Liverpool demolish Leicester City
5 - 1 in FA Youth Cup
A first-half hat-trick from returning Finnish striker Lauri
Dalla Valle secured Liverpool Under 18's path into the next
round of the FA Youth Cup.
The Reds got their revenge after being defeated 3 - 0 on the
29th of August in an Academy League fixture on Merseyside.
Dalle Valla scored three goals whilst Thomas Ince (son of
Paul) scored one before half-time to put the Reds in a very
strong 4 - 0 lead away from home against a highly-rated
Leicester side who were unbeaten the whole season until
Tall and lanky striker Michael Ngoo also had a strong game
setting up Dalle Valle and ensuring the Leicester defenders
were kept on their toes throughout.
Leicester scored the first of the second half after Adi
Yussuf (who deserved his goal) slotted the ball past Deale
Chamberlain in the Liverpool goal.
Towards the end of the game, Ngoo rounded off a great
Liverpool victory with a goal of his own to make it 5 - 1.
The Reds now face either Watford or Hartlepool in the 5th
Team : Chamberlain, Flanagan, Wisdom, McGiveron (replaced by
Sama), Robinson (replaced by Ellison), Ince, Coady, Roberts,
Buchtmann, Ngoo, Dalla Valle (replaced by Adjoran)
Incidentally, there was still no sign of "wonder-kid" Adam
Pepper who is rumoured to be returning to Everton after
having a fallout with Liverpool's Under 18 staff.
Despite returning from an injury, Pepper has been left in
the cold and looks like he'll be returning to Everton (in
what many claim to be a major coup).
(Liverpool FC South African Supporters)
Rafa hopeful over Johnson
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez insists Glen Johnson is making
good progress from his knee injury.
Johnson suffered a knee ligament problem during his side's
1-0 win over Aston Villa at the end of December.
Reports have suggested that the injury could sideline
Johnson for up to three months, with Liverpool initially
suggesting the England right-back would be back in action in
Benitez is refusing to put a timescale on the former Chelsea
and Portsmouth star's return to action, but is happy with
his recovery to date.
"I was watching him yesterday and he seems okay," said
"It's a question of time. He's progressing but we have to
Benítez calls for Liverpool
to show 'attitude' against Reading
The Liverpool manager, Rafael Benítez, has called for his
side to show "attitude" against Reading in their FA Cup
third-round replay at Anfield tomorrow. With the FA Cup
representing one of the club's best chances of a trophy this
season, Benítez cannot risk any embarrassment at the hands
of the Championship side.
"We have to approach the game thinking about winning and not
giving them any chances or any confidence that they can do
something," he said. "In the Premier League you have to win
but if you can't you say 'unlucky'. But in the Cup you have
to win. The attitude is more important against teams from a
lower division. After that you know you have some quality,
but attitude is the key."
McDermott eyes Reds scalp
Reading caretaker manager Brian McDermott hopes an FA Cup
replay win at Liverpool on Wednesday would aid his chances
of becoming permanent boss.
McDermott has made no secret of his desire to take over the
reins permanently after the Royals sacked Brendan Rodgers
last month, with the Royals flirting with relegation from
"Will winning at Anfield help me get the job? It will
Mascherano missing for Liverpool
Midfielder Javier Mascherano will miss the FA Cup third
round replay at home to Reading as he serves the final game
of his four-match ban.
Defenders Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly and midfielders
Albert Riera and Nabil El Zhar all remain on the injury
Manager Rafael Benitez could recall Yossi Benayoun to the
starting line up after the Israeli began the 1-1 draw at the
Madejski Stadium – Liverpool’s last fixture on January 2 –
on the bench.
Provisional squad: Reina, Carragher, Skrtel, Aurelio, Darby,
Insua, Benayoun, Gerrard, Lucas, Torres, Ngog, Aquilani,
Kuyt, Kyrgiakos, Degen, Babel,
New Royals duo sit out cup replay
Reading will be without new signings Andy Griffin and Gunnar
Thorvaldsson for Wednesday night's FA Cup third-round replay
Full-back Griffin signed on loan from Stoke for the
remainder of the season on Tuesday while Icelandic striker
Thorvaldsson has received international clearance to
complete his loan from Esbjerg.
