Hodgson tops Liverpool's list
after Benítez agrees exit
Kenny Dalglish is to lead the search for Rafael Benítez's
successor as Liverpool manager, with Roy Hodgson and Martin
O'Neill among the frontrunners.
The leading candidate at present is Hodgson, who has many
admirers at Anfield with his European pedigree and recent
success at Fulham. The 62-year-old former Internazionale,
Switzerland and Blackburn Rovers manager is on a 12-month
rolling contract at Craven Cottage and Liverpool are
confident he would be receptive to their advances, despite
insisting he was fully committed to Fulham after last
month's Europa League final defeat to Atlético Madrid.
Liverpool fans burn
US flags in demonstration
Liverpool supporters turned their ire on the club’s managing
director Christian Purslow on Thursday night as more than
500 demonstrated at Anfield, calling for his dismissal and
burning American flags, a direct message to his employers
Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
The Rafa Years
He was hailed as our Spanish messiah, a genial tactician who
restored our reputation as one of Europe's biggest clubs and
led us to one of the greatest triumphs in our history.
But after a six-year reign of cup glory, league frustration
and rotation, Rafael Benitez Maudes' hopes of leading
Liverpool to a record-breaking 19th League Championship were
brought to an end following a disappointing 2009-10 campaign
in which the team lost a total of 19 matches.
(LFC Official Website)
Evans: It was time for a change
Roy Evans today paid tribute to Rafael Benitez's Liverpool
tenure - but accepted the time was right for change at the
The Reds confirmed on Thursday that Benitez is to leave the
club by mutual consent, bringing his six-year reign to an
And former Anfield boss Evans told Liverpoolfc.tv: "It's
always sad when a manager leaves.
"Rafa was a good servant to the club over his six years and
obviously successful. Unfortunately last season wasn't so
good and there's been
a lot of criticism.
"Sometimes as a football club you have to make a decision to
take the club forward and that seems to be what has happened
(LFC Official Website)
Anfield politics, not results
Rafael Benítez's Liverpool downfall
Benítez was the victim of Liverpool's financial problems but
flawed signings made him partly responsible for his exit.
Were it simply a football decision, a detached analysis of
where Liverpool should be in the midst of a debt-ridden
power vacuum, then Rafael Benítez, for the many faults,
facts and suspect full-backs, would not be leaving Anfield
with a lucrative pay-off. But it is not simply football that
has done for Benítez.
It is the politicking that is as much a feature of the
Spaniard's managerial career as European expertise and the
misfortune to fall into the employ of Tom Hicks and George
(Andy Hunter - guardian.co.uk)
Where it went wrong for Rafa
Here we look at some of the factors which have led to the
downfall of the Spaniard in his failed attempt to bring the
glory days back to Anfield.
FAILURE TO WIN THE PREMIER LEAGUE
HAUNTED BY THE PAST
Rafa's Liverpool love
affair ends in tears
TEAMtalk takes a look back at Rafael Benitez's six-year
reign as Liverpool manager following Thursday's confirmation
of his Anfield departure.
Fairclough: Change was necessary
David Fairclough believes the club had to change their
manager to retain the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando
Fairclough, who made 155 appearances for the Reds from
1974-83, told Sky Sports News: "I am not totally surprised.
There has been so much speculation surrounding the club -
ownership-wise and the future of Rafa Benitez.
"Liverpool under-performed last season and there were clear
signs of disharmony.
"I think Rafa found it hard to galvanise the team in the way
in seasons previous."
Benitez leaves Liverpool
Liverpool have confirmed that manager Rafa Benitez is to
leave the club by mutual consent after six years at the
The Spaniard had found his position under severe scrutiny
after a miserable season which saw the Anfield outfit finish
seventh in the Premier League, missing out on UEFA Champions
League football next term.
Benitez's relationship with American co-owners Tom Hicks and
George Gillett had become increasingly strained and rumours
began circulating that he was to be shown the door on
It emerged negotiations were under way behind the scenes to
agree a severance package, which is believed to be
£6million, with the former Valencia boss having only
recently signed a lucrative new long-term contract.
And Liverpool finally broke their silence over the issue
shortly before 4pm on Thursday with confirmation that the
man who secured the Champions League trophy in 2005 and the
FA Cup the following season was heading for the exit.
