Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Liverpool Chief Ayre Convinced Glory Days Returning

New Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre is convinced the Fenway Group will bring the good times back to Anfield.

Liverpool haven't won a trophy for five years but the club's new managing director insists a structure is being put in place to ensure that drought is addressed.

"I took great comfort when John Henry did his first interview on that famous day when we came down the steps at Slaughter and May," Ayre told the Liverpool Echo. "The most poignant line that everyone hung on to was 'we want to win'.

"We all want to win. It's not going to happen overnight and I don't think it should.

"What both John and Tom (Werner) have said is that we don't want to build a team to win it once, we want to build a team to keep winning it.

"When I started going to matches we kept on winning it. We want to build a team who can do that again.

"It's going to take a lot of hard work but if everyone comes together I'm convinced Liverpool can get back to where they were.

"Everyone has to believe that. The minute people stop believing we'll be in trouble."

Dalglish Transfer Target Shortlist Shows He's Right Man For Liverpool

When I read that Kenny Dalglish's top transfer targets this summer are Ashley Young, Matt Jarvis, Gary Cahill and Charlie Adam, I feel optimistic for Liverpool.

A strong core of British players didn't do Kenny any harm at Blackburn, and even at a combined £50million this quartet would be good business.

Young and Jarvis would provide the ammunition for Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez, while Adam, Steven Gerrard and the improving and impressive Lucas would be a formidable central midfield.

Playing alongside a reliable partner like Cahill could extend Jamie Carragher's great career by a couple of seasons.

They are sensible signings who would push Liverpool back into the Champions League places next season.

And the fact that Dalglish has come up with such a strong and sensible wish list shows there is no need for John W Henry to panic and call in Jose Mourinho.

Villarreal Plotting Raid For Lucas And Vaughan

Spanish giants Villarreal are chasing Blackpool's Welsh wizard David Vaughan and Liverpool's Brazilian Lucas Leiva in a double swoop on the Premier League.

Villarreal will watch highly-rated Vaughan in action against England today and are keen to open talks with the Seasiders star who is a free agent in the summer.

Vaughan has previous experience in Spain with Real Sociedad and is willing to go back to La Liga - and with the chance of playing in the Champions League as Villarreal close in on the elite competition.

Villarreal are planning to revamp their side next season despite their success in this campaign. Vaughan is firmly in their sights and can clinch the move with a starring show against the Three Lions.

Vaughan is also wanted by Steve Bruce's Sunderland among others and seems sure to quit Blackpool for a lucrative deal in the summer. He is one of two new midfielders in Villarreal's sights.

Senior spies from Villarreal are also keen on Liverpool's Lucas who has been a major part of the side this season and has played some of his best football under Kenny Dalglish.

Lucas would cost around £7 to £8 million - if the Kop was willing to do business or land the players they want in the summer - although that deal would depend on the fee coming within Villarreal's famously tight budget.

However Villarreal may stretch themselves for both Vaughan and Lucas if they are guaranteed Champions League football at the end of the season.

Cristian Ansaldi Agent Confirms Player Wants Transfer

Liverpool defender target Cristian Ansaldi wants a move away from Russia, according to the player’s agent.

The Rubin Kazan left back, who can also play on the right side of defence, has been impressing in the Russian Premier League, and agent Pedro Aldave claims Liverpool and Atletico Madrid have taken an interest

"There has been some informal market interest from Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. As for Milan, there were only indirect contacts with other agents,” Aldave told

"His contract with Rubin Kazan expires in December 2012 and he has no buy-out clause. Cristian wants to go away. [Luciano] Spalletti wanted him to join Zenit in this market session but he just wants to go abroad. He would love to play in England, Italy or Spain.

Liverpool have been linked with a string of left backs in recent months, with Kenny Dalglish reportedly searching for a long-term replacement for Paul Konchesky. The former Fulham defender is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from the Merseysiders, and is set to make a permanent exit this summer.

Fabio Coentrao, Taye Taiwo and Jose Enrique have all been speculatively placed on the Anfield outfit’s transfer wish list, and Asnaldi is the newest name to add to the list.

The 24-year-old has one cap for Argentina, earned in 2010, and moved to Kazan from Newell’s Old Boys for €3.6 million back in January ’08.

