EPL

Klopp: I feel for injured Kane - now let's think about demands on players

By Sports Desk January 17, 2020

Jurgen Klopp believes Harry Kane's injury could alert England's authorities to the dangers of too much football if the striker is ruled out of Gareth Southgate's Euro 2020 plans.

The Tottenham striker and England captain suffered a hamstring injury in his club's New Year's Day defeat at Southampton and has undergone surgery.

Tottenham have indicated Kane should be able to resume training in April, but it could be a slow road back to full match fitness.

Liverpool manager Klopp made mention of Kane in a lengthy explanation about his concerns that too many demands are placed on players in the modern game.

Klopp is known to often point to the heavy burden on players, caused by domestic league and cup games, European matches and international commitments.

Given his important role with club and country, Kane is sure to be missed by both, and Klopp suggested the Spurs star's problem may have been caused by his own busy schedule.

"I feel massively for Harry Kane," Klopp said. "Now I've heard maybe he's not in the Euros, for the first time some English people in the FA will start thinking, 'Too many games maybe'.

"Always something has to happen so that we start really thinking about it."

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  • Talking Point: Can Arteta's Arsenal follow Klopp's long road to Premier League glory? Talking Point: Can Arteta's Arsenal follow Klopp's long road to Premier League glory?

    Mikel Arteta said from the outset that Arsenal could forget about achieving overnight success during his reign, but he made it clear the "top trophies" were his and the club's target.

    Since walking back into Emirates Stadium last December, having retired as a player with the Gunners three and a half years earlier, Arteta has begun to stamp his mark.

    This week has seen comparisons drawn between Arteta and Liverpool's championship-winning manager Klopp, and the similarities between the state of their respective clubs when they each took over.

    Liverpool were in a nosedive under Brendan Rodgers, while Arsenal's decline had begun under Arsene Wenger, and Unai Emery proved incapable of plugging the holes in north London's sinking ship.

    Yet Arteta has now managed Arsenal in 23 Premier League games, and his record in that time beats Klopp's start in Liverpool's top job.

    As Opta data illustrates, Arsenal appear to be taking small but significant steps forward under their Spanish boss.

    'A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REMIT' FOR ARTETA

    Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool and England defender, was a voice of reason this week after Arsenal came in for flak when losing 3-1 to Klopp's men at Anfield in the Premier League.

    The teams will meet again in the EFL Cup on Thursday.

    Carragher highlighted the fact Liverpool may be on top of the English game now, but that is only because of season-by-season progress since Klopp's arrival.

    "I think it's almost an identical job to what Klopp came into," Carragher said on Sky Sports. "Forget challenging for the league; they weren't even qualifying for the Champions League.

    "The first thing for Arsenal is to get back into the Champions League. That was the big thing Klopp did in his first season. Can Arsenal do that?"

    As Carragher said, "Liverpool are a few years down the line. It's a completely different remit for Mikel Arteta."

    Klopp took over at Liverpool after Rodgers' side made a poor start to the 2015-16 season, stepping in early in October to steady a side who finished sixth with just 62 points in the previous campaign, having been second and title challengers in 2013-14.

    Arsenal, who were habitual top-four finishers for much of Wenger's tenure, dawdled to sixth in the Frenchman's final season, with a 63-point haul.

    Emery's arrival sparked a minor improvement, but 70 points and fifth in 2018-19 was followed by a wretched start to the next campaign, resulting in the SOS to Arteta.

    SO HOW HAS ARTETA CHANGED A FAILING TEAM?

    Arsenal had won just five of 17 Premier League games when Arteta was appointed last season, drawing seven and losing five.

    The new boss shrewdly took a watching brief from the stands and allowed caretaker Freddie Ljungberg to take the team for the first game after his arrival, a 0-0 draw with Everton.

    Arteta's record in the league since then shows that Arsenal won nine, drew six and lost five with him at the helm last term, a marked move in the right direction, followed by two wins from three this season. Their FA Cup triumph only endorsed the sense of progress.

    Arteta's current haul of 39 points from 23 games beats Klopp's 36 from his first 23 league matches with Liverpool.

    Last season's statistics are inevitably flavoured by the Emery reign and show where Arsenal's performances in recent campaigns have tailed off.

    Their sequences of 10 or more passes in open play slumped to 441 across the campaign, having been at 535 in the 2018-19 season. That total was 504 when the Gunners finished second in 2015-16 and an arguably indulgent 635 in Wenger's final campaign.

    Totals of high turnovers – where sequences in open play begin within 40 metres of the opposition goal – were also down to a five-year low of 139 incidences. The same applied to pressed sequences – where opponents have three or fewer passes in a sequence that ends within 40 metres of their own goal – which fell to 418, down by 114 from the 2016-17 campaign when Arsenal pulled in 75 points.

