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SPORTS

Liverpool: Who’ll Replace Jurgen Klopp? Xabi Alonso, 9 Other Possible Options

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The subject of who will replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield is a topic of much discussion and speculation. Who will replace Jurgen Klopp at Anfield is a subject of much conjecture in the wake of his shocking announcement that he will be leaving Liverpool at the end of the current campaign.

In an interview with the club on Friday, the Reds manager announced he will leave his position in May, acknowledging that after over ten years in command, he no longer has the energy to dedicate to the position.

After replacing Brendan Rodgers at the Reds in October 2015, Klopp went on to win practically every prize that was available to him while he was on Merseyside, including the Premier League and the Champions League. It will undoubtedly be difficult to follow the German, but there are already a lot of names in the mix to take over as his successor.

According to Oddschecker, former Liverpool midfielder, Xabi Alonso is the favourite to get the job. The 42-year-old represented the Reds between 2004 and 2009, winning the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

He is currently enjoying a stellar campaign with German side Bayer Leverkusen, who are currently four points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga. Also high up on the list is Brighton & Hove Albion boss Roberto De Zerbi and Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglu.

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Full List:

Xabi Alonso – 13/8

Pep Lijnders – 3/1

Steven Gerrard – 11/2

Roberto De Zerbi – 15/2

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Julian Nagelsmann – 9/1

Ange Postecoglu – 14/1

Luis Enrique – 14/1

Luciano Spaletti – 16/1

Diego Simeone – 20/1

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Antonio Conte – 20/1

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SPORTS

Arne Slot To Become Liverpool FC’s New Head Coach July 1

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Liverpool Football Club has announced that Arne Slot has agreed to become the club’s new head coach, starting on June 1, 2024, subject to obtaining a work permit.

The 45-year-old will join the Reds from Feyenoord for the 2024-25 season after agreeing to terms with the Eredivisie club.

Slot will take over as manager after Jürgen Klopp announced his decision to step down at the end of the current season.

The Netherlands-born coach will arrive after three highly successful seasons at Feyenoord, where he led them to the league title in 2023 and was named Eredivisie Manager of the Year twice.

More recently, he helped Rotterdam win the KNVB Cup in April by defeating NEC Nijmegen 1-0 in the final.

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Prior to joining Feyenoord, Slot was the head coach of AZ Alkmaar, where he led them to second place in the table, trailing leaders Ajax by a goal difference, when the Dutch season was cancelled due to COVID-19 in 2019-20.

During his playing career, he primarily played as a midfielder for FC Zwolle, NAC Breda, Sparta Rotterdam, and PEC Zwolle before retiring in 2013.

He will soon become Liverpool FC’s first Dutch head coach, with his first pre-season in charge of the squad scheduled to begin in July.

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SPORTS

Jurgen Klopp Last Words At Anfield

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On how he feels about what he experienced due to the fact it is ‘not normal’ for a manager to receive such a send-off when leaving a club…

No, I don’t think it’s normal. I knew for a long time already that our relationship was pretty special, I love that. I think that the people made a difference for this club. As I said, these people are the superpower of this club, these people keep the club going, these people push the club, and these people carry the club through difficult moments. These people are the club. So, we had a really good time together, nine years, nearly a decade. It was absolutely crazy. Kids who today were in the stadium, kids of the staff who were today in the stadium and I saw after the game, they don’t know another manager of Liverpool FC. That’s how it is – they just think I was always there and will always be there and now I’m gone.

I expected… I was a bit afraid of a breakdown. I had one or two moments during the week where it was not great and during the game the last few minutes were tricky, but the general feeling today was it felt more like a start than an end because I know the goodbye is about me but in general it is about the team and I saw a wonderful team and I saw a wonderful team on the way. I saw a team that was ahead of schedule in their development. It’s a tough league and you never know where you start again but I saw just a good football team, and I saw all the young players who saved our backside a couple of times this year and none of them besides Conor [Bradley] and Jarell – Jarell played and Conor was on the bench and the others were all not involved today. They are there as well and that’s what gave me the feeling of, ‘OK, job done.’

I love you all, I love all and everything about the club but it’s time for me to go. But look, it’s not burning behind me and that gives me a good feeling. It’s not that you think, ‘Come on, get out of here!’ So, I know I can come back and I will come back and how I said after the game, from today, from three hours ago when the game finished, I’m a Liverpool supporter and I love that.

On how the last week has impacted him…

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Everything impacted me. It was fantastic. As I said, the boys showed class. It’s difficult to deal with these kind of things. I could not use the exit of the AXA Training Centre, I could not go out there, I would still stand there and sign autographs. The people show me so much love, and that’s fine. You cannot come to my house and stuff like this. It’s really difficult to take. It’s so positive and I wish it would be for somebody else and I would be his best friend. That would be great – my best friend gets all this attention. But I get all the attention, that’s really tricky to take, to be honest. I just try to get through this and there will be a moment when nobody asks me anymore, nobody looks at me anymore and I just go down for a few hours or days, I don’t know, we will see that. But for the moment I have to function and I have to keep going and do that.

