Connect with us


Premier League: Team of the Week XXXI feat. Liverpool and Tottenham stars



Prev1 of 4
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Already we have reached the end of Gameweek 31 of the 2016/17 Premier League season, and the Chelsea machine remains well-oiled and rolling towards the title, after the Blues beat Bournemouth 3-1 to maintain their seven point lead over Tottenham, who’d already laid their hand upon the table having beaten Watford 4-0 in Saturday’s early kick-off.

Liverpool’s 2-1 turnaround victory at Stoke sees them remain third and in a strong position to claim a Champions League spot at the end of the season, with the last place in the top four currently occupied by Manchester City, who comfortably disposed of Hull at the Etihad. Rivals Manchester United kept in touch of the leading pack with a 3-0 triumph at Sunderland to go fifth, ahead of Arsenal’s meeting with Crystal Palace on Monday night.

Further down the league, Everton came out on top in a 4-2 thriller at Goodison Park against defending champions Leicester to remain seventh, and inflict Craig Shakespeare’s first defeat in charge of the Foxes, whilst West Ham United picked up a crucial 1-0 victory at home to relegation threatened Swansea to ease the pressure on manager Slaven Bilic. Meanwhile, Middlesbrough remain in danger having failed to break through Burnley’s resistance, a goal-less draw at the Riverside leaving the ‘Boro six points adrift of safety in the bottom-four and Burnley still without an away win all season.

But who were the stand-out stars this week, as we accelerate towards the home-strait at the end of the Premier League season?

Embed from Getty Images

Coach: Jurgen Klopp

Formation: 4-3-3

The Kop favourite gets the nod this week for his inspired half-time substitutions, even if they were blindingly obvious to anybody wanting to play the role of Football Manager. Missing several key players, including Adam Lallana and Sadio Mané, Klopp was forced to throw teenagers Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn into the firing line away at Stoke, and the two failed to come up trumps in the opening half, the latter probably unlucky not to have won a penalty in the opening 45 minutes.

Another two of the big names omitted were Philippe Coutinho, who had been struggling prior to the game with illness, and was passed fit to feature from the bench on the morning of the match, and compatriot Roberto Firmino, who had suffered from accumulated fatigue, also named amongst the substitutes. The German called upon them at half-time, with Liverpool trailing by a goal to nil to Jon Walters’ opener, and the Brazilians duly responded. Coutinho, the record Brazilian goal-scorer in the Premier League, netted the equaliser, before Firmino snatched the points with a brilliantly executed half-volley over flailing goalkeeper Lee Grant. They may well have been forced in the circumstances, but Klopp’s half-time tactical switch worked a treat, and anybody could tell by the way in which he hugged goalkeeper Simon Mignolet at full-time just how priceless this result was in Liverpool’s quest for the top four. A huge result, ensuring the Liverpool chief is well worth his money in our Pick of the Week.

Prev1 of 4
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Scott is a Port Vale fan who writes regularly for The Boot Room as a freelancer. He is a fan of several sports but most of his experience in journalism comes from football and volleyball. He has produced several works on major Championships for both the FIVB and CEV in the volleyball world out in Switzerland, and is currently studying for a BA Hons in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.

English Premier League

Andrew Robertson the most important Liverpool summer signing

The Scottish left-back has plugged a gap that has existed at Liverpool for some time.



Mohamed Salah rightly received all the praise yesterday, after Liverpool put Watford to the sword in the Premier League.

Liverpool beat the Hornets 5-0 at Anfield, with the Egyptian scoring four of the goals.

It is hard to argue with Salah being the club’s best signing in the summer. His tally of 37 goals in 43 games certainly highlights that fact. 

However, the most important signing might have been that of Andrew Robertson.

The Scottish left-back joined from Hull City in a deal, reported by the Independent, to be worth around £8 million. That price-tag is now looking an absolute bargain.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Liverpool have had problems at left-back for a number of seasons.

Alberto Moreno looked like being the solution. However, the Spaniard’s defensive work and decision making made him a liability.

Jon Flanagan, who was Brendan Rodgers’ regular left-back, has not reached similar heights since a series of knee injuries decimated his promising career.

Last season saw James Milner fill the role. The experienced midfielder played well out of position but long-term, was not the solution.

Now, Liverpool have Robertson. The Scotland international has made the step up from his time at Hull with ease.

The 24-year-old Glaswegian is not only a threat going forward, but defensively he is exceptional.

