Sunday, September 04, 2011

King Kenny And The Liverpool Way

Since Kenny Dalglish took over the managerial hotseat at Anfield there has been great improvements made on the pitch and off the pitch.

We have bought good players with potential and hunger to win trophies. Many people have said recently Kenny has paid inflated prices for players in the two transfer windows since he has been in charge. I can see why they feel this is the case but I have news for the doubters, Liverpool fans don’t care about money. We are back playing the Liverpool way of pass and move. If we are up a couple of goals we still push forward. I can’t explain how happy I am to see this. For too many years under Houllier and Benitez we went one up and sat back the rest of the match hoping to snatch another goal on the counter attack.

Kenny has seen what many LFC fans have for years. We needed width as we played with wingers who weren’t really wingers i.e Benayoun, Kuyt, Cole, Degen etc. These players tried but their instinct was to cut inside the opposing full-back everytime. Kenny bought Downing and finally it looks like we can stretch teams more.

Kenny has identified that we needed pace and bought Downing, Enrique, Suarez and Bellamy.
He has also played Kuyt as a centre forward not on the right wing where Dirk did a job but was never going to be the answer on the right side of a Liverpool midfield.

Enrique has also signed to fill a left-back position that has been a problem since Riise was allowed to leave the club for a nominal fee only to be replaced by Dossena or Insua.

He has cleared out the deadwood and reduced a massive squad full of players who should never have got near wearing a Liverpool shirt.

At times last season I was struggling to watch my beloved Reds as they were so poor. Kenny has brought belief back to our players and supporters.

Off the pitch improvements have impressed me especially during the summer.

Gone are the days of the last few years where LFC have washed their dirty linen in the press. Kenny’s press conferences are outstanding. He refuses to comment on transfer targets and any other club business that has not been completed. Under Rafa he seemed to use these opportunities to show he wasn’t happy with his transfer budget etc. I can understand his hands were tied to some extent but the great managers of the past knew that club business was done behind closed doors.

Kenny is old school and Liverpool is engrained in him.

Why Jordan Henderson Is The Reds' Most Important Signing

Optimism is abound at Anfield following a busy, yet successful transfer window period, in which numerous players of quality arrived.

Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique and Craig Bellamy are all established names with proven track records at their respective clubs prior to joining Liverpool. Adam flourished at Blackpool, while Downing took great strides at Aston Villa after bursting onto the international scene with his inclusion in England's 2006 World Cup squad.

Enrique shores up the left-back spot, while Bellamy returns to Anfield after an unsuccessful and unhappy spell at Manchester City.

There is, however, one signing that trumps all the others in importance, both for the near future and beyond, and that is the signing of Jordan Henderson.

Henderson was brought to the club in early June for around €22m from Sunderland, and now represents the future of the club's midfield, for better or worse.

Henderson has so far played in all three of Liverpool's competitive matches in the Premier League, scoring his debut goal against Bolton in the Reds' 3-1 victory. His performances have been up and down, but it is very clear that he possesses the talent to be highly successful on both the club and national level.

Still just 20 years of age, he has time to develop into Liverpool's central midfield replacement for Steven Gerrard, once the captain succumbs to age and injury. The fact that Gerrard is currently injured, and has been for a while, has accelerated Henderson's progression towards being in the middle of the field for Liverpool.

Henderson's signing is of extreme importance because he could be the heir to Steven Gerrard's throne, or he could prove to be just another expensive flop in Merseyside.

More so than Adam or Downing, who are nearer or past their peaks already, and Enrique or Bellamy, who are likely to be temporary fixes in their positions, Henderson has all the tools to ignite the Reds' next revolution in Europe and in England.

The "revolving door" nature of football is in constant motion, the latest example for Liverpool being the transfer of Raul Meireles to Chelsea immediately following his standout season with the club. There is a distinct possibility that any member of Liverpool's midfield could be subject to sale, with the exceptions of Gerrard and Henderson.

Yet, when Gerrard finally must concede his reign over Anfield to a new deputy, it will be Henderson who will take the job—what he does with it may very well decide the fate of the club for years to come.

Carroll Says Liverpool Is A Different World To Newcastle

Andy Carroll has revealed he cannot believe how far he has come since leaving Newcastle.

Andy Carroll: "Sometimes I will sit with my girlfriend and think, 'I can’t believe I was at Newcastle last year, and now I am here with all this going on around me.'

"But I’m taking it in my stride – that’s the most important thing.

"I feel a little bit more like I’m part of the [England] squad, but obviously I’ve still got a lot of time to work on things, and hopefully be in the squad more.

"I know I’m not going to be in the team every time, so that’s something to work on.

"I think players like Jack Wilshere and some of the others coming through is great for England.

"I feel I’m playing well and I was delighted to have got my first goal for England against Ghana recently."

Downing: England Looking Good After Victory Over Bulgaria

Stewart Downing believes that the future is bright for England, based on the performance put in by the team against Bulgaria.

