Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool’

Football

Arsenal update: Suarez and Higuain. New offers?

By Stefano on July 12th, 2013

Lots of gossip in the papers this morning about Arsenal making a second offer to Liverpool for Luis Suarez and how it will take to land him.

The Reds are apparently prepared to listen to offers of around £40 million and if anything like that amount of money is on the table some sources say they will encourage the player to put in a transfer request.

Arsenal meanwhile are rumoured to have offered £30 million and a second offer will take them significantly closer to Liverpool’s asking price. It remains to be see though whether Liverpool will cash in on their talented but unpredictable striker.

Suarez’s favoured destination is still reckoned by some to be Real Madrid, the club that currently own Arsenal’s other major target Gonzalo Higuain. The theory is that were Real to sign Suarez it would make Higuain the third choice striker at the club and make a move to north London more likely. There is still argy bargy over the price with Real wanting more than the £23 million that Arsenal are rumoured to have offered them.

Much of whether the Higuain to Arsenal is alive or not centres around whether Ancelotti is truly keen on keeping the player or indulging in mind games with Wenger to get the best possible deal.

 



Football

Arsenal offer £35 million for Suarez? But is Higuain still the real target?

By Stefano on July 10th, 2013

Its is still speculation, but Goal are suggesting that rather than go back to their original number one transfer target Gonzalo Higuain, the Gunners are preparing a £35 million offer for Luis Suarez.

Arsenal offered £30 million last week, but we knocked by Liverpool. However £35 million might just be enough to convince the Reds that they should part with their talented but troublesome striker.

It might even by an attempt to push the deal through before Arsenal leave on their pre-season tour of Asia tomorrow.

Like a lot of Arsenal fans I am agonising over this one. Sure Suarez is a superb striker with a proven Premiership record, but are we ready to handle all the baggage that comes with the player?

Also arsenal’s main rivals for Suarez would appear to be Real Madrid. Maybe this an attempt to force Real to play their hand and ultimately keep the pressure on the club so they release Higuain to fund a Suarez deal.

Suarez has already hinted that he might be open to a move to London.

So Arsenal fans – what do you think?



Football

Review of the Premiership part 3: Spurs, Everton and more – what might have been…

By Stefano on May 22nd, 2013

Simon Poulter of What Would David Bowie Do? rounds up the season

Tottenham Hotspur (72 pts, GD +20) 5th

Much rested on André Villas-Boas’s young shoulders this season when he stepped into Harry Redknapp’s shoes at White Hart Lane. Clearly, the chemistry at Chelsea had been all wrong – would Spurs be any better? Clearly, yes, and although fifth place and another crack at Europe’s second-string competition is not ideal (it was the same result that got Redknapp fired), AVB has restored Spurs to be a genuine top-four challenger this season, as Redknapp had done before his mojo departed in early 2012.

It would be tempting to say this season has been all about Gareth Bale for Tottenham, but it’s patently clear that without him, Spurs are lacking somewhat, and can’t rely totally on Adebayor and Dempsey, or Parker, for that matter, to create chances. Hanging on to Bale has to be Tottenham’s inter-season priority, with a much needed talent refresh elsewhere a close second.

Everton (63 pts, GD +15) 6th

David Moyes has done all he can do for Everton. His appointment as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor is what we all expected – including, apparently, Ferguson himself. As demonstrated at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, Everton – despite their apparent threadbare finances – are no-nonsense grafters in the manner of their manager of 11 years, playing robustly and effectively when consensus would say there’s no need. Losing the substantial Fellaini would be a bitter blow, Leighton Baines even worse, but Everton – for all their modesty – have been left in creditable shape by the only possible candidate for the vacancy at Old Trafford.

Liverpool (61 pts, GD +28) 7th

For those still stuck in the era of big hair and bigger moustaches on Merseyside, to end seventh behind Everton but with a greater goal difference must be agony. It must be even harder to accept that in Luis Suarez, despite his headline-grabbing, arm-chewing antics, Liverpool had one of the Premier League’s star assets this term. Brendan Rodgers even managed to return Daniel Sturridge to something approaching the quality he should have shown at Chelsea. But those aside, a disappointing season for the mighty Reds. Inconsistent and lacking the kind of strength across the park that Liverpool would have had without question in eras past. On the upside, Jamie Carragher retired, so we’ll no longer have to put up with his scally whining.

