent during the UEFA Europa League, Second Qualifying Round, Second Leg match at Ibrox, Glasgow.

Ryan Kent‘s loan spell at Rangers has been a roaring success, with Harry Wilson arguably the only Liverpool loanee outperforming him this season.

Ex-Red Gary McAllister, Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Ibrox, has told the Daily Record that the Scottish giants “keep asking” the Reds regarding a permanent deal for the 22-year-old:

“The fact is, Ryan’s still a Liverpool player so it’s a decision for Liverpool, isn’t it?

“Will he be here next season? It would be nice because we’ve seen the benefits of having him here but he’s Liverpool’s player.

“We keep asking the question but it’s up to them. They’re very much aware of what he’s doing up here.”

Kent played all 90 minutes of Rangers’ 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup on Saturday, with a replay required to separate the two sides.

James “Looking Forward” to Liverpool Test

 The European Cup trophy on display during the UEFA Champions League 2018/19 Round of 16 draw at the UEFA House of European Football. (Handout by UEFA)

Liverpool take on Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash a week on Tuesday (February 19), in arguably the tie of the round.

James Rodriguez could be a key creative presence for the Bundesliga champions and he admits he is relishing the prospect of facing the Reds.

“I’m very much looking forward to facing Liverpool,” Rodriguez told Bild.

“You can’t make mistakes in these games, but I think we can cause Liverpool problems. We have a team that’s good enough to go through if it goes well.”

It is a sign of Liverpool’s enormous progress under Jurgen Klopp that they are probably narrow favourites to progress against a true European powerhouse.

With Virgil van Dijk suspended and a number of injury problems at the back, though, they will have to perform expertly to keep out a star-studded Bayern team.

Reds ‘Keen on’ Leeds Youngster

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The Mirror claim that Klopp is interested in bringing Leeds youngster Jack Clarke to Anfield in the summer.

Liverpool’s manager has reportedly sent scouts to watch the 18-year-old winger in action, during a debut campaign that has seen him thrive for the Championship promotion hopefuls.

Clarke will be on the Reds’ radar regardless of whether or not Leeds return to the Premier League.

The youngster was stretchered off after feeling unwell during Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to Middlesbrough, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side equalising in the 11th minute of stoppage time.

Could a potential deal for Clarke see James Milner go the other way, returning to his boyhood club in the process?

Seán Cox Charity Match Launched

 Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum and Andy Robertson with a banner "Sean Cox You'll Never Walk Alone" after the preseason friendly match between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at Landsdowne Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The launch of the charity match in aid of the Seán Cox Rehabilitation Trust took place on Monday, with Liverpool and Republic of Ireland legends present at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium.

The game takes place on Friday, April 12 (7.45pm GMT) and will feature the likes of Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush and John Aldridge.

Speaking to LiverpoolFC.com about the occasion, LFC ambassador Rush highlighted its importance, as Cox continues to recover from life-threatening injuries:

“This game is so important to everyone playing in it, we want the best for Seán and his family and that means raising money playing this game to support his ongoing rehabilitation.

“Dublin is a special place to play when you’re a Red but playing in honour of Seán will make this a very special night and I hope our supporters will continue the incredible support they’ve already shown and turn up for Sean on April 12.”

Along with Fowler and Rush, Sander Westerveld, Jerzy Dudek, Glen Johnson, Patrik Berger, Vladimir Smicer, Salif Diao and Djibril Cisse have all been confirmed for the Liverpool Legends.

Aldridge, Jason McAteer, Robbie Keane and Phil Babb will represent both sides, while Kevin Kilbane, Ian Harte, Lee Carsley and Liam Lawrence turn out for Ireland, managed by Mick McCarthy.

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Big interview | Family values making Andy Robertson a modest hero

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:57

There was once an argument in the Robertson household that Andy, now Liverpool's left-back and Scotland's captain, wasn't the best footballer within its four walls.

For those with siblings, the source of that petition will come as little surprise.

Elder brother Stephen, then an aspiring ‘fox in the box’, staked his own claim to the title – one he would later willingly abdicate on the road to Robertson junior reaching the highest level of the European game.

