Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lineup: El Nino Starts At Utrecht

Roy Hodgson names a strong line-up for tonight's Europa League clash with Utrecht in Holland. Dirk Kuyt makes a return to the club he started his footballing career at back in 1998, whilst Martin Kelly also gets the nod with Fabio Aurelio, Paul Konchesky and Daniel Agger all out injured. With Steven Gerrard left at home to rest for this one, Lucas and Christian Poulsen marshall the Reds midfield alongside Raul Meireles. Joe Cole supports Fernando Torres in attack. Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Kelly, Skrtel, Carragher, Lucas, Poulsen, Kuyt, Cole, Meireles,Torres. Subs: Jones, Jovanovic, Kyrgiakos, Maxi, Spearing, Babel, Ngog.

Torres Fit And Ready To Fire

Fernando Torres is fully fit and ready to start firing on all cylinders for Liverpool. That was the message from manager Roy Hodgson ahead of tonight's Europa League test against Utrecht, which will be music to Kopites' ears after seeing the talismanic striker largely frustrated in the opening six Premier League games. Questions had been raised over Torres' form and fitness after suffering a groin injury in the World Cup final but Hodgson has laid those concerns to rest and insists that Liverpool's medical team have kept tabs on his rehabilitation to avoid a recurrence of the problems. He said: "There is no reason now to separate Fernando from the rest of the group as he trains every day – I think the injury problems are behind him now and we can 't bring those up any more. "They were supposedly cleared up when he went to the World Cup. Because then he didn 't meet up to some people's expectations then there were theories about him being injured. "But really he was recovered from injury – the injury he picked up in the final was very minor and had cleared up when he got back to us. "We have been trying to keep a close eye on him. We do not want throw him into the deep end too often or too soon but certainly I wouldn 't dream of playing him if he wasn't right."

Legend Asks Glen Johnson To Focus On Defending

Alan Kennedy has urged Glen Johnson to focus on his defensive capabilities for Liverpool. A debate over the England international's suitability to the right-back role continues to rumble on following Liverpool's worst start to the season in over 18 years, with the possibility of him being redeployed as a winger being a key talking point. However, speaking exclusively to Click Liverpool, Kennedy, a left-back during a trophy-laden spell at Anfield between the 1978 and 1985, believes that Johnson is able to combine both defensive and attacking duties in his current role, although the former requires fine-tuning. He said: "I thought it might have happened against Manchester United with Martin Kelly coming in at right-back and Glen Johnson moving a bit further forward. "I don't think Glen will be comfortable with that although he does look good when he does get forward. He looks comfortable in an advanced position. But I like him coming in late rather than being in there at that particular time. "From Glen's point of view, I think he'll prefer to come from the back, make the runs into position and get the crosses in. The thing about it is that he's very good at bringing the ball inside, whoever he's facing, and having a shot at goal with his left foot. "He's had a couple of goals, and one for England, that have been very good. He's a quality player but just needs at the moment to concentrate on a little bit more on defensive duties rather than going forward." Despite only amassing one win in their first six Premier League games, Kennedy remains confident that Liverpool will begin to gel as a unit and does not believe that Roy Hodgson's position will be under threat on the back of such a difficult start to life at Anfield. "It's not been the best. I don't worry about starts to the season but we've seen managers in the past sacked for poor starts," he added. "There's no way Roy Hodgson is going to be sacked and there's no way that this team will stay in its current position. They're too good a team. "They just need to get more experience together and start playing football the way they can play. We know we've got three or four players who have just come in; the likes of Poulsen, Konchesky and Meireles, and it takes time to gel. "We need more games where we play our strongest team every game. I'd say to players 'I'm going to play you because we need the points and the results'. I think it's very important that we get some good results in the next few games."

Liverpool Fans Turn To Morpheus For Campaign

Liverpool fans are ramping up their opposition to the club's American owners by calling on celebrities including Samuel L Jackson to star in a video protest film. Campaigners are hoping to gather high-profile names at the Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool on Saturday to film a video that will be posted to YouTube. The group, fronted by Hollywood producer Mike Jefferies, hopes to force Tom Hicks and George Gillett out of Anfield by spreading their message of opposition around the world.
Samuel L Jackson filmed The 51st State in the city in 2001, starring alongside Rhys Ifans, left Celebrities will record messages alongside average fans and already involved are Echo and the Bunnymen singer Ian McCulloch and Lightning Seeds star Ian Broudie, as well as comedians John Bishop and Neil Fitzmaurice. But a feather in the cap for he organisers would be attracting bona fide film star Samuel L Jackson, who is rumoured to be in the city filming Hollywood blockbuster Captain America. Jackson has some previous experience of Liverpool, having filmed 51st State in the city and organisers hope he will lend a hand ... or at least his face.
Jeffires, the film producer behind the Goal! trilogy of films, tried to invest in the Anfield club himself in 2004, and he is unequivocal about his feelings for the current owners. 'Nobody has been despised on Merseyside as much as Hicks since Kelvin Mackenzie,' said Mr Jeffries. 'This will really get right in Hicks' face as he doesn't appear to pay any attention to sit-in protests. 'My fear is that if the Royal Bank of Scotland repossesses the cub, Hicks will injunct their ability to sell it and get rid of it from underneath them. 'This film will illustrate how much he is hated.' Mr Jefferies, who flew in from Capetown to run the video project, has also significantly helped with a viral email bombardment of US media institutions. He even wrote a letter, which was printed in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, which read: 'Dear USA media executive, we love America in Liverpool but …we gave you the Beatles, and this is how you repay us?!' The letter went on to suggest that American banks should refuse to lend Hicks money to cover the £237 million he needs to pay-off a loan to RBS. Singer Neville Skelly, who is backing this weekend 's video campaign, said the owners should not be allowed to run the club if they do not have the money to do so. 'The club is in dire straits,' he said.
'When they took over we were European champions. 'Hicks and Gillett said they wanted to be custodians of the club but now, they 're not even thinking of cutting their losses and getting out. 'They still want to make a serious profit. 'It's so gutting to see the soul getting ripped out of the club. Liverpool FC is a way of life that defines our city.'

Kuyt: I Want To End Trophy Draught

Dirk Kuyt is desperate to end his Liverpool trophy drought. For their Europa League clash at Utrecht, Kuyt returns to the home of his first professional club and, to date, the only place where he has won a trophy. The 30-year-old is still hoping to change that during his remaining years at Liverpool after near- misses in the 2007 Champions League final and the Barclays Premier League in 2009. "My only trophy so far was the cup final here in Holland for Utrecht, against Feyenoord," he said. "I hope it isn't my last trophy, because I want to win many trophies. "It is a strange feeling that it is my only trophy and I want to put that right."

Agger Injured, Out Of Europa Game

Daniel Agger has picked up a knock. The Dane is out of tonight's Europa League game with FC Utrecht with a suspected groin injury and is a doubt for Sunday's Premier League game at home to Blackpool. "We thought at first it was a groin strain but he's gone for an MRI at lunch time today. I haven't received the results of that yet," revealed Roy Hodgson. "The injury hasn't responded as well as we hoped it would. Initially, on Monday, when he came into training we thought he'd recover for this game. "He hasn't, so at the moment there is a question mark over Sunday's game."

Lucas To Start With Poulsen

Lucas Leiva and Christian Poulsen have been named in the starting eleven for tonight 's clash against FC Utrecht, we can confirm. Pepe Reina will once again be in goal, with Brad Jones, his understudy, on the bench. Glen Johnson, Jamie Carragher, Martin Skrtel and Martin Kelly will form the back-four in the absence of Daniel Agger and Paul Konchesky. Lucas Leiva returns to the side along-side Christian Poulsen, with Steven Gerrard remaining on Merseyside. Dirk Kuyt and Milan Jovanovic will provide the width for the Reds with Joe Cole playing just behind Fernando Torres, who starts alone upfront. Brad Jones, Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Maxi Rodriguez, Raul Meireles, David Ngog, Ryan Babel and Jonjo Shelvey are likely to be on the bench – which has not yet been confirmed. Kick-off is at 6pm, and the match will be live in the UK on ITV4, with stream links also available on the LFC Globe website. The line-up may change due to any late decisions or injuries suffered by players in the warm- up. Starting: Reina; Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Kelly; Poulsen, Lucas; Kuyt, Cole, Jovanovic; Torres. Subs: Jones, Kyrgiakos, Rodriguez, Meireles, Ngog, Babel, Shelvey (not yet confirmed).

Cavani Dismisses Liverpool Link

Napoli striker Edinson Cavani insists he's not interested in a move to Liverpool. The Uruguay international has been linked with the Reds in the last week. Asked about the rumours, Cavani insisted: "I'm very happy here and I think of no other club. "I want the fans to rejoice."

Milan Convinced About Gerrard Swoop

AC Milan are keeping tabs on Steven Gerrard's situation at Liverpool. Milan president Silvio Berlusconi is a big fan of Gerrard's and Gazzetta dello Sport says he would love to deliver the Reds captain to the San Siro faithful. Gerrard committed his future to Anfield last summer, but Milan chiefs are banking on a second season failing to qualify for the Champions League to unsettle the midfielder. The Rossoneri board is actively discussing the prospect of bringing Gerrard to Italy next season. Fiorentina have joined the battle for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva. Florence sources say Fiorentina sports chief Pantaleo Corvino has been encouraged by intermediaries to move for the Brazil midfielder in January. Inter Milan and Juventus have also caught wind of Lucas' availability, with Reds boss Roy Hodgson preferring Christian Poulsen in the midfield holding role. Corvino is convinced he can land Lucas for £6 million.

