Friday, June 11, 2010

Liverpool Keen To Offer Roy Hodgson Manager's Job Despite Kenny Dalglish's Interest

Liverpool are believed to be intent on giving Fulham boss Roy Hodgson a chance to manage the club, despite Kenny Dalglish being keen on a return to the Anfield hotseat.

The Kop legend has indicated to the board that he would be willing to take up the reins if it is decided that he is the best man for the job, according to The Guardian.

Even though Dalglish would win the popularity vote among the fans, the board are believed to be in favour of handing the job to someone with more recent European experience.

The former Finland boss took the Cottagers on a dream run in the Europa League, culminating in a heartbreaking defeat in the final to Atletico Madrid.

Dalglish, however, has previously managed the Merseyside club for six years, winning three league titles and two FA Cups in the process.

Hiddink Should Be Top Pick For Liverpool

The news that Kenny Dalglish has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next Liverpool manager has stirred debate amongst Kopites in Northern Ireland and beyond.

While Rafael Benitez has not let the grass grow under his feet since leaving Anfield last week by becoming Inter Milan’s new boss, Liverpool fans are still waiting and wondering who will guide them through this difficult period in their history.

Sports Editor Steven Beacom assesses all the candidates for one of the biggest jobs in world football.

GUUS HIDDINK: He would be the ideal man for Liverpool. Respected by players and always keen to play attractive football, the Dutchman has enjoyed great success down the years and would not be fazed by a club of Liverpool’s size. The problem is he has a contract with Turkey and he’s not known for breaking them.

ROY HODGSON: Solid and steady. Has worked wonders for Fulham but Liverpool would be a whole new ball game. His appointment would leave Kopites feeling under-whelmed.

MARTIN O’NEILL: It would be great for the Ulsterman to manage a club of Liverpool’s stature but would it be good for Liverpool? Not so sure. O’Neill’s a good motivator but his sides aren’t renowned for playing stylish football and after last season under Benitez, the fans are crying out for more attack minded tactics.

HARRY REDKNAPP: Harry has said he is happy at Spurs, but if the offer came from Liverpool he’d walk to Anfield to sign the deal, Champions League or no Champions League. I rate him but he still has that Cockney geezer, wheeler dealer reputation which certainly wouldn’t go down well with the old school Kopites.

SVEN-GORAN ERIKSSON: If the Swede gets the job he says he dreams about, Liverpool may as well shut up shop. Oh, and the mothers and fathers of Merseyside should lock up their daughters. Sven as boss would be utter madness.

MARK HUGHES: Sven has more chance! Hughes is a decent manager and was treated shabbily by Manchester City, but his Manchester United connections rule him out.

MARCO VAN BASTEN: Breathtaking footballer in his day but his managerial abilities are still unproven. Didn’t deliver as Holland boss, and although a massive name, not what Liverpool need right now.

LOUIS VAN GAAL: Experience, knowhow and an ability to win trophies, but can be a wildcard ready to fight anyone. Remind you of anyone? Liverpool don’t need another like that for quite some time.

KENNY DALGLISH: When Benitez left the Liverpool legend was tasked with finding the new boss. He should have been asked to get new owners while he was at it? Now, though he wants the board to consider him. If Liverpool can’t get Hiddink, Dalglish should become manager. After all, he’s won four more English titles than the other British candidates put together (they have a grand total of none).

He left the post first time around due to pressure which goes against him because there is bound to be plenty of that this time while others will say he has been away too long.

That is a fair point but his appointment would create a desperately needed feel good factor at Anfield and provide a buzz around the club.

And he might be the only man capable of persuading Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay.

For that alone, it would be worth appointing the Scot for a second spell in charge at Anfield.

Riera Changes Mind Again, Wants To Stay At Liverpool

The 28-year-old's latest change of mind is likely connected to the Anfield exit of Rafa Benitez.

Riera launched a scathing attack on the former Liverpool boss back in March, saying, "The team's playing badly and needs changes. It is a sinking ship. But in the two years I have been here Benitez has never managed a situation with a player by talking to him."

A proposed move to Russia then fell through and having been frozen out by Benitez for the final two months of the season, he said last month that his Anfield career is over, commenting, "The club has not put up any fight for me. I do not want to quarrel with somebody, but if a club doesn't fight for you, that means that they don't want you. I do not want to be in a place where I am not wanted."

Now in the lastest twist, the former Espanyol and Bordeaux player has stated that he wishes to stay at Liverpool.

Riera is quoted in the Daily Mirror today saying, "Honestly, if I can, I am going to stay at Liverpool because it is a top club. But, at the moment, the door is open for me. So, I really don't know."

Riera joined Liverpool from Espanyol for £8m two years ago, but he made only fifteen appearances last season, having been a first-team regular during his first season at the club.

Daniel Agger Relishing His World Cup Bow For Denmark

Daniel Agger is relishing the chance to take part in his first World Cup.

The Liverpool defender made his international debut in 2005 but Denmark failed to qualify for the 2006 finals in Germany.

“Yes, there is a lot of excitement,” he said.

“I think Denmark was a bit spoiled a few years ago and played in almost every tournament, even though we are a small country. So yes, the excitement is there.”

Agger, who is set to line up against Anfield team-mates Dirk Kuyt and Ryan Babel in their opening game against Holland on Monday, is desperate to repay the faith shown in him by national team manager Martin Olsen.

Agger added: “He gave me the chance with the national team quite early so I am grateful for that and he is a really good coach.

“I can’t say anything bad about him.

“He knows everything about the game and he is what you would call a proper football man.”

May: Dalglish Can Get Liverpool Buzzing Again

David May feels his former boss Kenny Dalglish will give Liverpool fans something to get excited about if he takes over at Anfield for the second time.

