Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dalglish Continues To Echo The Old Values At Liverpool

Kenny Dalglish has pledged that his commitment to "the Liverpool way" will not falter whatever setbacks the club encounters this season. Since his return to Anfield in January, the Scot has re-embraced all the values of his first spell on Merseyside – whether it is a reluctance to criticize squad members publicly, however shaky their hold on a first-team place, or a commitment to the pass-and-move football that made Liverpool the greatest force in the English game.

During Liverpool's first defeat of the season, at Stoke City last Saturday, there was no attempt to meet the home side's physical challenge, as Roy Hodgson's side had vainly tried to do last November.

"We will always try to entertain, we will always do our best," Dalglish said. "I can only follow the philosophy I was brought up with. I cannot be anybody else." He sidestepped the question of how that philosophy had changed after his resignation in 1991. It was not always evident under Graeme Souness, or in the more pragmatic methods employed by GĂ©rard Houllier.

"I don't know if that philosophy has ever left Liverpool," he said. "I have never changed at all. I don't know how other people saw it after I left but for me the football club has always been the same, whether I was playing, managing or just watching. I have always had the same understanding of the football club. I cannot talk for anyone else but I cannot do other than how I was brought up – and if it's not going to be right, it's not going to be right."

Nevertheless, Dalglish's commitment to the past is not all embracing. White Hart Lane, where Liverpool play on Sunday, has been an unhappy venue for Jamie Carragher. He dislocated a shoulder at Tottenham last season and conceded an important own goal there in November 2008. There are some who believe that at 33 Carragher may have to adapt his game to continue as the linchpin of Liverpool's defence. "Nobody will get picked because of their history," Dalglish said. "The people who have been involved with the club a long time would not expect that. They would not want it. But Jamie Carragher will do fine for me just the way he is. I don't know what I can say about him because there is nothing about Jamie I would like to change."

The remark by one of his successors as Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, that a season without European football at Anfield is "like a banquet without wine" still carries resonance with Dalglish. Unlike the Spurs manager, Harry Redknapp, Dalglish would have unequivocally welcomed the place in the Europa League that was denied him by Tottenham's 2-0 win at Anfield in May.

However, Dalglish remarked that Liverpool would gain no advantage playing a Spurs side who played in northern Greece on Thursday night, saying he expected to face only one member of Redknapp's team that forced a goalless draw against PAOK Salonika.

"Spurs are going to be right up there at the end of the season," Dalglish said. "I don't know who else will be, but Spurs will be there. They may have faced both Manchester clubs and lost but I don't think they were at full strength either time."

Dalglish Insists Steven Gerrard Can Still Be A Force

Kenny Dalglish insists that Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard can still be a force in the Premier League.

The club skipper has been sidelined since March, but is getting ever closer to full fitness and could make his return from injury as soon as this weekend against Tottenham.

With Dalglish refusing to rush his star man back from a long stretch out of the game, Gerrard has had to wait a long time to come back into the frame at Liverpool and with such an absence from football, some have suggested the club’s skipper may have lost his touch.

However Dalglish disagrees, telling reporters: "If you have got someone like Steven in your squad, it is going to raise the profile and the standard.

"We want to have a really strong squad and his being in makes it much stronger.

"A fit Steven Gerrard strengthens this football club, no question.

"There is no player that will ever be taken for granted here.

"There are players who you will always appreciate for what they have done for the football club and he has done as much for the club as anyone else."

Carra Still Has Plenty To Offer Kenny's Reds

Jamie Carragher came in for criticism after Liverpool's 1-0 loss at Stoke but TEAMtalk's Sam Nightingale feels he still has plenty to offer.

Carragher brought down City striker Jonathan Walters as the two battled for the ball at the Britannia Stadium and referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot before Walters fired in the penalty.

Granted Carragher, 33, is in the latter stages of his career but for some Reds fans to call for the player to be axed after a couple of recent mistakes is premature.

Has Carragher ever been blessed with natural pace? No, but what Carragher lacks in pace he more than makes up with his tough tackling, combative style and leads by example.

The defender is a role model to the club's younger players and will no doubt be passing on his experience.

