King Kenny and
I can take club forward
By Graham Chase - The Independent
So far it has been a story that might even test
the brain of Milan Kundera, the Czech writer who Roy Hodgson
espouses, but the Liverpool manager maintains that the club's
fortunes are about to turn and the days of political struggling at
Anfield are over.
They may have new owners but Liverpool remain in the relegation zone
going in to today's game at Bolton and there is still much to be
done for Hodgson, who has guided his team to only two wins in nine
Premier League games so far.
Few managers in Hodgson's position would feel comfortable with Kenny
Dalglish at the club (think Alan Shearer multiplied by Kevin Keegan
in Newcastle terms), particularly as the Scot made it clear he was
interested in the manager's job in the summer. But far from being
threatened by Dalglish's presence, Hodgson even went to Wigan's 1-1
draw against Bolton with the Scot last week – Dalglish drove – and
thinks the former player-manager is vital to taking the club
Hodgson feels Dalglish, whose current role involves working with the
academy and some scouting after returning to the club as an
ambassador under Rafael Benitez last year, should be working at a
level that is unaffected by the identity of the manager for as long
as he wants.
"I'm not prepared to pass up on quality people who can help because
of a fear the day may come when the club decides they want Kenny as
manager," said Hodgson. "That wasn't the case in the summer, but
that's not to say it won't be the case forever. I don't know. I have
no fears in that respect because I know my qualities and I'm not a
political person. He is doing a great job alongside us and we
involve him in our scouting while he still works at the academy and
plays an ambassadorial role. That's what he's good at.
"You cannot find a better person for that than Kenny. I told him I
was disappointed he went for the manager's job because for me he
should be working for Liverpool on a permanent basis, long after I
leave for years to come assisting all future Liverpool managers.
When it was mooted the club wanted me for the job I made it clear to
Kenny I wantedhim on board and it wouldn't be like it was with
Benitez where you are here in name but never allowed to set foot
into Melwood and we don't want anything to do with you."
Attempting to keep Liverpool in their place today is the Bolton
strikerKevin Davies, who was taken to Blackburn by Hodgson for £7.5
million in the summer of 1998, a spell that marked a low in both of
their careers. Hodgson was sacked that November while Davies scored
just once as Blackburn were relegated, before being sent back to
Southampton. He struggled for regular starts at The Dell and even
had a stint in the Championship with Millwall before joining Sam
Allardyce's Bolton on a free transfer.
Davies, 33, who is now an England international, feels the spell at
Ewood Park was pivotal in his career and Hodgson claims he would
handle the situation differently.
"We were both very, very unlucky and circumstances contrived against
us both. He wasn't a bad fellow but he couldn't get off to a decent
start, we weren't doing well and I probably wasn't in a position
mentally to give him the help he needed. I just expected him to just
do it for me and I don't think I did enough for him," said Hodgson,
who admits signing a striker is a major priority in January.
"For a while his career went in the wrong direction and it's great
credit to himself and Sam Allardyce, who gave him his chance at
Bolton. I met Kevin years later and he told me 'I needed a jolt'. He
got the jolt, Sam gave him a chance and he decided he needed to get
it right. He's gone from getting it right to excellent and I was
delighted the other day when he got his England cap."
Although he would rather forget his time at Blackburn, Davies
remembers his former manager fondly.
"He was brilliant, he is a top bloke and everyone knows that about
him and his coaching was very hands on and he wants to be on the
field coaching and he was passionate about that," Davies said.
"I try to forget about [the Blackburn experience] really. It wasn't
the best part of my career but it's not something I dwell on or look
back on. Roy has a wealth of experience and I'm sure he will use
that experience to claw them out of it. They only need a couple of
wins and they are back in the top eight or six so it is not a total
disaster for them yet."
Liverpool co-owner John Henry insists he plans to
strengthen the squad and not weaken it in January by selling their
Henry has described speculation linking Fernando Torres and Pepe
Reina with moves away from Anfield as "destructive and unwarranted".
Reds boss Roy Hodgson has admitted he is planning to make new
signings when the transfer window reopens in January and Henry has
revealed they plan to improve the quality of the squad and not
diminish it by selling the likes of Torres or Reina.
"We have recently read stories about our intentions for the
forthcoming January transfer window and have a sense of humour about
this type of inevitable speculation," Henry told the club's official
"As everyone knows we are new to English football, but not to sport,
and we are studying all options. Opportunities and value will drive
spending in January and in the future.
"Our clear focus from day one of our ownership has been - and will
be - to improve the club and focus on what it will take to put
Liverpool FC consistently in a position to challenge for trophies.
"We intend to build this club the right way.
"Stories about our top players leaving are destructive and
unwarranted but we realise that this kind of speculation is also
"We intend to build on the strength of the current squad, not
undermine it. And I can reassure our supporters that we have no
intention of allowing the team to be weakened going forward."
By Jimmy Rice - LFC Official Website
Roy Hodgson today revealed plans to improve his
squad in the January transfer window - and insisted Liverpool can
attract top stars.
The boss is hopeful of having money to spend following discussions
with new owners NESV, but he is determined the Reds won't be held to
ransom in the transfer market.
He explained: "If we want the right quality, we have got to be
prepared to pay the right price.
"The owners know that perfectly well. We have got to make certain
that if we go out and spend £20m, we are getting a £20m player.
"We want to be attracting the players that Barcelona, Real Madrid
and Inter are chasing. It would be nice to think that we can shop at
a high level.
"I'm like all managers in that I'm wary of the January transfer
window. I think it can be dangerous as clubs try to correct
"But, having said that, we are going to very interested in trying to
improve our squad in January. There is no question about that. I am
sure we will sign players."
Despite outlining his intent to dip into the market in two months'
time, Hodgson's immediate concern is to guide those currently in his
ranks up the Barclays Premier League table.
That way, he believes, there will be less pressure on any dealings
carried out in the New Year.
"What I would hope to do is get this group of players playing well
enough so we don't need to panic," said Hodgson.
"Then I can say to the owners, 'If we are going to spend a lot of
money, let's get the right man.'
"I don't want to spend half the money that might be available on
someone for the sake of buying when the player we actually want
might not be available until the summer.