However, the duo were not registered for the original 1-1
draw 10 days ago so will not be available at Anfield.
Brian McDermott's side have not played since Simon Church's
goal gave them
a draw against the Reds and the Royals manager is unlikely
Czech Republic international Marek Matejovsky could return
from an abdomen injury to the scene of his stunning goal in
March 2008, while the scorer of another famous Anfield goal,
Brian Howard, could start.
Howard netted the winner for Barnsley in the fifth round of
2008 and has fully recovered from a broken jaw to put
himself in contention. Noel Hunt and Chris Armstrong (both
knee) remain sidelined.
Aldridge denies calling
for Benitez to be sacked
John Aldridge today slammed reports that claimed he said:
"Liverpool must sack Rafa Benitez".
The fromer Anfield and Ireland striker and Reds legend was
quoted in glossy 'lads' mag', Nuts which alleged he said,
among other things, that Liverpool must sack Benitez, that
the manager "can't claim injuries are a problem" and that
"he could not see any way for Liverpool to finish in the top
However, Aldridge, who says he is now considering legal
action, was today mystified and furious with the offending
article, which was also picked up and reported nationally
elsewhere today, as he vehemently denied speaking
to the magazine.
He has spoken to members of Liverpool's backroom staff this
morning to explain that he did not make any such comments
and is now considering his options.
"I can categorically say that I never spoke to Nuts
Magazine," Aldridge, a Football Echo columnist, said today.
"I certainly wouldn't say anything so inflammatory that Rafa
should be sacked.
"Rafa is under enough pressure at the moment and his job is
hard enough; I have never, ever said that he should go.
"The story is completely fictitious. I will be consulting my
Aldridge added: "As for this being the most difficult time I
have ever experienced as a Liverpool fan, it's anything but.
"Yes, things are not going as we would like them to be but
we are just experiencing a bad season.
Spurs game rearranged
Liverpool's Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham has
been re-scheduled for Wednesday, January 20, kick-off 8pm
(LFC Official Website)
Torres: Best is yet to come
Liverpool forward Fernando Torres insists the best is still
to come from the under-performing Reds.
The 25-year-old Spanish star has been frustrated by injury
so far this season, although his goals-to-games ratio in the
Premier League is still outstanding.
Torres has netted 12 times in 14 league starts in what has
been a poor campaign for Rafa Benitez's side, who currently
lie seventh in the table.
With Liverpool also exiting the UEFA Champions League at the
group stage, pressure is beginning to build on Benitez, but
Torres insists there is still a long way to go this season.
"Unfortunately this season is not turning out how we had
wanted, but our best is still to come," he said in the
Winning FA Cup is tougher than
Liverpool’s Europa League mission
Liverpool need to fly out of the blocks to ensure they wreck
Reading’s hopes of causing an FA Cup upset at Anfield
The competition represents the Reds’ best hope of winning a
trophy this season and it’s vital we don’t give the
Championship club a sniff of glory.
The lesson is clear – if you aren’t up for it, then you will
get found out.
The FA Cup is a fantastic competition and I think it
provides more of a challenge for Liverpool than the Europa
With European ties being over two legs you can afford to
have one bad game and get away with it.
In Europe you also know exactly what style of football to
But the FA Cup is about one-off matches where anything can
happen and that’s what makes it so exciting.
Let’s hope this is the start of a memorable run. After
what’s happened so far this season we certainly need one.
(Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo)
Time for Liverpool FC owners
to do some real straight talking
Turns out the departing Tom Hicks junior had the right idea
– it was about time the Americans starting responding to
supporters’ concerns directly.
Not in the way he did it of course. But communication
between the owners and the fans is non-existent and that
needs putting right.
Because the silence is too deafening.
Tommy Hicks broke it in a way which kind of sums up the
three-year tenure of his father and George Gillett.
There were elements of stupidity in the way he stuck his
abuse in an e-mail, in black and white – so it was always
going to come out into the public domain and come back to
It was a very strange response and only heightens the
hostility between this regime and the Liverpool supporters.
