|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
2019 12 14 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Red Bull Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino is a perfect fit for Liverpool] If Liverpool are planning to make a move for Salzburg’s Takumi Minamino then I think it’s a perfect fit. They’ve seen the Japanese star up close and personal in the Champions League and, like me, they’d have been impressed. In the first game between the sides, the 4-3 win, Minamino was absolutely integral in Salzburg’s second-half improvement. He played in little holes, was quite clever and was a bundle of energy. He scored, taking his chance really well. He was probably their most impressive player on the pitch that night and in the return, he was a constant thorn in Liverpool’s side. Klopp is not one of those managers who wants to go and spend 70, 80, 90 million pounds on superstars – he likes players he can work with and make better and I think it would be a really good signing at the price. He would certainly strengthen the squad. I wouldn’t say he’s going to displace any of the front three but if I was looking to throw someone on for half an hour with the energy and the brain he’s got, he’d be perfect
2020 01 03 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says A move to Liverpool for Jadon Sancho would be brilliant for him and the club] I doubt Jurgen Klopp feels under any pressure to make any more moves in the transfer window though if there’s one player I’d love to see him bring to Anfield, it’s Jadon Sancho. Sancho looks like a Jurgen Klopp type of player. He’s young, immensely talented, looks ideally suited to the system which Klopp plays and would be learning off one of the top coaches in the world.
Good managers take good players to the next level. Look at Raheem Sterling at Manchester City. Sterling might not have naturally bought into Pep Guardiola’s unique philosophy but he has and the upshot is that this once erratic talent is now one of the finest players in the Premier League. Klopp has a similar aura and Trent Alexander-Arnold is a classic example of a player who has flourished under the German where he may very well not have done under someone else. Sancho at Liverpool would be brilliant for him and the club. He could play anywhere along that front three and looks a genuinely class act
2020 01 17 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Mohamed Salah could be itching to change things up] I can absolutely understand why Real Madrid would consider making a move for Sadio Mane in the summer – and I could understand if Mane was tempted. Real Madrid aren’t quite the force of old but they are still a glamour club and would turn heads. It’s partly a cultural thing, partly a football thing, partly just being a new challenge for a player who, if Liverpool win the league this season, will have achieved all the big goals
So it’s whether Mane wants a new challenge, while the challenge facing Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp is ensuring the players are hungry to go again just as they were this season after being crowned European champions. Pep Guardiola has had to try to re-energise his team after two title wins and he’s found it tough but it’s something that Jurgen is brilliant at.
What I would say is that if Mane went I’d worry that it might be the start of things breaking apart because he’s absolutely at the top of his game at the minute and would take some replacing. He’d be harder to replace than Mo Salah in my eyes. But we know the really big teams are out there trying to get better and under pressure to entice the best players on daft money. I actually think Sadio Mane is quite happy to stay at Liverpool although I can see Mo Salah itching to change things up, if not next summer then next season
2020 01 19 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer feels Mohamed Salah more likely to leave Liverpool this summer than Sadio Mane] I can absolutely understand why Real Madrid would consider making a move for Sadio Mane in the summer – and I could understand if Mane was tempted. Real Madrid aren’t quite the force of old, but they are still a glamour club and would turn heads
It’s whether Mane wants a new challenge, while the challenge facing Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp is ensuring the players are hungry to go again just as they were this season after being crowned European champions. What I would say is that if Mane went, I’d worry that it might be the start of things breaking apart because he’s absolutely at the top of his game at the minute and would take some replacing. He’d be harder to replace than Mo Salah in my eyes. But we know the really big teams are out there trying to get better and under pressure to entice the best players on daft money. I actually think Sadio Mane is quite happy to stay at Liverpool although I can see Mo Salah itching to change things up, if not next summer then next season
The game will be different at Anfield. Everyone’s talking about wanting to batter United and put them in their place and if the players come out with that mentality and that attitude, start quickly, get a goal, it could be a long afternoon for United. I reckon Liverpool will win 3-0 because we are keeping clean sheets for fun
2020 01 24 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Jurgen Klopp walking away from Liverpool before the end of his contract would be no surprise] He has a team around him, Melwood is locked down, you can’t get into it. It’s the hub. No [I wouldn’t be surprised if he walks away]. It wouldn’t surprise me, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I just think there’s burnout. The passion he puts into it, the effort he puts into it, it’s all the time.
