Roy: Torres happier now
Roy Hodgson believes Fernando
Torres is starting to enjoy his football once more following
his winner in the 2-1 victory over Blackburn.
The striker found the net for the first time since August 29
to clinch the three points after a Jamie Carragher OG
cancelled out Sotirios Kyrgiakos's opener.
But it was not just the goal Hodgson was pleased with.
"Fernando played well today, he played an awful lot better,"
said the boss. "That, in my opinion, was his best
performance for the team this season."
(LFC Official Website)
Nando nets as Reds
see off Rovers
Fernando Torres ended his six-match goal drought with the
winner as Liverpool beat Blackburn 2-1 to provide a
much-needed boost at Anfield.
Goalkeeper Paul Robinson had kept the Reds at bay in
Sunday's Premier League encounter until Sotirios Kyrgiakos'
48th-minute header and although a Jamie Carragher own goal
quickly levelled things up, Torres struck only his second of
the season soon after.
It ended a run of seven matches without a victory in all
competitions and although it was still not enough to lift
Liverpool out of the bottom three, the result came as a
Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres return for Liverpool for
this afternoon's clash with Blackburn.
Roy Hodgson has made seven changes from the team that
started against Napoli on Thursday.
The team in full is: Reina, Konchesky, Carragher, Kyrgiakos,
Skrtel, Lucas, Meireles, Maxi, Cole, Gerrard, Torres.
Subs: Jones, Jovanovic, Babel, Ngog, Poulsen, Shelvey,
(LFC Official Website)
Kuyt verdict hands Reds a boost
Liverpool should have Dirk Kuyt back fit within four weeks
after the forward was told he does not require surgery on
his ankle injury.
The Dutch international has given under-fire manager Roy
Hodgson a timely boost after doctors allayed fears that the
30-year-old would miss a lengthy chunk
of the season.
Kuyt initially feared he could have faced five months on the
sidelines after falling awkwardly during Holland's Euro 2012
qualifier against Sweden a fortnight ago.
But the versatile Reds schemer hopes to be available for
selection before the busy December schedule.
Kuyt said: "I had a second scan and the doctor has now told
me that they do not need to operate on my ankle. That is
such a relief.
"The doctor says I could be back in the Liverpool team
within one month.'
Kuyt, who injured his shoulder in Holland training earlier
this season, added: "I can't wait to play again and help the
team. The doctor says this injury needs a bit of rest and
good physiotherapy will speed up my comeback on the pitch."
Scudamore: Reds 'never at risk'
Liverpool's future was never at risk during its takeover in
October, says Premier League chief Richard Scudamore.
American company New England Sporting Ventures (NESV) took
over from Tom Hicks and George Gillett in a lengthy saga
which reached the High Court.
"I'm satisfied the takeover went as smoothly as it could
have done," Scudamore told BBC 5 live's Sportsweek.
But Scudamore also admitted the Premier League is powerless
to prevent "another Hicks and Gillett happening".
"They passed our tests then and they would pass our current
tests in terms of them as individuals," added the Premier
League's chief executive.
(BBC Sport Online)
Hodgson has swipe at
Rijkaard over Liverpool link
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has dismissed claims Frank
Rijkaard could replace him at Anfield.
Rijkaard, the Dutchman who guided Barcelona to two La Liga
titles and the Champions League, is being linked to
Liverpool following his sacking by Galatasaray this week.
But Hodgson is not prepared to walk away from the Reds
without a fight, saying: “I had two-and-a-half years of this
kind of thing when I was at Inter when, every day, there
would be stuff in the newspapers that someone was going
to get my job.
“If I took two and a half years of that in Milan I can take
two and a half years
of it here.
“It ended up with my being offered a new contract by Inter
when I left
“The doom and gloom that surrounds us is not coming from
within the club, not from me and not from the players – it’s
coming from people outside who are having a field day and
delighting in the fact we are having a bad time.
“Rijkaard has just been sacked from Galatasaray - he must be
a great manager to have been sacked by Galatasaray! What you
are talking about is Frank Rijkaard’s agent putting his name
around. It is all speculation.”
Two NESV members
join Anfield board
Two senior officials of New England Sports Ventures have
been appointed as members of the Liverpool board and will be
at the Blackburn game.
David Ginsberg, one of NESV's two vice-chairmen, and
investor Michael Gordon have been appointed as club
directors and will be at the match alongside new co-owner
Sam urges Reds owners
to back Hodgson
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce believes his Liverpool
counterpart Roy Hodgson deserves time to address the Reds'
The Merseysiders are in turmoil on the pitch, claiming just
six points from their first eight games to lie second-bottom
of the Premier League at the start of the weekend's
fixtures, with Rovers next up at Anfield on Sunday.
They have also finally completed a protracted change of
ownership and Allardyce insists Hodgson cannot be blamed for
all Liverpool's failings so far this season.
"I always thought this would be a year of transition for a
club that has sold off a lot of its players and Roy has a
huge task, but I didn't think they would have as few points
as they have at the moment," said the Blackburn manager.
"All the pressure of the takeover and the money situation
has obviously affected the team.
"There's a healthy atmosphere in a football club that you
can feel that there's something great and it's building, and
there's the opposite which has created a knock to that
normal Liverpool feeling.
"It's one of the institutions of football made great by the
late, great Bill Shankly and that has declined now, the
feeling has been lost and it's a great shame, and that's
what they must grasp back.
"It's not just down to Roy Hodgson, it's the structure of
the club as a whole, building the atmosphere back.
"I feel for Roy, he seems to be bearing the brunt of the
blame. If he gets enough time he will get it right."
