Red News


NOVEMBER           2010
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Comolli capture
signals clever start

Damian Comolli is Liverpool's new director of football strategy and TEAMtalk's Ian Watson believes the Frenchman will prove a wise appointment.
John W. Henry's vow to under-promise and over-deliver gave some insight when NESV eventually completed their takeover of Liverpool as to how the new American owners would be different from the old ones. Their first signing epitomises that strategy and signals a leap in the right direction for the Reds.
(Ian Watson - TEAMtalk)

Agger booked in
for specialist

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has revealed Daniel Agger will see a specialist about his calf injury.
The defender has not featured for the Reds since the 2-2 draw with Sunderland in late September and the club have decided to send the Denmark international to London in a bid to cure the ailment.
Agger has endured an injury-plagued career at Anfield since joining from Brondby in 2006 and has already had foot and back operations during his time with
the club.
But Hodgson is hopeful that Liverpool, who welcome Europa League opponents Napoli on Thursday, will have the centre-half back sooner rather than later.
"He has a fairly serious calf problem and will travel to London today to see another specialist for a second opinion," said the Reds boss ahead of
Thursday's clash.
(Sky Sports)

Mazzarri expects
a tougher test

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri knows Liverpool will pose a much greater threat at Anfield than they did on their last Europa League meeting.
Two weeks ago Roy Hodgson took a weakened side to the Stadio San Paolo and earned a creditable goalless draw.
The Reds boss has promised to field a stronger team for the home clash in Group K and Mazzarri expects a more difficult challenge.
"Playing Liverpool means a great deal. We've played that first game now, we're at Anfield now in a stadium full of history and it is a source of great pride for our team just to be here," he said.
"We know it is going to be difficult but games are often decided by small incidents on the pitch."

Hodgson says
sorry to Benitez

At his pre-match press conference Hodgson offered his apologies to predecessor Rafael Benitez.
The Spaniard, on Monday, responded to comments Hodgson had made about the state of the club when he took over by saying "He’s talking about things that he doesn’t know.
"Some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar. Instead of talking about flips and flops, he has to concentrate on his job, try to do his best and not talk about the level of his players or the new players."
Hodgson offered an olive branch to Benitez, who has continued to criticise elements at the club despite leaving for Inter Milan in the summer.
"I totally agree with him that every manager needs to work with his own club," said the Liverpool boss.
"If I have upset him by saying something which I certainly didn’t mean to be in any way critical or negative about his work at the club, then I would happily apologise because there was never any intention to do that.
"As far as I am concerned I work at Liverpool and do my best for Liverpool, and he will work at Inter and do his best for Inter.
"I have no comments to make about other people’s opinions - I’ll allow them to make them and in this case I’ll accept them if that’s what they want to be."
(Daily Post)

Damien Comolli joins Liverpool
Former Tottenham director of football and Arsenal scout Damien Comolli has joined Liverpool as “Director of Football Strategy”.
The Frenchman is expected to take up a similar role at Anfield to that which saw him recruit several of Tottenham’s now flourishing squad.
Comolli was responsible for taking Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Tom Huddlestone, Michael Dawson and Dimitar Berbatov, among others.
At Arsenal, where Comolli was European scout for 7 years, he helped Arsene Wenger sign the likes of Thierry Henry and Robert Pires. He was also responsible for discovering Kolo Touré and Gaël Clichy.
Most recently he was sporting director at St. Etienne, but left the post this week in order to take up the new job at Anfield.
(This is Anfield)

Ngog welcomes
extra competition

Liverpool striker David Ngog has been motivated by the prospect of extra competition on the forward line arriving in January.
Manager Roy Hodgson has spoken of his disappointment at failing to bring in reinforcements up front in the summer and it seems certain there will be at least one new arrival when the winter window opens.
But it is not a worry for Ngog, who is expected to lead the line against Napoli in the Europa League tomorrow after scoring seven goals this season.
"When you are a professional you know that it's normal that the coach will want to make the team stronger," he said.
"I'm here now and ready to fight. Of course I want to play and be on the pitch every week, and of course I will fight for that."

Hodgson vows to field
strong line-up

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has pledged to field a strong team in Thursday night's Europa League clash at home to Napoli.
The 63-year-old believes four points from their remaining three games - two of which are at home - will be enough for his Group K leaders.
And even with a huge match against Chelsea looming on Sunday, Hodgson, in contrast to their away European fixtures, is prepared to field an experienced side.
"I think if we can get four more points, we'll be pretty much secure for a place in the next round as I can see the other games being tight," he said.
"We got one of the tougher groups with Napoli, Steaua and Utrecht and on paper it looked even, but we've done what we've needed to do.
"We'll have a strong team out on Thursday, we won't rest too many."