"The lucky thing is that we are rebuilding around several top-class
players. We have got Reina, Carragher, Gerrard, Torres, Kuyt - it's
not as if we are rebuilding from nothing."
The ownership of the club was resolved earlier this month when NESV
completed their takeover.
Since then principal owner John Henry and chairman Thomas Werner
have outlined their commitment to winning - but Hodgson knows being
clever in his transfer dealings is just as important to that end as
splashing the cash.
"I think you can pay an awful lot of money for poor players and you
can pay not very much money for very good ones - it is all to do
with how good your scouting and your eye is," he said.
"There are a lot of things here that the club has got to get right.
We have got a lot more expensive failures on our list than good
players that we have brought in for next to nothing.
"Free transfers don't necessarily mean that you have got a bargain.
My experience of them has been very mixed. You need to be sure that
the player you get can do the job you want from him."
Roy's methods aren't working with Reds
Comment by Simon Wilkes - TEAMtalk
TEAMtalk's Simon Wilkes believes Roy Hodgson needs
to drastically change his formation if he is to reverse Liverpool's
dismal slump in form.
Liverpool's potential new owners New England Sports Ventures have
reassured Roy Hodgson over his managerial future at Anfield, saying
they feel he is "the right person to take this club forward" if
their takeover goes through.
I'm happy to admit that I thought Hodgson was a fantastic
appointment as Rafael Benitez's successor in the summer - and even
went as far as tipping them for a top-four finish.
But now I'm not so sure.
Having watched Liverpool's disastrous start to the season under his
tutelage, albeit only seven league games in, I just can't see how
things will get better for the Reds under the former Fulham boss,
who already has an embarrassing League Cup exit to Northampton and a
humiliating home defeat by Blackpool on his record.
I can't shake the feeling that Hodgson is simply out of his depth at
Anfield, with the glare of the constant spotlight on him
overwhelming a man who now looks like he has the world on his
The alarm bells started to ring a few weeks ago when Hodgson dropped
into a press conference how many extra hours he was working in his
You get the impression he was left to his own devices by Mohammed Al
Fayed at Craven Cottage, and thrived on the freedom he had in west
But this is Liverpool Football Club - a club in crisis but still a
club steeped in the grandest tradition and still one of the biggest
in world football when it comes to history, silverware and fanbase.
I was never Benitez's biggest fan but there was never any doubt that
he had red running through his veins while he was in charge on
Merseyside, and he clearly worked around the clock, living and
breathing Liverpool FC.
Benitez's meticulous approach to training and tactics seems to be
something the players are only fully appreciating now that he's gone
- and although Hodgson is desperate to stamp his own style on his
new team, I just don't think the two are compatible.
"My methods have translated from Halmstads to Malmo to Orebro to
Neuchatel Xamax to the Swiss national team," Hodgson has claimed in
his defence, but that very list of clubs tells it's own story, with
his methods perhaps not suited to the bigger clubs in world
football, where world-class and World Cup-winning footballers are
used to a much different approach.
Despite the distractions of the ongoing ownership and takeover
wranglings since the summer, there's simply no way Liverpool should
be in the relegation zone with the squad at Hodgson's disposal.
Many critics have pointed the finger at Benitez for the Reds'
shortcomings, but although the squad as a whole needs greater depth,
there is still a top-class starting XI there if the right players
Understandably Hodgson has transferred the formation and style that
served Fulham so well last season from London to Merseyside - but
Fernando Torres is not Bobby Zamora, so asking him to do a similar
job in a lone striker role has been a key factor in the Spaniard's
dip in form, body language and goals return.
Under Benitez, Torres had the likes of Steven Gerrard and Yossi
Benayoun buzzing around him, pressing defenders, winning possession
and providing ammunition for his predatory finishing skills in the
Liverpool's midfield and attack has looked totally disjointed under
Hodgson, with Torres' frustration at his lack of service visible to
The Reds boss needs to realise he has dropped a clanger in his
recruitment of Christian Poulsen, and play the classy Raul Meireles
in his best position - which is certainly not on the right wing.
I personally think Hodgson should take a look at the top of the
table and mirror Chelsea's 4-3-3 formation, which has served them
pretty well so far.
The Blues have a solid back four who are protected by a three-man
midfield shield which could be provided by talismanic skipper Steven
Gerrard in the centre, Meireles and the much-maligned Lucas Leiva
(or Fabio Aurelio when fit for balance on the left of the trio).
Jonjo Shelvey could even be an option alongside Gerrard and
Meireles, while some Reds fans have called for Daniel Agger to be
given a chance in a holding midfield role given Hodgson doesn't seem
to want him in central defence.
This midfield trio would allow Glen Johnson the freedom to bomb
forward in much the same way Ashley Cole does for the Blues, giving
the Reds some much-needed width and delivery from the right flank
which has been sorely missing so far.
With Lucas/Aurelio/Agger in the team, Gerrard could be the heartbeat
pulling the strings from the middle of the pitch and the man tasked
with linking midfield with an attacking trio of Joe Cole, Dirk Kuyt
Chelsea play with Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda supporting star
striker Didier Drogba, and although I'm not Kuyt's biggest fan, his
workrate, passion and eye for goal put him way ahead of David Ngog
and Ryan Babel, with Maxi Rodriguez another option for Kuyt's
position if the Dutchman is unavailable.
This formation would give Torres plenty of company up top and allow
him to harass defenders in a gang, rather than ploughing a lone
With so many teams starting to adopt this formation - one of which
being Blackpool who rocked Roy's Reds last time out - Hodgson needs
to realise his tried and tested methods are simply not working at
Although Liverpool have previously tended to stand by their man,
defeat to Everton in the upcoming Merseyside derby could make the
call for Hodgson's head deafening, with Reds fans chanting the name
of Kenny Dalglish in the humiliating defeat by Ian Holloway's
Seasiders last weekend.
Hodgson insists he has not "lost any ability which has served me so
well in 35 years of coaching" - and I'm sure he hasn't.
