The six nominees for the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Players of the Year award have been announced on Friday, with Liverpool Football Club dominating the list.
After their sensational season at Anfield, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge have been nominated for the PFA award. Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, Chelsea winger Eden Hazard and Southampton’s Adam Lallana round off the six nominees. The winner will be announced on April 27.
Also revealed were the six players up for the PFA Young Player of the Year, as Sturridge and Hazard again got the nod, while Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, Aaron Ramsey of Arsenal, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Southampton’s Luke Shaw were also nominated.
Liverpool’s star trio are likely to scoop both awards, as Suarez leads the Premier League scoring charts with 29 goals this season. Inspirational captain Gerrard has been the heartbeat of the Reds’ title charge, as they are just four games away from lifting their first league title in 24 years. As for Sturridge, the England international has scored 23 goals for Liverpool this campaign and has combined with Suarez to create the deadly S.A.S. strike partnership.
Man City midfielder Yaya Toure has been a monster in midfield, as the box-to-box Ivorian has also netted 18 times in the PL with plenty of stunning strikes. Eden Hazard has been rejuvenated under Jose Mourinho, as the Belgian magician has scored 17 times this season and bamboozled opponents with his silky skills. Another playmaker to make the top six is England international Lallana, as the Southampton academy product has been the leader of Saints’ impressive season which currently sees them sitting in eighth.
If Liverpool go onto win the title, you have to think Gerrard or Suarez will pick up the top award, with perhaps Sturridge scooping the Young Player of the Year accolade. That said, you could argue cases for all 10 players nominated to win the awards after a season of stunning individual performances in the PL.
Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.
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Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.
According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.
[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]
The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.
PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.
Jose Mourinho got the
dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.
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Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.
Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:
“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.
“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”
What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.
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The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.