Liverpool Champions League hope massively boosred after Man United and Newcastle defeat on Sunday | soccer4u
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Liverpool Champions League hope massively boosred after Man United and Newcastle defeat on Sunday



Liverpool have been given a lifeline or two in their quest for a Champions League place. There is still work to be done for the Reds, Newcastle and Manchester United.

After six consecutive Premier League victories, Liverpool revived their best four chances. If the Reds finally fail to qualify for the Champions League this season, it’s more in the first three quarters of the season than in the run-in.

Jurgen Klopp’s side can only win their own games with three games to go – Leicester, Aston Villa and Southampton – with those games looking much more winnable given the form Liverpool have been in lately. After beating Brentford 1-0 on Saturday, Liverpool will see Newcastle United and then Manchester United step into action on Sunday, in third and fourth place going into the weekend.

First there was Newcastle United. His opponents Arsenal could easily have collapsed at this point in the season, dragging ruthless Manchester City into the Premier League title race, but the Gunners, to their credit, have performed extremely well.

Martin Ødegaard continued his fantastic season with a brilliant opener before Gabriel Martinelli forced an own goal. Arsenal battled to a 2-0 win and moved within a point of Pep Guardiola’s men at the top after playing a game to spare. More importantly, Newcastle are now just three points clear of Liverpool despite Eddie Howe’s side having one game to play. It was one of those games where Liverpool needed Newcastle to slip up and they did.

Then came Manchester United, itself facing a tricky-looking away trip at West Ham United. David de Gea made that task even harder when he failed to stop a relatively tame effort from Algerian winger Saïd Benrahma.

From then on, Manchuster United never looked convincing enough in attack – no big shock when you count on Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial.

A breakthrough could have happened through an individual moment of Marcus Rashford or Bruno Fernandes, but it never happened and West Ham held on and saw the result.

With Newcastle and Manchester United both losing, that is a double boost for Liverpool, with each of the teams above them three points closer than prior to kick-off at Anfield on Saturday.

Liverpool’s remaining games: Leicester (A), Aston Villa (H), Southampton (A)

Points if all matches are won: 71

Newcastle’s remaining games: Leeds United (A), Brighton (H), Leicester (H), Chelsea (A)

Points if all matches are won: 77

Manchester United’s remaining games: Wolves (H), Bournemouth (A), Chelsea (H), Fulham (H)

Points if all matches are won: 75

And, of course, there is Brighton to consider as well. Roberto de Zerbi’s side is currently seven points behind Liverpool, but has three matches in hand having only played 32 matches so far.

Brighton’s remaining games: Everton (H), Arsenal (A), Newcastle (A), Southampton (H), Manchester City (A), Aston Villa (H)

Points if all matches are won: 73

The next game in Brighton, against Everton, is tomorrow, and Liverpool fans are observing that as far as the relegation battle is concerned the Goodison Park side are currently involved – Brighton’s next fixtures are Newcastle and Arsenal. says: Brighton would be outsiders, with tougher matches and little gap from Liverpool and the others. Manchester United have the easier remaining games and should be able to get the three points they need, albeit less than convincing against West Ham; Quite the opposite, in fact.

Newcastle could be the ones to catch Liverpool if the Reds get their job done. Leeds at Elland Road (Sam Allardyce’s first home game in charge) shouldn’t be easy, while Brighton, Leicester and Chelsea can make their day. Newcastle and Manchester United both have work to do. Liverpool just have to keep them honest and then hope for more results like today.


Who is Jorg Schmadtke? Liverpool’s “strange” sporting director front-runner

Liverpool’s vacant sporting director role could be close to being filled after reports that Jorg Schmadtke is closing in on joining the club.

The Reds have been on the lookout for a new sporting director since Julian Ward gave his notice back in November, and names have been linked before being quickly ruled out.

Schmadtke’s name is sticking, though, after it was widely reported that talks have “accelerated” in recent days, with Liverpool looking “set to appoint” the German.

With Liverpool needing to ensure they hire the right person for the post, we need to ask, who is Jorg Schmadtke?

What is there to know about Schmadtke?

Schmadtke is currently unemployed but his career in football has extended to playing – he was a goalkeeper – management and as a sporting director.

His most recent job was with Wolfsburg acting as their managing director, but his spell with the German club ended in January after four-and-a-half years.

The 59-year-old has held similar sporting director roles with Alemannia Aachen, Hannover 96 and FC Koln, but he has a reputation that precedes him.

As per the initial report in the Telegraph, Schmadtke is known for “recruitment that gets value for the budgets he is assigned,” a tick in the box for owners FSG.

There was a hint of an existing relationship with Jurgen Klopp, having been described as an “ally” of the manager – which is a necessity for the position.

The interesting side of his character, though, lies in what many have described as ‘controversies’ with Buli News having once noted his “uniquely gruff manner” that “left him the subject of jokes in German footballing circles.”

Back in 2016, he apologised for throwing chewing gum at Julian Nagelsmann, then Hoffenheim manager, and in the same year he was fined €6,000 after calling officials “Eierköppe,” which means “eggheads.”

The Telegraph stated that he is “known for his outspoken style,” but he has previously apologised to those he may have “wronged.”

“It’s possible that I’ve stepped on the toes of one or two people,” he told German outlet Kicker. “I apologise in the strongest possible terms to anyone who feels they’ve been wronged by me.

“I’m not as big an ass as people might think.”

If he is the man Liverpool have chosen, he will certainly arrive with a reputation.

Can he work with Klopp?

Bundesliga journalist Chris Williams, on Twitter, offered a valuable insight into what Liverpool could expect in what he describes would be a “strange appointment.”

“He can identify players but has issues working with coaches, then the players themselves,” Williams penned.

“He’s quite vocal in and around the clubs he’s worked at, it’s rubbed many up the wrong way. One of those characters who can become unpopular internally, despite any good work done.”

If the Jörg Schmadtke news is correct, it’s a very strange appointment. On an exit interview from Wolfsburg he said “I’m not as big an ass as people might think.” #LFC

— Chris Williams (@Chris78Williams) May 6, 2023

Schmadtke is evidently not one to sit idle as he wants to be heavily involved, but at what cost?

“When Klopp originally joined Liverpool he said he wanted players who will push the train not ride it,” Williams continued.

“Although Schmadtke won’t play, he’ll push the train, in fact, he’ll pull it, ferociously at top speed. That’s been too much for most of his coaches, strange; but interesting.”

What is key, though, is Klopp has clearly had a role to play in pursuing Schmadtke and that shows confidence in the pair working well together.

Klopp aside, though, he will need to be able to work side-by-side with the club’s current head of recruitment Dave Fallows and chief scout Barry Hunter.

It is not an appointment many would have expected from Liverpool but the club will be hoping to tap into his wealth of experience and return to their savvy ways in the transfer market.

Schmadtke was involved in signing the likes of Wout Weghorst, Maxence Lacroix, Kevin Mbabu, Micky Van de Ven and Ridle Baku during his time at Wolfsburg.

As it stands, Ward is still involved in negotiations at present for Liverpool but the appointment of his successor looks to be around the corner if the latest reports are anything to go by.


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