Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Calls For Delay To New Premier League Season To Keep Players Fresh

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has called for the Barclays Premier League season to kick off on a Sunday so that players do not have two games in less than 72 hours at the start of a 10-month season.

Dalglish is dismayed that football’s over-crowded fixture list will leave top stars having to play for their countries in international friendlies all over the world on Wednesday, August 10, before flying back to their clubs for the opening league fixtures three days later on August 13.

The Premier League unveil their fixture list for the 2011/12 season on Friday and Dalglish is hoping common sense will prevail.

He said: ‘It’s an important season for everyone, with a European Championship at the end of it. So how can it be helpful for players to play Wednesday-Saturday right at the beginning?’

Liverpool Plan Extra £62m Spree

Liverpool’s American owners have given their full support for Kenny Dalglish to complete the biggest spending spree in the club’s long history.

Jordan Henderson has already been signed in a £16million deal – and there could be another £62m splashed in the next few weeks.

US-based John W Henry and Tom Werner were delighted with Dalglish’s performance in powering to a top-six finish after a disastrous start under Roy Hodgson.

And now they are financially supporting Dalglish like no other Liverpool manager in a determined attempt to get back into the Champions League next year.

Rafa Benitez burned a huge hole in his cheque book with the £65m captures of Ryan Babel, Fernando Torres and Javier Mascherano back in 2007.

But Dalglish’s huge outlay will blow that spree out of the water in a summer of big spending. Sources close to Dalglish say he has decided SIX new faces will be at Anfield before the start of the season.

And if the canny Scot decides to go ahead with his plans to bring in a young understudy goalkeeper to Pepe Reina, it could even make seven.

Winger Stewart Downing is next in line, with a £20m cheque winging its way to Aston Villa. Blackpool’s Charlie Adam is an £8m cert and Ipswich’s Connor Wickham, currently with England Under-21s, is a £10m target.

Newcastle’s left-back Jose Enrique would be up next and there will be a straight choice between Birmingham’s £8m defender Scott Dann and Bolton’s Gary Cahill, who would cost £16m.

That would mean Daniel Agger going out the exit door, with Italian giants Juventus showing early interest for the £10m centre-back.

Dalglish Hails Henderson Capture

Kenny Dalglish has hailed the capture of Jordan Henderson, claiming it is fantastic that Liverpool can attract players of his potential.

The England Under-21 became the Anfield club’s first signing of what is anticipated to be a busy summer of transfer activity, and the Liverpool boss wasted no time in expressing his delight.

He said: "It is fantastic for the football club to be able to attract hugely talented young footballers that have huge potential.

"Jordan is very mature for his age. He is respectful and his principles and everything else on and off the pitch are exemplary.

"Not only is he a talented footballer, he's a really good person as well. He loves his football and he is very appreciative of what Sunderland has done for him.

Dalglish also claimed Henderson’s capture is part of a longer-term plan at the club to boost performances.

He said: "You know of young players before of course but we have been watching him since he came into the Sunderland first team and have been tracking him.

"We just need to go out and bring people to the football club that will raise the profile and standard of the performances that we have had since January - and I think Jordan falls into that category. People might turn around and say, 'Well you have people in there who have done really well'.

"Of course they have done well - and hopefully next year people will be saying the same thing about Jordan."

Liverpool Aim To Hijack Phil Jones With Bid Of £22m

The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson thought he had got a bargain at £16.5m when he matched the buy-out clause for Blackburn’s Phil Jones, but the Blackburn owners have launched a legal challenge to try and stop Jones from leaving Ewood Park.

Now it seems that the Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has decided to bid £22m to get the England youngster to move to Anfield instead, despite Jones completing a medical at Old Trafford and agreeing personal terms with United.

Dalglish has already admitted that he is aiming to build his new Liverpool side around brilliant young English talent, and Jones is next on the list after securing Jordan Henderson from Sunderland.

The Mail on Sunday quotes a Blackburn source as saying: “United can’t do what they want in this case. Jones is a Blackburn player and while there is a clause that could mean he leaves, it’s far from the straightforward issue everyone assumes it to be.”

Man United were reported to have offered Jones the highest wages ever paid to a teenager at £80,000 a week, so Liverpool will have to match that as well as pay the £22m if Blackburn accept their bid.

But that is by no means certain as Blackburn are also willing to beat that wage to try and convince the youngster to stay at Ewood Park, while the Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is also said to have made an improved bid which is also higher than Man Utd’s, so the U21 international may yet end up at the Emirates!

This is certainly set to be an interesting week for Jones and his representatives!

