Liverpool FC The Long Term Story (With Rules) Part 2

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been in scintillating form this season and it's a shame we're going to miss him for just under two weeks, at the crunch point of the season.

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Solanke took the ball really well, his first touch came on his head and he set up Sadio Mane to put us one up. Unfortunately centre back Steve Cook got one back for Leicester in the second half and we tried but we couldn't restore the lead and dropped points for Liverpool.

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Yet another early goal today and a big one for Mo Salah as he's not been playing great lately, Firmino with the assist who hasn't been great lately but at least getting a few assists. Henderson fed Salah who added his second and Sadio Mane made it 3-0 with an assist from the Egyptian god. Rhian Brewster only came off the bench a few times last season and a few more this season but he did so today and provided an assist for Son to make it four. Freddie Sears got one back for Ipswich, just before Cole Skuse got sent off and the game finished 4-1.

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After three games without beating David De Gea at Old Trafford, the media wanted to talk about it but what a fantastic start today when Adam Lallana found Mo Salah who of course found the top corner! Eric Bailly got one back from a corner and another one we've conceded lately! Emre Can restored the lead with a wonder goal played outside the box from a corner!! Finally Bobby Firmino ran the half the length of the pitch, taking man on with ease and set up Son for another goal and another easy finish. What a result today!!

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Not the best start when just minutes before half time we gave Brentford a shock lead, James Milner fouled John Egan in the box and Neal Maupay put away the penalty. Salah wasn't having any of that though and straight from the kick off, Son played him through and smashed in. It wasn't long in the second half Mo Salah got his second, Son with another good cross and assist, both players on form right now.

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We managed to hold out for a 2-1 win in the end and that win has secured the title!! All we needed was a point anyway but nothing like getting a win and getting the job done, first time of asking. Unfortunately the Ox picked up yet another injury, being subbed off for Salah on 27 minutes, he only just came back in that game as well. The same **** injury as well, it's a shame because he's been superb this season.

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Honestly there was literally nothing to talk about in this game, we tried to score again but we've already done the work in the away leg. Of course you want to win your home games but you want to knockout United and we've done that!

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Another English side in the Champions League and still it looks like our tough draw continues, in the Semi Finals we play Chelsea, first at home.

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There's no much more you can ask for than that, beating United 3-1 at Old Trafford and a 0-0 draw at home send us through. Ipswich and Brentford very much the cannon fodder of the league and we got over the line to lift the title! Next time a chance to look at a few under 18 players and we've got them two huge CL games coming up too.

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Burnley are enjoying a good season and I didn't rest many players, a good performance first half, James Milner won an early penalty and Trent Alexander-Arnold stepped up to score. A big big goal for Bobby Firmino, something like eleven games without a goal, he pounced on the defender's back pass. Frustratingly we conceded two late goals, Nakhi Wells had a few chances and eventually took one, Gudmundsson scored the late equaliser just moments later. After a big performance in Europe, maybe I should of given a few more defenders a rest today because they looked a bit tired, late in the game.

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Again a lot of changes today and Ben Woodburn gets another chance to impress playing a new position in central midfield. Sadio Mane has been struggling for form a bit lately but he seemed determined not to come off injured, he smashed in his goal and then had to go off a few minutes later. Son found Salah from left to right and another excellent finish, finally Firmino came on second half, took on his man and found the net from 25 yards!

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Really tense in the build up to this one, it's a huge game! That seemed to show on the pitch and lacking creativity really, particularly in central midfield, where Lallana and Wijnaldum just seem to give it away, most of the match. Close in the first half but eventually it was actually Chelsea who took the lead, Icardi assisting Pedro. We managed to pull one back when Sadio Mane came off the bench and made an impact! Solanke another sub found him with a brilliant cross.

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Losing Loris Karius our first choice keeper is a massive blow to our chances! Of course now loaning Simon Mignolet out in January looks like it could be one of the stupidest decisions ever made, with Kamil Grabara out injured it looks like Shamal George will line up against Southampton.

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It's all over with but I'll be looking to end with a couple of wins in the league. Interestingly there's five teams in the race for the top four, all still competing for a place are Arsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, City and West Ham.