Fiorentina Enter Race To Sign Lucas

Fiorentina have joined the battle for Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva. Florence sources say Fiorentina sports chief Pantaleo Corvino has been encouraged by intermediaries to move for the Brazil midfielder in January. Inter Milan and Juventus have also caught wind of Lucas' availability, with Reds boss Roy Hodgson preferring Christian Poulsen in the midfield holding role. Corvino is convinced he can land Lucas for £6 million.

Roy Denies Wolfswinkel Interest

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson insists Utrecht striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel is not a transfer target. The Reds face Utrecht in the Europa League on Thursday, and Van Wolfswinkel will be leading the line against the Anfield outfit. Some reports claim he could have been lining up against his former club, if Hodgson had got his way and signed the 21-year- old Holland international. "He is doing very well with Utrecht but I would be lying if I said we seriously considered signing him," said Hodgson. "There was no question of him coming this summer. "You've hit me with a name that I didn't know we were linked with."

Shilton: Gerrard Should Remain England Skipper

England legend Peter Shilton says Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard should remain Three Lions captain. Shilton, England's record cap holder with 125 appearances for his country, believes the Anfield talisman should get the job on a full-time basis. He told talkSPORT: "I don't think it would be a bad move. I've been impressed with Steven in the recent matches. He speaks well, he 's calm, he's got a bit of authority. "He seems to be responding to it so it 's hard to look and think 'who else would do a better job'? "I've always been a fan of John Terry. He's a natural leader but you can lead in different ways. The great Bobby Moore, my first England captain, he wasn 't a shouter who charged around the place. He led a bit like Steven Gerrard, nice and calm and collected. "Obviously Steven's got a long way to go to emulate Bobby, but I wouldn 't say it would be a bad choice." Malaga plan a double raid on Liverpool in January. The Spanish Liga outfit are chasing Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva and AS says they're also keen on teammate Ryan Babel. Malaga, now under the control of Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani, have the spending power to tempt Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson into selling both players in January.

Danish Trio In Liverpool Sights

Liverpool are reported to be keeping tabs on three players at Danish club Lyngby. Emil Larsen is believed to be the Reds' top target and the 19- year-old midfielder has also attracted interest in Holland. Kim Aabech, 27, and fellow forward Lasse Rise, 24, have also been impressing Anfield scouts with the newly-promoted top- flight club. And Aabech has admitted he would welcome a move in the January transfer window. "I would like to move during the winter and try something new," he told

Hodgson Insists Gerrard Not Injured

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has explained why he has opted to leave captain Steven Gerrard on Merseyside as the Reds travel to Holland for Thursday night's Europa League tie against Utrecht. Gerrard was a notable absentee from the squad, with defender Daniel Agger also not traveling. Hodgson explained this afternoon that, due to Gerrard's recent problems with back injuries, he did not want to risk playing the midfielder in three games in a week – with Sunday's Premier League clash against Blackpool on the back of his mind. He said, "Steven Gerrard we're sparing because he has a lot of games and we're always concerned that if he plays three games in a week we might lose him for a longer period. Luckily we have quite a few options in midfield. "Gerrard was the only one of our first-team squad that we discussed in terms of should he or shouldn't he play and that has to do with the fact he suffers from back pain. "I've got 23 fit players to choose from and I've chosen to leave one out because he's a very important player for us in the next 40-odd games if we are going to do well. "At the moment Steven Gerrard is fit. If this had been a decisive game in the group and we needed a positive result to get us through he would have played. We play six games in the group and this is only the second."

Torres To Start On Bench

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson will not guarantee striker Fernando Torres a starting place in the Europa League against Utrecht but admits his presence in the squad is something of an insurance policy.The Spain international has not featured in Europe this season - sitting out the four qualifying matches and one Group K encounter - but travelled to Holland with a virtually-full strength squad.Only Steven Gerrard, who is being rested, and Daniel Agger, who has had an MRI scan on a groin problem which has not responded to treatment, missed the trip.But Hodgson said it should not be assumed Torres would automatically take his place up front but revealed he had learned a harsh lesson after the Carling Cup exit to League Two side Northampton."The mere fact he is here does not mean he will be in the starting XI," said the 62-year-old. "When you are playing against Northampton and it is 1-1 and you are not playing very well you are desperate to change the game."You look around you and realise you have given all the quality players time off to prepare for the game on Saturday and you would like desperately to bring on maybe one of those players - that is one of the things that has affected my thinking."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sammy Lee: Times Will Change For Liverpool

Liverpool Assistant Manager
Sammy Lee has defended the
Reds ’ start to the season. He said
“It’s been a bit of a mixed
bag so far. There are a lot of
positives we can take from
every game we ’ve played and
there have been some
negatives, but we tend not to
dwell on that. We know we
are not 100 per cent right,
but we are working very
hard to try and perfect what
we are trying to do. It is a
period of transition and
change. People need to
embrace that change. It will
take time and the boss has
said that. The table is quite
tight and only a few points
separate a lot of the teams,
but what we need to do is to
start turning possession into
goals. If we convert the
chances we are creating
then we will be okay. We can
see what we are trying to
get out of the players and it
is very much a work in
progress. ”
Lee believes that although the
league table doesn ’t lie, they are
not far off where they need to
“There’s a fine line between
success and mediocrity. We
are certainly working hard to
make sure we are on the
right side of that line. What
we are trying to implement is
difficult at this time but the
fans are with us and have
stayed with us. It’s important
for the players because once
they know they have the
supporters backing them
they will try to win even
more for them. ”

Hollywood Director Involved In Anti-Hicks And Gillette Movie

Huge UK Casting Director Dan
Hubbard (King Kong, The
Damned United, The Bourne
Ultimatum etc), is a massive
Liverpool FC fan. This weekend
he is coming up to Liverpool with
Hollywood Producer & Director
Mike Jefferies and together they
are producing a viral to start a
campaign against Tom Hicks and
George Gillett. They want them
out, nothing to do with them
being Americans just, as fans,
they will not ever accept the club
they love being touted as a
product like a soft drink.
They are looking for celebrities
and influential Liverpool fans to
be involved in the viral. We have
lots of people going along
already but wondered if was
something you ’d be interested
You would only be needed for 5
minutes. Either Saturday
10am-6pm or Sunday from 9am
– Noon at Hope Street Hotel in
The viral is building momentum
and becoming known about
throughout the country, as well
as stateside. The following article
was in the Daily Mirror on 24th
September 2010:
Another viral campaign, from
Liverpool fan and Hollywood
producer Mike Jeffries, has hit
home Stateside, with the New
York Times reporting that Hicks
and Gillett are sending out a
negative image of Americans to
the English public. Jeffries, who
wrote and produced the Goal!
series of football-based films, has
started a campaign which has hit
the American media with
thousands of emails, suggesting
that no bank or financial
business should lend to Hicks. In
it, he cheekily writes: “Dear USA
media executive, we love America
in Liverpool but …we gave you
the Beatles, and this is how you
repay us?!
“ What happened to the ‘Special
Relationship between the U.S.
and the U.K.? Are you aware of
how Tom Hicks is driving our
beloved Liverpool Football Club
into the ground? How would you
like it if a British ‘businessman’
came over the USA and destroyed
the New York Yankees ?” The
letter was printed in full by the
New York Times (you can read it
here on: http://
) and several other huge
American newspapers. The
campaign will be backed today
by the SoS initiative, who are
planning a sit in after the
Sunderland game, and will then
repeat the process for the
following week ’s visit of
Blackpool. In a statement
released by the Supporters’
Union yesterday, they called for
all fans to join the direct action
aimed at driving Hicks and Gillett
out of the club.
“ We would like as many
supporters as possible, to make
their feelings known towards the
owners during the Sunderland
match, using banners, flags and
songs, ” the statement read. “We
ask everyone in the ground to
make their voices heard – let
everyone know you will no
longer tolerate the current
“ Following the match,
irrespective of the result, we
intend to hold a sit in protest.
Regardless of where you sit,
remain in the ground and make
your views heard. Gather at the
front of the stand you are in,
with flags and banners, and
make your voices heard. ” While
the Liverpool club board is
actively attempting to block their
owners ’ attempts to refinace
their debt – which is crippling
the club’s finances – manager
Roy Hodgson remained cautious
about the protest last night. He
ran the risk of alienating
supporters further, following a
dismal week on the pitch, when
he suggested that the action
could have an adverse effect on
his players. “It doesn’t help but is
something I’ve had to live with
since I came. It is a major issue
for a group of people who are
very much anti the owners and
anti the current people who are
trying to solve the situation. I
knew the situation existed and it
doesn’t help. But it’s often the
case when things are conspiring
against you there is always an
extra thing to come in and make
it worse. ”
The plan is publish the movie
on to You Tube and get as
many views on it as possible to
keep exposing what Tom Hicks
is all about.
Please support this effort.