Liverpool will replace
Benitez within a week
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge is sure that the the
Reds' hierarchy will replace Rafael Benitez as manager
within a week.
But it is not the Spaniard who should be carrying the can
for the club's recent disappointments, according to the
former Republic of Ireland international.
Rather, it is time that the owners accepted their share of
the blame and came to a swift resolution of the ongoing and
often confusing situation regarding
the club's sale.
"Nothing surprises me about Liverpool any more," Aldridge
The Liverpool Echo.
Inter reveal Benitez interest
Inter Milan have expressed admiration for Liverpool manager
Rafa Benitez, strengthening reports linking him with the
vacant Serie A post.
It is understood Benitez, who endured a massively
disappointing campaign with the Reds last season, is poised
to depart Anfield once the two parties have agreed on a
And Inter, who are without a manager following the exit of
Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid, have indicated their interest
in the Spaniard.
The question of who will fill the vacant Inter position has
come under speculation of late, particularly since England
boss Fabio Capello dismissed links with
the Italian club.
But Benitez holds extra appeal for the Giuseppe Meazza
outfit after guiding the Reds to victory over Inter's fierce
rivals AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final in
"We really like Rafa Benitez and he is in our favour since
the Champions League final in Istanbul," Inter director
Gabriele Oriali told Corriere dello Sport.
"Player power sealed
The imminent departure of Rafa Benitez from Liverpool is
being seen as a positive, and inevitable move on Fleet
The Times' Tony Barrett claims this is a crucial moment for
He writes: 'The beginning of what appears to be the end for
Rafael Benítez also marks the start of a summer that
threatens to be one of the most painful - and will
undoubtedly be the most pivotal - in the modern history of
Britain's most successful football club...
Another 48 hours for Rafa
Sky Sports sources understand Rafa Benitez is to leave
Liverpool in the next 48 hours as the two parties continue
to negotiate a severance package.
News broke of Benitez's likely departure on Wednesday night,
with the Spaniard believed to be on the cusp of leaving
Anfield after a hugely disappointing
Rafa's agent quiet on exit reports
Rafael Benitez's agent on Wednesday night
refused to discuss reports the Spaniard is set to leave
Benitez experienced a dismal 2009/10 season as his team
finished only seventh in the Premier League and suffered
early exits from the Champions League,
FA Cup and Carling Cup.
According to several reports, Liverpool have made Benitez an
offer to walk away from the club, however there has been no
Agent Manuel Garcia Quilon said: "We don't know anything
more than what's being said.
Benitez on verge of Liverpool exit
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is on the
verge of leaving the club,
BBC Sport understands.
Benitez will be offered a multi-million pound severance deal
to quit Anfield and could depart by the weekend.
The Spaniard, 50, signed a five-year contract in March 2009,
but failed to deliver success last season as the club missed
out on a Champions League place.
Liverpool are £351m in debt and were put up for sale by
co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett earlier this year.
The American pair's ownership of the Reds has drawn protests
from Liverpool fans, who are unhappy with the way the club
is being run.
Now news of Benitez's impending departure will inevitably
lead to question marks over the futures of several key
(BBC Sport Online)
Pepe pleads for Gerrard to stay
Jose Reina hopes Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard will not
be tempted by Real Madrid and will instead see out his
career at Anfield.
Gerrard has long been linked with a move to the Spanish
giants and speculation has increased since Jose Mourinho
took over the reigns as the former Chelsea manager is a
long-time admirer of the Liverpool captain.
The England midfielder has progressed through the ranks at
Anfield but is thought to be increasingly disgruntled with
his team's lack of success.
However, Reina has begged him not to abandon Anfield for the
"I hope Gerrard doesn't bring anything to Real Madrid and
that he stays a long time at Liverpool, that he is with us
for the rest of his career,"
said the Spain goalkeeper.
"I understand that something will happen, that Real Madrid's
interest in Gerrard will become manifest because Mourinho
knows him very well and he is a footballer who can play in
any team in the world.
"He is part of the elite, among the 10 best in the world
because he is a very complete footballer.
"Let's hope they don't take him away."
Stevie eyes five more years
Steven Gerrard hopes the forthcoming World Cup will not be
his last as he eyes five more years of top-level football.
The midfielder turned 30 on Sunday but has no plans to hang
up his boots any time soon.
