Hello Liverpool faithful, I’m sure most of us have heard about this bit of transfer news, I’ve done a video about it and could really do with some opinions on this news from the LFC faithful as I’m on the fence for this deal
Rickie Lambert to LFC? Video: http://youtu.be/x0twYGZlQGw
Thursday May 29Posted by: Guest Writer Comments Off
Well it does, rivals may scoff at the idea of Liverpool signing a 32 year old ageing striker with no European experience, but Rickie Lambert makes absolutely perfect sense. British football culture loves a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ story, too. Born and raised in Kirkby, up the road from where Liverpool’s future generation now train, Lambert was unfortunately released by Liverpool aged just 15. It’s the hardest thing in the world to pick yourself up from such a massive disappointment. Yet it shows the mental strength of the Scouser to keep on going. Marine, Blackpool, Macclesfield, Stockport County, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers, Southampton, the World Cup, the Champions League: what a rise it has been. Southampton were in League One when they bid for the experienced striker, hoping at the time that his knowledge would help them stabilise. However, the Saints meteoric rise into an impressive footballing entity mirrors the change in fortunes of Lambert. Nobody could have predicted the last five years for man and club when he signed in 2009, and as nice as their shared story is, people still have their doubts over Liverpool’s potential signing.
Yet for many reasons Lambert is the perfect fit for Liverpool – here’s why;
A fan in a shirt: since Carragher retired the season before last it has been a worry for fans that the club was in danger of losing its identity. ”There has always been a Scouser in the team” many ex-players commented at the time of his retirement, cue a sensational first real season by Jon Flanagan. Alas, we have a Scouser back in the squad in ‘Flanno’ but the influence of Carragher was irreplaceable. Hopefully, if Lambert signed then he would add an aggressive Scouse dimension back to Liverpool’s line-up, joining Flanagan and Gerrard.
Plan B: when Chelsea parked the bus and triggered our loss of the title, we were left deflated and depressed. The neutrals admired our style and scorned theirs, but that wasn’t enough. As many pundits rightly called, Liverpool needed the experience to break down Chelsea. Lambert will offer us another dimension in our playing style. We can play it forward, we can bypass midfield, it can go wide and he will mix things up. Disregard the stigma attached to such football, the ‘Stoke’ tag is not our aim, but we need to match the styles of defensive teams when they do come to Anfield.
Set pieces: Atletico vs Real Madrid proved that football, tactically speaking, has evolved once more, from tiki-taka, from countering, to maximising set-pieces. The lessening of space between the lines has resulted in more free-kicks than ever before – Rickie can take these – however he will not be used for that. Lambert will be another threat in the box for us, joining Skrtel as a set-piece goalscorer.
Dressing room experience: this Liverpool squad is extremely likeable, mostly due to our youthful flair. But with youth comes naivety. Gerrard is our elder statesman, we need another presence in that changing room to keep the young Coutinho, Sterling, Flanagan, Joao, Tiago, Henderson and to an extent, Sturridge, grounded and focused on our quest for glory.
Here’s to hoping Rickie comes home at long last.
Follow me on Twitter @DanielFieldsend
Scholes Is Right To Urge England To Play Like Liverpool
It may come as a surprise for a Manchester United legend to want England to play like Liverpool in Brazil but that is what Paul Scholes wants from his national team at this summer’s World Cup.
The former United midfielder also wants Hodgson to start as many as five Liverpool players in England’s first World Cup game against Italy on June 14.
Scholes says he admired Liverpool’s swagger as they went close to upsetting the odds and winning the Premier League last season.
He would like Hodgson to adopt Liverpool’s attacking approach in Brazil instead of the negative tactics witnesses at the last World Cup.
Scholes said :
“It would be refreshing for England to adopt Liverpool’s attacking mentality in Brazil, really go for it. That means certainly four, possibly five, Liverpool players in the England starting eleven against Italy on June 14.”
Scholes praised Liverpool’s style of play by saying :
“Last season, I didn’t take notice of Liverpool as contenders until six or seven games to go of the Premier League. Only then did I think they genuinely had a chance of winning the title. Ultimately they fell short, but the thing I admired was the swagger of their play and how they terrorised opponents, which reminded me of United at their best.”
Scholes says it how it is, and he is 100% right with his comments. Regardless of how many Liverpool players are in the squad, England should adopt a more attacking approach, especially with the number of attacking players in the squad.
But I fear Hodgson won’t allow them the freedom to attack with his defensive nature, hopefully he listens to Scholes’ comments and England could have an exciting summer.
Wednesday May 28Posted by: Ben Green Comments Off
With the, apparently inevitable, departure of Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham Hotspurs after just one successful season at Southampton, the papers are full of speculation today. The 42 year-old Argentinian will try to tempt Liverpool’s prime target Adam Lallana to White Hart Lane. This has been described as a “huge blow” and a “Snub”, for Liverpool. But if you look further at the situation is it really that big a deal for Brendan Rodgers?
