Talk LFC Podcast

An Independent LIVE Podcast for REDS by REDS

Tags: southampton


  1. Liverpool Have Better Premier League Run In Than Opponents

    Liverpool have a much more favorable end to this Premier League season than any of our rivals for the top four positions. We currently sit in fourth place with 56 points from 29 games while our rivals for the coveted fourth place, Manchester United and Arsenal, sit on 52 and 50 points respectively with only 27 games played.

    While the games in hand may seem like a lifeline to both Man Utd and Arsenal, they are not easy games by any stretch of the imagination. Both Man Utd and Arsenal have to play an away fixture at Southampton while Arsenal also have a visit to the Emirates from a resurgent Leicester City as their games in hand.

    Of the eleven games that Manchester United have left, they have a home tie against league leaders, Chelsea as well as three tough away fixtures against Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham.

    Add to that the congested fixture list which could see them playing a game on average every 3.3 days as they compete on three fronts in the Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League and it looks like a big ask for them to make top four.

    Arsenal also face Manchester City at the Emirates in their next game as well as an away game at Tottenham and the aforementioned game against Man Utd at the Emirates all before the season ends. They are also still competing in the FA Cup with Manchester City as their next opponents on April 23rd.

    Tottenham will have to square up against both Arsenal and Manchester United at White Hart Lane and are also still involved in the FA Cup with an away tie against Chelsea scheduled for April 22nd.

    Chelsea look all but out of sight with a 10 point lead over Tottenham but they still have tough fixtures at home to Manchester City and an away tie at Old Trafford that Liverpool will be hoping they can take maximum points from.

    Liverpool have taken 20 points from a possible 30 available against or top six rivals this campaign but our final games of the season certainly wouldn’t be seen as difficult as our rivals as we do not face another top six team this season.

    We have home games against Everton, Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Middlesborough and away ties against Stoke City, West Brom, Watford and West Ham as our final nine games.

    All of these games are certainly winnable games for Liverpool but for our tendency to perform poorly against the so called lower teams this season which has seen us lose to teams like Burnley, Bournemouth and Swansea during this campaign.

    Reds supporters will be hoping that this trend has now been ended with our scrappy 2 – 1 victory over Burnley at Anfield earlier this month showing that we can grind out a result against the so called lower teams.

    Hopefully this victory and the recent results against Arsenal and Manchester City can instill the confidence that has been lacking at times in Jurgen Klopp’s men this season that will see us through to the end of the season to maintain fourth place at the very minimum.

    It’s now more important than ever that we put the final nine teams that we face to the sword without mercy and that we show the same fight and hunger against this opposition as we did against top six teams this season.

    I, for one, feel that we can not only achieve a fourth place finish this May but that we can mount a genuine challenge for second place.

    All will unfold over the next 10 weeks

     


  2. Liverpool Held To A Draw At St Mary’s

    It was a frustrating afternoon at St Mary’s for Liverpool as Southampton held out for a 0 – 0 draw. Southampton were resolute in defense and did enough to hold off the onslaught from Jurgen Klopp men.

    Liverpool created plenty of chances during the match but failed to convert any of them.

    Despite Jurgen Klopp being able to name a practically full strength side with only Adam Lallana missing from the starting line up, Liverpool were limited in their attacking opportunities and spent the game playing the ball in front of the Southampton defense.

    Sadio Mane had one of the best opportunities of the first half as his perfectly placed shot looked destined to hit the top corner of the net only for Fraser Foster’s outstretched hand ensuring it flew agonizingly wide of the mark.

    Liverpool came out early from half time, knowing full well what was expected of them in the second half but the opportunities remained at a premium.

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    Both Emre Can and Roberto Firmino had clear cut chances which were squandered. Can was actually one-on-one with the goalkeeper and failed to capitalize on the chance.

    Daniel Sturridge replaced Can with 12 minutes left and he did have an impact as he brought an extra edge to Liverpool’s attack, but it came to no avail as Southampton saw out the 4 minutes of injury time to take a point from the league leaders.

    The stats paint a picture of the game in general as we enjoyed 65% of the possession with fifteen attempts on goal as well as eight corners.

    We have now taken 26 points from a possible 33 and managed a second clean sheet of the league campaign so far. We also remain top of the Premier League today on goals scored ahead of Manchester City but Chelsea have a chance to go top by a point should they win their match away to Middlesborough tomorrow.

    League Table 19 Nov 2016

    Current Premier League standings


  3. Coutinho Undergoes Scan For Tight Hamstring

    Philippe Coutinho was photographed at Spire Hospital in Liverpool The Echo is reporting that he is now a doubt for Saturday’s Premier League game against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday.

    Coutinho and fellow team mate Roberto Firmino only arrived back from international duty with Brazil on Wednesday night.

    Both players reported to Melwood on Thursday morning but neither player played any active part in training.

    It was reported that Coutinho was complaining of a tight hamstring which is the reason he was sent for the scan.

    Coutinho played 170 minutes of football for Brazil during the international break, helping them secure crucial World Cup qualifying victories over Argentina and Peru.

    There are no indications that Coutinho will miss Saturday’s game but he will certainly be a doubt now along with Adam Lallana who picked up a groin injury during England’s 2 – 2 draw with Spain.


  4. Sadio Mane: Torn Boots To Liverpool Sensation

    Sadio Mane has hit the ground running and has been an instant success at Liverpool but the majority of fans know little about his time before he joined Liverpool.

    Fans would have been familiar with him from his days as a Southampton player before Liverpool used their Southampton Loyalty Card to bring him to Anfield this Summer but few would have known much about him before that.

    After being included in Goal 50, a list compiled of the best 50 players in the world where he places in 39th spot, Mane spoke to Goal.com and outlined his early football career and the struggles he went through to get noticed.