However, with England's so-called Golden Generation reaching
its peak, Gerrard accepts South Africa may be his best
chance to claim football's greatest prize.
"If I want to win a World Cup, I'm going to have to do it
soon," said our No.8.
"But I'm in good shape and I've still got five years to
fight for the top prizes in football. I don't know if this
will be my last World Cup but I want to give it everything.
"We've (England's current crop of players) been together for
a long time, so I don't think there are any excuses for us
any more. It's time to deliver. The team is winning and
confidence is high, but we still have some improving to do
if we want to go all the way."
Gerrard was one of three players to miss in a quarter-final
penalty shoot-out loss to Portugal back in 2006 - a rare low
point in his glittering career.
The Liverpool man is keen to put things right should
penalties come into play
"Of course I'd take one," he said. "Missing a penalty in the
quarter-final in 2006 was the loneliest place in the world,
and I want to put that right.
"It's bad enough losing, but to feel responsible for a loss
is the worst
kind of failure."
(LFC Official Website)
Kuyt on target as Holland purr
Dirk Kuyt was on target as Holland cruised to a 4-1 win over
on Tuesday night.
The Liverpool man opened the scoring with a tap-in on the
half-hour mark before making way for clubmate Ryan Babel on
Rafael van der Vaart , Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie
also got their names on the scoresheet for Holland, with
Ghana's consolation coming through
Kuyt and co now face Hungary on June 5 before opening their
World Cup campaign against Daniel Agger's Denmark on June
(LFC Official Website)
Carragher going to South Africa
Jamie Carragher has been named in Fabio Capello's 23-man
England squad for the World Cup Finals.
The Liverpool defender was recently called up by the England
coach because of injuries to key players and now joins
fellow Reds Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson in the final
Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James
(Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham).
Defenders: Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole
(Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson
(Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham), John Terry (Chelsea),
Matthew Upson (West Ham), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa).
Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick
(Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard
(Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon
(Tottenham), James Milner (Aston Villa), Shaun
Wright-Phillips (Manchester City).
Forwards: Peter Crouch (Tottenham), Jermain Defoe
(Tottenham), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney
Aussie loss for Agger
Daniel Agger completed 90 minutes for Denmark in a 1-0
defeat to Australia in South Africa on Tuesday afternoon.
The Liverpool centre-back was unable to prevent his nation
from slipping to a narrow loss in their penultimate fixture
ahead of the start of the World Cup finals as Josh Kennedy's
71st minute strike secured a win for the Socceroos.
Denmark will take on South Africa in a friendly on Saturday
before beginning their Group E campaign against Holland on
Agger has been included in coach Morten Olsen's 23-man squad
(LFC Official Website)
Inter Milan offer to double
Benitez Liverpool wages
Inter Milan have made a new move for Liverpool boss Rafa
The Sun says the European champs made their move at the
weekend - just when everyone thought they were chasing
England manager Fabio Capello.
Reds and Hammers in race for Opare
Liverpool and West Ham are believed to be among a host of
European clubs tracking Real Madrid's Ghana starlet Daniel
Opare is regarded as one of Africa's brightest talents and
was spotted by Real early on as he moved to the Spanish
capital in 2007.
The Ghana youngster was tipped to make the breakthrough from
their Castilla side last term, but injury hampered his
Now fully fit, the versatile full-back, who can also play
anywhere in midfield, is now set to be allowed to move on
loan next season.
Hansen insists Liverpool not
far away from competing for title
Liverpool icon Alan Hansen believes the club can still
attract quality signings this summer, despite the lack of
Champions League football.
Hansen thinks two or three quality additions could get
Liverpool back challenging alongside Manchester United and
"Liverpool are still Liverpool - they're still massive and
they still have the greatest support in the world," the Scot
told Radio City.
"Liverpool have got to forget what's gone before and
concentrate on what's ahead of them.
"It's going to be difficult but I'd look at 1986-87 when
Everton won the league and we came second. I knew we were a
long way short. Kenny Dalglish knew that too and he brought
in Barnes, Beardsley, Aldridge, Spackman and Houghton.
"That turned it around like you'd never believe. We went
from not being nearly good enough to being a great side.
"Hopefully that can happen to this Liverpool side because
they've got some great players. If they can just get two or
three more in who can do a job."