• Sumedh Venkat

The Champions of England.

Updated: Jul 25

Premier League is back and Liverpool are the champions of English Premier League 2019/2020. During this pandemic outbreak of coronavirus, the fans were missing some of the glimpse of Premier League where Aubameyang and Daniel James sprinting like there's no tomorrow. De Bruyne giving amazing long balls and shooting screamers. Leno and De Gea saving belters. Van Dijk Bullying everyone. Neves scoring screamers. Vardy scoring non stop. Martin Tyler screaming when players score. Fans jumping down and up like it's their last 90 minutes of their life.

This is why, we all love the Premier League.

The current playing XI squad of Liverpool, who won the Champions League and English Premier League.



History


Liverpool is one of the oldest club in the Premier League history. The club was founded in 1892 following a split from Everton Football Club. After some years, they suffered two drastic tragedies (Heysel Stadium disaster and Hillsborough disaster) which led to economic losses for the club. But their club owners, manager, players and Liverpool supporters didn't gave up and the Merseyside's success didn't go in vain too. Later on, they achieved 65 major club trophies in history who are second in England after Manchester United with 66 major trophies.

Now Liverpool's total market value is at third highest in the Premier League at staggering amount of £876 million.




Manager: Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp got his chance to manage in the Premier League when he took over at Liverpool in October 2015.


The German arrived at Anfield after taking a short break of 4 months from football following an impressive seven-year stay with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga.

In the summer of 2008, Klopp was appointed as manager of Borussia Dortmund and after two years under his reign Dortmund had finished sixth and then fifth before Klopp achieved back-to-back Bundesliga titles, plus a German Cup win in the 2011/12 campaign.

Dortmund reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2013 under Klopp’s guidance, losing to fellow German side Bayern Munich at Wembley Stadium. Klopp left at the end of the 2014/15 season after seven years in charge.

On Thursday 8 October 2015, Liverpool announced Klopp as Brendan Rodgers’ replacement at Anfield, giving the German his first taste of management in English football.

He led the Reds to the UEFA Europa League final in 2015/16 and the UEFA Champions League final in 2017/18, although both matches ended in defeat.

Klopp was back in the Champions League final the following season, however, and this time guided his side to a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.


A remarkable stats shows that he had 60.31% chances of winning in Liverpool at all the competitions.

Klopp in 2015: "When I sit here in four years I think we've won one title in this time". In 2019/2020 season they finished first in the Premier League season and won the title before 6 matches to go.



Liverpool Gegenpress Tactics


Formation: 4-3-3

To play like gegenpress football, your team after losing possession of the ball immediately attempts to win back possession, rather than falling back to the same positions.


Now, In this tactics. Attack-shoot- press the opposition and win the ball back, attack-shoot- press the opposition and win the ball again. It’s a vicious circle for your opponent to defend. Pressing the ball, quickly looking to regain possession once it’s been lost, the gegenpress approach demands this energy for 90 minutes. It does not allow for a team to be lazy. It will not always be an energy of pressing for the full game, but more pressing when the ball is lost.

To make it clear it was not Jurgen Klopp who invented this style of football. The big Dutch teams like Ernst Happel’s Feyenoord, Rinus Michels’ Ajax Amsterdam and the Dutch National team with Johan Cryuff as captain already used it and other teams before them also intuitively pressed immediately when losing the ball. It is generally high-intensity running & pressing and counter-attacking football.


When Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool approaches this tactics this season, where Jordan Henderson Or Fabinho are perfect for this role as a deep play-maker with defensive duty.

Fullbacks with attack duty, both Trent Alexander-Arnold & Robertson are very good attacking full backs and have excellent crossing. They will contribute a lot to the team's attacks.

Wijnaldum or Oxlade Chamberlain are very good at this goal and will contribute goals especially with a few long range efforts.

On some occasions Salah occupies the centre, Firmino shifts over to the left wing and Mané occupies the right. And this confuses the opposition's defense.

Van Dijk and Matip slows down the pace of a game and controls the possession lost by the opposition.

In this picture, Robertson can straight away run forward to look for the pass with Divock Origi. But Trent found Mane in a perfect position where he positions himself well between the defenders, but his first touch is bad and because of that he finds himself with his back to the goal. So, he uses his backheel to score an outstanding goal.


Custom Tactics in FIFA 20 allow you to set up your team to play like Klopp's Liverpool by adjusting overall team settings as well as individual player instructions.

Liverpool's Defensive Width is a normal score between four and seven, but you need to set Defensive Depth to High (around seven) to make sure you don't leave yourself too exposed to counter attacks.

Klopp's teams usually dominate possession but are not specifically set up to play that way. Set the Offensive Style to Fast Build Up in order to play the ball quickly forward and punish opponents with speedy, creative wingers and talented midfielders.