Article originally published here.



Football

Liverpool ahead of Arsenal in race to sign Ashley Williams

By Stefano on April 12th, 2013

Ashley Williams is apparently Arsene Wenger’s number one centre half target as he bids to strengthen a defence that has proved Arsenal’s undoing many times this season.

The Mirror though claims that it is unlikely that the Frenchman will get his man with Williams favouring a move to Liverpool.

There appears to be every little substance to the story (which is also covered in a number of other papers) other than a re-iteration of things we know already – that Williams is a massive Liverpool fan who idolised John Barnes and that the player would jump at the chance of working again with old Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers.

Arsenal are wiling to bid at least £9million, though they could potentially offer more give the size of their war chest. They are also more likely than Liverpool to be able to offer Williams Champions League football. Several papers suggest that Liverpool will need to spend £12 million to secure Williams.

If Williams does sign for Liverpool Arsenal could renew their interest in QPR’s Chris Samba or if they want to spend big Borussia Dortmund’s highly rated Mats Hummels.



Football

Why history will be kind to Liverpool and England’s boy wonder Michael Owen

By Stefano on March 21st, 2013

Simon Poulter, of What Would David Bowie Do? fame -puts the case for the England striker

In much of the world, we’ve become quite used to the commonly employed calendar system. We know that this is 2013 AD, and at some point in time there was a year 1AD.

Before that, we had the BC era, which goes back to, well, whenever somebody first named the years in decreasing numbers until you got to 1BC, skipping 0, clearly, because that would have meant having 0BD/AD as a year, which would have sounded like a blood group.

Fans of the England football team, however, follow a similar system to the Jewish calendar, ignoring conventional chronology. Orthodox followers of English football believe the modern era began in 1966. And it’s been downhill ever since.

1966 should have heralded a glorious new dawn, but it darkened pretty quickly. By 1972, in fact, when West Germany wrought revenge for the Wembley brouhaha involving a Russian linesman, and ejected England – not for the first time, either – from the European Championships that year. Worse was to come with failure to qualify at all for the 1974 World Cup, and again in 1978 when we all became honorary Scots, And so on, and so on, and so on.

Argentina and all that…

So excuse the miracle-starved among us for thinking there was a new Messiah abroad when, in 1998, a young boy danced through the Argentinian defence at the French-hosted World Cup match to score a wonder goal.

The boy was Michael Owen: born in Chester on December 14, 1979, and who this week announced his intention to retire at the end of this season. At the age of 11, he joined Liverpool as a schoolboy player, turning professional on his 17th birthday. By this stage there was already plenty of buzz about him. Was he The One? On his first-team debut for Liverpool, Owen scored against Wimbledon, setting the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a nation alive with his arrival.

And then came 30 June 1998. In Saint-Étienne (the French town, not the Sarah Cracknell-fronted indy electro darlings). Aged just 18, he pulled off the goal that had us all convinced he was The One. Collecting a pass from David Beckham, Owen set off on a winding run through the Argentina defence, snaking through it like a raging, coursing river, before letting fly just outside the penalty box, with the ball whistling past goalkeeper Carlos Roa.

While Beckham would get sent off just after half-time for his petulant kickout at the odious Gabriel Batistuta, and the game would end ingloriously on penalties (with Argentina progressing to the quarter-finals), that one goal would be burned in our memories as the start of something new.

The following season’s home Chelsea league fixture against Liverpool was a must-attend. We all wanted to see the wunderkind who’d lifted our hopes that summer.

For Liverpool, Owen would deliver 158 goals in 297 appearances (take note, F Torres). However, by the time the-then 26-year-old made a Mr. Big Pants move to Real Madrid, his star – even with such a prodigious goal record at Anfield – had already started to wain. Some say it had faded by the time he turned 21.

