|Russia Today Host|
|Org||England National Team|
|Media||Russia Today [RT]|
|Club as Player||Liverpool FC|
2017 04 21 Retrieve
[In the wake of Ugo Ehiogu’s death, former Aston Villa teammate Stan Collymore paid tribute to the late defender] I joined Villa straight after the 96/97 season ended and immediately went with the gaffer, Brian Little to San Francisco to meet up with my new team mates on a post season 2 game tour against LA Galaxy and San Jose
Being ‘My’ club I was so excited to get there ( Steve Gough of Cannock Villa was waiting at San Fran airport with the Cannock Villa flag!) so I got to the hotel , did a medical and Ugo was the first person to come and say hello, the first person to take time to welcome me to the club I supported as a kid. I was nervous, he knew it, and rather than be the alpha male that many of us players can be around each other, he showed me around, we hung out over the coming days and he was instrumental in helping me settle in. Going to Villa was my dream so for him to see that and just offer calm, cool friendship is something I’ll never forget.
He was already great friends with Bozza and Dwight Yorke but wasn’t as loud as them or me, just cooler than cool at the back with a big smile but always up for fun and a laugh
2019 03 09 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore heaps praise on Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk] And by the time he hangs up his boots, we could be talking about him in the same venerable tones as Sergio Ramos if he gets the chance to win as many titles either at Liverpool or elsewhere. Van Dijk has to be worth at least £175m of anybody’s money and, while it’s easy to throw around statements such as ‘best in the world’, I really believe he is
2019 08 05 Retrieve
[Liverpool’s title credentials have been questioned by Stan Collymore] The big worry I have for Liverpool going into the new Premier League season is that they were great last time out, firing on all cylinders – but they still came up just short. Can Klopp’s front three of Roberto Firmino, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane be better than they were last season? Is James Milner going to get better? Is Jordan Henderson going to get better? And will Virgil van Dijk have a better season than the last one?
Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson? Maybe the attacking full-backs can improve, but will that be enough to surpass what City bring this year? That’s why I’m having Liverpool to hover around the same standard as last season and, if they do, it will still mean them winning a ridiculous amount of points. But, for the Reds to win the title, City will have drop a whole load of points – and I just don’t see that happening
2019 08 06 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore claims Manchester United paid double his true worth for Harry Maguire] Manchester United finally got their man on Monday with the £80m capture of Harry Maguire but they have paid double his true worth. United unveiled their big-money buy on a six-year deal from Leicester after a lengthy pursuit which started last summer after the World Cup. I like and respect England stopper Maguire who is a very good player, leader and influence in the dressing room. But the 26-year-old is not in the same class as Liverpool’s Dutch stopper Virgil van Dijk. For a British central defender with leadership qualities, Harry fits the bill. But if you want premium quality to push you to a title or Champions League then Van Dijk is your man. Maguire, even in an expensive market, is overpriced and United have played twice the price of his realistic value in my view to make him the world’s most expensive defender
His price tag means he now eclipses Van Dijk, 28, who became the world’s costliest defender when he joined Liverpool from Southampton in January 2018 for £75m. But that has proven to be worth every penny. I remember people talking about Van Dijk back at Celtic and saying this guy is a Rolls Royce. He is now looking a bargain because the Dutchman has to be worth £200m to a Barcelona, Real Madrid or PSG as he is that influential and that good. Maguire is going to have to step up and then some to prove himself as good a signing
2019 08 18 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial should be looking at scoring ‘20 league goals at a minimum’ this season if the club is to challenge in the top four] I had Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s boys missing out on the top four before a ball had been kicked this season. But their start – a thumping 4-0 win over Chelsea, along with the performances of Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire in particular – did hint that they might just surprise one or two of us. I’m not going to get carried away by one result and say they are now nailed on for the top four. The game against Wolves will be a bellwether to all of that. Success or failure for United this season will depend on their big characters – Pogba, Maguire and De Gea. But also to a certain extent on Rashford and Martial.
