Hodgson set to tinker
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson plans to make changes for the
opening Europa League group match at home to Steaua
The Reds boss will have one eye on Sunday's Premier League
trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford and, as a
result, may opt to rest captain Steven Gerrard and striker
Should that happen their likely replacements are new signing
Raul Meireles and David Ngog.
Midfielder Joe Cole, who has been serving a three-match
domestic suspension, returns to the squad but Dirk Kuyt
(shoulder) and Fabio Aurelio (Achilles) are definitely out.
Provisional squad: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Skrtel,
Konchesky, Meireles, Lucas, Poulsen, Gerrard, Rodriguez,
Cole, Jovanovic, Torres, Ngog, Babel, Jones, Spearing,
Kelly, Kyrgiakos, Pacheco, Spearing.
life in happy camp
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger believes the training ground
is a happy place again under new manager Roy Hodgson.
The Reds finished seventh last season, their worst Premier
League placing for more than a decade, and the club and
Rafael Benitez soon parted.
At the time there were suggestions the Spaniard had managed
to alienate a number of his players - having had public
fall-outs with Ryan Babel and Albert Riera - but Agger today
said they were all together again under the Englishman's
"It is a new team, new players, young players, new staff and
I think the mentality you can see on people's faces - they
are a lot more happy in training sessions," said the Denmark
Hodgson: Torres is not fed up
Roy Hodgson has dismissed
speculation about Fernando Torres' state of mind after the
striker was criticised on his last outing for Liverpool.
The Spain international had very few chances in Sunday's
And despite scoring three times in his previous two matches
for club and country, that did not stop wild theories being
spouted about the 26-year-old being unhappy and regretting
his decision to remain at Anfield this summer.
Former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp labelled Torres'
performance at Birmingham "diabolical" and claimed the
player looked frustrated, but Hodgson was quick to reject
that assessment out of hand.
"He certainly isn't fed up. Criticism is something we have
to live with,"
Meireles aware of Hyypia legacy
New Liverpool signing Raul Meireles intends to follow in the
footsteps of Anfield legend Sami Hyypia by wearing the
number four jersey with distinction.
The Portuguese playmaker has inherited the towering former
Liverpool defender’s shirt number at Anfield, following his
£11.5 million arrival from FC Porto, and the 27-year-old is
fully aware of the illustrious footsteps he is following in.
Meireles made his first appearance for Liverpool at
Birmingham City on Sunday and is in line to make his full
debut at Anfield in tonight’s Europa League game against
Steaua Bucharest, and the Portuguese international is
desperate to impress for his new club.
Meireles told the Liverpool Echo: “I knew the number four
(shirt) once belonged to Sami Hyypia and the supporters
liked him as he was a great player for Liverpool,
“So I have to be great with this number – and I will try to
do what I have to do to be great. I want to win (trophies)
because in Porto I won a lot and I have
“But I want to win titles at Liverpool and we have a chance
because we have
Dalglish wanted Reds job
Liverpool icon Kenny Dalglish has admitted he wanted to
replace Rafa Benitez at Anfield before the appointment of
Dalglish was player-manager at Anfield between 1985 and 1991
and he was the last man to bring the championship to the
The 59-year-old felt the time was right for Benitez to leave
and he revealed he put himself forward to replace the
Spaniard at the helm.
However, Liverpool rejected Dalglish's overtures and moved
instead for former Fulham chief Hodgson to take charge at
Anfield and the Scot admits he was disappointed to be
overlooked for the job.
Dalglish writing in his new book - 'Dalglish in his own
words' - said: "It was right for everybody that Rafa Benitez
left - for him and for Liverpool Football Club.
"There just comes a stage in every manager's career when the
board says, 'You've been good for the club but we feel it
would be best if you go'.
"Sometimes it works the same way for a manager - 'I've done
my time. There's no animosity but it's time to have a go
"When it was clear Rafa was going, Christian Purslow asked
me to get involved in the selection process for the next
"I had to let them (the board) know my real views. I wanted
the job. I couldn't miss the opportunity.
"One day, I was in a meeting with Christian and the
chairman, Martin Broughton, and I formally put my name
"'We don't want you, Kenny', came the reply from Christian
and the chairman. Fine. That's their prerogative. They
explained they had different plans for me, a position with
Amoo brace tames Wolves
David Amoo struck a clinical double as Liverpool Reserves
claimed their first win of the season with a 2-0 success
over Wolves on Tuesday night.
The 19-year-old was on hand to finish off two incisive
first-half counter attacks and ensure John McMahon's men
capped an impressive showing with three richly deserved
The Reds had gone into the clash having drawn their opening
two encounters of the new Barclays Premier Reserve League
Northern Group B campaign but always looked in control
against what was a relatively experienced Wolves outfit.
Liverpool Reserves: Gulacsi, Darby, Robinson, Irwin (c),
Wilson, Wisdom, Amoo, Shelvey, Eccleston, Suso, Ince (Bruna
81). Unused Subs: Flanagan, Bouzanis, Roberts, Palsson.