The injury years

Today, Michael Owen may be preparing for retirement with a multitude of records to his name, but the one least likely to appear in his private trophy cabinet is the title of “Most Likely To Be Found On A Treatment Table”. Like a footballing meteor lighting up the night sky, Owen’s early promise did, let’s be honest, fizzle somewhat, thanks to injuries which surely couldn’t have been helped by being thrust onto the world stage so young.

Owen’s switch to Madrid produced a solitary season of just 40 appearances with Galacticos like Zidane, Figo, Carlos and Raul, and a return of just 14 goals. But as inevitable as injuries were, part of the problem was the fit: he just missed the Premier League. Who can blame him?

Returning to England, Owen could have gone back to Liverpool: he wanted to, but the record shows that one Rafa Benitez wasn’t interested. I’ll say no more than that. Instead. Newcastle took him on, until a broken metatarsal playing for England at the end of 2005 led to a year out, and Owen was never the same player again, though 30 goals in 79 games for Newcastle is still not that bad.

After Owen parted company with Newcastle in 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson took a punt and brought the striker to Manchester United. A 30-year-old striker is not necessarily a bad thing. Look at Didier Drogba. But at 30 Owen was, in Premier League years, and old man. Still, he gave Manchester United 17 strikes in 52 games, and another couple of seasons at a top club, before moving this season to Stoke for just seven appearances so far and a single goal.

No one, however, is that surprised Owen has chosen to retire at the and of this season. Injuries not withstanding, the fire that tore apart the Argentinian defence in 1998 has long since been reduced to a flickering flame.

You could argue that the 15 years since Saint-Étienne have seen diminishing returns. But let’s not quibble too much. Some things aren’t meant to last long: Jimi Hendrix only made three proper albums; The Beatles broke up less than 10 years into their recording career; and it is true that a Big Mac is over with too soon. If only for that one goal in France in 1998, we can be thankful that Michael Owen blazed. It was just a bit early, and didn’t last long.

Article originally published here. Pic credit.



Football

Arsenal update: Alexis Sanchez for Thomas Vermaelen swap? Striker Carr on radar

By Stefano on March 20th, 2013

There’s more buzz about the Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal transfer this morning with several papers suggesting that the Barca winger/striker is one of Arsene Wenger’s top targets for the summer.

Wenger has been helped in his quest by the former sporting director at Udinese, Fabrizio Larini, the club where Sanchze made his name.

Larini thinks that his former protege should join The Gunners because their style of football complements the way that Sanchez plays.

“Sanchez needs to play the ball on the ground, just like Arsenal. That would be his ideal game. I do not know his current situation at the Spanish club. But his fitness problems have definitely limited his performances.The only thing that these teams will have to consider is that he is a player who needs freedom to play his way. In teams that have particularly rigid patterns of play he might have a few problems,” Larini said.

Several papers are also suggesting that one way of bagging Sanchez would be to include him as part of a swap deal for Arsenal centre back Thomas Vermaelen. The Belgian has been out of sorts this season so a new start in Spain might appeal to him.

The Mail also reports that Arsenal are tracking the Dulwich Hamlets striker Daniel Carr. The player, who the paper claims is one of the hottest prospects in non-league football, was apparently on his way to Liverpool but Arsenal are keen to hijack the move.



Football

Will Liverpool and Arsenal be competing for the same players this summer?

By Stefano on March 13th, 2013

There’s an interesting interview (reported by The Telegraph and others) where Brendan Rodgers talks about his transfer plans for next summer.

First up Rodgers doesn’t see a major restructuring of the team which has hit form recently.

“There is no doubt there is a natural rebuilding that will come with the likes of Jamie Carragher retiring. I am happy with the squad if I can then put another three or four quality players to it,”

In words that echo a certain Arsenal manager Rodgers states…

“It is quality we are after, not quantity. We see Coutinho and Sturridge’s quality in January, if we bring in another three or four players of that quality and add that to what we have got then we have got a strong squad.“You want between 20 and 22 players. I’m talking about two in every position and your three goalkeepers. Then below that having young players who can support that.

