LFC Talk

THISISTHECITY.COM: Is Maxi underused? by lfctalk
March 21, 2012, 18:22
Filed under: News

Liverpool were in great form at the end of last season, with Maxi Rodriguez bagging two hat-tricks. This campaign has failed to build on that promise, with limited opportunities. Is he being treated fairly?

Argentine midfielder Maxi Rodriguez has been one of the principal victims of Kenny Dalglish’s ‘Buy British’ policy.

With Dalglish electing to spend millions on Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam, Maxi Rodriguez has found his opportunities hard to come by, even with Steven Gerrard missing a large portion of the season with injury.

It is a little of a surprise, as when Dalglish got Liverpool playing at their best last April, Maxi Rodriguez was the star, scoring six goals in two games.

Dirk Kuyt was another star performer, but he too has found himself rotated more than ever, and this week he fired a warning shot across the club’s bows that he wanted more first team games.

It could be argued that if he is sold this summer Rodriguez will not be missed, but that is partially due to the fact he spend more time on the bench than on the pitch.

With Liverpool struggling for goals, and home victories at a premium, surely Maxi should be given more of a chance between now and the end of the season, to show why he should not be sold this summer.

This season in the Premier League he has played just 367 minutes of football, not completing 90 minutes once.

He has not played in the league since the 3-1 defeat to Bolton Wanderers, a match Dalgish said would prompt him to wield the axe, and his actions since then show he meant his word, at least when it came to Rodriguez anyway.

But is is really fair to blame that terrible showing on Maxi?

Before that he had started just four games in the league, scoring the opener in a 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in one of them.

That is all he has started, also featuring in disappointing home draws against Wigan, Blackburn, and a 1-0 win over QPR.

Throwing him in here and there is never going to get the best out of him, so to judge him on the few games he has been given opportunities in this season is hardly fair.

Equally, he cannot be judged the right player for Liverpool on the basis of two hat-tricks against Birmingham City and Fulham, but what that did show is that there is a lethal player in there, who has not been given a proper opportunity to show what he can do this season.

He has only started two consecutive league games on one occasion this term, which is never going to see him put a good run of form together.

If he had been given a run in the side, he could have been an asset this season, but Dalglish’s mind seems to be made up about him, and it is difficult to see him remaining at the club next season.

If Dalglish’s signings, Henderson and Adam had been convincing, we would likely not be talking about Maxi Rodriguez, but given their disappointment, it is time to reassess whether the manager has made a mistake in cutting the Argentine adrift.

The question is, has King Kenny treated him unfairly this season, or has he made the right call on an under-performing player? Let us know your opinion.




GIVEMEFOOTBALL.COM: Feyenoord want Kuyt return by lfctalk
March 21, 2012, 18:21
Filed under: News

Feyenoord sporting director Martin van Geel has admitted he would love to re-sign Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt for the Rotterdam club – but has admitted it is unlikely to happen this summer.

Kuyt has become something of a cult hero at Anfield since making the move to Merseyside back in 2006 from Feyenoord, but has seen his first team opportunities dwindle of late.

The 31-year-old was dropped for Carling Cup final against Cardiff last month, but emerged from the bench to score for the Reds in extra-time at Wembley Stadium as he lifted the first trophy of his Liverpool career.

Kuyt, contracted with the Reds until 2013, recently revealed that while he is happy to remain with Liverpool for the time being he could leave the club if he cannot break into the first team on a regular basis in the near future.

Geel says he hopes to capitalise on Kuyt’s lack of football at Anfield and bring him back to his former club, but says there is little chance of a move happening at the end of the current season.

“I would love to welcome Dirk at Feyenoord as soon as possible. He fits in here more than anybody else,” Van Geel was quoted as saying by NUsport.

“He is more than welcome at the club. However, I do not think that it’s realistic to believe that he could return this summer.”

In recent seasons Kuyt has been forced to ply his trade on the right wing having occupied a more central role earlier in his career at Liverpool, however manager Kenny Dalglish’s preference to deploy Jordan Henderson out wide means his chances are becoming increasingly limited.

Rob Jansen, Kuyt’s agent, confirmed he will return to De Kuip when his time with Liverpool comes to an end, but said it was impossible to put an estimate on when that could be.

