Cheer up. Du the Dudek.

Feeling down? Angry? Upset? Disappointed? Don’t be. Forget about the departure of Steven Gerrard. Instead remember the glory of May 25th in Istanbul.

My strongest memory is of Carragher running towards Jerzy Dudek after the final penalty. Both players, arms open, ready to embrace. Until Carragher did a quick sidestep and ran towards the fans instead!

Liverpool signed a new goalkeeper yesterday, and he’s expected to become Liverpool’s number one, but that doesn’t stop Dudek. He’s ready to fight for his place. And after his performance in Turkey, it’s something he’s every chance of retaining.

The Trophy Boyz are a group of Liverpool fans who are talented enough to write, record and mix a single, and that’s what they did when they wrote "Du the Dudek".

Liverpool are Champions of Europe. The single is out in time for the school holidays. In time for the summer barbecues and a chance to annoy your neighbouring fans of other clubs. It’s actually amazingly catchy – the more you hear it the more you sing it.

The single is due to be released on July 18th, and is already available to pre-order. There will actually be two versions of the single out. It’s also available for download or as a ring-tone. Go to the official Du The Dudek website at www.duthedudek.net for more information and the latest news. Look out for the special mix that includes commentary from the game. You can even watch the video.

Buy the single as another piece of memorabilia to help you look back at a night that you will remember much longer than you’ll remember the events of today.

By the way – the screenshot of the website has a strategically placed copy of the single to hide a picture of a certain midfielder we’d rather not see right now…

Continue reading Cheer up. Du the Dudek.

Gerrard: My side of the story

Steven Gerrard has released a statement to Sky Sports News regarding his decision to leave Liverpool. The statement reads: 
"The last six weeks have been the toughest of my life. The decision I have come to has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make.  I fully intended to sign a new contract after the Champions League final but the events of the past five or six weeks have changed all that.  I have too much respect for the club and the people at it to get involved in a slanging match."

Continue reading Gerrard: My side of the story

Just like 1977. The Champions of Europe lose a star name.

The summer of 1977. Liverpool were Champions of Europe. They had beaten Borussia Mönchengladbach 3-1 in Rome on a night to remember. It was already known ahead of the game that star player Kevin Keegan was about to leave the club.

Keegan left after the final, joining German side Hamburg. At the time it was a record fee – Liverpool received £500,000 for the player. Many Reds were devastated and disappointed. Liverpool could surely never find a replacement for him.

As the summer progressed, the news was finally announced. Bob Paisley had already had Keegan’s replacement lined up, and finally he was unveiled. Liverpool spent nearly all of the money on the replacement – £440,000. The replacement was unheard of by many, because he played in another league. The Scottish League. People thought he’d be OK, but no Keegan.

With no disrespect to Kevin Keegan, his replacement completely eclipsed him. The replacement was Kenny Dalglish.

Kenny went on to win three European Cups playing for Liverpool. He scored the winning goal at Wembley in 1978 as Liverpool retained the trophy.  By the end of the 1986 season, as player-manager, he took Liverpool to the FA Cup and Championship double. Liverpool’s former chairman John Smith is quoted as saying that Dalglish was "the best signing Liverpool have made for a century".

Now back to the present day.

The summer of 2005. Liverpool are Champions of Europe. They beat AC Milan in Istanbul on a night to remember. Prior to the game Steven Gerrard said that the result of that game would make a difference to his decision whether or not to stay.

Now Gerrard is set to leave. Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona – who knows? It looks like it will be a record fee – Liverpool have already turned down a bid that would have been a record – £32million from Chelsea. Some Reds are devastated and disappointed. Can Liverpool find a replacement for him?

For a fee of over £32million? Of course they can find a replacement for him. In fact in many ways it gives the outstanding Xavi Alonso a chance to shine even more. And for the new captain? No doubt who the fans will pick. No disrespect to vice-captain Sami Hyypia, but Jamie Carragher is the most inspirational player in Liverpool’s squad.

Will Stevie be welcomed back at Anfield again the way Kevin Keegan always has been? He’s more likely to get the reception normally reserved for another former-Liverpool midfielder – Graeme Souness.

Continue reading Just like 1977. The Champions of Europe lose a star name.

Official: Gerrard wants to leave

The following statement regarding Steven Gerrard appeared today on Liverpool’s official website: "The club has made it crystal clear we want to keep Steven at Anfield. Sadly, he has told us this afternoon that he will not accept our offer of an improved and extended contract because he wants to leave Liverpool. We very much regret the decision he has taken." Expect much more to follow…
Continue reading Official: Gerrard wants to leave

Gerrard now seems to be on his way out

Although the stories are changing direction by the minute, the latest twist in the soap opera that is Steven Gerrard is that he is leaving Liverpool. At least that’s what we’ve now heard from more than one source.