But today it was wonderful. I want to thank everybody. I love how we said goodbye to the staff, and how the players said goodbye to the staff. For the public, it’s Jürgen Klopp, Jürgen Klopp, Jürgen Klopp, Jürgen Klopp. But Jürgen Klopp is Pep Lijnders, Jürgen Klopp is Peter Krawietz, Jürgen Klopp is Vitor Matos, Jürgen Klopp is John Achterberg, Jack Robinson, [Claudio] Taffarel, Jürgen Klopp is Andreas Kornmayer, Andreas Schlumberger. Jürgen Klopp is so much more than Jürgen Klopp. I alone would have done absolutely nothing. It’s really nice how the people did that today because everybody felt really appreciated. I don’t have a lack of appreciation, obviously, everybody shows me in the first moments and tells me they will miss me. I’m happy that all the other guys got their attention as well.

It was an incredible time. I love it. My family was on the pitch, which was nice, really nice. Now we will have a party and then we will come back next for another event. And I will come back occasionally just, as I said, as a supporter now, and I’m fine with that, honestly. Maybe not for the first game of the season – that’s early, wow! Maybe after the second international break or something like that. What can I say? There must be a difference if the things go bad, always worse, worse, worse or if the things go well and go. I’m really happy that we could have done it like that – that we did it that way. Third, that’s alright.

On what he’ll do on his first day not being Liverpool manager…

I have no clue. Packing probably, I think so but I don’t know. I have enough things to do. [A] private life must be planned and I didn’t plan anything yet because I was here. Probably Ulla will update me on where we go and stuff like that but I follow happily. But I have no clue what’s coming. I know we have a party tonight – that’s what I know.

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In the future…

I don’t know exactly why nobody believes I probably will not be a manager again, but I understand because it seems to be a drug, looks like everybody comes back and everyone works until they are 70-something. I always had the idea that I would not do that long. Look, other people are smarter, other people can do it in different ways. I have to be all-in, I have to be the spark, I have to be the energy, I have to be all these kinds of things and I’m empty. That’s it. My biggest worry today was John Achterberg was coughing all the time next to me and I thought I would wake up tomorrow morning and be ill because he was coughing in my direction. I have to start with the rest now and then we will see. But it’s not now that I feel now already and [think about] maybe the next opportunity. You only have to look outside which clubs are available and stuff like that. There will be opportunities but I don’t sit here and think, ‘Maybe in a year I take that.’ At this moment, see you later.

 

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OPINION

Manchester City Beat West Ham  To Become First Team To Win English League Title Four Seasons In A Row

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With Manchester City needing a win to be sure of holding off Arsenal, who started the final day two points behind but with a better goal difference, Phil Foden put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead after just two minutes.

The England star added another before the break and although Mohammed Kudus pulled one back, midfielder Rodri restored the home side’s two-goal cushion with a shot from the edge of the area after 59 minutes.

City survived a late scare when West Ham had a second goal ruled out by VAR for handball.

However, their victory was never seriously in doubt

The win completed a staggering run of 19 wins and four draws since their last defeat in the league, at Aston Villa on 6 December.

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City have now won six out of the past seven Premier League titles. Last term, they joined Huddersfield, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, twice, in winning the top flight three years in a row.

Now Guardiola’s team have achieved something no other side has managed since the English league was formed in 1888, 136 years ago.

On 25 May they will aim to become the first side to complete the domestic Double in successive seasons when they face Manchesterter United in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Foden has already collected the Football Writers’ Association and Premier League Player of the Year awards. Few would argue against a clean sweep when the Professional Footballers’ Association eventually confirms theirs.

At 23, Foden now has six titles to his name. He is still a long way behind Ryan Giggs, who holds the record with 13.

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However, it is worth noting Giggs did not achieve his sixth until he was 26 and while the Welshman was 39 when he got his last, given City’s current dominance, Foden is likely to keep chipping away at that total in the short term.

Guardiola feels there is further improvement in the England international, but he has already developed his all-round game, makes better runs with and without the ball, and his close control is sublime.

James Ward-Prowse must have felt he was chasing shadows as he closed in to make a tackle when Bernardo Silva provided Foden with a square pass. But with one touch, Foden ghosted away from the West Ham man before delivering the perfect finish.

There was no real evidence of nerves in the crowd before kick-off. City had not lost at home all season and they had a 100% winning record against West Ham on home soil since Guardiola arrived in 2016 .

The visitors had nothing to play for, manager David Moyes is leaving and top-scorer Jarrod Bowen was ruled out with tonsillitis.

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But any home anxiety that did exist was rapidly swept away.

Foden’s second – his 26th goal of the season – wasn’t long in arriving as Jeremy Doku delivered a slide-rule, square pass through a crowd of bodies to the edge of the six-yard area. Foden was calmness personified in a frantic situation and found the net with a first-time finish.

Only a bit of bad luck and West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola prevented West Ham being completely swept away in the first half hour.

The France keeper turned away De Bruyne’s vicious free-kick, repelled Doku twice and also denied Manuel Akanji. Rodri, Erling Haaland, acrobatically, and Josko Gvardiol all missed the target from reasonably close range.

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