Soto heading back to Greece
Sotirios Kyrgiakos has been called into Greece's pre-World
Cup training camp.
Coach Otto Rehhagel has named an initial 30-man group but
must whittle it down to 23 by June 1 before travelling to
Greece are in Group B along with Argentina, South Korea and
(LFC Official Website)
Rafael Benítez demands answers amid
uncertainty over Liverpool's future
Liverpool's manager, Rafael Benítez, has called on officials
at the club to "answer a lot of questions" about the future
direction things will take.
The Spaniard has a meeting scheduled this week with the
chairman, Martin Broughton, in which he expects to be given
detailed information about what plans are being put in place
for next season and beyond.
Broughton, also the chairman of British Airways, has been
brought in by the co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to
oversee the sale of Liverpool but it has taken him nearly
three weeks to schedule a meeting with Benítez.
That has not pleased the manager, who would like to stay at
Anfield despite strong interest from Juventus.
Ajax coach Jol flattered
by Liverpool link
Ajax coach Martin Jol has welcomed interest from Liverpool.
The former Tottenham boss is being linked with Rafa
Benitez's job at Anfield as the Spaniard edges closer to a
move to Juventus.
"Liverpool are one of the best clubs in Europe and it is
flattering to be linked with them," said Jol.
The People says senior Reds officials have acknowledged that
Benietz's time is up and they have taken the first steps for
life after Rafa by drawing up a short-list of contenders to
Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho is top of that list, with
Fulham's Roy Hodgson, Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill, Turkey
boss Guus Hiddink and Bayern Munich's Dutchman Louis van
Gaal possible choices.
Hodgson sticking with Cottagers
Roy Hodgson dismissed speculation linking him with Liverpool
after watching his side beat London rivals West Ham 3-2 at
Hodgson's achievement in taking Fulham to the final of the
Europa League, where they will face Atletico Madrid later
this month, has been the catalyst for speculation that he
could replace Rafael Benitez on Merseyside.
But the Fulham boss insists, that while it is flattering to
be linked with such clubs, he is happy at Craven Cottage.
"I am happy here at Fulham," he declared. "I have got a
contract here at Fulham. I am happy with the job I am doing.
"My name is sufficiently strong at the moment to be linked
with other jobs and, of course, that is flattering and it is
nice to hear.
"But as far as I am concerned it is speculation because I am
Liverpool are facing an uncertain
future and need an overhaul
A title race may never be over until it is mathematically
decided, but Chelsea can certainly head into the final game
of the season knowing they have done all of the hard work.
Carlo Ancelotti's side have faced the toughest test of their
run-in and emerged as convincing winners.
The question, in reality, was never likely to be whether
Liverpool had the right attitude to beat Chelsea, but
whether they had the right attributes.
In the end, they offered as bad a performance as they have
produced this season.
At least Ancelotti and Ferguson will only have to look to
buy a handful of players this summer. Liverpool, on the
other hand, may need to go into double figures before they
have a squad worthy of returning them to where everyone at
the club feels they deserve to be.
The worry now that their exclusion from next season's
Champions League has been confirmed is whether they will be
able to attract the right players to help rebuild the club.
(Alan Hansen - Telegraph.co.uk)
Benayoun: Liverpool FC board
must get big decisions right
Yossi Benayoun today urged Liverpool’s board to “make the
right decisions” as he lifted the lid on the uncertainty in
the dressing room surrounding the club’s future.
The Reds were beaten for the 19th time this season yesterday
when they lost their final home game 2-0 to Chelsea, a
result that finally ended their hopes of a top four finish.
“It is difficult to speak about next season, as we don’t
know what changes there will be with the players and the
staff – it is too early,” said Benayoun.
“Personally I don’t know whether I will be here or if I
won’t. A lot of things can happen. We will have to wait and
Surrender proves Rafa is
hindrance to Reds' recovery
The urgent changes required at Liverpool might start with
the message over the tunnel steps: this is not Anfield.
Championships have been decided in favour of Liverpool and
others in front of the Kop but never like this. Anfield was
on its back having its tummy tickled by a Chelsea team
playing the game at exhibition pace.
The damning verdict on Liverpool's season was given by the
steward at the gate. And that was on the way in. Well, what
do you reckon today? "I don't care," he said. "There is
nothing doing for this team any more."
The indifference of those with Liverpool in their hearts
condemns Benitez to his bootstraps. He walked into the
post-match press conference with a smile on his face after
parading around the pitch with the Liverpool family. Maybe
he knows something we don't. At least Jamie Carragher had
the decency to look embarrassed as he limped across the
field in his sandals and suit.
