„We are Liverpool – This means more“, is written on the glass facade of the „Kop“ grandstand. Songs are hymns here, the fans are a family, the stadium is a home and the coach a saviour, according to an accompanying advertising campaign. The club is offensive with the folklore that surrounds it, it plays out its own exaggeration. In the end, however, it’s also about winning for him. Goals and points, titles and trophies.
Last season, the team of coach Jürgen Klopp almost had the greatest success that European club football has to offer. In the Champions League it was only in the final against Real Madrid that the match ended, under unfavourable circumstances, after the two failures of the German goalkeeper Loris Karius.
FC Liverpool have upgraded to the new season. The club have invested more than 180 million euros in fresh staff and strengthened their squad in key areas. The Brazilian Alisson has recently taken care of the goal. The previously solid midfield was refined with Naby Keïta from Leipzig and the Brazilian Fabinho. Former Bayern professional Xherdan Shaqiri was an additional option for the offensive. There is therefore little reason why Liverpool should not be considered one of the closest candidates to win the Champions League.
Loris Karius Honours
- UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2017–18
Gary Neville advises to give away in the European Cup
The start of the competition on this Tuesday in his own stadium against Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain (9 pm, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE; TV: DAZN) is, however, surrounded by the question of how seriously Klopp’s club should take the European Cup. Ex-national player and TV expert Gary Neville has suggested in the Times that Liverpool should neglect the Champions League and concentrate on the Premier League title.
This proposal is based on the assumption that it is only possible to be successful in one of the two competitions – but not in both at the same time. Keyword multiple burden. And because Liverpool started the league with the maximum yield of five wins from five games and can hope to end the wait for the first championship since 1990, Neville believes that the priority should be on the national business.
The idea is not entirely absurd. The title fight in England is tougher than in Germany, Spain or France. This is because the Premier League, at least in theory, has four to five contenders for the championship. Manchester City also set new standards in the past season. It is an ambitious undertaking to dethrone Josep Guardiola’s team. Any additional competition could be detrimental. It’s a balancing act with the risk that it could tear the team apart.
„How is that supposed to work?
For Klopp, however, it’s out of the question to tackle the Champions League with only half the force. Just because he has no idea what it should look like in practice, that’s all. „How is that supposed to work? Shouldn’t we compete? Should we let our youth play? That would be fun,“ says the coach. He’s also driven by the defeat in the finals in the previous season: „We’re not satisfied at all“. None of us thinks: „That’s all. It was good to make it to the final. But we want to do better – for the club and the people here.“ Probably the club of the European Cup could not care less, even if it told itself that. Slotsmillion casino is only focusing on slots game unlike any other casino games where they offer various types.
Hardly any other club draws so much identity from its long and successful history in international business as Liverpool, for hardly any other club are matches against teams from abroad so important. When the floodlights are lit on Anfield Road, when the smell of frying fat mixes with that of Bengal torches in the narrow streets around the venue and the spectators sing their songs in the stadium well before the start of the match, while in the league they are not comfortable until the whistle blows to their seats, then the club is completely on its own. Then the impossible is possible, as was the case last season, when Manchester City were run over in the quarter-finals and AS Rome in the semi-finals on Anfield Road.
The league did not suffer as a result. Liverpool reached their goal and qualified for the Champions League for the second time in a row. And this despite the fact that in the final phase of the season, due to injuries and wear and tear, the team had „only twelve professionals“ left at their disposal, as Klopp says in a more pointed way.
In the new season, the squad is better and wider. The trainer has more possibilities and has not yet shown a lot of potential to advantage. Captain Jordan Henderson, for example, has so far only played a minor role, Keïta’s playing times have been carefully adjusted, Fabinho is still waiting for his first appearance for the new coach.