‘I was Liverpool’s throw-in coach – now I’m plotting their downfall in Prem’

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    Throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark has opened up about his abrupt departure from Liverpool as he plots an Anfield upset with Brentford.

    The Dane was a key figure behind Jurgen Klopp's trophy-laden side before his unexpected exit last season. Now, following his split with the Reds, the 47-year-old is teaming up with fellow Dane Thomas Frank and Brentford's data-driven analysts.

    Despite his previous work on Merseyside, Gronnemark warns they should brace for surprises from throw-ins this weekend. "There will be no challenges around the fact I have coached both teams – my coaching is tailored to specific needs," Gronnemark told The Mirror.

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    "All teams have contrasting playing styles and approaches, therefore I have taught in many different ways." Gronnemark recalls how his unique training methods led to a crucial goal by Roberto Firmino during Liverpool's historic title charge in January 2020.

    He said: "In my second year at Liverpool, Spurs and Jose Mourinho worked on how to defend our throw-ins for two-and-a-half hours – both on the training pitch and with video analysis.

    "We then scored the winning goal from a throw-in situation. You can be really good at executing throw-ins; long, short or clever and it's still really hard to defend because there are so many situations that occur."

    What's your prediction for Liverpool vs Brentford? Let us know in the comments section.

    When Gronnemark first joined Liverpool in July 2018, the team was struggling with throw-ins, keeping possession only 45.4% of the time. But just a year later, they had improved to 68.4%, the second highest in Europe.

    The top spot? That went to another of Gronnemark's teams, FC Midtjylland. However, COVID-19 and Brexit travel restrictions limited Gronnemark's influence on the Reds, despite extensive remote video analysis.

    After only two visits to Kirkby last season, and a chat with Klopp, the Liverpool boss decided it was time for them to part ways. "After COVID, the level of throw-ins went from the best in the world to only good," Gronnemark explains.

    "I thought 'if I continue, we should put it up to four or five times like before'. I said this to Jurgen but he came back to me and said they wanted to try and do it themselves without me this season.

    "It sounds weird but it was a good solution for me because I wasn't satisfied, I always want to be the best I can with my work."

    Gronnemark, who has also worked with numerous other sides around the world including Ajax, Gent, Trabzonspor, Atlanta United, Toulouse, Philadelphia Union and Pachuca, spent two seasons with Brentford between 2016 and 2018 before returning to the west London club in 2022.

    Ivan Toney's respective FA ban threw a major spanner into the works and cunning craftsman Gronnemark had to react and adapt his Brentford throw-in coaching blueprint accordingly – though understandably, he is not prepared to reveal any of his secrets.

    He said coyly: "I won't talk so much about individual players due to the strategy but every team has what I call throw-in superpowers. Ivan Toney is really good at some things, other players are really good at other things so you have to build that into your strategy. It also counts for defending wise, defending throw-ins all around the pitch."

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    Gronnemark is thrilled about his special Danish bond with the Bees' top-notch strategist Frank, which he believes is crucial for their joint triumph. He wrapped up by saying: "No matter where you are in the world, the closer you get to the people you work with – the better the results.

    "If you already have a common knowledge like Danish then you already have an advantage. That's just as important as the skill set you have because if you're not connected to the people you work with, it's hard to maximise the potential."

    This article was crafted with the help of an AI tool, which speeds up Daily Star's editorial research. An editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors to [email protected]

    • Jurgen Klopp
    • Liverpool FC
    • Brentford FC
    • Premier League

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