But his current methods are simply not working at the moment - and
unless he accepts he may have to adapt his ways sooner rather than
later, he may give Liverpool's hierarchy no other choice but to
usher him towards the exit door.
with proposed takeover
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson welcomed the club's
potential new American takeover as a positive move and pleaded for
patience from the fans as he tries to turn around problems on the
Liverpool accepted a €343 million offer from New England Sports
Ventures (NESV), who also own the Boston Red Sox baseball team,
although the deal is still subject to a legal challenge as well as
approval from the Premier League.
"It's very positive and of course I'm delighted," Hodgson said.
"It's been going on a long time and I know how hard the board have
worked to set things up.
“I know it's not easy for them because the owners have other ideas
in terms of the sale of the club and what is achievable. But I was
delighted to hear the news and have it confirmed that it looks like
it is going to go through."
While the board wrestles with the financial issues, Hodgson, who
replaced Rafa Benitez this season, has to address the club's worst
start for decades.
They are currently third-last in the standings with just six points
from seven games having lost at home to Blackpool last weekend. They
were also knocked out of the League Cup by Northampton and have made
a limp start to their Europa League campaign.
"Unfortunately when you lose matches, especially games like Sunday
that people don't expect you to lose, it colours everything,"
Hodgson said. "It comes on the back of a (League) Cup defeat, albeit
with a second team, so that adds to the woe - but in actual fact not
much has changed.
"We know what we've got to do, we know we need some new players, we
know we need investment, and we know we are weak in certain areas of
the team - these things have been the case since I arrived at the
club and we haven't had chance to put things right.
"What I ask of the fans is their patience, their trust and their
belief, because we will get it right - there are no doubts about
that. The club will be in a pretty healthy situation in general
terms if the sale goes through."
Reds reassure Roy
By Chris Burton - Sky Sports
Roy Hodgson has been assured that his job his
safe, as the proposed takeover of Liverpool gathers pace.
The experienced coach took the Anfield hot-seat over the summer in
the knowledge that the club could fall under new ownership during
It appears as though the Reds are now closing on such a deal, with
the owners of the Boston Red Sox baseball team seeing a £300million
There are still a number of issues to resolve before an agreement
can be pushed through, as current owners George Gillett and Tom
Hicks dig in their heels, but the Liverpool board are confident a
takeover will be completed.
Such an event cannot come soon enough for the faltering Reds, with
off-field shenanigans proving to be an unwelcome distraction.
A torrid opening to the 2010/11 campaign has left them languishing
in the Premier League relegation zone, with their dreams of
returning to the top four lying in tatters.
The slow start has seen pressure mount on Hodgson, just a few months
into his reign on Merseyside.
He has, however, been informed by club chairman Martin Broughton
that the prospective new owners still regard him as the ideal
candidate to lead the side into an exciting new future.
"They are very happy that this manager is the right person to take
this club forward," said Broughton.
"They talk enthusiastically about winning and investing in the team,
stadium development and doing all the right things.
"I think they are going to be pretty hands-on and they have a track
record of that."
issues title warning
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson admits that the club
will need new owners before they can challenge for the Premier
League title again.
Hodgson thinks his squad can compete, but to get to the level of the
likes of Chelsea and Manchester United he feels changes have to be
The Anfield club are on the market and American owners Tom Hicks and
George Gillett are anxious to push through a sale.
Hodgson is hoping that things in the boardroom will soon be
"I think we will have a decent season, but whether we are really
able to get our act together and take the next big step forward?
That might depend on the ownership issue," he said.
"The problems with the ownership are well documented and I can't
wave a magic wand and make them go away. I certainly can't fool the
public who live their lives through the club.
"What I would like to see is what everyone at Liverpool would like
to see - a solution to the ownership problem; that Martin Broughton
finds an owner acceptable to the rest of the board, with the right
intentions and who will, first and foremost, build a new stadium
that increases the capacity.
"That's for people who understand finance and I congratulate them
for shielding us from those problems.
"One hopes, as everyone at Liverpool hopes, this matter will be
resolved sooner rather than later. It puzzles me no-one has bought
the club yet, but there are obviously complications.
"Of course, the club needs new ownership. We're not alone in that,
but we're probably the most high-profile club in the world in that
"We want to make this club have a better season. That has to be the
first objective, to do a bit better and then build a platform for
By Al Campbell - LFC Online
Roy Hodgson is happy with his dealings in the
transfer market this Summer.
The boss has declared himself happy with the comings and goings in
his first transfer window as Liverpool manager.
"It was important to sign a quality midfielder when we lost Javier
[Mascherano]. We had half prepared for his departure by jumping in
to sign Christian Poulsen when he became available, but it was
important for us to keep strong in that area," said Hodgson.
"We loaned out Alberto Aquilani and so we are pleased to have been
able to bring in [Raul] Meireles. He is experienced in the Champions
League, in international football and has had proven success at
Porto. He is an all-round midfielder who is capable of playing in
all three of the central midfield positions.
"He has a pedigree which we researched, followed and studied. I
followed him at my previous club so it was good when I heard he
could be available and that we could do the business quickly.
"He has played a lot of international football so settling into the
English game won't be a major problem. Our public are sensible
people and they realise that having played all of his career in
Portugal, it may take a bit of time. We have that time. He will
adjust, but whether it's from the first moment we'll have to wait
"It was difficult [signing Paul Konchesky] because Fulham were
anxious to keep him and were against letting him go. Our good
fortune was he was in the last year of his contract and he made it
clear that if they didn't let him go he wouldn't sign a new
contract. That was useful for us because otherwise it would have
been very difficult to get him.
"There aren't many quality left-backs around in the world, never
mind in England - so to find an English one who can go straight into
the team without any adjustment problems is a big advantage.
"He is a player I know, a player I have worked with and he knows the
way we try to play and the things we try to do. That's another
little advantage, but the main reason for bringing him here is
because we think he's a good player and he's the right man for the
"We should be very happy [with the squad now]. A lot of hard work
has gone in and you have to mention Christian Purslow and Eduardo
Macia, who both worked really hard during the transfer window to do
the deals I wanted to happen but also to do deals for quite a few
players to leave the club.
