Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Werner Hails Dalglish Impact

Liverpool chairman Tom Werner has backed Reds boss Kenny Dalglish to lead the club back to glory.

Dalglish has helped revitalize the club since replacing Roy Hodgson at Anfield last January and he was rewarded for his progress with a three-year deal in May.

Werner is happy with the job Dalglish is doing at Anfield and he is convinced he is the right man to bring silverware back to the club.

"We are enormously pleased that he is our coach, he provides great leadership on the pitch," Werner told Sky Sports News.

"I've been with him when he's talking to employees and when he's talking to supporter groups, and when he talks about Liverpool, this is a man who understands the club's history and our relentlessness when we were winning and hopefully he will bring trophies."

Werner also cooled talk that the club was exploring the option of ground sharing with neighbours Everton with both clubs considering moves away from Anfield and Goodison Park.

"There's the possibility of building a new stadium at Stanley Park; the one thing I will say is that there have been rumours that we're interested in the possibility of a share with Everton," added Werner.

"I won't ever say it completely [ruled out], but our fans don't want it so I think it's a non-starter."

Spending Complete, Says Reds Chief

Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli believes the current squad is so "complete" there are not currently areas under review for improvement.

In a summer of change at Anfield manager Kenny Dalglish brought in seven new players and offloaded most of the deadwood which had accumulated over the last couple of years.

Owners Fenway Sports Group' net spend in the two transfer windows since assuming control last October is around £45million.

It was felt such expenditure was required in order to give the club the best possible chance of quickly turning around their dip in fortunes after seventh and sixth-place league finishes and regaining Champions League status.

Certainly the recruitment of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in January and Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Jose Enrique, Jordan Henderson, Sebastian Coates, Craig Bellamy and Doni over the summer has made the Reds stronger in all areas.

And Comolli said now was the time to assess the new signings and see how the squad operates as a whole.

"We want to see how we're going to do," said the Frenchman. "We are very pleased with what we've done during this window and the previous one as well. For me it's like a big window from January until August 31 and in total we brought in nine players, we changed the team and changed the squad, so it's the time to reflect. "

To be honest I would really struggle to say we need something there or something there because I think we have such a complete squad at the moment.

Let's see how those players develop, how they gel together, how the young players like Sebastian Coates adapts, and then we can make a decision (on areas to strengthen) later."

Liverpool, Arsenal & Chelsea In Transfer Battle For Serie A Forward

Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea are on high alert after hearing Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic has delayed signing a new contract with the club.

The Montenegrin forward was the subject of a bid from Arsenal in the summer transfer window that was eventually rejected, and now it appears that he is considering his future.

“It’s not only Chelsea who want Jovetic, but Arsenal also,” former Fiorentina defender Roberto Galbiati told Italian television station Italia 7.

“Arsenal, on the last day of the summer transfer market, submitted a bid to Fiorentina but the club refused.”

Liverpool have watched Jovetic since he scored both goals against them in a UEFA Champions League match in 2009, and are thought to be considering their options for January.

The 21 year-old missed the whole of last season with a cruciate knee ligament injury, but is looking to get his career back on track.

Now Jovetic’s agent Fali Ramadani has revealed that with Fiorentina not in Europe this season, he is in no hurry to sign a new deal.

“He still has two years left to run on his present agreement,” Fali Ramadani told

“I have no meetings set up with the club about this matter.”

The versatile forward – who is capable of playing up front, on the wing or in attacking midfield – is most often compared to Roberto Baggio, and would be an asset to any Premier League club.

Liverpool Striker Is Fed-Up With Lack Of Silverware At Anfield

Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt is growing frustrated with the lack of silverware he is picking up at the Anfield club, according to reports in the Daily Star.

Kuyt joined Liverpool in 2006 from Dutch giants Feynoord and since his time at Anfield has been a runner-up in both the Champions League and the Premier League.

However the 31-year-old is feeling left behind with Dutch international team-mates, AC Milan's Mark van Bommel and Inter's Wesley Sneijder winning numerous amounts of trophies.

Speaking about his lack of winners medals since arriving at Liverpool, Kuyt said: "They have enormous honours' lists while I am the champion of winning nothing when it comes to trophies."