“Of course you have an ideal target, but we are getting to a situation now where, for me, you have to have three players and if one doesn’t come off you have to be comfortable with the other two. If you get one of those you are happy. There is a lot of terrific work going on with the scouting department getting those lists together.

There are more interesting parallels with Arsenal too. At the current time it seems unlikely that either side will be playing Champions League football next season which will mean that they are unlikely to compete with Europe’s big guns for the likes Jovetic and Cavani. Also, as Wenger knows all too well, both managers will be painfully aware that the Continent’s top sides could be targeting their marquee players.

One player that the two clubs are likely to tussle for is Ashley Williams, the in form Swansea centre back. Rodgers’ relationship with the player could give Liverpool the edge, especially if neither side has Champions League football on the table.

Williams would be a tailor-made replacement for Carragher bringing solidity and leadership to the heart of the Liverpool defence.

There are several other players that both clubs could be competing for.

Ajax’s Christian Eriksen will be on his way to the Premiership next season and could interest both sides. Arsenal are also very keen on another possible Liverpool target Alexis Sanchez of Barcelona and Bilbao’s controversial centre back Fernando Amorebieta could end up at the club that doesn’t land Williams.

The big question for Rodgers is how much money he feels he needs to spend to create a squad that will be challenging, at the very least, for Champions League football next season. The interview suggests that he will have a £20 million kitty. Is that enough? If  Rodgers wants more then the club will have to sell players. There are fringe players, like the out of form Skrtel, who could prise some cash, but there remains the option of cashing in on the club’s prize asset – Luis Suarez.

It would be massively unpopular with the fans but Suarez’s sale could add a significant wodge to that the cash reserve. Bayern Munich are rumoured to be interested in the player while the Daily Mail reported recently that Atletico Madrid are targeting Suarez to replace Radamel Falcao should he leave the La Liga side.

It might free up funds for the club to launch a bid for Xabi Alonso of Real Madrird, who could rejoin the club he spent five seasons with to finish his career. The 31 year old has certainly been in sparkling form for the club. Rodgers would also have to invest heavily in a new striker or two.

Is it a gamble worth taking?

It will be interesting to see of the club manage to offload flop striker Andy Carroll this summer. Liverpool paid £35 million for the player and it will be fascinating to see how much of that money that manage to recoup.



Football

Have Liverpool found their winning midfield combination?

By Stefano on March 8th, 2013

A midfield trio of Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard appears a little too cautious on paper, but their collective performance in last week’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic will have encouraged Brendan Rodgers, who likes to fill his sides with as many passers as possible.

Rodgers had been using a 4-2-3-1 formation featuring four outright attackers since the arrival of Daniel Sturridge in January; and that seems his long-term plan. Brazilian Coutinho impressed against Wigan and deserves another start, so if he, Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing and Sturridge (injured last weekend) are all used against Spurs, Rodgers will be forced to drop one of his central midfielders.

But Rodgers will be keen to ensure his side aren’t overrun by Tottenham in midfield. Although Mousa Dembele is sitting deeper now Scott Parker (rather than Sandro) is his midfield partner, he still offers directness from the centre of the pitch. Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played under Rodgers at Swansea last season, impressed last weekend against Arsenal by drifting inside from the left, while Gareth Bale will probably again be deployed in a central attacking position. Liverpool need numbers in the middle.

Therefore, the Lucas-Gerrard-Allen triumvirate will probably get another run-out this weekend, with Rodgers keen for Liverpool to dominate possession. It also means there’s the potential for an obvious attacking shift, a fourth attacker replacing Allen, should Liverpool need to get back in the game.

Read more: http://pickourteam.com/premierleague/news/08-03-2013/rodgers-set-for-midfield-trio-v-spurs/820335#ixzz2Mx6rC67d

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally published here.

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Football

Arsenal’s next captain? Ashley Williams? The Guardian thinks it could be on the cards

By Stefano on March 5th, 2013

Arsene Wenger has his eyes on Swansea’s captain and central defender Ashley Williams so says The Guardian.