Preview: Utrecht vs Liverpool

Liverpool’s first ever trip to Dutch
side Utrecht this Thursday night
in the Europa League will see the
Reds looking to take six points
from their opening two games of
the group stages of the
For Dirk Kuyt, it will be a warm
return to the club he began his
footballing career at back in
1998. The Dutch international
forward played for Utrecht for
five years, before switching to
Feyenoord in 2003.
Roy Hodgson’s men will be
looking to bounce back from a
string of poor results
domestically, having lost to
Manchester United and drawn
with Sunderland in the Premier
League, and an embarrassing
Carling Cup exit at the hands of
Northampton Town.
But the manager faces
somewhat of a problem in
defence, with no left-backs fit to
play. Paul Konchesky is suffering
from a hamstring strain picked
up in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at
home to Sunderland, whilst the
elusive Fabio Aurelio is still
carrying an achilles problem
picked up in last month’s Europa
League qualifier against
Trabzonspor. And with Daniel
Agger out injured, Hodgson has
limited options.
Steven Gerrard also misses the
trip and with a must-win Premier
League clash at home to
Blackpool on Sunday afternoon,
Hodgson could be forgiven for
resting some of the bigger
players of the team.
However, earlier this week the
new Reds boss hinted that he
will use the game to see more of
Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles
and Dirk Kuyt, whom he thought
linked up well together against
the Mackems.
David N’gog could be in line to
miss out on a starting place,
despite his impressive form in
front of goal this season.
Liverpool squad to face Utrecht:
Reina, Jones, Johnson, Kelly,
Kyrgiakos, Skrtel, Carragher,
Shelvey, Poulsen, Lucas,
Rodriguez, Spearing, Babel,
Meireles, Jovanovic, Cole, Kuyt,
Eccleston, Ngog, Torres.
Utrecht vs Liverpool gets
underway at 6pm on Thursday,
30th September.

A Tribute To Shankly: The Greatest Red Ever

Today, September 29, is a sad
day in Liverpool as it's the date
when our greatest ever
manager Bill Shankly passed
We present a special tribute of
some of his most famous quotes
which will never be forgotten.
'Some people believe football is a
matter of life and death, I am
very disappointed with that
attitude. I can assure you it is
much, much more important
than that.'
'If you are first you are first. If
you are second you are nothing.'
'Liverpool was made for me and I
was made for Liverpool.'
'The trouble with referees is that
they know the rules, but they
don't know the game.'
'Son, you'll do well here as long
as you remember two things.
Don't over-eat and don't lose
your accent.' - to Ian St John
when he signed for Liverpool.
To a journalist who suggested
Liverpool were struggling - 'Ay,
here we are with problems at the
top of the league.'
Talking to a reporter about
Roger Hunt - 'Yes Roger Hunt
misses a few, but he gets in the
right place to miss them.'
Explaining to Kevin Keegan
what's expected of him at Anfield
- 'Just go out and drop a few
hand grenades all over the place
'I know this is a sad occasion,
but I think that Dixie would be
amazed to know that even in
death he could draw a bigger
crowd to Goodison than Everton
on a Saturday afternoon.' -
speaking at the funeral of
Everton legend Dixie Dean
'If Everton were playing at the
bottom of the garden, I'd pull the
'Sickness would not have kept
me away from this one. If I'd
been dead, I would have had
them bring the casket to the
ground, prop it up in the stands,
and cut a hole in the lid.' - after
beating Everton in the 1971 FA
Cup semi-final.
Addressing the Liverpool fans
who turned up in their
thousands to welcome the team
home despite losing to Arsenal in
the 1971 FA Cup final - 'Chairman
Mao has never seen a greater
show of red strength.'
After signing Ron Yeats - 'With
him in defence, we could play
Arthur Askey in goal.'
To Alan Ball after he'd signed for
Everton - 'Never mind Alan, at
least you'll be able to play next to
a great team.'
To Tommy Smith after he'd
turned up for training with a
bandaged knee - 'Take that poof
bandage off, and what do you
mean YOUR knee, it's
To the players after failing to sign
Lou Macari - 'I only wanted him
for the reserves anyway.'
To Ian St John - 'If you're not
sure what to do with the ball,
just pop it in the net and we'll
discuss your options afterwards.'
'In my time at Anfield we always
said we had the best two teams
on Merseyside - Liverpool and
Liverpool reserves.'
About the 'This is Anfield' plaque
- 'This is to remind our lads who
they're playing for, and to remind
the opposition who they're
playing against.'
'Of course I didn't take my wife
to see Rochdale as an
anniversary present. It was her
birthday amd would I have got
married during the football
season? Anyway, it was Rochdale
Shankly to the Brussels hotel
clerk who queried his signing
'Anfield' as his address on the
hotel register - 'But that's where
I live.'
Shankly explaining rotation to a
reporter - 'Laddie, I never drop
players, I only make changes.'
Comparing the Anfield pitch to
other grounds - 'It's great grass
at Anfield, professional grass!'
'The difference between Everton
and the Queen Mary is that
Everton carry more passengers!'
To a local barber, who in 1968
had asked 'Anything off the top?
Shanks retorted - 'Aye, Everton!'
On awaiting Everton's arrival for
a derby game at Anfield, Shankly
gave a box of toilet rolls to the
doorman and said - 'Give them
these when they arrive - they'll
need them!'
'I always look in the Sunday
paper to see where Everton are
in the league - starting, of course,
from the bottom up.'
To Chris Lawler during a training
session at Melwood - 'Was it a
goal? Was I offside?' Lawler
replied - 'You were boss.' Shanks
then quipped - 'Christ, son,
you've been here four years,
hardly said a word and, when
you do, it's a bloody lie!'
To Tommy Smith during training
- 'You son, could start a riot in a
'There's Man. Utd and Man. City at
the bottom of Division 1, and by
God they'll take some shifting.'
'It's a 90 minute game for sure.
In fact I used to train for a 190
minute game so that when the
whistle blew at the end of the
match I could have played
another 90 minutes.'
On a wartime Scotland v England
match - 'We absolutely
annihilated England. It was a
massacre. We beat them 5-4.'
After losing to Ajax in the 1967
European Cup - 'We cannae play
these defensive continental
Shanks and Tommy Docherty
were at a game. There was a
player every other club coveted
on view. Docherty said to Shanks
- '100,000 wouldn't buy him.'
Shanks retorted - 'Yeah, and I'm
one of the 100,000!'
What Shanks disliked about
football - 'The end of the season.'
Radio Merseyside reporter to
Shankly - 'Mr Shankly, why is it
that your teams' unbeaten run
has suddenly ended?' Shanks
replied: 'Why don't you go and
jump in the lake?'
On hearing a rival manager was
unwell - 'I know what's wrong -
he's got a bad side!'
To reporters after a 3-0 defeat -
'They're nothing but rubbish.
Three breakaways, that's all they
Talking about Tommy Smith - 'If
he isn't named Footballer of the
Year, football should be stopped
and the men who picked any
other player should be sent to
the Kremlin.'
To a translator, when being
surrounded by gesticulating
Italian journalists - 'Just tell them
I completely disagree with
everything they say!'
After winning the FA Cup in 1974
Shankly goes into a fish and chip
shop and orders a fish supper.
The woman at the counter asks -
'Mr Shankly, shouldn't they be
having steak suppers?' Shanks
replied - 'No lass, they'll get steak
suppers when they win the
To the Anfield PA during a match
- 'Jesus Christ, son, can ye no' talk
into that microphone when the
players are in the penalty box.
You're putting them off, you're
doing more damage than the
Shankly on boardroom meetings
- 'At a football club, there's a holy
trinity - the players, the manager
and the supporters. Directors
don't come into it. They are only
there to sign the cheques.'
Talking about the Liverpool fans -
'I'm just one of the people who
stands on the kop. They think the
same as I do, and I think the
same as they do. It's a kind of
marriage of people who like each
Explaining on what the off-side
rule should be - 'If a player is not
interfering with play or seeking
to gain an advantage, then he
should be.'
'I was only in the game for the
love of football - and I wanted to
bring back happiness to the
people of Liverpool.'
'"If you can't make decisions in
life, you're a bloody menace.
You'd be better becoming an
When told he had never
experienced playing in a derby -
'Nonsense! I've kicked every ball,
headed out every cross. I once
scored a hat-trick; One was lucky,
but the others were great goals.'
After a 0-0 draw at Anfield -
'What can you do playing against
11 goalposts!'
Waxing lyrical about Ian
Callaghan - 'He typifies everything
that is good in football, and he
has never changed. You could
stake your life on Ian.'
'Fire in your belly comes from
pride and passion in wearing the
red shirt. We don't need to
motivate players because each of
them is responsible for the
performance of the team as a
whole. The status of Liverpool's
players keeps them motivated.'
'Football is a simple game based
on the giving and taking of
passes, of controlling the ball and
of making yourself available to
receive a pass. It is terribly
On the leaving of Liverpool - 'It
was the most difficult thing in
the world, when I went to tell the
chairman. It was like walking to
the electric chair. That's the way
it felt.'

