07 Nov Wijnaldum loving Liverpool life
Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum is counting his blessings at table-topping Liverpool this season after a campaign spent at the other end of the division.
The 25-year-old Dutch international came off the bench to open his Reds account in a 6-1 hammering of Watford on Sunday as Jurgen Klopp’s men reached the top-flight’s summit for the first time since May 2014.
Only a handful of players remain at Anfield 30 months on and the feeling of leading the league will be even more appreciated by Wijnaldum, who was unable to prevent Newcastle from sliding into the Championship in May despite scoring 11 times.
“It’s a blessing for everyone in the dressing room that we can be a part of this team and this club,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“In situations and moments where it is going well, you enjoy football more than normal, and in this situation we are enjoying football more than normal.
“We are scoring goals and playing good. Unfortunately we could not keep another clean sheet but we won and scored a lot of goals – that’s the most important thing.
“You enjoy playing in a team like this because it’s going well and you’re playing with good players. We want to keep the ball and score goals and we’re trying to defend well. They are happy moments here in Liverpool.”
There will be contrasting emotions at Watford, where a run of three straight clean sheets was broken by conceding half-a-dozen times to Klopp’s rampant Reds.
Walter Mazzarri’s side are still eighth in the Premier League standings and the 55-year-old is confident he can remedy the issues to ensure the rout on Merseyside will not be the start of a slump.
“After the international break I will sit down with all the players and with my experience I will tell them what we need to do in the next days,” said Mazzarri.
“In my opinion against a team like Liverpool you can lose but I’m not happy to lose in this way. We have to work tactically and psychologically to play against a team like this and for this not to happen again.”
Mazzarri highlighted the absence of Sebastian Prodl and Craig Cathcart as part of the reason why his defence was so porous and he is now sweating on the fitness of goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes too.
The Brazilian was injured when beaten by Philippe Coutinho for Liverpool’s second goal and had to come off with a knee problem that needs further assessment.
“He had a very big knock on the knee,” Mazzarri explained. “We need to check in the next days if it is twisted, we will know in the next days.”