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    A win's a win. I'd have taken it before the game, and I'll certainly take it given the fact we saw Coutinho and Lovren both limp off, and Toure look like a dead man stumbling by the end of the 90.

    Stoke were disappointingly blunt going forward tonight, but that's to be expected. Without those four goals at Goodison Park two weeks ago, they'd be on the same amount of goals scored as Villa. For all Arnautovic's worth and brilliance against the big sides in front of the TV cameras, he needs more consistency and cutting edge. I'd have been more worried had Crouch (if fully fit) or Walters had started, in truth.

    Again, a 1-0 win proves good enough. That's fine for a first-leg advantage to take back to Anfield in a few weeks time, but our lack of a gunslinging centre-forward is still prevalent. We relied on Ibe tonight - somebody who, along with Lallana and Firmino - hasn't plundered enough goals for us thus far this campaign. It proved Klopp was right not to bring in Benteke for the injured Coutinho, though.

    We harried and hassled really well tonight. Stoke's best outlet was clearly Glen Johnson - some indictment - and the much-talked about three-pronged attack was surprisingly blunt. I felt we got really close to Bojan, but he was brilliant and just wasn't offered enough help. Thankfully, Stoke's end product was even worse than outs has been during 2015/16, and Hughes was clearly bereft of magic when he opted to introduce Walters and revert to a traditional target man set-up.

    The lack of composure and solidity we have when facing long balls is so, so obvious. No wonder Stoke started hoofing it late on.

    Maybe one day we'll be able to put a game to bed and not ride out the last quarter of an hour with me on the brink of a heart attack, but that would be too simple. At least we proved we could do it on a cold, rainy Tuesday night in Stoke. I thought the three lads in the middle - Allen, Can and Lucas - were great, especially with the latter filling the void in the heart of the defence post-Lovren's hamstring injury.

    Let's pray neither injury is too serious. Our injured XI could now be: Bogdan, K Toure, Lovren, Sakho, Gomez, Flanagan, Henderson, Coutinho, Origi, Ings, Sturridge. Christ almighty.
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    In brighter news injury wise, Flanagan played 45 minutes for the U21's today. He could be the guy to kick start our season, people think we relied on Suarez, but really it was all about Flanagan. On a serious note, I wonder what our win percentage is with him in the team, his two proper runs in the team have coincided with KD's best run of form and BR's best run of form, it must be at least 80%.
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    Great to see him back. I think Flanagan is exactly the type of player Klopp will love, in all honesty. Just hope he's at least 90% of what he was in 2013-14. It has been such a lengthy lay-off.
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    I'd be surprised if we saw Flanagan before April/May? Don't forget his contract will expire this summer - hard to judge what the club will do. Might be in all parties best interest if we gave him another one year deal?
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    Klopp hasn't ruled out drafting in defensive backup and new bodies to help the back-line in January, which is promising given our complete dearth of available players back there.
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    (Original post by cBay)
    Are short term loans a possibility or is that only allowed for lower league clubs? Like maybe we could pinch a half decent CB who isn't playing from a top European club for a month or so... like Vermaelen from Barca or whatever.
    The window is open so you can, any length of loan is allowed, if my Football Manager experience is anything to go by. It would only be an issue outside the window, in which case I think it's only keepers that can have emergency loans.
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    So we're going forward with no fit central defenders
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    We're being linked with Schalke centre-back Joel Matip, but I wonder if Klopp will recall Wisdom/Ilori first.

    It's really amazing how many hamstring injuries we've had under Klopp - no wonder he said it was his "**** word" of the year! Origi, Skrtel, Lovren, Coutinho, along with Henderson's reoccurring heel problem, Sturridge's continued problems, Gomez/Ings ACL, Sakho's fragility in his legs.

    It's enough to make you debate the fitness and conditioning levels of our players currently. Was the work they did under BR pre-season not enough to acclimatise them to the hard press and running Klopp is utilising?
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    It's not suprising, players arn't going to be used to Klopps training not having had a proper preseason with him.

    Sturridge hasn't had an actual preseason for like 2 years if I'm right, that's a contribution to why he gets injured so frequently which is why Klopp has put him in a mini preseason.
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    (Original post by samir12)
    It's not suprising, players arn't going to be used to Klopps training not having had a proper preseason with him.

    Sturridge hasn't had an actual preseason for like 2 years if I'm right, that's a contribution to why he gets injured so frequently which is why Klopp has put him in a mini preseason.
    Indeed. I remember watching that first game at White Hart Lane, and the players were huffing out of their arses by the mid-point of the first-half. A real shame, in truth. It just shows that Klopp needs time, though. Obviously, football is a short-term game with short-term ambitions, a need for immediacy and urgent success. But Klopp deserves time.
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    (Original post by samir12)
    It's not suprising, players arn't going to be used to Klopps training not having had a proper preseason with him.

