17.11.2020
Jurgen Klopp glasses among items buried in time capsule at new Liverpool training ground

A pair of Jurgen Klopp’s glasses, Virgil van Dijk’s match-worn boots and video messages from club legends have been included in a time capsule buried at Liverpool’s new training ground.

The steel capsule, which contains dozens of different items and is located outside the visitors’ entrance to the AXA Training Centre, will be opened in 2070.

Liverpool have aimed to capture the spirit of the club’s past and present so that future generations may gain a sense of their success.

Klopp led Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years last season having won the Champions League the year before.

The state-of-the-art £50million training facility in Kirkby opened its doors this week after the club moved from its base of some 70 years at Melwood.

The time capsule contains a pair of Klopp’s iconic spectacles, worn during a match, a pair of boots donated by defender Van Dijk and a signed pair of goalkeeping gloves from Alisson Becker.

To commemorate Liverpool’s sixth European Cup success in 2019, there is a shirt and programme signed by the players involved in the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

There is a matchday programme from the home fixture against Chelsea in which Liverpool sealed their first league title of the Premier League era on July 22 this year.

Squad photographs of every age group team within the academy are included as well as a combined squad photo featuring the men’s and women’s first teams.

Owners Fenway Sports Group have penned a letter to future Liverpool fans, while there is a ‘Melwood Through Time’ book featuring a collection of photographs of the old training ground from the late 1950s to the present day.

Klopp, captain Jordan Henderson and club legends Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish and John Aldridge, plus women’s team manager Vicky Jepson, have all recorded video messages to future fans.

There is a special tribute to the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster – a reprint of the 30th anniversary match programme cover.

A 12′ vinyl record of the 1969 Kop Choir recording, as well as a silk scarf and pin badges pays homage to the club’s fans. Also included is a roll of honour of all club employees.

At their new headquarters, Liverpool have gone beyond football by building a training base that has everything.

The new 9,200sqm base consists of courts for beach soccer, beach volleyball, tennis and paddle tennis – which Jurgen Klopp plays every day with his assistant Pep Lijnders.

Meanwhile, their new gym is three times the size as the one they have left behind at Melwood, and the medical area is twice the size. There is also far more space outdoors.

There are three Anfield-sized training pitches for the first team, as well as a separate goalkeeping area for Alisson and Co to get down to work.

Inside, Liverpool have built a huge changing room where the players can unwind, placing a large sofa in the middle so they can lounge about before and after training.

The Reds have also built an altitude chamber, in which the players can train in 40 degree heat, 90% humidity and low oxygen levels.

The reigning champions have also paid tribute to Van Dijk by naming a bollard in his name outside the entrance.

Klopp’s office, meanwhile, has a balcony that overlooks the training pitches allowing the Reds boss to keep an eye on the action whenever he wants.

The project began 722 days ago and was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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  • 5 часов, 57 минут назад 20.04.2021Sport

    Eddie Jones will continue as England head coach with the ‘full support’ of his RFU employers, following the union’s inquest into the national team’s fifth-place finish in the Six Nations.

    A meeting of the RFU board on Tuesday ratified the conclusions of a report from a ‘debrief panel’ which made several recommendations, but not regime change. A statement issued from Twickenham firmly declared the on-going backing for Jones within English rugby’s corridors of power – as repeatedly forecast by Sportsmail.

    Bill Sweeney, the union’s chief executive, said: ‘We were all disappointed to finish fifth in the Six Nations. Our track record and results under Eddie meant that we, the players and our fans had much higher expectations.

    ‘Sport is all about fine margins which is why every campaign debrief is invaluable. Eddie approached this review with a great deal of self-awareness and humility, allowing us to look at every aspect of the tournament to identify every small change we can make in order to improve.’

    Jones added: ‘During the Six Nations we were not up to our usual high standards and we recognise that. The debrief was a valuable process, we all learned a lot from the experience and we have identified actions to enable the team to move forward positively towards (World Cup) 2023. I’m confident our next team will come back stronger this autumn building up to a winning performance in the next Six Nations.’

    The review panel received ‘positive and supportive’ feedback from England players, which was used to inform their impression of the current Red Rose set-up under Jones. This echoed the public comments made by several senior players in support of Jones – especially Maro Itoje, who offered a passionate endorsement of the Australian’s credentials.

    In attempting to explain what was described as a ‘sub-optimal’ championship campaign, the report noted the absence of Jason Ryles and Neil Craig from the management team, and the fact that Matt Proudfoot – who contracted COVID – and Jones himself had to isolate. Another conclusion was that certain players suffered from a lack of game-time, while others were mentally fatigued from having to keep playing through the end of one season straight into the start of another one.