"We were unbelievably overstaffed when I came to the club and, if
the truth be known, we still are overstaffed. It was just as big a
job making sure some of the players who never feature for the first
team move on and that we limit our squad to players who are either
in the frame to play first-team football or who have a bright future
who are still anxious to play academy and reserve team football.
"We don't want that middle group who are too old for reserve
football but are not serving any purpose for the first team because
they never feature."
By Razwan Mirza - Sky Sports
Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has hailed the
summer signings by manager Roy Hodgson.
The Reds defender feels Hodgson has done well to bring some big
names to the club despite the financial restrictions he has had to
The new Anfield boss brought in Paul Konchesky from Fulham and
Porto's Raul Meireles before transfer deadline day to supplement the
arrivals of Joe Cole, goalkeeper Brad Jones, Milan Jovanovic,
Christian Poulsen, Danny Wilson and the re-signing of Fabio Aurelio.
And, the 32-year-old centre-back believes that despite the sale of
Javier Mascherano to Barcelona he did a good job of persuading
Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard to remain at the club.
Of the rest of his squad Hodgson sold Albert Riera to Panathinaikos,
goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri to Cesena and sent Emiliano Insua and
Alberto Aquilani out on season-long loans.
Carragher believes that represents a decent result considering there
was not a lot of money available.
"I think he has done very well but time will tell. You have to judge
signings after Christmas - good or bad," said Carragher.
"We've started quite nicely and hopefully the couple of players we
have brought in (late on) will help.
"Everyone realised we needed a left-back so Konchesky came in and
Raul Meireles coming in is something we can all look forward to.
"Maybe he can replace the Xabi Alonso/Aquilani-type of player so I
think it is looking okay."
By Razwan Mirza - Sky Sports
Roy Hodgson admits that he would like Liverpool's next owners to
be prepared to invest in the club.
Hodgson claims that his task is to keep the squad together until the
situation regarding the ownership of the club is eventually
The former Fulham boss took over from Rafa Benitez in July and was
immediately forced to sell Javier Mascherano to Barcelona.
The 63-year-old says his main aim has been to avoid having to
rebuild the playing squad completely.
Hodgson told the LMA's magazine The Manager: "The club is up for
sale and nobody knows what direction it will take if and when new
owners are found.
"A few years ago when the situation was far more stable, the money
to buy new players was available.
"I hope the situation will change when the club is eventually sold
and owners who are prepared to invest in the club come in.
"When that situation arises I'm pretty sure that it won't be
difficult for us to start achieving things again but at the moment
the task is really to hang on to the players we've got and make
certain we don't have a situation where we have got a total
The Anfield giants have failed to see a proper bid for the club
materialise despite intense activity over the summer but Hodgson
insists that Liverpool can still achieve success this season with
the backing of the club's supporters.
"The stature, traditions and ability of Liverpool to attract players
certainly makes it an achievable task even though we are in strange
times," he said.
"You should never try and dampen people's enthusiasm and optimism.
"Furthermore every season we see teams not expected to win titles
"It doesn't always go to the favourite in any country.
"So we should never play down the Liverpool fans' incredible desire
and passion to keep winning trophies - and the Barclays Premier
League in particular - and keep their noses in front of Manchester
Reds name league
By Paul Eaton - LFC Official Website
Liverpool Football Club has submitted its 21-man
squad to the Premier League, in accordance with new rules which have
come into force today.
For the 2010-11 season, top-flight clubs must register a squad of up
to 25 players for league games, which must include at least eight
'home grown' players and no more than 17 'non home grown' players.
Home grown players are defined as those who irrespective of
nationality or age, have been affiliated to the FA or Welsh FA for a
period of three seasons or 36 months prior to their 21st birthday.
This is the squad Liverpool have submitted today:
Home grown players
Non home grown players:
Clubs can supplement their squads with an unlimited amount of
players under the age of 21, meaning Roy Hodgson will also be able
to call on the services of Peter Gulacsi, Martin Kelly, Daniel
Wilson, Jonjo Shelvey, Daniel Pacheco, Nathan Eccleston and David
Ngog for Barclays Premier League games this season.
This squad list applies to Barclays Premier League games only.
Liverpool defender Emiliano Insua has joined
Galatasaray on a season-long loan deal, the Turkish club have
The Premier League Reds have also offered their counterparts the
option to buy the Argentine left-back on a permanent basis at the
end of the temporary agreement.
Insua earned excellent reviews when he first emerged in the first
team of former boss Rafa Benitez after arriving from Boca Juniors in
2007, but he received a vast amount of criticism for his displays in
As a result the 21-year-old does not feature in the plans of Roy
Hodgson, who signed ex-Fulham colleague Paul Konchesky earlier on
transfer deadline day.
Insua was close to joining Fiorentina earlier in the summer, but the
Serie A side were not prepared to meet personal terms and the deal
failed to materialise.
Liverpool also re-signed Fabio Aurelio after the appointment of
Hodgson to leave Insua's prospects at Anfield looking increasingly
He has made 44 appearances for Liverpool and scored his only goal in
the League Cup against Arsenal last season.
Having been a regular at youth levels, Insua has two senior
Argentina caps, both coming in World Cup qualifiers.
Konchesky: In profile
By James Carroll - LFC Official Website
One of the most experienced left-backs in the
Barclays Premier League, Paul Konchesky has reunited with boss Roy
Hodgson after signing for Liverpool.
After cutting his teeth at non-league club Senrab FC - where the
likes of John Terry and Ledley King also started out - Konchesky
joined Charlton Athletic in 1997.
The Barking-born defender quickly became the Addicks' youngest-ever
player aged just 16 years and 93 days - a record somewhat ironically
not surpassed until Jonjo Shelvey's emergence at the Valley.
Konchesky was utilised sporadically until the 2000-01 season, when
he nailed down a regular first-team place and established himself as
one of the most promising young defenders in the country.
After notching up a handful of appearances for England U21s, his
consistency was rewarded with a first full cap for the Three Lions
against Australia in early 2003.
A brief loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur came next before he secured
a move to boyhood club West Ham United in the summer of 2005.