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Not the best run of results but not disastrous either, Burnley are a good side and resting players you can expect something from them. We did manage to beat Hull City but a nervy display against Chelsea. I promise the drama is all still to come, as we have just three games left to finish the season and potentially a fourth, can we reach the final and keep Salah?

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The last league game youngster Curtis Jones came off the bench. I think I've literally played 433 almost every game this season, just to get Ian Ryder involved though, playing the playmaker in a 4231, I changed the formation today. Only 16 but he makes his debut today and 19 year old Rhian Brewster, who makes his first start for the club as well. We did okay in the first half but both teams weren't great. Ian Ryder didn't have the best of debuts before being taken off but he's still young, the subs who came on weren't great either.

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Its so frustrating, every time Chamberlain gets back on the pitch he get's injured again. He's had a fantastic season and I have rested him but maybe I could've rested him more, although he's having a world class season!! So you know, play him.

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It all comes down to this, our biggest game of the season and we'll have to do it without Loris Karius! Not only did with have to do it without the German, we had to do it without a regular keeper! Just 20 minutes in and Shamal George gets injured and with all of our regular keepers out, Karius and Grabara we had no keeper on the bench, the man to step up is Joel Matip who was left out for Dejan Lovren today. You wouldn't believe it if I told you that the only goalscorer was Dejan Lovren, it was. Honestly you couldn't write this, it's like something out of a movie. The forgotten man, the villian becomes the hero, he wanted more games this season and in for Matip today, he's just sent Liverpool to the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Massive disappointment for Shamal George, making his debut against Southampton and then coming off after just 20 minutes of the match against Chelsea.

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A bit of a dilemma whether to rest some players or go with a strong side and with two weeks til the CL Final, I went strong. We know about West Ham and we had a chance in our last game to break our record PL points tally of 90, now on 89 I want to win today! Sadio Mane found Firmino first half and the Brazilian picked out the top corner. Second half Firmino added his second with a header, cross from Robertson. I made a point of exploiting the right side with an ageing Antonio Valencia at right back and Mane assisted Bobby for his hat trick, while Robertson also got two assists with another cross. They actualy took him off in the end and I'm not surprised with all four goals come down that left side, Javi Manquillo didn't do much better either.

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It would've been Kamil Grabara in goal for the CL final but now he's injured as well! Irish keeper Caoimhin Kelleher could now play and what a game to make your debut, it all depends if Grabara is fit in time. A real crisis in goal and how I might be wishing I'd kept Simon Mignolet and not sent him out on loan! Idk about anyone else's expeirence but it seems injuries are that bit more realistic in this years game, physios and sports science is something to keep an eye on. Does your keeper need a rest? Karius hasn't had one all season and look what happened.

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Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane could've missed this huge game but they really are far too important to miss out, they'll both be receiving painkilling injections to get them throu
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So Grabara started the game then and with a rookie keeper, I was always going to approach this game cautiously and park the bus. I have never been so nervous for a game in my life and thankfully those nerves were calmed when Sadio Mane laid in Bobby Firmino to smash it bottom corner!! Lucky for us Kylian Mbappe went off after a well timed crunching tackle by Andy Robertson, 20 minutes in! After the injury PSG, never really looked like scoring and we look like we might score again on the counter.

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If we take a look at the stats, it's fair to say the ten outfield players did their jobs today and even our keeper had a good game. I absolutely knew the team had to turn up and play well, if we were gonna win and thankfully we played them off the park. 61% possession, 88% pass accuracy to PSG's 76%. They weren't great today but we had more shots, created more chances and they only stat that really matters, we scored more goals! Incredibly, the team stuck together and lift the Champions League!

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There was more than a few moments when it looked like the wheels might fall off with these nasty injuries or maybe we'd just run out of steam, after a great season. The team kept going though and I'm delighted to win it, what a journey! At the end of it all then we've managed to keep Mo Salah, winning the CL at the first time of asking! He did frustratingly have to go off ten minutes before the end, he'll miss the whole of pre season and not return until a month in to the new one, however the best news I'll ever receive is the Egyptian King, Mo Salah is going nowhere!

