Tottenham vs Liverpool

Big Test For Liverpool In Potential Top-Four Clash


Team News

Tottenham will come into the game with a near full strength squad, only their captain and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is still out with a hamstring injury. Michel Vorm will continue in goal in his place, meaning Tottenham’s outfield should remain unchanged since the start of the season.



Tottenham have grown into one of the toughest teams in the league to break down since the likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Toby Alderweireld and Victor Wanyama have arrived, coupled with the emergence of players such as Eric Dier, Dele Alli and of course Harry Kane; Spurs are no longer an “also-ran” team. They go into the game on the weekend on four points, but by their own standards that were set last season, they may well feel they should be on six, and will look to make amends against the Reds.


Team News

Liverpool will still be without Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Sheyi Ojo, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva; however there are rumours of Sakho being offered around to other clubs, so injury may not be the reason for his absence, and Lucas returned to action for the u23’s the other day. Emre Can, Divock Origi and Philippe Coutinho are all in doubt for the game after minor ankle, cramp and hamstring concerns respectively.


liverpool vs spurs.png

Liverpool will likely make a few changes from the mid-week game against Burton Albion, with Jordan Henderson moving back to a holding-midfield role, as well as Georginio Wijnladum and Daniel Sturridge returning to the starting lineup. Liverpool will be looking to move on from the disappointment at Burnley, and use confidence gained from the Burton Albion game to secure a positive result at White Hart Lane.


Despite being the home team, and likely favourites, Tottenham will remain typically solid with their structure and avoid over committing or turning over possession cheaply. Their midfield more than makes up for their lack of technical prowess with substantial physicality and intelligent defensive minds. Having said that, Spurs will likely use their solid base to patiently hold onto possession until the likes of Chrsitian Eriksen or Alli are able to pick out Kane or Erik Lamela with a ball in behind. James Milner struggled with the pace of the Burnley attacks, so for this reason the key battle to watch for will be Lamela versus Milner.

Liverpool on the other hand will be looking to press and counter as usual. They may look to put a lot of pressure on the midfield duo, knowing that neither posses passing skills that would alleviate the possibility of turning the ball over. Sadio Mane will also look to have a similar impact against Spurs has he’s had against Arsenal and Burton Albion. Daniel Sturridge too will be keen to make a statement in his first start of the Premier League this season. But it will be in the midfield where this game is won and lost and for that reason I am pinpointing the key battle here as being Henderson and Wijnaldum versus Dier and Wanyama.


A very difficult game to call either way as both sides have their strenghts and weaknesses and neither have shown signs of spectacular form or consistency thus far. Having said that I believe this game will end in a 2-2 draw with goals from Sturridge and Mane. Liverpool’s potency in attack will shine through, but unfortunately I believe that Henderson and Wijnaldum will not be up for the challenge in the midfield battle. I can also see Milner struggling to contain Lamela if he is on his game. Here’s hoping for a pleasant surprise.


Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 23/08/2016.

Burton Albion 0 – 5 Liverpool

Full Strength Reds Demolish Brewers

Liverpool have bounced back from their defeat to Burnley in style with a crushing defeat of Championship side Burton Albion in the second round of the EFL Cup. Although the result was expected, such a dominant performance will give the fans and players alike a much needed confident boost before the tough run of features that lays ahead.

Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet – 7: Mignolet would’ve certainly been rated higher if he was tested more often by the opposition. His first significant involvement didn’t come until nearly an hour into the game, but he looked relatively comfortable clearing crosses and corners regardless of the limited pressure from the opposition. A couple of wayward clearances and passes with his feet were the only blemishes on his quiet game.

Nathaniel Clyne – 8: A welcome return to form from arguably the player of the season last year. Clyne was a constant threat operating on the right flank with some dangerous runs and crosses complimented by solid defensive work. An excellent time for Clyne to rebuild his confidence given the tough run of fixtures ahead, he also chipped in with a lovely assist for Firmino in the first half.

Joel Matip – 8: Making his competitive debut for the Reds, the towering Cameroonian cut a dominating and imposing figure. He dealt with his defensive duties with ease, and was confident enough to make a few marauding runs into the midfield and beyond. His passing was also on point, many will be looking forward to seeing him in the Premier League and seeing how his roaming style develops and adapts against tougher opposition.

Dejan Lovren – 7: An early penalty scare was quickly forgotten as Lovren left his naive challenge behind him to press on with his role, following this moment Lovren was as solid as anyone at the back. However it must be said that the attacking threat of the opposition, dropped off as the game progressed with Nigel Clough thinking ahead to the Brewers’ crunch game against Derby. Nevertheless, a much better performance from the Croat who will be looking to develop a partnership with Matip.

James Milner – 8: Another improved performance from the weekend saw Milner consistently terrorising the left flank and displaying much more consistent deliveries with his weaker left foot. His movement and vision in the build up to his assist was wonderful, Klopp and the fans will be wanting to see more of this from the experienced England international.

Jordan Henderson – 5: Another worrying performance from the Liverpool captain who is struggling badly thus far this season. Whether it’s a crisis of confidence, niggling injuries or he’s feeling the pressure is unclear; either way he needs to improve, quickly. Some sloppy touches and woeful passes summed up his afternoon, although to his credit some of the passes that didn’t come off demonstrated ambitious vision, even if the technique was lacking.

Emre Can – 7: In his first start of the season Can demonstrated all his qualities that have endeared him to the Liverpool fans and to the manager. Some excellent work in the middle of the pitch breaking up play and some trademark driving runs cemented his return. He would’ve been disappointed to have not been more involved in and around Burton Albion’s box but considering he didn’t have a preseason it was a good performance. Worryingly, he limped off with an injury, but thankfully Klopp seems to think that it is not a serious one, though it remains to be seen if he will start against Tottenham.

Adam Lallana – 6: Similar to Henderson in that he was unable to link-up with his teammates effectively. He, seemed to be consistently on a different page to the other attacking players at times, and frustratingly slowed down every attack that came through him with a number of unnecessary touches. However unlike Henderson he did influence the game somewhat with some encouraging runs. Having said that, he possibly could’ve used a rest instead of playing for an hour.

Roberto Firmino – 8: Thankfully Firmino was another player who regained his form and took his goal very well. Consistently linked up well with Milner and Origi, demonstrating excellent movement, vision and technique. This lead to a few chances that on another day could’ve seen Firmino score one or two more. Hopefully the sign of good things to come from last season’s top goal scorer.

