Roy shows Torres support
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson was quick to defend Fernando
Torres following Sunday's goalless draw with Birmingham.
Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp
was critical of the striker's performance as the Reds failed
to find the back of the net at St Andrew's.
But Hodgson insists he was satisfied with the Spanish World
Cup winner's display, and has tipped the 26-year-old to
improve as the season goes on.
Ferguson: Pepe was
a different class
Birmingham midfielder Barry Ferguson believes Liverpool
goalkeeper Jose Reina was all that stood between Blues and
three points on Sunday.
Reina made a series of fantastic saves as the Premier League
match finished 0-0 at St Andrew's.
"The goalkeeper was outstanding," Ferguson told Sky Sports.
"He made three or four great saves. I think we deserved to
win the game, but the goalkeeper was outstanding."
Pepe Reina was in inspired form as Liverpool held Birmingham
to a goalless stalemate at St Andrew's.
The Spaniard produced three top-class pieces of goal-keeping
in the first period to keep his side in the game, first
denying Cameron Jerome's goal-bound header with a great
reaction save in the 23rd minute.
He then punched away Sebastian Larsson's cross ahead of the
advancing Jerome, before making another fine reaction save
to deny Craig Gardner's header.
Liverpool improved after the break, but Birmingham's
unmarked Scott Dann headed the best chance over the bar as
the game ended as a stalemate.
On this evidence, new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has plenty
of work to do to make the Merseysiders a force to be
Konchesky starts v Brum
Paul Konchesky will make his Liverpool debut in this
afternoon's Barclays Premier League clash at Birmingham City
- listen live online from 3.55pm.
The 29-year-old starts at left-back at St Andrews, while
Maxi Rodriguez replaces the injured Dirk Kuyt and Steven
Gerrard and Fernando Torres lead the attack.
Raul Meireles has been named as a substitute.
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Konchesky,
Maxi, Poulsen, Lucas, Jovanovic, Gerrard, Torres.
Subs: Jones, Agger, Kyrgiakos, Pacheco, Meireles, Ngog,
(LFC Official Website)
Hodgson issues title warning
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson admits that the club will need
new owners before they can challenge for the Premier League
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 made.
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
Mascherano hooked in
Barcelona debut defeat
Javier Mascherano suffered defeat and was hooked at halftime
his Barcelona debut.
The former Liverpool midfielder was part of a Barca midfield
that was over-run by Hercules as they minnows shocked the
Mascherano was replaced at half-time by Xavi as Barca looked
to adopt a more attacking approach in the second period, but
Guardiola was pleased with
his new player.
"Mascherano played really well - I just felt we needed to
change things," he said.
Mascherano, meanwhile, was disappointed to lose his first
a Barca player.
"It was a great surprise to start the match and my
team-mates helped me a lot. I felt comfortable, but it's a
bitter feeling to lose. There's not much more I can say -
Hercules played a virtually perfect game," he said after the
Young Reds silence the Rams
Rodolfo Borrell's U18s continued their impressive start to
the season as they came from behind to beat Derby County 3-2
in a five-goal thriller at the Academy on Saturday.
After making an impressive first start for the reserves at
Newcastle on Tuesday and scoring on his debut for England
U19s last week, Michael Ngoo led the line alongside
Hungarian Krisztian Adorjan.
Liverpool U18s: Jamie Stephens, Matthew McGiveron, Brad
Smith, Stephen Sama, Matthew Regan, Conor Coady, Raheem
Sterling, Craig Roddan, Michael Ngoo, Krisztian Adorjan
(Josh Sumner 70), Toni Brito E Silva (Tom Walsh 84).
Unused subs: Peter Aylmer, Tyrell Belford, Adam Morgan.
(LFC Official Website)
Defender seals loan deal
Liverpool have confirmed Daniel Ayala has joined Hull City
The 19-year-old centre-back has signed a one-month deal with
the Championship side.
Ayala moved to Anfield from Sevilla in August 2007 and made
his first-team debut as a substitute on the opening day of
the 2009-10 season
at Tottenham Hotspur.
The talented Spaniard has notched up a further four
appearances for the senior side and featured heavily during
Liverpool's pre-season preparations this summer.
(LFC Official Website)
Hodgson sets Babel ultimatum
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has told Ryan Babel he has
until January to resurrect his career at the club.
The Reds boss admitted the Holland international came close
to leaving the Merseysiders on transfer deadline day but an
adequate replacement - rumoured to be West Ham's Carlton
Cole - could not be found in time.
