A secret or something special I don’t observe. They’ve been able to maintain a stable partnership in mdifield. Two players who are very important. For each of the attacking roles they have two players. Especially with the two wingers and offensive midfielder. The four full-backs they possess are important players. Apart from that, they have resolved the absence of Masuaku. Two goalkeepers have shown and the centre-backs, not only sure, have contributed goals in attack. They have a very good set-piece taker with his left foot and the manager has been able to obtain some very good minutes of football with that team.
How have you used this free week with intense fixtures ahead?
We have managed the week in a combined manner. Between rest and training. The quality of the training improves when you have time for recovery throughout the week.
Year without fans - your thoughts on fans returning before the end? Integrity?
It’s a very difficult question to answer. You visualise the problems when you suffer, so come the end of the season, every team will have to resolve different situations. Depending on what’s most convenient, something which I think is completely legitimate, we consider the situation depending on what benefits them.
Unusual season for injuries across football?
Yes, it’s true what you say. If we have a closer look at this hypothesis, it could be confirmed if you examine in more detail. What generates some problems for us was three factors: Berardi and Forshaw had long-term injuries and we suffered injuries to players in the same positions, or similar positions. For example, the absence of Pablo and Rodrigo at the same time or Koch and Llorente. This increases the difficulty. It wasn’t a problem without solution. In the centre-backs, Ayling and Pascal occupied these positions and shone. Tyler and Klich have paid as offensive midfielders. They initially resolved the problem, but what happens is subs become more difficult. That means throughout the game. At the same time, our opponents had similar problems.
Bielsa's here - under-23 plans tomorrow at Wolves before West Ham
Some players coming back from injuries will play in the game tomorrow.
If all five centre-backs are fit - who plays and why?
It’s impossible to have a say on this until we’re in that situation.
Phillips, Rodrigo or Shackleton back?
It all depends how they evolve in the following days.
Much more to come from Raphinha?
What Raphinha is able to create is [?]. After what should more shine or not is whether he can do it on a regular basis. The set-pieces, he manages them very well. Physically, he’s very apt. He can unbalance individually or combine with his team-mates. I can’t think of many more things to add to an attacking player, but the most important thing is how many times those resources are shown in every game.
Klopp will not allow internationals to represent their countries because of quarantine rules - share those views?
This is a decision the authorities need to make. Those who establish rules. For the players to participate for their national teams it’s an honour, but the situation with the regulations is altered because they extend the day of return by 10 days. Those who take the decision to make the rules, they can’t look the other way and ignore this situation. It’s they who have to say how we resolve this matter. I would never tell a player not to respond to a calling from his national team. At the same time, I understand what Klopp is saying. The rules change and the period of time the players are away from the club increase by 100 per cent. Situation needs to be resolved by those who make the rules, can’t say those who allow their players to go do and those who don’t, don’t. The club, who are owners of the player, and player who wants to go away, creates a situation where they have friction or an argument. The authorities, they are there for this reason. They must say whether it’s obligatory to let your players go even if it extends their absence by 100 per cent and take responsibility for this. Or the rule is the players who have to go for an extra period, they should not be allowed to go. Take the responsibility for this rule from the national associations or the clubs are jeopardised, but the authorities, that’s what they are there for. To take the consequences of the rules. Cannot leave this in the hands of the clubs because it forces them to look at their own intentions or own benefits rather than the national associations. It would leave them in an uncomfortable situation. I insist, the authorities have to make a lot of difficult decisions during the pandemic, they have allowed football to survive, which indicates they have done a very good job. They have to take on board this responsibility because it’s of the same type. I’, not the right person to choose a side. My reasoning is linked to common sense.
How much of a challenge for Forshaw to get to PL level after such an absence?
I would not be able to tell you this. It depends on his response every time. What I can say is he when he is healthy he has great quality.
Forshaw - any sign of good news?
I could not assure you. He’s been absent for a long time now. He’s in a positive moment in his recovery, but that moment has to be extended for a while longer without any setbacks. For this to allow him to return to competitive football, what is true is he works tirelessly and continuously. He makes the maximum effort to come back and play.
... you just will not accept he was injured and not 100% will you ...
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I think it wont affect too many of ours anyway.
Tomorrows U23s will have an added edge if we see Rod get some minutes now.
'I am quite clear in my mind that one has to feel sincere love for those he leads, and if he doesn't feel it naturally, then he must learn how to feel it' Marcelo Bielsa
'Would he kill his granny to win a match?' Bobby Collins
Was very glad to see pictures of both Rodrigo and KP getting on the train at Leeds station yesterday
Hopefully both start.