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Liverpool FC, football, sport / Jay Spearing, signs new contract
« on: May 06, 2011, 05:22:05 PM »

Liverpool midfielder Jay Spearing believes he owes manager Kenny Dalglish a great deal for helping him earn a new contract at Anfield.

The 22-year-old former FA Youth Cup-winning captain had been a fringe squad member for the last few years and although he got limited opportunities in the Europa League earlier in the campaign his season was transformed by the arrival of Dalglish.

When the Scot replaced Roy Hodgson in early January one of the first things he did was involve Spearing more, surprisingly giving the midfielder a start in Merseyside derby in his first home match back as Reds boss.

A broken bone in the midfielder's foot curtailed his involvement after that but in the absence of injured captain Steven Gerrard, Spearing has settled into a central role alongside Lucas Leiva and produced some impressive displays in recent weeks.

"I'm pleased to have finally put pen to paper and got everything sorted," said the Wirral-born player, who has been at Liverpool since he was seven.

"I've been here for a long time and playing for Liverpool is all I have ever wanted to do, so hopefully I can keep going now.

"It has been a long time coming. I've been in the background and in and around the first team and maybe not had a run in the team, but now I'm getting that run I've been able to show my desire and commitment to the club.

"I owe a lot to the boss and hopefully I am repaying him with the games I am playing.

"He put me into the derby straight away and that gave me a lot of confidence.

"Any player who has the belief of the manager always wants to go on and show what he can do.

"With the new boss coming in and the way we have been playing and with me getting some game time, it has been a good couple of months and this has topped it off for me."

Dalglish insisted, however, that all the credit should go to the player.

"It is great news for us and great for him and everyone concerned," said the Scot.

"It is just reward for the performances he has put in and he deserves what he has got.

"He is a great asset to have. I suppose this is an extension of the work which has been put in by Jay not only to get a game but to get a new contract."

The 60-year-old Scot believes Spearing's development is another indicator of the great strides made both on the pitch with the first team and behind the scenes at the academy.

"Jay has started the last few games for us, which is progress in itself," he added.

"He was never in the starting XI unless there were injuries or suspensions but he is in there now and is there on merit.

"He has reached a higher level than he has before. I don't know if he knows what level is expected of him but we are delighted with what he has done."

Director of football Damien Comolli believes Spearing has a significant role to play in the club's future and that, as much as his recent performances, was why he was tied down to a new deal.

"To be fair to him, it's not only what he has done in the last four or five games that triggered the new contract," said the Frenchman.

"We have been talking for quite a while independently of what he was doing on the field but that was confirmation that it was the right thing to do.

"We think he will be part of the future of the club which is why we rewarded him with a new contract.

"He was part of the team which won two Youth Cups and it's great for the club to have people like him around.

"It shows others that if you do well at the academy then you have a chance of getting new contracts."

Liverpool FC, football, sport / Barcelona & Chelsea, I beg of you
« on: May 06, 2011, 03:01:03 PM »
please lads, do the business against man utd.

the thought of united doing the double, taking our league title record, and getting within one european cup win (of us), this season, is way too much for me.  Three CL finals in four years, is way too much for any red fan.

on the otherhand, I'd love it (really love it), if Chelsea and Barcelona were to deny them at this final hurdle of the season.

if you can make this come true for me, I'll try to sing "Blue is the colour (football is the game)" from now til the end of the summer.

at the top there is now precious to play for.

united are walking to another title.  This Arsenal team are the biggest pussies, since the last Arsenal team.  Chelsea went into melt-down when the sacked Wilkins.  Their Russian owner has a strange take on football (sack when you are ahead).  Man City have very inefficiently used their vast monies.  They are gonna get a CL spot - but largely  because of Tevez.  Spurs have been a breath of fresh air.  Interestingly, from between the lines, it appears that they are not giving Harry the respect or appreciation that he deserves.  Typical Spurs.  Watch this space.   

By being beat by WBA, any lingering chance of 5th spot for Liverpool is now gone.  And that will be confirmed tomorrow night, should we fail to beat Man City.

so the top of the league is a bore.  Nothing of note to see.