Owen: I Came Back For Liverpool

Manchester United forward
Michael Owen has revealed that
Liverpool refused to stump up
the money to finance a return to
Anfield when he was looking to
leave Real Madrid with Owen
moving to Newcastle United.
In an interview with
FourFourTwo magazine the
former Anfield hero reveals that
he signed for Newcastle United
because the club matched
Madrid’s valuation of him, despite
admitting the reds were his first
choice travelling to Liverpool for
talks with the club.
Owen left Liverpool for Real
Madrid in 2004 in a deal worth a
reported £8 million with Antonio
Nunez going in the other
direction. While Owen had a
successful season at the
Bernabeu scoring 18 goals in 41
games, the highlight scoring in a
3-1 win against fierce rivals
Barcelona, the Englishman
decided to return to the Premier
League with his priority a return
to Liverpool, however it didn ’t
Owen told FourFourTwo: “It was
real. I spoke to the chief
executive Rick Parry and I was in
Liverpool with Rafa Benitez and
we were pretty close to agreeing
things. The main issue was Real
Madrid and Liverpool settling on
a deal and they couldn’t agree a
fee – plus Newcastle were quite
aggressive in their offer to
Madrid. So Madrid felt that
Liverpool weren ’t matching their
valuation of me and I thought it
would be good to go to
“ It was a World Cup year and I
wanted to be playing, plus
Madrid had bought two more
strikers, so I went to St James ’
Park and thought it was great.
It ’s a very similar place to
Liverpool in a lot of ways –
especially the people, who are
football mad. I thought that, as
much as it would have been
great to go back to Liverpool,
going to Newcastle would be just
as enjoyable an experience. ”

Broughton Rejects FA Hot Seat

Liverpool chairman Martin
Broughton has turned down an
approach from the FA.
The British Airways and Liverpool
chairman was among those
approached by Sir Dave Richards
in an effort to discover whether
he would be interested in taking
up the position. Richards was
doing so in his capacity as the
chairman of the FA's professional
game board but to no avail.
Broughton told the Guardian: "I
was asked if I would be
prepared to put my name
forward as a candidate for the
job of FA chairman and I
declined. When it comes to
football my priority remains
finding a suitable new owner for

Gerrard Left Out Of Utrecht Squad, Torres In

Liverpool will be without
talismanic captain Steven Gerrard
when they take on Dutch side
Utrecht in the Europa League on
Thursday but will call on the
services of Fernando Torres.
England skipper Gerrard has
been left behind to rest, and
along with Daniel Agger are the
only two fit senior players left at
home as manager Roy Hodgson
names a strong squad for their
second Group K fixture.
Torres, meanwhile, who has
looked desperately out of sorts
this season will travel for what is
his first outing in Europe this
Agger's absence, coupled with
Paul Konchesky's hamstring
injury and Fabio Aurelio's on-
going Achilles tendon problem,
means Martin Kelly is likely to be
forced into action as an
emergency left-back.
Holland forward Dirk Kuyt, who
made a comeback from a
shoulder injury at the weekend,
is set to face his former club.
Team (from): Reina, Johnson,
Skrtel, Carragher, Kelly,
Poulsen, Lucas, Meireles, Kuyt,
Cole, Torres, Jones, Kyrgiakos,
Shelvey, Rodriguez, Spearing,
Babel, Jovanovic, Eccleston,

Liverpool Tracking Juan Mata

Liverpool are tracking Valencia
midfielder Juan Mata.
The 22 year-old is inside the final
two years of his existing contract
and frustrated with the lack of
progress over a new deal.
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has
glowing reports on Mata from
chief scout Eduardo Macia and is
weighing up a January move for
the midfielder.
Valencia would be prepared to
sell - but for nothing less than
£10 million.

Italian Super Agent Urges Inter To Go For Torres

Italian super agent Vincenzo
Morabito has urged Inter Milan to
go for Liverpool striker Fernando
Morabito discussed the prospect
of Inter buying a new striker in
January on the club's TV channel,
While acknowledging both
Atletico Madrid forward Diego
Forlan and Manchester City's
Emmanuel Adebayor would be
decent signings, Morabito is
convinced there is a great chance
for Inter to land Torres in
"The economic situation of the
English is not the most
prosperous, they may not be able
to resist Inter," reasoned
"Why not try for Torres ...?"

Liverpool Scouts Watching Auxerre Playmaker Birsa

Auxerre's Slovenian playmaker
Valter Birsa is attracting interest
from Liverpool.
Auxerre insiders have confirmed
Liverpool scouts have been
trailing Birsa since the start of
this season.
"It is normal that as professional
football player I want to
improve," he said.
"I do my work and if it turns out
to be slightly interesting it will be
in hands of the club."

Dos Santos On Liverpool Radar

Tottenham winger Giovani dos
Santos is in the sights of Napoli.
Radio Marte says Napoli are
lining up a January bid for the
Mexico international, who has
played his way back into the
good books of Spurs manager
Harry Redknapp.
Naples sources say the Azzurri
expect to face competition from
Liverpool, where manager Roy
Hodgson is also keen on the ex-
Barcelona junior.
Giovani, 21, would jump at the
chance of a move to Anfield.

Aldridge: Let The Stars Play

Liverpool icon John Aldridge
wants to see a full-strength team
fielded for their Europa League
tie with FC Utrecht.
Aldo said that the time had come
for the new manager to make a
statement, by sending his side
out determined to pursue the
attacking policies of the club of
And the former Ireland
international also believes that he
can show his intent by picking a
strong side against Utrecht in the
Europa League on Sunday, to
grasp a much-needed,
confidence-boosting victory.
"As difficult as it may be to deal
with the impact of everything
surrounding the owners, the
players - and the management -
are the only ones who can help
lift the mood at the minute by
producing performances that will
restore some much needed
positivity," he said.
"The misery that Tom Hicks and
George Gillett have heaped on
the club is clearly affecting
everybody, but the only thing
that can be changed at the
moment is the results Liverpool
are getting and that has got to
come from within.
"Let's see Fernando Torres get
his chance to shine in Holland,
then; let's see Joe Cole get
another 90 minutes under his
belt rather than all the chopping
and changing that has been
going on - you never know, the
next 180 minutes might just give
everyone the left that is needed.
"It's far too early to start
panicking and asking questions
about the manager; he is still
finding his feet and having to
deal with a unique pressure.
"But if he can find a way to get
the Reds playing with a bit more
flamboyance and adventure, the
results will start to come and that
will lift the mood."

Fans Not Game For Liverpool Ground Sharing

Representatives for supporter
groups of both Liverpool and
Everton have rejected a
proposed ground share
between the two clubs.
Liverpool have maintained their
stance on building a new home
in Stanley Park but Anfield
legend Kenny Dalglish mooted
the idea of a stadium to house
both the Reds and the Blues at
the weekend, with Everton
chairman Bill Kenwright
welcoming any discussions.
However both the Spirit of
Shankly (SOS) and Keep Everton
In Our City (KEIOC) have
unanimously dismissed the
Earlier this year, KEIOC and SOS
joined forces to unveil their
plans for a revolutionary
'football quarter' in North
Liverpool which would see both
Anfield and Goodison Park
redeveloped in addition to
regenerating the surrounding
areas and creating jobs as well
as boosting tourism.
Both groups continue to remain
committed to the initiative and
Colin Fitzpatrick, secretary of
KEIOC, said: "We have always
taken the approach that, for the
betterment of the club, all
avenues relating to a solution to
the stadium issue should be
explored. The scenario of the
shared stadium was
investigated objectively several
years ago.
"What was identified was that
whilst all the technical problems
could be addressed, the
underlying problem remained
that the target markets and
business models of both clubs
are so fundamentally diverse
that accommodating this
diversity would be detrimental
to both in the long term.
"Whilst the infrastructure and
some facilities, community,
education and cultural, could be
shared, the redevelopment of
the existing stadia represents
the most cost effective and
sensible solution to both of the
city's clubs.
"After having waited over a
decade for a solution further
time wasting opportunities, by
owners who have repeatedly
failed to deliver a solution,
should be dispensed with in
favour of a practical and
deliverable resolution to the
issue, a solution which would
be for the good of the fans, the
community and the city of
Paul Gardner, Community and
Youth Officer for SOS, added:
""Spirit Of Shankly members are
totally opposed to a ground
"We understand the importance
of finding a stadium solution
and have made steps to help
with this with the launch of The
Football Quarter earlier this
"We are working on The
Football Quarter alongside Keep
Everton in Our City to allow both
clubs to maintain their identities
and separate stadia whilst
working towards providing a
solution to the challenges at
both clubs.
"It is important for all parties
including the clubs, the council,
communities and more to be
involved in this process."

Liverpool Fans The Real Future Of Club

Liverpool fans could have the chance to acquire a sizeable stake in their club after moves were made to establish a financial foundation for such an investment. Since supporters groups Spirit of Shankly and Share Liverpool officially joined forces discussions have been taking place with Partners Credit Union to create a secure scheme for the venture. While there is at present little chance of this scheme making a 100 per cent purchase of the club – not least because current rules only allow those resident in the Merseyside to take part – there is a very real possibility of the new fan-based investment group becoming part of a consortium that takes over the club or investing at a future stage once new owners are in place. Similar ideas have been put forward before but the enlistment of Partners Credit Union means that a significant step has been made towards making it a reality.

Liverpool Linked To French Scoring Sensation

Liverpool have reportedly had
their scouts following the French
top division's leading scorer
Dimitri Payet who is on the verge
of winning his first senior
international call-up. The St
Etienne winger can play on
either flank and has been a
revelation for his club as they
surprisingly lead the French top
division after just seven matches.
Roy Hodgson has been linked
with a number of talented
wingers in recent weeks with
Galatasaray's Arda Turan and
Valencia's Juan Mata on his
radar. However, Payet is a far
more realistic target with his
price-tag reportedly set at a
modest £7m.
The 23-year-old is enjoying by
far his most productive campaign
with seven strikes in seven games
which includes a hat-trick against
Lens and a brace against
Montpellier. His previous best
return for the club was four
league goals in 2009. Payet's
sensational start culminated in a
stunning curled free-kick which
enabled St Etienne to finally beat
local rivals Lyon last Saturday for
the first time since April 1994.
The French U21 international is
being tipped to break into
Laurent Blanc's senior side ahead
of the upcoming Euro2012
qualifiers. Payet is renowned for
his pace, trickery and long-range
shooting. He is predominantly
right-footed and would offer a
more vibrant alternative to Maxi
Rodriguez on the right-flank who
has been disappointing since
arriving at Anfield, scoring once
in 21 league appearances for
Liverpool. Hodgson may have to
move swiftly to secure Payet's
signature as clubs in both Spain
and Italy have also begun to
register an interest.