However, Tommy was only really his dad’s eyes and ears
around the place – him going is just a board member stepping
down, and one who really wasn’t doing very much anyway.
The real problem with the current regime is there is no
useful information from the club any more and the supporters
would like to hear from these two about some very urgent
I think the Americans are hiding from the reality that it is
time for them to put their money where their mouths are or
try to press ahead with making sure they can get a sale.
(Mark Lawrenson - Liverpool Daily
Tom Hicks promises big summer splash
as son walks the Anfield plank
Tom Hicks remained bullish in the wake of his son's
resignation from Liverpool today when he pledged a "big"
summer in the transfer market at Anfield and replaced the
outgoing director with another Dallas-based ally.
Hicks's son, Tom Jr, bowed to pressure to relinquish his
directorship of Liverpool and its parent company, Kop
Holdings, following the furore over the obscene email he
sent to a Liverpool supporter in a row over Rafael Benítez's
Alonso backs Benitez
Real Madrid's deep-lying playmaking midfielder Xabi Alonso,
who swapped Liverpool's Anfield for the Santiago Bernabeu in
the summer, has offered his support to his former manager
"There is no questioning that he is a good manager who can
still bring success for Liverpool," Alonso is quoted to have
told Sky Sports.
"He doesn't operate the same way to a lot of other managers,
but you can't deny that he is successful in what he does.
"He keeps his distance emotionally - you are the player and
he is the manager and that's the way he likes it. You have
to accept that.
"I will always respect Rafa for what he has done in football
but, more importantly, I will always be massively grateful
to him for the chance he gave me
to join Liverpool."
Alonso, though, did concede that the persistent speculation
linking then-Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry with a
transfer to the Merseyside outfit was the catalyst for his
desire to crave a Real switch.
He said in the People: "The pursuit of Gareth Barry took
some time for me to accept and, in all honesty, it changed
the course of my future.
"I did get over it but it did take time for me to accept
what had happened to me.
"Leaving Liverpool was one of the hardest decisions of my
life, but after what happened with Barry I knew in my heart
I had to tell Rafa that I wanted to go to Madrid when they
came knocking at the door.
"I was still fairly young when I joined Liverpool and I had
not only grown into the player I'd become there, but also
the man I'd become."
Zuiverloon wants Babel at West Brom
West Brom's flying Dutchman Gianni Zuiverloon would love to
see best mate Ryan Babel join him in Birmingham.
Birmingham City's £9million offer for Babel was rejected by
the Reds and boss Rafa Benitez wants to keep him.
However, given the unpredictable nature of the January
transfer window, the fact that Babel isn't getting much game
time and is eager to play ahead of this summer's World Cup,
an increased bid may tempt Liverpool to sell.
"Would I like to see Ryan move down here? Well I'd love for
him to play, that's the big part," said Zuiverloon. "He
needs to play so it doesn't matter where it is.
"If he goes to Birmingham City then it's even better for him
and for me too as then we could do stuff together in
"But he needs to play and that's the most important thing
Hicks Jr resigns as Reds director
Liverpool director Tom Hicks Jr has resigned from his
position at the club and their parent company after a
foul-mouthed e-mail rant at a fan.
The American, son of co-owner Tom Hicks, became embroiled in
controversy on Sunday when it emerged he had responded
abusively when one supporter contacted him directly about
the state of the club and their finances.
Having initially called the fan an "idiot", Hicks Jr
reportedly then sent a second e-mail saying: "Blow me f***
face. Go to Hell. I'm sick of you."
Hicks Jr subsequently apologised but he has now quit his
role at the club and their parent company Kop Holdings.
Benitez: Big freeze can spur
Liverpool FC on to FA Cup glory
Rafa Benitez today promised Liverpool will use their weekend
frustration as a spur to secure their place in the FA Cup
The Reds had to spend yesterday kicking their heels rather
than tackling Tottenham at Anfield after the Premier League
clash fell victim to the arctic conditions on Friday.
Though the stakes would have been high, Benitez would have
preferred to take his chance against Spurs rather than
waiting to face Reading on Wednesday night to give his squad
an opportunity to build up their confidence.