Konchesky enjoyed a promising maiden term at Upton Park, winning a
second England cap and becoming a mainstay of the Hammers first team
as they clinched a ninth-place finish as well as reaching the FA Cup
Though Liverpool dashed his dreams of silverware that afternoon in
Cardiff, the defender did find the back of the net at the Millennium
Stadium when his attempted cross deceived Pepe Reina and found the
back of the net.
The Reds' Spanish custodian had the last laugh, however, and
thwarted Konchesky in the penalty shootout to ensure the FA Cup
headed for Merseyside.
A disappointing second season at West Ham followed, prompting a
switch to fellow Londoners Fulham ahead of 2007-08.
Konchesky quickly set about becoming a key component of the
Cottagers - and the arrival of Hodgson at Craven Cottage at
Christmas 2007 helped elevate his game to the next level.
A blockbusting effort against former club West Ham clinched Fulham's
Goal of the Season award in 2008-09 and Konchesky remained Hodgson's
first-choice left-back as they reached the Europa League final
against all odds in May 2010, seeing off the likes of Juventus and
Hamburg en route.
Hodgson gets his
hands on Konchesky
Left-back Paul Konchesky has been reunited with
former manager Roy Hodgson after finally completing his move to
Liverpool from Fulham.
The 29-year-old has signed a four-year contract at Anfield, with
Reds reserve-team players Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic
moving in the opposite direction as part of the deal.
Konchesky was at Anfield to watch his new team's victory over West
Brom on Sunday but the completion of his deal was held up by
negotiations and medicals for Dalla Valle and Kacaniklic.
The two-cap former England international, who played under Hodgson
at Fulham, will provide much-needed competition for Fabio Aurelio at
left-back and is likely to be first-choice in that position.
Raul: LFC move
is a dream
By Steve Hunter - LFC Official Website
signing Raul Meireles has spoken of his desire to repay the faith
shown in him by Roy Hodgson and help Liverpool get back to the top.
The 27-year-old midfielder has won four titles with Porto and been
capped 38 times by Portugal, including in all four of his country's
games in this summer's World Cup.
He is determined to show his qualities and be a big success in front
of the Kop.
"Liverpool are an historic club and I am happy for the move," said
"Roy Hodgson was key because he worked so hard to get me.
"I hope the fans will one day remember me for my success at
Liverpool. It has been a long time coming but finally I have
achieved my dream of playing in England."
By Darren Phillips - Shankly Gates
Liverpool have completed the €14 million transfer
of Raul Meireles and confirmed the agreement of a four year contract
with the 27-year-old.
His omission from Porto's Europa League squad for the play-off round
fuelled speculation that he would be signing for Manchester United,
but, with a portion of the cash raised from Javier Mascherano's
impending sale to Barcelona Roy Hodgson moved quickly to reinforce
Miereles is expected to come straight into the Liverpool squad
following the scheduled international break.
Despite rumours if homesickness Dani Pacheco is set to sign a two
extension to his contract.
parting shot at Masch
Midfielder Javier Mascherano headed to Barcelona
from Liverpool on Friday with manager Roy Hodgson criticising his
The Argentina captain's long-awaited transfer to the Spanish club is
expected to be completed in the next 24 hours after the Reds
accepted a suitable bid, having rejected a £16million offer last
When news of that approach reached the 26-year-old he backed out of
playing in the Barclays Premier League defeat to Manchester City at
Eastlands on Monday.
That severely disrupted Hodgson's plans and he hit out at the
"It is not easy for me to defend the actions (of Mascherano) because
professionals are paid to play and when they are called on to play,
they play," he said.
"We had a player at Blackburn, Graeme Le Saux, who was very agitated
when I joined the club because he was determined to go to Chelsea
and that caused a lot of problems in pre-season.
"Tim Sherwood was wanted by Tottenham and that caused a lot of
problems because he wanted to get back to London.
"These situations do occur unfortunately and we have to live with
"I don't think they (the players) mean it as a challenge to your
authority or a challenge to the club's authority.
"It is just a selfish situation that they have got something they
want to do and they just expect the club, and therefore you as one
of the leaders of the club, to bow down and accept that they are
going to do it.
"Unfortunately there are going to be periods of time when there will
be some unpleasantness because players must also understand that
when you sign contracts you sign contracts to play.
"If the club decide they are going to accept an offer for you and
let you go that is one thing, but you run the risk the club might
say 'I'm sorry, you've got the contract and we aren't selling you so
you are staying'.
"It doesn't bother me as a challenge to my authority it is just a
fact of life.
"But it is a fact of life which gets exacerbated in a one-month
period in January and between July and August when it is a time of
year when a lot of people are trying to do their business."
Mascherano has agreed a four-year, £85,000-a-week contract and
Barcelona expect him to undergo a medical in the next 24 hours.
"FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC have reached an agreement in
principle to the transfer of Javier Mascherano for the next four
seasons," a statement from the Catalan club said this morning.
"The deal was closed after the intensive efforts made by the club in
the last few hours and through the provision of the player himself
engaged in the negotiation."
Hodgson has spent most of his time since taking over on July 1
talking about players who are leaving or reported to be leaving, the
latest being Dirk Kuyt on Wednesday.
The Englishman dismissed that prospect out of hand despite Kuyt's
agent claiming he wanted to move to Inter Milan and the player
himself pledged his commitment to the club after last night's 2-1
Europa League play-off victory over Trabzonspor.
"We have to be forgiven for getting irritated by agents stirring
things up even more," said the 62-year-old, who has mixed feelings
about the imminent closure of the transfer window as it will stop
speculation about his players but leaves him little time to buy
"It is bad enough if there is a genuine offer and a genuine problem
to solve but it is even worse when you are constantly batting away
things you shouldn't even be talking about.
"When the window closes then every press conference is about
football and football matters rather than 'X's agent is saying this
and is there any truth in it?' and you are trying to diplomatically
answer the question without offending too many people."
The departure of Mascherano leaves Hodgson little time to bring in
reinforcements but he is optimistic he can add players before the
transfer window closes.
A deal is close for Fulham left-back Paul Konchesky but Hodgson also
needs reinforcements up front to give Fernando Torres some back-up.
"We still need to improve our squad and we haven't much time to do
that," said the Reds boss.
"I am hoping that in the short period left in the transfer window we
still have the chance to add at least a couple of players in the
squad to at least replace the ones who are no longer with us.
