Tuesday, February 08, 2011

John W Henry Praises Kenny Dalglish For Bringing Back Pass-And-Move Philosophy

Liverpool owner John W Henry has hailed boss Kenny Dalglish and the transformation that the club has undergone since his appointment as caretaker boss last month.

The Reds have won four games on the bounce and now lie in sixth place, with Europe a now very real possibility following the victory over Chelsea on Sunday.

Henry believes that the change in style and philosophy at the club under Dalglish are more in keeping with the club's ideals than under the previous management of Roy Hodgson, and that is why he and the board decided to part ways with the Fulham manager after a dreadful spell of results.

"The philosophy we were playing under didn't seem to suit the club and we knew we had to make a change," said Henry in an interview with Fox Sports Soccer.

"We knew we wanted to change the type of football we were playing, we wanted to move to a much more positive pass-and-move philosophy.

"We also knew we wanted to have a caretaker so to speak, we didn't want to be forced into an immediate decision.

"I talked with Kenny about it and said we needed someone to come in for six months and stabilize the club on the field and the club in general."

The American owner also discussed the importance of the bond between the fans and the manager, who not only excelled as a player before winning honours as a manager, but helped the club in the wake of the Hillsborough disaster in 1989 that claimed the lives of 96 supporters.

"I can't imagine how anyone can be more beloved by fans, not just for what he accomplished on the field but off the field through some very difficult times for the club and supporters," Henry said.

"I know for a long time now he has wanted to be in this position so it is a great thing for the club, for Kenny, for us."

Liverpool Keeping Tabs On Valencia Teenager Paco Alcacer

Liverpool are reportedly chasing Valencia starlet Paco Alcacer.

According to Spanish publication Superdeporte, the Merseyside outfit have sent scouts to monitor the 17-year-old forward and remain hopeful of striking a deal in the summer.

Tribalfootball.com reports that the Spaniard 'tops Liverpool's summer shopping list' and that the club are relying on the influence of Academy coach Rodolfo Borrell to lure Alcacer to Anfield.

Alcacer alerted a number of top European clubs to his talents after netting 15 times in 13 games for Spain under 17s, and has continued his rise to prominence by making his first team debut for Valencia earlier this season.

Liverpool will reportedly have to pay £8.4 million to trigger the release clause written into the contract of the teenager and are likely to be in touch with Valencia when the transfer window reopens in June.

With plenty of room to improve and develop, Alcacer would fit with the ethos of Liverpool owners New England Sports Ventures (NESV) in their quest to bring the cream of young European talent to Merseyside.

NESV have identified the development of young players at their Academy as a priority - tasking Liverpool director of football strategy Damien Comolli with identifying precocious stars.

Comolli is renowned for having an eye for talent in its infancy - something which Liverpool Academy director Frank McParland paid testament to.

"His [Comolli's] philosophy is to bring through young talent and he's since told me that we will be seeing a lot of him here at the Academy," he told the official Liverpool website.

"That can only be good news for us. He has a strong interest in young, elite players and we are already in the process of looking to sign some very talented teenagers.

"He has a great network in Europe and when you combine that with what we already have in place here, it promises to be very exciting times for us."

Liverpool have also been linked with moves for Ipswich wonderkid Connor Wickham and Southampton winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as they look to build a squad to challenge for honours in the future.

Charlie Adam Almost Certain To Leave Blackpool In The Summmer

Liverpool target Charlie Adam will leave Blackpool in the summer - at least that's the opinion of his teammate, Neal Eardley.

Adam’s protracted switch to Anfield was one of the longest running stories of the January transfer window and the Reds' had several bids reject for the 25-year-old.

According to The Guardian, the Adam was distraught after the Tangerines rebuffed an offer from Liverpool worth £10 million on transfer deadline day as they tried frantically to bring him to Anfield.

Liverpool initially tabled £4 million for the services of the Scotland international, who handed in a transfer request after learning of the interest from the Merseyside club.

But Blackpool - who paid £500,000 for Adam in 2009 - stood firm as Liverpool upped the ante; reportedly slapping a whopping £14 million price tag on their prized asset.

Blackpool boss, Ian Holloway, has since admitted it will be 'impossible' to keep hold of Adam in the summer, should Liverpool reignite their interest, and Seasiders' defender Eardley will hold no grudges should his skipper leave for Anfield.

"We have done well to keep him but I am sure Charlie will get his move in the summer or whenever because he is good enough to play for one of the big clubs," Eardley said.

"But for now he is still a Blackpool player and hopefully he can continue to play at his best between now and the end of the season."

Liverpool Striker Target Wants Summer Move

Reported Liverpool target Roman Pavlyuchenko has stated his intention to leave Tottenham in the summer.

The Russian striker has expressed his dismay at the lack of first team opportunities given to him by Harry Redknapp - claiming the Spurs boss has lost faith in his abilities.

Pavlyuchenko had previously been keen to fight for his place at White Hart Lane - having turned down a deadline day move to Liverpool last August, according to Metro - but it now appears he has reached breaking point.

"The way I see it, the manager just doesn't trust me and it doesn't matter if I play well, score goals or try my best in training - nothing will make him change his mind about me," Pavlyuchenko told Sport-Express - as reported by imscouting.com.

"So I'm not going to extend my contract, which expires at the end of next season, and will try to leave the club over the summer transfer window.