Reina Feels Liverpool Slump Could Last Till December

Pepe Reina believes it could take
up to six months for Roy
Hodgson to get Liverpool back
on track.
Liverpool have taken just six
points from their opening six
games and currently sit just two
places above the relegation
zone, with Hodgson struggling to
turn things around after
replacing Rafael Benitez this
Reina is confident that Hodgson's
methods will prove successful at
Anfield, but he has warned Reds
fans not to expect too much in
the short-term.
"When you have so many
changes moving in a new
direction under a new boss,
things don't happen instantly,"
he told LFC Weekly. "It can take
between three and six months
before you see improvements.
"Obviously, the quicker we adapt
and improve as a team, the
better it will be for everyone.
That doesn't just happen
overnight. Each of us has to
adjust to working in a new way.
"With the passing of each day, I
get used to it and what the
manager wants. It's the same for
all of us. We need to be
Reina feels, though, that
Liverpool have not been helped
by the fixture list at the start of
the season.
"People who criticise us about it
should look at the fixtures we've
had. It has been a difficult start.
Arsenal at home and then going
to play Manchester City,
Manchester United and
Birmingham away was never
going to be easy.
"Not many teams will go to the
City of Manchester Stadium, Old
Trafford or St Andrew's and win.
Those three teams have very
good records at home."

Hodgson Not Ready To Risk Aurelio

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is
being patient with Fabio Aurelio
in recovering from his latest
Aurelio has been out of action
since picking up an Achilles injury
in last month's win over
Trabzonspor in the Europa
The Brazilian, who rejoined the
club in the summer after initially
being released, has struggled for
fitness during his time at Anfield.
However, Hodgson does not
want to take any risks with
Aurelio's fitness given his injury
problems over the last few
"Where Fabio Aurelio is
concerned, caution and
prudence have to be the words
that we use," said Hodgson.
"He is progressing all the time
and his efforts are very
commendable but we can't bring
him back too early.
"We took him off against
Trabzonspor as a precautionary
measure, as we didn't want to
run the risk of him sustaining a
serious problem."

Legends Support Hodgson In Moment Of Crisis

Liverpool players past and
present have rallied to the
defence of under-fire boss Roy
Hodgson, even as the storm
clouds gather over Anfield.
But the new Reds manager has
been warned that he must step
up and grasp the once-in-a-
lifetime opportunity at the club,
with a bold approach to his
reign...starting with tomorrow's
European showdown in Utrecht.
Hodgson has already come
under some intense, and harsh,
fire after a disappointing start to
the new campaign, which has
seen Liverpool pick up just six
points in six Premier League
matches, and disastrously crash
out of the Carling Cup to lowly
The experienced coach has
admitted to several mistakes as
he learns exactly what it is like to
manage a club with the massive
expectation of the Merseyside
club, including:
*Picking the wrong team against
Northampton, and not covering
himself with a Plan B from the
*Failing to defend Fernando
Torres against some wild
accusations from Sir Ferguson;
which didn't go down well with
Reds fans.
*Making comments about a
supporters' sit-in at Anfield last
weekend which were
misconstrued and appeared to
criticise those fans fighting for
the future of the club.
Hodgson believes he is the victim
of massive over-expectation at
Liverpool, which is not justified
given the under-achievement of
recent seasons.
He also believes he has inherited
an under-strength squad given
the money previously lavished on
it, with too many players simply
not good enough to even
challenge for a first team place.
But yesterday, John Aldridge,
one of the most deadly Liverpool
strikers of all time, said that the
time had come for the new
manager to make a statement,
by sending his side out
determined to pursue the
attacking policies of the club of
And the former Ireland
international also believes that
he can show his intent by picking
a strong side against Utrecht in
the Europa League on Sunday,
to grasp a much-needed,
confidence-boosting victory.
"As difficult as it may be to deal
with the impact of everything
surrounding the owners, the
players - and the management -
are the only ones who can help
lift the mood at the minute by
producing performances that will
restore some much needed
positivity," he said.
"The misery that Tom Hicks and
George Gillett have heaped on
the club is clearly affecting
everybody, but the only thing
that can be changed at the
moment is the results Liverpool
are getting and that has got to
come from within.
"Let's see Fernando Torres get
his chance to shine in Holland,
then; let's see Joe Cole get
another 90 minutes under his
belt rather than all the chopping
and changing that has been
going on - you never know, the
next 180 minutes might just give
everyone the left that is needed.
"It's far too early to start
panicking and asking questions
about the manager; he is still
finding his feet and having to
deal with a unique pressure.
"But if he can find a way to get
the Reds playing with a bit more
flamboyance and adventure, the
results will start to come and
that will lift the mood."
Aldrige believes that Hodgson
came to Liverpool for exactly the
right reasons - not for money or
instant glory, but because he
wanted to be part of one of the
biggest, and most historic clubs
in the world, no matter what
mess they are currently in.
But he also believes that the
manager must now appreciate
what it is that makes the club
unique - a bond with the fans
that will allow them to rise above
adversity to play in the Liverpool
Already, there has been talk of
Martin O'Neill being touted as a
potential replacement, but the
reality of the situation is that
Liverpool have no willl - or
indeed no money - to change
their manager just a ridiculously
short distance into his tenure.
Hodgson has been forced to
deal with months of turbulence
since his arrival, and has also
undeniably inherited a squad
which isn't strong enough to
challenge for honours...and will
take some time to replace.
And those sentiments were
yesterday echoed by Reds
keeper Pepe Reina, who strongly
argued that the new manager
must be given more time to turn
things around, and insisted that
all the players are backing him
to do that.
"People who criticise us already
should look at the fixtures we've
had. It has been a difficult start.
When you have so many
changes moving in a new
direction under a new boss,
things don't happen instantly,"
he said.
"Honestly, it can take between
three and six months before you
see improvements. Obviously the
quicker we adapt and improve as
a team the better it will be for
"That doesn't just happen
overnight. Each of us has to
adjust to working in a new way.
With the passing of each day I
get used to it and what the
manager wants. It's the same for
all of us. We need to be
Hodgson can certainly help
himself by being more dynamic
in his interaction with the fans
through the media, and also by
showing more appreciation of
what exactly is required of a
Liverpool team, no matter what
the outside pressures.
His biggest mistake so far was
not having back up on the
bench when things went wrong
against Northampton, and he
must address that swiftly by
ensuring he has the best possible
chance of winning not only in
Holland tomorrow night, but
also against Blackpool on
If that isn't enough for the new
boss to worry about, then there
was another warning yesterday
for another ex player, about
what lies ahead if things aren't
turned around swiftly.
Double Champions League
winner Steve McManaman left
Anfield during a period of
rebuilding in the late 1990s, and
he argued that Fernando Torres
and Steven Gerrard could be
forced to do the same unless
they see the manager has a clear
plan for success.
"There are reasons for what's
happening off the field, but no
matter what happens there will
be questions again. Torres is not
happy, Gerrard is not happy.
Their body language is not
good," he said.
"If Liverpool are 14th would you
stay? Would I stay? If it is the
same scenario, the same owners
and the same predicament I can
see their best players wanting to
leave and wanting to play in
Champions League football. They
need to be playing in the best
teams in the best leagues

Mcmanaman Fears Torres,Gerrard Might Leave

Steve McManaman believes
that Steven Gerrard and
Fernando Torres may consider
their futures away from Anfield
in January.
Liverpool's star duo have
display signs of disillusionment
during the club's worst
start to a domestic campaign
since 1992 amidst concerns that
they may entertain a move
away if on field affairs do not
Last week's Carling Cup exit
to Northampton Town has seen
the pressure cranked up on
Roy Hodgson and
McManaman, who left Anfield
in the summer of 1999 to join
Real Madrid, fears that Torres
and Gerrard may leave to
pursue Champions League
''No matter what happens
there will be questions again.
Torres is not happy, Gerrard is
not happy. Their body language
is not good,'' he said.
''If Liverpool are 14th would
you stay? Would I stay? If it is
the same scenario, the same
owners and the same
predicament I can see their best
players wanting to leave and
wanting to play in Champions
League football.
''They need to be playing in
the best teams in the best
leagues available.''

Kuyt Vary Of Utrecht Threat

Dirk Kuyt has warned his
Liverpool teammates to be wary
of Europa League opponents FC
Kuyt is a former Utrecht player
and has given his Reds pals the
inside news on the Dutch club.
Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing
told "He's told us
they're a decent side. Obviously
any side you play in the Europa
League is going to be difficult,
especially away from home.
"We've got to go there with
plenty of confidence after the
result we got at home in the first

Southampton After Liverpool Striker

Southampton are chasing
Liverpool striker Nathan
The 19-year-old spent time with
League One outfit Huddersfield
last season and scored on his
Terriers debut against Yeovil
Eccleston has featured twice in
Europa League action for
Liverpool this term while he also
came off the bench late on
against Northampton.
Southampton manager Nigel
Adkins and chairman Nicola
Cortese watched Eccleston score
in Monday's 3-1 reserves defeat
to Chelsea.

