Liverpool: Schedule request rejected; Gerrard talks underway; 28-year-old to fight for place

Liverpool have been dealt with a blow by the Premier League after their request to move their fixture against Sunderland was rejected. They are scheduled to travel to Wearside less than 48 hours after their televised clash against Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp was upset with the schedule and hoped that the Premier League would move the Sunderland match to allow his squad more time to prepare. However, the Premier League rejected the request with their main reasoning being that the clubs agreed to the television deal knowing that it could cause congestions during the festive period. Here is what Jurgen Klopp has said on the issue:

“Now I have seen the fixtures and I am not too happy. We have less than 48 hours between our game against Man City on December 31 and in Sunderland on the 2nd.”

 

“Forty-eight hours is an interesting idea but less than 48 hours I cannot believe.”

This provides Klopp with a real dilemma as he won’t be able to play the same team in both matches. Liverpool have been relying on the same group of players over the beginning of the season and the festive period could provide issues for the club as they attempt to cement themselves in the top four. The one positive thing is that Klopp has had experience of managing over the festive period in England and he will have a better idea how to deal with it this season.

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Steven Gerrard has announced his departure from the MLS and Goal report that he is in advanced talks with Liverpool over a coaching role at the club. The Liverpool legend has made it clear that he wants a meaningful role and won’t settle for a symbolic one. He has held talks with Alex Inglethorpe, who is the Academy director, about possibly helping shape the club’s future generation. There is also rumoured interest from Celtic and Newcastle, with both clubs managed by ex-Liverpool bosses in Brendan Rodgers and Rafa Benitez respectively.

 

Liverpool have always maintained a close link with their fan-base, which makes offering a coaching role to Gerrard a no brainer. It wouldn’t only be a sentimental move as Gerrard has a lot of experience to offer and would learn a lot from working under Jurgen Klopp. It is inevitable that the 36-year-old will end up at Anfield again at some point, but it will be interesting whether he opts to take a coaching role immediately or if he goes somewhere else first.

Finally, the Mail report that Simon Mignolet won’t accept a place as a number two and wants to challenge Loris Karius for the starting position. The Belgian international has never been on the substitute’s bench throughout his career and he has no interest of getting used to it now. Karius has started well in the Premier League, but he is no means a top goalkeeper yet, meaning that there is a chance that Mignolet could reclaim his spot as number one. Although he is number two at the moment, Mignolet has significantly more experience in the Premier League and will try to use that to his advantage.

 

These comments will encourage Klopp as competition for places has a positive effect on performance level. There was a feeling that Mignolet regressed last season and a big reason for that was due to the lack of competition in the goalkeeping position. That was addressed in the summer and Karius looks to be a good prospect, but he isn’t the finished article. It is now important that Mignolet manages to take every opportunity that comes his way and raises his training level. That said, at the moment Karius looks to be a better option and is likely to retain his place for the foreseeable future.

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