Pulis In Penalty Admission

Stoke boss Tony Pulis has admitted Liverpool should have been awarded a penalty in their win over the Reds.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish was left fuming with a number of decisions that went against his side at the Britannia Stadium and is considering making a formal complaint to manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Board Mike Riley about the standard of refereeing.

The Reds had two claims for penalties for handball against Rory Delap and Matthew Upson turned down by referee Mark Clattenburg, while Dalglish felt the penalty awarded to Stoke was dubious.

After reviewing some of the incidents, Pulis has conceded Delap's handball in the first half was a definite penalty for the visitors.

"I think Rory's was a definite penalty looking at it," Pulis told Sky Sports News. "On the day from where I was I thought it wasn't, but Rory's was a definite penalty.

"Matthew Upson's comes off his thigh onto his hand and I don't think it is a penalty.

"I can see why he's given the penalty against Jamie [Carragher]. Jon's actually got the wrong side of him defensively and Jamie has pulled him back and whether he pulls him back or doesn't pull him back he is trying to get round him and has his arm around his waist so I can see why the penalty was given.

"Kenny's got to do what he has got to do and I am not going to tell Kenny what to do or I am not going to tell Liverpool Football Clubwhat to do, they have to do what they have to do.

"I spoke to Mike Riley last year on a couple of occasions and Mike was first class.

"We have a procedure to go through and I am sure Kenny will go through the same procedure."

Daniel Agger Feels Confident

Daniel Agger believes his commanding start to 2011-12 is a result of getting a full pre-season schedule under his belt - though he's convinced he has yet to hit peak form.

The Dane has started all four of Liverpool's Barclays Premier League matches so far this campaign having worked tirelessly over the summer to regain full fitness following a knee injury that ruled him out of the tail end of last term.

So imperious has been Agger, compatriot and Anfield legend Jan Molby last week hailed the No.5 as being in the 'form of his life'.

The man himself, however, feels there is more to come.

Agger told "The fact I got the full pre-season has helped me a lot. I feel a lot stronger, a lot better, but I still have more to come, hopefully.

"I feel I can give some more, have more to offer, so hopefully I can carry on playing games and that will help me.

"Fitness-wise I am happy right now, but as the season carries on you get more games under your belt and you get stronger, quicker and better."

On Molby's glowing praise, the centre-back added: "It's difficult to compare to other years or games. It's so difficult for me to say something like that.

"But I feel really good now, I feel comfortable but as I said, I feel I have more to give and so that's what I'm working at."

Despite having starting each of Liverpool's league matches this season, Agger knows he faces stern competition for his place in Kenny Dalglish's line up, particularly after Sebastian Coates was drafted in to bolster the defensive ranks on the eve of the transfer deadline.

However, the 26-year-old welcomes the increased challenge for a first-team berth and believes it can only be of benefit to the Reds in their quest for honours.

"I haven't seen too much of him yet, but he's a big, strong guy and I hope he will be well suited to the Premier League," said Agger.

"I have been here almost six years now and every year there are new players coming in and players going.

"It is normal for a big club like Liverpool to bring in players to add to the competition. Everything changes every year, so it's good to have healthy competition as we have now. It's good for the club and the players."

Meanwhile, Agger acknowledged his disappointment at Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Stoke City - but stressed the importance of the squad putting the result behind them as they begin to gear up for the trip to Tottenham Hotspur.

He said: "It was disappointing, of course, because we wanted to get more out of it, but it was just one of those days and we just have to carry on, work hard and aim for the next game.

"But no matter how you've played, you're always down if you lose. I will always be down no matter how we lose. The rest of the lads were as well because it was so disappointing.

"We don't want to lose games like that. We need the points and we need to get as many points as we can. It was a game we could have taken all of them.

"You have to give Stoke credit. They got what they wanted and played how they wanted, like they normally do, so I think we have to give all the credit to them because they got the result and we didn't."

Eccleston Under Investigation

Liverpool striker Nathan Eccleston is under investigation from the club after claiming the September 11 attacks in America were not the work of terrorists.

The reserve team player has caused outrage after claiming the attacks were 'an accident' and that he believed a group called the 'Illuminati' were responsible.

The 20-year-old, who has made just nine appearances for the Anfield giants, made the posting on his Twitter account on the 10th anniversary of the atrocity.