Ahead of the clash against Stoke, Carragher had spoken about his place in the team and told The Times: "Young players at the club say, 'I have to be like Carra in training' because they can see that I put in a shift in every session."

"But why should I rest on my laurels just because I have been in the top flight for so long?

"I am always looking to up my game because I feel that I still have something to prove. Even today some Liverpool fans are asking questions about my age and how long I will last.

"The club has just signed a new centre-back who will be knocking at the door. There is no room for complacency."

Carragher isn't taking his place for granted and still has an important role to play for Liverpool in a key season for the club.

Adam: There's More To Come

Charlie Adam has spoken about how at home he feels in Liverpool and claimed the best from him and the team is still to come.

The Scotland international has been an influential member of Kenny Dalglish's new-look team so far this season and is eager to help the Reds in their quest for silverware in 2010-11.

"I'm happy with my form so far but obviously you want to do better," Adam told

"The manager makes that decision on whether he thinks you are doing well and deserve to stay in the team. He gives you the confidence when it's needed and a rollicking when it's not.

"I'm happy so far but I think the results maybe could have been a wee bit better in terms of a couple more points but we have had a good start.

"We had a disappointing result at Stoke but overall I think we have done okay and can get better."

The Reds head to North London on Sunday hoping for some good fortune after three straight 2-1 defeats at White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League.

Spurs edged out Dalglish's side in the race for a Europa League place last season and Liverpool's No.26 is hoping the Reds can show their true quality against Harry Redknapp's side.

"It's going to be a difficult match. Obviously Liverpool and Tottenham were both challenging for a place in the Europa League at the end of last season and Spurs nicked it at the end," he added.

"We know we will be in for a tough game because they've got good players. I played against them for Blackpool last season and at times they were unplayable, but we've got good players here and hopefully we can cause them problems.

"You always expect to see Tottenham challenging for the top positions because of the quality they have in the squad.

"They have people like Modric, Bale and van der Vaart who are top players. It is going to be difficult but we've got good players who are ready for it.

"We were disappointed last weekend at Stoke because we created a lot of chances and probably could have come away with something.

"Maybe a point would have been nice, we thought we should have had three but that's the way football goes and we'll get on with it and get ready for Tottenham."

Redknapp Rues Not Landing Luis

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp regrets not beating Liverpool to the signing of Luis Suarez, who he felt was too similar to Rafael van der Vaart.

The Reds secured Uruguay striker Suarez's signature last January and soon after added Andy Carroll to their squad following the £50million sale of Fernando Torres to Chelsea.

Suarez quickly became a fans' favourite following a good start to his career at Anfield and he has continued to impress this term, scoring three times in Liverpool's opening five games.

Redknapp was desperate to sign a frontman in January after he realized Peter Crouch could not provide him with the goals his team needed to qualify for the Champions League again.

The Spurs boss launched bids for Sergio Aguero, Fernando Llorente and Diego Forlan and he was also interested in acquiring Suarez from Ajax.

But Spurs balked at the £30million-plus fee they were quoted and Redknapp was worried that Suarez was too similar to van der Vaart, who the Tottenham manager likes to deploy in the hole just behind a targetman.

Having seen Suarez star up front on his own, Redknapp admits he probably should have pushed harder to bring him to White Hart Lane.

"We looked at Suarez," said Redknapp, whose side take on Liverpool on Sunday. "That was a player who we probably should have took, looking back on it now. The fee was £30-odd million and that's a lot of money.

"We thought he played a bit like Van der Vaart as well.

"We were looking for a targetman but I have seen him play up on his own and he can do that. He can play anywhere. He can do anything. He is a top-class, fantastic player."

Redknapp also revealed he was seriously interested in signing Carroll before he left Newcastle for Anfield in a £35million deadline-day move.

The England striker has struggled to make an impact at the Merseyside club due to lack of form and fitness and national boss Fabio Capello recently criticized the 22-year-old's lifestyle.

Redknapp is a big admirer of the player, though, and is wary of the damage he can cause to his patched-up defence on Sunday if selected.

"He is a real handful," Redknapp said. "He is a great header of the ball.

"When you go up against him you know you have had a game, that's for sure.

"We thought about signing him but we weren't in to spending £35million on one player."