I hope to see Man Utd knocked out of the CL soon.  I could not stand to see them taking our league title record this season - and also move up to 4 CL wins...one short of our British record of 5. 

But for me, the most fascinating thing to watch these final few weeks, is the Premiership's relegation battle.

Only four points separate the bottom 7 clubs.....or 8 points, the bottom 12 clubs.

I have never seen such a tight battle. 

There are gonna be some major cat-fights in these closing weeks.  And we could see a major surprise - an unexpected club going down.

Hey, if Chuckles had still be in charge at Anfield - it might well have been us!

Liverpool FC, football, sport / one final push for 5th spot
« on: March 22, 2011, 06:51:26 PM »
8 games left, 4 points behind Spurs, goal difference pretty much the same, we have played a game more.

The remaining fixtures are as follows.


Wigan v Tottenham
Tottenham v Stoke
Man City OFF Tottenham
Tottenham v Arsenal
Tottenham v West Brom
Tottenham v Blackpool
Liverpool v Tottenham
Tottenham v Birmingham


West Brom v Liverpool
Liverpool v Man City
Arsenal v Liverpool
Liverpool v Birmingham
Liverpool v Newcastle
Fulham v Liverpool
Liverpool v Tottenham
Aston Villa v Liverpool

Both sides have some top sides to play in the run-in.

I think if we can ride out the next three games - away at west brom, home to man city, away to arsenal, we will have a great chance of taking 5th spot from Spurs. 

And we meet Spurs at Anfield, in the penultimate game of the season (May 15th) at ANFIELD.   That is gonna be our cup final. 

Spurs have at least two more CL ties to worry about (against Real Madrid).  I hope Spurs go on and win the CL this season.  It would be great for them and us.  :)

I think 5th spot (and a place in next season's Europa Doctor Martin's League) is very very do-able.

Liverpool FC, football, sport / ian ayre & damien comolli get promoted
« on: March 22, 2011, 06:15:44 PM »

Liverpool have confirmed that Ian Ayre has been appointed as the club's new managing director, while Damien Comolli has been promoted to a role as director of football.

Merseyside-local Ayre has been at Anfield since the summer of 2007 in the position of commercial director, but he has now been named the successor to Christian Purslow, who stepped down in late October last year.

Ayre has impressed Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner, who completed their takeover of the Premier League side in the autumn, sufficiently after an in-depth search process.

FSG's focus will now be set on reaching an agreement regarding the future of manager Kenny Dalglish, with discussions over a permanent contract reportedly taking place, but Henry is pleased with the latest developments.

The American told Liverpool's official website: "Ian has enormous experience gained from his work in the sports and media businesses over the past 15 years and we are delighted today to announce this significant appointment.

"We conducted an extensive recruitment search and met with outstanding candidates who sought this role but in the end, after having worked with Ian and other top executives within the club, we realised that Ian had all of the attributes necessary to lead the club forward."

Henry added: "But importantly, Ian is also from Liverpool and understands the relationships between the club, the supporters and the city. He will play a key role in all of our future plans."

Ayre is relishing the opportunity and hopes to help the club continue to build their commercial projects and revenue.

He said: "John and Tom have a clear vision for rebuilding the club and bringing back success and I'm delighted to be able to help shape that future.

"It is a very proud moment for myself and my family and I am honoured to be given the opportunity."

Comolli, meanwhile, will now work under the title of director of football, having operated as director of football strategy since arriving in November 2010.

Henry said: "In the short time that Damien has been at the club, he has impressed us greatly with his knowledge of the sport, his work ethic and his incisive intelligence.

"He is a clear thinker and understands exactly what is needed to form a long-term, consistent approach with the philosophy we all share here.

"He has a track record of identifying young talent and has already made significant contributions to the first team and Academy.


"Damien played a leading role in our January transfer window activity with the recruitment of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. These two additions will play a significant role in the future of the club.

"All of us at Liverpool football club who have been working on a day-to-day basis with Damien believe he will be a key contributor for many, many years here as we build a football operation second to none."