To get your striker to work like Firmino, you can set his individual player instruction for Attacking Runs to False 9. This will allow you to use your central attacker to create chances for your full-backs and can run past defenders and cut inside to shoot.



Captain:Jordan Henderson

It is nine years to the day since Liverpool signed the man who replaced club legend Steven Gerrard as captain. 


A 20-year-old Jordan Henderson moved to Anfield from Sunderland. Henderson takes the captain’s armband permanently in the summer of 2015. Henderson has made more than 300 appearances for Liverpool under three different managers.


Henderson said- “I’ve learnt a lot from Stevie and how he conducted himself as the captain of this club both on and off the field, You’ll always learn from top players and Steven was exactly that. I’ll use what I learnt from him to help me, but I also have to do things in the way I think is right. I’ll carry on from what I was doing last season and I’ll also try to take on more responsibility for the team and my teammates. We all have the same goal and that’s to bring success to this club and our incredible supporters.”


Speaking in April 2019, Klopp said- “Hendo, from my point of view, is a brilliant player. He’s our skipper, he’s a fantastic character. If I had to write a book about Hendo, it would be 500 pages. So I’m very positive. The most difficult job in the last 500 years of football was to replace Steven Gerrard. In the mind of the people it was like if it’s not Stevie, then it’s not good enough".

There's nothing bad about the English man's abilities. He can take a touch, he can pass accurately, he can swing his right foot and connect with the ball properly. Henderson's biggest problem is that he doesn't seem to want to offer too much. He takes the ball from his full backs whenever they run out of space and he rolls it five metres in the other direction. He studies the game and he takes the ball from his wide whenever they run out of space and he rolls it five metres in the other direction. And it repeats like clockwise.

He plays without really thinking. He makes his mind up before the ball comes to him. If Henderson has decided to cross it, it's getting crossed first time. If he's decided to clear it, it's going hard and clears it. If he wants to roll it five metres in the other direction, he'll already have his body set up to do so, no matter what is going on around him.



Key Players



Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian frontman is the most expensive player in the Premier League, whose worth is £135million.


Former Chelsea and Roma player has a unique style of attacking in front. One thing that stands out about Salah’s style of play is he’s constantly making runs and moving off the ball. Salah is always trying to get open and offer himself as support. So even if he doesn’t get the ball he open's up space for other players.

Mohamed Salah has scored 50 Premier League goals in 69 games for Liverpool quicker than any other player in the club’s history. Salah also has some great goal celebrations.

Perhaps his greatest goal so far in the EPL is his goal versus the Tottenham Hotspurs, as he appeared to win the game for Liverpool, slipping past two defenders and chips the ball over the keeper from close range.

He uses his body to protect the soccer ball, surprises defenders with cuts, touches the ball and finishes in style. Salah will surprise you, his pace, goal scoring ability and dribbling are exciting to watch.

In Liverpool matches, usually Alisson gives a ground pass to Van Dijk. He finds some space to pass the ball either to Fabinho or Henderson, from behind Robertson sprints like there's no tomorrow, takes the pass from center- midfielder. Firmino gets the ball gives an assist to Salah where he chips the ball to the goal and celebrates like I'm the boss.


Here, Sadio Mane passes the ball to Mo Salah, he blocks the ball from his back, holds the ball, cuts the Genk defender and finally beats the goalkeeper by scoring it marvelously.


Mo Salah's "Tree yoga pose" celebration after scoring a long range shoot from outside the box against Chelsea which hit the internet all across the world. In post match interview, when asked about his celebration he said, "I'm a yoga man".




Some facts about Salah:


1. In the 2018 presidential elections in Egypt, more than one million people caste their vote for Mohamed Salah and wrote Salah’s name on their ballot paper. Had they been counted as legal votes, Salah would have finished in second place in the electoral race.


2. He has several nicknames in both Egypt and the UK. Salah is fondly known as "The Pharaoh", while few also call him "The Egyptian Messi".


3. Salah is a very religious man, devoted to his Muslim religion and he always bows down to thank God every time when he scores a goal.



Sadio Mane

The Senegalese attacker is in the top 10 most expensive players in the Premier League.


When he was nearly 16, Mané ran away to Dakar, Senegal’s capital, in order to find football fame. In true teenage style, he would hide his sports bag outside his house the previous night and told only his best friend. After he had been missing for one week, Mané’s family tracked him down in Dakar and insisted that he return home to finish his education, as he had planned to remain in Dakar to focus on football. By the time he had completed his schooling career, his family realized that football was his passion and chose to support Mané to fulfill his dream which he had had since the age of three.