    He recalls a time he had to make a 500 mile journey from his home city of Sedhiou to attend a trial as a 15 year old saying,  “I left my city to go to the capital with my uncle, and there were trials on.”

    “We went to them and there were lots of boys being tested and getting organised into teams. I will never forget this, and it is funny now, but when I went to try out there was an older man that looked at me like I was in the wrong place.”

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    “He asked me ‘are you here for the test?’ I said I was. He asked me, ‘with those boots? Look at them. How can you play in them?’. They were bad, really bad – torn and old. Then he said, ‘and with those shorts? You don’t even have proper football shorts?’”

    “I told him what I came with was the best I had, and I only wanted to play – to show myself. When I got on the pitch, you could see the surprise on his face.”

    “He came to me and said ‘I’m picking you straight away. You’ll play in my team.’ After those trials, I went to the academy.”

    Sadio Mane playing for Metz

    Sadio Mane playing for Metz

    Mane took some convincing to leave home and go to the academy, Generation Foot which is responsible for producing player like Papiss Cisse and Diafra Sakho.

    He recalls, “I was in the city, just playing ‘on the way’ – in the street or wherever there was a game.”

    “Since I was two or three years old, I remember always being with the ball. I would see kids playing on the street, and would join them.”

    “That is how I started – just on the roads. When I got older, I would go to watch games, especially when the national team played. I wanted to see my heroes and imagine myself as them.”

    “There was big excitement in the country in 2002 during the World Cup, but it was already only football for me before that.”

    Senegal advanced to the quarter finals of the 2002 World Cup in their first appearance in the tournament, beating hosts France in the opening match.

    “We also used to have a tournament in our village, and I would always go to see that.”

    “Everyone would tell me I was the best in the city, but my family wasn’t a footballing one. They are big on religion and wanted different things for me.”

    “When they could see that in my head and my heart there was only football, I started to convince them to let me go to Dakar.”

    “In the beginning they didn’t accept it, but the more they saw how much I wanted it and that there was nothing else for me, they helped me.”

    Such was Mane’s obvious talent that people who didn’t know even helped to ensure that he got the best possible chance to impress and improve. He mentions his uncle as one of the people who helped.

    Mane in action for Red Bull Salzburg in 2013 - Photo by Werner100359

    Mane in action for Red Bull Salzburg in 2013 – Photo by Werner100359

    “My uncle was a big help, but not the only one at the start. When I moved to Dakar, I went to live with a family that I didn’t even know!”

    “My family knew someone who knew them, and he took me to their house. They took me in, they took care of me and did everything to help me just worry about football until I left for Metz.”

    Mane later moved to Red Bull Saltzburg where he was watched closely by a host of managers, including Jurgen Klopp who had noticed him during the Olympics in 2012.

    Klopp tried to bring Mane to Borrusia Dortmund but Salzburg were very difficult to deal with and the move never went through.

    Mane remembers, “I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it – that he wanted to meet and thought I could help his team, who were so good. I used to watch them all the time.”

    “Things didn’t work out back then and it was frustrating, but that’s life – nothing just comes easy”

    “I told myself to just carry on working hard, push myself and something big would come. I did that. I went to Southampton, I played well and then, Klopp wanted me again”

    Mane had a big money offer to move to the Russian league with Spartak Moscow but he wanted to advance his career by playing football in Europe and moved to Southampton in 2014 where he reached double figure goal tally’s in both season’s at St Mary’s.

    Mané fighting for the ball in a pre-season friendly against Valencia in 2015. - Photo by Werner100359

    Mané fighting for the ball in a pre-season friendly against Valencia in 2015. – Photo by Werner100359

    Klopp came calling again in Summer 2016 and this time Mane jumped at he chance to work with the 49 year old German he clearly has huge admiration for.

    “Now I’m lucky enough to be working with one of the best managers in football. It was meant to happen and I am very happy to be learning all the time from him.”

    When he scored his first goal for Liverpool at the Emirates stadium against Arsenal, he ran, pointing to his new manager with his arms outstretched and jumped on Klopp’s back.

    Reminising about the earlier times and sacrifices people made for him Mane said, “I was so young and it wasn’t easy at all to leave what I knew.”

    “I missed my family so much, missed being with my mum and my sisters. But to be a footballer is all I wanted and I knew these tough days were to help me achieve that.”

    “Many, many, many people I grew up with, such skilful players, didn’t have the chance I did to become a professional.”

    “I knew the things that were hard were important for me to succeed. Now I am here, with no regrets, living my dream.”

    Mane with Senegal National Team in 2015

    Mane with Senegal National Team in 2015

    Mane has slotted right into life at Liverpool and has developed close relationships with a number of Liverpool players, which is evident in their on pitch relationship as well as they act as one unit in Liverpool’s dynamic attacking partnership.

    “A good thing for footballers is not to think too much, especially when you’ve got to move to a big team like Liverpool, because that’s when you start to confuse your mind.”

    “In my head, I knew I was coming to a team that wanted me, to a manager who knew me well, and I was coming to work hard and to help.”

    “That is all I focused on, not how things would go or what could happen – good or bad. I left my mind open and was ready for anything.”

    “I’m very happy to be part of a team with big, big talent with everyone working for each other. It makes it easy for a player when you’ve got really good teammates and when everyone wants the same thing.”

    “When you’re a little boy, sometimes you think you know everything about football. You want to do it your way.”

    “But I have learnt so many different styles, different tactical things, and how to be a more complete player from my days at the academy until now, with the help of great coaches and teammates.”

    “I’m someone who likes to listen, who likes to watch and who likes to learn.”

    “I’m still young and building myself and I always want to improve. Every day is another chance to work hard and to go closer to being successful.”