Monday, August 22, 2011

Dalglish Insists They Won’t Be Getting Carried Away With Victory At Arsenal

Manager Kenny Dalglish insists there will have no problem in keeping a sense of perspective at Liverpool this season.

The Reds recorded an impressive 2-0 win at Arsenal on Saturday – their first away Barclays Premier League win over the Gunners in a decade.

Dalglish is in no doubt the squad is stronger this season following significant investment, but accepts only time will tell if those transfers have been “bold or stupid”.

However, the Liverpool manager maintains no-one will get carried away with talk of an Anfield revolution.

“Everybody at Liverpool wants to be successful and win as many games as they can,” said Dalglish.

“The people who own the club, the people who play for it, from our side – and more importantly the people who support us want exactly the same thing.

“A victory always helps your belief, but you have to manage it. If you lose, you are not going to cut your throat and if you are winning, you are not going to take it for granted you are going to do that every week.

“Everybody will enjoy the moment – it is a fantastic result to come to a place of this quality and win 2-0.

“But we will maintain our dignity and respect, and also keep our feet firmly placed on the ground.

“There is a feeling of contentment, the punters are happy, the owners are very supportive and respectful, and that is reflected through the whole club, which is a wee bit less tense than it used to be.”

Dalglish added: “Our supporters are one of the most educated that you will come across.

“They understand what we are trying to do and they will come along with us.

“They know we won’t be carried away – and neither will they.”

Liverpool Prepare £10m Shock Move For Republic of Ireland Striker

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is preparing to make a move for Wolverhampton Wanders striker Kevin Doyle according to reports in the Daily Star.

Doyle has been in impressive form for Wolves over the past couple of seasons since his £6.5million switch from Reading in 2009.

Dalglish has been one of the busiest Premier League managers during this summers transfer window and has brought in the likes of, Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Doni, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique to Anfield on top of January signings Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.

Both the Kop boss and Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli are keen admirers of the 27-year-old, and Comolli was eager to bring Doyle to White Hart Lane when he was working at Tottenham.

The Reds manager is keen add another back up striker ahead of the transfer window closing at the end of the month, with it looking increasingly likely that David Ngog will be heading out of Anfield.

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy will not want to lose one of his prized assets in Doyle, but with Liverpool believed to be preparing a £10million offer it may be hard for the Molineux outfit to turn down.

Last season Doyle made 31 appearances for Wolves in all competition and managed to score eight goals. This season the Republic of Ireland international played twice and scored the opening goal in Saturdays 2-0 win over Fulham.

Warnock Hopeful On Loan Deal For Joe Cole

Neil Warnock remains hopeful of bringing in Joe Cole on loan from Liverpool after a fresh injection of cash at QPR.

Tony Fernandes' takeover at Loftus Road last week has given Warnock extra money to spend in the transfer window, and the Rangers boss can now afford to pay a greater portion of Cole's wages.

The former Chelsea midfielder has been linked with a loan move to Loftus Road after failing to make an impact at Anfield last season, although his wage demands have been reported as the major stumbling block. Cole is currently on £90,000 a week at Anfield, but with Liverpool reportedly willing to continue contributing around a third of that figure, Warnock is hopeful of reaching an agreement with Cole.

But despite confirming that he is looking to bring in "four or five" new players before the end of the transfer window on August 31, Warnock insists he will not splash the cash unnecessarily.

"We will not just spend money for the sake of it," Warnock said. "We have to get quality players into the club. Joe Cole? We can probably afford 30 or 40 per cent of his wages now. The chairman knows all my targets and we are discussing them.

"This man coming in, Tony Fernandes, is a dream come true. You do not often get the opportunity to look at players I have only dreamed about. I am in Utopia."

Milan Reveal Aquilani Interest

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi admits the Rossoneri are "discussing the possibility" of a move for Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani.

The Italy international spent last season on loan at Juventus before returning to Anfield earlier this summer.

Milan is looking to bolster their midfield line after failing to lure Fiorentina's Riccardo Montolivo to the San Siro.

"Aquilani is a great player," AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We are discussing the possibility with (AC Milan administrator Adriano) Galliani.

"I spoke to (AC Milan coach Massimiliano) Allegri and we will see what happens."

Aquilani has been strongly linked with a move back to Serie A in recent months with Fiorentina also reportedly keen to acquire the midfielder's services.