It’s my personal opinion that if a deal was going to be done, it would have been done so already. At least a firm handshake accord reached with all parties. If this is the case, then this current round of speculation is the usual unsubstantiated ‘paper talk’ based on foundations as firm as a chocolate fireguard. It’s also very likely that the player has made his mind up by this stage. Lallana is currently preparing to travel to Brazil with the rest of the England squad, having spent the last week or so training in Portugal. A group that contains no fewer than five Liverpool players. Unsurprisingly, that’s five more than one can count from Spurs. You’d have to be a dead man not to realise that Footballers, like any other people, in any other profession, in any other walk of life, will discuss these things among themselves. “I hear that x is going to y, what do you reckon…?”. “So-and-so told me that b wants to go to c…” etc etc. Algebra apart, you can see what I’m getting at. The technical term, I believe is a verb: To Gossip. Lallana and two thirds of the England squad already know where he’s going.
Lallana is a good player. He’s industrous and inventive. Skillful and versatile. This type of player can only help Rodgers to improve the Liverpool squad. Without doubt. He’d be a good addition to any in the Premiership. His goals return, passing, and chance creation stats are all pretty impressive (nine goals, 85% and 68 chances respectively across the 38 Premiership games). But then, so what if he does go to Spurs?
Well, this would be his loss. Not Liverpool’s. If a player is openly claiming he wants to play “at the highest level” and then chooses not to do so then he cleary doesn’t have the courage or ambition that a top player needs to have. The courage or ambition a Liverpool FC player needs to have. Ask yourselves: Is this character really what Brendan Rodgers should be spending the club’s money on? Is this the kind of player that truely wants to don the red shirt of Liverpool. In my opinion, I’d say not.
Should Pochettino succed in taking Lallana, then he’s done Liverpool a huge favour, and put yet another nail in the coffin of Tottenham Hotspurs FC at the same time. And, you know what? I’m not arsed, frankly. Good luck to them. Totenham are a club that have shown over the years how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. How to take one step forward and two huge stumbles backward. How to royally shoot themselves in the foot when what they sould be doing is showing some faith in the managers they recruit and their long term view if they really have one. If I were asked who out of Rodgers and Pochettino is in the safest job, and who has the biggest chance of seeing out their contracts – not to mention achieving success, I’d be showing the effects of a fair few gin and tonics, glasses of rouge and more than a pint or two of Worthingtons if I ever said the latter.
Simply because furthermore, there are other options available that could and probably would offer better value for money. The much vaunted Emre Can of Bayer Leverkusen for a start would provide very good alternative and, at around £10m, would put a smile on thee face of Chief Financial Officer, Andy Hughes to-boot. There is also talk of Barcelona’s 26 year-old Pedro Rodriguez who would make a superb addition to the club. Cesc Fabregas, Javier Mascherano. All viable alternatives who, with the exception of Fabregas would likely be avaiable for less than the reported £25m quoted for Lallana.
If Lallana chooses Tottenham over Liverpool then it certainly won’t be the end of the world. However, havng said that, I don’t believe he will. I’d say only 5% of the transfer market is played out in the press, and of that half of it is contrived for one reason or another. Liverpool should complete the transfer of Lallana which will undoubtedly improve the squad. The ex-saint, along with three or four other quality signings should see Brendan Rodgers’ side be competitive next season. Lallana has already stated his intention to join the Reds, so I suspect this is simply noise from the edges and a futile attempt by Pochettino to upset the proverbial applecart following his appointment. Still, if you can make an entrance, why not make a big one.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
Monday May 26Posted by: Ben Green Comments Off
According to a report on SportBild.de (In German), Liverpool’s first transfer of the season is as good as “Perfectly” done. The report begins with saying that Brendan Rodgers has also made a firm enquiry to Bayern Munich about the availability of 22 year-old Swiss international Xherdan Shaqiri who has fallen out of favour at the Allianz Arena. However, following on from that, the same article goes on to say that one of Rodgers’ primary targets has been secured.
The German red-top claimes that an agreement has been reached betwen Liverpool and Leverkusen for the transfer of the multitalented midfielder Emre Can for a sum believed to be in the region of €12m (or £9.7m in real money). There is no mention of when exactly the deal will be confirmed but one suspects that it will be confirmed once formalities have been resolved.
If this is correct, then this represents a major coup for Rodgers. Can is a player who, to describe as versatile, would be an understatement. This would clearly demonstrate the Reds boss is moving with a firm intent in the transfer market and is looking to tie up his business early and effectively.
For those who are not familiar with the 20 year-old midfielder who can also play as a full back and centre back, check out this video of the lad in action. Can is a player that can!