A couple of seasons ago I wrote that Manchester City’s England forward Raheem Sterling needed to start producing the sort of football we knew he was capable of far more consistently. Now it’s time to send the same message to the United frontmen. Manager Solskjaer is looking for players he can put his money on, players he knows he can rely on, and those two need to step up to the plate. They will be full of confidence after their goals against Chelsea last weekend and I want to see both of them going north of 15 goals. Last season in the league it was 10 apiece – and that’s not going to help United get to the sort of areas in t he table they really should be. Ideally, both should be looking at 20 league goals as a minimum in a 38-game season, which is the benchmark for all top strikers
2019 09 10 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore urges Marcus Rashford to make a definitive decision on his best position] If Rashford isn’t careful then, sooner rather than later, he is going to find himself cast as the modern-day Theo Walcott. Someone who isn’t seen as an out-and-out winger or straight-up No.9 but a Jack of all trades as a forward and master of none. That’s why now is the perfect time for him to decide whether that’s the way he wants to go. Or would he rather be a player who lives or dies as a No.9. If he’s happy to play anywhere if it means being an England regular then that’s his call. But if that is the case over the next five to 10 years then I worry about the negative impact such a decision could have on his club career because of the message it sends.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could well be forgiven for thinking, ‘Well, if this lad doesn’t have the confidence to back himself as England’s main No.9 then why should I back him at arguably the biggest club in the world? I’ll go out and buy an off-the-peg goalscorer in that case, someone who knows exactly what they are and what they want to be’. There’s no way Rashford can toddle off with England every few months and play out wide and then go back to Old Trafford and play like Ruud van Nistelrooy. So there’s a potential problem brewing for him. And at 21, maybe now is the time for him to say, ‘You know what, I might not get into the next three squads if I say I’ll only play as a No.9. But if that is the case then I’ll go back to Carrington during international breaks and say, ‘Gaffer, teach me everything I need to know about operating within the width of the 18-yard box and playing with my back to goal’
2019 09 17 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says There is no better front three in world football than Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino combo] I went to Anfield on Saturday to watch Liverpool beat Newcastle and, in the second half, I looked at them and thought, ‘What a fantastic, cohesive team my old club are’. I know how good they are on any given day but they had something else about them - a different kind of belief, a tempo and quality that showed they really are in the groove. If you’re looking for weaknesses, maybe you could point to Adrian being out of contract in the summer and Divock Origi being slightly disappointing in his performance and the fact he had to go off. But, otherwise, both full-backs can both stake a claim to be among the best in world in their positions, Joel Matip is playing with confidence, Gigi Wijnaldum’s transition from box-to-box midfielder to reliable, positional, holding midfielder is almost complete and the hunger of James Milner coming on and being a team player was obvious. Nobody can tell me either that there’s a better front three or blend of a front three in football than Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino
When Liverpool went 1-0 down, the fans got a big angsty because there’s a belief that they need to win every game because Manchester City will. But they rode that, nailed it and didn’t take their foot off Newcastle’s neck. They look like they have the calm of a title-winning team and that’s the biggest compliment I can pay them
2019 10 15 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore has slammed British television show Good Morning Britain for asking him to talk about the racism incidents that occurred in the Euro 2020 qualifier between Bulgaria and England] Institutional racism for you. Let’s get the token black on to talk about racism, but let’s not call him to talk about a sport he played for 20 years. No thanks @GMB, my race isn’t a 2 min bit before you give someone from Geordie Shore an hour to show you their new nails
2019 10 15b Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says James Maddison has been warned that he is in danger of emulating the Liverpool ‘Spice Boys’ of the past] When James Maddison arrived on the scene at Norwich, I heard from a few people what a great young talent he was. I also heard he was very, very confident and the sort of whom it could be said that: ‘If he was chocolate, he’d eat himself’. I don’t mind that, actually, because the best players need to have an unbelievable inner-belief if they’re going to go on to be the very best. But it’s all about channelling that inner-belief on the field and, off it, making sure you don’t give critics a reason to have a go at you.
It’s about making sure ‘confident lad’ doesn’t bleed into ‘Jack the lad’ because that’s when the problems can start. His decision to go out to a casino on Friday night, having been stood down from international duty through illness, wasn’t the biggest crime and there was no suggestion he was steaming drunk. But you have to know the right time to do things when you’re in the spotlight and learn that if you do want to socialise, particularly in such circumstances, your best bet is to do it at home with family or friends.