“He didn’t move much, he was a bit of a static striker but scored a lot of goals,” Andy begins to tell Liverpoolfc.com when his chuckle at the memory subsides.

“Now I’m not sure he can hack it! I spoke to him recently and for the first time ever he gave me a small compliment. He said: ‘I don’t know how you do it because I’ve played five-a-side twice this week and my body is in bits.’ He’s 27. I took that as a small compliment.”

In truth, Stephen – like all of the close-knit Robertson family – had been backing his self-confessed ‘annoying’ little brother all the while.

“Everyone focuses on sacrifices – he had to make a lot for me to get where I am,” says Liverpool’s No.26 during a chat at Melwood.

“I’m sure it would have been tough for him at times, if my mum and dad were going to watch me wherever it was in the country and he was left with my auntie and uncle, or on his own when he was old enough.

“But they were sacrifices he was willing to make and when you look at it, fair play to him because he could have dug his heels in. He was happy.

“I went to support him and he went to support me as much as we could. That’s the relationship we had and we still have.

“Last summer, l watched him graduate from university and we had a good day out. He comes to games. It’s a bit different in terms of supporting but I’m sure it was just as important for him for me to be there at his graduation as it is for me that he’s at games.”

Robertson’s journey from rejection to Red is, by now, a familiar fable.

There was the difficult conversation with mum and dad when, with his Celtic dream unfulfilled by a heartbreaking release from the club at 15 and a chance in the Queen’s Park first team yet to materialise, the Glaswegian stared soberly at a metaphorical crossroads.

A professional football career remained a possibility down one path. The other would take him back into formal education with the goal of teaching rather than playing sport.

In another life, he would have been overseeing PE lessons.

‘Give me a year,’ he told them then.

“A lot of parents might have said no,” the defender reflects now.

“At the start they were quite happy with me not having a job, and so was I, because the plan was to go to the gym during the day and bulk up – because I was quite slim – and practise football, go to training and be ready for training.

“But then I turned 18 and I needed money, I needed a job. All my pals were going on nights out or out for dinner, and I was borrowing from my mum and dad. I knew they would give me it but probably weren’t happy doing it, and I wasn’t happy taking it, so I needed a job and luckily I got it.

“But it didn’t take my focus off. On my lunch break I went to the gym; I worked at Hampden so all the facilities were there and I could do that. It didn’t take my focus off football and luckily it paid off in the end.

“I did apply for a couple of uni courses, but by the January or February of the season I knew at the end of the season there was going to be at least two options of full-time football. I knew I could put that on the backburner and I was at least going to have a crack at it, get maybe one year of full-time football and see what would happen.

“It obviously turned out a lot better than that.”

An understatement, perhaps.

That season in Scotland’s fourth tier with Queen’s Park, another at top-flight Dundee United and three years representing Hull City catapulted Robertson to Liverpool in the summer of 2017.

After a patient wait until the December to break into Jürgen Klopp’s starting XI, he never looked back, commanding the left-sided berth all the way through to the Champions League final and, this season, a serious tilt at the Premier League title.

His performances on the pitch, typified by energy and creativity, have deservedly won and retained the affection of Reds fans, but so too have his humility and ethics off it.

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Those latter characteristics, his obvious social conscience – evidenced, for example, by the support for foodbanks carried with him to Merseyside – can be traced, once again, to his upbringing.

“My mum and dad worked their whole life. Now they’re retired. I was always brought up with that attitude of working,” he explains.

“They weren’t well off by any means but they always gave small amounts back to charity. So did all of our family when we were growing up. They have brought me and my brother up the right way – and then it’s just about continuing that.”

Robertson’s rapid escalation from a now-famous 2012 Tweet – ‘Life at this age is rubbish with no money #needajob’ – to the game’s elite level, celebrity status and, last month, a new long-term Liverpool contract has not worn away at his connection to the real world.

His closest friends remain those he met at nursery 20 years ago, their kinship surviving the natural scattering of individuals across different locations and jobs.

A genuine perspective shines through much of his conversation and he shies away from the suggestion of being a role model outside the 90 minutes he spends playing each week.