Sotirios Kyrgiakos has praised Martin Kelly.
The Greek centre-back, a cult figure amongst Liverpool fans,
has been impressed with what he's seen of Kelly.
"Kelly is a very good player," said Kyrgiakos.
"He played several games last season before he got an injury
but he's played more often this season and done very well.
"He knows he can improve because he is a young player but he
has a good attitude, always wants to learn, and if he can
stay focused then he he can be a really good player for
PSV statement hints at January sale
PSV Eindhoven star Ibrahim Afellay will not be signing an
extension to his current contract which is due to expire at
the end of the season, the Euredivisie side have confirmed.
The prodigious 24-year-old has been linked with a host of
Premier League clubs most notably Manchester United,
Liverpool and Arsenal, and the Holland international
recently suggested a move to either Anfield or Old Trafford
would be favourable at this stage in his career, although
Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid are also rumoured to be
A statement on PSV’s official website read: “PSV and Ibrahim
Afellay have reached the conclusion that a contract
extension is no longer a realistic option for various
"PSV are disappointed that a successful collaboration will
come to an end. However, the club is satisfied with the
terms we've agreed with Ibrahim.
“He has promised the club that he'll do his utmost to make
sure he doesn't leave the club without a reasonable
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a long time admirer of the
attacking midfielder having coveted the player as a
teenager, while Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City have
also been mentioned as a potential suitor in recent weeks.
Despite plenty of options, Afellay recently revealed an
admiration for Manchester United and Liverpool.
He said: “Playing in the Premier League would be best for my
prestige. I'd like to play for Liverpool or Manchester
United , the top-level prospect for any player.”
for Rovers test
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insists reports of the club's
demise have been greatly exaggerated and they are "far from
A woeful start to their Premier League campaign has left
them mired in 19th place and they could face the ignominy of
starting Sunday's home game against Blackburn bottom of the
"What I am hoping for is a little bit luck so the result
(against Blackburn) goes our way whether we play well or
"That will give ourselves a bit of breathing space in order
to start rebuilding and trying to move up the table rather
than finding ourselves marooned."
Big guns back for Liverpool
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is set to revert to his
strongest line-up for Sunday’s visit of Blackburn after
resting a number of players in midweek.
Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard, Raul Meireles and Lucas
Leiva are all set to return after being left at home for the
Europa goalless draw against Napoli in Italy.
Defender Jamie Carragher came off at half-time in that game
and needs to be given the all-clear to play but right-back
Glen Johnson is set to return after missing the last two
games with a hamstring problem.
Centre-back Daniel Agger missed the trip because of illness
but could come back into the squad.
Forward Dirk Kuyt is still at least a couple of weeks away
from returning from an ankle injury.
Provisional squad: Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Skrtel,
Konchesky, Poulsen, Gerrard, Meireles, Cole, Torres, Ngog,
Jones, Aurelio, Kyrgiakos, Lucas, Kelly, Jovanovic,
Rodriguez, Babel, Agger.
Allardyce to show no mercy
Sam Allardyce has ordered Blackburn to take advantage of
Liverpool's slump in form when they meet this weekend.
Rovers head to Anfield on Sunday knowing they are unlikely
to play Roy Hodgson's Reds at a better time, following the
Reds' dismal start to the season.
"Liverpool are below us and how often do you play Liverpool
when they are below you? Very, very rarely," said the Rovers
"We have to take advantage of this situation while there's
Poulsen hails Reds starlets
Christian Poulsen has praised the performance of Liverpool's
youngsters against Napoli on Thursday.
"Our young players battled well and you couldn't tell there
was a lot of inexperience out there," he told the club's
"I think they had a really good game and it shows we have a
Jonjo Shelvey today admitted he is
hungry for more at Liverpool FC
Jonjo Shelvey today admitted he is hungry for more as he
reflected on his “memorable” first start for Liverpool.
The young midfielder rose to the challenge in Stadio San
Paolo last night as he played a key role in the Reds’ 0-0
draw with Napoli.
“It’s a hostile place to come and you knew that with the way
the crowd were,” said Shelvey. “They were banging on the bus
when we were on the way
to the stadium.
“So it was very satisfying to get a result. It’s massive for
everyone at the club. Personally I’m delighted as I’ve been
waiting for my chance to show the Gaffer that I am good
Dominic King sees the Reds
make their point in Naples
Just three weeks ago a European stalemate was the precursor
for Liverpool's lowest ebb in 57 years; now, perhaps, a
similar result might just provide the launchpad for
Roy Hodgson may have admitted to taking a gamble with
Liverpool's present to safeguard the club's future by
leaving a number of star names at home but, happily, that
gamble, to some extent, paid off last night in Naples –
never before has a 0-0 draw been so welcome.
Determined, dogged, disciplined and doughty throughout, the
Reds rewarded those supporters who ran a gauntlet of hate to
roar their team to a result that keeps them in control of
Europa League Group K but, more importantly, has given
everyone at Anfield a lift.
(Dominic King - Liverpool Echo)
Babel coy on future
Ryan Babel insists he is not concerned about people talking
about his future
The Reds forward, who has struggled to establish himself at
Anfield, was given a rare start on Thursday against Napoli
in the Europa League.
Babel failed to score in the 0-0 draw in Naples and looks
set to return to the bench as Liverpool face Blackburn on
And the Dutchman is refusing to discuss whether his future
lies at Anfield.
"It is always the same story, this is your chance, this is
he told Sky Sports News.
"I don't see it like that any more, it is just another game
and I do it for myself.
"My situation is clear for everyone so I don't need to talk
about it, I have said enough things in the past so I don't
want to talk about it."