Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Calls On Players To Show Some Pride

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has claimed that his side are showing the desire to turn the corner following their recent poor run of form.

Speaking after his side's 2-2 draw at home to Everton in the Merseyside derby, the Reds boss said that he felt the club's fans will need to see their players show some pride.

Dalglish told talkSPORT: "I think performances give pride back, winning would have been even better for them [the fans], and it wasn’t for lack of effort.

"I think if the players continue with the same mentality and desire then the punters will be right behind them, they just want to see someone with a bit of pride, obviously with a bit of ability as well, but these players have the ability.

"They went out there and worked as hard as they could and the fans appreciate that."

Dalglish also praised his players for their willingness to adapt to his new regime.

He said: "I enjoyed watching us play in the first half – I thought we played really good football because that’s a great credit to the players because there’s obviously been a change in management.

"When there’s a change, there’s always a change in philosophy and Roy brought the way he liked to work, which has been very successful for him and we work to the way we like to work with Steve Clarke putting the sessions on.

"The players have adapted well."

Gerrard Will Fight To Keep Dalglish At Liverpool

Steven Gerrard says he is determined to ensure Liverpool's form improves dramatically so Kenny Dalglish is handed the manager's job on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

Dalglish, appointed as a short-term replacement for Roy Hodgson, has started his second reign in charge of Liverpool with an FA Cup defeat to Manchester United, a league loss at Blackpool and a draw in the Merseyside derby against Everton at the weekend.

Though Dalglish has only been appointed at Anfield until the end of the season, Gerrard wants to see the Liverpool board appoint the manager on a long-term contract. For them to do so, the Liverpool captain knows the team must produce consistently improved performances.

"I want to do everything in my power to ensure that he stays here for a long time, beyond the initial six months," Gerrard told LFC Weekly. "I'd love nothing better when the end of the season comes than for us to be on the back of a good run of results that ensures he gets the job full-time. That's my short-term plan, to give everything I've got and all my energy to try to make that happen.

"I won't lie. When Kenny rang to say he was coming back it was a big lift. I love Kenny as a person and I've certainly enjoyed the first few days we've had working with him. I can see a positive future for Kenny at the club.

"I think he's the perfect person to get everyone moving in the right direction again. He's the talisman at this club. His nickname, the King, says it all really. He's the perfect manager and also the person to bring it all together. It's time to re-group and for us all to be pulling in the right direction because this season certainly hasn't been good enough."

Dirk Kuyt Says Kenny Dalglish Will Improve Liverpool With Time

Dirk Kuyt has said that Liverpool can only get better, the longer the players get to work with Kenny Dalglish.

Liverpool has not won since Dalglish returned as manager nine days ago. They drew 2-2 with Everton at Anfield yesterday. Dalglish first met his players hours before their 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United last week. Liverpool lost 2-1 at Blackpool in midweek.

Kuyt scored a 68th-minute penalty to equalize against Everton. He said: "Between the games we just had recovery and preparation so we didn't have any full training sessions. It is never easy for any manager coming in the middle of the season but he has helped us a lot already and I am sure he will do better in the future. It is good that we have a couple of training sessions extra to get ready for the next game [at Wolves on Saturday].

"We all know we can perform better. It is sometimes difficult to change it quickly but I am confident with the manager and players we have we will do better than we did earlier in the season. It is just a matter of time before we perform again."

Dalglish, who resigned as Liverpool manager 20 years ago, was brought in this season to replace Roy Hodgson, who had been in charge of the team for six months. Liverpool, who have won seven of their 22 Premier League games, are four points above the relegation zone.

Kuyt said: "Six months ago I was playing in a World Cup final [for Holland] and last week I was beaten by Blackpool. That is something that shouldn't happen because I think we are better than that. It means a lot to all of us that Kenny has come to the club. He is a legend for all of us, players and supporters. It was really positive and I thought the way the supporters supported us was unbelievable. I think Dalglish is probably one of the most important former players and managers for Liverpool. You only have to listen to the crowd how important he is, and that is the same for the players.

"I don't want to be disrespectful to Hodgson because he gave everything he could. He just wanted to play a certain way. If you put every manager next to each other, every one has his own training sessions, his own tactics, his own way of playing. He gave everything for the club to do his best and it is just a shame it didn't work out."

Liverpool dominated the first half of 215th Merseyside derby and led 1-0 at the break, thanks to a goal from Raul Meireles. Everton scored two goals early in the second half, through Sylvain Distin and Jermaine Beckford, but Kuyt equalized after Tim Howard tripped Maxi Rodríguez.

Kuyt said: "I thought we did really well in the first half, but it was obviously very disappointing how we started the second. To concede two goals in a short period was really disappointing but the team afterwards showed a great effort and it was good to come back in the game. We're still disappointed to only get a point from this game.

"There are a lot of positives but we still have to do a lot of things better and we know that. We are confident of doing things better than we did. We don't have to be afraid of Wolves. We just have to go there and play with the same effort and the same quality we showed first half and keep it going for 90 minutes."

Ashley Young And Luis Suárez Top Kenny Dalglish's Shopping List

Liverpool's new owners will pursue several options to improve Kenny Dalglish's forward line this week with Aston Villa's Ashley Young still under consideration despite the Midlanders' reluctance to sell.

The Ajax striker Luis Suárez tops Liverpool's list of potential recruits in this transfer window although there has been no bid so far for the Uruguay international and they face competition for his signature from Tottenham Hotspur. Young is another option that Liverpool have scouted for several months and, despite an acceptance it will be difficult to prise the 25-year-old from Villa Park this month, they are expected to make further inquiries in light of Gérard Houllier's surprise move for Sunderland's Darren Bent. Manchester United are also believed to be monitoring Young's situation at Villa with a view to a summer move for the England international.