(LFC Official Website)
Torres ready for Old Trafford
Despite a mixed summer in which he won a winners' medal but
hardly made an impact on the World Cup finals, and, a slow
start to the current campaign Fernando Torres is keen to get
a victory against Manchester United for the Liverpool
The 26-year-old would no doubt welcome a goal when the two
Premier League giants clash on Sunday at Old Trafford. He
has been a regular scorer in the fixture but is putting what
he sees as fans' needs above his own.
Asked about the meaning of the fixture Torres said: "It
means everything to them [Liverpool fans]. We are the two
most successful teams in England but it has not be nice for
the Liverpool fans to watch Manchester United have so much
success over the recent years.
"We have a great squad and a great manager, and we really
hope to give the fans a trophy this season, as well as
beating Manchester United for them.
"The Liverpool fans are great, when you play well they are
behind you and when you are not playing the best they are
still behind you. I walk my dogs round the city, and before
matches like Manchester United the fans will tell you good
luck and things like that.
"It's clear how much the Manchester United games means to
them, we have been rivals a lot of years."
Jovanovic: My best
is still to come
Liverpool new boy Milan Jovanovic insists he
has far more to offer the Anfield outfit than he has shown
The Reds are still finding their feet under Roy Hodgson and
following Sunday's goalless draw at Birmingham, currently
find themselves in the wrong half of the Premier League
Star man Fernando Torres is coming under scrutiny for his
lacklustre displays but Jovanovic accepts others must make a
bigger contribution too.
The 29-year-old Serbian international is yet to score since
his summer move from Standard Liege.
But he insists it is a situation he does not expect to
continue for much longer.
"I was happy with how I played against Birmingham but I know
I can do better," the striker told the Liverpool Echo.
Babel enjoying new
Liverpool role under Hodgson
Ryan Babel feels Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson
has given him a new lease of life.
The Dutch star was shifted between playing on the wings and
up front while old boss Rafa Benitez was in charge.
But new manager Hodgson wants Babel to concentrate on being
a frontman — a role he prefers.
Babel said: "I aim to be a striker. The manager has told me
that up front is where he wants to use me. That's positive.
Now I have to show him in training sessions that I can do
"If I do that I will get chances to play in that position.
"A lot of people still doubt my quality or whether I'm good
enough to play for Liverpool. I hope, finally, with a little
bit of help from everyone here, that I can give something
back to the fans and to the club.
"For me, consistency is the key. I need to start regularly
and then play well on a consistent basis.
"When the boss trusts me by playing me I aim to reward that
four new signings
Only four games into the new season, Roy Hodgson has felt
obliged to assure Liverpool fans that everything will be
fine and that he is not concerned about the form of striker
But depending which newspapers and websites you read this
morning, the Reds are already being linked with four players
ahead of the January transfer window.
Reina pleads for patience
Jose Reina has called for patience over Liverpool's
prospects of challenging for honours this season.
And the Reds keeper believes matters may not alter until the
club's ownership situation is resolved.
Roy Hodgson's side failed to impress in their goalless draw
at Birmingham yesterday when only a fine display by Reina
denied the home side victory.
They are already seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea
after just four matches and face an uphill battle to reclaim
a Champions League spot.
Reina said: "We have to make sure that people don't think of
winning the league or being in the top four already at this
"It is going to take a while. We have got to get used to the
new players and then the system.
"There are many good teams and our target is to be up there
but we have
to be realistic."
Konchesky injury latest
Paul Konchesky should be in contention to face Steaua
Bucharest on Thursday night despite leaving the field
injured during our 0-0 draw with Birmingham.
The left-back enjoyed a decent debut on Sunday before being
on 78 minutes.
But Hodgson confirmed afterwards that the change was
"He hasn't played for a couple of weeks and he started to
feel his hamstring a little bit so we took him off as a
precaution and put Daniel Agger on,"
said the boss.
"I thought he did well in his first game for us. He was very
competent and it bodes well for the future."
Jamie Redknapp blasts
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has been branded
"diabolical" and accused of lacking the desire to perform at
the top level by former Anfield hero Jamie Redknapp.
Torres, who has struggled for form since suffering an
adductor injury last season, looked off the pace during
Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Birmingham at St Andrews and
struggled to make an impact against centre-backs Roger
and Scott Dann.
The Spain international has been widely criticised since the
World Cup and Redknapp is the latest expert to lay into
"Fans will suffer to a certain extent when you give the ball
away, but they won't suffer a lack of effort," Redknapp
said. "Out there for 45 minutes today he (Torres) has been
terrible. He hasn't got hold of the ball, he hasn't chased,
he's got frustrated, he could have been booked, he's been
"I'm his biggest fan, and of course you have to give Johnson
and Dann credit, but he's shown no appetite for the game.
He's looked frustrated, sloppy, lethargic. I know people
talk about his rustiness, but he looked fed-up."