Whilst the player’s current valuation is unknown, Liverpool boss Dalglish has hinted that there is money to spend in the summer and a number of potential player changes are on the cards.

A left back and winger are thought to be the priority for the Liverpool legend turned manager, and Ansaldi would appear to be another option for the Barclays Premier League outfit.

Liverpool On Alert As German Defender Eyes Premiership Move

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has been put on alert after learning that German international defender Per Mertesacker has hinted he would consider a move to the Premier League.

The Werder Bremen centre-back has been a regular for his country for a number of years but is enduring a bad spell for his club and has received criticism from the fans for his poor performances.

Bremen is struggling in the Bundesliga this season and currently sits in 12th position, a disappointment after last season finishing third and entering the Champions League.

The 26-year-old, who will start for Germany on Saturday against Kazakhstan, has revealed that he is focused on finding his best form and helping Bremen avoid relegation, only then will he consider a move away from Germany.

"England has been an issue for a few years now, but I cannot make a decision yet," Mertesacker told Die Welt newspaper. “Of course the Premier League is attractive, but right now there is only one issue for me and that is avoiding the drop."

Liverpool is known to be in the market for a defender as they look to bolster their squad next season. Dalglish knows that Jamie Carragher is coming to the end of a long and successful career while Greek defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos could be on his way out of the club at the end of the season.

The Reds have been linked with Bolton defender Gary Cahill and Roma centre-back Philippe Mexes in recent weeks, but German defender Mertesacker may well prove a legitimate target.

The powerful defender's contract runs out in 2012 and should Bremen decide to cash in on the defender then it is most likely that they will try and do business at the end of the season when they can still demand a substantial transfer fee.

Lucas Leiva Wants To Commit His Future To Liverpool

Lucas Leiva has committed his future to Liverpool and hopes to extend his contract with the Merseysiders which expires next year.

The midfielder also wants to re-establish the club in the top four of the Premier League and bring back the glory days of 2005 when the Reds claimed the Champions League.

"I have no reasons to go and I hope the club see things the same," he told The Guardian.

"It would be fantastic to play for Liverpool in the Champions League again and I don't see why we can't return.

"We have a squad that is united in its will and desire to return this club to where it belongs."

The Brazilian struggled to adapt to the Premier League when he initially moved from Gremio in 2007 and faced much criticism from the Liverpool faithful, which he felt was unfair.

Lucas believes the fans' expectations of him were heightened due to the country of his birth and the fact that the club had been in two Champions League finals in three seasons.

"Things were not looking good and some supporters were obviously not happy," he said on early life at Anfield. "I still think people need to see the bigger picture.

"The move to Liverpool represented a change of country, language and there was also that I was only 20 and arriving at the club in one of the most demanding leagues in the world.

"Also, few people seemed to remember Liverpool had a group of players that had made two of the last three Champions League finals. It would have been impossible to just parachute in.

"Maybe the supporters thought a Brazilian midfielder would do just magic."

Vladimir Petrovic Urges Liverpool To Give Milan Jovanovic More Playing Time

Serbia coach Vladimir Petrovic says Liverpool forward Milan Jovanovic deserves more game time at Liverpool.

Jovanovic has endured a difficult start to his Liverpool career since joining on a free transfer from Standard Liege in the summer.

The 29-year-old was signed by former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez and has since struggled to convince first Roy Hodgson and now Kenny Dalglish of his abilities.

Jovanovic played an instrumental role in Serbia’s victory over Northern Ireland in Friday night's Euro 2012 qualifier, played behind closed doors in Belgrade.

“I am not surprised by Milan. I know he is a player who can play at a very high standard,” Petrovic told reporters.

"It is impossible that such a good player would forget how to play football.

"He is special and he had a special desire to play for us here.

"In the past he has been one of our best players and I think he deserves more chances [with Liverpool]. If he gets chances he will soon be on the same level again."

Despite Jovanovic’s lack of minutes at Anfield his international manager is not encouraging him to leave, saying: “Only he will answer whether he should leave or not. I don't want to speak about that."

Liverpool Kid Sorry For Picture Of Penis On Twitter

Football ace Jonjo Shelvey was forced to apologize to shocked fans last night after a picture of a penis was posted on his Twitter page.