“Of course it’s easy to get carried away but it’s about trying to see the bigger picture,” he replies to a question about balancing working-class roots with the trappings of professional football.

“I’ve got responsibilities now in terms of two children, who will hopefully be here in this world a long time after me; it’s about setting them up for the future as well and about looking after my family.

“You can get carried away and buy nice things – I’m definitely not against that because you’ve worked hard for where you get. If you want to treat yourself then you deserve a treat. Everyone does that – it’s in different scales maybe, but if you get a bonus or your monthly wage people will buy themselves a nice thing. Whether that’s £20 or whatever, it’s still the same principle.

“It’s all about trying to be smart and trying to have that responsibility, but also staying in touch with the real world and giving back to less fortunate people that aren’t in that position. You can try to help them in a small way – that you think is a small way but can make a bigger difference to them.”

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Nothing keeps you grounded quite like being a parent, either.

Many are the evenings when Robertson must swap the adrenaline rush of a Liverpool fixture for his share of baby duties to 18-month-old son Rocco and newly-born daughter Aria, alongside his partner, Rachel.

“Of course, that always happens,” he laughs when asked how often he’s dealing with nappies within hours of receiving adulation at Anfield.

“Luckily, we’ve got the first one in quite a good routine now; if it’s a night-time game he’ll be in his bed and I’ll see him in the morning. The second one is too young just now and of course there are times where you’ve played a game – maybe won it and played well – and then two or three hours later you’re there changing a nappy or being sick on or whatever is happening with her.

“But that’s part and parcel of it. There are a lot of people who do normal jobs and they are going through the exact same. Football is our job – it’s the best job and effectively a hobby – but it’s still a job. A lot of parents are teaching for the day, for example, then come back and need to be parents.

“It’s getting the right balance and being there for the kids as much as you can be. And, of course, focusing on your job as well.”

Robertson turned in another assured performance on Saturday afternoon as Liverpool shrugged off successive draws to emphatically defeat Bournemouth 3-0 at Anfield.

His eighth assist of the season teed up Georginio Wijnaldum for a memorable lobbed finish while his defensive diligence contributed to a 14th clean sheet of the Premier League campaign.

But in the unlikely event the Scot ever allows such form to go to his head, there is a queue of constructive critics waiting to plant his feet firmly to the floor.

“I can play the best game in the world but have made one mistake – say I’ve slipped or kicked the ball out of the park – and I’ll walk in to see my pals afterwards and that’s the one thing we’ll be talking about,” says the 24-year-old.

“That’s the way it has always been, whether I was at Queen’s Park or at Liverpool – and it helps. If I was surrounded by friends saying how great you are then it might be different.

“In terms of support, my missus is different class. She’ll go to every home game she can. Of course, away games are more difficult. But she’ll go to every home game and won’t miss one.

“If she does have to miss one she’ll be gutted about it. She loves going to the game and loves supporting me.

“She’s got better at it. When she first moved down with me, I used to get her post-match analysis when I walked into the house and that was the last thing anyone wants. It was quite harsh, actually! If I made a mistake or had a bad game, she would be the first to tell me.

“But that’s the kind of relationship we have, we’re quite easy-going.”

While the times of taking four phone calls a day from his mum upon leaving Scotland for Hull in 2014 have gladly passed – ‘I had to tell her to stop!’ – the Reds star’s pride at the close relationship with his parents is clear.

And their regular trips to Merseyside have allowed Mr Robertson to meet a man who achieved the greatest possible success when he swapped Glasgow for Liverpool four decades before Andy.

“We go through the lounge that Kenny Dalglish is in for every game,” reveals the full-back. “With what he did for Celtic, my dad loved him. It’s probably similar to my era of loving Henrik Larsson.

“My dad has always been a Celtic fan through and through but he started to keep an eye on Liverpool once Kenny went down there – because of Kenny Dalglish, effectively.

“The first time he met him was the last game of last season, against Brighton. I’ve never seen my dad starstruck, I think he was a bit lost for words. It was nice to see because you very rarely get to see that.