“Feyenoord know that Dirk will join them once he returns to Netherlands. But when? It’s impossible to answer that question,” Jansen said.

“We are just waiting to see what happens at Liverpool now and what’s coming his way. We will make a decision on his future after that.”



Hodgson warns United over Reina by lfctalk
October 28, 2010, 17:56
Filed under: News

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Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has warned Manchester United not to make a move for goalkeeper José Reina.

Recent reports have claimed that United are joining Arsenal in pursuing the Spanish international as each look for replacements for their current custodians.

Arsenal have been linked with Reina sporadically over the last few months, but it appears that United’s interest has particularly irked Hodgson.

“It was just one of those stories that seems to occur – it’s just disappointing and annoying,” Hodgson told the Liverpool Echo.

“Pepe is fantastic here, he is a lifeblood of this team.”

“Everything he does around the club is excellent – he is always lively in the dressing room, he is always first class in training and he always wants to do more to improve.”

“He demands better from those around him, he is always pushing people on. He is a player who we hold in the highest esteem.”

“We have heard nothing from Manchester United and, more to the point, we don’t want to hear anything from Manchester United.”

“If (Sir Alex) Ferguson is looking around at the end of the season and he has got lots of money to replace (Edwin) van der Sar, he might very well want Pepe Reina because he is the best around.”

“But we do not want to sell him. I would like to think that we are going to become a successful club once again and Pepe is crucial to that.”

Pellegrini reveals Liverpool approach by lfctalk
October 26, 2010, 11:56
Filed under: News

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Manuel Pellegrini has claimed that Liverpool have made an approach to install him as Roy Hodgson’s successor at Anfield – and that he would welcome the chance.

Hodgson has overseen Liverpool’s worst start to a season since 1953 and has been under mounting pressure to leave from sections of the Reds support – but he has stated his determination to remain in the job.

He may not have much choice if this is true, as Pellegrini is hopeful of returning to management by the end of the year.

Pellegrini was sacked by Real Madrid in May, despite collecting their biggest ever points tally in La Liga last season at an average of 2.53 per game – but crucially he failed to pip Barcelona to the title.

He is said to favour a move to the Premiership and sees Liverpool as the ideal club for that given the managerial situation and Latin contingent.

“Yes, Liverpool contacted me.” he said.

“It is a great club with many Spanish players who I already know, and it is my intention to work in the Premier League.”

“I had lots of offers, some that I like. Ideally, I would like to find a club in December.”

Is Hodgson’s job on the line? by lfctalk
October 16, 2010, 12:31
Filed under: News

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Roy Hodgson’s start to life as Liverpool boss has been rocky to say the least, and with NESV now the new owners of the club…will he keep his job?

Defeat in Sunday’s Merseyside derby would give John Henry and co the perfect early opportunity to dimiss the Englishman, should they wish to bring in their own man. Potentially, if the Reds are beaten at Goodison Park on Sunday they could find themselves rock bottom of the Premiership table.

That scenario would surely put massive pressure on the former Fulham boss and could see his reign at Anfield cut dramatically short.

But are NESV likely to act so quickly when they have been so non-committal in interviews so far?

If the new American owners do wish to bring in their own guy, they would surely see this as the ideal chance to dispose of Hodgson. He has suffered one of the worst starts to any Liverpool manager’s tenure at Anfield – with just one league win so far. That was a tight 1-0 win over ten man West Brom at home – the same home that Blackpool managed to take three points from. Credit must go to Ian Holloway for masterminding a fine performance – but the mentions of heavy defeats at Chelsea and Arsenal are not fair.

Liverpool are not in the same bracket as those clubs in terms of quality on the field at present. The club outstrips both in terms of support, passion, history and aura – but they aren’t in the relegation zone through misfortune.

Hodgson’s tactics have been even more drab and insipid than Benitez’s last season. There’s no pace, no creativity and idea from his team thus far this season. Ok, it can take a long time for a manager to bed in at a new club and impress his ideas on his players – but surely this squad hasn’t been depleted so much that it can drop from seventh best to relegation contenders so quickly? There must be an influence in there somewhere of Hodgson’s tactics and methods.

While NESV may take that view, they may also sympathise with a manager trying to bring new ideas and progress to a club that has been in the doldrums for the last eighteen months since finishing a close second in 2008/9.

