“I Don’t Think There’s Any Chance…” – Neil Jones On Liverpool Manager Situation

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It was a momentous day in the recent history of Liverpool Football Club last Friday as Jürgen Klopp announced his intention to leave the club at the end of the season.

The news has stunned football fans and has left Kopites around the world reeling.

It was business as usual on the pitch for the Reds, who advanced to the FA Cup fifth round with a 5-2 victory over Norwich City. They take on Chelsea at Anfield tonight and will be looking to re-open a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Hot on the heels of Klopp’s announcement came comments from Virgil van Dijk. The club captain was asked if he would be part of the next Liverpool era, replying: “That’s a big question. Well, I don’t know.” The Dutchman has 18 months left on his contract and had been expected to sign an extension at some point this season.

On the latest episode of our Journo Insight Show, we asked experienced LFC reporter Neil Jones for his thoughts on the recent news.


Neil said:

“I suspect it will be a positive for Liverpool in the short-term, the galvanising effect of all the news. I don’t see it being a distraction. I feel like it’s going to be a bit more of something to give Liverpool power.

“I don’t think there’s any chance a sporting director will be selecting the next manager. That didn’t happen last time. It’ll be Mike Gordon and obviously the people around him and his data analysts and the likes who will select the next manager.

“Getting the sporting director I think is another priority. There’s a lot of work to be done, for whoever comes in, I think that’s what needs to be fixed. I would expect them to get that done before the end of the season, most certainly.

“I don’t expect a sea change in FSG’s strategy. I don’t think they’re going to go down this different route and start signing Galacticos and do anything different from what we’ve seen.

“The big question that remains is: how much did that strategy work because of the man who was in the manager’s seat, and how much of it was down to the strategy itself?”

[On Van Dijk]

“I think the fallout was dramatic because people are a little bit on edge, aren’t they? It would have been more weird if Van Dijk had said ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to be part of it, I’m going to be here for the next five years.’ He’s only got 18 months left on his deal; he doesn’t know who the next manager is.

“There is a very slim possibility the next manager comes in and says, ‘I don’t need these big characters around me, I need younger players, I need a different type of centre-back.’ Van Dijk was pretty within his rights to say, ‘I don’t know, we’re going to have to see.’

“I would get the impression that any new manager would come in and want to keep Virgil van Dijk around. I don’t imagine any manager that would want to come in and dispense with that. The same goes obviously with Trent. I think the same would go with Salah, but I think that might depend on the money that’s on the table and what the player wants to do.”

‘IN THE SAME BREATH AS GERRARD’ – Liverpool Academy Coach On Trent Alexander-Arnold

Redmen Reacts

It was the news that we all knew would come at some point. But now, Jürgen?! With four trophies still on the table and a squad full of talented youngsters impressing week in, and week out, it seemed hopeful that Liverpool’s greatest modern manager had at least a few more years left in the tank. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Thankfully, the boss will be handing over a squad that requires minor tweaks and additions, as opposed to the major surgery that was necessary in the summer of 2023. The team can expect to be roared towards the line as they hunt an unprecedented quadruple. The likes of Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah will all be returning from injury layoffs. As sad as last Friday’s announcement was, LFC’s short and medium-term future is bright.

With the departure of the manager and his staff, club captain Virgil van Dijk will become one of the longest-serving senior figures at Anfield. He turns 33 this July and is therefore approaching the twilight of his career. Everything should be done to make sure he extends his stay. Fitness depending, his intelligence and strength could see him operate at a high level in a similar fashion to that of Thiago Silva at Chelsea. Whoever is chosen to replace Jürgen Klopp would surely love to start their reign with Virgil holding the armband.


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