There was some scepticism surrounding the appointment of Comolli in the autumn, but he is pleased with the progress and is looking forward to continuing the rebuilding process at Anfield.

He said: "I'm delighted to have been offered this promotion and very proud that I am going to be able to make significant contributions to the development of this great club.

"It has been an exciting five months and I think all of us recognise that we have made a great deal of progress in many different areas.

"However, there is a lot of hard work ahead and with the backing of our owners and their commitment to the club, I'm confident we will get it right."

Henry added: "With these key appointments today, the future of Liverpool football club is in very good hands.

"Tom and I are extraordinarily excited to be working with Ian and Damien as we do the things that must be done to move the club forward in the 21st century."

Liverpool FC, football, sport / Dalglish, shut your fxxking mouth
« on: February 11, 2011, 02:48:38 AM »

Jamie Carragher’s Liverpool career could hardly have got off to a worse start when his dad told Kenny Dalglish to shut his “f*****g mouth”.

But more than two decades later, Dalglish swears Carragher is one of the best defenders ever to pull on a red shirt.

Dalglish smiles when reminded of the day he fell foul of Philly Carragher as they watched their sons play against each other in a youth game.

Philly, a diehard Evertonian, laid into Dalglish for disputing a controversial spot-kick saying: “Keep your f*****g mouth shut, Dalglish. You should know all about dodgy penalties after the amount you get at Anfield.”

Fortunately for Liverpool and Carragher junior, Dalglish did not take offence and the Scouser ­blossomed into the Kop idol he is today during the 20 years the Reds boss had been away.

“Aye, I remember that happening,” said Dalglish. “When I first came across Carra he was only 11 or 12 and a centre-forward – and a good centre-forward as well. That’s probably why he holds the record for the most own goals against us.

“He was about the same age as my son, Paul, and they were training with the kids down here at 11 or 12. Apart from a break of about nine months, Carra’s been here ever since.

“He’s everything everyone says he is. He’s been ­Liverpool’s best defender for many years and there’s nothing original you can say about a guy who is 33 years of age.

“He’s as good a defender as we have had for many, many years. For me, Carra is better than Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson - although they can’t play now as they are 50-odd years of age. We’re fortunate Carra is here and fortunate he is so committed to the club.”

Dalglish was full of ­admiration for the way Carragher shackled Fernando Torres at Chelsea on Sunday in his first game back after 10 weeks out following a shoulder operation.

“He was fantastic,” he said. “It’s great credit to him that he got through the game and great credit to our sports-science people that he got through because it’s been a while since he played.

“He has been a fantastic servant to this ­football club and it’s great to have him. Whether he’s playing or is on the training ground, he’s a great asset.

“Everyone knows the respect and admiration I have for Jamie. It’s the same for every other Liverpool fan and he is a fantastic influence in and around the place.”

Dalglish also insisted Pepe Reina is going nowhere after the Spain goalkeeper hinted he may leave in the summer if Liverpool do not qualify for the Champions League.

Reina is understood to have a £20million escape clause in the six-year deal he signed at the end of last season and is admired by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Dalglish said: “We have a fantastic goalkeeper and he will be here for a long, long time.

“The Champions League is what everyone here wants to get to. For us it’s only been a year where we’ve not had it and that’s what we want to get back.

“It should be the same for every player, we should all be aiming for that.”

Liverpool FC, football, sport / soft-bellied arsenal
« on: February 05, 2011, 07:54:14 PM »
4 up at half time.

I come back an hour later to find Newcastle have pulled 4 back....final score 4-4

Surreal.  And to make matters fecken worse - United lose today. 

When will Arsenal grow a backbone.  They have a soft underbelly under Arsene.

They badly need, like I have said for years, a tough central midfielder ala Patrick Viera.


'There are not many footballers who don't like working with Steve Clarke' - how Liverpool's new coach has helped revive the Reds

While Kenny Dalglish is the front man for Liverpool’s revival, another Scot will be quietly exerting considerable influence behind the scenes.

Steve Clarke has got used to being a supporting act, operating as a kind of senior sous chef, laying the groundwork for the executive head chef.