Liverpool don’t want to lose Gerrard, but Gerrard seemingly doesn’t want to stay.

Gerrard has not been able to make his mind up. After his last minute change of heart last season Gerrard gave Liverpool another season to prove to him that they intended to become successful once again. Unfortunately over this period of time Gerrard has fallen out of love with the club more and more. He knows all about the criticism he’s received from many Reds fans and feels that it’s time for something new.

The latest stories seem to have eminated from at least one of Gerrard’s team-mates – Gerrard confirming to his team-mates that he’s not going to accept Liverpool’s offer – despite it matching his demands.

Gerrard is believed to have been pleased with Liverpool’s attitude yesterday, with the informal talks leading to him seriously being ready to sign. After that meeting the player’s agent had talks with Liverpool’s management. Somewhere between leaving Melwood early yesterday evening and leaving Melwood again this afternoon Gerrard has seemingly had a change of heart.

None of the sources seem to know why Gerrard has had a change of heart, although there could be a clue in the local press. According to Liverpool newspaper the Echo, Gerrard is concerned that Liverpool haven’t got the funds to pay his contract and attract the type of player Liverpool need to push for the league title. This story comes from a journalist with very close ties to the club – but those ties require the reporter to be careful what he reports, he’ll not report certain things he’s privy to if the club ask him not to.

It’s unlikely that the reporter in question would tell lies about Reds players – he’s on a different agenda to national journalists, and can’t afford to be found reporting inaccurate information. This means that there is almost certainly something in the claims that Gerrard remains unconvinced that Liverpool are ablet to push for more honours to add to their European Cup from last season. This in turn flies in the face of what had been stressed by Benitez and Parry though – that these talks had not broken down because of financial reasons.

Before taking anything in this article as being true, remember that it is still not confirmed by anyone at Anfield or anyone involved with Steven Gerrard. If a decision has been made by Gerrard how many people would know? Has Gerrard made a decision? Our take on things is that he’s not completely sure yet. He does seem to be torn over which way to turn and the club and the agents are both trying to pressure him into turning their way. Liverpool are under no obligation to accept a bid from any club. Liverpool may be waiting for Gerrard to formally request a transfer, but they may just be waiting for a bid that matches their valuation for the player.

One thing is certain though. If Gerrard had made a decision to stay, and the contract terms met exactly what he’d requested, he’d have signed the deal already and we’d already have been informed officially.  Gerrard and his agent have gone to ground this afternoon and they are likely to stay there now until a decision can be announced.

Continue reading Gerrard now seems to be on his way out

Chelsea also confirm bid for Gerrard

Chelsea confirm their bid for Reds Captain Steven Gerrard: "Following comments from Liverpool Chief Executive Rick Parry this morning, Chelsea can confirm that the club has made an offer to Liverpool for the transfer of Steven Gerrard. The terms of that offer are confidential." chelseafc.com.  Rick Parry had earlier said that Liverpool had received a bid for Steven Gerrard which they had rejected.

Continue reading Chelsea also confirm bid for Gerrard

Parry: Chelsea did make bid – but we have rejected it

Liverpool Chief Executive Rick Parry has told BBC Sport that Chelsea have made a bid – believed to be £32m – for Reds captain Steven Gerrard. Parry said: "I can confirm we have had a bid from Chelsea and that it will be rejected by us."
Continue reading Parry: Chelsea did make bid – but we have rejected it

Where has the figure £32m come from?

It would be hard to find a back page of today’s national newspapers that  didn’t show a picture of Steven Gerrard leaving Melwood yesterday afternoon. And all of those articles seem to have "exclusives" about Chelsea making a £32million bid for Gerrard.

Chelsea currently have a suspended three-point deduction hanging over them after being found guilty of trying to tap-up Arsenal’s Ashley Cole. In that incident they met the player without permission.

Right now though Chelsea are conducting their transfer business through the press. Chelsea can make as many bids as they like, there’s no requirement for Liverpool to tell their player about them. So telling all of the journalists on the national sports pages is another way of letting the player know they want him. As all the papers know the bid that was made – or seem to – it’s pretty obvious that they’ve been told about the bid.

Some of the reports are also claiming that Real Madrid have made a bid, although Madrid have only said publically that they would go for the player if he handed in a transfer request.

What Liverpool managed to achieve yesterday was proof that they are not at fault should Gerrard leave. He’s been offered the deal he asked for, he’s been told he’s wanted, he was offered a deal three times over last season and each time held back.