Maddison reminds me a bit of Liverpool’s old Spice Boys, a group I was referred to alongside but never actually tagged in. Jamie Redknapp, Jason McAteer, Phil Babb and David James were all very talented players but if ever they had an off-day then the Spice Boys narrative would be dragged up.
Maddison is lucky that in Brendan Rodgers and Gareth Southgate, he has two managers who are good at dealing with young lads. And I’m sure they will have a conversation between themselves about how best to make things work for him. I’d imagine Rodgers and Southgate will put an arm round him and guide him in the right direction. That direction should see him cutting out the chat to the likes of Jeremy Clarkson on Twitter and making sure he is just known for his football. Because if he doesn’t do that then the likes of Mason Mount and Jack Grealish will be well passing him in double quick time.
Grealish is actually a very good example of someone who curbed his ways - he is now the captain of Aston Villa and someone who does and says all the right things. He has learned to play the game on and off the pitch, and that’s exactly what Maddison must do now
2019 10 17 Retrieve
[former Leicester and Liverpool striker Stan Collymore calls James Maddison a Spice Boy] I also heard he was very, very confident and the sort of whom it could be said that: ‘If he was chocolate, he’d eat himself’.
2019 11 05 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Son Heung-min went ‘over the top’ with his emotional reaction to Andre Gomes’ injury in a problem symptomatic of today’s footballers] I am not saying [Son and Aurier] shouldn’t have been upset or shown distress, because these are normal human emotions. The way Son reacted made it look like he thought football – the referee, the authorities, fans at home and in the crowd, opponents – was going to come down on him like a ton of bricks, even though we could all see he didn’t deliberately go out to cause Gomes’ injury. For a while now, I have been bothered that players and managers seem to think they must show an extreme version of their emotions because of the comeback they will get if they do not. Nowadays, footballers seemingly have to go over the top to present themselves before the court of public opinion and that needs to stop
[Collymore played down the seriousness of Gomes’ fracture-dislocation and talked up his own quick recovery] His fracture will likely be an inch or two long, not too bad. The bad part of the injury will be the fact the ankle ligaments have been strained and torn - they will need a lot of massaging to stop them going gluey and to ensure they grow back, which they will. I had a titanium plate fitted to get me back playing again and I did it in six weeks and two days, which I was very proud of
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Jordan Henderson is the glue helping to hold Liverpool together] I want to pick out Jordan Henderson, who is so far removed from the player many of us thought he was three or four years ago. He can fill in centrally and still make up width and that is a nod to the exceptional tactics of Jurgen Klopp, who knows his two young full-backs will sometimes get overloaded and need a bit of help. I was one of those who looked at Henderson and James Milner and wondered if they’d be the two who could hamper the team. Milner has been round the block and has always been a great pro, but I wasn’t sure he’d add another dimension.
I was with a lot of Liverpool fans who also wondered if Henderson should even be in the team, let alone be captain. But the pair haven’t just answered the questions about them, they have become intrinsic parts of the team and the dressing room. Any team that has lots of mercurial characters and youngsters needs a glue to bind it together and those two have done that and then some for Liverpool. And if - if - Liverpool do end up being crowned champions this season there is no doubt that they will have been two of the most important drivers of that.
Henderson, in particular, given the way he has grown into the captaincy. Finding a new leader after Steven Gerrard was always going to be difficult, but Henderson has stepped up brilliantly
2019 11 18 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can become England’s new Gazza] We still desperately need a player who can run with the ball from the halfway line to the edge of the opponents’ box next summer. A Paul Gascoigne-type figure. I know that sort of player doesn’t grow on trees, but it’s what we’re crying out for. James Maddison is a passer, Harry Winks a fire-starter with his little passes, Mason Mount arrives in the area, Raheem Sterling plays too high up for this to be his job and it just isn’t Jordan Henderson’s game. The one man who can do it is Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Now, I’m not comparing him to Gazza, but what I am saying is that he gave us a taster last week of his ability to run with the ball and commit midfielders and defenders – and that’s not something any England player has done well for a long time. James Maddison and Mason Mount do it from time to time, but not in the same way as the Ox, who can run past players at pace, draw three or four to him to like moths to a flame, and then pop the ball off. He can do something special. Jack Grealish has it in the locker as well, albeit in slower motion, but Oxlade-Chamberlain is ahead of him in the pecking order as things stand. My one concern about the Liverpool player is that he’s very one-footed, but what he will do in tight games is get shots off from distance and that can cause problems and open up opposition defences.