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Very proud to beat the PL record for points in a league season by a Liverpool team, beating last years tally of 87 with 92 this season shows improvement even after a few sloppy results near the end. I guess that shows it could've been a few more.

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Hirving Lozano won the Player's Young Player award after a stellar season for Spurs. Firmino did manage to win the Top Goalscorer award this year, beating Aubameyang by one goal on 21. I guess you could say that's quite a low total to win the trophy but at one point a few months into the season, the Brazilian actually had more goals than games in the league, kind of tailed off in the last 10 though.

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No surprise as David De Gea wins the Golden Glove for the second year running, while Loris Karius placed 2nd again along with Courtois in 3rd. Karius did miss a few games though but that didn't stop him making the Team of the Year for the second year in a row, Bobby FIrmino also making it two in a row.

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The fans Player of the Season then and no questions about it really, Firmino by far our best player this year and at times carrying the team, Chamberlain and Milner completed the top three after fantastic seasons too. A little surprising that no Liverpool player won the Player's Player of the Year again, Eden Hazard typically winning it and after very nearly smashing the PL assist record, I honestly don't know how Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is not getting a look in.

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We all know by now that Liverpool won the CL but Monaco were the biggest underachievers in this years competition, eliminated in the group stage but to be fair they did have Inter, Man United and Bayern in their group. They lost their first five games and won the last one, a dead rubber against Inter with both teams out. Nabil Fekir a player linked heavily with Liverpool this summer had the most assists in this seasons CL.

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No minnows in the Quarters this year then, all big sides and while the Semis also had big sides perhaps they weren't the typical names from recent years so much. On to the awards and Loris Karius finished 2nd in GK of the Season, Bobby Firmino as well just behind Luis Suarez in Forward of the Season. Van Dijk won the award for CL Defender of the Season and also made the Team of the Year. Along with 33 year old James Milner still going strong, very strong. Only contributing a goal and an assist but giving so much more than that, just being on the pitch.

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Southampton managed to beat United in the FA Cup Final then, the team who knocked Liverpool out and it's fair to say it put a smile on my face as it would any Liverpool fan. Their route to the final not so easy then, after a dreadful start to the season only two wins halfway into December you could say taking Leyton Orient and Everton to home replays kick started their season and they finished it in th PL, winning the FA Cup and playing in Europa League next season.

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Again the same top four and the one we were all so used to for many years, this year then United our nearest challengers although Arsenal imploding mid season of course. Man City are the real losers narrowly missing out on CL football to Chelsea, Spurs however managed to see off Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 in the EL Final to secure a place in the CL next season. At the other end of the table, Ipswich Town, Hull City and Crystal Palace couldn't avoid the drop.

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It would be fair to say that other than the goalkeeper, every player definitely got a rest and that almost cost us with Karius injured towards the end of the campaign. Even the likes of Aaron played more games than Andy Robertson, who was injured a lot this season, disappointing to see Naby's season end soo abruptly and in such a big game. Bobby had 100% his best year in a Liverpool shirt, so important to everything we do and while his form tailed off mid season, he certainly picked it back up at the end!

Salah and Sadio both getting their usual double figures of goals and assists, plenty of goals and Son adding much needed depth to the front three, contributing with bags of goals as well! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain might've been out with a few injuries but when he wasn't on the sidelines, he pretty much plays every game until he gets injured, he's that good, the amount of time he just darted past opponents on the right well anywhere really. 19 assists in all and 13 in the league! A record breaking tie with Atsu and Sterling, the crazy thing is though, he could quite easily of beat it, if he didn't have so many annoying little injuries towards the end of the season. After two assists against Everton he played against Bournemouth in the next game but for the last nine league games he barely got on the pitch!

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Again our board agreed with me and the youth recruitment was upgraded. We also announced plans to expand the training facilities to the highest level and once more we decided to build on our existing youth facilities as well.