Sadio Mane – 9 (Man of the Match): Most Liverpool supporters would’ve been thrilled to see Mane’s name on the team sheet after such a short period of time off after what was initially thought to be a serious injury. His presence was sorely missed at Burnley and it was a relief to see him picking up from where he left off. He was a constant menace on the right flank displaying tremendous pace and technique to regularly get around or inside defenders. His assist for Sturridge’s second was a perfect example of this, looking like an excellent signing already.

Divock Origi – 8: The young striker played a very good game, bouncing back from a couple of missed chances early with a clever finish to give Liverpool the lead. His movement and desire was plainly evident, this was a huge asset to the Reds upfront. Throughout the game he showed an impressive work rate and effective pressing, this lead to him coming off late for treatment on cramp. Hopefully this won’t be too big an issue and he will be available for the trip to White Hart Lane.


Daniel Sturridge- 8: Came on and made an immediate impact, scoring two excellent goals that were expertly finished. The fans will be hoping he can have a similar impact against Spurs.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 5: Another disappointing performance by Wijnaldum unfortunately, despite being subbed on when the opposition were faltering he still managed to drift out of the game. Burton Albion were well and truly there for the taking when he was subbed on and yet he didn’t seem confident or bothered enough to press on and try and add to the tally.

Kevin Stewart – 6: Didn’t see too much of the ball due to coming on late, well after the game was settled. However he still put in a a good shift, even managing to make an important block late in the game. Klopp really seems to like and trust the young midfielder.

Jurgen Klopp – 8: Many were surprised to see Klopp play a near-full strength side against Burton Albion in only the second round of the EFL Cup. However it payed dividends by providing the fans and players with a desperately needed confidence boost. This will undoubtedly assist in team cohesion and link-up play. It was clear that Klopp also did his homework on Burton Albion’s formation and style, showing great respect for both the opposition and competition. Although I do think that it would’ve been a good chance to rest Lallana and Henderson, if this result gives the squad a boost for the upcoming games then it will all be worth it.

Talking Points

Full Strength

The benefits of playing a full strength side have already been discussed. However there are also some potential pit falls. The first and most obvious ones are fatigue and injury, Can and Origi went off with injuries, Origi’s seemed to be only cramp, but Can’s could be more serious. It seemed to be a recurrence of a niggling ankle injury from last season, but hopefully it looked worse than it actually is. If Can misses the Tottenham game, then Liverpool could be in serious trouble in the midfield as Henderson and Wijnaldum have both failed to impress in their performances this season.

Mane the Man

It should be seen as no coincidence that Liverpool have scored nine goals in the two games that Mane has played in, and none in the game that he didn’t. His direct style complimented by his immense speed seems to be the key to getting the best out of the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Origi and Sturridge. If Liverpool are to have a good season, it is clear that Mane will play a major role in any success.

Tough Road Ahead

With all due respect to Burton Albion, a comfortable win for Liverpool was to be expected. The upcoming run of fixtures however, will be exceedingly more unpredictable and difficult. After Tottenham away comes Liverpool’s first home game of the season against reigning champions Leicester, followed by another away game at Chelsea. The result against Burnley was disappointing, but if the Reds can make it through the next three games and still be in touch with the top four, then there is no reason that they can’t go on a good run of results. The challenge beings Saturday.


Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 26/08/2016.

Burton Albion vs Liverpool

Fringe Reds Looking to Impress Against Brewers

Burton Albion

Team News

Burton will be without key defender John Mousinho who has grown into a very influential presence in defence after a brilliant couple of seasons, assisting Burton in their impressive feat of achieving back to back promotions. Defenders Kyle McFadzean and Tom Flanagan are expected to return from respective injuries, whilst John Brayford is cup-tied.


burton albion.png

The Brewers will boast a solid defence, with McFadzean and Ben Turner both being very capable defenders, whilst their midfield is a good blend of creativity and physicality. Tom Naylor has already scored three goals this season, on the other hand, another potential starter in Australian Jackson Irvine is a strong, tall player with good heading ability. Elsewhere they have an experienced attack with pacy Lloyd Dyer and consistent goalscorer Lucas Akins on the wings as well as back-to-back Burton Albion player of the year, Stuart Beavon. Chris O’Grady is another dangerous attacking player who could feature up front or in midfield.


Team News

Not much has changed with Liverpool regarding team news since Burnley. The likes of Sadio Mane, Mamadou Sakho and Lucas Leiva are all still in doubt, whilst Loris Karius, Sheyi Ojo and Joe Gomez continue on the road to rehabilitation and shouldn’t be expected to make returns any time soon.



This team is very difficult to predict as there are many players within the squad who will want a chance to impress and force their way into the struggling first team. However Jurgen Klopp suggested this week that he wouldn’t be making wholesale changes. Despite this, I believe Klopp will hand first starts of the season to all or some of Joel Matip, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Emre Can, Kevin Stewart, Marko Grujic, Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi. Matip will be desperate for game time to replace either Dejan Lovren or Ragnar Klavan in the floundering first XI defence, whilst in midfield Emre Can will be looking to do the same. Many fans will be excited to see Grujic start after a tremendous preseason, and Stewart, despite his age, always has a solid game and will be looking to continue his growth as a player. Up front, it could be last chance saloon for Markovic as he aims to impress Klopp enough to get more game time, whilst Origi will be looking to prove why he should be the team’s first choice striker. Adam Lallana could play to give Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho a rest, otherwise Klopp may trial Georginio Wijnaldum in his more familiar wide-role. Danny Ings will be unfortunate to miss out, but baring injuries it is hard to see where the former Burnley striker will get his chance to show the manager his credentials in a competitive match.


Former Liverpool player and current Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough has got his team playing some really attractive football. The attacking Brewers have racked up a whopping 12 goals in their last 5 competitive matches and will look to add to that tally against Liverpool. Despite the two sides never meeting each other before, Burton Albion are no strangers to Premier League opponents, beating QPR in 2014/15 and just losing to Fulham on penalties in 2013/14. They’ve made a solid start to life in the Championship, and will be aiming to avoid relegation after good results against Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers, as well as a valiant display versus Nottingham Forrest. They will look to attack with pace and numbers, relying on the speed of Dyer and link-up play from Beavon to open up chances for the likes of Akins and Naylor. The key battle here will be Dyer versus young Alexander-Arnold, if the talented young fullback can keep the experienced winger quiet, then he’ll give the Reds an excellent chance of winning.