The fact is, if we go the distance next summer, the majority of our games will be in the British Isles. So we will want to play on the front foot and get at people. That’s why I’ll be closely watching the Ox over the next few months – because he can show just how good he is at that. I won’t say he’s a shoo-in to start for England, but he’s certainly a shoo-in for the squad, if fit. He can offer alternatives and, more importantly, he’s a player who can get people out of their seats
2019 12 07 Retrieve
[Aston Villa to honour former manager Ron Saunders against Leicester] Sincerest condolences to Ron’s family and friends. [This was] the man who made many Villans fall in love with a club and a team that gave us the very best of days: Wembley, Old Trafford, Highbury, which all led to one special night in Rotterdam. Rest in peace, boss
2019 12 14 Retrieve
[Former Reds striker Stan Collymore on Jordan Henderson, along with fellow experienced head James Milner] I was with a lot of Liverpool fans who also wondered if Henderson should even be in the team, let alone be captain. But the pair haven’t just answered the questions about them, they have become intrinsic parts of the team and the dressing room. Any team that has lots of mercurial characters and youngsters need a glue to bind it together and those two have done that and then some for Liverpool.
2019 12 21 Retrieve
[World Cup winner and West Ham legend Martin Peters has died aged 76] Extremely sad to hear of the passing of West Ham, Spurs and England legend, Martin Peters. An English sporting icon and a lovely man who’ll be sadly missed
2019 12 31 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Liverpool may have tied Jurgen Klopp to a new contract but the club needs to already be planning for the day the German departs] I hope Liverpool owners FSG are looking at United and Arsenal and knowing that now is the time to make sure that when Klopp does go - and he will, one day - the club will continue to enjoy the same sort of success they are enjoying now. Because the only club I know for sure are doing that at the moment is Manchester City.
If they got rid of Pep Guardiola right now and brought in a replacement with a similar philosophy, we already know those in positions of power at the Etihad will be making sure they have robust mechanisms in place to be able to roll with the punches in the way United and Arsenal did not.
Football is like any other great industry in that, if you reach the top you have to work even harder to stay there because, if you don’t, you won’t stay there. Look at Tesco, the Co-op, Sainsbury’s … when all of those companies have been top of the tree and have taken their position for granted, a rival has come along and undercut them, made their supply chain better or introduced a different range to steal their thunder. Success can disappear far more quickly than it arrives
2020 01 21 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Jack Grealish deserves a better platform than the one he has at Aston Villa or that Manchester United could offer] I know I’m biased towards Jack Grealish but the stats don’t lie, and for him to become the first English midfielder to register 15 goals/assists since Frank Lampard in 2009/10, in an average to poor team, is a superb effort. His talent deserves a better platform, and if you were to stick him in that Liverpool midfield and let him service their magic front three, the kid could be one of Europe’s most effective midfielders and have an England team built around him. Forget Manchester United, he’ll be waiting five years to reach the level he could get to at Anfield
You could count on one hand the number of players on the planet who wouldn’t want to play for him. I know I’ve been insistent that I wouldn’t proclaim the title race over until Liverpool were 14 to 16 points ahead of Manchester City in March or April. But even though I can still see City winning every game between now and the end of the season, Liverpool aren’t going to drop 16 points, or 19 if they win their game in hand
2020 03 03 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Talk of emulating Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ had become an unwelcome distraction for Liverpool] Now all the Invincibles talk will stop, which will serve Liverpool well because I don’t think that helped. The notion that they have lost will make the players sit up and realise they’ve got to win just four games to lift the Premier League title. There will be a real focus on the other tournaments, too. There was so much talk about Jurgen Klopp’s men going unbeaten and winning the league. That was becoming the overriding story of the season – could they be the best Premier League team ever and get 100-odd points? To be fair to Klopp and his players, it has not been them who have been talking about this. Now they can say we still have work to do in the Premier League, which will take us into April, we’ve still got the FA Cup and the Champions League