Later on Mané became a forward player, capable of playing comfortably on either the left or the right wing. Mané can even be played as a conventional striker and is well known for his lightning pace, boundless energy and powerful, right-footed strikes. He's a silent killer where Salah is on the ball in the penalty box and all the defenders just look at the Egyptian. Mané makes a run behind the defenders and none of them watches or follow him. Salah finds the Senegalese with a perfect pass and he just needs to tap it in. When you watch Mané on the pitch, you see how much joy of playing he has got. He often uses step-overs to beat his opponents and tries something unexpected. These unexpected actions can be hard to defend for the opposition because they can’t see these coming.


In this picture, Fabinho gives a beautiful lob pass to Mane where he checks the worldclass goalkeeper David De Gea's position and finishes in style. These are one of kind goals he had scored in many Premier League matches.


Recently some officials has said, "Mané has already funded a new school, a hospital and a mosque in Bambali. The only problem is that too many children are late to school because they’re out playing football in one of the 300 Liverpool shirts that he sent over".



Virgil Van Dijk

Virgil Van Dijk is the most expensive defender in the Premier League.


Van Dijk is a Dutch player, also known as cool & composed player who plays with the ball calmly and releases the ball into the space. He generally takes his height advantages to score header goals. If a team wants to defend in a low block and play long and to defend high with a possession style then Virgil van Dijk would be the perfect defensive fit.

There is nothing that he cannot do in the defensive phase. You could also play him at full-back or as the ‘6’ in midfield and he would be just as impressive.As a central defender, the key function of Van Dijk is to prevent the opposition from creating high-value goal scoring chances. His strength and speed make it very difficult for the opposition strikers to create separation. He also reads the game incredibly well.


Here, when the opposition gets into the attacking position. Van Dijk sprints & slides the ball to dispossess the striker from attacking further.

Now Van Dijk is being compared with some of the top class defenders from all over the football world like Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Raphael Varane, Giorgio Chiellini and Kalidou Koulibaly. He always looked dominant on the defense phase and was desperate enough for not to concede any goal in a match.

Manager Klopp once said, "He’s the leader, the talker, the man team-mates look for guidance and security. He's Mr Consistent, a player whose qualities lift those around him. No player at Liverpool is more popular. He's good, outstandingly good. A complete player in our team".


In Premier League 2018/19 season, none of the players dribbled past Van Dijk. It was pretty tough for the players who use to think twice dribbling him and stopped from many chances created by the opposition players.


Virgil van Dijk finished second for the Ballon d'Or race among Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo last year. He was seven points behind Lionel Messi confirmed by the organizers. During an interview he admits that he felt a little sadness in not winning the Ballon d’Or, but pointed out his huge respect for Lionel Messi.

After the ceremony he said, “I decided I would still go to the ceremony – and, in the end, it was a super night.

“I still consider it a great achievement to be up there with the ­biggest football icons in the world.

“I spoke to Messi during the ­evening. It was not the longest ­conversation because he doesn’t speak a lot of English.

“But it was still enough to make me realize that the respect between us now also runs the other way.”

He also pointed out his love for Liverpool, calling the club one big family where egos are left at the door and legendary players mix with current stars.



Trent Alexander- Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold is the most impactful play maker in the world. He has a knack for changing speed and direction that confuses defenders. Recently he added that, “Crossing is probably my best asset going forward” and his average crosses are 10-11 per match. Alexander-Arnold's tremendous lob passes and creating more number of chances makes easier to the attacking trio of Liverpool. Currently Kyle Walker is the main right back of England, but as per the statistics Alexander-Arnold has more conversion rate for assists(25 assists in 82 appearances) and tackled 27 times in the Premier League. Another right back player from Manchester United is being compared to fit in the squad of England's team who is Aaron Wan-Bissaka and this concludes that England's future for full backs are extremely good enough to defend.

Painted by Akse, a French graffiti artist who painted the Klopp's mural in Liverpool's Baltic Triangle on Sybil Road, Anfield. The mural will be used to bring attention to Fans Supporting Food-banks, to try and make people more aware of the work they do in the area. It's set to become a major attraction for Reds fans. Fans Supporting Foodbanks is a cause where The Anfield Wrap have supported for a number of years raising vital funds and generating awareness for the crucial work they do.

It's already proving popular with both Reds fans living in Anfield and visitors to the stadium stopping to pose for photos in front of the image. As Trent himself said - "he's just a normal lad from Liverpool whose dreams came true." He's only 21 years old who already achieved UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, Fifa Club World Cup and the Premier League.


This assist was not a part of Premier League but definitely a smart play by Alexander-Arnold's corner kick which shows how smartly he plays. With 11 minutes to play in the semi-final second leg against Barcelona, Liverpool needed just one more goal to complete one of the great footballing comebacks.

Alexander-Arnold was about to walk away from taking a corner when his vision picked out Divock Origi unmarked in the penalty area, who helped Liverpool's much-needed fourth goal.