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The arrival on Son has surely increased shirt sales amongst other things, last year we sold around 620k but this year we sold 939,780. I won't spend too long talking about this but encouraging to see competition prize money got up by roughly 10% and broadcast revenue up by 50%! According to our screenshot last year, we had around £97M in broadcast revenue but this year it was up to £153M.

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United waste no time at all and just two days after the window opens, the 11th of June they make another statement of intent, not content with having Lukaku and Kane last summer, they want Dybala too!

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Unfortunately we are gonna have to say goodbye to James Milner, he just wants too much money, already on 140k per week and he wants around 20k more. He could be key for us and at least an option but not for that price and not with the likes of Ox and Keita ready to fill that position even Woodburn looked decent towards the end of the season.

I just wanted to highlight the potential of the hierarchy being significantly changed at the top of the club. For a while I just had the two team leaders in Henderson and Milner and now there's Mo Salah. Emre Can was also considered an influential team leader at times during the end of last season. With Hendo on around 100k and demanding a huge 200k deal to stay at the club, he'll probably leave this summer with only one year left on his contract currently. We could then lose both Henderson and Milner this summer, who are both team leaders.

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On a more positive note, we did however announce plans to expand the stadium by nearly 5000 seats! Not a huge surprise but we did lose Oxlade-Chamberlain in an England match against Costa Rica, should be back just a few games into our pre season.

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Henderson rejected the contract offered by Juventus! Enough about Jordan though, I wasted absolutely no time and put my money where my mouth is, I signed a 300k per week replacement for £88M and his name is Fabinho. I actually made this deal on the game just a few days after Fabinho signed for us just a few months ago!

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The funny thing is Liverpool's real scouts have done my job really lol, let's not kid ourselves though how often can we as Liverpool fans say our scouts find good players, in recent years? Well they do now!! I know I paid over double what was paid a few months ago, £40M compared to £88M but Fabinho is another year older at 25 and the transfer market is another year crazier with inflation! Big, big wages as well.

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Bakker the winner of the U20 WC Golden Shoe, actually looks pretty good and probably one to look out for. Micheal Ezeh impressively though currently 3 years younger did manage to score 5 and finished third, at 15, you can bet most of the players in this tournament were 18-20.

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Man United yet again securing a big name, completing the signing of Paulo Dybala and 100% now you expect them to be a threat next season. As we come to the end of June and Fabinho signs for his new club, I can't wait to see him on the pitch. His transfer also surpassed Van Dijks £75M record transfer.

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Not a ton of contracts to go over this summer and Mo Salah was the biggest, he like Matip, Ben Woodburn and Trent all signed 5 year contracts. After the CL win, tying Mo downed to a long term deal is absolutely crucial to any success we might have. Nearly in to pre season then and it looks like Bobby and also Mane will miss most of it, also injured on Internationals.

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It's going to be Newcastle for Jordan Henderson then, a bit of a shock move considering his Sunderland connections and unlucky for us that Juventus offered £40M a few weeks ago but Newcastle only willing to offer 30. interestingly even after lots of competition it looks like they're going to sign Jean Micheal Seri as well! That's quite a tasty midfield in a two to be fair, maybe Newcastle can surprise a few teams this season.

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Dortmund offering a frankly insulting bid for Karius not even half his value...

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Interestingly I was curious to see what some of the fans on social feed thought of the Hendo stuff. One fan said "Never really rated him" another said "This club is so bad at transfers" Inevitably the press linked Liverpool with players, names such as Eric Dier were mentioned a lot as a replacement. Obviously I can't make any more big signings this summer but most fans seem to approve of the Spurs man.

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There was a couple of under 18s who signed their first professional deals in the summer, these are the current crop of academy prospects before our regens start to arrive. Curtis Jones obviously rated very highly but judging by his attributes, actually quite severly under rated. Time will tell if he makes it but pace and being two footed is very promising. Elijah Dixon-Bonner and Patrik Raitanen follow the trend of cool names but unfortunately for them they'll probably never make it at Liverpool.