I’ve been on tour with them before, he can’t move. He can’t go out the hotel, he’s meeting potential partners, he’s going to dinners, they’re putting things on, it’s constant. The partnership side of the club, when they come in and they want something, they want to get their name out there, who do they put on the front? Out of all the players, first it’s Mohamed Salah, then it’s Klopp. Before Roberto Firmino, before Virgil van Dijk, before Sadio Mane, it’s Klopp
[McAteer believes Klopp will look to start shuffling his pack once another trophy is tied up] Going unbeaten would be nice, but as I say we’ve got some great kids coming through, as you saw against Everton in the FA Cup. Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliot, Adam Lewis is in there as well. I think Jurgen would love to give them some Premier League experience. If we were to win the league by the middle of April, he would let them go
2020 02 14 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Philippe Coutinho once served a purpose at Liverpool and was a great player] A move back to the Premier League for Philippe Coutinho doesn’t sound too ridiculous but I disagree with those suggesting there’s a place for him back at Anfield. Coutinho served a purpose at Liverpool and was a great player for a period of time – but that time has gone. Barcelona came calling and as a South American superstar I absolutely understand why that would look such an attractive move
So he wanted away and started to sulk a bit and eventually he went in what turned out to be a superb piece of business for the club, far better than Liverpool would have hoped for. He would still grace the top clubs in Europe, as he’s showed at Bayern Munich where he’s done okay – but he needs to be the centre of attention. That wasn’t the case at Liverpool and certainly wasn’t the case at Barcelona.
I could see him slotting in perfectly at Chelsea, where Frank Lampard is doing unbelievable things trying to reboot that club using a lot of young talent bedding in alongside some experienced stars. Coutinho would feel really comfortable in the number 10 role at Stamford Bridge with the protection of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho and an array of young frontmen around him who would thrive working off him. The sticking point, of course, is that Barcelona would want silly money for him and I’m not sure Chelsea or Manchester United or Spurs would be prepared to break the bank to get him
2020 02 14b Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says it would be a surprise to see Mohamed Salah to Olympics] Klopp’s job, first and foremost, is to protect his players at all costs and he will want all his players back for the whole of pre-season. And given that he has complained, rightly, about the demands of the fixture schedule then he will do everything to make sure Mo Salah is with Liverpool in the summer.
Klopp isn’t the only one who will want him there. Salah is a marketing dream and the club’s owners will definitely want him to fly the flag for the brand on any pre-season tours. Yet I still sense that there’s going to be a difficult conversation to be had between Klopp and Salah over whether the Egyptian goes to this summer’s Olympics. We don’t quite get it because the Olympics to us doesn’t seem like a major tournament. But to other countries it’s absolutely massive and I dare say Egypt are included in that number. Of course, Mo is an absolute god out there so they would absolutely want him to be in Tokyo on their behalf.
It would be slightly hypocritical of Klopp to give Salah his blessing given the manager’s views on rest and playing too much football, but equally it’s not worth risking a fall-out with a player who every club in the world would want. It’s a sensitive subject and I sense we haven’t heard the last of it – but personally I’d be surprised if he goes to Tokyo
2020 02 28 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Virgil van Dijk and Alisson are the only two players at Liverpool who are irreplaceable] There are only two players in the Liverpool team who are irreplaceable – Virgil van Dijk and Alisson. Take either of those two out of the starting 11 and Liverpool are instantly weaker. Take anyone else out, however, and it’s a different story – and even though I am a massive fan of his, that includes Jordan Henderson.
Jurgen Klopp has so much cover in all areas that he can afford to lose key men for periods. When he lost Fabinho earlier in the season I remember the gasps and there were plenty of people saying he’d lost the most important cog in the midfield, the heartbeat of the team. Well yes, he was a miss – but have a look at the league table. I never doubted that Jordan Henderson could take on the Fabinho role because he’d done it successfully before and he didn’t let anyone down. And since then, of course, Jordan has become an absolutely central part of the team – but not irreplaceable. At least, not in terms of his playing ability
Where Jordan is missed – and we saw that against West Ham – is in terms of leadership. I thought Liverpool were in second gear during the first half against West Ham and Jordan Henderson would not have allowed that to happen. Henderson doesn’t always have the best of games and people are always quick to point fingers when that happens, but that’s not appreciating his value. When it comes to desire and character that’s when he steps up. And while there are some big characters in that dressing room, no one is bigger than Jordan Henderson.