    In a more technical sense, breakdown indiscipline was identified as another key, negative factor, while it was also noted that having to maintain a ‘fixed’ squad on COVID grounds didn’t help.

    The recommendations do not include any significant personnel changes, but instead focus on support systems. The RFU will seek to ensure enhanced sports psychology and leadership development, along with greater refereeing input. There will also be a drive to establish a data and analytics system in partnership with Premiership clubs.

    Intriguingly, the union will also make sure of ‘external rugby experts’ for future tournament debriefs to help shape the ‘coaching strategy’ in the build-up to the next World Cup. That appears to be a compromise arrangement designed to provide qualified assessment of the regime, without the appointment of a full-time director of rugby.

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  • 5 часов, 57 минут назад 20.04.2021Sport

    Duncan Ferguson has kept up his hard as nails appearance in an hilarious expletive-filled rant to a young Everton fan who has been ‘slacking’ at school.

    The Everton hero, currently Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant at Goodison Park, was asked by a school teacher to give a young Toffees fan a pep talk and Ferguson duly obliged in brilliant style.

    The young fan’s brother posted the hilarious message on Twitter, alongside the caption: ‘Little brother got a message from Big Dunc giving him a little kick up the arse for slacking in school. Our footy club is boss UTFT.’

    The 49-year-old, who delivered the inspiring message on the Goodison Park turf, starts off saying: ‘Hi young Tom, you alright son, it’s Duncan Ferguson here from Everton Football Club. I just wanted to wish you all the best, pal.’

    But then Ferguson starts to jokingly criticise the Everton fan, adding: ‘Your teacher, old Tom, has told me you’ve been f****** slacking off a bit in your photography, is that right?

    ‘We cannae be having that, mate. You better get your finger out and make sure that you get the f***** results.’

    If this wasn’t enough to motivate the young fan, the Everton hero then gave him the extra motivation of coming to visit him if his school work improved.

    ‘And if you get the results right and you stick in, I’ll come and see you,’ Ferguson added.

    ‘I’ll take you for a bit of lunch or I’ll come to your house or something. We’ll sit down and have a wee chat… So you make sure you stick in. Come on, don’t f*** the job up.

    ‘Anyway, look: there’s Goodison for you. What do you think of that? Hopefully you’ll be back soon lad. Alright mate – stick in son. God bless from Big Dunc, take care.’

    Fans flocked to social media afterwards as they took huge enjoyment out of the amusing video.

    One fan replied to the brother’s social media post: ‘Let’s hope his little brother ain’t seven years old or something.’

    To which the brother replied: ‘Hahaha no he’s in sixth form, just turned 18 so the language isn’t too bad’, alongside a laughing emoji.

    One fan said on Twitter: It’s very nice of him to offer to take the lad for lunch and visit him at his house…..just a shame it comes out as a genuine, bloodcurdling threat.’

    And another amusingly questioned: ‘How many parents are gonna be asking for videos now?’

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  • 5 часов, 58 минут назад 20.04.2021Sport

    Chelsea fans have reacted with a furious backlash after the club tried to drum up excitement for tonight’s Premier League clash with Brighton.

    Thomas Tuchel’s in-form Blues are in the thick of the race for the top four this season, yet that process has now been rendered all but redundant by the recent announcement from six top flight sides of their allegiance to the European Super League.

    Chelsea, along with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham have identified themselves as the six ‘Founding Members’ from the Premier League, to join 12 overall.

    The news has rocked the world of football and incensed supporters all over the planet, and now the fight back appears to have begun.

    Taking to their social media channels on Tuesday morning, Chelsea went about their usual business of promoting the evening’s match and declaring ‘It’s matchday!’ which often goes down well with supporters.

    Yet, before Chelsea could follow up the Twitter message with the usual requests for score predictions or fan messages, supporters in their droves piled in and hit back at the boldness of the business-as-usual type statement.

    Many were visibly see seething about the news that their side had opted to turn its back on the Champions League in favour of a money-spinning breakaway division, which will act as a closed shop and permit Chelsea automatic entry season upon season.

    In response, supporters responded fiercely to the Twitter message by insisting they now wish to see their side lose this evening, given the match now seems to have been completely devalued.

    One angry Twitter user responded: ‘As a Chelsea fan, kinda want Brighton to win, want to see us get beaten by a team deemed not good enough for us to face #NoToEuropeanSuperLeague.’

    Another simply added: ‘Let’s go Brighton,’ while changing their Twitter handle from CFC to ‘on loan at Brighton.’

    Others made it clear that they now see the fixture as a dead rubber, given that Chelsea would be in a European competition next season if the Super League goes ahead, regardless of where they finish.

