There’s some really brilliant content in the Athletic right now – and we’d advise you to sign up and check it out.
James Pearce has been producing much lengthier articles than he did at the Echo, clearly under less editorial guidance, which is great for the reader. And this section of his latest piece, which actually focuses on Manchester United’s failings at boardroom level, interested us greatly.
It tells us about Michael Edwards and what our sporting director did after we won the Champions League Final against Spurs last season.
“At the request of Klopp and the senior players, all members of staff — from video analysts to sports science interns — stepped up on to the podium to join in the celebrations,” Pearce writes.
“Where was Edwards? He was around the back of the podium taking photos of the scenes of jubilation in the Liverpool end. It was a moment of pride for him to see the ecstasy etched across the fans’ faces.
“Good luck trying to find photos of Edwards from that night. It’s not his style to grab the trophy and wrap his arm around Klopp for the cameras. He was more interested in ensuring that the kitman got his picture taken with the European Cup.
“When Edwards initially went pitchside after the final, he did so to console some of his former colleagues at Tottenham, including chairman Daniel Levy.”
Edwards’ preference for privacy is brilliant. Jurgen Klopp takes the limelight – and rightly so – as he’s incredibly adept and experienced at not only dealing with the media but portraying the club’s messages to the fans.
Our sporting director simply does his job in the background – with the help of Mike Gordon, Barry Hunter, Dave Fallows and Julian Ward.
Under his guidance, especially with Klopp at the helm, we’ve barely made a mistake in the transfer market – both in terms of incomings and outgoings.
The likes of Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Fabinho, Andy Robertson, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk have arrived – doubling or in some cases trebling their market value since. (£8m Robbo has probably increased his value by ten or 11 times, in fact.)
Dom Solanke, Danny Ward, Christian Benteke, Jordon Ibe, Danny Ings and countless other footballers who simply were not first-team options for Klopp have been sold for good money.
Their performances since their exits have proven we got the value, too.
Edwards is as important to FSG as our best players and the manager, in many ways. We just hope the current backroom team remain as they are – as they’re undeniably playing a massive role in helping the team flourish.