“Kenny has been great with me and great with my missus since we moved down. All his family have been great with us.

“For him to take a bit of time to talk to my dad was good of him. My mum was there as well; she loved him but not quite as much as my dad. He was talking away to them. To see my dad react like that was nice.”

But how do these personal traits of the man influence the mentality of the footballer?

Did the prospect of his career failing to take off, real as it was, instil a fearlessness in Robertson? A sense that he has nothing to lose?

“My attitude when I go onto the pitch has always been fearless. I’ve never gone into a game fearing anything or anyone,” comes the response.

“We’re in a game where mistakes happen and it’s how you deal with that. You’re in a game where you can become a hero. It’s all about dealing with that. [My upbringing] probably does have a bit to do with it.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve got nothing to lose because now the stakes are high. Of course, if you drop below [your standards] you’ve got your position to lose.

“My attitude going into games has always been fearless, to try to enjoy every minute of it and give 100 per cent. I’m realistic – every game, not all of us can play to the highest of our ability.

“But I always believe if we all give 100 per cent, some days not everything will come off for you – you’ll have bad touches, mistimed tackles – but if I’ve given 100 per cent, you’ll still get criticised and you’ll criticise yourself in terms of performance, but you’ll know you’ve made it hard for your opponent. That’s the attitude I’ve always taken and will always continue to have.”

It’s one that may see Robertson’s journey become a true fairy tale, if Liverpool can achieve the glory they crave in the Premier League and Champions League.

“Fingers crossed,” he says. “Fingers crossed.”

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Big interview | Family values making Andy Robertson a modest hero

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:57
There was once an argument in the Robertson household that Andy, now Liverpool's left-back and Scotland's captain, wasn't the best footballer within its four walls.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool confirm squad for training camp – including Oxlade-Chamberlain but no Joe Gomez

ThisIsAnfield.com - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 15:10

Liverpool have named the 31-man squad travelling to Marbella for a mid-season training camp, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain among those making the trip.


The Reds will spend four days in the Costa del Sol, having been afforded a break between fixtures ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

A spell in Dubai last month heralded mixed results directly afterward, following up draws with Leicester and West Ham with the weekend’s resounding victory over Bournemouth.

This time around, Klopp will be hoping for a better return, with victory over Bayern in the last 16 hugely important.

While training will be the main focus in Marbella, similarly key will be recovery, including for the likes of Dejan Lovren, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum, who have struggled with injuries of late.

And both Oxlade-Chamberlain and Rhian Brewster can work towards rejoining full training, having spent lengthy periods on the sidelines after surgery.

Klopp has also named youngsters Caoimhin Kelleher, Ki-Jana Hoever, Corey Whelan, Nat Phillips, Rafa Camacho, Curtis Jones, Isaac Christie-Davies, Adam Lewis and Ben Woodburn among his travelling party.

Joe Gomez is not part of the squad, however, despite suggestions from Klopp that the 21-year-old could be back in first-team training within the next six weeks after an operation on his leg.

Liverpool Squad in Marbella

 Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk during a training session ahead of the preseason International Champions Cup match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at the Michigan Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Mignolet, Kelleher

Defenders: Van Dijk, Lovren, Matip, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson, Camacho, Moreno, Hoever, Phillips, Whelan, Lewis

Midfielders: Fabinho, Keita, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Milner, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Woodburn, Jones, Christie-Davies

Forwards: Salah, Firmino, Mane, Shaqiri, Sturridge, Origi, Brewster

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31-man squad for Liverpool training camp confirmed

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 14:57

A 31-man travelling Liverpool squad departed for a training camp in Marbella this afternoon.

With the Reds not in action again until the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie with Bayern Munich on February 19, they will spend the next four days preparing in Spain.

Liverpool travelling squad

Fabinho, Van Dijk, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Milner, Keita, Firmino, Mane, Salah, Alisson, Henderson, Sturridge, Moreno, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mignolet, Shaqiri, Brewster, Robertson, Origi, Matip, Phillips, Jones, Hoever, Woodburn, Kelleher, Camacho, Alexander-Arnold, Christie-Davies, Whelan, Lewis.