    Chelsea, along with their Premier League counterparts, have been widely slammed and UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has made it clear that all clubs involved are ‘making a huge mistake.’

    Ceferin launched a scathing attack on the plans on Monday – blasting those ‘snakes’ and ‘liars’ for making it happen – and just one day on he continued to make his resentful feelings known.

    ‘All the Governments are with us, all the fans are with us, all the media, only some greedy people, a few, are on the other side,’ Ceferin insisted in a damning speech on Tuesday morning.

    ‘Are we allowing them to take football? No. You can trust me, we will not allow it.’

    The Super League – which will see the founding members receiving up to £300million each when it starts and guaranteeing them a place on Europe’s top table every season – has come in for immense criticism worldwide.

    The plan is to expand the competition to 15 founder members – with a further five annual qualifiers – but there will no relegation for the big founding clubs, even if they finished bottom of the table.

    Ceferin added on Tuesday: ‘The ultimate aim for some is no longer to decorate the club’s trophy cabinet with silverware but fill the bank account with cash. Contempt for smaller clubs, for supporters respectful of traditions is replacing ethics.

    ‘Selfishness is replacing solidarity. Some CEOs change clubs like they change their shirts, or even faster. Money has become more important that glory, greed more important than loyalty and dividends much more important than passion.

    ‘We hear day and night about owners. What or whom do they own? Football does not belong to anyone, rather it belongs to everyone. Football is part of our heritage.’

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  • 5 часов, 58 минут назад 20.04.2021Sport

    Jordan Henderson has called an emergency meeting of the Premier League captains to discuss the breakaway European Super League.

    The Liverpool skipper, whose own club is one of the six English sides that has signed up for the competition, is set to lead the players’ response to the plans that have rocked football.

    Henderson, 30, has long been seen as a trusted, respected figure among the top-flight’s footballers. There were also reports from German publication BILD on Tuesday that Liverpool were feeling ‘increasingly doubtful’ about the Super League project because of the amount of anger from fans at the proposals.

    The summit will be significant as it will include representatives from clubs who are part of the breakaway plans and those who are not.

    England international Henderson led the players’ response to the NHS crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

    The former Sunderland man oversaw the creation of a fund aimed at raising millions for the service in the light of what many perceived to be unjust criticism of footballers by health secretary Matt Hancock.

    The meeting is likely to discuss a way forward for players, who will come under the microscope this weekend. As Sportsmail revealed, Manchester United’s stars had an emergency briefing with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward on Monday.

    Led by captain Harry Maguire, they were unhappy that they found out about the plans via the media and that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left to face the press when news broke during their 3-1 win over Burnley on Sunday.

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  • 5 часов, 58 минут назад 20.04.2021Sport

    Tottenham caretaker boss Ryan Mason has revealed he’s exchanged messages with former Spurs manager and now PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino since his appointment.

    Spurs dismissed Jose Mourinho on Monday after 17 months in charge and chairman Daniel Levy has handed the reins to former player Mason, 29, on a temporary basis until the end of the season.

    Mason, who was forced into early retirement after suffering a fractured skull in a sickening incident while playing for Hull against Chelsea in 2017, admitted he has ‘exchanged a few messages’ with Pochettino’s coaching team.

    He also reflected on a ‘crazy’ 24 hours, insisting ‘anything can happen and you just have to be prepared and ready for what football can throw at you at times’.

    ‘It’s crazy. It’s football. I’ve had it as a player. Obviously I’ve had the experience of having to retire in this game,’ he said, in advance of his first match in charge against Southampton on Wednesday night.

    He also stated that he was not focusing on his long-term prospects in the hotseat, when asked about whether he wants the job on a permanent basis.

    ‘Look it’s a bit of cliche but I only knew I was taking training yesterday. All of my focus is on the game tomorrow and then the weekend,’ he said.

    ‘I think it’s no secret that I love this football club. To spend 20 years of my 29 here, it’s a big part of me.

    ‘We [Mason and Levy] had a very long chat. Once the news broke I was in the building. We had a conversation. I took training, we had another conversation and he asked me if I wanted it.’

    Mason added that he was ‘not sure’ if Kane would be fit for Sunday’s Cup final against Manchester City, having picked up an injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton on Friday.

    ‘[He] didn’t train today. (We’re) taking it day by day. Not sure about the weekend yet.’

    Mason will be joined by Chris Powell and Nigel Gibbs as interim assistant head coaches and Michel Vorm as interim goalkeeping coach, while Ledley King will continue in his role as first team assistant.

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  • 5 часов, 58 минут назад 20.04.2021Sport

    Jurgen Klopp is reportedly furious with Liverpool’s owners for announcing their intention to join the European Super League ahead of his side’s clash with Leeds.