The 19-year-old Liverpool star wrote: “Apologies for the picture one of my mates messing around with my phone! Sorry!”

There is no suggestion that Shelvey posted the indecent image.

But by 9pm last night his Twitter account, which had 55,000 followers, had been removed.

Twitter user ENKAY posted: “Kenny Dalglish will not be amused with that tackle.”

Shelvey, of Romford, Essex, signed for £1.7million from Charlton last summer.

Liverpool FC was unavailable for comment last night.

Youngsters Crash To Forest Loss

Liverpool U18s saw their FA Premier Academy League Group C title hopes dealt a blow after they went down to a 4-2 defeat against Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon.

A flurry of international call-ups meant the Reds were far from full strength for the visit of the Group D leaders and they found themselves two goals down inside the opening 20 minutes.

Krisztian Adorjan reduced the arrears soon after but the East Midlands outfit added third just after the interval.

Toni Silva did set up a late rally with a close range strike five minutes from time but the away side made sure of the points when they converted a free-kick deep into stoppage time.

The result means Rodolfo Borrell's youngsters' hopes of extending their winning run to eight league matches is over and they must now pick themselves up ahead of a tough trip to Manchester United a week on Monday.

On a dour afternoon in Kirkby, the visitors made a vibrant start to the proceedings and stole in front on four minutes when Wallace expertly nodded home a right-wing cross.

The Reds responded and could have been level two minutes later but debutant Jack Dunn saw his 30 yard piledriver cannon back off the crossbar.

Next, Silva made an adventurous burst into the area but despite going down under a poor challenge from Osborne the referee waved away his appeals.

It was end to end stuff and Jamie Stephens did well to keep the away side out on their next foray forward when he coolly collected Papworth's instinctive strike from distance.

On 14 minutes Dunn was again at the forefront of the Reds' attack but after he fired over the top Forest broke forward to snatch their second of the afternoon.

Once again Liverpool failed to deal with a ball in from the right and when Papworth was left unmarked inside the six yard box he took full advantage by heading home the simplest of goals.

At this point the hosts appeared shell shocked but the spirit that has been such a key factor in their impressive form this term once again shone through and they forced their way back into the contest on 24 minutes.

Craig Roddan instigated the move when he played an inch perfect ball inside the full-back for Patrik Poor to chase on the right flank. The Hungarian ventured into the penalty area before picking out Adorjan who coolly slotted home from close range.

Suddenly there was a whole new complexion to the game and when Coady powered onto Dunn's neat flick he was unlucky to see his angled drive deflected to safety.

The sight of Michael Ngoo stretching his legs on the touchline would have given the team a further lift and he replaced Henoc Mukendi on 36 minutes after an agreement was reached with the medical team that the former Southend United striker could only play an hour of the encounter.

There would have been a strong belief amongst the home support that they could still turn the game in their favour but within three minutes of the restart Forest had restored their two-goal cushion.

Once again Liverpool were susceptible to a cross from the flank and after Bamford's header rebounded off the post Blake was on hand to steer in.

The goal seemed to kill the game and the Reds only threatened sporadically with Coady and Adorjan both wasting half chances.

With time running out the home team began to turn the screw and five minutes from time Silva pounced from close range after Forest had failed to clear Dunn's delicate free-kick.

However, despite staging a late onslaught Borrell's team could not find an equalizer and Blake made sure of victory when he curled home a superb free-kick deep into stoppage time.

A Glimpse Of What The New Anfield May Look Like

Some exciting designs of Liverpool Football Club’s potential new stadium, redevelopment and from a leading architects, engineering and construction consortium, Sports Stadia, have surfaced on the internet.

Sports Stadia have revealed three sets of designs – what a new stadium on nearby Stanley Park would look like, the redevelopment of the current Anfield stadium to 60,000 seats, and an expansion of Anfield to 50,000 seats.

Ian Ritchie Architects has granted permission for us to provide a link to the designs at

The firm’s website also lists several key advantages to a new stadium being built over a redevelopment of Anfield. It includes minimal disruption and development within the local community. Well worth a read.

We particularly like their designs for a redeveloped Anfield, which revolve around the concept, ‘Keep the Kop, rebuild the rest’.