"With Mascherano going we are losing a lot of player and not
bringing any in so it is not good in that respect."
Barca to sign
Mascherano for £17.25m
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool have sold midfielder Javier Mascherano
to Barcelona for about £17.25m, BBC Sport understands.
The deal is subject to the 26-year-old Argentina captain passing a
medical with the Catalan giants.
Barcelona confirmed on their website: "The clubs have reached an
agreement in principle for the transfer of Mascherano for the next
"Barcelona will report the details once the player passes the
medical and the transfer is concluded."
And the Barca statement continued: "The deal was closed after
intensive efforts made by the club in the final hours and through
the player himself in the negotiations.
"It is hoped Javier Mascherano will arrive in Barcelona this
Liverpool had been keen to recoup the £18m they paid for former
River Plate midfielder Mascherano when he arrived from West Ham.
The Anfield outfit had rejected an initial bid of £16m from
Barcelona seven days ago but he subsequently missed Monday's defeat
by Manchester City and Thursday's trip to Trabzonspor, where
Liverpool secured a place in the group stages of the Europa League
with a 3-1 aggregate win.
Mascherano joined Liverpool from West Ham in 2007, initially on a
loan deal that was turned into a four-year contract in 2008.
Barcelona failed in an attempt to lure him to Spain last summer but
on his return from the World Cup in July, Mascherano made it clear
he wanted to leave Anfield, saying his wife could not settle in
Since taking charge of Liverpool in July, manager Roy Hodgson had
been eager to end the uncertainty surrounding Mascherano's future.
"I am seriously hoping that in the next couple of days it will be
sorted out one way or another," stated Hodgson on Thursday.
"Although I have no idea which way that will be."
Liverpool have also received a bid for Mascherano from Inter Milan,
now coached by Hodgson's Reds predecessor Rafael Benitez.
But former Fulham boss Hodgson dismissed the offer from the Italian
side saying: "We received a fax about Mascherano [from Inter], but
it was a joke fax."
vents his anger
at Benitez over Kuyt
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson's anger at Inter
Milan's interest in Dirk Kuyt has led to him claiming that ex-Reds
boss Rafael Benitez would be reneging on an agreement not to raid
Anfield for former players.
Hodgson continues to deny any knowledge of Kuyt wanting to leave
despite suggestions by his agent that talks between the two clubs
"Dirk has not expressed that sentiment to me," said Hodgson, who
insisted the assurances he had received from Inter president Massimo
Moratti last week that the Italians were not intending to buy any
Liverpool players still held firm.
"When he left the club Rafael Benitez signed an agreement that he
would not poach players from Liverpool. We haven't received an offer
from any club so this is something obviously going on behind the
scenes, with the agent possibly talking to the manager of Inter
"We don't welcome any offers, we haven't received an offer and at
this late stage of the transfer window it would be remarkably
unusual for us to accept an offer for a player we don't want to
leave for money we don't need.
"I would suggest, with respect, if his agent had a serious plan to
move him to the club he should have been working during the last
four to five weeks and not the last few days. It is highly unlikely
we could receive any offer from another club which we could
Kuyt's agent Rob Jansen had claimed in the Dutch press that
negotiations were on-going.
"The two clubs continue to talk, but things are moving slowly," he
said. "The difference between demand and offer is important.
"It is something between the clubs but Dirk told Liverpool he no
longer wants to be involved as this is something that regards his
career and life. It doesn't mean he wants to leave at all costs, but
when a club like Inter comes along it's normal to look into the
The future of Javier Mascherano is no nearer being resolved with the
midfielder again left out of the squad after Barcelona's £16million
bid was rejected.
But Hodgson said he hoped there would be a conclusion one way or the
other in the next few days and did not rule out selecting the
Argentina captain for Sunday's Premier League match at home to West
"Tomorrow night was out of the question but Sunday is very much a
question because I think by then I should know one way or another
whether he is going to play for Liverpool this season or Barcelona."
During his press conference ahead of Thursday's Europa League
qualifier with Trabzanspor, Hodgson confirmed that the club had held
talks with his former side Fulham over left-back Paul Konchesky.
By Elliot Ball - Sky Sports
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has given Barcelona
until Sunday to sign midfielder Javier Mascherano.
The Reds have already rejected a £16million offer from the Spanish
giants for their midfield enforcer after insisting they are under no
financial pressure to accept a substantial bid for the 26-year-old.
Hodgson is keen to have Mascherano's future resolved though after he
was left out of Monday's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City, with the
Reds boss citing the player was not in the right frame of mind for
the Premier League fixture.
The former River Plate, Corinthians and West Ham performer, who will
also miss Liverpool's Europa League second-leg tie with Trabzonspor
on Thursday, is said to be desperate for a move to Spain after his
family have grown unhappy with life in England.
But a move to the Camp Nou hangs in the balance after Hodgson gave
his Barca counterpart Pep Guardiola an ultimatum of Sunday evening
to come up with the Reds' £25million valuation for the Argentina
"I wouldn't want to say he has played his last game for Liverpool,"
said the Liverpool manager.
"The negotiations are ongoing between the two clubs and if he had
played here it might have prejudiced the transfer and I didn't wish
to do that to the player.
"I am seriously hoping that in the next couple of days it will be
sorted out one way or another - although I have no idea which way
that will be.
"Tomorrow night was out of the question but Sunday is very much a
question because I think by then I should know one way or another
whether he is going to play for Liverpool this season or Barcelona."
Mascherano Barca deal
heading towards conclusion
By Harry Harris - ESPN Soccernet
Javier Mascherano's proposed move to Barcelona is
edging closer, with both clubs moving towards a compromise on their
respective valuations of the player.
The Catalan giants have now gone public on their interest, and the
midfielder has openly expressed his desire to leave Anfield.
It has been reported that an initial bid of £12 million, plus
Alexander Hleb, was dismissed out of hand by Liverpool, but
Soccernet understands that the first bid was closer to £18 million -
though that figure was still some way off Liverpool's £25 million
A source close to the deal told Soccernet: "Barcelona have offered
22 million euros, and Liverpool have put a price on the player of
30million euros. I believe the magic number is 28 million euros.