Stay logged on to Liverpoolfc.com throughout the week for exclusive photos, videos, interviews and more from the training camp in Marbella.

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31-man squad for Liverpool training camp confirmed

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 14:57
A 31-man travelling Liverpool squad departed for a training camp in Marbella this afternoon.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Legends officially launch Seán Cox charity match

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:58

Liverpool FC and Republic of Ireland legends were at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin today to officially launch the charity game in aid of the Seán Cox Rehabilitation Trust.

The match, which will take place on Friday April 12, will see the two sets of greats go head to head in a bid to raise money to fund vital rehabilitation care for Seán Cox, who suffered life-changing injuries when he was the victim of an unprovoked attack outside Anfield ahead of the Reds’ Champions League semi-final against AS Roma last April.

LFC ambassador Ian Rush and Jason McAteer were joined by Seán’s wife, Martina Cox, and trustee of the Seán Cox Rehabilitation Trust, Stephen Felle, to announce some of the former players taking part, as well as the importance of the funds that will be raised at the game.

Sander Westerveld, Jerzy Dudek, Patrik Berger, Vladimir Smicer, Salif Diao, Robbie Fowler, Rush and Djibril Cisse are all confirmed to play for the Reds.

Glen Johnson also joins the LFC Legends team, as well as Robbie Keane, who, along with McAteer, John Aldridge and Phil Babb, will play for both Liverpool and their opponents.

For the Republic of Ireland XI, manager Mick McCarthy will be able to call on the likes of Kevin Kilbane, Ian Harte, Lee Carsley and Liam Lawrence, with more players to be announced soon.

“This game is so important to everyone playing in it, we want the best for Seán and his family and that means raising money playing this game to support his ongoing rehabilitation,” said Rush.

“Dublin is a special place to play when you’re a Red but playing in honour of Seán will make this a very special night and I hope our supporters will continue the incredible support they’ve already shown and turn up for Seán on April 12.”

The game at the Aviva Stadium will kick off at 7.45pm and ticket prices will start at €20 for adults, €10 for under 16s, and a family ticket (two adults and two children) will be priced at €70.

Tickets for the game go on general sale via Ticketmaster on Thursday February 14 at 10am, with pre-sales for LFC Members, season ticket holders and official LFC Supporters’ Clubs taking place beforehand.

For more information on Seán’s story, or to donate to the campaign, visit supportsean.com.

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Legends officially launch Seán Cox charity match

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:58
Liverpool FC and Republic of Ireland legends were at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin today to officially launch the charity game in aid of the Seán Cox Rehabilitation Trust.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Being Red: Developing skills with Respect 4 All

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:32

This month marks the 10th anniversary of LFC Foundation's 'Respect 4 All' programme and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet joined the celebrations by paying a visit to a regular participant, Darragh Smith.

The 11-year-old Reds fan is autistic and attends Respect 4 All sessions at Anfield Sports and Community Centre every week, where he enjoys working on his skills and socialising with the other participants.

The youngsters were recently treated to a surprise visit from Mignolet, who spent some time with Darragh and chatted about football.

“I’m glad he’s enjoying the sessions and that he can play his football here, that’s what it’s all about,” said Mignolet.

“It’s great that the LFC Foundation helps kids in the community by giving them the chance to come and play football - all credit to the volunteers and coaches that make it happen.”

Darragh has been attending Respect 4 All since 2015 and says he just wants to get ‘better and better’ at football. In those four years, he has grown in confidence and his footballing ability is now starting to shine through.

Mignolet’s visit to ASCC formed part of the month-long celebrations marking 10 years of Respect 4 All.

The programme uses a variety of fun and inclusive sessions to remove potential barriers that can exist regarding accessibility to sport for disabled people.

Multi-sports sessions are aimed at people with a range of needs including, but not restricted to: learning difficulties, deaf and physical impairments, visual impairments, autism, and wheelchair users.

Respect 4 All is funded by the Premier League and BT Disability Fund and has engaged more than 4,000 participants since its launch in February 2009.

For more information on Respect 4 All and LFC Foundation’s other programmes, click here.