Spearing Delighted With Miereles

Jay Spearing says new Liverpool
signing Raul Meireles has made a
big impact.
The local lad insists he's happy
to compete with the ex-Porto
star for a first team place.
"He's come in, staked his claim
and looked very sharp. He's
done very well against
Manchester United and Steaua
Bucharest, and he's going to
want to kick on and play more
games like everyone else,"
Spearing told
"It's competition for me but
that's the club we're at.
Liverpool can go and buy players
and no one's going to turn down
coming to Liverpool. I've just got
to keep working hard and
hopefully break into the side."

Agger Ready To Cover For Konchesky

DANIEL AGGER is ready to
reprise his emergency left-back
role in Holland tomorrow – with
Paul Konchesky ruled out of
Liverpool ’s Europa League trip to
FC Utrecht and manager Roy
Hodgson refusing to put a date
on Fabio Aurelio ’s return from
Centre-back Agger had already
made four highly effective
appearances at full-back this
season, and came on in that
position again against
Sunderland last weekend when
Konchesky limped off.
It is a position the Dane is almost
certain to have to continue in
against Blackpool on Sunday as
Konchesky has targeted the
Merseyside derby on October 17
for his return from injury, but
Aurelio ’s comeback is still
clouded in uncertainty.

The Brazilian sustained an
Achilles problem during the 1-0
success over Trabzonspor last
month and manager Hodgson
admits he is reluctant to rush
him back too early.
“Where Fabio Aurelio is
concerned, caution and
prudence have to be the words
that we use, ” he said. “He is
progressing all the time and his
efforts are very commendable
but we can't bring him back too
“We took him off against
Trabzonspor as a precautionary
measure, as we didn't want to
run the risk of him sustaining a
serious problem. ”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Liverpool Squad Photo

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reina Insists Patience The Key For Liverpool

PEPE Reina insists Liverpool will
kick-on from their early season
disappointment as the team
adjusts to a summer of change.
The Spanish shot-stopper, who
has already produced several
miraculous saves this season,
believes some tough opening
fixtures, plus adapting to a new
manager and players, has played
a part in the Reds getting off to a
slow start.
“Five points from our first five
games is not what we wanted,”
he told LFC Weekly in an exclusive
interview this week. “People who
criticise us about it should look
at the fixtures we ’ve had. It has
been a difficult start. Arsenal at
home and then going to play
Manchester City, Man United and
Birmingham away was never
going to be easy. Not many
teams will go to the City of
Manchester Stadium, Old Trafford
or St Andrew ’s and win. Those
three teams have very good
records at home. ”
Reina also called for patience as
he and his team-mates, several of
whom are still settling in this
season, get used to operating
under Roy Hodgson.
“When you have so many
changes moving in a new
direction under a new boss,
things don ’t happen instantly. It
can take between three and six
months before you see
improvements. Obviously the
quicker we adapt and improve as
a team the better it will be for
everyone. That doesn ’t just
happen overnight. Each of us has
to adjust to working in a new
way. With the passing of each
day I get used to it and what the
manager wants. It ’s the same for
all of us. We need to be patient.”

KopTalk Earns Wrath After Violet Article

Duncan Oldham, the editor of
Liverpool fansite KopTalk, has
attracted a lot of attention for
posting an article which
encourages Liverpool fans to
“ put the frightners [sic]” on
unloved owners Tom Hicks and
George Gillett.
The ill-judged piece, titled ‘Get the
baseball bats and ski-masks
ready !’, implores Liverpool fans
to exact vigilante justice on the
American duo:
“If George Gillett and/or Tom
Hicks remain in control of
Liverpool Football Club come the
end of the season, I will be
calling for such action to take
“I will be urging every passionate
Red out there who has a ‘set’ and
who is capable of donning a ski-
mask and waving a baseball bat
in a menacing manner, to step
up to put the frightners [sic] on
these two and everyone they
associate with – including any
companies that support them.
“I am sick to the back teeth of
hearing about petitions and
email campaigns. While the
efforts must be applauded and
acknowledged, the only action
that I believe will work is militant.
“Disruption, especially to financial
institutions, is what they are
scared of. And on a personal
level, there ’s nobody in the world
who’s arse wouldn’t collapse if
someone peered over their bed
in the middle of the night armed
with a Texas Rangers baseball
bat or two. ”
It reads like the sort of rant he
wrote late at night, whilst
encouraged by a jar or three. I
can ’t condone such aggressive
militancy and neither should any
self-respecting fan.
Oldham’s piece concludes:
“They [Hicks and Gillett] are
playing with the lives of so many
people and it hurts me to see so
many of my fellow Reds and fans
so upset and destroyed. It has to
stop and it will stop. I can ’t sit
back any more.
“I won’t sign petitions, I won’t
send emails to journalists who
don ’t care, but I will get stuck in
via other methods best not
written about. ”
This isn’t journalism, it’s
dangerous and irresponsible
rabble-rousing. There ’s no place
for it in football, and I say that as
someone who fully sympathises
with the intense frustration of
Liverpool fans.

Stephen Darby: Spearing Has Bad Taste In Music

The 21-year-old full-back is one
of the best players to emerge
from the Academy in recent years
and has made six first-team
appearances so far.
Here, Darby talks about the
senior experience he's amassed,
his eclectic taste in music and
why no-one wants to listen to Jay
Spearing's iPod.
Career high?
Making my debut for Liverpool
against Tottenham in the Carling
Cup - that's definitely my career
high. I found out the day before
I'd be on the bench and then I
came on for the last 15 minutes
in place of Philipp Degen.
Obviously when I was told I'd be
involved, a lot of different
thoughts went racing through
my head, but I was more excited
than anything else - I just wanted
to get on the pitch and play some
part. I didn't really sleep that
night though!
Career low?
I haven't really had too many
lows. My first start for Liverpool
at Anfield was against Fiorentina
in the Champions League and it
was obviously a very proud night
for me, but we conceded a goal
in the last minute which was
probably my fault and lost 2-1.
Looking back, I'd have to say that
but I played a couple of weeks
later against Reading in the FA
Cup and did quite well.
Best individual moment in a
(Pauses) I can't really're really testing me
with that! My last goal was about
three years ago against Sheffield
United in the FA Youth Cup.
Actually, I scored a penalty for
Swindon in a shootout in the
play-offs last season, so I think I'll
go for that.
Stadium you'd love to play in?
After Anfield, of course, it would
have to be the Bernabeu, simply
because some unbelievable
players have played there over
the years.
Which other team's results do
you look out for?
Having been on loan at Swindon
Town last season, I look out for
their results. I'm always checking
how they're doing - but Liverpool
come first.
First football shirt owned?
It was definitely a Liverpool one,
but I'm not sure which it was. I
used to buy the away shirts - I
had the cream one, the white
and green one and the yellow
one. I never used to get anyone's
name on the back though.
Who do you model your game
Being at Liverpool, I get to watch
Glen Johnson at close quarters
most days, so I'd have to say him.
He is England's first choice and
one of the best right-backs in
Europe. He's physically strong,
quick and good both going
forward and defensively. It's
great to have him here to take
things from his game and try and
adapt them into my own. I can
learn a lot from him.
What are you main strengths?
I would say defending, positional
play and I probably don't get
beaten too often in one-against-
one situations.
Areas you can improve?
You can always improve on
everything. I have been trying to
adapt the attacking side of my
game a bit more in the last few
months. In training, you're able
to try different things when
you're on the ball, so I've been
working on improving that area
of my game.
Last album downloaded?
Usher's latest album. It's good,
very good. Normally albums only
have one or two good tracks on
them, don't they? But I think all
of his songs on it are quite good.
I'm into any music, really. I like
RnB, dance and some of the
oldies - a bit of a mix. The lads
give me stick sometimes, but I
like a variety of music.
Go on then...what's your
favourite oldie?
The lads are going to kill me for's 'Build Me Up Buttercup'.
They're going to laugh at this,
but I'm happy for it to go on.
Last film watched?
A film called Case 39. I just
stumbled across it on Sky Movies
one night and didn't have a clue
what it was about at first, but it
turned out to be a scary film. It
was good, but a bit sick and
Favourite TV show?
The Inbetweeners. It's just
started up again and it's class.
Absolutely brilliant - I love all the
dry humour and one-liners. Jay's
probably my favourite character,
he makes me laugh with all his
Worst dresser?
Dean Bouzanis. He tries to buy
things like purple jeans and
bright blue tops and pull them
off - but it just doesn't work for
him. Dean's banter is quite good
though, so I think some of the
lads are a little bit scared to wind
him up about it - but I try to give
him a bit of stick.
Worst taste in music?
Jay Spearing. He's got a few bad
dance songs on his iPod.
Any 'Build Me Up Buttercups' on
He's got a couple - but they're
good songs! He's got some bad
ones though, and he'll know
what I am talking about when he
reads this.
Best mate in squad?
It has to be Jay again. We've been
playing together since about the
age of eight or nine and have
come right the way through the
ranks together - we've been
through a lot. We're really good
mates off the field as well and
see a lot of each other. I also still
keep in touch with a lot of the
lads who were here but have
moved on, the likes of Robbie
Threlfall and Craig Lindfield.
Funniest teammate?
Deano (Bouzanis) has got to be
in there because of his banter. All
of the lads have a laugh together
at the right times. It's very
important for team morale.
Teammate who spends longest
in front of the mirror?
Nathan Eccleston takes a bit of
time - he spends a while looking
at himself in the mirror. He gets a
bit of stick over it because he's a
little bit vain.
Most skillful teammate?
Alex Cooper likes a trick, as does
Gerardo Bruna, and Suso has
definitely got a few skills. I've
been very impressed with him
since he came here. He's shown
he's got a lot of quality. It's up to
him to keep working hard and
hopefully keep progressing.
Best ever player in your
I think Cafu. He was a brilliant
defender, nobody really ever got
past him, and going forward he
had a lot of quality as well. To
captain Brazil to a World Cup win
must have been incredible.
First person you text after a
My dad and that's always been
the case so I can find out what
he thought about the game and
how I did - what I did well and
what could have been better.
He's very honest with me and will
tell me if I've had a good or bad
game. That's good for me to hear
where he thinks I've gone wrong
and we'll talk about it together
and watch it back.
Best thing about playing for
With having a season ticket,
watching us for years and
growing up dreaming of playing
for Liverpool, to be able to have
made my debut and have played
a few first-team games is a
dream come true.