"Liverpool surely cannot say no to that figure, and now it's a
question of how close to that mark Barcelona are prepared to move,
as they know they have to increase their offer."
Through third parties, it is being suggested that Mascherano has
already accepted a huge pay rise to move to the Nou Camp, with his
£30,000-a-week wages at Anfield leaping to £85,000 a week in Spain.
But it is not simply a question of Mascherano's personal finances,
as personal reasons drive his desire to leave England. Liverpool,
meanwhile, want to fully realise the economic benefits of the
Argentina captain moving on.
"It is now well established that the club are willing to sell him,
and actually want to sell him, and the player wants to go because of
personal reasons," Soccernet's source explains.
"Javier loves the club, and appreciates that Liverpool bought him
for £20 million when he was sitting on the bench at West Ham. He has
no problems with the club and in fact, contrary to the impression
being given, he has no problem with the new manager. "He likes
Hodgson. Hodgson would like the player to stay as he doesn't have a
replacement, but the only solution is for the Barcelona deal to go
through as quickly as possible. There is no knowing if Javier will
play if asked to do so at the weekend.
"Roy Hodgson has been unbelievable in the way he has dealt with this
situation. The player is deeply upset that his move to Barcelona has
been put in jeopardy by the price being quoted for him, and that he
was in no mood to play under the circumstances. The manager has said
that under those circumstances it would have been pointless picking
him in any case.
"Everyone accepts that it is not the way to go about it, refusing to
play, but Javier is adamant he doesn't want to play again for
Liverpool and wants to go to Barcelona because of his family."
Mascherano reported for training on Tuesday morning, after Hodgson
admitted he had no idea of the player's whereabouts, ahead of
Liverpool's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at Eastlands.
Reds agree Jones
LFC Official Website
Liverpool have confirmed a £2.3m fee has been
agreed with Middlesbrough for the transfer of Australian
international goalkeeper Brad Jones.
The 28-year-old stopper passed a medical on Monday afternoon and has
agreed personal terms. He is expected to complete the paperwork on a
three-year contract on Tuesday.
The Australia international spent the early part of his career as
understudy to Mark Schwarzer, before battling it out with Ross
Turnbull to become first-choice at the Riverside at the start of the
During his time in the North-East he picked up a League Cup winner's
medal and was between the sticks for the club's famous UEFA Cup
semi-final victory over Steaua Bucharest back in 2006.
He has since won two caps for Australia and was named in their 2010
World Cup squad.
I have plenty to prove
Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen says he has plenty to prove
after his move from Juventus despite being an experienced
Hodgson with his latest signing - Christian Poulsen.
(Photo: LFC Transfer Speculations)
The 30-year-old has won 77 caps for Denmark and has been a mainstay
in Europe's top leagues for the last eight years, having featured
for Schalke in the Bundesliga, Sevilla in La Liga before moving on
to Italy's Serie A with his former employers.
He has even played under Reds boss Roy Hodgson before, when the
Englishman signed him prior to FC Copenhagen's title-winning season
However, that does not mean the combative midfielder will rest on
his laurels - especially as some fans will need some convincing he
can plug the gap expected to be left by wantaway Argentina captain
"With this move here I have a lot to prove," said the veteran of two
World Cups, who has signed a three-year contract after joining for
an initial fee of £4.5million with another £1million payable on
"If you come to a club like Liverpool, you have to deliver.
"I will hopefully show I can be a good player for Liverpool."
Poulsen is eager to rekindle his good working relationship with
Hodgson, having previously enjoyed success under the Englishman -
albeit it in the slightly lower-profile Danish Superliga.
"I had two good years with him so I hope to carry that on, and
hopefully he'll be satisfied with my qualities," said Denmark's
player of the year in 2006 and 2007.
"He's a manager who's been all over the world and has a lot of
experience, so of course I have a lot of respect for him.
"Roy didn't have to say that much because Liverpool is known all
around the world, and for people in Denmark, Liverpool are the
biggest club in England."
Poulsen trained with his new team-mates soon after completing his
move but Sunday's Barclays Premier League opener at home to Arsenal
may come too soon for him.
Hodgson has previously suggested should Mascherano still be at the
club - and no suitable bids have been received - by this weekend
then he would be in contention to face the Gunners.
That may mean Poulsen has to wait for his debut, although he
stressed that despite returning to training late because of World
Cup involvement he is ready when called upon.
"I started a little bit later because of the World Cup but I've done
pre-season with Juventus," he said.
"I didn't play the last matches in the Europa League because of the
move to this club.
"I am feeling fit but of course it's a decision for the manager and
Poulsen has earned something of an abrasive reputation but he
insists there is more to his game than just being a midfield
"I like also to play technical football. I see myself as a player
who tries to play football but I can also make a tackle," he
Hodgson is still hoping to bolster his squad further but claims a
fee had been agreed for Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Jones, for
whom Liverpool had a £2million bid turned down last week, have been
dismissed by the Teessiders.
Liverpool from Juventus
BBC Sport Online
Liverpool have signed Denmark international
Christian Poulsen on a three-year contract from Italian club
Juventus for an initial fee of £4.5m.
The defensive midfielder, 30, has been earmarked by manager Roy
Hodgson as a potential replacement for Javier Mascherano, who wants
to leave Anfield.
Poulsen joins new signings Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey
and Danny Wilson at the club this summer.
He knows Hodgson, having joined FC Copenhagen when he was boss in
Poulsen, who has also played for Schalke and Sevilla, has 77 Denmark
Argentina captain Mascherano asked Hodgson for a transfer on the day
he returned to pre-season training after an extended break following
the World Cup.
Mascherano refused to discuss his future when asked after playing in
Argentina's friendly against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on
"I will not talk about that - I am still a Liverpool player but I
can't say any more," said Mascherano.
The 26-year-old is keen to be reunited with former Reds boss Rafael
Benitez at Inter Milan, although the Serie A club appear unwilling
to meet Liverpool's valuation of him.
