Liverpool throw-in coach has no anger, just pity for Andy Gray
Date published: Monday 9th September 2019 10:40
Liverpool throw-ins coach Thomas Gronnemark says Andy Gray’s reaction to his new job was “unprofessional”.
Gronnemark was appointed by Liverpool in the summer of 2018 and he admitted at the time his job was the “weirdest in the world”.
The news was mocked by pundit Gray, who told beIN Sports: “I know how you can take advantage of a situation, throw it to one of your own players.
“That would be number one. Number two, keep hold of the ball. Maybe we are going to see Andy Robertson do a headstand and take it.
“Here is a lesson. Pick the ball up, take it behind your head, throw it to a teammate and keep both feet on the ground.
“I have got a new one. I want to be the first kick-off coach.”
But rather than be angry about Gray’s comments, Gronnemark says he “actually felt a little bit sorry for Andy Gray”.
“It didn’t bother me, I actually felt a little bit sorry for Andy Gray,” Gronnemark told The Athletic.
“If a guy looks at something new and doesn’t understand it, you have two choices. Either laugh at it or try to find out more about it.
“I just wish he’d been a bit more curious and asked why would a world-class coach like Jurgen Klopp invite him? It would have made a good feature on their show.
“Instead it was a bit like they were talking in the pub after drinking 10 pints. I think it was unprofessional. Some people hoped I’d be angry but I wasn’t. The internet answered for me with the reaction he got.
“I can laugh at the fact I’m a throw-ins coach. It’s a funny job, I know that.”
Gronnemark, who has been working with teams since 2004, says there are 25-30 technical aspects to a long throw and has revealed his contract was extended after a six-month probation period and he now has a deal until the end of this season.
Gronnemark added: “Sometimes I’ll stop and look at the players in front of me and think: ‘Oh, this is crazy.’ I’m working at a gigantic club who won the Champions League.
“Initially, I had a contract for the first half of last season then it was extended for the second half and now I have one for the full season.
“I don’t think many people are laughing now. I think most people in football look at it and say: ‘Okay, there must be something in it.’”
It seems Klopp is certainly a fan of the Danish coach and Joe Gomez’s throw which aided Jesse Lingard’s equaliser as England beat Croatia 2-1 in November last year was proof that he is making a difference.
“Gomez’s throw-in against Croatia showed it is a dangerous weapon for Liverpool and England,” Gronnemark told BBC Sport at the time. “I think it won’t be used very often, but the opponents have to think twice before they put the ball out of play.”