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As pre season is nearly upon us and our final bit of contract news is Rhian Brewster signing a new five year deal, if you want my opinion this is the season he breaks through and gets first team experience. Nice to see a former player and one of my favourites, joining the coaching staff as an under 18s coach, Craig Bellamy! Loved his work rate,desire. Mixing it up now with Gerrard in the under 18s, hopefully showing the future generation of Liverpool players a few things.

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Manchester United weren't done with their spending and they also brought in big money signing Alex Sandro at left back, meanwhile Stoke City signed another Barcelona reject, in Gerard Deulofeu.

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There was a couple of players on my radar who moved on this summer. That doesn't necessarily mean I'm interested, I just like to keep an eye on some of the exciting up and coming names. Anyway Timo Werner moved to Dortmund for upwards of £50M, Yannick Carrasco move to PSG for around £63M! Finally on a PL note, Man City forked out £71M for Julian Brandt.

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Just a week in to pre season and Dom Solanke will miss the first few games of our season with injury now. We'll cover the ins and outs shortly but one player going out, Grabara has just a £500k buy back. We do have a comeback transfer available to buy back a player now. Ideally though we want someone to go away and really improve their game and be a much better player when they come back, I'm not sure how much quality there is with Grabara.

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We did kind of need to add some older, more experienced heads to the team, there's plenty of players around 25-28 so in a few years time we shouldn't have this problem but right now there's only Lallana 31 and Lovren 30 who are 30 years of old or more. Seb Larsson not the most popular player but took a decent free kick back in the day, unlikely to get on the pitch but at 34, adds a little bit of leadership for two years. Dani Alves is retiring in a months time but why not have him for a couple of weeks?

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With Fabinho almost certainly coming in, it was either going to be Clyne or Hendo who leaves and considering the Brazilian plays right back we could afford to sell both of them. Our only problem is knowing just how good Kyle Jolly is at right back. With that said Nathaniel is now happy to stay with Burnley no longer interested, the likes of Leicester also came in but both sides only offering around £15-20M.

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Unfortunately the last thing to happen before the end of pre season is Son getting injured, he'll miss the next month but should be back after the International break.

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Not a great start to pre season losing 4-0 at home to Zenit, plenty of youngsters on the pitch and hardly any experience out there, a big defeat but only pre season. The rest of pre season saw us play plenty of away games and we brushed aside the likes of PSV and Benfica. The last game at home to Bayer Leverkusen, the lads could only manage a 1-1 draw but there's a weekend game against Southampton coming up so quite a few were rested. We'll round up the transfer ins and outs in the next update, followed by the first games of the new season.

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In terms of players coming in, there was of course the couple of experienced heads and big money signing, Fabinho. We did however managed to complete the signings of five regens, all for under around a total of £6M!

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As for players going out well there wasn't much other than the £30M brought in from Jordan Henderson. In last years game the likes of Ovie Ejaria, Sheyi Ojo and Pedro Chirivella all came through and made the first team but this year however they're just not good enough. Harry Wilson another one surplus to requirements but no one seems to want him. Coulibaly and Ozer both still without work permits and both go out on loan, this time to the same club Las Palmas. Grabara available on a buy back and Dixon-Bonner loaned all the way down to League 2 side, Blackpool.

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First of we'll cover Ethan Jee, cool name he's my g well I hope he turns out to be a G, we'll see. You're probably looking at his attributes thinking why on earth have I signed this guy, his personality is a rare one called Iron Willed, which i believe means his pressure attribute is 19 or 20. Incredibly well rounded but not really standing out in anything, I don't want to tutor him too much but hopefully just one tutoring should see him follow the right path. At just 50k, what's the risk?

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Next we move on to David Correia and to be honest this one is a bit of a money-ball signing, hopefully. Already an extremely good finisher at this early age, which is impressive but lacking pace really, time to improve though but who knows if he'll make it at Liverpool. There's tons of competition for the striker position.

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Another Portuguese prodigy in Fabio Penetra was recommended by my scouts and this one cost the most money at £3.5M. In the current system I play with inside forwards, he doesn't exactly fit naturally being a right sided winger, however training him as a left sided inside forward does seem like a possibility, considering his attributes. At the very least he adds depth to the wide positions, with only really Mane, Salah and Son operating there, Chamberlain will hopefully play more this season as a central midfielder. Although Brewster maybe better playing as a striker, him and Penetra will almost be in direct competition for that fourth winger rotation player.