Routledge Linked With Liverpool Move

It's been pretty much a different
name a day linked with Liverpool
since the summer transfer
window closed - and with results
the way they are at the moment,
Reds rumours seem set to
continue right through until
Today there's a departure from
the usual diet of overseas players
reported to be moving to Anfield,
as the story to start the week is
that manager Roy Hodgson
would be keen on signing
Newcastle winger Wayne
Routledge when the winter
window opens.
The former Tottenham and
Crystal Palace wide man joined
the Magpies midway through
their 2009-10 promotion
campaign and has started all six
league games since the new
season started.
It seems that much will depend
on how much money is available
to the Merseyside club though as
the 25-year-old is less than a year
into a three-and-a-half-year
contract and it is understood
that Newcastle would be looking
for a staggering sum in the
region of £8 million to part with
the 12-time England Under-21

Malaga Planning Lucas Swoop

Malaga are poised to make a
move for Liverpool midfielder
Lucas Leiva when the
transfer window re-opens in
Lucas, 23, has failed to
establish a regular first-team
place following his move to
Anfield back in July 2007.
The Brazilian midfielder has
already been linked with a
move to Juventus, but Malaga
are now expected to make an
offer for his signature.
Lucas was among the scorers
as Liverpool beat Steaua
Bucharest in the Europa
League, but he lost his place
for the game against
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is
determined to make changes
to his squad and could
consider a big money offer for
Lucas in January.

Torres Set To Start At Utrecht

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has
hinted that he will not rest
Fernando Torres for Thursday’s
Europa League game against
Dutch side Utrecht.
The Reds continue their
European campaign with a trip
to Holland, ahead of Sunday’s
must-win Premier League
encounter with Blackpool at
Hodgson also said that he may
well play Raul Maeireles and Dirk
Kuyt on Thursday night, after the
trio linked-up well in Saturday’s
2-2 draw with Sunderland.
“It’s on my mind to play Torres,
Raul Meireles and Dirk Kuyt on
Thursday,” said Hodgson. “I think
they’re knitting together well.
“I thought Torres was much,
much different [vs Sunderland] to
the one in the first couple of
“People wanted to see his best
the moment he stepped back on
to the field after the World Cup,
but I said he needed games, he
needed time.
“He was unlucky not to score one
of the goals of the month, with
that magnificent control and
volley that was inaccurately ruled
out for offside.
“It was only Meireles’ second
start and there was another start
for Joe Cole. There are moments
giving me satisfaction but I know
it’s a big job and I can’t just wave
a magic wand and Liverpool will
suddenly dominate English
football again. But there were a
lot of pleasing factors.”
For Dirk Kuyt, it will be a return to
the club he started his career at
in 1998. The Dutch international
only recently recovered from
Utrecht vs Liverpool gets
underway at 6pm this Thursday,
30th September.

Arsenal Planning Improved Bid For Reina

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina
is a shock January target for
The News of the World says the
Anfield club rejected a cheeky
£15m bid from the Gunners
during the summer.
But after a howler by cock-up
keeper Manuel Almunia gifted
West Brom a 3-2 win at the
Emirates, Arsenal are considering
a new bid in the January transfer
window to solve their long-
standing goalkeeper problem.
Reina, 28, was the keenest of all
Liverpool's stars to quit Anfield
after a season of turmoil on and
off the pitch.
But the club regarded Arsenal's
bid as far too low.
Now Liverpool, humbled by
League Two Northampton in the
Carling Cup last week, are facing
another lurch towards financial
The deadline for Hicks and Gillett
to renegotiate their £282.4m
bank loan is due to expire next
And unless something dramatic
happens in the coming weeks,
Liverpool will be in a much
weaker position to resist bids for
their star names.

Gerrard Claps For Protesting Fans

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard
appeared to back protesting fans
against the club's American
The News of the World says
Gerrard stood shoulder-to-
shoulder with Liverpool fans
protesting against the regime of
their hated American owners.
More than 2,000 fans staged a
sit-in on the Kop after the 2-2
draw with Sunderland.
And skipper Gerrard, who scored
to rescue a point, clapped them
as he came back out to warm
down on the pitch.
Furious fans hung banners and
flags on the Kop and chanted
against Tom Hicks and George
And Gerrard's move brought
applause from those who had
backed calls by the Spirit of
Shankly and Kop Faithful for a
visible protest at the club's
financial plight.

BarCap Approach Kenny Huang Over LFC Takeover

Liverpool have returned to
previously interested parties
about reviving takeover talks.
The News of the World says the
New York-based private equity
firm Rhone offered £110m for a
40 per cent stake last March.
BarCap have also made fresh
contact with Chinese investor
Kenny Huang to see if his bid can
be resurrected and the ruling
family of the United Arab
Emirates maintain an interest.
Liverpool are also generating
takeover interest from the Middle
The main issue does not seem to
be a lack of buyers, but a lack of
willingness to meet the asking
Tom Hicks now accepts his
£600m valuation is not likely but
he and George Gillett will not
drop to £300m.

Miereles: Nani Big Influence In My Liverpool Move

Raul Meireles admits he was
convinced about moving to
Liverpool by Manchester United
winger Nani.
The Portuguese midfielder spoke
to Manchester United winger
Nani about the prospect of
playing in England and in front of
the famous Anfield crowd.
"Nani told me that I would enjoy
playing in the Barclays Premier
League and my style would suit
it," Meireles told LFC Weekly.
"He only had good things to say
about the stadiums and the
supporters even though he plays
for Manchester United, he said
the atmosphere inside Anfield
was very good.
"I think I have the maturity now
to settle quickly without too
many problems. I have a settled
family who are very supportive.
When you have a family behind
you it makes everything a lot
easier. I think that shows when I

Miereles Hopes Of More Portuguese Fans For Liverpool

Raul Meireles hopes to help
Liverpool become a favourite of
Portuguese fans.
Hungry for success he hopes that
he can settle quickly on
Merseyside and help the Reds
secure glory.
"I haven't come here to relax or
be on holiday. I want this place
to become home for us," Meireles
told LFC Weekly.
"My wife has been learning about
the city and its history and in
many ways, it reminds me of
Porto because of its links to the
"The city has a lot of grand
buildings and it is very
impressive. I feel happy here
already. In Portugal, everybody
knows about Liverpool.
"Over the last few years,
Manchester United have become
quite popular because of
Ronaldo, but I hope that more
people will start to support
Liverpool now because I am

Kuyt: Victory vs Blackpool Crucial For A Sound International Break

Liverpool attacker Dirk Kuyt says
they need victory over Blackpool
to go into the international break
in the right frame of mind.
Kuyt admits Liverpool have yet to
get into gear after their worst
start to a top-flight season for 18
years, with just six points from
as many games.
"We are not at our level yet
because if we were in our best
shape we would win these
games," he said.
"Every day everyone is working
very hard to get there,
unfortunately against Sunderland
it didn't happen but we can't
wait for the next opportunity to
change it.
"We as players want to win every
game and challenge for trophies
but the situation at the club we
have to be patient. If you are at
Liverpool expectations are
always high and you are
expected to win every game.
"If you lose or draw people are
not happy and we are not happy
and that is what we are at the
"Things will come because we
know we have quality and it just
takes time.
"We all want to win and
challenge for things and I am
sure it will happen if we keep
"But we have to make sure we
get some points in (against
Blackpool) before we go away
for the international break."

Miereles: I Am Proud Of Anfield Move

Former Porto star Raul Meireles
admits he's delighted with his
move to Liverpool.
It is little surprise that the 27-
year-old was happy to hear that
Roy Hodgson was planning a
swoop for him.
"When I heard Liverpool wanted
to sign me, I was at home with
my wife in Porto," he told LFC
"I was smiling a lot and she
asked me what was going on. I
told her that Liverpool wanted
me. I was very happy. We
discussed it briefly and we both
said 'yes.'
"Liverpool is a fantastic club and
one of the most important in the
world. There was no chance of
me saying 'no.'
"Knowing that Liverpool wanted
me made me very proud - it is
maybe my proudest moment so

Skrtel Hopeful Of Reversal In Form

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel
is confident they will soon turn
results around.
While the Slovakia international
admitted the 2-2 draw against
Sunderland felt like a defeat, he is
adamant the second half
showing showed Roy Hodgson's
side are heading in the right
"We are very disappointed not to
get the three points because we
felt we deserved them," Skrtel
"I thought we were much better
than them when we got it back
to 2-2 and it was frustrating not
to be able to get the winner.
"We started well and it was a
funny situation when we got the
first goal. It was what we needed
but then we conceded the
penalty and then lost another
goal right at the start of the
second half.
"It was a great goal from Stevie
to get us back into the game
after good play from Fernando
but we are disappointed we
couldn't get another goal."