Liverpool will likely see a fair few changes, and may struggle to link-up with one another as a result. Fitness will also be a concern, with a number of players having not played a full game for weeks, if not months. Having said that, the Reds will still consider themselves heavy favourites and should be able to get the job done relatively comfortably. They will look to dominate the midfield with Can and Grujic’s physicallity, along with the stamina of Stewart. Up front the pace of Origi and Markovic could cause Burton Albion major problems and it is here where the key battle will be found, Origi versus McFadzean and Turner could decide the game one way or the other. This depends on whether the young Belgian can get the better of the experienced pair, in either case he will need support from Markovic and Lallana in doing so.


As stated earlier, Liverpool should be expected to emerge as the victors and ideally having done so by defending well and winning the midfield battle. This should be achievable with the likely midfield trio of Can, Stewart and Grujic. Expect an exciting game whatever the result as both teams will lineup to play attacking football, I think this will mean that Liverpool’s first clean sheet of the season will again elude them, but they should still win 3-1 with goals coming from Grujic and two from Origi.



Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 23/08/2016.

Burnley 2 – 0 Liverpool

Gengen-depressing Reds embarrassed at Turf Moor

Liverpool came into the match as heavy and deserved favourites, but the Clarets didn’t get the memo. Two wonderful strikes from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray was enough to see off the toothless Reds on a day to forget for Liverpool.

Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet – 5: The Belgian had almost nothing to do for the entire game. The two goals that were scored were absolutely cracking finishes that left him little chance of making a save. With Burnley becoming more a more reserved, Mignolet’s involvement diminished.

Nathaniel Clyne – 3: Another sub-par performance from Clyne in an unusually shaky start to the season for the man who used to be Liverpool’s most consistent player. A dreadful pass gifted Burnley the lead after 90 seconds and from then on failed to improve. He was also very wasteful with the ball in attack, you can’t help but wonder what the backlash would’ve been like if Moreno had this performance.

Ragnar Klavan – 3:  A nightmare second game for the Estonian after a brilliant first outing at Arsenal. Gray’s pace panicked the experienced centre-back as he was completely unable to deal with it. This nervousness crept into his game more and more as the match progressed and even his passing became rushed and unintelligent. Worrying performance, but can still improve and readjust his game to suit the Premier League; may still lose his place to Joel Matip.

Dejan Lovren – 4: Arguably the best of the very worst at the back. Lovren struggled nearly as much as Klavan did with Andre Gray and to a lesser extent Sam Vokes. Every time the Clarets countered it looked as though they would score, with the centre-back pairing appearing completely bewildered in their movements. Must improve as he is Liverpool’s only defender to have completed a full preseason, so there should be no excuses.

James Milner – 4: As usual Milner worked hard and ran well for the team, but he was completely ineffective at left-back in defence and going forward. His lack of pace was regularly exposed as Burnley attacked on the counter and every time he got the ball near the Burnley box they were easily able to read him. His crossing was erratic and often he had to cut inside onto his stronger foot, to no avail. A left footed player is needed at left-back, leaving Alberto Moreno as the only option.

Jordan Henderson- 2: Some will say that this rating is a bit harsh but unfortunately Henderson was truly awful at Turf Moor. In a squad that is almost entirely void of a natural leader, this was an uninspiring display from the captain. His poor showing wasn’t entirely his fault as holding-midfielder is obviously not his position, but this can’t excuse giving the ball away and consistently sloppy passes. Must improve if he wants to stay at Liverpool in the long-term.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 3: Much like the first-half against Arsenal, Wijnaldum completely failed to impose himself on the game. Whilst not doing much wrong, you often forgot that he was on the field at times. As he displayed for Newcastle last year, he is an immensely talented player but is completely ineffectual in away games. Another who must improve but it is clear that playing as a Klopp-style central midfielder is not his best role at the moment.

Adam Lallana – 5 (Man of the Match): It could be argued that no one in Red played well enough to deserve a Man of the Match rating, but Lallana looked the most likely to score as he produced some nice turns and passes around the Burnely box. His intellegent movement and link-up play was evident throughout although his end product was just as bad as everyone else’s. Subbed off towards the end of the game after fading in the second-half.

Philippe Coutinho – 5: Some would argue that Coutinho was one of the worst and most wasteful players on the pitch, but it can’t be denied that he tried his best to get Liverpool back into the game like last week. Getting into good positions regularly, you can’t help but wonder what the reception from the fans and the response from the players would’ve been if one of his shots went into the top corner. Far from his best performance, finding consistency has to be his goal this season.

Roberto Firmino – 4: Another poor display from the Brazilian who will be looking to bounce back immediately. Wasteful in possession despite some decent strikes, his lack of pace was exploited by a stubborn Burnely defence. One to forget for the talented midfielder, Liverpool fans and management will be hoping he gets back to his best sooner rather than later.

Daniel Sturridge – 5: Bizarrely used in a wide position, the natural striker struggled to get touches inside the box. Questions will be raised over whether he was fit and ready to start, but his teammates did little to reduce his work load and help him into the game. Not a good game for him, but hardly his fault. Subbed off for Origi in the second half, many will argue Origi should’ve started to ease his reintroduction to the team.


Divock Origi – 5: Didn’t make much of an impact but it was clear by the positions he was getting into that this was the type of game and opposition that better suited a striker like Origi.

Alberto Moreno – 5: Another player who arguably should’ve started, didn’t have much time on the pitch, but his final ball was as erratic as ever.

Marko Grujic -5: Great to see the big Serbian debuting in the Premier League and had a chance to score with his first touch of the ball. A starting option for Klopp as the current midfield trio have struggled thus far this season.

Jurgen Klopp – 3: Probably Klopp’s worst game for Liverpool, a brilliant manager who often gets the best out of what he’s given, his team selection and tactics must be questioned after that performance. Despite many calling for Moreno’s head after his Arsenal performance, the defence couldn’t deal with the pace of Burnley’s counter attacks. The same midfield trio who struggled at Arsenal played at Turf Moor and were a big part of the humbling loss, particularly Henderson who is not a holding midfielder. Upfront Sturridge was played in a wide-role whilst the likes of Matip, Can and Origi didn’t start despite a very compelling case being made for their introductions. A 4-2-3-1 would’ve been a better formation both attacking and defending in that game, it was another example of how to defeat a Klopp team, let them keep possession, keep men behind the ball and when they make a mistake and turn over possession, counter with pace and numbers.

