6 Jan

Klopp seeks fitting finale to long road to Kiev

first_img0Shares0000King of Kiev? Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is hoping to cap a successful season by winning the Champions League on Saturday © AFP / Paul ELLISLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, May 21 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is quietly confident his side can upset the odds by preventing Real Madrid from claiming a third consecutive Champions League title on Saturday, to cap a stunning season engineered by the German.Klopp’s men started their Champions League campaign in a playoff against Hoffenheim just to make the group stages back in August. Now, after plundering 46 goals in 14 games, Liverpool have made it back to the Champions League final in Kiev for the first time in 11 years.“I don’t want to talk about confidence, but we feel good and think we deserve to be where we are because the boys really showed up in all the different games,” said Klopp on Monday.“It was a very exciting journey so far and now we want to bring it to the best possible end.”By contrast, Madrid are featuring in their fourth final in five years. But Klopp believes Liverpool can compensate for their lack of experience compared to the European champions with other qualities that have characterised their run to the final.“If there is an experienced market, they should sell it because then they would be even more rich than they are already,” Klopp added of the Spanish giants.“Experience is very important in life but not the only important thing in life, and especially in football. It is an advantage to be more experienced, but you can level it with desire, with readiness, attitude, work rate and that is what I love in football.”Liverpool will be back in the Champions League next season no matter the outcome in the Ukranian capital as they held on to finish fourth in the Premier League despite a late-season blip in form as the physical toil of their European exertions showed.– Refreshed and ready to run –Guiding hand: Dejan Lovren has improved since the arrival of Virgil Van Dijk © AFP / Paul ELLISKlopp took his squad on a warm weather training camp in Marbella last week.And he believes a two-week break between their 4-0 thrashing of Brighton to ensure a top-four finish and the final is the perfect preparation to ensure Liverpool’s high-energy style can be fully utilised on Saturday.“It’s a very good moment for the club, for us, for the boys because we have finished the season in the best way we could,” he added.“It felt really good and then having the time to prepare the game is really good. We could do a lot of things and didn’t have to rush it or compress it into two or three sessions. It was good recovery time.”Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is one of Klopp’s many success stories this season as the Croatian has improved significantly since being paired with club record £75 million ($100.6 million) signing Virgil Van Dijk in January.“I feel personally much more confident when you know you have a really good partner next to you and he showed already at Southampton that he is one of the best defenders in the Premier League,” Lovren said of Van Dijk’s influence.And Lovren urged Liverpool not to miss out on what could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.“We have the biggest chance in our lives. For some of us, maybe it’s the only one,” he added.“We have something to catch, (for the) whole squad it is the first time in the final of the Champions League. We know what we are playing for and how hard it was from day one.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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25 Dec

Just pick up and move

first_imgBecause I don’t go to an office, I can usually avoid rush-hour traffic. But the other day was an exception. I had to meet a friend in Beverly Hills at 10 a.m. As I live about 15 miles away in the San Fernando Valley, I left my house at 8:30. I made it on time but just barely. As I sat in my car, stuck in the traffic jam from hell, I couldn’t help noticing that the traffic coming from the opposite direction was equally bad. And that’s when I had my latest brainstorm: Why don’t all these people just swap homes so they’ll live close to their jobs, and so they won’t be mucking up the freeways for those of us who have to get places? I can hear some of you now saying I’m nuts, that this is the goofiest notion you’ve ever heard. I guess you need reminding that that’s exactly what your nitwit ancestors said about airplanes and the electric light. Well, you couldn’t stop the Wright brothers, and you couldn’t stop old Tom Edison, and, by golly, you can’t stop me. There is nothing more relentless than a brilliant idea whose time has come. The great thing is that this powerhouse concept is equally applicable to all cities. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Now I’m not suggesting that a wealthy guy living in a large house should trade with some fellow living in a shack. But I’m sure that in any city, as in Los Angeles, there are comparable neighborhoods all over the place. For instance, Beverly Hills is a very nice community, but there are homes every bit as large and attractive in Encino, just as Northridge is comparable to Culver City, and Studio City and West L.A. are virtually interchangeable. By now, I’m sure I’ve got most of you at least half-sold on the idea, except you’re thinking, Who would do all the packing and moving? There probably aren’t enough moving vans in America to do the job. Granted, in comparison, the D-Day invasion was small potatoes. Well, I’ve been saving the best for last. The clincher is that there would be no packing required, except maybe for your checkbook and toothbrush. The way I see it, rich people are pretty much alike, as are middle-class people, as are the poor. So all anybody would have to do is swap house keys and, where necessary, garage door remotes. You ask, what about personal items? Such as what? I reply. Oh, say, photo albums. Leave them, I say, for the new folks. For one thing, once people go to the bother of sticking pictures in an album, they hardly ever look at them again. And even when they do, after a few years, they generally find they don’t recognize half the people saying “cheese.” After 10 years, they don’t even recognize themselves. So far as I can see, that only leaves pets and children. Pets, as we all know, are pretty darn adaptable. So long as the new people feed them, they’ll be fine. As for kids, we all know they only act like brats when they’re around their own parents. Around strangers, they’re little angels because they never know if they’re going to get whacked. So while I personally regard the swapping of kids as strictly optional, sort of like your favorite Cuisinart, your baseball-card collection and your underwear, I frankly think you’d be a stoopnagel not to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. — Burt Prelutsky lives in North Hills.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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