(Kevin Garside - Irish Independent)
Rafa refuses to commit to Reds
Rafa Benitez has again refused to commit his future to
Liverpool amid mounting speculation that his days in the
Anfield hotseat are numbered.
Benitez watched his side suffer a 2-0 home defeat by Chelsea
on Sunday to finally extinguish any lingering hopes they had
of achieving the fourth-place finish which was 'guaranteed'
by the Spaniard earlier in the season.
The former Valencia boss has consistently evaded questions
over his future and again passed up the opportunity when
asked after the Blues defeat if he would still be at Anfield
"Now we have to talk about the game, it is better than to be
talking about the speculation," he told Sky Sports.
"I understand really well [fans' concerns over his future],
but the speculation is something we cannot control. So we
have to talk about the games, the football and what happened
today on the pitch."
DD: Gerrard gaffe
gave us momentum
Didier Drogba admitted Steven Gerrard's mistake gave Premier
League leaders Chelsea the momentum they needed to claim
victory at Anfield.
Drogba told Sky Sports 1: "He made a big mistake. I was
lucky to be there and score. It was good because this goal
gave us a lot of confidence to play well."
Gerrard gift lifts Chelsea
Steven Gerrard's astonishing blunder allowed Chelsea to take
a giant stride towards the Premier League crown with a 2-0
victory over Liverpool at Anfield.
Gerrard was left with his head in his hands in the 33rd
minute after his attempted backpass to Jose Reina was seized
upon by Didier Drogba, with the Ivory Coast international
rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home.
Chelsea felt they should have had a penalty moments before
the interval with Salomon Kalou going down after tangling
with Lucas, but referee Alan Wiley was uninterested, much to
the Blues' fury.
But they did not have to wait long to double their advantage
after the interval with Frank Lampard sliding the ball home
from close range after Nicolas Anelka's low cross from the
Liverpool, who had more than matched their opponents until
the opener, rarely looked like getting back into the match
from that point and saw their faint UEFA Champions League
hopes finally extinguished.
Maxi and Soto face Chelsea
Maxi Rodriguez returns to the starting line-up for
Liverpool's final home game of the season against Chelsea.
The Argentine winger is one of two changes to the side that
faced Atletico, with Sotirios Kyrgiakos also involved.
Liverpool: Reina, Mascherano, Agger, Carragher, Kyrgiakos,
Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani, Maxi, Benayoun, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Babel, Pacheco, Ngog, El Zhar, Degen,
(LFC Official Website)
Rush warns Torres
and Gerrard will quit
Ian Rush warns that Liverpool's top stars will leave if they
do not see the club heading in the right direction.
The Liverpool legend reckons they are unlikely to tolerate
more than a year out of Champions League football.
Rush said last night: 'It's four years since they won
anything. Players like Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
don't want to be part of a team that doesn't win.
'They've always wanted to win the league. Players like
Gerrard and Fernando Torres will stay another season, even
if it turns out that Rafa Benitez doesn't. But if the same
thing happened next season, that's when they'd start to look
around for somewhere else.'
Rafa Benitez is on the verge of
his six-year reign at Liverpool
Dubai International Capital are closing in on a £500million
buy-out of Liverpool as manager Rafa Benitez prepares to
It will be all change at Anfield over the coming weeks with
unpopular American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks
relinquishing control and the club being forced to find a
In fact, the search for a new manager is already under way,
with high-ranking Liverpool officials aware that Benitez has
verbally agreed to join Serie A side Juventus at the end of
the season on a £4.5m four-year deal.
Now it’s just a case of the Italians agreeing compensation
with Liverpool for Benitez to end his six-year reign on
(Sunday & Daily Express)
Parky tips up Shelvey
Charlton boss Phil Parkinson feels Liverpool-bound Jonjo
Shelvey can become the 'new' Steven Gerrard.
Shelvey finalised a move to Anfield this week, with
Liverpool agreeing an initial £1.7million deal for the
The deal means Shelvey will not play for Charlton again, as
they do not want injury to scupper the deal and Parkinson
insists it is a great move for
the Addicks youngster.
"It has been well documented that his idol is Gerrard," said
"Jonjo called me on Wednesday to tell me he'd had lunch with
him and Jamie Carragher at Liverpool's training ground.
"It is a dream move for him - a storybook transfer. But his
aim is to become Gerrard's long-term replacement. Can he do
it? Well, he has the potential.