However, he hopes the incentive of a home tie against
Burnley later this month will help carry Liverpool past
their Championship rivals and Benitez is looking for a vast
improvement on their initial showing at the Madejski
Liverpool join Jones race
Liverpool have reportedly joined Premier League rivals
Birmingham City, Stoke City, Aston Villa and Tottenham in
the race for Sunderland striker
The Sunday People claim Rafa Benitez is proposing a swap
deal involving Ryan Babel and Jones trading clubs in this
Having recently sold Andriy Voronin to Dynamo Moscow, the
Spaniard is looking to bring in an able replacement, and
Jones reportedly fits the bill for Liverpool.
Reds' shock loan
swoop for City youngster
Rafa Benitez is reportedly preparing a loan move for
Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha.
The Liverpool boss is desperate to add defensive cover to
his side, with right back Glen Johnson set for a lengthy
spell on the sidelines.
Onuoha signed a long-term contract at the City of Manchester
Stadium in the summer, but has only made four appearances
since after an injury ruled the 23-year-old out for a large
part of the season so far.
Reports suggest that the Reds are ready to offer Onuoha a
short-term loan deal at Anfield. Liverpool are short on
defensive options in all positions, and Onuoha's versatility
makes him a perfect candidate for a switch to Merseyside.
Tom Hicks Junior apologises to
Liverpool FC fan for sending abusive email
Tom Hicks Jr has apologised to a Liverpool supporter after
he was accused of sending an abusive email.
The Dallas based Liverpool director and son of co-owner Tom
Hicks Senior was contacted by Stephen Horner, a concerned
fan, who emailed him an extract of a Liverpool Echo article
published this weekend.
The extract contained a series of points raised in the
Football Echo's Blood Red Column this weekend. The article
analysed and explored the challenges facing Rafa Benitez.
But just before 4am in Texas yesterday (10am in England),
Hicks Jr sent one reply calling Mr Horner “an idiot”.
He then sent another email – this time with Liverpool’s
financial and commercial directors Philip Nash and Ian Ayre
copied in – which told Horner: “Blow me f*** face. Go to
Hell. I’m sick of you.”
Mr Horner says he was shocked by the outburst but late last
night, he was again contacted by Hicks Jr, this time to say
sorry for the incident.
The email read: “Stephen, I apologize for losing my temper
and using bad language with you. It was a kneejerk reaction.
Voronin completes move to Moscow
Ukraine striker Andriy Voronin has joined Dinamo Moscow on a
three-year contract from Liverpool, the Russian club have
The 30-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Hertha
Berlin, met his new coach Andrey Kobelev on Saturday and put
pen to paper on his deal.
Dinamo sporting director Konstantin Sarsania told the club's
official website: "The transfer of Andriy Voronin can be
"The clubs reached an agreement and the player signed a
for three years.
"We are delighted that such a strong player has joined
Dinamo and we hope he can help solve the team's problems."
Voronin moved to Anfield in 2007 from Bayer Leverkusen after
12 years in Germany but scored only five goals in 27 league
appearances for the Reds.
He said: "I had options for continuing a career in Germany,
and several in Russia, but eventually opted for Dinamo.
"I liked the professional approach of the leaders of the
Moscow club during the negotiations, and I also liked the
conversation with the head coach
"Our views came together. Dinamo have set high goals. I'm
interested. I believe the Russian league is of a very good
Benitez admits Torres,
Gerrard could be sold
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez admits he could sell Fernando
and Steven Gerrard.
He has confessed for the first time that Torres, Gerrard,
Javier Mascherano and Pepe Reina may have to be sacrificed
if the Reds fail to claim the top-four place that will
secure the club financially.
Benitez told the Sunday Mirror: “If a club came in and
offered a lot of money for a player then it would be about
doing what is best for Liverpool.
“I don’t want to sell our big players. We have worked on
contract extensions because we want to keep them and keep
our squad strong.
“There would have to be conversations about what is best for
the club in that situation and to decide what to do.
“Clubs haven’t really enquired so I don’t know.
“All I can say is that I want to keep our best players
because they will take us closer to the top four.
“It is clear that we should look to keep the players that
are important to us.”
Wolves defender Stearman
Wolves defender Richard Stearman is interesting Liverpool.