There’s no mention of a source or a quote from Wenger but the paper says…

Wenger has identified the Wales captain as someone with the leadership qualities to control and organise Arsenal’s defence in a way more reminiscent of when the club built a large part of their success on having a dominant figure such as Tony Adams, Martin Keown or Steve Bould in the heart of their back four.

Interestingly the article also discusses Wenger’s lack of faith in his current trio of central defenders and suggests that the Arsenal manager was keen to bring a player in during the transfer window.

It also adds that neither Thomas Vermaelen or Per Mertesacker seem capable of taking charge of the Arsenal defence.

It concludes that Williams, who is contracted to 2015, would cost in the region of £8m and is also being tracked by Liverpool.

So, if this is true then why did Wenger not approach Swansea in the transfer window? Surely given Arsenal’s financial resources if he was that disappointed with his trio of centre backs he could have signed a player, maybe even Williams.

Arsenal clearly need as leader too though parachuting Williams in as not just as a new recruit, but also as a captain, sounds like it could be problematic.

So what do you think? It wouldn’t surprise me if Arsenal bid for the player in the summer, but he is just one on a long list of centre backs.

Pic from Wikipedia



Football

Liverpool CL game with Debrecen definitely under investigation

By Stefano on February 5th, 2013

From the moment that Europol confirmed that a Champions League game played in England was on its match fixing enquiry list British football fans have been trying to work out which club and which game is under the spotlight.

It has now been confirmed which game is being investigation and it is a match that no one was talking about.

Sky Sports News has this

Hungarian club Debrecen have confirmed their Champions League match against Liverpool in 2009 was part of a match-fixing inquiry.

Liverpool, who won the game in question 1-0, are not suspected of any wrongdoing.

The Anfield club have told Sky there has been no contact from European enforcement agency Europol or governing body Uefa in relation to alleged match-fixing.

Apparently first to point the finger at Debrecen was Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, whose allegation was then picked up by a number of British news sources. Interestingly the allegation centres around the club’s keeper Vukasin Poleksic who has already been banned for two year by Uefa for another incident.

So what do you think about the match fixing allegations now? Was the media frenzy which hinted that our game was much more corrupt than we thought justified? And Liverpool fans – does the allegation that your club was involved in the game – even though the club is not suspected of anything – worry you at all?



Football

Should Rodgers drop Carragher for Liverpool’s game against Man City?

By Stefano on February 1st, 2013

After receiving the man-of-the-match award for his fine performance against Arsenal, Jamie Carragher was asked if he was enjoying his current run in the side. “What, two games?” came the typically cheeky Scouse reply. He’s hardly cemented his position as a first-team regular.

But Carragher certainly performed well at the Emirates, dealing with Arsenal’s long balls towards Olivier Giroud in open play, and barking instructions at the rest of the defence, encouraging them to push up as

Arsenal passed the ball around the defence, forcing opposition attackers away from goal. That suggests Carragher is content to play a high defensive line despite his declining pace, although Theo Walcott got in behind a couple of times, which will have worried Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers must now decide whether to start Carragher away at Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, or recall Martin Skrtel. He had an interesting game in the reverse fixture against City; having opened the scoring with a towering header, his suicidal backpass in the final minutes was intercepted by Carlos Tevez, denying Rodgers his first Liverpool win.

Despite Carragher’s impressive showing, it’s difficult to see how he’d be able to cope with Sergio Aguero’s incredible acceleration, particularly with Tevez stretching the defence in the opposite direction. Skrtel hasn’t been at his best this season, having been Liverpool’s star man in 2011-12: and although the Slovakian is better in the air than on the ground, a combination of he and Daniel Agger seems logical against the threat of Aguero.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally posted here.



Football

Liverpool’s tactics against Arsenal – some interesting decisions for Brendan Rodgers

By Stefano on January 29th, 2013

A peculiar feature of Liverpool’s difficult away games under Brendan Rodgers is his tendency to completely change his side’s formation at half-time: away at Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United he’s dramatically altered his side after an underwhelming first-half performance. Now, especially after the weekend embarrassment at Oldham, he’s under pressure to get it right from the start.