Injury Update: Konchesky Out For Next 2 Games

Liverpool manager Roy
Hodgson has confirmed that
Paul Konchesky will miss the
next two games with a
hamstring injury.
The former Fulham player was
one of Hodgson ’s first signings
and he will now miss the Europe
League trip to Utrecht on
Thursday and the visit of newly-
promoted Blackpool to Anfield on
The 29-year-old sustained the
injury mid-way through the first
half of Liverpool ’s 2-2 draw with
Sunderland and now faces a spell
on the sidelines.
"He's got a hamstring strain,"
Hodgson said on Sunday.
"I couldn't tell you exactly how
bad it is yet. I don't think it's
extremely bad but I certainly
think it would rule him out for
Thursday and next Sunday. ”
When asked if he envisaged it
being a longer-term issue
Hodgson said: "Hopefully it won't
be much more problematic."

Broughton To Land Bonus If Club Sold

Liverpool chairman Martin
Broughton has the incentive of a
£500,000 bonus if the troubled
Barclays Premier League club is
sold during his time at the helm.
British Airways boss Broughton's
deal with the club's despised
owners, Tom Hicks and George
Gillett, runs until next April, which
is now looking a more realistic
deadline to find a buyer than
next month's bank loan time limit
of October 15.
Bank and Liverpool sources say
the lucrative terms of
Broughton's deal, which are in
line with other City chairman
incentives, will in no way affect
his judgement in the hunt for
suitable long-term owners of
Meanwhile, the way chief
executive Christian Purslow last
week distanced the board from
Hick's failed attempts to
refinance nearly £300million of
loans points to a new chapter in
the sale saga starting if Royal
Bank of Scotland and Wells Fargo
call in their monies next month.
Prospective buyers are hardly
likely to emerge until after then,
when they will have the
opportunity to buy the club at a
reduced price of around £300m
from the bank rather than give
the Americans the big profit on
their investment they are still
looking for.

Hodgson Optimistic After Better Performance By Torres

All the talk was of the free-kick
that never was: Michael Turner's
roll-back to his goalkeeper,
seized on by Fernando Torres,
that provoked a torrent of
debate and a renewed interest in
the laws of the game. However,
for Roy Hodgson perhaps the
most interesting goal was the
one that was disallowed.
When men are surrounded by
darkness they will look to any
point of light but the way Torres
controlled the ball and drove it
into the roof of the net beneath
the Kop suggested that Rafael
Benitez's great legacy to Anfield
is rediscovering the touch that
16 months ago brought
Liverpool close enough to the
Premier League trophy to smell
the Brasso.
It was a second 2-2 draw in the
space of four days but this time
there was no penalty shoot-out
in the downpour and Hodgson,
his club blazer dryer that it was
after the debacle against
Northampton, was able to extend
his conversation beyond a mere
apology to the supporters.
"The Fernando Torres you saw
today was much, much different
to the Fernando Torres you saw
in the opening couple of games,"
the Liverpool manager reflected.
"People wanted to see the very
best of him from the moment he
stepped back on the field after
the World Cup but the point is he
needs time, he needs games. He
was very unlucky with the
disallowed goal because that
would have been one of the
goals of the month with that
magnificent chest control and

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Inner Circle Conducts Talks With Liverpool

Inner Circle is now one of the
parties in talks with Reds
chairman Martin Broughton and
Barclays Capital about a buyout at
Six groups are believed to have
spoken to Barclays Capital about
a possible takeover, but few are
as well connected as Inner Circle
Sports, as it has a wealth of
contacts interested in making
sports investments.
The news is likely to be
welcomed by supporters, after
fans staged a sit-in protest
calling for the American owners
to go following Saturday's 2-2
draw against Sunderland at
Hicks is hoping to stay in control
at Anfield until he is able to find a
bidder willing to meet his asking
price for the club and allow the
owners to walk away from their
hugely unpopular spell in charge
with a hefty profit.
However, he has been unable to
secure the financial backing
needed to repay the money he
borrowed from Royal Bank of
Scotland to buy the club.
If that position continues until
the payment deadline next
month, RBS may choose to take
control of the club and sell it to a
new owner for around half the
£600 million price Hicks hopes to
According to the Sunday
Telegraph, RBS has yet to make a
decision about taking ownership
of Liverpool and the club's parent
company, Kop Holdings, may be
forced into administration if the
American owners are unable to
meet their repayments.
Should that happen, the Premier
League may impose a nine-point
deduction on Liverpool.

Referee Body Backs Atwell Decision To Allow Goal

Stuart Attwell was right to award
Liverpool their controversial
opening goal in Saturday's 2-2
draw against Sunderland,
refereeing chiefs said.
The Professional Game Match
Officials body, which provides
match officials for all matches in
the Premier League and Football
League, issued a statement after
Attwell faced criticism.
Attwell allowed Dirk Kuyt's
opening strike to count after
ruling Michael Turner had taken a
free-kick when he appeared to
roll it back to goalkeeper Simon
Mignolet. Fernando Torres
nipped in, raced through on goal
and played in Kuyt to score.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce
said at his press conference: 'I've
been in enough trouble so I
don't want to talk about it but
you all witnessed it and he got it
However PGMO released a
statement clarifying their view of
the goal.
The statement read: 'PGMO has
reviewed the first goal scored
between Liverpool and
Sunderland and believe that the
correct decisions were made.
'According to the Laws of the
Game, having stopped the game
for any infringement the referee
is required to 'indicate the
restart of the match'.
'In practice, in the majority of
cases, referees indicate for the
re-start by gesturing to players to
take the kick. These gestures can
be minimal. For the more
important 'ceremonial' free-kicks,
which also involve control of the
defensive wall, referees can
indicate by using the whistle.
However, there is no
requirement by Law to use the
whistle to make the indication.
'The ball is then in play when it is
kicked and moves. So, in this
case, the ball was in play as soon
as it is kicked by a Sunderland
'Also, the Laws state that the
free-kick must be taken from the
place where the infringement
occurred. Again, in this case, the
referee correctly determined that
the free-kick was played from the
right place.'

Dalglish: Stop Blaming Owners For Poor Form

Kenny Dalglish has told
Liverpool's players not to use
the ongoing ownership
problem as an excuse for their
poor start to the season.
A 2-2 draw with Sunderland
capped off a difficult seven days
after losing to Manchester
United and crashing out of the
Carling Cup to League Two
outfit Northampton whilst
uncertainty continues to linger
over the club's long-term future.
But Kop legend Dalglish, back at
Liverpool as a youth
ambassador, insists that the
club's underperforming squad
cannot use George Gillett and
Tom Hicks' continuing presence
as Anfield custodians as
justification for their recent
"Everyone knows the
ownership situation but that
should never affect how the
players prepare or perform," he
wrote in the Mail on Sunday.
"There is no reason
experienced internationals
should be distracted from their
jobs and they shouldn't need
Roy Hodgson to remind them.
"If the club is up for sale, the
best way for players to deal
with it is to get results on the
pitch and make it a more
attractive proposition to buy.
"I never celebrated winning a
trophy at Liverpool by thinking:
'It's all down to the owners -
they are brilliant.' So if owners
don't receive credit then,
neither can players look to
blame them or anyone else in
"Maybe Roy will be able to
improve the team if new
owners come in by shopping at
the more exclusive end of the
transfer market. But that
doesn't give the current players
a get-out to avoid responsibility.
"My message to them would be
to leave the business side of
things for managing director
Christian Purslow to be
concerned about.
"While you find in any walk of
life people who don't need
much encouragement to find
excuses, we don't want them at
Liverpool right now."

Pique Risks Wrath After Torres Comments

Barcelona have attempted to
unsettle Fernando Torres with
Gerard Pique urging him to
leave Liverpool.
Torres and Pique were both a
part of Spain's triumphant
World Cup squad but the striker
is yet to lift any trophies since
moving to England three years
Former Manchester United
defender Pique has reportedly
claimed that his international
team mate will quit Anfield if no
new investment is secured and
has branded Liverpool's current
squad 'embarrassing' and has
called on Torres to move to
further his ambitions.
He said: "There is no way this
can go on for Nando. It's just
"I spoke with him before he
committed to Liverpool and he
told me he wanted to win
things with Liverpool - but if the
club didn't invest and show real
intent, he would be forced to
"It's really embarrassing for
Nando to play in a team of that
"You would not see [Lionel]
Messi or [Wayne] Rooney
playing in the Europa League -
so there is no reason why
Nando should be playing there.
"Along with David Villa, he is the
best striker in the world.
"He needs to be winning things
domestically like he does with
However Dirk Kuyt, who Torres
set up for Liverpool's opening
goal against Sunderland
yesterday, has backed the hit
man to find his form again
despite netting just once in six
league appearances this season.
"Everyone is expecting goals
from Fernando but he offers a
lot more," he said.
"Against Sunderland he was
responsible for setting up the
two goals.
"He is very important for the
team even if he is not scoring
goals. I'm sure his goals will
"His mood has never changed. If
you are a striker, and the type
of striker Fernando is, you want
to be involved in goals.
"But everyone could see how
happy he was to have set up
two goals.
"When you are one of the
world's best strikers everyone is
watching you so if they get a
moment to blame him they will.
"And if you are not winning
games he is not happy, I am not
happy and the team is not