Talking Points

Poor Defence… Again

Liverpool’s defence looked shaky at best at Arsenal, against Burnley it was completely exposed. Not many would’ve predicted a 2-0 win for the Clarets, but most should’ve been aware of the quality of Vokes and Gray; it would appear that Liverpool were outside of this majority.

burnley goal 1

1st Goal – Clyne gifts Burnley possession, centre-backs are split as no one is tight on Vokes.

burnley goal 2

2nd Goal – Ball is lost by Sturridge at Burnley’s end of the pitch, they immediately break. Midfielders are ineffective at stifling the counter. Klavan misses a tackle whilst Milner is unable to track back in time to cover Gray. Clyne also struggles to remain goal-side of his man.

These two goals are similar in nature to goals scored against Liverpool in the past, including the Arsenal game. Teams are beginning to figure out that the Reds are highly susceptible on the counter and their defence is frail under pressure. The defence can’t be entirely blamed for this as on both occasions the ball was lost by a single player which meant that they were out of position and scrambling to cover their man. However the fact that this has happened many times over with different defensive combinations suggests a problem with the system rather than the players.

Poor in Attack too…

While the defence was giving a repeat performance from Arsenal, the attacking players showed little of the spark and danger that they displayed against Arsenal. The loss of Sadio Mane was a tough pill to swallow, but the return of Sturrdige should’ve been a big boost. Too often they were forced to take ambitious long shots because Burnley parked themselves behind the ball and defended stubbornly. The likes of Milner and Clyne were unable to provide good service, whilst the midfield were hardly able to string a couple of passes together. This put immense pressure on the front-three and they were unable to deliver.

Changes need to be made

It is clear that after the first two games, Liverpool are not playing nearly as well as the fans would’ve hoped and certain changes need to be made. In defence, the introduction of Joel Matip needs to be made sooner rather than later, whilst Mamadou Sakho should also be considered despite his reported falling out with Klopp. At left-back the problem is a bit more complex, most fans will be hoping for a new, top-quality left-back to be signed before deadline day, but realistically I think Klopp will still with what he’s got. Moreno should be favoured ahead of Milner tho, if only because the display against Burnley showed that having a left-footer on the left side. Having said that, another solution could be to switch Clyne to the left and Milner on the right, Clyne rarely gets forward anyway so we wouldn’t be losing out on his service, while Milner’s excellent crossing ability could be better utilised. In midfield Emre Can needs to be introduced for Wijnaldum and Henderson pushed forward into his more familar box-to-box role, while Can holds. Another option is to play both Can and Grujic for Wijnaldum and Henderson, Grujic has the right physical attributes for the Premier League and after an excellent preseason will only improve with more game tie. The return of Mane will be a massive boost for the team and Origi should be considered for a starting role after an excellent second half to the 2015/16 season. The decision making from players and staff alike was poor, but this must and will change in the near future.

Time for Calm

Whilst much of this review has focused on Liverpool’s faults, it is important to remember that it is only the second game and there were a number of key absentees missing from the squad. Klopp needs more time to mold his current batch of players and assess those which he can improve and those he can’t. Make no mistake, if Klopp believes a player can’t or won’t improve he will not hesitate to replace them, in the mean time, let them make some mistakes, it’s the only way to learn and improve. The one aspect that does concern me is the fact that clubs are already figuring Klopp out, as stated above, let them have possesion, keep men behind the ball and when a mistake is made break with pace and numbers. This tactic was highlighted by the fact that Burnely won with only 19.4% possession, the lowest in recorded history. However it is important to remember that despite his undoubted brilliance, Klopp needs more time to adjust to the Premier League, and I am sure he will tweak his tactics and forge a more effective ‘Plan-B’ for games when the opposition is sitting back.

Looking forward to seeing the Mighty Reds bounce back. YNWA.


Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 23/08/2016.

Burnley vs Liverpool

Reds Heavy Favourites Against the Clarets

Liverpool face newly promoted Burnley away in the second game of the season, with the Reds looking to build on their performance against Arsenal last week. Red or Dead previews the action from Turf Moor.


Team News

Liverpool loanee Jon Flanagan will miss the game, being unable to be fielded against his parent club, Ashley Barnes will again also be absent with a hamstring injury. Burnley will however have a new addition in contention for a spot in the team with their midweek club record signing Steven Defour eligible for selection. The Clarets were unfortunate to be defeated by Swansea 1-0 last week after a late, and in their manager’s words “soft” goal; they will certainly be hungry to make amends for that in front of their home supporters. However, for a club that have been in and out of the Premier League three times in the last seven years, the board have arguably not made the signings that will keep them up. Up until Defour’s transfer this week, Jon Flanagan remained their only major signing. This is a point of great frustration for Burnley supporters as the club do have money to spend after the new, lucrative TV rights deal and the considerable compensation fee from Danny Ings’ free transfer to Liverpool. Whether Sean Dyche can inspire his men to fight their way out of the ‘yo-yo club’ name tag remains to be seen.


Burnley - Week 2

Burnley’s lineup should see a unchanged XI face Liverpool on the weekend. In goal Tom Heaton will of course keep his place, a very good ‘keeper, Heaton was part of the ill-fated England squad for the 2016 European Championship although he didn’t play a game. Burnley’s defence is criminally underrated, without having a plethora of big-name stars they always manage to defend well, often against “bigger” opposition. Ben Mee is the player who stands out after an outstanding season last campaign. Michael Keane, Matthew Lowton and Stephen Ward can all more than hold their own though, meaning that the experience of Lowton and Ward could make finding game time for a returning Flanagan difficult throughout the season. Having lost Joey Barton to Rangers, Burnley’s midfield is less experienced and resolute than last year, a point Liverpool will hope to exploit. The seasoned pair of Dean Marney and David Jones are unquestionably their strongest central duo, and will again be flanked by George Boyd and Scott Arfield. Up front, without Barnes, Sam Vokes will retain his spot next to Andre Gray. As previously stated, Flanagan will watch from the stands, whilst Defour is unlikely to start the game, but expect to see him feature at some point.


