The most influential team on Liverpool 2.0? Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth

Liverpool 2.0 continues even after Jurgen Klopp and the brains behind it come from an unlikely place - Portsmouth under Harry Redknapp.

Liverpool are looking to cement their place at the top table in football and show that Jurgen Klopp wasn't the sole reason they've been so successful in recent years. Klopp himself has called it 'Liverpool 2.0'.

Of course, the plan for assuring that was to find another person who's influenced the Reds greatly in the last decade - Michael Edwards.

Edwards returns as FSG's CEO of football. Essentially, he'll oversee their grand football project, which should soon include at least one club that isn't Liverpool.

He also helped pick Liverpool's sporting director - his permanent successor, essentially. For that he went with Bournemouth's Richard Hughes, who is someone Edwards knows well.

That's because Edwards broke into football at Portsmouth in the early 2000s. He worked as an analyst there, where Hughes was a player under Harry Redknapp.

Per The Times, Hughes was part of a group of players at Pompey 'who were frequent visitors to the analysts’ room as they requested data and video clips to study'. That group also included Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe and Wolves boss Gary O'Neil.

Both, not-so-coincidentally, are previous managers of Bournemouth under Hughes. And O'Neil, to complete the links here, is previously a youth coach at Liverpool under Edwards.

The Pompey links continue

And we're not actually done with the links there. Hughes will bring Mark Burchill along from Bournemouth as a scout. Burchill, too, was at Portsmouth when Edwards worked there as an analyst.

David Woodfine, too, will return to Liverpool. He initially joined the Reds in 2014 but left in 2023, a year after Edwards had. He's now going to be Hughes's assistant at the Reds and, would you believe it, he previously worked at Portsmouth with Edwards.

And in one that didn't happen, Liverpool supposedly had Howe 'score highly' in their analysis while searching for a new manager. His links to the project at Anfield are now quite immense - though, there was never any realistic chance.

But down the line, who knows? There are now two Premier League managers with those strong links in Howe and O'Neil. Don't be surprised to see the Pompey group grow at Liverpool over the next few years.

They're a group who have grown in the game together, developing similar ideas and, above all, trust in each other. Edwards is certainly backing that trust and thinking to deliver for Liverpool in the coming years.

Let's hope he's right.

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