What Mo Salah and his team-mates will have learnt from that defeat is unless you are at your very best and completely switched on for every match, anybody in the top flight can trip you up – including any team in the bottom three. They will look at that and redouble their efforts in the three remaining competitions. Historically any sportsman or woman who has suffered a shock defeat, all great champions all get back to basics and doing what got them to the top in the first place. If Liverpool had been playing well and winning games for the last five or six weeks, we would not even be discussing this right now. But a lot of people have rightly pointed out that they have not been playing well and so now it’s an opportunity to take a step back, refocus and go again. Not only will they do that in the Premier League, I think you’ll see a concerted effort in the Champions League and there could be a cracking night at Anfield next week, almost Barcelonaesque, when Atletico Madrid arrive for the second leg 1-0 up. I think the Reds might go stronger in the FA Cup against Chelsea, too. Of course, it won’t be the starting XI you would expect in the league, but one or two more senior players may figure
2020 03 16 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore feels he has a solution to the problems facing football in the coronavirus outbreak] It would be an absurdity, even in these exceptional circumstances, if the season were to be voided. And a club that have a 25-point lead and need just two wins from their remaining nine games were denied the right to be determined champions of England. Liverpool have quite obviously been the best team in the country this season by miles and they deserve to be recognised as such for the first time in 30 years. So wherever this season goes after the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked its havoc, whether we now finish the campaign or complete it down the line, nothing should deny them their title
My solution for the Premier League would be to get all 20 teams to 29 games as quickly as possible. It would take just two matches – Sheffield United versus Aston Villa and Manchester City versus Arsenal. The Blades and the Villans could even have played behind closed doors this weekend, given that no one from either side has tested positive for Covid-19. Then, at least, everyone would have played the same number of fixtures and we could say that whatever position each team was in after 29 games was the position they had finished in. Now, I know that would lead to problems with relegation. Because teams will say, ‘Well, hang on, look at our run-in, it’s easier than theirs and we think we’d have got out of trouble’.
So to avoid any complaints or even litigation, the best thing would be to not relegate anyone. And I don’t want to detract from the success Leeds, West Brom, Coventry, Rotherham, Crewe and Swindon have enjoyed this season. So to keep things fair, I’d promote them all and play with two extra teams in each division next season. The key to that working would then be for five teams to go down in a year’s time to reduce the numbers in each division to what they traditionally are. This would be the fairest solution, as far as I can tell, because simply restarting the leagues when the World Health Organisation says it’s OK would probably delay next season… and that comes with its own set of problems. So let’s get everyone to the 29-game mark and if the pandemic doesn’t show signs of abating any time soon, then let’s just call it – and hand Liverpool the trophy they so richly deserve
2020 04 04 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore astonished by Liverpool’s furlough decision during coronavirus pandemic] I don’t know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won’t be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloughing staff. It’s just plain f*cking wrong.
Fellow football fans, furlough is for small business staff to keep those small businesses from going bump! Every Premier League owner has serious cash, and make money from skyrocketing values of clubs, so what aren’t you getting about YOUR owners dipping into THEIR pocket?
2020 04 06 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool forward Stan Collymore on furloughing] I don’t know of any Liverpool fan of any standing that won’t be anything other than disgusted at the club for furloughing staff. It’s just plain wrong. Fellow football fans, furlough is for small business staff to keep those small businesses from going bump!