The Three Lions travelled to Sofia and eased past their opponents by carving out a 3-0 victory, with the left-winger putting in a strong performance on the day.

The 27-year-old also admitted that his summer switch from Aston Villa to Liverpool and the chance to work under manager Kenny Dalglish could only improve him as a player.

"I feel that I am an England player and my aim always must be to start games at this level," Downing said, according to The Sunday Mirror.

"I have joined a terrific club. I am really enjoying myself at Liverpool and playing under a great manager like Kenny Dalglish can only help me get even better.

"It’s been a good start to the season – both with Liverpool and now England.

"There is a good mixture of youth and experience in this England side and the signs are good for the future after what we did in Bulgaria."

Carra Eyes A Bright Future

Liverpool veteran Jamie Carragher has praised the new management team for the way they have transformed them into a formidable outfit.

Under Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli Liverpool have brought in some stellar signings to add some significant quality and depth to their squad, with seven players alone coming in this summer.

Liverpool has finished sixth and seventh, respectively in the last two seasons but the former England stopper is very optimistic about a better campaign this term.

"Normally when a new manager comes in you're building," he told "You take it one step at a time.

"Under Gerard Houllier and Rafa, even though we won the Champions League with Rafa, in terms of competing it seemed to take a couple of years before you felt like you were not far behind the top teams.

"Now, the way we've started, the way we finished last season and the players we've brought in, I'm not saying we're going to win the league, but you feel as if we can give people a run for their money. It's only been six months."

Dalglish and Comolli have set about transforming the Liverpool squad at their disposal and have quietly moved out the dead wood from the squad that had built up under the Benitez years.

He added: "That's what makes it exciting for me. The quicker the better for me because I'm getting on!

"It's a great credit to the manager and staff, to the owners and Damien Comolli for changing things around and bringing in players. We've got rid of a few players now, I'm not sure how many, but there has been a lot of turnover of players and at the moment it looks like it is working.

"During some of the tough times it can feel like a million miles from where you want to be but at this moment we seem to be there and we want to stay there."

Liverpool Midfielder Exit Denied After Deadline

Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing will not be joining Burnley on loan when the window re-opens for clubs in the Football League.

The young midfielder, who gained a handful of first team opportunities at Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish last term, has fallen down the pecking order at Anfield after a handful of arrivals in the transfer window.

Whilst the Clarets are keen to strengthen in the position, Lancashire Telegraph reporter Suzanne Geldard understands the 22-year-old Liverpool starlet is not on the club's radar.

A Merseysider born-and-bred, the former Leicester City loanee graduated through the Reds' academy to make his senior debut back in 2008.

After struggling to make a first team impression under Roy Hodgson last term, the player later flourished and finished the campaign a regular for Liverpool.

Speculation was rife this summer that the player would leave on loan, with Wolves a probable destination, but the player now looks set to stay at Liverpool and fight for a first team place.

Competition will come from many quarters though, with Charlie Adam, Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard also competing for two spots at Liverpool.

Meireles - I Am No Judas

Raul Meireles insists he did not leave Liverpool for Chelsea because of financial reasons.

The Portuguese midfielder was a surprise departure from Anfield in the closing stages of transfer deadline day.

Meireles handed in a transfer request prior to sealing his move to Stamford Bridge just before the close of the transfer window.

The 28-year-old found himself down the pecking order at Liverpool at the start of the season, but he is adamant his move to Stamford Bridge had nothing to do with money.

"These are things that happen in football. I can only say good things about Liverpool, it was a fantastic year," Meireles told RTPN.

"People think I am a Judas and that it was because of the money. It was not because of that, I will explain it later, things are still fresh.

"It all happened very fast. I am not the only one to blame for my exit from Liverpool, but I will never stop loving the club and I have great friends there."

Meireles admitted linking up again with former Porto coach Andre Villas-Boas played a big part in his decision to move to Chelsea.

"I was very happy with his interest in my signature," added Meireles. "The most important thing is to give my all every time and try to help Chelsea win titles."

Dunn And Morgan Fire In Defeat

Goals from Jack Dunn and Adam Morgan could not prevent Liverpool U18s slipping to their first defeat of the season against Derby County on Saturday lunchtime.

Mike Marsh's youngsters now have four points from their opening three games after the 3-2 loss - but it might have been more had a clutch of decent opportunities been converted.

The Reds took the lead on 15 minutes when Dunn fizzed home from an acute angle to submit an early entry into the Goal of the Season contest.

The visitors then mounted a comeback, equalizing through Callum Ball 15 seconds into the second period.

A frantic four minutes then followed as Ball struck again with a direct free-kick on 69 before Morgan headed home an instant leveller.

But the game had only just kicked-off once more when Kwame Thomas fired the winner on 73 minutes.

Liverpool looked good to snatch a point with a string of chances but it wasn't to be.