Yet even the most successful managers admit they are only as good as the staff they have assembled around them, which is promising news for Liverpool given the esteem that Clarke is held within the game.

The influence of the club’s first-team coach, whose arrival came only 48 hours after that of Dalglish, will have been felt at Anfield over the last 25 days, according to Charlton assistant manager Alex Dyer, who worked alongside Clarke for two years at West Ham.

“If I know him, he will be taking training,” Dyer told Goal.com UK. “He likes to be at the heart of things when it comes to organising sessions. At West Ham, he would be in first thing in the morning planning out his sessions and would know what the team needed to do to improve.

“The manager and him will work together but he will control the session. He is the head coach. The manager will say what he thinks they need to do on that day and Steve will put together a session to work around that.”

Clarke’s methods seem to chime with the more offensive pass and move style that has been re-established at Liverpool following the conservatism of the Roy Hodgson regime.

“If you don’t like his [Clarke’s] training sessions, then you shouldn’t be in the game,” added Dyer. “Most of the players I know loved his sessions. He likes to play the ball on the ground with quick passing and play at a high tempo.

“He is very encouraging with the players but likes things done with a good attitude to the training. He is calm in what he does but the lads know they can’t stand there having a chat. There is no wasting time. He is very organised. His sessions are planned to the tee.”

Clarke is no stranger to working in the background for high profile clubs and managers. After a long playing career at Chelsea, he went on to assist Ruud Gullit and Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle United before returning to Stamford Bridge to work directly under Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant and, briefly, Luiz Felipe Scolari before accepting a role as Gianfranco Zola’s deputy at West Ham.

Dalglish is the latest big name to summon Clarke’s expertise to organise training drills, act as an experienced tactical sounding board and be a conduit between the manager and the players.

“Mourinho is the best manager I played for and Steve Clarke is the best assistant coach,” said former Chelsea midfielder Alexey Smertin, who played for 10 clubs in Russia, France and England in his 16-year professional career. “The manager picks the team and his neck is on the block but he needs good support around him.

“Mourinho and Clarke were brilliant at getting in the heads of each player in the squad. They would know what you were feeling.

“At Chelsea, there was a great chemistry between them and they knew their roles. Mourinho was the leader and strong psychologically but Clarke was very approachable and could talk to the players at the same level. You could be honest with him. He was a funny guy as well. I don’t know too many players who didn’t like him.”

Dyer has no doubt that the 47-year-old would have played a part in Liverpool’s resurgence under Dalglish, including three consecutive wins and clean sheets going into Sunday’s mouth-watering clash at the club where he established his coaching reputation.

“Of course, he would have helped Dalglish all the way,” observed Dyer. “I don’t know Mr Dalglish but I know Steve Clarke and I know he would have had a hand in their improvement.

“He is a good enough coach to improve players and teams. It’s all about getting people to play at their maximum potential and he is able to do that.

“I have learned a lot from him in terms of organising sessions and knowing what you want from sessions. The most important thing is for players to enjoy what they are doing. When they are happy, they perform at their best. His methods work. At Chelsea, they won everything apart from the Champions League, and they only lost that on penalties.”

Clarke has a reputation for being dour and taciturn among the media but those who know him well say he is a jovial presence in the dressing room.

“He has a good sense of humour and is a good guy,” said Dyer. “Of course, he is a buffer between the manager and the players. That’s what coaches do. He is very approachable and good at showing players both sides of the argument.”

Much of Clarke’s confidence came from his stint with Mourinho. Clarke was a youth-team coach at Chelsea before the Portuguese promoted him as soon as they met. When Mourinho left and Chelsea threatened to implode under Avram Grant, it was Clarke who stayed and defused the tension. He felt marginalised under Scolari.

The Scot is on record as saying he has ambitions to be a Premier League manager, and his greatest fan is the world’s most celebrated coach. “This is what I think about Steve Clarke: if he had the chance to manage a club, even a big club like Chelsea, he would be ready for that. He is that good,” Mourinho has said.

Yet Clarke is not a Phil Neal-style nodding accomplice to the main man. "He has his own ideas and he is not afraid of saying them," said Smertin. "He didn't just agree with Mourinho at Chelsea. He had his own thoughts on tactics and players and Mourinho would listen and go with him. He is a very smart guy and knows football."