2020 04 13 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has put himself in contention for an OBE or MBE] When the New Year gongs are announced we should be hearing Jordan Henderson OBE or MBE – simple as that. The conscience he has shown football these past couple of weeks is more important than any trophy he will ever lift for Liverpool. Henderson has been the driving force behind the Players Together campaign and no one should underestimate the work he will have had to put in. A few might say, ‘What are you talking about, Stan? It will only have meant him calling a few of his mates.’ Yes, he’ll have had a couple of numbers through England, but even in the best of times, getting hold of the rest of them wouldn’t have been easy – and in a lockdown it will have been even harder. Don’t underestimate either how much work will have had to go into having chats with everyone and working out with 19 other fellas the mechanics of what you need to do and the right vehicle for the support you want to give. That isn’t easy at all. Then you have to make sure the money gets to the right places – the NHS and other community initiatives set up to help people during the coronavirus pandemic – and again it’s not something that’s straightforward. The way Jordan has conducted himself has been exemplary
Four or five years ago, many – myself included – questioned what he brought to the team… but we know now what it is. He isn’t a great orator like Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard and maybe doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve as they did. He certainly doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a Dalglish and he might not have a stand named after him in years to come, but heroes come in all forms and Liverpool fans remember theirs. Henderson will go down as the quiet man who got things done – both on the pitch and off it
2020 04 21 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore offers his verdict on season resumption plans] I’ve changed my mind and, if we do reach a stage where a line has to be drawn through the season, then I see no option but for the three teams at the bottom to go down
I say that with a heavy heart because it would mean my club, Aston Villa, being relegated with Norwich and Bournemouth. Although the caveat is we’d have to level the playing field by making sure all top-flight clubs had played 29 matches
That would mean Sheffield United versus Villa and Manchester City-Arsenal being played behind closed doors. And if Villa win, great, they stay up. But if they lose, they’re down – tough luck and lump it
I know people will argue the clubs signed up to a 38-game competition and that they shouldn’t be relegated if the season isn’t fulfilled, but we’re never going to get a perfect solution. I’d argue teams shouldn’t be in that position after 29 games, so they only have themselves to blame
2020 04 28 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore suggests Philippe Coutinho should join Everton, West Ham or Wolves] If Frank Lampard signs Philippe Coutinho it could well be his first mistake at Chelsea. The Brazilian would help an Everton, a West Ham or possibly Wolves – tier-two Premier League clubs who aim to finish between sixth and eighth
2020 06 01 Retrieve
[Jack Grealish has been warned that he risks scaring Manchester United and Chelsea off with the mistakes he has made off the field] As an older guy now, looking now at some of these young kids, older players now should be able to pick the phone up and say ‘have a think about that - have a word about that. I did that with Jack Grealish. I sent him a long email when he went to a party. I told him he needs to make amends. I said to him ‘you’ve got good people around you, you’ve let them down but now it’s time to get back on track’. Pretty much as a prescription, he did everything that I requested he did. He made a big donation to a local hospital and he was forgiven. If you look at Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, who all might be looking at you, if he keeps making these kinds of mistakes, they just won’t take him. A big conversation - make sure the football family, doctors, clubs, keep their phone lines open because players are humans like we all are.
2020 06 09 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Werner isn’t Messi & would’ve flopped at Liverpool] The deal to take Timo Werner to Chelsea is a perfect arrangement for all concerned. Perfect for the player, perfect for the Blues, perfect for RB Leipzig, who are trousering £53million, and perfect for Liverpool as well. He’s a good, solid striker with promise - an all-rounder who holds the ball up well, is mobile, gets into the box and scores goals. But the Liverpool fans sobbing about missing out on him can spare me the tears because he’s not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo and the way some have reacted, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was some sort of reincarnation of both. Liverpool are the European champions, world champions and soon-to-be Premier League champions, and there would be massive pressure on him as the summer’s marquee signing at Anfield on the back of all that. Add in the fact that Liverpool already have arguably the best-balanced front three in the world and I’m struggling to see where Werner would have fitted in. I wouldn’t have seen him displacing any of them and, given everything that team has done together, I could even have seen him flopping. Why? Because walking into that dressing room would have been massively intimidating for a 24-year-old. At Chelsea, though, he will look around and see Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud, and think, ‘Yes, good players, but I’ll have that challenge’. He knows he’s not the finished article yet and that’s what Liverpool will be looking for even if they aren’t the sort of signings Jurgen Klopp is fabled for making.