Liverpool Struggle To Pay Off Flop Jovanovic With Serb Seeking £2.5m To Quit

Liverpool are struggling to reach a compromise pay-off agreement with Milan Jovanovic in order to move the Serbian international on.

Anderlecht and FC Brugge have offered Jovanovic, 29, a return to Belgian football but the former Standard Liege striker is not prepared to take a considerable cut on his £60,000-a-week wages.

He is said to be chasing a one-off payment of around £2.5million to leave.

Jovanovic's preference would be to join French champions Lille but there has been no firm offer for the 29-year-old, who is currently recovering from knee surgery.

Jordan Henderson Plays Down Fears Of Burnout

Liverpool's new signing Jordan Henderson has dismissed concerns over fatigue ahead of playing for England at the European Under-21 Championship.

The 20-year-old midfielder, who has moved to Anfield from Sunderland, will play for the under-21s after a season in which he made 40 Black Cats outings.

Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is not playing for England after fears of burnout.

"I know there are managers and players worried about burnout and playing too much, but I feel fine," said Henderson.

"Yes I've played a lot, but I've still got lots to give, still got energy. We are young and want to play football and can achieve something special for our country."

Wilshere decided to give the tournament in Denmark a miss as he felt he was "not in the best condition" to take part after playing 48 games for his club.

Liverpool striker Andy Carroll is also not in under-21 manager Stuart Pearce's squad having struggled with injury towards the end of the past campaign.

But, with Henderson set to play in England's opening game against Spain on Sunday, he is eager to gain experience and help his cause of building on the one cap he earned for the senior side against France in November 2010.

"At under-21 level, we feel there is a process whereby you can get passed through the ranks," added Henderson. "If you do well, [England manager] Fabio Capello will notice - or Stuart Pearce will tell him.

"He goes to a lot of the games to watch us and that is important to all the players who play in the under-21s."

Daniel Pacheco Is Loan Ranger

Liverpool striker Daniel Pacheco is ready for another loan spell after helping Norwich win promotion last season.

The Spanish hitman, 20, played a key role as the Canaries won a spot in the Premier League during his temporary stint at Carrow Road.

And with Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll ahead of him in the pecking order at the Reds, he accepts his career will progress more quickly if he spends time away from Anfield.

He said: “My dream is to play here at Liverpool.

“But if Liverpool think the best thing for me at my age is to go out somewhere on loan, then maybe I will do that for another spell.’’

David Ngog Can Leave Liverpool FC With His Head Held High

The great Anfield fire sale looks set to happen this summer, with a number of squad players set to be offloaded.

David Ngog, it seems, is to be the first victim. The Frenchman has been allowed to speak with Sunderland, and should complete his move once he returns from holiday.

And whilst few Reds will be distraught at the young strikers exit, it is worth considering that Ngog performed an admirable role during what will be remembered as a largely turbulent era in Liverpool’s history.

His record of 19 goals in 94 games looks, ostensibly, decidedly modest. Yet it should be noted that of those 94 games, only 41 were starts.

Add to that the fact that, more often than not, his job was to step into the boots vacated by the often-fantastic but often-fragile Fernando Torres, and to lead the line alone, and his record is placed into far sharper perspective.

If Ngog leaves, and it appears that he will, he should be remembered for what he is. Not a flop, just a £1.5m striker who worked his socks off for Liverpool, and improved his value enough for the club to make a good profit on his sale.

Lucozade Make Dreams Come True

Lucozade made it a dream come true for two sets of loyal supporters when they represented Liverpool FC in the Lucozade Fans Fives at Stamford Bridge.

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent the Anfield club came thanks to Lucozade, in association with the Barclays Premier League, who began a search to find the country's most dedicated Barclays Premier League football fans.

Two Liverpool teams, This is Anfield and Five Fingers of Europe, were successful in their application and were invited to take part in a Facebook 'fan-off' at Stamford Bridge, when they took on supporters of other Barclays Premier League teams.

They were both paired with Wigan Athletic, Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers in the group stage.

After they saw off the competition, the group final saw the Liverpool away team (This is Anfield) triumph when they beat the Liverpool home side (Five Fingers of Europe) 5-1 to reach the quarter-final.

Despite an heroic display This is Anfield lost 2-0 to Manchester City.

The Liverpool supporters had a weekend to remember when they enjoyed great hospitality from Lucozade and stayed in a top London hotel.

Ian Pankhurst from This is Anfield said: "Full thanks to Lucozade for putting this on for us and it was a fantastic experience."