Suarez and Carroll are just two of a number of players Kenny Dalglish has signed since he replaced Roy Hodgson as Reds boss halfway through last season.

The Scot has spent over £50million this summer on the likes of Stewart Downing, Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Jose Enrique and Sebastian Coates.

Spurs just pipped Liverpool to fifth place last year, but Redknapp thinks Dalglish's spending spree means their rivals will be challenging for a top-four position come the end of the season.

"This is a big game for us," Redknapp said. "It will be them, us and Arsenal scrapping it out for the Champions League this year.

"They have spent a lot but they got £50million for Torres.

"They have wealthy owners and they want to be back where they were .

"Liverpool is one of the greatest football clubs in the world and they don't want to be out of the Champions League. They want to be back in there. They have invested trying to do that."

Pacheco Fears Benitez Sacking Has Wrecked His Liverpool Dream

Liverpool striker Daniel Pacheco believes the sacking of Rafa Benitez has hampered his progress at Anfield.

Kenny Dalglish has sent the Spain Under-21 international on loan to Atletico Madrid but in a strange twist - and without playing a single game - he has been loaned out further to Rayo Vallecano.

Pacheco joined Liverpool's youth ranks from Barcelona in 2007, but the 20-year-old has made just five league appearances in his time on Merseyside and it seems increasingly apparent that his future lies elsewhere.

"I did not get tired of Liverpool and I hope I have not ended my time there because it is a good competition," he said.

"But with Rafa Benitez's departure I felt my progress has been held back and I wanted to go somewhere I was at ease and could show my strengths.

"There were no opportunities and that is why I have had to leave. I want to progress to do that. I needed to change."

Clarke: The Kids Are Alright

Steve Clarke has admitted he has been encouraged by the performances of the club's talented youngsters since he came to the club.
Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing, Jon Flanagan and Jack Robinson have been regular members of the first-team squad since the return of Kenny Dalglish to the Anfield hot seat, and Clarke insists they are there on merit.
"I think all the young boys have done well and I have been really impressed with them since I came to this club," Clarke told
"Martin and Flanno on the right, Jack Robo on the left, Jay Spearing in midfield - they have all impressed me a lot.
"It's a little disappointing maybe for them that they are not playing every week at the moment but they are young, they have got time on their side and they are really good to have in the squad.
"We've got plenty of options all over the pitch this season which is a big plus for the manager.
"It obviously makes his job and team selection a bit more difficult, but the fact we have got competition for places should encourage healthy competition among the players to try and be in the team."

LFC Foundation Director Joins

Liverpool FC today announced the appointment of Gary Adlen as the club's first Foundation Director.

Gary will oversee the expansion of the existing LFC Foundation charity to incorporate all of the club's community work into one body - encompassing all the programs currently delivered under the Community, Health and Education banners.

He will provide strategic direction to expand the Foundation's portfolio of initiatives, working with Head of Community Bill Bygroves and his team and, more significantly develop a program of fund raising activities. He will introduce a philanthropic fundraising plan and drive the development of relationships with corporate partners and individual donors, in addition to leveraging other funding streams.

Gary has worked in both the public and private sectors, most recently for the Mersey Partnership where he was Head of Corporate Sales - leading a team bringing inward investment to Liverpool, and managing strategic community projects including a sustainable city initiative with the UK's leading energy groups.

He also has considerable international experience having worked in the private sector in France, Spain and Ireland and has led collaborative projects with the UN and EU Aid agencies, local authorities and central government.

Managing Director Ian Ayre said: "I have known Gary for several years and been extremely impressed by his drive and commitment and his outstanding work on behalf of the city region.

"The ability to attract major investment in our Foundation and associated projects will be paramount in ensuring that Liverpool Football Club and its community team can continue to build upon the amazing work they have done thus far in the community. I look forward to welcoming Gary into the team."

Gary Adlen commented: "As a lifelong Liverpool fan I've experienced the highs and lows of supporting the greatest club in the world and I'm delighted to be taking up this new challenge. The club already does some fantastic work in the city which I have seen first-hand and I want to build on this by putting Liverpool at the heart of the community while continuing our programs in international markets as well.

"I will bring my experience in both the public and private sector across the city region to ensure that we are engaged at every level and look forward to making the Foundation a great success."