Liverpool are almost back in Premier League action, but this week is a year since the Champions League final in Madrid. What are your memories of the night and parties that followed?
What a night it was and to be honest I can’t believe a year has gone by. I can remember it as it was yesterday. I was lucky enough to be in Wanda Metropolitano and the Red Sea before kick-off is one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.
When it comes to the final itself, many people say it was a boring finale, but trust me, when you’re involved as the majority of the 60,000 plus crowd was in the stadium, it was nerve-wracking from start to finish.
The game came after a three week break for both sides as well and you can tell. It was a really slow game at times but one that you felt could break out at any time.
It was therefore the feelings that were released when Divock Origi made a relief that it was a complete and complete celebration. I stood with the perfect angle to look at his shot arrow into the lower corner past Hugo Lloris and I will never tire of seeing it.
Afterwards, there was no way anyone at the Liverpool end left Wanda until they heard. We were there until midnight at the earliest with the whole squad taking it in turn to pair the trophy with their families.
I took inspiration from Alisson to FaceTime my family which was as emotional as it gets, but when I eventually left it was unfortunately straight back to a coach for me instead of the bars in the center ̵
Unfortunately, a 31 hour trip back to Liverpool followed, we were not back for the parades but we looked at them on our phones and took it all in.
Seeing over 750,000 people lining the streets of the city really hit home just what this team had achieved and how far it has come since Klopp’s first match in 2015.
When the Reds return, Everton will be their first match. What do you expect? Will things just play right back in the switch?
It will be very different, but in the end I think the quality of the players will shine through.
I am still a fan of the Bundesliga so I have seen a lot of it since it came back and it has been to a very high standard in difficult circumstances.
There has been talk of the lack of home victory and success for away team so far in Germany after the restart, but there have not been so many results that have really shocked me. Not yet.
Of course, not having any fans on the ground will naturally get used to several players and coaches and even to us who watch the games at home.
We are used to the fact that the audience almost dictates games sometimes and I think it will not be a bigger issue for teams fighting space than for teams in the upper half who are fighting for European qualification.
As for the game itself, I expect Liverpool to win and move within a step of history, unless Arsenal have already helped us on Wednesday at Etihad.
Liverpool’s record in derby speaks for itself and the entire squad will want to take it out on the Blues after 0-0 at Goodison last season which you can claim was the turning point of the title race.
Two wins and make history. That’s what my message would be before the restart. Plain and simple yet effective.
Most of the team chooses themselves, but in the midfield is where Jurgen Klopp has the most options and tends to make the most changes. Who is Red’s current best trio?
Jordan Henderson and Fabinho are my two certainties when choosing my best Liverpool midfield three. They provide a great balance and dictate the midfield that leaves forward to cause the damage in the final third.
Like Andy Robertson, he took some time to get used to the swing of things that are good, not all signings hit the ground.
Since then, he has been outstanding before his injury this season and is rightly considered one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
This tackle on Luis Suarez at Anfield last season was one of the best I have ever seen. I never understand why it was a yellow card.
The biggest compliment I can pay Henderson is how much he was missing even in the short absence during February and March.
Henderson has developed into such a key figure for Liverpool in so many ways and he must be in the first choice midfielder three, not just for wearing the bracelet.
His leadership and determination inspire those around him. He is not Steven Gerrard but he would never be. He is Jordan Henderson and he finally gets the praise he deserves.
When it comes to my third choice, it is very tough to choose and I feel that it depends largely on the opponent. I’m a big, big fan of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, especially when he collects the ball and runs forward with purpose.
Gini Wijnaldum is a major player, not least for his performance as a sub against Barcelona. He is so strong when it comes to keeping the ball up and finding those pockets of space. Hopefully he approves a new deal soon because he still has so much to give this site.
Then there is James Milner. Mr. consistent. You know what you’re going to get from him. Hard work, professionalism and a cool head from 12 meters.
There are also ones like Naby Keita and Adam Lallana that I didn’t even mention yet and it makes you realize how great Liverpool’s depth in the midfield is.
Timo Werner continues to be linked to a transfer transition. Jadon Sancho did a hat-trick this weekend. Who do you want Liverpool to go for, if any, in the summer?
The problem for me with Liverpool sometimes when it comes to transfers is that you are looking for a very specific type of player – one who has the quality to start games when needed but accepts that they will not be the first choice each week.
There are, of course, far worse problems to have in football and life in general at the moment, but I think it can sometimes be a matter of writing players who are good enough to do for Liverpool.
I’m a big fan of Werner. I was not convinced when I saw him in Stuttgart as a youngster, but he has been fantastic for RB Leipzig since joining them and it seems clear that he would enjoy the chance to come to Anfield even if it sometimes means a spot on the bench .
He is much more than a striker. He is tireless, he creates opportunities for his teammates and is so cool in front of goal.
When it comes to Jadon Sancho, there is probably no team in the world that would not take him. He is brilliant and would definitely make any team in the world better. It is also a natural talent.
However, the problem with Sancho is that he would probably only be available for a massive transfer fee and large salaries. He would be a great fit for Liverpool but I don’t see it.
I would like Liverpool to get some attacking reinforcements for next season, especially if AFCON takes place. Losing Mane and Salah in the winter during an important part of the season would obviously be a massive blow.
It would be a huge request from people like Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones to step up in a month or so even though we have seen what they can when placed in the first team.
Klopp’s decision not to spend big last summer has been completely motivated given Liverpool’s performances especially in the league so far this season, but I think recruiting for next season would be a big help considering it could be even more congested than usual.
The last weeks of the season can be a chance for a few players to step up. Which need to impress is the biggest?
There are very few players I have seen in a Liverpool jersey who I have wanted to see succeed more than Naby Keita.
I was really excited when I looked at him for Leipzig a few years ago and when the deal to sign him was announced. It has been so frustrating to see him pick up so many injuries, often when he hit a decent form as well.
He has what Liverpool sometimes need to break down teams that lean and soak up pressure and I think Klopp knows that.
It is one of the best features in Klopp’s management style. He will not give up players when he knows they have what it takes and he is quite prepared to be patient with Keita.
Takumi Minamino is another who I think needs to impress even though he has not had so much chance so far.
He is a player who has to have patience at Liverpool as opposed to Liverpool being patient with him, but hopefully he will come minutes after the title is secured and we can see what he is about.
Any other business?
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone the best for everyone in these strange and difficult times.
We have all waited patiently for three months for sports, especially football, to be back when it was safe to do so and it seems to return in just over two weeks. I can’t wait and I’m sure you all can’t either.
Our health is the most important thing, but the thirty-year wait is almost over.
Be sure everyone.