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Mile Alvir is also a player who comes in with very little risk for what is in today's market, peanuts. This one probably ranks low on the chances of being good enough for Liverpool but I do like signing big centre backs for my team, those who have the potential to dominate from set pieces. I really hope this lad makes it but I'm not getting my hopes up.

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Last but certainly not least is the signing of Egyptian wonder-kid Mahmoud Awad, like many other top clubs, we've been monitoring this kid since January. Making his debut at 17 for the national side and already establishing himself as first choice keeper! Not the tallest but with that kind of head on his shoulders, who knows how good he might be in a few years time. The biggest competition for his signature other than Liverpool was probably Spurs but to see them off and around 25 other big European clubs as well, is a huge relief, even if it did cost a little extra in wages, it's not like we can't afford it.

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Our first game of the new season and a good a chance as any to get our first bit of silverware and our first win against Southampton. Troy Deeney gave the saints a surprising lead after his summer arrival from Watford, for £13M. Lucky for us Bobby Firmino levelled the score just moments later. They actually had an injury to their right back Dubois and much like Liverpool in real matches, I was really trying to exploit that left side. Unfortunately the form of Sadio Mane in pre season continued in to the season, poor in the first half and subbed off, honestly though this is why I love this game. Taking him off for Nathaniel Clyne, moving Ox to the left, playing Clyney at right back and giving Trent the freedom to play in a deep midfield, attacking right winger role, it changed the game.

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Ultimately the tactical change, won us the game and not in the way I thought. It wasn't Ox on the left it was TAA on the right, battling for the ball and setting up Gini Wijnaldum, looking like the coolest man in the stadium with that finish! Alexander-Arnold even got set up by Rhian Brewster coming on, too powerful for the keeper's near post. A great way to start the season and Trent definitely giving me something to think about, not the match winner you expect.

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Andy Robertson did pick up an injury in that game and as a result he's likely to miss our next two.

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Not the greatest of starts today when Christian Eriksen put a free kick top bins and Emil Forsberg made it two! Unfortunately we couldn't pull one back until late on, in the 83rd minute of the match, Matip and Van Dijk combining well from a set piece. It wasn't enough and we miss out on the Super Cup, losing 2-1. Looking back starting Trent on the right of midfield was definitely a mistake and he was pretty ineffective in this game. To be fair though with Son and Salah out injured, Mane out of form our options on the wing are limited. only Ox and some youngsters really.

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This game was closer than I thought but then Burnley are a decent side, we managed to take a lead in the first half when Gini Wijnaldum play a lovely ball over the top for Firmino, who finished for his second of the season. Unfortunately late on Nathaniel Clyne conceded a penalty needlessly pulling back Chris Wood, who converted the spot kick. Amazingly though in the 90th minute of the match we managed to create another chance for our right back Nathaniel, who can make himself a hero... and he tucked home the volley like he does it all the time! Perhaps not the man you want the chance to fall to but the unlikeliest hero of them all. We weren't great today but what a way to kick off the PL season!

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Nice to see our season ticket sales increase by about 10% this season and the first time we've really seen an increase under my management of the team.

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Five minutes before half time and Andy Robertson whipped one back post for Oxlade-Chamberlain to finish. Our full backs really were terrific today and Trent on the other side provided the assist for our second, Bobby with another one. The Ox completing the hammering for West Ham, a well worked goal with sub Fabio Penetra involved and making his debut after just arriving, this summer.

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A difficult home tie against Arsenal to play in the Carabao Cup then and in the CL group stage draw, Liverpool should really top the group but no easy games against the likes of Florentina, Dortmund and Galatasaray. I would still fancy us to win most of our games with Dortmund being the toughest opponents.

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Just two minutes in and Joel Matip scored from a good cross from Ox, pinball in the box but he finished well. Not a lot to talk about in this one really, nothing but domination by Liverpool, Brentford's best chance a Benteke header on 36 minutes. Solanke came on second half, won a penalty and the new man Fabinho, stepped up and confidently took his first for the club. The Brazilian replaced the injured Naby Keita but Naby and Matip will both be back from injury in a few days.

