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What now for Liverpool after ending Premier League title drought?

first_imgLIVERPOOL , United Kingdom (AFP) — Liverpool’s romp to a first league title in 30 years with a record seven games of the season remaining could herald a golden new era for the Reds with Jurgen Klopp at the helm.Klopp has delivered the holy grail of a long-awaited league title to Anfield, a year after winning the club’s sixth European Cup.Further records could yet tumble before the season is out, with Liverpool on course for an all-time high Premier League points tally and the biggest-ever margin of victory.A 23-point gap to Manchester City is all the more remarkable given how Pep Guardiola’s men themselves have raised the bar in recent seasons.“How is it possible anybody is 20 points ahead of this team?” Klopp himself said after watching City’s 5-0 demolition of Burnley on Monday.City’s brilliance has pushed Liverpool to new heights.Even during the trophy-laden 1970s and 80s at Anfield, Liverpool never amassed as many points as they have in losing just two of their past 70 league games.A 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday was a 23rd consecutive Premier League win at home.“It is not over yet, that’s the good thing,” said an emotional Klopp, who extended his contract until 2024 earlier this season. “The team all look like they have a good few years in their legs.”The club have also tied down a core group of key players to long contracts over the past two years.LEGACYWayne Rooney helped win five of Alex Ferguson’s 13 league titles during the Scot’s spell as Manchester United manager, and believes Klopp could leave a similar legacy.“They have huge potential to win more trophies,” Rooney, a former Everton and United captain, begrudgingly admitted in his Sunday Times column.“Klopp says it’s impossible for any club to dominate like United once did, but he is wrong,” added Rooney. “There’s a simple way for Liverpool: Let Klopp go on and on.”City boss Guardiola highlighted Liverpool’s “passion” as the key component his side could not match.And Liverpool Captain Jordan Henderson urged his teammates to remain “hungry” and “keep wanting more” next season.More than a two-horse raceHowever, plenty of hurdles stand in Liverpool’s way if they are to establish such a spell of dominance, principally City’s reaction to losing their title.“When we retained the title we were the first for 10 years, so you know how difficult it is to do that,” Guardiola warned this week.As it stands, City will also be banned from European competition for the next two seasons.Should their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport next month fail it could be a fatal blow in the push to convince Guardiola to stay beyond the end of his contract in 2021, but would also allow City to concentrate their resources on toppling Liverpool domestically.Unlike the past two seasons, the title race may be more than a two-horse race in 2020/21.Chelsea’s 2-1 win over City on Thursday was the result that finally crowned Liverpool champions and the Blues have already stated their intention to challenge with the signings of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.Manchester United are unbeaten in 13 games, with the January signing of Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes transforming their fortunes.Other factors such as the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), still scheduled to take place from January 10 to February 8, could also play a huge role in Liverpool’s title defence should Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane be absent for two months in the middle of the season.The return of the AFCON to the European winter had seen Werner strongly linked with a move to Anfield.However, the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus meant Liverpool were not willing to commit to meeting the German international’s 60-million euro (US$67 million) buyout clause from RB Leipzig.The chemistry between Mane, Salah, and Roberto Firmino has been key to Liverpool’s rise from struggling to qualify for the Champions League to the dizzy heights of European and English champions.“The front three we know are as good as anything in Europe,” said former Liverpool captain, Jamie Carragher.“They don’t miss too many games but when they do there is a massive drop-off, and that’s why I feel Liverpool still need to strengthen.”For the first time in three decades, though, Liverpool can build from a position of strength to tighten their grip on the Premier League rather than playing catch-up.last_img read more

Sean O’ Brien could miss Saturday’s final Lions test

first_imgPhoto: © Meanwhile it’s been confirmed Sonny Bill Williams will miss Saturday’s game – he’s been suspended for 4 weeks after his red card in yesterday’s game. Sean O’Brien will find out soon if he’ll be suspended for next weekend’s deciding test between New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions.The Leinster flanker was cited late last night for a dangerous challenge in yesterday’s victory over the All Blacks.His hearing is currently ongoing in New Zealand.last_img

AGWS steps up for families facing crises

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The Australian Greek Welfare Society (AGWS) will give a free workshop to assist adult children who have returned to the family home after a personal crisis.The service, called ‘Boomerang Children’, is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to deal with individuals trying to cope with with marriage breakdown, loss of employment, mental or physical health issues, and their parents.AGWS provides personal counselling as well as couples or family group combinations to help them manage their family relationships in an effort to empower these members of the Greek Australian community to reach their full potential and rehabilitate. According to the 2011 Australian census, up to one-quarter of adult children aged 20-35 were still living at home with parents. The data indicated that the majority were male and were living with a single parent and had returned home as opposed to never having moved out – a situation familiar to the Greek community.“Without a doubt, the main reason is because the cost of living is so high. This includes the cost of rent, utility bills, petrol and lifestyle expenses,” says Kia Antoniadis, AGWS family counsellor.“There are also high levels of unemployment, breakdown of relationships, divorce and addictive behaviours such as gambling, alcohol and drug abuse, making it even harder for people to live independently, so the parental home is used as a back-up or safety net.”Some of the advantages can include sharing household and general living expenses, having company and the sense of security and protection. However, for the ‘boomerang child’, this return includes a loss of space, routine, lack of privacy, change of lifestyle and habits which could eventually lead to depression. “It means having to be accountable and being treated as a ‘child’ again and challenges around becoming a carer of an elderly parent with complex health issues,” adds Adonis Maglis, AGWS community services officer.“If you find yourself in the situation you can always seek counselling or mediation support for issues of difference that cannot be resolved at AGWS.” The workshop will be conducted in Greek and is targeted to parents who are interested in learning more about the topic of ‘Boomerang Children’. Bookings are essential. Call AGWS on 9388 9998.* Speakers: Adonis Maglis, AGWS community services officer and Kia Antoniadis, AGWS family counsellor. Guest speaker Celia Walsh, client and stakeholder relations officer/mediator, Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria, Department of Justice & Regulation.When: Thursday 30 July 2015, 12.15 – 2.15pm. Where: AGWS head offices, 7 Union St, Brunswick.last_img read more