With two canny Scots at the helm, Liverpool might consider themselves to be in safe hands.

Liverpool FC, football, sport / avi cohen dies from his injuries
« on: December 28, 2010, 08:00:11 PM »

Mr Cohen, 54, was hit by a car in a Tel Aviv suburb in Israel last week while driving his motorbike. He was admitted with serious head wounds and operated on immediately.

His son, Tamir, who plays for Bolton Wanderers, flew back to Israel to be at his father's bedside. Speaking to reporters at Ichilov hospital, the Bolton midfielder said doctors told the family that efforts to save his father's life had failed. He thanked the thousands of people who had offered their support over the last week.

Bolton striker Johan Elmander, after scoring a goal against West Brom on Sunday, held up a shirt with a message "Get Well Soon Avi Cohen."

Avi Cohen signed for Liverpool from Maccabi Tel Aviv in 1979, becoming the first Israeli to play for an English team. After two seasons with the Reds he returned to Maccabi, but then signed for Glasgow Rangers, making 15 appearances before returning to Israel.

He went on to manage 6 teams, and for the last 5 years served as head of the Israeli PFA.

Liverpool FC, football, sport / merry crimble one and all
« on: December 25, 2010, 04:52:52 AM »
almost midnight in the tropics.

before I have another glass of red wine, (ok, more specifically, whilst I am still able to type), I wanted to wish you all a very happy Christmas and new year. 

I love you guys.  We may be a small little red band, but we sure complement each other well.

Lots of best wishes, to you and your loved ones, for the year ahead.

Be safe on those roads.


Dude (and Fluffy)

Liverpool FC, football, sport / David Dein
« on: December 22, 2010, 05:27:50 PM »
The FA in their usual stupidity have overlooked David Dein and have appointed David Bernstein as their new chairman.

Let's see David Dein installed at Anfield.    Come on John Henry - you know it makes perfect sense.

Rafael Benítez issued what amounted to an ultimatum after Internazionale's 3-0 win over African champions TP Mazembe in the final of the Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, telling his bosses to strengthen the squad if they wanted to keep him as coach.

"There are three possibilities," said Benítez, who has been under pressure since succeeding José Mourinho. Inter are seventh in the league, 13 points behind leaders Milan. "[First], 100% support for the coach and buy four or five players to build a stronger team, with competition among the players to be able to carry on winning matches and trophies.

"[Second], carry on like this without a project, without planning and go ahead with one person to blame, for the whole season getting to May this way. The third is to speak to my agent, reach an agreement if there is not this support."

Inter president Massimo Moratti responded to his coach's comments, saying: "It's not the moment to ask for reinforcements. It is not something we will decide now."

Inter became the first Italian side to collect five major trophies in a single calendar year as they brushed aside Mazembe. Two goals within four first-half minutes set the Italian champions on their way, with Goran Pandev and Samuel Eto'o producing clinical finishes, before the substitute Jonathan Biabiany added a third.

There was one good piece of news for Benítez. Milan lost 1-0 at home to Roma.

I am posting this in here, lest it gets missed in the other sub forum.

given FIFA is what it is (a farcicial organisation run by big business), and that we will most likely now never see a world cup on home soil, in our lifetimes......what about an alternative World Cup tournament.


I know there would be massive massive repercussions (e.g. england thrown out of FIFA world body, UEFA ostracising us).   And any other nation taking part would also be black-listed.

Liverpool FC, football, sport / Rafa on his way out of Inter?
« on: November 21, 2010, 03:46:52 PM »
watching it live here......Inter now getting beaten by two goals to nil, away from home against Chievo.  Bog of a pitch. 

Inter were 6th before this game, nine points off the top................and will now be even further from the top.

Looks like Rafa has his work cut out.

Liverpool FC, football, sport / worst miss ever?
« on: November 16, 2010, 10:24:26 PM »

awful goalkeeping..............followed up by an awful effort at tapping the ball into an empty net.

probably fair to say that this striker only uses his left peg to stand on.


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