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In the PL, transfer wise then Liverpool's acquisition of Fabinho only ranked at third most expensive, Paulo Dybala to United and Bernardo Silva to PSG, cost over £100M. Alvaro Morata swapped Chelsea for Monaco, while Florentino Luis moved for big bucks from Benfica to Man City. I've already mentioned quite a few of these but United were by far the biggest spenders, they also brought in Ruben Neves from Wolves.

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In terms of transfers around the world well potentially the biggest deal outside of the PL, was actually Gabriel Barbosa or more well known by the name Gabigoal. Considering a flop by many at Inter but that hasn't stopped Bayern forking out for him. Into August and Real Madrid brought Angel Di Maria back to the club and Felipe Anderson moved from Juve to Atletico. Back to Real Madrid for a second though and I couldn't quite believe it myself but ex Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is their manager. Zidane left this summer and I had to rub my eyes for a second but it's true, take a look.

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A good start to the season, disappointing not to get two trophies but always going to be difficult with Spurs the fresher side. 100% record in the league and we relied on an unlikely winner from Clyne and two routine wins to go keep our run going. Next time a chance to put down a real marker after the International break, at home to CIty. Our first game in the CL kicks off as well.

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As we took a second look at the squad hierarchy after of course the lose of both Jordan Henderson and James Milner, as was expected. The two names who arose towards the end of last season find a place as team leaders, while unsurprisingly the third name to join Salah and Can is Bobby Firmino! Trent is likely to miss the upcoming City game now after pulling up injured in an England under 21 game.

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Virgil Van Dijk rightfully has earned himself a new contract. Even with four years left, the form he's been playing at these past two years warrants one. My only concern was the crazy amount of money he'd ask for so I was very relieved to sign him on £130k per week.

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Surprisingly for this one, I almost played Clyne at right back and then remembered I have Fabinho. Just over two minutes before we got the first goal and Mo Salah unselfishly provided Sadio Mane with a tap in, returning to the side. Gini Wijnaldum, headed home a Fabinho cross to make it two and he then laid a crunching tackle but won the ball against Gundogan, another assist for Fabinho and Mo Salah smashed it top corner on the half volley! Mo Salah was on 88% condition for this game but the left back couldn't live with him, in behind him again and 4-0 before half time, it finished with the same scoreline.

I had a plan in this game to exploit their left back, Tagliafico, Mendy left for Arsenal. While Fabinho might not of been marking Hazard, that job was left to the Ox, playing his first game on the right of a midfield three, this season. As you can see Fabinho along with many others had a dominating performance. Tagliafico the second player to be sent off and not even a fully fit Mo Salah dominated him, we killed that left side of the pitch.

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I think like most people, I'm hoping for big things from Micheal Ezeh based on his undoubted potential. I didn't however expect him to score five goals in back to back under 18 games though!! Ten goals in two matches, that's some achievement! In fact in 8 matches for Liverpool u18s so far this season, he's scored 17 goals and got 4 assists as well!! To say he's smashing it up would be an understatement. He's got 13 goals and 3 assists in his last 4 games so I really don't think it'll be long before we see him out there with the senior side.

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This cup game against Arsenal, saw our stadium expansion completed and straight away a sellout! Not any empty seat in the house. Mahmoud Awad was one who made his debut in this game and he didn't look half bad for an 18 year old, a clean sheet and a 3-0 win against Arsenal, not a bad way to start.

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So long story short I played quite a bit of this season over the summer, while the WC was on. The problem is I've somehow lost the next six weeks of summary on each game. One thing I like to do is write the summary of each match as I play or shortly after, hopefully describing some of the emotions going on whilst managing that game. I could write something about each game now but it'll be more informational just watching the replays, rather than describing the feeling whilst experiencing the action or while it's still fresh in the mind.

We'll skip through a month or two at a time then until February. The first bit of news is good news for us with Brexit coming at the end of the season, this will limit slightly how other big clubs are allowed to spend obscene amounts. Also having players coming through the academy should also help us here.