His delivery into the box is undoubtedly exemplary, but he is equally adept at stopping opposing players from getting near Liverpool’s.

Liverpool have managed to bring in a player perfectly suited to Jurgen Klopp’s style of play.

Heavy-metal is the way Robertson plays in both attack and defence and the fans at Anfield already love him.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

At just £8 million and only 24-years-old Liverpool picked up the bargain of the summer in the Premier League.

If Robertson can continue to progress and play with the same level of consistency he already has, then a decade of dominance at left-back could follow as Liverpool’s left-back.

Continue Reading


Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah within touching distance of all-time Premier League goal-scoring record

The Egyptian international has 28 Premier League goals this term.



Photo: Getty Images

Anfield witnessed a truly special moment in the second half of Liverpool’s 5-0 thrashing of Watford on Saturday. Winning 3-0, Liverpool were running riot in wintry conditions, and Mohamed Salah collected the ball just inside the box on a hat-trick.

What followed was absolute magic, emblematic of a dream debut season in the north-west for the Egyptian. Salah was mobbed by three defenders, but left all three in the dust with one deft cut-back.

Then, with two more Watford players crashing in on the ball, Salah remarkably managed to poke an improvised finish into the far corner past the helpless Orestis Karnezis.

As Salah wheeled away in celebration, tongue stuck out and arms extended, Anfield reveled in history in the making. That goal marked Salah’s 27th of the Premier League season and he would go on to score his 28th just eight minutes later.

(Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

The Egyptian is on course to smash the Premier League scoring records in emphatic fashion. The current record is 31 goals, a tally achieved by Alan Shearer in 1995/96, Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007/08, and fellow Red Luis Suarez in 2013/14.

With seven matches remaining, including fixtures against the likes of West Brom and Stoke, few would bet against Salah demolishing the 22-year-old record.

The achievement would place Salah in the illustrious company of Premier League legends, an incredible feat for a player who many in England wrote off during his short spell at Chelsea.

Thanks to Salah, Liverpool have barely missed a step after the departure of Philippe Coutinho in January, advancing to the Champions League quarterfinals and cementing their top-four position.

The prolific winger is proving all of his doubters wrong in audacious fashion, and with a Premier League Golden Boot and goal-scoring record seemingly on the way, he is one of the most in-form players in the world.

The early-April European clash with Manchester City will provide Salah with, perhaps, his biggest stage yet. Expect the top goalscorer in England to rise to the occasion.

Continue Reading


Jugen Klopp wanted him in 2016, Filip Kostic set for cut-price exit

The Serbian is set to be relegated with Hamburg.



In the summer of 2016 Liverpool were being linked with the signature of Serbian winger Filip Kostic. The Independent reported that Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, had both watched the player, but had missed out. Hamburg instead signed Kostic from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart for £12 million.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp would have known all about Kostic through his Bundesliga links and seeing him move elsewhere would have been frustrating. But, nearly two years on from Kostic’s Hamburg move, Liverpool may feel they dodged a bullet.

Hamburg’s Serbian midfielder Filip Kostic (L) celebrates scoring the 1-0 with Hamburg’s defender Matthias Ostrzolek during the German first division Bundesliga football match between TSG Hoffenheim and Hamburg SV in Sinsheim, southern Germany, on November 20, 2016. / AFP / DANIEL ROLAND / RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050 (Photo credit should read DANIEL ROLAND/AFP/Getty Images)

This summer, if Liverpool still wanted Kostic, they could get him cheap. The reason why? His performances have not lived up to his ability since the Hamburg move. Now, the Bundesliga side look doomed to relegation. The result will be a firesale in the summer, as HSV look to meet financial demands. Kostic, being one of the most valuable players and highest-earners at the club, will be available.

Based on his form for Hamburg, Liverpool would be unlikely to take an interest in the player.

But, rather than dodging a bullet, perhaps this situation could work out perfectly for Klopp and Liverpool.

Whilst Kostic has had a rough time at Hamburg, a lot of that is down to the running of the club.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 10: Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool looks on prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 10, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

For the Serbian national team the 25-year-old has still been in good form and Liverpool might just be able to bring Kostic in at a cut-price.

With the World Cup coming up this summer, Kostic will look to shine. A deal for Liverpool before then may prove to be a masterstroke.

Liverpool can look at Kostic in two ways. One, a transfer failure they should be happy with. Two, an opportunity for a bargain this summer.

Either way Klopp and Liverpool cannot really lose.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 The Boot Room.