The club’s financial uncertainty and ownership issues have walked hand in hand with the team’s disastrous form. The new owners may feel that Hodgson deserves time, and hopefully funds, to turn things around in more clement circumstances.

Hodgson would surely not preside over a relegated side were he to stay as boss for the foreseeable future, but how far can he go with what he currently has available to him?

The low ebb and poor form of Fernando Torres this season will worry even the hardiest of Reds. His mind seems to be elsewhere and Summer rumours of him pining for a move to Chelsea may seem to ring even truer given his body language. The likes of City and United have also recently been linked for moves for the World Cup winning striker, but the long-awaited takeover may see an upturn of form in the former Atletico Madrid man.

Nobody is performing to the best of his ability in a Red shirt this season though. Steven Gerrard is struggling to hit the back of the net again this term and even seems happier plying his trade in the white of England. Pepe Reina made an uncharacteristic error against Arsenal in the season opener and has voiced his concerns over the club’s plight.

The departure of Javier Mascherano came as no surprise to anyone, but the Argentine’s late withdrawal from the team to face Manchester City did not help the new manager. A 3-0 hiding from the rich kids from down the East Lancs Road may have been a hammer blow to a squad already suffering from low confidence – it could have set the tone for the last couple of months.

The latest chapter in Liverpool history begins today and the first opposition for the NESV-owned Liverpool is a massive away day at Everton on Sunday. How the blue half of Liverpool would have been enjoying the disastrous tenure of Hicks and Gillett. Disappointment must have set in with them after seeing Liverpool’s ownership change hands in a massive morale lift today.

But how long will Roy Hodgson be part of the “virtually debt-free” Reds?

Carragher extends contract by lfctalk
October 15, 2010, 23:16
Filed under: News

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Jamie Carragher has signed a new deal with the club that will keep him at Anfield until June 2013.

The vice-captain, who turns thirty-three in January, admits that his future has had to be put on the back burner with the recent turmoil at Anfield.

“We’ve been talking about it for the last couple of weeks but obviously there’s been more important business for the club to deal with and rightly so,” he said.

“Mine was put to the back of the queue and that was no problem but it’s finally sorted now.”

“When Liverpool offer you a contract you sort it out pretty quickly.”

“I’m looking forward to hopefully finishing my career at the club.”

“Since the day I made my debut, my dream would have been to finish my career at the club and hopefully now that will be the case.”

Roy Hodgson spoke of his delight to seal an extension with the defender: “I am really pleased Jamie has been offered and agreed a new contract,” he said.

“He is part of the heart and soul of this club and is a man who literally would do anything to achieve success for the club and he has proved it over the last 10 years or so in the Premier League.”

“His contribution on the field has been of the very highest quality.”

“Jamie has been one of the few players in the seven league matches this season who could hold his hand up and say ‘I can’t do any better, you could never put a lack of result down to my performance.”

“That is something to be proud of.”

“He is one of the best centre-backs in the Barclays Premier League and I look forward to working with him for the next three years.”

Carragher has been a main figure at Anfield since making his debut in 1997 and is sixth in the list of all-time Liverpool appearances, having played 641 times so far.

He has won ten major honours with the Reds, including two FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Cup and the Champions League.

Hodgson delighted with takeover by lfctalk
October 15, 2010, 22:54
Filed under: News

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Roy Hodgson had a difficult time in the Summer transfer window in spreading around his cash enough to build the squad he inherited from Rafael Benitez.

Despite the financial constraints of having to sell to buy, the Englishman managed to bring in Joe Cole ahead of the likes of Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham. Milan Jovanovic was another free signing, a deal engineered by Benitez before his departure.

“We have a limited squad of players,” Hodgson told reporters on Friday. “I don’t think we’re as strong in depth as many of our rivals, I’d like us to be stronger.”

“I think that the 11 players that we can put out from the start don’t give me enormous alternatives at the moment, especially up front and that’s where the most alternatives would be. We are also short of back players at the club.”

“In midfield we have quite a lot of players, many of whom play in the same position, so for me to really be happy with the squad I would want to balance it out a bit differently to how it’s balanced at the moment but I’m not going to do that in two and a half months.”

Hodgson will be hoping that NESV provide him with funds in January – that is if he remains Liverpool manager under their ownership.