Team News

Loris Karius and Sheyi Ojo are all still some time away from returning to team training, let being involved on match day. Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez and Lucas Leiva have started individual training, but this week’s game will likely come too soon for them to feature. However the likes of Joel Matip, Daniel Sturridge, Marko Grujic and James Milner could all appear against Burnley after being given the green light by Jurgen Klopp. The only new concern was the devastating news that new winger Sadio Mane had dislocated his shoulder after a collision in training. It has since been reported that after scans the injury is not nearly as severe as previously thought, though there is apparently some muscle damage. In his pre-game conference Klopp seemed unconcerned about this and gave the impression that Mane will be back sooner rather than later, he will however almost certainly miss the trip to Turf Moor.


liverpool - week 2

Liverpool will likely adopt their more familiar 4-2-3-1 formation against Burnley with the likely exclusion of Mane. This will see the return of Emre Can, pushing Adam Lallana out wide. Mignolet will retain his place in goal with Karius not due to return until the start of October from a broken hand. The defensive line should be roughly the same with the only difference being the possibility of Milner replacing a highly-criticised Alberto Moreno after an erratic performance against Arsenal. The midfield duo will consist of captain Jordan Henderson alongside Can as stated above. Divock Origi could lead the line supported by Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho fresh off his man of the match display against Arsenal. The likes of Matip and Sturridge will be unlikely to start as they need time to regain fitness but could feature off the bench along with Grujic. Milner is exempt from this assessment however due to his exemplary fitness and conditioning. Georginio Wijnaldum will consider himself unlucky to be omitted from the starting lineup after a positive display on debut, expect to see him feature at some point though.


Burnley, despite being a considerably “weaker” side than some of those that Liverpool will face in the coming weeks, are not to be underestimated. They are a well-drilled side with an intelligent and respected manager in Sean Dyche, and will have no doubt done their homework on Liverpool, especially their frailties at the back and from set-pieces. In particular they will look to utilise the considerable pace and talent of Andre Gray, a young striker who lit-up the Championship last season with 25 goals; he could cause similar problems to Theo Walcott last week. The key battle to keep an eye on will be Gray vs Klavan and Milner, it will be a true test to see how effectively the defenders can deal with a man with considerably more pace than either of them.

Liverpool are on a high after their win at the Emirates, and will look to continue their goal-scoring form at Burnley. Utilising the 4-2-3-1 formation, the Reds will look to overload Burnley’s back four with skillful dribbling and passing to draw fouls and create space. Mane’s absence will be a loss due to the chances he creates on the back of his direct-running and speed, but Origi is also quite fast as well as being incredibly strong, a real all-around talent. Expect to see the likes of Firmino and Coutinho linking up to try and release Origi into space, Can will also drive up from midfield to support these attacks. The key battle to watch here will be Origi vs Mee, whilst Mee had a good season in the championship, it will be a true test of his talents when he comes up against the omnipotent Belgian.


I expect Liverpool to be able to fairly comfortably control this game, although it will require a much improved performance from the midfield from last week, in particular Henderson must be better. Having said that Liverpool should win, but Burnley will not roll over. I’m predicting a 2-0 win for Liverpool, with both goals coming from Divock Origi, a clean sheet and a win being the most important factors.



Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 19/08/2016.

Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool Match Review

Reds Triumph at the Emirates in a Nail-Biter

Many tipped this to be the best game of the opening round and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Despite a reasonably slow start with both teams trying to dust off the cobwebs of the summer, the tempo grew to such a degree that it became impossible to turn away.

Player Ratings

Simon Mignolet – 6: The much maligned Belgian could hardly be blamed for conceding three goals, some poor defending gave him little chance of a clean sheet. Indecisiveness when coming out to defuse crosses, put his defenders under unnecessary pressure at times, but overall hardly put a foot wrong. His save from the penalty spot revived memories of his debut game against former team Sunderland in 2013.

Nathaniel Clyne – 6: A steady start to the season for the England national. A pin-point cross whipped into the path of Coutinho for Liverpool’s third goal was his high point. Looked uncharacteristically shaky after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin was introduced, the Arsenal man bested him regularly leading to Arsenal’s second. Decent showing, but will want to improve at Burnley.

Dejan Lovren – 5: Disappointing start to the season for Lovren, could find himself replaced by Joel Matip unless he bounces back immediately. Some poor passing early on, coupled with a careless tackle prompting a yellow card saw the Croat under pressure early. Allowed Callum Chambers space to rise and score Arsenal’s third.

Ragnar Klaven – 8: Could hardly have had a better debut, encouraging start from the Estonian. Regularly found himself cleaning up at the back with some calm passes and effective clearances. Arsenal’s attempts at getting on the end of crosses were completely scuppered by Klaven’s dominance in the air. Even with Joel Matip and Mamadou Sakho’s imminent returns, surely repeat performances will ensure Klaven stays in the first team.

Alberto Moreno – 4: An unbelievably rash challenge in the box saw Moreno go over the ball and take out Theo Walcott for a penalty. Mignolet momentarily saved him from further embarrassment, but less than 90 seconds later Moreno lost his man again and Arsenal were up 1-0. To be fair Lallana should shoulder some of the blame for turning the ball over cheaply, but Moreno had his back to play and was beaten by his man regularly throughout the game from start to finish. Simply not good enough, James Milner may well start at Burnley next week, but a long-term solution is needed.

Jordan Henderson – 5: Not exactly a captain’s performance on a day where some strong leadership wouldn’t have gone astray. Seemed to drift in and out of the game, even during the moments that he was present his contributions were largely ineffectual. A nice switch-pass to Clyne and a good cross to Firmino were the highlights of his afternoon. Worked hard as usual, but needs to show more influence, in fairness defensive midfield is clearly not his best position.

Georginio Wijnaldum – 6: Much like his captain, the former Newcastle man found himself on the periphery at times. His impact was much greater when venturing forward, providing an excellent cross for Lallana’s goal. Had an opportunity to score one of his own in the second half, but side-footed a tame effort straight at Petr Cech. His hunt for an away goal in the Premier League continues and he will look to be more involved at Burnley next week.

Adam Lallana- 6: As stated above, Lallana was largely at fault for Arsenal’s first goal, carelessly losing the ball deep in our own half. He was able to atone for this though by scoring his first of the season to give Liverpool the lead. Was subbed off with 15 minutes remaining after running himself into the ground. Great to see Lallana’s goal tally starting already.