The 27-year-old is under contract with Liverpool until June 2014.

Enrique Confident Of Creating Productive Partnership With Downing

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique has said that he is hopeful his growing understanding with Stewart Downing can continue to develop and they can continue to provide chances for the Reds’ strikers.

Enrique was named as man of the match against Arsenal, and has spoken of his admiration for the English winger, with whom he is looking to provide crosses for the likes of Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.

Enrique told the club’s official website: "Stewart is a very good player who is very quick and good with both feet.

"I always felt he was a very good player when I played against him for Newcastle and I'm hoping we can play well together for Liverpool.

"I am hoping we can provide some good service for Andy who is a great English centre forward.

“In the air he is the best I have ever seen and is almost unplayable.

"If Andy is 100 per cent fit and on top of his game then he will be a very important player for us."

Liverpool next face Exeter City away from home in the second round of the Carling Cup, and will look to stay unbeaten in the Premier League in their next game at home to Bolton Wanderers.

Carragher - Liverpool FC Must Build On Massive Win At Arsenal

Jamie Carragher has urged his Liverpool team-mates to use their 2-0 victory over Arsenal as a springboard for the season ahead.

The Reds’ first ever win at the Emirates Stadium kick-started their campaign after the frustrating opening day stalemate with Sunderland.

“It was a big game for us and a big result,” Carragher said.

“I was aware of how we started last season. When we nearly got a good result against Arsenal and then lost at Manchester City. Suddenly one point from six doesn’t look too good.

“I was worrying about a similar scenario. If we had beaten Sunderland then a draw here wouldn’t have been the end of the world. But getting three points makes up for what happened last week.

“I’m not sure what message it sends out but it may make some people sit up and take notice and think this Liverpool team could maybe do things this season.

“The challenge for us now is to build on this result. This win has put us in a good position.”

Carragher was the only survivor from the last Liverpool side to triumph away to the Gunners way back in February 2000 when Titi Camara got the winner.

The Reds were helped on Saturday by the dismissal of Emmanuel Frimpong prior to Aaron Ramsey’s own goal and Luis Suarez’s late strike.

However, the skipper insists Liverpool were worthy of maximum points against a depleted Arsenal side.

“I think we were good value for the win,” he said. “For them, (Thomas) Vermaelen was outstanding and in the first half he won some crucial headers at the back post. Without him we would have been at least a goal up by half-time.

“I suppose it was a good time to play Arsenal because they have so many injuries at the moment.

“It’s very difficult when you don’t have continuity in the back four and they had (Laurent) Koscielny go off early on. It’s something we tried to take advantage of and fortunately we did.

“It’s the in thing at the moment to criticize Arsene Wenger but with 10 games to go last season they were the real challengers to Manchester United for the title.

“If everyone for Arsenal is fit they are still a formidable team and I certainly don’t think they are a spent force. It’s a long time since we won at Arsenal and that shows what a difficult place it is to come.”

Suarez and Raul Meireles made a big impact in the closing stages after coming off the bench and Carragher believes that underlines the benefit of having greater depth in the squad this season.

“That’s always been a complaint aimed at the club – about the strength of the bench at Liverpool,” he said.

“But we had quality players to come on at Arsenal and they were instrumental in killing the game off for us. Substitutes are massive because a lot of games are won and lost in the last 20 minutes.

“The time to judge the new signings is at the end of the season but I thought they played a massive part in the win. Jordan Henderson was outstanding in a midfield role.”

Liverpool now turns their attentions to Wednesday’s Carling Cup tie at Exeter City before returning to league action at home to Bolton next Saturday.

Carragher said: “Exeter is a massive game for us. We haven’t been in the Carling Cup at this stage for a long time.

“There’s no Europe this season so everybody at the club is determined to do as well as we can in the domestic cups.

"We need to make sure we get through that before thinking about Bolton.”

Carroll Now Worth More Than £35m - Dalglish

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has admitted that only "time will tell" whether the decision to spend a combined £55 million on Jordan Henderson and Andy Carroll will prove "stupid".

Carroll joined from Newcastle for £35m in January following Fernando Torres' move to Chelsea, and has scored just two league goals for Kenny Dalglish's side since then - although his appearances have been limited by injury.

Meanwhile, England international midfielder Henderson cost a reported £20m from Sunderland this summer, a fee that raised a few eyebrows given the amount of options available to Dalglish in central areas.