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After that Spurs defeat early in the season our crazy run continues then, in that we've won every other game this season. Untouchable in the league with United also unbeaten but six points worse off, looking good in Europe with three wins out of three as well.

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What's impressive in terms of performances this season is the diversity in players we can count on, everyone's contributing this season. Firmino, Mane and Salah of course influential but new signing Fabinho has been a key player so far. Trent, Naby and Gini also enjoying good starts to the season.

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So Joe Gomez picked up a really unlucky injury on Internationals, he's likely to miss the rest of the entire season now. Last years story had a similar rule for brexit and again this year it looks like they'll be a 17 foreign player limit, with work permits rules as well.

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That game against Dortmund broke the record for gate receipts for the second time this season, previously broken again at home in the CL to Fiorentina. A sellout against Dortmund. Losing Van Dijk to injury in that big game against United was a big turning point but we did manage to lift the Club World Championship a few weeks later.

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It's worth a mention that Mahmoud Awad also started the fourth round win in the next round of the CB Cup, he played the next three until the International break, saving a key penalty in Florence and finishing with his fourth win out of four against Southampton. Coming back from Internationals then and we see the cracks in a rotation system began to show.

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Still we're ahead of United with a nice five point gap if we win our game in hand, they still remain unbeaten this season though, although lower down the table with more draws and less wins. They look very impressive this season and it appears clear to me that even with City close in 3rd this very much is a two horse race.

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Nothing really stands out from the players at the top of the appearance mark, apart from experience and consistency in performers. Gini continues to perform excellently and in my opinion, he's really playing for a new contract with just 18 months left on his deal. Mane has been disappointing who's only had one goal in the last two months, expect to see him rested a bit. The inconsistency from him really needs to improve.

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So Micheal Ezeh came off the bench for all of about 12 minutes, making his debut and scoring making him Liverpool's youngest ever goalscorer. I don't want to jinx him or anything but it's fair to say I don't think this lad will flop quite like the player who he takes the record from, big things expected. The likes of Penetra and Alvir also made their debuts throughout the first half of the season, Penetra got an assist, he's done okay I guess. Alvir looks like right now at least, he's not good enough.

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Just one last bit of news before the end of January, a convincing display against West Ham in the semis of the CB Cup sees us play a mouth watering North-West derby in the final.

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It looks like young prospect, Kai Havertz is coming of age and Chelsea went big for him, they sold Aleix Vidal to PSG as well. Marc Cucurella left Barca for Man City. With a big chunk of cash to spend Bayer Leverkusen spent almost all of it on Rui Pedro from Porto. Keita Balde had another big move this winter, trading Monaco for Dortmund.

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It was nice to see some of the young players get on the pitch this month, Rhian Brewster is really giving us an option up front and Micheal Ezeh's first goal was always nice to see. Out of all the young players Ben Woodburn has looked most comfortable in the first team, he provided the only goal in a 1-0 away win, against Arsenal in September.

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The only disappointment really is those two draws, dropping points to West Ham and Chelsea. United now top the table on goal difference but we can overtake them with a game in hand, City aren't far behind either.

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The usual names still in the team then and right at the bottom we can see Ben Woodburn, coming through with quite a few matches this season. Fabinho is so adaptable, he's played centre mid, defensive mid, right back and even centre back this season, in the absence of Van Dijk and mainly Gomez to injury. Mane's form has thankfully picked up of late but i can't help feeling like there's more to come from others this season.

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With two huge games against Arsenal and City coming up back to back and with limited time to rest, there was always going to be major changes. nine changes in all and all the first team regulars rested, only Solanke and Fabinho survive from the team who played West Ham. Gini WIjnaldum laid in Solanke and he put it bottom corner, same again for number two, Son with the assist this time and another good finish from Dom. Not even half time and Gini supplied Son who finished well. Solanke completing his hat trick, making it four and Gini even got in on the act with a goal, Aaron again with the assist. All this before we even got to half time and second half, there was not much going on, 5-0 it finished in the end.

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