Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Carroll Expects Big Signings

Andy Carroll believes Liverpool can still attract the biggest names in football and expects the club to invest further this summer.

Carroll became the most expensive British player following a £35million move from Newcastle in January, on the same day Liverpool paid £22.8million for Luis Suarez.

The England international scored his first goals for the club in a 3-0 win over Manchester City on Monday, in which teenage defender John Flanagan made an impressive debut.

Despite being likely to miss out on UEFA Champions League football again next season, Carroll believes Liverpool's renewed confidence and team spirit can attract further star signings.

"The team spirit here is great, there are massive names here, it's a massive club and I don't see why we can't attract big names," said Carroll.

"We're just putting a team together now. Me and Luis are new, Flanno (Flanagan) played his first game at the back - and I thought he did great - and it shows what we can do for next season."

Reds midfielder Lucas Leiva is delighted Carroll has broken his goalscoring duck and believes the 22-year-old proved his ability with the ball at his feet, as well as his head.

"Everyone is so happy for Andy," Lucas told the club's official website.

"For a few games he's been trying to score and at times has been unlucky. On Monday, he showed what he's capable of - not just with his head but with his feet as well.

"Your first goal is always the most difficult to get. I'm sure now he will get more and more. He will have more confidence for the next games. It's up to us to keep creating chances for him."

John Flanagan Hails Kenny Dalglish For Giving Liverpool Youth A Chance

Liverpool's latest academy graduate, John Flanagan, has predicted an influx of young talent into the first-team ranks thanks to the guidance of Kenny Dalglish.

The 18-year-old produced a flawless first-team debut in the 3-0 win over Manchester City on Monday, when Dalglish was quick to pay tribute to the work of the Liverpool youth academy over the past two years. Dalglish worked at the Liverpool academy on his return to the club in 2009, when the former manager Rafael Benítez, dismayed at the lack of players coming through, orchestrated an overhaul of the coaching structure.

Under the academy director, Frank McParland, and the technical director, José Segura, Liverpool have a pool of promising talent pushing towards the senior squad, including Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom, Jésus Fernández (known as Suso), Michael Ngoo and Toni Silva. And Flanagan, who excelled at right-back in the absence of the injured Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly, another home-grown player, and alongside the midfielder Jay Spearing, believes Liverpool's production line has been given added impetus by the appointment of Dalglish as temporary manager.

"Kenny has been a big help to me and the other young players," the defender said. "He's been working at the club for the last two years and he was at the academy so he knows all of the youngsters well. He's always a big help to us, telling us what to do. It helps us just the fact that we already know him well from the academy because it means that he knows us well too.

"It gives all the young players a boost because we all know that Kenny is looking at us and is willing to give us our chance so that gives us confidence. The thing for us is that when we do get a chance we have to take it. There is a great bunch of lads at the academy, we were unlucky in the Youth Cup but we've got great teams in the academy and the reserves."

Flanagan's father, Jonathan, was also on Liverpool's books as a teenager but his failure to make the grade will, the defender says, now serve as an inspiration. He explained: "My dad was here when he was younger but unfortunately he didn't make it. But even that is something that can help me because he's able to speak to me about what worked and what didn't work for him and that means I can learn from his mistakes. He keeps telling me he used to clean Kenny's boots! My dad wants me to go all the way and so do I."

Niko Kranjcar Has His Heart Set On A Move To Liverpool This Summer

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Niko Kranjcar has set his sights on a summer move to Liverpool according to the London Evening Standard.

The 26-year-old Croatian international has grown increasingly frustrated at a lack of first team opportunities at White Hart Lane, having only made 17 appearances in all competitions this season.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp cited the fine form of Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale as the main reason why Kranjcar has rarely featured for the north Londoners this term.

Liverpool was heavily linked with a January move for the want-away midfield magician, who is valued at around £6.5million.

And despite the fact he still has two years remaining on his Tottenham contract, a move to Anfield could still be engineered this summer should Liverpool wish to step up their pursuit.

Bundesliga giants Werder Bremen made an enquiry as to Kranjcar's availability in the mid-season window, but a transfer was knocked back by Redknapp after failing to bring in a ready-made replacement.

Having enjoyed a brief renaissance back playing in the first-team, Kranjcar made key contributions when he scored in consecutive games for Spurs in February.

The most notable strike came in the last minute of their Barclays Premier League home encounter against Bolton Wanderers, giving Tottenham a vital three points from a 2-1 victory.

However, after suffering a foot injury in the 0-0 draw with Wigan last month, Kranjcar is set for another spell on the sidelines amidst doubts he will not recover in time to play again this season.

If that is the case then the Austrian-born Croat may have played his last game for Spurs, though he has indicated he would prefer to remain in England.

That puts Liverpool in pole position to secure the player's signature in June, and Kranjcar has reportedly told friends that Anfield is his number one option.

All that remains to be seen is whether or not Kenny Dalglish will renew his interest in the summer as he steps up his search for midfield additions.

Teen Star 'Yearns' For LFC Move

Reported Liverpool target Xherdan Shaqiri is closing in on a move to Juventus, it has been claimed.

According to talkSPORT, the Italian giants have already met with FC Basle in order to discuss a deal for the 19-year-old winger, who could be set to move to Turin in the summer.

Liverpool have frequently been linked with a swoop for the teenager, who continues to impress with his skilful displays in the Swiss Super League - but it appears the Reds will now have their work cut out if they hope to bring him to Anfield.

The fleet-footed winger's profile rose dramatically after he scored a stunning goal against England as Switzerland fell to a 3-1 defeat in the Euro 2012 qualifier last September, and his name has been mentioned regarding Liverpool ever since.