Following the arrival of Daniel Sturridge, Fabio Borini’s return from injury, plus Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson’s good form, Rodgers has plenty of experienced players to call upon. As a result, Raheem Sterling will predominantly be a substitute for the rest of this season, while Suso is no longer a regular, and instead on the periphery of the squad.

Sterling, Borini and Joe Allen were omitted from the side that convincingly defeated Norwich 5-0 at Anfield ten days ago, and none did anything against Oldham to suggest they deserve a place in the side for the trip to Arsenal. Sterling would be a risk defensively, Borini isn’t yet 100% fit following his injury lay-off, while Allen has been in poor form.

The natural approach would see Rodgers revert to the side that faced Norwich: Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard sitting deep, then Downing, Henderson and Luis Suarez behind Sturridge. But will Rodgers be brave enough to play that system at the Emirates, considering Arsenal’s tendency to dominate possession? I can’t help feeling that he’ll will want some extra passing quality in the centre of the pitch, and might start Allen: this is surely a game made for him, despite his recent form.

That would probably mean Henderson dropping to the bench, with Downing on the left and Suarez cutting inside to join Sturridge. With so many versatile options, Rodgers’ tinkering is understandable, but he needs to get things right at Arsenal.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally posted here.



Football

Liverpool fans. Is it time to say goodbye to Brendan Rodgers?

By Stefano on January 28th, 2013

Our Liverpool FC corespondent, David Owens, thinks that Rodgers could be two games away from getting the push

Hours after Liverpool’s humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of Oldham, it is easy to go route one and call for the head of the manager… after all that’s what modern football is all about isn’t it? Time was when managers had what was called time – amazing to think Slur Alex Ferguson went 4 years before winning a trophy and gave the United faithful the delights of Ralph Milne to enjoy…. Will his successor be given such a luxury (time not Ralph Milne!). Liverpool fans have always given managers time – but that all changed last season when our owners decided that a trophy, and a cup final were not enough compared to a poor league finish in 8th and so our manager was sacked, giving in my eyes carte blanche for fans to expect the same treatment to all managers – I mean, they were the ones mentioning progress, Champions League etc etc not us!

In truth the time to properly assess Rodgers is at the end of the season. He has the benefit, if you could call it as such, that for half the season he was working with one hand behind his back only having one striker, a situation for which he was not wholly responsible. That said, this defeat will heap a whole cart load of pressure on him and sadly all now of his own making.

Liverpool of late have been playing well, scoring goals and looking slick in terms of passing and tempo. However, all of the good work done is being destroyed, and then some, by some absolutely disastrous team selections – selections which in terms of their regularity and awfulness ask serious questions of Rodgers’s suitability as Liverpool manager. Many of Liverpool’s recent defeats come back to selection. Now you could say that most defeats do, but it is the lack of sense or thought in some of these selections which ask questions, and don’t get me started on the tactics.

For example, Stoke City away, no place for the likes of Suso or Stewart Downing – but both started and were ineffective. Liverpool spent far too much time tippy tapping the ball around their own penalty area and allowed Stoke to hassle them down. Sadly Stoke away is a game for men, and a team willing to put a shift in, you play a bit more direct and play them at their own game.

The game at Old Trafford, Liverpool were not at the races for 55 minutes – when Manchester United are clearly struggling at the back and any team attacking them have half a chance, what does Brendan do, sets up his team to sit back and soak up pressure…. Granted he did change things at half time but too late.

And so to today, cold wet Lancashire day, a big tough limited Oldham side – and what does Brendan do… include slight slender players not used to this sort of pressure bowl – Coates, Allen, Sterling, Borini, Robinson… just totally ludicrous selections, handing on a plate to Oldham a massive slice of initiative.

Add in some serious questions of the buys Rodgers has authorised – £15m for Joe Allen looks worse value than £14m for the improving Henderson, £12m for Borini looks laughable not to mention the waste of time that was Sahin, and Rodgers has some crawling to the fans to do… it is OK for some to say we must back him and trust him – but first of all you need to earn the right, and every time he buys a packet of trust, he washes it all away with poor decisions.

