WENGER: BRIT PAIR ARE CLUB’S FU­TURE

Sunday Express - - Front Page - By Steve Mil­lar

THIS time last year Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum was fight­ing a los­ing bat­tle against rel­e­ga­tion at New­cas­tle and ad­mits he was “dev­as­tated” as he stared into a bleak fu­ture.

Now the Dutch­man is born again after a £23mil­lion move to Liver­pool last sum­mer, with a Cham­pi­ons League spot beck­on­ing un­der the lead­er­ship of boss Jur­gen Klopp.

And Ge­orginio (above) just loves it. The 26-year-old said: “When I was at PSV we were league cham­pi­ons and then I went to New­cas­tle with good in­ten­tions of fin­ish­ing 10th, ninth or even eighth.

“I spoke to the man­ager Steve McClaren and they wanted to try some­thing new, bring­ing in play­ers to cre­ate a new team.

“But as soon as you don’t win games, con­fi­dence goes and you are ba­si­cally only fight­ing to sur­vive. You for­get how to en­joy football.

“Of course this sea­son we also had a pe­riod when we were not that good. Jan­uary to Fe­bru­ary was not good for us but now I en­joy football more.”

There is still the added pres­sure of try­ing to bring the old glory times back to An­field but Wi­j­nal­dum takes that in his stride.

He said: “The pres­sure I put on my­self is more to en­joy it than to win games.

“The pres­sure is part of football, es­pe­cially when you play for a club as big as Liver­pool.

“Ex­pec­ta­tions are re­ally high and ev­ery­one ex­pects a lot of you.

“There are a lot of play­ers who would want the same kind of pres­sure – play­ing for a big club or be­ing a good foot­baller.”

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