    Sturridge hasn't had an actual preseason for like 2 years if I'm right, that's a contribution to why he gets injured so frequently which is why Klopp has put him in a mini preseason.
    I don't think Klopp is actually doing any training at the moment? With so many injuries we've been using the same small set of players (around 15 perhaps) and playing games every 3-4 days. After match day they will have some rest and then perhaps some light training/tactics but I doubt he can do any extensive training? Not sure his training methods can be blamed yet.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I don't think Klopp is actually doing any training at the moment? With so many injuries we've been using the same small set of players (around 15 perhaps) and playing games every 3-4 days. After match day they will have some rest and then perhaps some light training/tactics but I doubt he can do any extensive training? Not sure his training methods can be blamed yet.
    That's true, I just read that Klopp did say his players arn't even training that much, we have so many games that there is only time for recovery. But the high pressing style he implements in those games surely must be a contribution as while Rodgers likes his players to press he doesn't make them press as intense as Klopp does and focuses on possession and so players arn't going to be prepared.

    Didn't help that when Klopp first came in there was already a quite a few injuries and so players had to play extra games with no option to rotate. Possibily our preseason may have not been good enough. Hopefully when the summer comes, Klopp will get these guys into shape and ready for next season, get them into the gym too avoid getting bullied on the pitch so easily!
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    (Original post by samir12)
    That's true, I just read that Klopp did say his players arn't even training that much, we have so many games that there is only time for recovery. But the high pressing style he implements in those games surely must be a contribution as while Rodgers likes his players to press he doesn't make them press as intense as Klopp does and focuses on possession and so players arn't going to be prepared.

    Didn't help that when Klopp first came in there was already a quite a few injuries and so players had to play extra games with no option to rotate. Possibily our preseason may have not been good enough. Hopefully when the summer comes, Klopp will get these guys into shape and ready for next season, get them into the gym too avoid getting bullied on the pitch so easily!
    Yea agree. There will be some players who just don't fit Klopp's plans since they aren't athletic enough. You look at someone like Lallana who struggles to complete 90 minutes regularly - how's he going to manage with pressing hard too?
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    I don't think Klopp is actually doing any training at the moment? With so many injuries we've been using the same small set of players (around 15 perhaps) and playing games every 3-4 days. After match day they will have some rest and then perhaps some light training/tactics but I doubt he can do any extensive training? Not sure his training methods can be blamed yet.
    (Original post by samir12)
    That's true, I just read that Klopp did say his players arn't even training that much, we have so many games that there is only time for recovery. But the high pressing style he implements in those games surely must be a contribution as while Rodgers likes his players to press he doesn't make them press as intense as Klopp does and focuses on possession and so players arn't going to be prepared.

    Didn't help that when Klopp first came in there was already a quite a few injuries and so players had to play extra games with no option to rotate. Possibily our preseason may have not been good enough. Hopefully when the summer comes, Klopp will get these guys into shape and ready for next season, get them into the gym too avoid getting bullied on the pitch so easily!
    Yeah, we aren't training right now. That's why the festive period is so, so poor for teams when they lose momentum. They are coming into the training complexes to do warm downs, and muscle work, and recovery stuff. There's very little time actually on the training pitch, so you can kind of have sympathy for BR's plight last season (going from plenty of time at Melwood with the players during 2012-13 and 2013-14 to last season's chocka schedule). Interestingly, though, our hectic Christmas period correlated with an upturn in our form last season.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Yeah, we aren't training right now. That's why the festive period is so, so poor for teams when they lose momentum. They are coming into the training complexes to do warm downs, and muscle work, and recovery stuff. There's very little time actually on the training pitch, so you can kind of have sympathy for BR's plight last season (going from plenty of time at Melwood with the players during 2012-13 and 2013-14 to last season's chocka schedule). Interestingly, though, our hectic Christmas period correlated with an upturn in our form last season.
    Might be down to the extra work in games

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/...s-jurgen-klopp

    Liverpool running 6km more per game under Jürgen Klopp than with Brendan Rodgers
    Liverpool are also doing many more sprints per game, on average 548 compared to 474 under Rodgers

    Also we've asked Villa to cancel Ilori's loan

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/...ol-aston-villa
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    Also we've asked Villa to cancel Ilori's loan

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/...ol-aston-villa
    Good news that, he looks depressed at Villa.
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    If Ilori can't get in a Villa side at the bottom of the table, does he honestly have a future with us?
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    (Original post by Rumpelforeskin)
    Good news that, he looks depressed at Villa.
    Turns 23 next month so I imagine he just wants to play.

    (Original post by Mackay)
    If Ilori can't get in a Villa side at the bottom of the table, does he honestly have a future with us?
    Well our scouts must have bought him for a reason? Although it's mean 2.5 years with 3 different loans and he's only managed 24 appearances (not sure how many minutes).

    I guess now is the time for him to prove himself when we have no other choices?
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    Well our scouts must have bought him for a reason? Although it's mean 2.5 years with 3 different loans and he's only managed 24 appearances (not sure how many minutes).

    I guess now is the time for him to prove himself when we have no other choices?
    If Sherwood had been in charge, I'd have suggested it was simply a misunderstanding/clash with the manager, but he hasn't even had a look-in under Garde.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    If Sherwood had been in charge, I'd have suggested it was simply a misunderstanding/clash with the manager, but he hasn't even had a look-in under Garde.
    With Villa struggling, would any new manager considering a youngster with no premier league experience who probably won't even be there in 6 months?
 
 
 
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