Eccleston wrote: "I aint going to say attack don't let the media make u believe that was terrorist that did it. #O.T.I.S."

OTIS is reported to stand for 'Only The Illuminati Succeed'.

An LFC spokesman said: "The club takes this matter extremely seriously and senior club officials have informed Nathan Eccleston that we are undertaking an investigation into the circumstances surrounding these postings and will decide on an appropriate course of action."

Hillsborough Debate Date Set

A House of Commons debate on the full release of government papers related to the Hillsborough disaster in which 96 people died will be held on October 17.

Members of Parliament have agreed to stage the debate in response to an e-petition on the Downing Street website that has now been signed by more than 140,000 people, many of whom are fans of clubs other than Liverpool.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron had said that any e-petition on the website that receives more than 100,000 signatories should be considered for debate by MPs.

Liverpool Walton MP Steve Rotheram, who has been a driving force behind the campaign, revealed the news of a date on Twitter, saying: "Confirmation: Hillsborough debate agreed - October 17 for half a day in the House of Commons Chamber with a vote on the motion if necessary.

"Let's not get carried away. We have secured a HoC (House of Commons) debate, but this is not the end of the fight. Thanks to Merseyside MPs, Andy Burnham and others."

Rotheram enthused further on the support of the people on the campaign when he presented the application for a parliamentary debate to the Backbench Business Committee on Tuesday.

"This is an issue that will not go away until there is justice for the 96," he said. "Within two weeks the e-petition had acquired well over the 100,000 signatures required. The campaign spread far and wide.

"People from all over this country and people of all different football and political persuasions, came together and said, finally, after 22 years, enough is enough."

The Hillsborough Justice Campaign (HJC) welcomed the decision, with chairman Kenny Derbyshire saying: "We would like to thank those MPs who turned up in support of the recent e-petition.

"They have made the right decision in moving this forward to be debated in the House. However, we would like to thank those people who made this possible.

"This turn of events would not be occurring were it not for the overwhelming support of the general public who signed the e-petition, which resulted in more than 100,000 signatures in less than a week.

"They alone should take credit for this; a great example of people power succeeding.

"Whilst pleased with today's outcome, the bereaved families of the HJC point out that they still strongly oppose the Government's decision to appeal the Commissioner's ruling and request again that the Government withdraw the appeal.

"The families of the Hillsborough Justice Campaign want the minutes of the cabinet meeting held under Margaret Thatcher to be released (without redaction) in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and as deemed by the Information Commissioner to be in the 'public interest'.

"The families can see no logical reason why this should be at variance with the work of the Hillsborough Panel."

Ministers have so far failed to officially support calls for all the reports about the 1989 tragedy to be made public.

However, it is hoped that next month's debate will help persuade the government to waive the 30-year rule and allow the papers' release to the families of the victims.

Enrique Rewards Reds Apprentices

Jose Enrique was the special guest as Liverpool FC rewarded its staff for completing a training course to help further enhance the club's customer service levels.

Around 50 Reds employees passed apprentice-based programs which focused on customer services, business administration, IT, team leading and management, in addition to motivational training and customer excellence experiences.

LFC worked with Sysco Group, a Liverpool based-training company to deliver the customer service program and the apprenticeships enabled the team to track their own progress on a daily basis, allowing them to learn from every encounter and to adapt their approach to meet each individual supporters needs.

The club's head of customer experience Jean Crisp said: "It was clear from my first day that the passion for the club isn't just felt by the fans - all of the staff here are huge fans themselves and feel every aspect of the club and what it means to the supporters.

"This attitude helped enormously as everyone here wants LFC to be the best football club in world football, not just the Premier League.

"Sysco understood that to engage with our customers in the best possible way, we would have to recognize the skills of our employees and offer them a plan that would recognize them as individuals and allow them to track their own personal development."

The awarded were handed out at Anfield by summer signing Enrique and LFC's new commercial director Andrew Parkinson.

"A major reason for me coming to Liverpool was down to the passion of the place," commented Parkinson.

"It came as no surprise to me to find out that the club had been implementing this type of program. We understand that our fans are the most important part of this great football club and to take on board their comments and views.

"It is also fantastic that the training was delivered by The Sysco Group, a local company which understood the passion of the project."