What Gerrard’s advisors have managed to acheive is to make Gerrard lose yet more popularity with sections of the Reds support as patience starts to wear out. Whatever the truth of the matter, unless Gerrard signs a new deal and publicly explains what happened in the last seven days he is going to lose more and more popularity by the day.

 Liverpool are now in a win-win situation – they’ve offered Gerrard a deal, the one he asked for, they’ve got the biggest trophy available to them in the trophy room, they’ve signed new players with more on the way – Gerrard can’t leave without criticism. He can stay, sign a new deal, and then go into the new season with his head held high. If he stays Liverpool keep the player, and more importantly prove to any other players that they won’t stand for too much messing, and won’t be lied about in public.

If Gerrard does leave, and goes for the reported fee, Liverpool lose an excellent midfielder, but have the funds to buy players that Benitez can turn into excellent players.

From what we can gather Gerrard is more likely to sign a deal now than he has been for some time, but SFX are pushing like crazy to get him to leave and bring them much bigger commission. A statement is likely at some point this morning.

Continue reading Where has the figure £32m come from?

Redknapp: Crouch wants to play for Liverpool

Liverpool’s interest in signing Peter Crouch was confirmed by Southampton boss Harry Redknapp yesterday. Crouch, 24, is considered a key player by Harry Redknapp and according to BBC Sport two bids have been turned down for Crouch – including one for Liverpool.

As well as a £5million bid from Liverpool, another bid, from West Ham for £6million was also rejected. Redknap said: "West Ham did make a cash bid but we turned it down. But let’s not kid ourselves, Peter wants to go and play for Liverpool where he can play in the Champions League and get eight times the pay."

Redknapp is resigned to losing the player, but Chairman Rupert Lowe won’t sell him for less than he feels he is worth. Redknapp said: "We’ve rejected the bids so far, but I don’t know the point it would reach where he would go. I haven’t seen Crystal Palace sell Andy johnson or Norwich sell Dean Ashton."

Redknapp will be bitterly disappointed to lose crouch, and feels that he’s the one player that could get them promoted again: "If we do sell Crouch, I don’t know where we go. Are you then just saying ‘let’s sell a few shirts and that’s the end of us?’ To get into the promotion picture you need to score 70 goals. I would have fancied Phillips for 20 goals in the Championship and Peter 20 – 25. But if we lose both of them, that’s 40-45 goals we have to find immediately."

Redknapp’s plans hinge on keeping Crouch, as he said: "I’ve got strikers who can play alongside Crouch. Marian Pahars should be fit, and then there’s Brett Ormerod and Dexter Blackstock. But it all hinges on Crouch staying."

Redknapp has been working on trying to persuade Crouch that he’s better off at St Mary’s, and although it’s a difficult battle he’ll keep trying, including persuading Crouch not to worry about his England career: "I told Peter that Sven knows that he is a one-off, there’s nobody else in the country like him and Sven knows what he can do. As long as Peter’s playing well, Sven knows what he is going to get from him."

Rafael Benitez revealed yesterday that Liverpool were about to sign two or three more players. Crouch is believed to be one of those, which suggests that a deal with Southampton could be close. The other two players are rumoured to be Real Zaragoza defender Gabriel Milito and Luis Figo of Real Madrid.
Continue reading Redknapp: Crouch wants to play for Liverpool

Gerrard talks with bosses were positive

gerard leaves melwoodLiverpool’s captain Steven Gerrard met with manager Rafael Benitez and chief executive Rick Parry this afternoon as the Liverpool management attempted to put their side of the story across to the player.

Liverpool’s position publicly has always been that they want to keep their captain, and today’s talks were all about trying to convince Stevie that what they say in public is true. Liverpool have reportedly offered him exactly what he’s asked for in his contract, so the ball is now back in his court. The general feeling coming out of the meeting was that things had gone well.

Gerrard though has had his head turned by the stories he’s been fed in the last week or so. He’s been lied to, it’s obvious, but he’s got to decide who’s been lying to him.

There is also talk that Chelsea put another bid in for him today, and prior to the meeting Gerrard was already talking to team-mates about how a move to London seemed likely. Talk from elsewhere is that Real Madrid made Liverpool a substantial offer including a player and cash.

Gerrard needs time to think about his future, and if he takes the word of Benitez and Parry he perhaps needs to review who he uses as agents. Struan Marshall seems not to be the one that has been stirring up the trouble, but he works for SFX who have stirred things up repeatedly in the past.

Gerrard left Melwood tonight looking understandably worried.

A statement from SFX and Liverpool is expected in the morning, and it’s likely that this will be resolved one way or another before the week is out.

Continue reading Gerrard talks with bosses were positive