Liverpool takeover cleared
without debt guarantee

Liverpool’s new owner, John W Henry, was not asked for a written guarantee from chairman Martin Broughton and former managing director Christian Purslow that he would not land the club with his takeover costs.
Previous owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett said in their offer document, when they bought the club in 2007, that the interest payments on the £200 million they borrowed for the purchase did not “to any significant extent” depend on the business of Liverpool. But they went on to pay the massive interest costs from money the club earned.
This prompted a backlash from Liverpool supporters, who complained that the development of the team was suffering and that much-vaunted plans to relocate the club to a new stadium were being jeopardised.
Henry’s promise to free Liverpool of debt proved persuasive in winning over Broughton and Purslow as well as the fans. However, Henry was not pressed for a written guarantee on this because, according to sources close to the pair, they felt it was not legally enforceable.
Henry has subsequently paid off the previous owners’ acquisition debt, although Liverpool still owe £37 million to Royal Bank of Scotland for development work on the proposed new stadium. Henry’s company, New England Sports Ventures, has said it will review this.
The new owner paid another visit to Merseyside yesterday to meet manager Roy Hodgson as well as the players and staff. He did not elaborate on how NESV had acquired the finances to buy Liverpool, saying such disclosure would go against the company’s confidentiality policy.
(Daily Telegraph)
Reserves win after OG double
Liverpool Reserves remain top of the league after two own-goals helped them earn a superb 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Tuesday night.
Home defenders twice had their heads in their hands in the early moments
amid torrential rain.
The Black Cats then struck back with a Dan Madden header just after the restart but John McMahon's side - who were without several influential names due to Europa League call-ups - did more than enough to earn their first away win
of 2010-11.
The second string now have nine points from seven games and lead their five-team section of the Barclays Premier Reserve League.
Liverpool Reserves: Dean Bouzanis, John Flanagan, Jack Robinson, Steven Irwin, Victor Palsson, Chris Mavinga, Emmanuel Mendy, Suso, Michael Ngoo, David Amoo, Toni Silva.
Subs not used: Nicolaj Kolhert, Deale Chamberlain, Jakub Sokolik,
Joseph Rafferty.
(LFC Official Website)

Cole could be back for Blues

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has stated that he is hopeful Joe Cole will be fit to face former club Chelsea on Sunday.
The England international was withdrawn from the Reds' 1-0 win at Bolton on Sunday with a hamstring injury, and was initially thought to be out for around
two weeks.
But, following scans, Hodgson appeared confident that Cole could play a part against the club he was with for seven years prior to his free transfer to Anfield over the summer.
"With Cole it's not as bad as feared. It shouldn't keep him out for that long," Hodgson told the club's official website.
"I would say it's a week to 10-day injury. The scan was positive in that it's a very minor tear he has, but you can't really put a definite date on how long that tear is going to take to repair. But the physical people are very optimistic.
"It's a question of how quickly he can recover and what progress he can make.
"At the moment he's not even ruled out for the Chelsea game but we'll see how he goes later in the week."
Cole is a certainty to be an absentee for the visit of Napoli on Thursday in their Europa League group game at Anfield, but Glen Johnson could return to the fold.
In-form defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos however will not play a part after being withdrawn from training as a precaution.
"Kyrgiakos is feeling his groin slightly," Hodgson added.
"As a matter of caution we took him out of today's training session halfway through to give him a bit of a rest."
(Sky Sports)

Carlo rules out Torres move

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out making a move for Liverpool star Fernando Torres as he is happy with his squad.
The Blues have been linked with a move for Torres with the West London outfit holding a long-term interest in the Spaniard.
Torres' future has been the subject of conjecture again as a result of Liverpool's poor start to the season and his own failure to recapture his best form at Anfield this term.
However, Ancelotti insists he has no plans to move for Torres and he has ruled out bringing in any new players in the January transfer window unless injuries force him to bring in reinforcements.
"I always said that Torres is not our aim for the future because we have trust in a lot of young players," said Ancelotti.
"We also have fantastic strikers in Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou. We also have fantastic young players like Daniel Sturridge
and Gael Kakuta.
"So, in this moment, we don't really need to have a striker, a fantastic striker, like Fernando Torres."
(Sky Sports)

Liverpool FC owner
JW Henry’s title dream

New Liverpool owner JW Henry has admitted he wakes up every day “thinking about what we can do to improve our chances of winning a championship.”
In a question and answer session with a supporters’ website the Reds owner said: “We are focused on getting the club positioned to win trophies within the Financial Fair Play rules that are being imposed next year.
“That means off the field we are intent on increasing LFC revenues worldwide.
“On the field we have to be smarter.
“Arsenal and Man U have depth that is young and capable.
"We do not."
(Liverpool Echo)

Lucas: 'Liverpool FC need
to keep momentum going'