Watch this space for more transfer news and updates.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen
Saturday May 24Posted by: Ben Green Comments Off
With the football season now well and truly over for Liverpool and all, we enter the period which I call “Summer Oblivion”. This is the period where nothing much happens. There’s not much to do other than household chores, the day job and arguing with friends over transfer speculation in the papers in anticipation of next season. The exception this year is that we’ll be treated to the quadrennial spectacle that is the World Cup.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be concentrating on the latter of the three passtimes mentioned above because there’s all too many of the other two, anyway. Following from the contentious article last week, I’m going to summarise four players who are the subject of the most recent transfer speculation, together with a BS rating. One for little or no doubt and five for total BS. In no particular order, this week’s “Fantastic Four” are:
Loic Remy - According to The Independant, QPR Loanee Remy is currently in talks with Liverpool about the possibility of a move to Anfield. The 27 year-old scored 14 goals in 26 games for Newcastle last season which is an impressive stat by any standards. The pacey front man yould make a good addition to any Premiership squad in my opinion. I’m not sure how much game time he’d get, but would definitely provide a better alternative in a cold January Wednesday evening Cup tie than Iago Aspas.
BS Rating: 5 Total fantasy. The player was seen at Arsenal’s last match of the season so I’d say he’s odd’s on to go to London rather than Liverpool. It smells like his agent is trying to twist Mr. Wenger’s arm if I’m not mistaken.
Emre Can - The Mirror claims that Liverpool are accelerating the transfer of Can in order to avoid Bayern Munich’s possible activation of their “buy-back” clause next year. This versatile prospect is the perfect replacement for Steven Gerrard and I’d even go so far as to say that at 20 years old, he’s by far a more complished player than Captain Invinsible Gerrard was at the same age. No question at all. The guy has strength, pace and skill in abundance. Like Gerrard, he can play in a number of defensive and midfield positions: Full back; Centre back; Holding and attacking midfielder. What’s not to like in that? He’s a far better purchase than previous Reds target Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
BS Rating: 1 There is definitely some traction to this rumour and I believe Can would make a superb addition to the Red’s squad. I understand from my German correspondent (well, my other half) that the transfer is quite delicate. Apparently Leverkusen have accepted an offer for Gonzalo Castro from Schalke 04 and if LFC nip in and take Can, then the previously agreed transfer of Castro may fall through on the basis that they can’t sell their two best midfielders… This is probably the more pressing matter for LFC than Bayern Munich. Personally I think the deal will go through. Leverkusen won’t refuse €12m now in order to pick up an automatic €7m from the Bavarians next year. D’uh. Eastenders, eat your heart out!
Yevhen Konoplyanka - Rumours remain rife that the Reds will sign the 24 year-old winger from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. The club have made him available for €12m which one would think is an amount well within the Liverpool summer transfer kitty. However, the Ukraine club claim no contact has been made from the Merseysiders. From what I’ve seen I’m not totally convinced. I don’t see why Liverpool would be interested in him and wouldn’t be surprised if the whole thing was a smoke screen to distract from a more coveted target. Well, I’m hoping so anyway.
BS Rating: 4 I can’t see this happening. I’m not sure if anyone’s noticed, but Liverpool don’t really play with wingers. Hence them being among the teams with the least “crosses”. Is Konoplyanka really a player in the mould that Brendan Rodgers is looking for?
Pedro - Or Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez Ledesma to use his full name. Let’s just call him Pedro Eliezer Rodríguez for short. The 24 year old Spaniard, a World and European Cup winner with Spain is the kind of player shoud be looking to sign. A player of pure class and one whom Rodgers would surely be able to improve. The abundantly skillful graduate of the La Mesia academy of Barcelona has been made available as part of a summer clear out by newly appointed Barca boss Luis Enrique according to The Guardian. A forward line including Luis Suarez and Pedro would be too good to imagine.
BS Rating: 3 It would be nice, but I can’t see this happening. Since Rodgers’ appointment he hasn’t been able to attract anyone of Pedro’s profile. He certaily has something to prove so let’s hope this isn’t just “Football Manager” stuff.
So, that’s my Fantastic Four for this week. Fantastic being the appropriate word because I think there’s only one likely mover in that lot being Can. Maybe he can. There’s no official offer so I think Brendan Rodgers and company should wrap up the Transfer Committee Meeting and get ton the blower before José Mourinho gets wind of this.
Overall, Adam Lallana remains the number one transfer target but at £25m, I think Rodgers could find better value elsewhere. This looks as if it’s going to be another drawn out, wild goose chase scenario for Liverpool. Will an offer of £40m entice Southampton to part with their captain and Dejan Lovren? Seems a tad pricey to me and that implies £15m for Lovren. I should cocoa.
Follow me on Twitter: @Mrbengreen