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Being Red: Developing skills with Respect 4 All

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:32
This month marks the 10th anniversary of LFC Foundation's 'Respect 4 All' programme and Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet joined the celebrations by paying a visit to a regular participant, Darragh Smith.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool plot Leeds transfer raid

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:41

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has identified Leeds United winger Jack Clarke as a priority target for the summer transfer window.

Liverpool kept their powder dry during January with Klopp desperate not to disrupt his Premier League title-chasing squad.

But their latest accounts show their finances are in rude health, with another spending spree on the cards at the end of the season.

Liverpool will be in the market for big-hitters are they seek to build on what’s been an impressive campaign to date.

Klopp, though, also has one eye on the future with Leeds prospect Clarke making his way on to the German’s radar.

Express Sport understands the Liverpool boss is interested in adding the highly-rated wideman to his playing staff.

And he has sent club personnel to make checks on the 18-year-old Leeds United star, who only made his senior debut last October.

The impressive reports Jurgen Klopp has received means he is eager to beat other Premier League suitors to Clarke’s signature.

And he wants Liverpool to launch a bid to recruit Clarke even if Leeds seal promotion from the Championship in May.

Source: Daily Express

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Liverpool plot Leeds transfer raid

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:41
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has identified Leeds United winger Jack Clarke as a priority target for the summer transfer window.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Liverpool plot Leeds transfer raid

HEAD NEWS - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:41

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has identified Leeds United winger Jack Clarke as a priority target for the summer transfer window.

Liverpool kept their powder dry during January with Klopp desperate not to disrupt his Premier League title-chasing squad.

But their latest accounts show their finances are in rude health, with another spending spree on the cards at the end of the season.

Liverpool will be in the market for big-hitters are they seek to build on what’s been an impressive campaign to date.

Klopp, though, also has one eye on the future with Leeds prospect Clarke making his way on to the German’s radar.

Express Sport understands the Liverpool boss is interested in adding the highly-rated wideman to his playing staff.

And he has sent club personnel to make checks on the 18-year-old Leeds United star, who only made his senior debut last October.

The impressive reports Jurgen Klopp has received means he is eager to beat other Premier League suitors to Clarke’s signature.

And he wants Liverpool to launch a bid to recruit Clarke even if Leeds seal promotion from the Championship in May.

Source: Daily Express

This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.

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Wijnaldum: We knew title race would be difficult

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:01

The demands of the Premier League title race have not surprised Georginio Wijnaldum or his Liverpool teammates.

Wijnaldum was a star performer during Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bournemouth at Anfield, which returned the Reds to the summit of the table.

Manchester City’s victory against Chelsea lifted the reigning champions back to the top on goal difference yesterday, though having played a game more than Liverpool.

With 12 league fixtures remaining, Wijnaldum believes his team must maintain and, in fact, improve their level to achieve their ultimate ambition.

“It is always a good response when you win. Three goals and a clean sheet makes it even better,” the Dutchman said after the match.

“We must make sure we respond every game, not just one game. It is difficult [competing with City] but we already knew from the beginning that it would be difficult.

“We have to control our results and performances. We have to give everything in every game and in the end see where we are. You could see at the beginning of the season we have improved. We just have to keep it going.”

Watch: Wijnaldum's brilliant lob v Bournemouth

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Wijnaldum: We knew title race would be difficult

LiverpoolFC TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:01
The demands of the Premier League title race have not surprised Georginio Wijnaldum or his Liverpool teammates.
Categories: LFC NEWS

Support the U18s against Wigan at Chester on Wednesday

LiverpoolFC.TV - Mon, 02/11/2019 - 09:35

Liverpool U18s host Wigan Athletic in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup at Chester FC on Wednesday night and they would love your support.

Kick-off at the Swansway Stadium is at 7pm GMT and the tie has to be decided on the night with extra-time and penalties if necessary.

Admission is £3 for adults and £1 for children/concessions.

Season ticket holders for Liverpool FC as well as LFC Members, can gain free entrance to the fixture.

LFCTV GO: Watch the goals from the fourth round win over Accrington Stanley

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