Liverpool has also been linked with Stewart Downing but a more likely transfer from Villa Park to Anfield is Stephen Warnock. The left-back, who started his career at Liverpool, has lost his place under Houllier and could rejoin his former club until the end of the season on loan as Dalglish's looks for an alternative to Paul Konchesky.

The Liverpool manager has spoken with John W Henry since the club's principal owner arrived on Merseyside for yesterday's derby against Everton and will hold further talks this week as he attempts to correct a faltering campaign. Southampton's £10m-rated teenager, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, is another target but is believed to favour a move to Arsenal.

Luis Suarez Sets Sights On Liverpool Move

Highly rated attacker Luis Suarez appears to be on his way out of Eredivisie giants Ajax as Premier League side Liverpool have shown an interest in signing the Uruguay international, if a report in De Telegraaf is to be believed.

The Reds are desperate to strengthen their squad in the winter transfer window following their disappointing performances in the first half of the season and they reportedly see the 23-year-old Suarez as the perfect signing.

The report suggests that Liverpool contacted Ajax on Saturday evening to discuss a possible transfer and negotiations continued on Sunday.

Champions League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur are also after the services of Suarez, but the tricky attacker prefers a move to Anfield because of the presence of several Spanish speaking players at Liverpool.

The forward was previously linked with clubs such as Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St. Petersburg, but Suarez is not interested in a move to Russia or Ukraine.

"I refuse such offers from clubs like Shakhtar Donetsk and Zenit St Petersburg. I want to win trophies, not bags of money," Suarez told British newspaper The Mirror.

Suarez's current contract with Ajax runs until the summer of 2013 and an offer in the region of €25 million could be needed to lure him away from his current club.

Liverpool 'Make Approach For Ashley Young And Stewart Downing'

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is reported to have identified Aston Villa duo Ashley Young and Stewart Downing as potential transfer targets for this month - with the Reds rumoured to have made a double approach in the wake of Darren Bent's proposed switch from Sunderland.

Bent is said to be in Birmingham to discuss contract terms with Villa after handing in a written transfer request following Sunday's Wear-Tyne derby draw with Newcastle.

Liverpool had an approach for the two highly-rated England internationals turned down last summer, when Roy Hodgson was Reds boss and Martin O'Neill was in charge at Villa Park.

However, both managerial positions have now changed hands, with Dalglish in temporary charge at Anfield and Gerard Houllier looking to make changes after succeeding O'Neill.

The Frenchman still has several connections in the backroom staff on Merseyside following his six-year spell there between 1998 and 2004.

And although Houllier is not keen to sell Young, he believes refreshing the squad could be his only option to turn around the club's ailing form this season - and he believes he can get a good price from the Reds' new board.

Dalglish is desperate to add some spark to his midfield and is keen to deploy Joe Cole in the centre of midfield rather than using him as a left-winger.

And the Scot believes adding the dual attacking threat of the Villa starlets, 25 and 26 respectively, will improve the service from the flanks to striker Fernando Torres.

Claudio Ranieri Open To Succeeding Kenny Dalglish As Liverpool Boss

Roma boss Claudio Ranieri has revealed he is open to returning to the Premier League as Liverpool manager amid speculation the club's board will sound him out over the prospect of succeeding Kenny Dalglish at the end of the season.

Ranieri has been linked with a return to England on several occasions since he was sacked as Chelsea manager in 2004, having guided the club to the Champions League semi-finals and second place in the Premier League.

Despite enjoying some success with Juventus two years ago, who finished second in Serie A in 2009, and hometown team Roma since then, Ranieri has not ruled out working in England again.

Welcoming an approach from Reds manager John W Henry, who is reportedly considering bringing in a new boss despite the popularity of caretaker-manager Kenny Dalglish, he said: 'I am happy that a team like Liverpool is thinking about me.'

Ranieri has guided Roma up to fourth in the Italian league this season.

But despite living back in the city of his birth, the 59-year-old suggested all is not well with him.

'I am very proud to lead the team of my home city, but there are pros and cons,' he added.

Agent: Agger Will Not Be Leaving Liverpool

Liverpool defender Daniel Agger has pledged his long-term future to the club and is relishing the chance to play under Kenny Dalglish.

Agger, 26, has been strongly linked with a move to Malaga and Fiorentina, but he is determined to stay at Anfield and help the club challenge in the top half of the table again.

The Danish defender has already held talks with Dalglish over his future and is fully committed to the Merseyside club.

Agger’s agent Per Steffensen admits there has been interest in Agger but has ruled out any chance of him leaving Liverpool in January.

Steffensen said: “Kenny Dalglish thinks a lot about Daniel and has made that clear to him in a meeting.”

Babel Fined For Webb Twitter Post

Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has been fined £10,000 and warned about his future conduct by the Football Association after admitting a charge of improper conduct relating to comments and images posted on Twitter concerning referee Howard Webb.

Babel incurred the wrath of the governing body when tweeting a doctored photo of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt following Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford on January 9, which saw the match official award a contentious penalty to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Babel also wrote: "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke. SMH [shaking my head]."

Babel later apologized for his comments and posted: "My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game. Sorry Howard Webb."

Kenny Dalglish had also pleaded for the FA to show a sense of humour, but it confirmed on Monday that Babel had been punished for his behaviour.

Regulatory Commission Chairman, Roger Burden, said: "Social network sites, like Twitter, must be regarded as being in the public domain and all participants need to be aware, in the same way as if making a public statement in other forms of media, that any comments would be transmitted to a wider audience. It is their responsibility to ensure only appropriate comments are used."