    An early look at this season's numbers provides little evidence yet to suggest the high turnovers and pressed sequences will dramatically change this season, but the passing numbers certainly catch the eye.

    After three games, Arsenal have racked up 49 10-plus passing sequences, suggesting they could end the season well into the 500s, if not above.

    CAN YOU PASS YOUR WAY TO GLORY?

    Much is made of Liverpool's high press, and their total of 686 pressed sequences last season emphasised how entrenched that is in the Klopp masterplan for success.

    But passing and ball possession have been similarly significant in the rise of the Reds under their German manager.

    If Arteta is looking at making Arsenal as effective as Klopp's troops with the ball, he is sure to have pored over Liverpool's rate of progression under Klopp.

    In the season that Liverpool began under Rodgers and finished with Klopp in charge, the Reds managed just 375 sequences of 10-plus passes.

    That rose season by season, almost doubling from the starting point to 719 in the 2018-19 campaign, dipping only slightly to 682 last term as Liverpool won the Premier League by 18 points.

    Arteta cannot transform Arsenal in a flash and will need time to impose his methods, but Liverpool's 252 high turnovers last season – up sharply from 195 in 2018-19 – helped them immensely on the road to success.

    Liverpool are well ahead of Arsenal in turnovers, presses and passing sequences this season, but that is only to be expected. They are years ahead in terms of their manager's project.

    What is important for Arsenal is that they make gains this season, and then the next, and then the season after that.

    As Carragher said: "I actually like a lot of what Mikel Arteta's doing.

    "I don't think that's a top-four group, but the way he's organising them, what he's actually doing, I think they could get into the top four because of his management.

    "I don't think any manager would be getting any more out of that Arsenal team."

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd's Chiesa enquiry turned down, snubbed by Porto over Telles Rumour Has It: Man Utd's Chiesa enquiry turned down, snubbed by Porto over Telles

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    That is their only inclusion despite links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Telles, and their progress is still seemingly slow ahead of the window closing on Monday.

     

    TOP STORY – MAN UTD'S CHIESA BID REJECTED, SNUBBED OVER TELLES

    Manchester United had a loan enquiry for Fiorentina attacker Chiesa turned down, according to The Telegraph.

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    ROUND-UP

    - After Luis Suarez's arrival at Atletico Madrid, Diego Costa is linked with a move away. AS reports Paris Saint-Germain are considering a move for the forward, and it adds Atletico could look to replace him with free agent Edinson Cavani.

    - Manchester City's transfer business in this window could be done. The Sun reports any plans for the Premier League side to bring in a left-back – either Bayern Munich's David Alaba or Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico – are reliant on a late bid being received for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

    - Are Bayern Munich looking for a back-up for star Robert Lewandowski? Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sign Hoffenheim forward Andrej Kramaric. The Croatia international scored twice against Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday and is up to seven goals in three games in 2020-21.

    - Tottenham are reportedly looking at Benfica striker Carlos Vinicius. Football.London says Spurs are hoping to loan the striker with an option to buy for £36.3m (€40m). Carlos Vinicius scored 24 goals in 47 games in all competitions last season.

    - Staying at Spurs and Sky Sports reports Celtic have made an approach for Tottenham left-back Ryan Sessegnon. However, it says finances are problematic, while multiple Premier League clubs are also keeping an eye on Sessegnon.

    - Andreas Pereira is set to leave Manchester United. Fabrizio Romano reports a deal between United and Lazio has been signed for a loan with option to buy for €27m (£24.5m).

  • LA Galaxy's former Liverpool full-back Insua eyeing MLS glory LA Galaxy's former Liverpool full-back Insua eyeing MLS glory

    Former Liverpool full-back Emiliano Insua hopes LA Galaxy can end their MLS title drought this season.

    The Galaxy are the most successful club in MLS history with five trophies from nine finals appearances, though they have not tasted glory since 2014.

    Last season saw the Galaxy reach the Western Conference semi-finals thanks to Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 31 goals, though the ex-Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain striker has since departed for Milan.

    Guillermo Barros Schelotto's Galaxy are 11th in the 12-team Western Conference, with 15 points from 13 games – three points behind eighth-placed Real Salt Lake, who occupy the final qualifying spot amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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    "But since the beginning I feel really good here in the club, with the staff and players. Now, I'm enjoying more because we are playing.

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    Insua, responding to the arrival of countryman Gonzalo Higuain at David Beckham's MLS rivals Inter Miami from Serie A champions Juventus, added: "It's a tournament where you can see every team can beat everyone. Every club have a budget to spend and almost the same money, so the league is really stable.

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