Liverpool midfielder Lucas feels the pressure has eased on the Anfield club after back-to-back wins.
But the Brazilian has warned the team cannot afford to let momentum slip if they are to turn around their poor start to the Barclays Premier League season.
The Reds finally pulled themselves out of the relegation zone on Sunday as they beat Bolton 1-0 at the Reebok Stadium with a late Maxi Rodriguez goal.
Coming after last week’s victory over Blackburn, the result lifted them six places to 12th overnight but Lucas wants to press on.
The Brazilian said: “It’s three points and I think everyone can see we are improving all the time.
“Of course we were under pressure. We still have to improve in the league but I think we are going the right way.
“In every game we are playing better and hopefully now in the next few games we get points and improve our position.
“The only way is playing well and I think winning will give everyone the confidence to keep going.”
(Liverpool Daily Post)
Rafa hits back at Hodgson
Rafael Benitez has hit back at Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson, after he made accusations about him banning Kenny Dalglish.
Benitez, back in England as his new side Inter Milan get ready to face Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League this week, was asked about Hodgson's comments that he banned Dalglish from the club's training ground during
his tenure.
The Spaniard issued a somewhat cryptic and angry response to Hodgson.
"I think that Mr Hodgson, he doesn't understand," Benitez said.
"Every single press conference is even worse than the last one. He's talking about things that he doesn't know.
"And some people cannot see a priest on a mountain of sugar.
"Maybe he hasn't been in Liverpool too long. We gave the fans their pride again. We fought for the fans, we fought for the club and we fought for our players.
"So maybe he cannot understand this.
"I brought back Kenny Dalglish to do a role in the club and Christian Purslow gave him another role.
"He (Hodgson) doesn't know but I will explain it to him.
"So, instead of talking about the flips or the flops, he has to concentrate on his players, try to do his best.
"He has a good job to do."
Once again defending his own record as Liverpool manager during a six-year reign that ended in the summer, Benitez continued: "They've signed nine players.
"With £10million net spending, I left that squad with £300million value,
13 internationals.
"So, instead of talking about flips and flops, he has to concentrate on his job, try to do his best and not talk about the level of his players or the new players.
"Concentrate, try to do your best because it will be the best for the club and it will be the best for the fans."
(Sky Sports)

County bring in Liverpool pair

Notts County have completed the signing of Liverpool duo Thomas Ince and Stephen Darby on loan until the new year.
Both players will remain at Meadow Lane until January and arrive hot on the heels of Sam Sodje, who has signed a deal until the summer of 2012.
Attacking midfielder Ince, 18, is the son of Magpies manager Paul.
Right-back Darby will go straight into the side to face Hartlepool on Tuesday night with captain John Thompson suspended.

Liverpool launching bid
for Wigan winger N’Zogbia

Liverpool are chasing Wigan Athletic winger Charles N'Zogbia.
The People says Reds gaffer Roy Hodgson plans a £9million transfer window move for Wigan’s Charles N’Zogbia.
Wigan could be tempted to sell, with the player ambitious for a top club and Marseille also showing an interest.

Dominic King sees the Reds start
to turn the tables with away win

“I think tables are of no interest until at least 10 games have been played. Then you start looking to see how big a gap there is between yourself and the top teams or between yourself and the bottom teams.” – Roy Hodgson,
September 10, 2010.
As he sits down to study the Premier League standings today, Liverpool’s manager will momentarily furrow his brow at the sight of his side being in 12th spot but then take heart from the fact that a position that threatened to be desperate does now not look so bleak.
Hodgson might have spent the opening stages of his reign ignoring football’s vital statistics but, for the past month, Liverpudlians have been forced to view them with mounting horror owing to the Reds being trapped in the bottom three.
Had Hodgson lost what he inadvertently made such a big fixture all those weeks ago, the growing unease of some supporters could easily have boiled over yesterday but, as things stand, Liverpool might just be heading into a period of on-field prosperity.
Though they left it late, victory over Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium – achieved thanks to a moment of genius from Fernando Torres and a strike of great poise from Maxi Rodriguez – was absolutely deserved and enabled them to leap six places.
More than that, it has thrust them into a place where they can start to think about hunting down those who had stolen a march on them during that lamentable period when practically everything that could go wrong did go wrong.
(Dominic King - Liverpool Echo)

Getting better but still
far from good enough

When grilled over Liverpool’s faltering first steps under his tenure, Roy Hodgson claimed he should only be judged after 10 Premier League games.
And having reached that mark yesterday at the Reebok Stadium the verdict that must surely be returned is simple: getting better, but still far from good enough. Any threat of a Halloween horror was averted with Maxi Rodriguez’s late strike dragging Liverpool out of the relegation zone with their first away league win in more than six months.
(Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post)

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