Given the Reds' significant outlay - Alexander Doni, Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam and Jose Enrique have also arrived in recent months - the pressure is on Dalglish to deliver a top-four place, a quest that was boosted by an impressive 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.

And Dalglish has told his doubters to pass judgement on the summer splurge later in the season. "If you want to buy [Carroll or Henderson] now, you'll pay more than I did," Dalglish said. "Bold? Stupid? Time will tell."

Two Decades On From Hillsborough And Liverpool Is Still In The Dark

Slide out of a taxi at Anfield and a figure will hand you a "Don't buy the Sun" leaflet while a familiar throng chats outside the Hillsborough Justice Campaign shop on Walton Breck Road. The disaster that cost 96 lives 22 years ago is so integral to the experience of attending a Liverpool match that the quest for the truth is part of the identity of the club.

The campaign was always there and always will be, or so it feels, as the chip shops do their lively trade and fans gather at the Hillsborough memorial or examine Bill Shankly's statue ("He made the people happy"). But the people can't be happy – not fully – until the system extends to the families of the dead the simple right to see all of the documents relating to events in Sheffield on 15 April 1989, when Steven Gerrard's 10-year-old cousin, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, was the youngest of the 96 who went to a football match and never came back.

There is no let-up in the antipathy to the Sun over its coverage of the tragedy. Kelvin MacKenzie, the paper's editor at the time, was on Newsnight recently, pontificating about rioters. His inability to distinguish 22 years ago between a disaster and a so-called outbreak of criminality as people lay dying on the Hillsborough pitch would, in a more discerning society, disqualify him from comment on the recent disorder across Britain. But the current Sun continues to carry the stigma of those times on Merseyside, just as the families persist with their demand for full disclosure.

The story so far is that an e-petition calling for previously hidden documents on Hillsborough to be released raced past 50,000 signatures this week and looks sure to acquire the 100,000 names needed to force the House of Commons backbench business committee to consider granting it time for debate.

On Wednesday, the Cabinet Office said it would appeal against a ruling by Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, who had approved a freedom of information request from the BBC to see the papers. The e-petition took off after Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool manager, tweeted: "Think it is very important that we support this." Since that moment, Joey Barton has interrupted his flow of Friedrich Nietzsche quotations to urge his 428,000 followers to sign online.

The Commissioner argued that it would assist public understanding of the tragedy for the concealed documents to be released. But, in a statement, the government said: "The Cabinet Office absolutely agrees with the principle of providing information to families about the Hillsborough stadium disaster, but we believe it is important any release of information should be managed through the panel's processes and in line with their terms of reference."

The panel referred to is the independent body set up by the previous Labour government to examine the archive and decide on publication. But the panel was not in existence in 2009 when the request for access was first made. The BBC says the records include "reports presented to Margaret Thatcher [the then prime minister], correspondence between her office and that of the home secretary, Douglas Hurd, and minutes of meetings she attended."

For the neutral to find a position on this procedural wrangling, one has only to imagine how it must feel for the mother or father of a victim to be told, 22 years after the event, that they are not entitled to see words on pieces of paper that might release them from the torment of not knowing the full story of the defining day of their lives.

Across Merseyside, people wake and go back to sleep with a sense of injustice that stems partly from the original coroner's inquest, which imposed a cut-off for the examination of evidence at 3.15pm, a source of anger, still, to those who believe the role of the emergency services and the full timescale of death should have been part of Dr Stefan Popper's report.

In March, the Hillsborough panel said they would look at previously concealed documents. But you can see why the families object to the idea that a panel must decide what they can and cannot see. The system has piled years and years of additional needless cruelty on the Hillsborough families. The British obsession with secrecy and protection for those in power has stretched beyond all humane grounds the process of finding out, once and for all, what happened (and who was responsible) at an FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield more than two decades ago.

To most of us, the obvious truth is that this pain and indignation will hang over Liverpool until the books are laid out. This shame-inducing suppression of evidence serves no moral purpose. Nor can the campaign be fobbed off, as every politician must know by now. Its spirit pervades every aspect of Liverpool football club, to the point where Rafa Benítez's last act as manager was to donate £96,000 to the campaign.

The first e-petition to force a parliamentary debate called for convicted rioters to be deprived of state benefits. The state moves fast when it wants to punish and slowly when people want the truth.