Sadio Mane – 8: Another excellent debut, this time from the Senegalese wide-man. Like most of the Liverpool players he struggled to impose himself onto the game in the first-half. Although once the midfield began utilising him in the the second, his pace and direct running caused panic in the inexperienced Arsenal defence. An incredible goal after a terrific run gives Liverpool fans reason to be optimistic, looking forward to seeing more of the same this season.

Philippe Coutinho – 8 (Man of the Match): Last year Coutinho produced a wonder-strike to defeat Stoke on the opening day, this year he’s done it again. One of the best free kicks you’re likely to see, Coutinho’s shot swung away from Cech and into the top corner, absolutely inch perfect. This, followed up by some nice touches in the build up to Lallana’s goal and a cool finish from Clyne’s cross summed up his afternoon. Klopp and the fans will be hoping that his injury was nothing more cramp and that he’ll be raring to go at Burnley.

Roberto Firmino – 5: Despite having a full preseason under his belt, the Brazilian looked off the pace and out of sync with his teammates. He failed to demonstrate the same pressing and desire that Mane and Lallana had. Despite some improvement in the second-half, it is still questionable if Firmino should be leading the line as he looked much more comfortable after the introduction of Origi. Could be dropped in favour of Origi or the returning Sturridge after a disappointing start to the campaign.

Emre Can, Divock Origi and Kevin Stewart – N/A: None were involved long enough to warrant a fair rating, however they all did their jobs well. Can was calm and calculated in defensive midfield, providing Liverpool with a much-needed physical presence in the middle of the park. Origi shifted the momentum back in Liverpool’s favour upon his introduction; releasing Firmino into more space and allowing Liverpool’s defence the option of pumping the ball upfield. Kevin Stewart was only on for a few minutes but got involved defensively and didn’t appear to be fazed by the hostile crowd.

Jurgen Klopp – 6: The toughest rating to give on this list, Klopp’s afternoon was filled with ups and downs. The starting XI failed to impose themselves in the first-half.Jordan Henderson playing a holding role with only Wijnaldum and Lallana to assist him seemed a strange decision. However whatever he said at half-time clearly fired up the Liverpool players as they came out looking completely revitalised. Arguably got too carried away after Mane’s goal, the wild celebrations could be seen as the reason for Liverpool switching off and allowing Oxlade-Chamberlin to score only seconds later. Has some important decisions to make before the Burnley game, and before the transfer window closes.

Talking Points

Same defensive issues?

Despite some wonderful moments going forward, Liverpool’s defence looked as shaky as ever, only Klaven instilled any form of confidence. Moreno, Clyne and Lovren could all be blamed individually for each goal respectively. Whilst there were other factors, the images below demonstrate how poor positioning contributed to the goals.

alberto moreno arsenal

1st Goal – Lallana gives the ball away, leaving Moreno well out of position as Arsenal break.

clyne arsenal 1

2nd Goal – Lallana fails to cover Santi Cazorla, opting to double up on Henderson’s player, this drags Clyne out of position.

clyne arsenal 2

2nd Goal – Clyne bizarrely shows right-footed Oxlade-Chamberlin inside onto his strong foot instead of showing him the byline. Even if he managed to get a cross in, Klaven likely would have dealt with it easily.

3rd goal arsenal

3rd Goal – Moreno not covering a zone or marking a man, Clyne with his back turned as the ball is being delivered, Liverpool again showing disorganisation when defending set-pieces.

3rd goal arsenal 2

Chambers gets goal-side of Lovren as Klaven abandons his man in an attempt to cover. Clyne and Moreno’s poor initial positioning render them completely ineffective as several Arsenal players are free in and around the box..

Klopp will have no doubt seen these simple mistakes as well, meaning some of the offending trio may well be replaced for the trip to Burnley. Matip could come in for Lovren and Milner for Moreno, Clyne is the only one currently without a senior replacement. If not, then some serious work is needed on the training ground, otherwise we can expect to see many more goals like these in the weeks to come.

Poetry in Motion

All four of Liverpool’s goals were brilliant, Coutinho’s incredible free-kick will steal the headlines, but Liverpool’s third was a passage of pure excellence. Roughly 40 passes were completed in the build up to the goal which was finished off by Coutinho; the fans duly showed their appreciation for such a fine team goal at this stage of the season.

Players on Debut

Sadio Mane lived up to the hype with a memorable debut goal and performance. For all Liverpool supporters it must have been very refreshing to see a winger in red with pace and utilising it with direct running. This caused major problems for Arsenal in the second-half and will cause many other teams similar problems throughout the season. Ragnar Klaven exceeded expectations, many fans predicted a solid debut from the experienced defender but few would’ve thought that he’d be by far Liverpool’s best defender on the day. Wijnaldum didn’t quite have the eye-catching debut his new teammates had, but it was a good showing nonetheless. Struggled with his defensive duties early on, but grew into the game, and provided an excellent assist for Liverpool’s second. Great signs for the Reds, good business thus far.

Still Finding our Style

Liverpool’s attack in the first-half was practically toothless, with no one really showing any sort of penetration or making any runs. Once we started using Coutinho in a number 10 role in the second-half, it opened up spaces down the flanks for the likes of Mane and Wijnaldum. Firmino as a ‘False-9’ didn’t seem to work at all, and until Origi’s introduction he really struggled to link up with his teammates. The midfield trio will also need more time to gel as Henderson is not a natural holding midfielder, whilst Lallana and particularly Wijnaldum are not utilised best in a supporting role; both need the freedom to roam forward to be effective. These issues will need to be addressed sooner rather than later because Liverpool have a very difficult run of fixtures, and the sooner everyone is working together and know what’s expected of them, the better.

Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 15/08/2016.

Arsenal vs Liverpool Match Preview

Tough Start to the 2016/17 Campaign for Reds

Liverpool take on Arsenal at the Emirates in their opening game of the 2016/17 Premier League season. Cieren O’Dea for Red or Dead takes a look at how both teams might approach this challenge.