Babel has since come out and spoken of his desire to
kick-start his career after holding talks with the Liverpool
And Hodgson has confirmed he will give the 23-year-old
forward four months to finally prove his worth at Anfield,
or face the prospect of being moved on in next transfer
Roy: Why Babel didn't leave LFC
The Dutchman was even allowed to speak to other clubs - but
only on the understanding that a deal was dependent on
Liverpool signing another striker.
Hodgson explained: "When there were offers for him we were
prepared for him to go down and speak to those clubs, but we
made it perfectly clear that other things would have to slot
into place for us to be able to allow him to go.
"Those things did not slot into place.
"You've got to remember that for two years here he hasn't
had much of a look-in.
"He was brought into the club with a lot of pomp and
ceremony after winning the European U21 Championships and
was being chased by clubs all over Europe at the time.
"Unfortunately he hasn't fulfilled that potential or had
Hodgson has been delighted with Babel's application in
training over the last few weeks - and has challenged the
23-year-old to now make a go of things in L4.
He said: "I've got to say that I'm more than happy to work
with Ryan Babel and it's up to him to convince me. No doubt
if he hasn't done that by January he'll have to accept that
maybe we'll be in that transfer market for a centre-forward
once again, but at least he's got this period of time.
"He's working very hard and is very determined to take this
chance he's got."
(LFC Official Website)
Roy rejects England job talk
Roy Hodgson today insisted he has no desire to take over the
England job once Fabio Capello steps down in 2012.
The Italian's announcement earlier this week that he will
leave the FA after the next European Championships has
prompted speculation over who will be
Hodgson's name has been mentioned in some sections of the
media - but the man himself has no desire to be considered.
He told reporters: "My job is at Liverpool Football Club and
I'm very happy
with my job.
"I would like to make it very clear that I intend to make no
comments whatsoever on the England national team other than
to congratulate them on their last
"I'm really looking forward to my job here, so I don't
understand the questions and have no comment to make."
(LFC Official Website)
Roy ponders £10m Dynamo raid
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is said to be eyeing a bid for
Dynamo Kiev forward Artem Milevskiy in the January transfer
The 25-year-old has only just agreed a three-year contract
extension with Dynamo but reports suggest he has a
£10million release clause and Hodgson hopes to lure the
Ukraine international in the new year.
Redknapp and Hodgson lead
chase for "Turkish Delight"
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp and Liverpool
manager Roy Hodgson are set to battle Atletico Madrid in the
race to sign Galatasaray playmaker Arda Turan.
Turan has been perennially linked with a move to the North
London pair of Arsenal and Spurs, as well as Merseyside club
Nevertheless, the player’s agent informed Sport.co.uk during
the summer that the Gunners had pulled out of the race to
sign the Galatasaray captain leaving Spurs boss Redknapp,
reds manager Hodgson and Atletico Madrid as the frontrunners
for the Turkish internationals signature.
Van der Vaart claims
Roy Hodgson prepares for BirminghamLiverpool boss Roy
Hodgson has rejected claims by Rafael van der Vaart that he
tried to sign the Dutch midfielder, insisting such stories
are 'very irritating'.
Van der Vaart joined the Reds' Champions League-chasing
rivals Tottenham on transfer deadline day in a deal worth £8
million. The former Real Madrid man later claimed on Sky
Sports News: "Liverpool were interested, Bayern were never
interested, but you have to have a good feeling and this
manager gave me a good feeling and I am really happy to be
going to Spurs."
Hodgson told a very different story on Friday though,
revealing he was offered Van der Vaart by the player's
agent. And, having already captured Joe Cole, the Liverpool
boss saw no need to added another 'in the hole' type of
"No, that's not true," Hodgson said of Van der Vaart's claim
on the official Liverpool website. "Those stories can get
"An agent rings you up to ask if you want to sign Van der
Vaart, you say 'no' and then the next minute you're one of
the clubs that want to sign him.
"I apologise to Van der Vaart if his agent gave him another
story. I think he's a very good player, but he's not the
profile of the player we were looking for.
"When it came up I said, 'no, we have players in his
Hodgson eyes Kuyt return
Roy Hodgson is hopeful striker Dirk Kuyt will be back sooner
rather than later after damaging his shoulder on
The Liverpool hit-man sustained the injury while attempting
an overhead kick in training for Holland and is expected to
miss the next month's action.