This is where the equation at year end really takes a strange turn. In my eyes, and I think 95% of fans eyes – even Arsenal fans, the most important decider on a season’s success is silverware. Liverpool won a cup last season and were arguably a whisker from a second ( I still think Carroll’s header was over the line in the FA Cup final). However by finishing a poor 8th in the league, our owners said it was not enough – even for a legend of the club, and Kenny Dalglish was sacked…. So what is Brendan’s minimum requirement from the owners? … and, what is it from Liverpool fans, keen to cut him some slack but desperate to see progress.

Brendan’s only hope of a cup is now the Uefa Cup, but with potentially 2 awkward trips to Eastern Europe ahead, and his habit of playing a few younger lads, it seems to indicate it is not priority number 1 – he may have to change that now as now as a lack of silverware will place a very sharp focus on league form. Liverpool fans overlooked 8th last season because we won a trophy… no trophy means a European place is a must in terms of a league finish. This may still yet be 6th place if the FA Cup is won by Arsenal / Man U / Man C or Chelsea as all 4 are likely to be top 6… if you include Everton and Tottenham in that list, Liverpool are at the moment fighting West Brom for 7th… unacceptable. So what can Brendan do to get into that top 6, can he break into the top 4?

Much will depend on the next 2 fixtures – Arsenal and Man City away. 2 defeats and I would say Liverpool fans ire will be palpable… if we are still in touching distance then slack will continue to be cut.

Given though no one really knows what is going on in our owners mind’s as they do not seem to say much, we can only go on their actions at the end of last season – and the dreaded Champions League word was mentioned – so with potentially no trophy this season and 4th possibly a pipedream come Sunday of results are poor… I’d say Brendan could well be inundated with offers of getting his coat for him.



Football

Liverpool considering Wesley Sneijder transfer says The People

By Stefano on January 13th, 2013

A few days back Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder issued a ‘come and get to me plea’ to the Premiership’s clubs. But with Dutch player’s weekly wages of £160,000 there didn’t appear to be any takers. Now, in spite of a possible deal with Turkish team Galatasaray, The Sunday People is reporting that Liverpool might be about to launch a bid for the player.

According to The People

Kop boss Brendan Rodgers thinks he has a good chance of luring the 28-year-old Holland star to the Premier League – even though Inter have already ­accepted an £8.2million deal from the Turkish side.

Sneijder, who has fallen out with Inter bosses, is stalling on the Gala deal because he would prefer to play in England – and Liverpool are ready to offer him the chance.

Apparently Kop managing director Ian Ayre has been talking to the club’s owners to see if a deal is possible. The Reds would be securing a world class player at a cheap price, well apart from those astronomical wages.

If Sneijder were to take a pay cut it would certainly spur Man United and Arsenal, both of whom have tried to sign the player in the past, into action.

Before Liverpool fans get too excited no other papers are running the story.

Image Wikipedia



Football

Pepe Reina on his way to Man United? David Dea Gea heading for the exit door?

By Stefano on January 7th, 2013

Pepe Reina to Arsenal was a key story before the transfer window opened, but now it appears that the Liverpool FC Spanish keeper is interesting not just Arsene Wenger but Sir Alex Ferguson too.

According to The Mirror Fergie is ready to sell David De Gea and buy a new goalkeeper this month with Liverpool’s Pepe Reina a target.

Ferguson has apparently asked David Gill and the club’s American owners to provide funds for a new keeper, and the Scot is understood to be keen to find a goalkeeper who can play in the Champions League during the second half of the season.

Reina looks like he is surplus to requirements at Liverpool with the form of Brad Jones and the mooted move of Birmingham City’s Jack Butland.

Still, although De Gea hasn’t quite worked out in the Premiership – he seems very suspect on crosses – replacing the keeper who Ferguson spent big money on after so short a time seems bizarre.

If Butland does arrive Reina will be available and with Arsenal’s courtship of the Liverpool keeper seemingly gone cold, Fergie could easily tie up a deal. Butland is apparently interesting Arsene Wenger too.

Read our top transfer targets of the window here.




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