    The Reds are one of 12 teams to have signed up to the breakaway competition along with five other Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham.

    According to The Athletic, Klopp was left extremely unhappy with the club’s American owners, Fenway Sports Group, over their willingness to join the Super League and for the timing of the announcement just before a crucial fixture.

    Klopp has previously spoken out against the idea of a Super League and the manager insisted his opinion hadn’t changed in his pre-game interview last night.

    He told Sky Sports: ‘My opinions didn’t change. I heard first time about it yesterday and when you try and prepare for a very difficult game like Leeds United and then so far we got some information, not a lot to be honest – most of the things you can read.

    ‘It’s a tough one people are not happy with that, I can understand that but I can’t say a lot about it to be honest. We were not involved in any processes, me nor the players we didn’t know about it. We’ll have to wait and see how it develops.’

    Liverpool had the chance to climb back into the top four with a victory at Elland Road.

    Klopp is said to have urged his squad not to be distracted by the reaction in a meeting with his players on Monday morning but they were unable to take three points in West Yorkshire.

    Sadio Mane’s first-half strike was cancelled out by a late Diego Llorente equaliser, leaving the Reds in sixth place.

    Klopp was also angry about the treatment of his staff and players. They were said to be shocked by the abuse directed towards them during pre-game walk in Leeds and when their team bus arrived at the stadium.

    A Liverpool shirt was burned while supporters chanted ‘scum’ and ‘greedy b*******’ and a banner was flown over the stadium during the match.

    ‘I have nothing to do with it, but people treat us like that,’ Klopp said after the game.

    ‘Leeds fans shouting at us in the city and here tonight. We have nothing to do with this. Employees of the club. When I am involved I take the criticism, same with the players, but we are not involved in this.

    ‘The Leeds fans were shouting at us like I’d said, “Let’s go to the Super League”. We are talking about human beings. With all the things that are written, people should not forget that. It’s an emotional situation.’

    Leeds players warmed-up in t-shirts opposing the Super League which read: ‘Earn It’ on the front and ‘Football Is For The Fans’.

    The t-shirts were left in Liverpool’s dressing room but Klopp described them as a ‘joke’ with his players opting not to wear them.

    ‘If somebody thinks they have to remind us that that you need to earn a place in the Champions League, that’s a joke it’s a real joke and it makes me angry,’ Klopp said before kick-off.

    The Liverpool boss also reacted angrily to comments made by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville about the club’s ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ anthem.

    Following the announcement of the Super League on Sunday, Neville said: ‘I’m a Manchester United fan and I have been for 40 years of my life but I’m absolutely disgusted. I’m disgusted with Manchester United and Liverpool most.

    ‘Liverpool, they pretend ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, the people’s club, the fans’ club.’

    Responding to the pundit’s comments, Klopp said: ‘Gary Neville speaks about You’ll Never Walk Alone. That already should be forbidden to be honest,’ he told Sky.

    ‘Because we have a lot of right to sing that anthem, that’s our anthem and not his and he doesn’t understand it anyway so I really don’t want these kind of things because it’s not fair.

    ‘I understand all the talk and I don’t like it as well. But I don’t talk about other clubs like this, you can be emotional but I wish Gary Neville would be in a hotseat somewhere and not everywhere where the most money is.

    ‘He was at Manchester United, Sky all these kinds of things. Don’t forget we have nothing to do with it. We’re in the same situation as you all we got information and we still have to play football.’

    Neville then defended his comments in the studio, saying: ‘Why is it not fair? I have insulted Liverpool loads of times over the years, yesterday was nothing to do with insulting Liverpool.

    ‘I don’t know why I am living in his head to be honest with you, I don’t know what spiked him.

    ‘Yesterday was an impassioned plea about football and said my biggest disappointment equally was with Manchester United and Liverpool so I don’t know what his problem is.

    ‘He talks about hotseat, I had a 25 year career at Manchester United and then 11 years at Sky and I worked hard for that. I’ve not been handed it and gone where the most money is.

    ‘I didn’t have choices. Sir Alex Ferguson did not say “Gary do you want to stay here?” every year.

    ‘I employ 600 people in the city and try to look after them through a pandemic. Is that not a hot enough seat for him?

    ‘He’s done a great job at Liverpool, I’ve got no problem with Klopp, I loved his team but the fact is he’s spiky, he’s been let down by his owners who have thrown him under the bus.

    ‘We’re actually on the same team. But fact of the matter is he can’t say what he wants to say and I can.

    ‘The Klopp I know he hates every thing about this, goes against everything he believes in.’

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