Hodgson's sides have suffered a spate of shoulder injuries
recently and he is surprised to have collected two identical
knocks during his short time at Liverpool.
Kuyt is now expected to miss the next six weeks of action,
although Hodgson is crossing his fingers he is back sooner.
"You can never really tell with these ACL injuries,
sometimes they can be much quicker," said Hodgson.
"It's strange that I've suffered from ACL injuries four
times in the past year, two at Fulham with Andy Johnson and
Bobby Zamora, and now Pepe Reina
and Dirk Kuyt.
"To come across this type of injury four times over the
period of a year is unfortunate.
"Bobby, Pepe and Andy recovered quickly so I think Dirk will
too, but whether it will take four weeks more or less is
difficult for the conditioning people to say. They can only
give an estimate."
Roy challenges Reds strikers
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has challenged Ryan Babel and
David Ngog to prove they are good enough to provide back-up
for Fernando Torres.
The 62-year-old had wanted to bring in another forward last
month to help ease the burden on Torres over the entire
However, he admits there were no players which "excited" him
enough to spend money late on in the transfer window - when
additional cash became available after Javier Mascherano's
£20million move to Barcelona three days
before the deadline.
Reds recruits ready to face Blues
Paul Konchesky and Raul Meireles are set to make their first
appearances in the Liverpool squad in Sunday's Premier
League clash at Birmingham.
Left-back Konchesky is likely to start, having had over a
week to settle in after completing his transfer deadline day
move from Fulham but Meireles may have to settle for a place
on the bench having been away with Portugal.
Forward Dirk Kuyt is out with a shoulder injury sustained
while away with Holland while Joe Cole serves the final game
of his three-match suspension.
Striker David Ngog has recovered from hamstring injury but
defender Fabio Aurelio still has a niggling Achilles tendon
Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel, Agger,
Konchesky, Lucas, Poulsen, Rodriguez, Gerrard, Jovanovic,
Torres, Jones, Meireles, Pacheco, Babel, Ngog, Krygiakos.
Babel looking to repay Boss's faith
Ryan Babel wants to repay Roy Hodgson for the faith shown in
Hodgson has backed Babel since arriving at Anfield and has
told the Dutchman he will get more opportunities in his
favoured position as a striker. Babel now wants to show
Hodgson he was right to back him by finally realising his
"It's clear when a new manager comes in, everyone's chances
are equal again with others. It is positive for me and maybe
everybody who was in a difficult situation," he said.
"I hope this is a chance for me to establish myself, but the
first test for me is to work hard in every training session
and try to show what I can do. In the end, it is the
manager's decision if he uses me or not."
Ngog delight at SC award
David Ngog is today celebrating after being named the first
ever winner of the Standard Chartered LFC Player of the
The French striker has made a blistering start to 2010-11,
scoring crucial goals against Rabotnicki and Arsenal in
August to take his tally so far to four.
Well over 5,000 took part in the poll, with 35 per cent
selecting Ngog as he continues to come of age in a red
"It's extra special that it's voted by the fans," the
22-year-old told Liverpoolfc.tv. "They are always there for
us and I want to thank them.
"It's a really good thing for me but the most important
thing is that the team is in good shape and we're working
together. Hopefully we have a good future.
"It was a really good goal and it was important because it
was our first game against a good team."
Every month you'll get the chance to vote for the Standard
Chartered Player of the Month - and the winner will be
presented with our brand new trophy courtesy of our main
(LFC Official Website)
Gerrard backs Gerard
Steven Gerrard has welcomed Gerard Houllier's return to the
The former Reds boss made a return to English football when
he was appointed Aston Villa boss on Wednesday evening.
Steven Gerrard was quick to back the appointment and is sure
Houllier will be a success.
"I've still got quite a close relationship with Gerard. He
gave me my chance at the top level and I certainly learnt an
awful lot from him," said the skipper.
"Aston Villa have got themselves a very good manager and I
am not surprised Gerard has come back into the Premier
League. I know how much he loves football. He has been
desperate to get back involved in the Premier League so it
is no surprise to me.
"It has been no surprise to me that Villa have been
interested in him because he is a top manager.
"We had a magnificent year in 2001. He came in and had to
change an awful lot of things at Liverpool and that is what
he is good at.
"When he comes in, he knows what he wants, and he knows how
to get a winning team. That showed by the five trophies we
won under him."