Football: in Liverpool, “kids” in the wind under the rule of Klopp

Liverpool, devastated by injuries, won the League Cup with the contribution of "kids" who were barely adults, a constraint which Jürgen Klopp, guardian coach who was called upon to do it again on Wednesday in the FA Cup, boldly freed himself from.

Harvey Elliott holds up the club crest.

At 20 years old, he has already played more than 40 matches this season with the Res.

Action Images via Reuters - PAUL CHILDS

By: RFI Follow


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Against bad luck, good heart.

The German manager, buried by an avalanche of packages (Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcantara, Jota, Salah, Nunez...), has happily drawn from among the young shoots of the academy in recent days without feeling sorry for himself. spell.

On the contrary.


Yes, we had to adapt, but frankly, it was more fun than problematic 

,” he assured before the final won 1-0 on Sunday in overtime, where his “kids”, like he calls them, burst the screen and broke Chelsea's momentum.

The freshness and confidence of Bobby Clark and James McConnell, 19 years old, and Jayden Danns, 18 years and 40 days old, made the difference and amazed England, sometimes to the point of excess.


In extra time, it was Klopp's kids against the billion-pound blue 'bottle jobs' (English expression designating teams that constantly collapse under pressure, editor's note) 

,” tackled Gary Neville, ex-glory of Manchester United, in reference to the amount invested in transfers by Chelsea since 2022.

The formula hit the mark despite its controversial nature, as Chelsea's average age was lower than Liverpool's at the end of the match.

But no one questioned its extension: “ 

special coaches do special things.

He’s a monstrous trainer


Protective “environment”  

Klopp himself broadcast the captivating little music of a “ 

group of academy kids coming into play against a top team like Chelsea

 ”, with victory at the end, an “incredible” story.

The Reds manager didn't really have any other options, he needed " 

fresh blood


But the conviction and trust distilled over several days towards his young nuggets created a protective “ 


 ”, in his own words, in which they flourished.

He did everything, in words and deeds, to prepare them for a possible entry into play at Wembley, the intimidating temple of English football (90,000 seats) in north London.

 The boys are ready and I wouldn't have done it if they weren't, 

” he said after the entries of Clark, McConnell and Danns last Wednesday against Luton (4-1) at Anfield .


We completely trusted them to do what they know how to do


Klopp repeated the exact same scenario against Chelsea four days later and the magic happened

Second appearance for Danns


We didn't think there was a risk

 ,” insisted Andy Robertson.

The 29-year-old defender pointed out the "merit" of the trainers, the more experienced players, Klopp and his assistants who told them: " 

Go ahead, enjoy it and don't leave with any regrets 


At Wembley, Bobby Clark was the most experienced of the trio with a ninth appearance in the Liverpool jersey.

James McConnell made his seventh appearance and Jayden Danns, only his second, after a first appearance against Luton.


“Sunday's story was one of the best football stories ever told.

Chelsea were younger, we are not comparing that, they have a different project.

Our boys play training football, with no experience but great talent.


— Liverpool 🇫🇷 (@ActuLFC) February 27, 2024

Sent to the forefront of the attack, at the age of 18, Danns “ 

could have scored twice today in the League Cup final, it’s completely crazy

 ,” Klopp laughed post-match .

Liverpool's triumphant youth, also embodied by current starters Conor Bradley and Harvey Elliott, both 20 years old, could be put to the test again on Wednesday (9 p.m. UT) against Southampton (D2) in the round of 16 of the European Cup. 'England.

Even if the infirmary empties somewhat, Klopp will in any case necessarily need all these beautiful people to continue his final quest for a quadruple, with the Premier League and the Europa League in his sights, between now and May and his announced departure .


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