As for the notion that Jurgen Klopp couldn’t justify Werner’s fee, I’m sure there is an element of the Kop boss not wanting to appear gaudy or louche in the current climate. He’s not a Billy Bullsh*tter after all. Had he firmly believed Werner would be the next Sergio Aguero or Fernando Torres, though, I’m pretty sure he’d have been whipping out the old chequebook in a heartbeat
2020 06 14 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore believes that while Jurgen Klopp’s vintage makes for a fine team, they have not been put up against opponents of comparable quality] Liverpool are a fine team and they will deservedly have the title wrapped up within two games. But while I will celebrate my old club’s success, I will also lament that their domination isn’t just because Jurgen Klopp’s side have been so good but also because plenty of others around them have been bad. Liverpool’s dominance is not a sign that we’re seeing the greatest sides ever, it’s about a limited number of clubs being able to fill out squads because they have the biggest budgets, something that puts other clubs in leagues at a competitive disadvantage. Liverpool have been exceptional but will they go down as one of the great all-time English clubs? No, for the reasons above they will not. There are issues in the Premier League that are starting to echo in the Bundesliga, La Liga and Ligue 1, where no more than a handful of teams have the money and there is a brain drain of the top talent towards them
2020 06 21 Retrieve
[Klopp has already achieved more than Guardiola in England] If Jurgen Klopp carries on like this he will go down as one of the all-time great managers – not just at Liverpool but in English football history. His buying and building of a team, his management of his players, his demeanour and his achievements are first class
And if he can back up last season’s European Cup win, and this season’s Super Cup, Club World Cup and Premier League triumphs with two or three more titles, maybe another Champions League and a domestic cup or two, then he will quite rightly be talked about in the same breath as Sir Alex Ferguson, Bill Shankly, Brian Clough, Bob Paisley, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola
In terms of what he has achieved in England, I’d even put Klopp ahead of Guardiola now. Manchester City were already four, five or six years into a project when Guardiola arrived at the Etihad, whereas Klopp pretty much had a standing start at Anfield by comparison
I know some people will point to the £75 million-plus Klopp splurged on Virgil van Dijk and £56 million on Alisson. But others have spent those sorts of sums several times over without the return Klopp is enjoying
2020 06 29 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore claims Pep Guardiola could not have achieved what Jurgen Klopp has at Liverpool] In the likes of Mo Salah, Bobby Firmino and Sadio Mane, he has turned world-class players into absolute machines, and in Virgil van Dijk you’re talking about the best central defender in the world. He has transformed Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson – one homegrown kid and one £8 million ‘steady Eddie’ signing – into arguably the best full-backs in the world. There have been times Liverpool fans have felt sorry for themselves, times when excuses were made about why they weren’t winning titles, times when the buying and selling was poor
There have been times when you looked at some of the Liverpool sides and thought, ‘Will they ever get back to a position to compete again?’ Klopp has ended all that. I’m not convinced Guardiola could have done what Klopp has done if things were the other way round. I still want to doff my cap to Guardiola and City because it has been a cracking effort from them again this season. They have been an admirable foe and it’s not easy to go again after back-to-back title wins in which you have amassed 100 and then 98 points. But to the victor the spoils and they are deservedly Liverpool’s this time
2020 06 30 Retrieve
[Stan Collymore says Andy Robertson is a perfect example of the ‘brilliant’ transfer business overseen by Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool] Making the big signings work is impressive enough, but what he has done with Robertson is just brilliant. Most of the top flight’s bottom five or six clubs at the time would have baulked at the £8 million Klopp paid Hull for him. Yet the German took a jobbing young left-back and turned him into arguably the world’s best in that position. Can you name me one Steady Eddie who has arrived at Manchester City under Guardiola’s reign and is now seen as the pre-eminent player in his position? Klopp has worked wonders with individuals, and collectively he has made that dressing room. Everyone in that squad clearly loves each other and it’s obvious the manager has drilled home the importance of doing things properly and making sure there aren’t any cliques. For it to have taken just under five years to get from where Liverpool were when Klopp arrived to where they are now as world, European and Premier League champions is an incredible feat. You look at the players they have now and say, ‘Now that is a Liverpool squad’