"Even when I do play well or score a goal, I don't get a chance in the next game. Quite frankly, I'm fed up with sitting on the bench and waiting for my chances.

Liverpool allegedly remain keen on the 29-year-old - who joined Spurs from Spartak Moscow for £14 million in 2008 - and will no doubt be alerted to his potential availability.

Despite the acquisition of strike duo Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll during the January transfer window, Liverpool are still thought toe intent on bringing more attacking reinforcements to Anfield during the summer.

Whether Liverpool reignite their interest in Pavlyuchenko remains to be seen, but the Reds have been linked with moves for a number of other top targets.

Aston Villa winger Ashley Young reportedly remains on the Liverpool radar, as does versatile Benfica wideman Fábio Coentrão.

Liverpool owners New England Sports Ventures have already demonstrated their willingness to spend big in order to land their targets, and the summer transfer window is likely to be a busy time at Anfield.

Liverpool Plan Move To Sign £10m Rated Ajax Wonderkid

Liverpool will this summer look to follow up their purchase of Luis Suarez from Ajax by attempting to lure teenage playmaker Christian Eriksen to Anfield. The promising Danish international has impressed many with his mature performances for the Eredivisie club and many have tipped the youngster to be a big star in the future.

Director of Football Damien Comolli has earmarked a move for the starlet who has been likened to a young Dennis Bergkamp and the Merseyside club hope they can persuade the Amsterdam to sell as the Dutch side look to balance the books and help alleviate their financial woes.

Eriksen arrived at Ajax in 2008 and battled his way through the club’s academy system and into the first team far faster than anyone could possibly have imagined. The former Odense youth team player has already racked up almost 50 senior appearances and already has ten international caps to his name and yet he is still yet to turn 19.

Liverpool will hope that a bid for the £10m rated playmaker will be accepted as Frank De Boer may prefer to lose an up and coming star over the likes of more established names like Gregory van der Wiel, Maarten Stekelenburg and Jan Vertonghen, all strongly linked with moves away from the Amsterdam Arena.

Liverpool’s new owners are keen to see the club invest in young talent with good potential re-sale value and that can help build the nucleus of a new generation of Anfield stars and Eriksen arguably fits that bill to a tee.

Lucas Urges Liverpool Team-Mates To Forget About Torres

Lucas Leiva has told his Liverpool team-mates to forget about Fernando Torres and believes they have enough quality to win major silverware.

Lucas was shocked to see Torres quit Anfield and make a £50m move to Chelsea last week.

The Spanish star failed to make any impact on his debut against his former club and suffered a nightmare start as Liverpool came away with a 1-0 victory.

Lucas admits it will take them time to get over the departure of Torres, but feels the club have made two excellent signings in Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez and can achieve big things in the next few years.

Lucas said: "It has been a big surprise for us that Torres has left, but we have to accept the decision and wish him luck.

"There is no doubt that Fernando is a great forward, but we cannot think about that anymore. Carroll and Suarez are two excellent strikers and I am convinced they will be a major success for the club."

Liverpool Surprised Us - Torres

Fernando Torres has admitted Chelsea were caught out by Liverpool's tactics during Sunday's Premier League defeat.

The Spaniard only joined the Blues from the Merseyside club last Monday in a £50 million transfer, but believes his new side were caught out by manager Kenny Dalglish's decision to play with three central defenders - a move the home side never fully got to grips with.

"It was very difficult, Liverpool played a good game, with three at the back," Torres told Chelsea TV. "We were not expecting that and maybe they took advantage of that."

Raul Meireles scored the only goal of the game for the visitors midway through the second half, but Torres believes that a draw would have been the right result in a game of relatively few clear-cut chances. The 26-year-old also remains confident the defeat does not spell the end of the club's title hopes, as some have suggested.

"I think the fair result was the draw, it was unfair to lose that game, but now we are looking forwards to the next game and will keep fighting until the end," he said. "There are a lot of points still to play (for)."

Losing at home to your former club can hardly be considered an ideal debut, but Torres maintained that he will still cherish certain memories from the game and believes he still has a lot to look forward to at Stamford Bridge.

"Obviously everyone wants to win, especially if it is their first game at home, but I will still have very good memories about my reception here and want to thank all of the Chelsea fans for that nice reception," Torres said. "The result was not the best, but we have to keep going and fighting until the end."

Skrtel Reveals Injury Concern

Martin Skrtel has revealed he had to take an injection to complete Liverpool's weekend triumph at Chelsea.

The Reds centre-back was one of the heroes on Sunday as Kenny Dalglish's side recorded their fourth successive victory with a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

All the hype centred around Fernando Torres, who joined Chelsea from Liverpool on transfer deadline day in a British record £50million deal, but it was Raul Meireles who grabbed the headlines with the match-winning strike.

Spaniard Torres was virtually anonymous before being substituted midway through the second half, with the defensive trio of Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Skrtel keeping their former team-mate at bay.

But the 26-year-old Skrtel admitted he required medical attention to last the 90 minutes after injuring himself in the opening period.

"I stretched my groin or a ligament on my left leg, I don't even know exactly what's wrong with it," the Slovakian, who has joined up with his national team for the midweek friendlies, explained to SITA.

"At half-time I swallowed a pain-killing pill and got an injection so that I could finish the game. I would not like to speak yet about whether it will be serious or not.

"The most important thing was that I could finish the game."