The Reds are looking for a new manager following Rafael Benitez's departure by mutual consent last week and have confirmed club legend Dalglish, who is widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest ever player and enjoyed a successful spell in charge from 1985 to 1991, is to assist managing director Christian Purslow in the recruitment process.

However, the 59-year-old - currently an Academy ambassador - has been hotly tipped to take the post himself on a short-term basis, with reports suggesting he is willing to do so if the club's hierarchy feel it is the best way forward.

May played under Dalglish in the early 1990s after the Scot left Liverpool for Blackburn and is confident the Merseyside outfit would be given a much-needed lift by the return of one of its most revered heroes to the helm.

"He will come in and liven things up," May said.

"I remember him coming to Blackburn and the training sessions were bright. They were short and sharp and he got the lads buzzing again.

"I think that is what needs to happen at Liverpool. Under Benitez they have been playing very boring football, but with Kenny I think they will give the fans something they deserve, which is attacking football."

Liverpool finished a disappointing seventh in the Barclays Premier League last season and have not won the English top flight since Dalglish delivered the title in 1990.

If he takes charge again it will inevitably rekindle memories of former glories amongst the Anfield faithful, but May feels Dalglish's affinity with the club will be most vital in helping to find a more permanent manager who can take Liverpool forward in the years to come.

Asked if he thought Dalglish was the man to revive the club's fortunes, May said: "I think he could be short-term, but then I think Kenny will look more long-term.

"He is more of an ambassador now for Liverpool and he is going to make the right decision in terms of who actually comes in and takes over.

"With his knowledge of the game and knowledge of Liverpool - what Liverpool is all about and what they need - I'm sure he will make the right decision."

Inter Looking To Make £33 Million Offer To Liverpool For Javier Mascherano & Dirk Kuyt

Inter are optimistic that a £33 million bid will be enough for former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez to bring Javier Mascherano and Dirk Kuyt with him to the San Siro.

The Italian giants have completed a deal for Benitez to replace Jose Mourinho at Inter and plan to present him when the Spaniard returns from his vacation.

Benitez knows the financial situation at Liverpool and could be set to take advantage by bringing some of his former players to Italy, according to the Daily Mail.

Inter are interested in a big move for Reds striker Fernando Torres but with Chelsea in the picture they know that signing the Spain international star would be difficult.

Mascherano and Kuyt represent more feasible options for Inter and both players could be open to leaving to re-join Benitez.

The 50-year-old will receive a three-year deal worth about £65,000-a-week, a figure that is less than half of what Mourinho earned at Inter.

Inter, who won a historic Treble this season, spoke to England boss Fabio Capello, Barcelona's Pep Guardiola and Turkey's manager Guus Hiddink about coming to Italy before bringing Benitez aboard.

Liverpool Will Fight Inter Milan To Keep Mascherano

Liverpool are determined not to lose Javier Mascherano to Inter Milan without a fight.

The Mirror says Rafa Benitez's first move when he is finally unveiled as Inter Milan manager today will be to return to England and his former club in an attempt to steal Mascherano out of Anfield.

The Argentina captain has been offered a new £100,000 a week contract to stay at Liverpool, but if he refuses to sign then the Reds board will play hard-ball over the fee, by demanding £40million for the midfielder.

Fernando Torres Favourite To Win Golden Boot At World Cup 2010

Premier League bosses reckon Fernando Torres is the most likely player to bring the Golden Boot back to England.

The Liverpool striker came in ahead of Wayne Rooney in the survey that league sponsors Barclays conducted with top flight managers ahead of the World Cup, which starts tomorrow.

Torres missed the last seven games of Liverpool’s season with a knee injury and only made his comeback on Tuesday night in Spain’s final warm-up friendly before jetting off to South Africa

But Torres made an immediate return to scoring form after coming on as a second half substitute against Poland, scoring the fifth in a 6-0 rout.

He secured 47% of the vote, ahead of Rooney (41%) and Manchester City and Argentina striker Carlos Tevez (12%).

The Premier League bosses have hailed Rooney as pivotal to England's hopes of lifting the FIFA World Cup for the first time since 1966 but they believe Argentina talisman Lionel Messi will be the star of the tournament whilst most are tipping Brazil to claim their sixth world crown.

But 59% believe Rooney will also be among the top three stand-out players, with 82& of the managers citing Messi as the player set to make the biggest impact in South Africa.

Brazil are backed by 53% of the managers to claim an unprecedented sixth World Cup ahead of European Champions Spain (24%).

Liverpool's 7% Increase In Season Ticket Prices Means Only Arsenal More Expensive In Premier League

Liverpool have hiked prices of season tickets by seven per cent, meaning the lowest cost of a standard adult season ticket at Anfield for the 2010-11 season is now £680, and it is only that low if booked via the internet.

An adult ticket in the main stand is £732 and the priciest ticket costs £785.

The club's fans, already unhappy with the unfullfilled promises, levels of debt and unreasonable asking price for the for-sale club from the unpopular American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, are sure to have their unrest fuelled at the new developments.

A new survey also done by SportingIntelligence now puts Liverpool second, behind only Arsenal (where the cheapest season ticket is £893), in the table for most expensive Premier League season tickets.

The Gunners' standard season ticket does cover 26 games, however, as opposed to most clubs providing just the 19 home league games.

A club spokesperson for Liverpool told SportingIntelligence: “Prices remain extraordinarily competitive, particularly compared with other clubs in the top half of the table.”
After Arsenal and Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham United have the next most expensive 'entry level' prices, followed by Chelsea, and then, somewhat surprisingly, Wolverhampton Wanderers, ahead of Manchester United.

At the other end, the best value standard adult season ticket in the Premier League next season can be held at Blackburn Rovers, for a surprisingly reasonable £224, followed by Wigan Athletic (£250).