Team News

The Gooners will start the season with a very similar lineup to last season’s, the only major addition being Granit Xhaka after the Swiss midfielder joined from Borussia Mönchengladbach for £30 million. They will however be without a host of first team regulars through injury and others may not yet be match fit. Per Mertersacker, Gabriel Paulista, Danny Welbeck and Carl Jenkinson are certainly going to miss the game, with Jack Wilshere also likely to be rested to aid the recovery from yet another injury. Question marks still remain over Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil’s fitness and all or some of the trio could well be benched or left out entirely while they work to get back up to speed after long European Championship 2016 campaigns.


Arsenal - Week 1

With Arsenal facing an injury crisis with their centre-backs, Arsene Wenger may well have to field a makeshift defence against the Reds. New signing Rob Holding could be given a surprise debut in what could be a baptism of fire against a Liverpool outfit full of attacking potency. Callum Chambers looks set to lineup alongside him, although desperation could force Wenger’s hand and Koscielny may be rushed back to partner Holding. Dangerous fullbacks Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin will do their best to track Liverpool’s attacking players whilst causing some havoc of their own up the other end of the pitch. Who will partner Xhaka in midfield is up for debate; it is unknown if Wenger will give the job to Santi Cazorla to play as a deep-lying playmaker or  opt to play Francis Coquelin or Mohamed Elneny to shield a frail defence instead. In attack Theo Walcott will lead the line supported by Aaron Ramsey, Alexis Sanchez and Alex Iwobi with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin being well in contention for a starting role.


Team News

Liverpool will be without new additions Joel Matip and Loris Karius, while Mamadou Sakho, Lucas Leiva, Joe Gomez and Daniel Sturridge will also miss the trip to the Emirates. There are several other players who are in doubt after picking up niggling injuries including James Milner, Marko Grujic and Sheyi Ojo. Whilst not ideal, Liverpool’s squad is in much better condition than Arsenal’s going into the start of the season, even without key players such as Sturridge, Sakho, Matip and Karius.


Liverpool - Week 1

Karius’ broken hand paves the way for Simon Mignolet to reclaim his place in goal, Alberto Moreno should also get the nod from Jurgen Klopp over Milner after the latter picked up a minor injury against Barcelona. Ragnar Klaven and Dejan Lovren look set to continue their promising partnership alongside Nathaniel Clyne in what looks to be a fairly solid defence. Emre Can will anchor a three man midfield supported by Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum who should find himself bombing forward into the Arsenal box regularly. The front three will consist of new man Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho supporting Roberto Firmino up top, completing a potent attacking lineup. Divock Origi and Adam Lallana could also feature, but this will likely come from the bench.


This game promises to be one of the best and most exciting of the round, with both sides boasting impressive attacking ranks. Arsenal will look to use the pace of their four attacking players to target Klaven and particularly Moreno which could cause problems for the Reds. Xhaka and Cazorla could easily play passes to put those men under pressure meaning Liverpool’s midfield will have to work in conjunction with the defence to keep them at bay. The key battle to watch for Arsenal will be Sanchez vs Moreno, quite a scary thought.

Meanwhile Liverpool will look to put early pressure on a makeshift defence with Firmino, Coutinho and Mane all vying to make an impression, Wijnaldum will also look to exploit Xhaka and Cazorla’s lack of pace and support Liverpool’s attacks on the break. Whilst Liverpool should start the season with a 4-3-3 formation, expect this to revert back to Klopp’s favoured 4-2-3-1 in the coming weeks. The key battle to watch for Liverpool will be Mane and Firmino vs Monreal and Holding. The introduction of Origi at some point in the match should also be anticipated as the young Belgian has the pace, power and finishing to give this Arsenal defence major headaches.


Either way this game should be an absolute thriller to kick off Liverpool’s season. Both sides will be looking to attack, but I’m going to give the edge to Liverpool as our defence is much stronger on paper and Arsenal are still lacking a world class centre-back and striker. I’m expecting goals from Mane and Origi in a 3-1 win on the opening day for the Reds.


Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 13/08/2016.

Analysing Liverpool’s Departures

Moving On

The majority of Liverpool’s transfers this summer have been departures, with a mix of youth and experience leaving Anfield for other pastures it is the beginning of a new era on Merseyside.

Martin Škrtel


A true servant of the club; Martin Škrtel always wore his heart on his sleeve. The loyal Slovak had been at the club for eight and a half years and over 300 games until he was shown the door this summer; moving on to Fenerbahçe for a reported fee of around £5 Million. Many fans grew impatient with his brash style of defending, often caught flying into tackles  and giving away fouls through overly-physical play. However, it must not be forgotten that there were many great moments in his Liverpool career. Important goals against Arsenal and Manchester City in the 2013/14 charge for the Premier League title along with some frustrating defensive performances throughout the campaign perfectly sum up the duality of Škrtel. A cult hero who truly appreciated what it means to play for Liverpool and arguably a modern legend of the club, only Lucas Leiva has served the club longer among our current ranks. All the best Martin, thanks for the memories.

Joe Allen


An extremely likeable personality whose on-field performances divided fans and media alike. Arriving from Premier League newcomers Swansea City under the moniker of the “Welsh Xavi” bestowed upon him by then-manager Brendan Rodgers; living up to his reported £13 million price tag was always going to be an uphill battle for Joe Allen. After a slow start to life in Liverpool, not unlike current captain Jordan Henderson, he grew to be an important and reliable squad player over the years. Performances such as Manchester City home in 2014/15 demonstrated his ability to dictate the tempo of the game in a manner not seen at Liverpool since the likes of Xabi Alonso. However, at the age of 26, Allen understandably wanted to be starting regularly and unfortunately a midfielder of his variety simply did not fit into Jurgen Klopp’s tactics, despite the German’s obvious respect for his ability. Brilliant performances for Wales at the European Championship 2016 saw him named in the team of the tournament and left some Liverpool fans disappointed when his transfer was finalised. This said, £15 million for a player in the last year of his contract must be seen as a good piece of business. Best of luck to Joe, looking forward to watching him starting regularly for Stoke.