Shaqiri is thought to be keen on a move to England - and to Liverpool in particularly - and previously reported that the youngster 'yearns' for a move to Anfield.

Liverpool Agree Deal With FC Porto Boss Andre Villa-Boas As New Manager For Next Season

FC Porto manager Andre Villas-Boas has agreed to become the new Liverpool manager next season.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports the 33-year-old rejected a move to Roma because he has already signed a pre-contract with the Anfield club.

The Portuguese is regarded as the hottest prospect in football management and has been labelled the ‘next Jose Mourinho’.

Villas-Boas worked under the ‘Special One’ at Chelsea but the pair fell out over the differing views on style of play.

He has just won the Portuguese first division title, breaking many of Mourinho’s records at the club.

Mourinho’s right-hand man at Chelsea, Steve Clarke, is already the number two at Liverpool and is known to be an admirer of Villas-Boas.

Many clubs have been after the Porto boss with Inter Milan and Roma said to be at the head of the cue.

Reports suggest Villas-Boas met Franco Baldini, who has strong ties with Roma, and told him he could not take charge at the Stadio Olimpico because he already had a pre-agreement with Liverpool.

Mourinho has also told Villas-Boas it is too early in his career to move to Italy and that going to the Premier League would be more beneficial.

Vladimir Romanov 'Got Scared' By Liverpool Offer

Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov says he made a mistake in failing to buy Liverpool when he claims the club was offered to him for £200 million in 2005.

"In 2005, my club Kaunas was playing against Liverpool in the Champions League qualifiers," said the Lithuanian businessman and banker, who the same year bought a majority shareholding in Hearts.

"David Moores, who then owned Liverpool, suggested that I bought it for £200 million. The price was realistic, a serious piece of real estate, star players. Just to mention Gerrard."

Romanov admitted: "I got scared. By that time I had been beaten black and blue over Hearts in Scotland where they pictured me as an idiot. And I thought that if I got hold of Liverpool they would definitely drive me to an early grave."

He said he had planned a bid with a Russian businessman friend who he did not name. "He refused. And I did not risk getting into it on my own," he said.

New York Times Confirmed As Second Largest Liverpool FC Shareholder

The New York Times Company has been confirmed as the second largest shareholder in Liverpool Football Club.

The club’s owners Fenway Sports Group released the information as required by Premier League rules which state that any ownership of more than 10 per cent must be declared.

FSG chief John Henry revealed that he and the Times group are the two biggest shareholders in the company, which owns Liverpool and the Boston Red Sox.

It was already known that the Times were significant players in FSG with their stake believed to be 16.58%.

Henry and the Times group are the only investors with more than 10 per cent of FSG, while Reds chairman Tom Werner is one of “a range of investors”.

A statement said: “The economic interest in this company is held by a range of investors, including Tom Werner.

“Those holding more than a 10 per cent interest are John Henry and the New York Times Company (which is quoted on the New York Stock Exchange). John Henry and Tom Werner are generally responsible for the management of Fenway Sports Group.”

Man Arrested Over Andy Carroll Arson Attack

A man has been arrested on suspicion of torching former Newcastle United star Andy Carroll’s car.

The striker’s brand new chrome-plated Range Rover was set on fire outside Toon captain Kevin Nolan’s house last October.

Carroll, who signed for Liverpool for a British record £35m in January, was staying at his skipper’s home in Darras Hall, Ponteland, at the time as a condition of his bail, after being charged with assaulting his former girlfriend Laurie Henderson, 18.

Abusive graffiti relating to the Gateshead-born forward was also scrawled on Nolan’s garage door.

A police spokesman said: “On Tuesday, police arrested a 33-year-old man from the Whitley Bay area in connection with an arson that happened in Darras Road, Ponteland on October 20, 2010.

“We are appealing for information after a car was set on fire in Ponteland.”

Police said today the man had been bailed until August pending further police inquiries.

Carroll, 22, bought the 4x4 to celebrate netting a five-year contract with the Magpies.

Police and firefighters were called to the house at about 7pm on October 20 after Nolan and Carroll noticed the car on fire outside the house.

Nolan’s wife, Hayley, and their two children were inside at the time.

Carroll had appeared in court that week charged with assaulting Miss Henderson at her home, also in Ponteland, on the Sunday morning.

The charges were later dropped.

On Monday, Carroll scored his first goals for Liverpool following his record-breaking transfer in a 3-0 win against Manchester City.

He fired his first England goal last month in a 1-1 draw with Ghana.

Segura Happy After First Win

Pep Segura declared himself a happy man after seeing his reserve side record their first win under his leadership after a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at the Academy on Tuesday afternoon.

Adam Morgan netted the only goal of the game and in doing so found the net for the 12th consecutive game.

The victory keeps the reserves title chances alive but for Segura that is not his main priority.

"It was good to get the first victory for us but the most important thing for me was how well we played," Segura told

"To win is always fantastic but it's the attitude and application of the players that is the main thing.

"The work of the players has been fantastic in all of the games. We were unlucky to lose to a late goal against Arsenal, we deserved to beat Everton and now we have beaten Bolton.

"We could have won by more than the 1-0 scoreline because we created many chances."

Meanwhile, Morgan, who netted on his first start in the league for the second string said: "It was an important win for us and it was important I contributed to that and it was nice to get the goal.

"It was a great run by Toni Silva to get the goal and he put it on a plate for me. I thought I worked hard and enjoyed it but the rest of the team did well, not just me."