Later Alexander-Arnold said- "I looked over into the box and saw that all the Barcelona players had switched off. I saw Divock in there and thought 'why not?'.

"It was a really special goal; everything fell into place so perfectly. Hopefully it will stay in the memories of everyone who was there or watching that night."


Alexander-Arnold's freekick against Watford, which sparked the social media that he can score freekicks, assist the players and defend the opposition. Simply a magical full back for Liverpool side.


Some interesting facts about Trent Arnold:


Trent Alexander-Arnold has also claimed a spot in Guinness World Records 2020 with his outstanding assist record. Providing 12 assists during the 2018/19 season, he achieved the record for the most English Premier League assists by a defender in a single season.



How Reds conquered English Premier League:

Earlier when Brendan Rodgers was the manager, they lost a golden opportunity to win the title in 2014 when Reds captain Steven Gerrard made his costly slip and got defeated against Chelsea. After 5 years Liverpool were crowned Premier League champions which ended the Red's 30-years of wait to win the English title. Jurgen Klopp's men sealed a 19th league title for the club with a record seven games left to play.

In this team full-backs are attackers, midfielders are defenders, wingers score goals, forwards chase and press. Players have been coached and improved rather than discarded or removed. Physicality has also been a key for a team where every player is supremely fit & strong and the players gets substituted if they get exhausted after 70 minutes.

Manchester United is the only team to conquer the English Premier League title 20 times and the Red's are only one title short, to equalize them.


Klopp’s style of high-pressing football that involves pushing up the players on opposition's area, even when you lose the ball. It took time for Liverpool to master the style, but Klopp continued to build their formations and brought personnel that suited his system. This refined the style of play lead Liverpool into an unstoppable machine.

Liverpool players sat back and let the opposition enjoy possession, the moment they lost the ball, they began attacking them and pushes them back. Klopp believes that the players are most likely to lose the ball when they have just received it.

Klopp is called a ‘shadow man’ because of his game play. He knows that he can’t win the ball, his side presses harder to dispossess the opponent. It’s generally the forwards who’re given the role, while hard-tackling midfielders like Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner snatch the ball back and provides to their vibrant attackers equipped with pace and anticipation.

The world’s most expensive defender, the Reds spent 75 million pounds on Virgil Van Dijk has won more aerial duels and effected more clearances than any other Liverpool player. Incredibly no one has completed more passes than him in the league.

Not just Van Dijk, his centre-back partners Joel Matip and Joe Gomez, goalkeeper Allison, ensured that Liverpool has the lowest goal-conceding record in the league (29). Few pace-setter fullbacks Trent-Alexander Arnold and Andrew Robertson sustain their energy levels, they need to be super fit. Klopp has been working hard on their fitness levels in the past few years.


Their attacking trio:

There have been few versatile forwards attacking ridiculously, the Liverpool trio of Mohammad Salah, Sanio Mane, and Roberto Firmino. All three could score with precision, all three could interchange roles and positions, all three could create goals and are selfless in playing. Mane has pace and balance. Salah has a vision to create chances. Firmino's anticipation and physicality were outclass. The trio have netted 40 goals and 21 assists.

But the creativity of Liverpool neither stops nor begins with the front three. That a pair of full-backs, Arnold and Robertson have already contributed 22 assists so far. Both could score too, as Arnold scored a curling free-kick goal against Crystal Palace recently.


Sensational Fans

As the global pandemic disrupted life in England and led to the suspension of the Premier League for three months. Liverpool supporters were nervous to see how the season would end, with some early suggestions it might have been declared null & void and thus wiping their remarkable efforts from the record books. Later on, the Premier League started off well after months of waiting and the Reds are delighted to watch & support them to clinch the 19th English title.


Right now, Liverpool have stopped asking supporters for their season ticket funds for next season and investment is now mounting about a 40 percent. Authorities of stadiums are using German technology to monitor things like social distancing and fever. The Prime Minister claimed supporters could be back in stadiums as early as October. Liverpool needs supporters like no other. They add fuel to the team home and away, they are Klopp's "12th man" and they form a huge part of the club's marketing strategy. However, because of the virus, Liverpool will not be able to celebrate their long-awaited success with their supporters immediately, at least not in the traditional sense. The team will celebrate the title win alone, but they will be hoping it's safe enough to allow Reds' back in start of next season.

Klopp said after the victory-"I haven't waited 30 years - I have been here for four and a half years, but it is quite an achievement, especially with the three-month break because nobody knew if we could go on.

Each player who played now the majority of the games can improve, that’s how it is.

The age group they are in, making better decisions, being clearer in whatever they do. Other players, they didn’t play that much, Naby is a good example of that, Curtis Jones is a good example of that although we don’t want to make it too big but he looks like kind of ready as well means we have space and we have potential for improvement and we will work on that".































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