Macherano said he would return to Liverpool on Thursday and attend
Regarding any further fee, a statement on the Juve website said:
"The consideration for the disposal may increase by a further
maximum of 1.2m euros (£1m) on achieving given sports performances
in the course of the duration of the contract."
ready to fight for place
By Elliot Ball - Sky Sports
Jamie Carragher is ready to fight tooth and nail
to maintain his status in the heart of Liverpool's defence.
The Reds stalwart has been an integral member of the Anfield
backline but the 32-year-old suffered one of his poorest seasons on
Merseyside last term.
Mirroring the club's early problems, Carragher looked a shadow of
his former self until the Bootle-born performer rediscovered the
form which has made him one of the most consistent defenders of his
generation at the back end of the campaign.
But with the arrival of new manager Roy Hodgson after Rafa Benitez's
departure, the former England international expects to have to prove
himself all over again when the new season kicks off.
Point to prove
"You never know what might happen," said Carragher, who will be
vying with Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Danny Wilson for a
centre-back starting berth.
"Last year after a few games, the whole world had written me off and
said I was finished.
"But in the second half of the season, along with Javier Mascherano
and Pepe (Reina), I was probably one of the most consistent players
and when you look at how the defence played, we managed to keep 18
"That's gone now and you have to do it all again. There is going to
be a challenge and it has always been the case that players will
want to take your place but you just have to be ready for the
"I played every week for Rafa for six years but I've got to prove
myself again. Even if Rafa had still been here that would have been
"There will be a time when I don't play 50 games a season but I've
no intention of it happening this year."
Although everyone at Anfield is keen to forget last season, when the
club suffered early exits from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup
and slipped to their worst Premier League finish in over a decade,
Carragher believes they must learn important lessons.
"You have got to remember that right until the end, we were still in
with a chance of getting into the top four," added the vice-captain,
whose team eventually finished seventh.
"I know people are writing us off and saying we have got no chance
but I've no doubt that we will improve.
"We are not the type of club that says we are going to do this or
that but now is the time for everyone to come together again and
show that we can leave last year's form well behind.
"There will be new ideas, different voices on the training ground
and all that helps.
"There is one thing that will never change: Liverpool will always be
expected to do well and the pressure for us to be successful is just
as intense as it was all those years ago; it might even be more.
"It will be like that for years to come."
Player fitness is key
By Carl Markham - Press Association Sport
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has pin-pointed the
key to success this season - and it simply involves keeping his star
Pivotal among them will be striker Fernando Torres, who in three
seasons with the Reds has yet to get through an entire campaign
Last season was the Spain international's worst to date on
Merseyside as he struggled with a groin problem before Christmas and
then, afterwards, underwent two knee operations in four months, the
second of which prematurely ended his domestic involvement.
Other players missed sections of last season with captain Steven
Gerrard, defenders Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Fabio Aurelio and
the now-departed Yossi Benayoun affected.
It is something Hodgson knows he has little control over but he
hopes, with the medical staff having had an overhaul during the
summer with a new head of sports science in Dr Peter Brukner, that
overall fitness will generally improve and contribute to more
success on the pitch.
"It's to do with the quality of the sports science and medical
department," said the 62-year-old.
"Ours is very, very good, so I am sure that will be an enormous
"The other thing is how big a squad you've got to enable players to
be rested when they need it, and to ensure they're not being thrown
into situations all the time where really and truly they'd have been
better off having a rest.
"If we are to proceed in the Europa League (Liverpool face
Trabzonspor in a two-legged play-off) it is going to mean an awful
lot of matches, so the strength and size of our squad will be of
"It doesn't matter if you're Fernando Torres or anybody else, to
play three games a week for something like 35-40 weeks of the year
is an impossible task at the level we're playing at.
"But matches are won by players who go out onto the field; the
better the players you've got to put on the field, the more chance
you have of winning matches.
"In this convoluted world of football today we try to find excuses
and reasons for things all over the place and forget sometimes the
most important people in the game of football are those guys you pay
to go and watch."
One player who has experienced his fair share of injuries at Anfield
The time he spent off the field contributed to former boss Rafael
Benitez not giving him a new contract at the end of the season.
However, with cover at left-back thin on the ground the Brazilian
has been given a second chance by Hodgson, who re-signed him last
Aurelio, who made just 23 appearances last season, is determined to
seize his opportunity.
"When you are in a top side like Liverpool you will always have
competition for your place," he said.
"I know they are looking for another full-back but if I can
concentrate on my job and do well, hopefully that can convince the
boss that I can be the first choice.
"I am thankful to the manager that I am back here. He wanted me to
come back and now I want to repay him on the pitch, where I hope to
be for most of the time this season."
Despite bringing back Aurelio, Hodgson has warned all of his squad
that they cannot hope to exist on past reputations.
"My job will only be made easier if they perform like big players.
Names don't win you anything, football players do," added the
"Sometimes football players can get names and cease to be the player
they were - but that has not been the case with the players we've
got here and I am sincerely hoping it won't be the case in the
"We've got to hope Liverpool Football Club will continue to have the
players who can get out and win football matches."
Liverpool FC’s move for
Christian Poulsen edges closer
By Dominic King - Liverpool Echo
Liverpool's bid to land Christian Poulsen has
moved a step closer after the midfielder was given permission to
withdraw from Denmark’s squad for the friendly with Germany.
Poulsen’s adviser Joern Bonnesen confirmed last week positive
negotiations had taken place with the Reds and suggested his switch
from Juventus could be finalised in days.
And now Denmark coach Morten Olsen has allowed Poulsen to pull out
of his squad for the friendly in Copenhagen on Wednesday night.
The 30-year-old is expected to arrive on Merseyside in the next 48
hours for further discussions and Roy Hodgson will be anxious to
wrap up a deal quickly.
Should everything go to plan, Poulsen could even be hurried into
making an instant debut against Arsenal at Anfield on Sunday.
Javier Mascherano’s future is still up in the air, while Lucas – who
has done well during pre-season – has just been recalled into
They face USA in New Jersey on Wednesday and the earliest Lucas will
be back at Melwood is Friday morning.
Hodgson, who is on the lookout for a striker, will be hoping to make
progress in the market and is expected to go back to Middlesbrough
with an improved off for keeper Brad Jones.
Thor Zakariassen ©