Jordon Ibe


The boy tipped to surpass Raheem Sterling for Liverpool unfortunately never showed consistent signs of fulfilling his immense potential. After encouraging displays during the 2015/16 preseason, Jordon Ibe failed to transition his preseason form to the Premier League and the direct running that had raised the hopes of Liverpool fans completely vanished from his game signaling an alarming drop in confidence. This, compounded with his erratic final ball eventually led to him being dropped from the team. The arrival of Jurgen Klopp seemed to reignite his fire briefly with some strong displays including Rubin Kazan and Bournemouth away. Unfortunately this form was short-lived. A reported rift grew between Klopp and Ibe but undeniably Klopp, like many Liverpool supporters, had run out of patience and perhaps even faith in the young winger. £15 million for a player of his potential may not seem a lot in the current market, especially given Sterling was sold for close to £50 million, but the insertion of a buy-back clause may well prove to be a master stroke as Ibe will be given the opportunity to shine on a regular basis for Bournemouth under an excellent manager in Eddie Howe who sets him team up in a manner which will suit Ibe perfectly. A great shame that he couldn’t make significant strides forward in his career at Liverpool, here’s hoping Jordon plays out of his skin at Bournemouth and grows into a player that Klopp would want to buy back in the future.

Other Departures


Kolo Toure’s contract expired this summer to the disappointment of a portion of fans; an immensely experienced character who undoubtedly acted as a valuable mentor for many in the squad. His valiant performance in his last game for Liverpool in the Europa League final was a fitting conclusion to a productive stint on Merseyside. An endearing figure that will be missed by fans and players alike, he now joins up with former manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic with many hoping he returns to Liverpool someday in a coaching capacity.

Jose Enrique’s was released early from his expiring contract and unlike Toure he will not be very fondly remembered or missed. Never really demonstrating the quality required to be a Liverpool player despite some decent displays earlier in his Liverpool career, he quickly became the 3rd or 4th choice left-back. He was restricted to just a handful of cup games against lower-league sides in later seasons; failing to impress even at that level. The 30 year old is yet to find a new club and many fans will feel his social media prowess greatly surpassed his on-field ability.

Sergi Canos and Brad Smith were both moved on for £2.5 million and £6 million and will ply their trade for Norwich and Bournemouth respectively. Canos was a bright spark on loan at Brentford last season and has the potential to be a potent asset to the Canaries in their attempt to return to the Premier League. Smith was a decent back-up for Alberto Moreno and has demonstrated some good, raw ability in his pace and attacking mindedness. Hopefully he will receive more game time at Dean Court to develop this potential. Both players had buy-back clauses inserted into their deals and will be worth keeping an eye on this season.

Releases and Loans


Elsewhere Ryan McLaughlin, Daniel Cleary, Daniel Trickett-Smith, Alex O’Hanlon, Will Marsh, Kristof Polgar and the once highly rated Samed Yesil were released after failing to make the grade. Youngster Jordan Rossiter who was regarded as the ‘next Steven Gerrard’ left for Rangers for a £250k compensation fee after failing to agree to negotiations on a contract extension, which was disappointing given his potential but the club were right to refuse to be held to ransom by a 19 year old. Liverpool’s youngest ever goal-scorer Jerome Sinclair departed for Watford for £4 million after a tumultuous end to his stay on Merseyside. His departure will not have disappointed too many fans after his outspoken behaviour and that of his (and Raheem Sterling’s) agent Aidy Ward. Joao Carlos Teixeira left for Porto for a £250k compensation fee after failing to break through to the first team on a regular basis. A supremely talented player but always struggled with the physical nature of English football. Finally, Lawrence Vigouroux made his loan move to Swindon Town permanent for a reported fee of just under £500k.

A number of players have also been loaned out for the season including exciting young players such as Allan Rodrigues in his quest for an English working visa, promising goalkeeper Danny Ward and attacking live-wires Ryan Kent and Cameron Brannagan; as well as other young players including Ryan Fulton, Jack Dunn (for only 6 months) and Lloyd Jones. Adam Bogdan has also been loaned out after a nightmare first season at Liverpool, it’s surely only a matter of time before his inevitable transfer away or release. Young Scouser Jon Flanagan has been loaned out to Premier League underdogs Burnley, and whilst most fans will be hoping he gets his career back on track after a horror injury saw him sidelined for over 18 months, it would appear that the task of breaking back into Liverpool’s first team will be a bridge too far for the industrious full-back, let’s hope we’re proven wrong.

Who’s Next?


Despite already allowing many players to depart, there are still some players left that are rumoured to be on the chopping block. The defensive pair of Andre Wisdom and Tiago Ilori may be deemed surplus to requirements after failing to impress on various loan spells. In midfield, Luis Alberto has been a reported target for a number of teams including Sevilla, although the two clubs have been unable to agree on a fee for the former Barcelona-B player. Lucas Leiva now appears to be set to remain at Anfield for another season after Jurgen Klopp reportedly blocked Galatasaray’s advances, opting to keep him as cover due to Mamadou Sakho, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Ilori’s unavailability; as well as the lack of any other established defensive midfielders. Lazar Markovic is rumoured to be of interest to a number of teams including Schalke who are looking to replace Manchester City’s Leroy Sane. For now it appears he will remain at Anfield as a backup to the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana. Christian Benteke has attracted the attention of many Premier League sides, with Crystal Palace appearing the most likely destination, however Liverpool are thought to be demanding a £30 million fee upfront for the Belgian, with the London-based club only willing to meet that fee on a clause-based deal. Finally, of course, there’s Mario Balotelli. Liverpool are desperate to get rid of the polarising Italian after relegating him to the reserve squad. Several smaller Italian teams have opened discussions, but his considerable wages are proving to be a stumbling block.

Final Thoughts

Overall Liverpool have been very successful at trimming down the over-sized squad and clearing some of the deadwood that is necessary in forging a new era at Anfield. Whilst some fans may be disappointed at certain departures such as Joe Allen and Kolo Toure as well as promising youngsters including Jordon Ibe and Jordan Rossiter; Liverpool have (uncharacteristically) displayed some calculated business prowess. This has been demonstrated by making a profit off of Allen despite being in the final year of his contract, as well as receiving over-the-odds fees for the likes of Brad Smith and inserting buy-back clauses into deals for players with high-potential such as Ibe. There is still work to be done to move on some more dead weight off of the wage bill, and hopefully receiving decent transfer fees at the same time. Jurgen Klopp warned the squad that there would be a lot of departures, and he has certainly delivered. Liverpool could achieve a rare profit from transfers if more players are sold with Liverpool’s total spending and fees received currently totaling roughly £70 million and £48.5 million respectively, meaning only £21.5 million is needed to balance the books, a very achievable feat.


Cieren O’Dea for Red Or Dead – Liverpool FC Football Blog – on 12/08/2016.