2020 03 13 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Klopp’s front three require support] I actually think this is burn out and Klopp needs to address it as a matter of urgency. This has been building and no one who watches Liverpool every week should be surprised. They go off at 100 miles an hour from the first whistle of the season and they’ve been doing this since 2015 under Klopp. The rewards have been plentiful and wonderful – they were champions of Europe last season and are soon to be champions of England as well. But there’s a trade-off to be had and you cannot keep going at that pace. At some point this was going to happen. You accept a Klopp team will not change in terms of approach and style. But this particular team cannot keep doing it, this front three is on the brink and has to change. And that means that this summer is the time to bring in the likes of Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner. The first thing they’ll want is guarantees that they’ll be getting game time in among Liverpool’s trio of superstars but if I was Klopp I’d be telling them you’ll get more minutes than you think. The solution to the front three is not to break it up immediately but Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino can’t go on forever so this summer Klopp has to be planning for the next stage. And also, they are getting found out. Liverpool’s front three have got a way of playing and teams are now figuring out how to defend against them.
2020 05 08 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool player Jason McAteer says he is concerned that people will congregate at Anfield to celebrate a Reds title if the Premier League opts to return in home stadiums and not neutral venues] Just before lockdown, my worry about Liverpool being so close to mathematically winning the title was that crowds would have built up outside Anfield, especially if the league had continued in empty stadiums. If Liverpool had won the league at Anfield with nobody inside, it’s understandable why some believe many thousands might have shown up outside the ground to celebrate. Everyone’s been waiting for this moment for 30 years, there’s been all the build-up, it was almost confirmed, everyone was on a high and nobody wanted to miss out. There would have been a lot of people out on the streets to celebrate. Even though we’re all more knowledgeable on the virus now, that could still happen. So one way to avoid that problem would be to stage games in neutral venues, I can get behind that. From a Liverpool perspective, if they were to continue their games at Anfield and win the title there, people will congregate. It would be impossible to police. From a safety point of view, we can’t risk that
We’ve all got opinions on how we think things should move forward but ultimately the number one priority has to be the safety of the people. But every way we look at it there are advantages and disadvantages to be had. For me, the best solution is 90-minute matches in a neutral venue, even if it has to be played out in a World Cup-style velocity where everyone plays every three days or so over a five-or-six-week period. If we’re going to finish the season, that is the only way it can be done, as far as I’m concerned
[When asked about Gordon Taylor’s proposal to reduce 45-minute halves] You might as well say let’s have a 5-a-side competition, 10 minutes each way, and you can have a club legend playing as well. You can’t change the game rules like that, it stains the integrity of the game. We are where we are, but you’ve got to play it out as close to the regulations as is safe, if you play it out at all. I can’t get on board with changing the length of the games, it’s just unfair
2020 05 30 Retrieve
[Jason McAteer says Mbappe is not a good fit for Liverpool, he’s not Klopp’s kind of player] You can’t stand still, you need to evolve. From a manager’s perspective, always trying to stay two, three moves ahead. It’s Jurgen’s job to visualise what he sees next season, preparing for upcoming seasons. PSG are a unique club, desperate to win the Champions League, put a fantastic squad together, [but] players want a bigger challenge. The Mbappe one for me doesn’t sit quite right – a superstar in his own right, [but] not the right time to come to Liverpool. [I’m] not sure he’s Jurgen’s kind of player. At the minute, just not for me. I’d rather see Werner or Sancho. We could see him [Mbappe] at Liverpool because he fits for different reasons, but for football, I just don’t know that he fits at this current time
2020 06 27 Retrieve
[Liverpool are unlikely to land Kai Havertz or Thiago Alcantara in the next transfer window] Takumi Minamino has come in but it looks as if Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana are going to leave so others are going to have to step up. But who? That’s the problem. No agent will need any encouragement to link their players to an Anfield move - I’m sure Timo Werner’s people were making a lot of the running when there was talk of him joining the club - but are they going to play regularly? Talk of Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz arriving at the club therefore seems unlikely. Liverpool broke records to sign Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, but the rest of the team were not necessarily signed for huge fees. They haven’t gone about their business that way and I don’t see it happening
And it is going to be a big year with the Euros at the end of the season, so top players are going to want to play regularly, something that Klopp is not able to provide for everyone. There has been a lot of talk about Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara joining but defensive midfield is an area of strength with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, so a move for him might not be the way forward. One main area they have to look at is left-back. Andy Robertson has been outstanding but they have had to rely on James Milner playing there when Robbo hasn’t been available. That’s obviously not Milner’s preferred position and Sadio Mane always looks more comfortable when he is playing in front of Robertson. But they don’t need much more and I think it is about getting the right people into the club who are going to fit in with the culture