"It is a gamble for them because he's young but it's worth
taking for the money."
Benitez urges Liverpool
to attack Chelsea
Rafael Benitez will tell his Liverpool side to adopt an
"offensive mentality" when they take on Chelsea on Sunday.
Benitez is eager to see his players react after Thursday's
Europa League exit at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
"Chelsea are different to Atletico but we want to win so
have to play with an offensive mentality," said Benitez.
Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson insists Liverpool will not
"throw away history" by giving Chelsea the win to scupper
Manchester United's title chances.
United boss Ferguson is bidding to overhaul the record of 18
English titles they hold with the Reds and with two games
remaining, he said: "They've been in 11 European finals and
won 18 titles.
"Great clubs don't throw traditions away for one game. The
fans know that."
(BBC Sport Online)
Reds chief Rafa coy over future
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has
refused to be drawn on his long-term future at Anfield ahead
of Sunday's Premier League date with Chelsea.
Benitez yesterday warned the Merseyside club do not have the
financial muscle to challenge in the Premier League, and
revealed he had not been given any guarantees from the board
that money would be available in the summer.
"At the moment I can't talk about the future long-term," he
said in quotes reported by The Sun. "I know the future
clearly and it is Chelsea on Sunday."
Benitez also revealed he had turned down "massive offers" to
leave Liverpool, and admitted fan power was key to those
Benitez edging closer to exit door
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez looks to be on the verge of
confirming his switch to Juventus.
Benitez has been under heavy pressure this season and,
following the Europa League exit to Atletico Madrid on
Thursday, he refused to answer questions over his future.
"At the moment I can't talk about the future long-term,"
Benitez said on Friday. "I know the future clearly and it is
Chelsea on Sunday.
"I decided to stay last year because of the fans and for one
year I have been working hard, trying to do my best. We will
see what happens in the future."
A report in Gazzetta dello Sport stated Benitez would be
allowed to work with a budget of around €80 million at
Juventus, with Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Javier
Mascherano apparently targeted. That budget would be
dependent, however, on off-loading a number of players.
Angry Rafa Benitez claims Liverpool
broke promises on new players
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has opened the door to an
Anfield farewell by accusing the club of breaking promises
over new signings when he signed a five-year contract last
Benitez, who is being actively pursued by Italian giants
Juventus, effectively put himself on the market by drawing
comparisons between his current situation at Liverpool and
when he walked out on Valencia in 2004 after he and the
Spanish club clashed over control of transfers.
Benitez said: ‘I decided to sign an extension because the
squad was good and the money was going to be there. But the
‘We’ve had a bad season and hopefully things will be
different in the future, but at the moment I can’t talk
about the future because I don’t know what’s going on.'
Reds chief sits out Blues clash
Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton has confirmed he will
not be at Anfield on Sunday, because of his loyalties to
Broughton, a lifelong Chelsea fan, was appointed Liverpool
chairman last month by the club's owners George Gillett and
The British Airways boss has been brought in to oversee the
sale of the club and he admits he cannot simply forget about
his Chelsea passion.
"Any true fan who has supported a club for 55 years - like I
have - can't be expected to suddenly move against them
overnight," he said.
"When you have followed a team for as long as I have then
it's in the blood. It's a very emotional thing and all fans
who have supported Liverpool for a long time will know what
"I can't come to the match on Sunday and show any of that
emotion because that would be very disrespectful to the
"Liverpool have terrific fans and I wouldn't want to do
that, so the only sensible thing is for me to stay at home
and watch it on the television."
Venables: Liverpool will
consider Fulham boss Hodgson
Former England and Tottenham boss Terry Venables can see
Fulham manager Roy Hodgson being lured to Liverpool in the
In his column for The Sun, El Tel wrote: "Liverpool's
knockout courtesy of Diego Forlan's away goal for Atletico
Madrid will ramp up the pressure on Anfield boss Rafa
"Agony in the Europa League only compounds their humiliation
in the Premier League and Champions League.
"Benitez has done an excellent job at Anfield, having led
the club to Champions League and FA Cup glory during his
time in charge on Merseyside. But he would no doubt admit
that this season has not been the best.
"And he would not be under any financial pressure to quit
Liverpool, given the club would have to reportedly find
around £15million to pay him off.
"But with Juventus and Real Madrid said to be waiting in the
wings, he might decide the time is right to jump a ship
that, if it is not sinking, could certainly do with an
"If that was to happen, Hodgson would certainly show up on