Liverpool striker Florent Sinama Pongolle has gone on loan to Blackburn until the end of the season.
Flo will be playing for a former Manchester United and Everton player, Mark Hughes, who also managed to bring two other new names in for Rovers today. Hughes told the official Rovers site: “We are very pleased with the business we have been able to conclude. We were keen to add to our striking options and welcome the opportunity to bring Florent here.”
Liverpool confirmed David Raven’s loan move to another “Rovers” yesterday. Tranmere will have use of the defender until May 29th.
Also leaving on loan is Chilean winger Mark Gonzalez. After being unable to get round work permit rules in time the club decided that Gonzales would be better off at least playing, and so Real Sociedad get the benefit of the highly-rated players services until the end of the season.
The FA Cup 5th round match at home to Manchester United has been set for the Saturday of the cup weekend, on February 18th, with a kick-off time of 12.30pm.
Continue reading Pongolle joins Blackburn on loan
Liverpool have been drawn at home to face Manchester United in the FA Cup 5th round draw.
One of Liverpool’s biggest rivals, it was Reds legend Ian Rush that drew the American-owned club’s number out of the bag at FA headquarters.
No doubt the game will be picked as one of the games for live TV coverage, being arguably the tie of the round.
Liverpool and United have played many memorable cup ties against each other, and most recently met at Old Trafford on the day Gary Neville celebrated United’s winner in a way condemned by most, denied by him, and subject to an FA charge.
Neither side will be able to honestly say that they would relish this fixture.
Continue reading Reds draw Mancs at home in FA Cup
FA Cup Fourth Round
Sunday January 29th 2006
Portsmouth 1 (Davis 54) Liverpool 2 (Gerrard 37 (pen), Riise 41)
Portsmouth: D Kiely, L Primus (B Priske, 88), D Stefanovic, A O’Brien, G Vignal (S Todorov, 45), G O’Neil, S Davis, M Pedro Mendes, R Hughes, M Taylor, V
Pericard (A Karadas, 66)
Unused subs: J Ashdown, A Cisse
Booked: V Pericard 11, R Hughes 12, S Davis 42
Liverpool: J Reina, J Kromkamp, S Hyypia, J Carragher, S Warnock, S Gerrard (S
Finnan, 80), X Alonso, M Sissoko, J Riise, D Cisse (H Kewell, 83) , F
Morientes (P Crouch, 72)
Subs: S Carson, D Traore
Booked: Sissoko 64
Referee: P Dowd
Continue reading FA Cup Round 4 – Portsmouth 1 Liverpool 2 (Result)
FA Cup Fourth Round
Sunday January 29th 2006
Portsmouth 0 Liverpool 2 (Gerrard 37 (pen), Riise 41)
Portsmouth: D Kiely, L Primus, D Stefanovic, A O’Brien, G Vignal, G O’Neil, S Davis, M Pedro Mendes, R Hughes, M Taylor, V Pericard
Subs: J Ashdown, B Priske, A Cisse, A Karadas, S Todorov
Booked: V Pericard 11, R Hughes 12, S Davis 42
Liverpool: J Reina, J Kromkamp, S Hyypia, J Carragher, S Warnock, S Gerrard, X Alonso, M Sissoko, J Riise, D Cisse, F Morientes
Subs: S Carson, S Finnan, H Kewell, P Crouch, D Traore
Referee: P Dowd
Continue reading FA Cup Half Time – Portsmouth 0 Liverpool 2
Stuart Pearce has spoken of his belief that Robbie Fowler could become a big success for Liverpool on his return home. Fowler started his second stint as a Red after signing on a free transfer on Friday, and Pearce said his natural instincts will allow him to do well for the European Champions: “Robbie is a predator and a finisher and I have no doubt he will prove to be a success. Liverpool tend to have the lion’s share of possession in matches and Rafael Benitez has said they do not have a natural finisher, which is exactly what he is.”
Opinion on whether Fowler will be a hit or miss second time round is divided amongst neutrals, many feeling he’s past his best. Others are even suggesting that a successful partnership with Peter Crouch over the next few months could see him back in the England squad. What is certain though is that Fowler will have all of the enthusiasm he’d started to lose under Gerard Houllier, as Pearce pointed out: “You could see he was 10 feet tall when he walked through the door and from his point of view it is a fantastic move.”
Last summer the striker and his agent, George Scott, first found out that Rafael Benítez was an admirer of Fowler, and would not rule out a return for the striker. If anything would get in the way of a Fowler return it would be his wages, his fitness and his form. Added to that would be the fact that at the start of the season the striker would still command a transfer fee from City. Six months on and the form and fitness had been proven with his displays in the FA Cup for City along with his clincher against Manchester United and wages were not a concern for Robbie – he was prepared to take a wage cut to play for the Reds. Liverpool let Scott know they wanted to bring Fowler on board, and Liverpool made the official approach to City last week. Rick Parry denied Liverpool had spoken about a loan deal, which was true because the deal was for a free transfer.
Continue reading Pearce: Fowler will be Reds success
Robbie Fowler’s return to Anfield has brought him joy that he’s rarely experienced in the years since his departure from the club under a cloud when David O’Leary signed him for Leeds. After he signed his new contract at Anfield yesterday he went outside and cried. Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Fowler said: “After I signed I sat in my car outside Anfield and was incredibly emotional. It is unbelievable, a dream come true for me. I can hardly believe that I am back.”
Fowler again emphasised how much worse his departure from the club had been made by the former manager Gerard Houllier: “One of my biggest regrets in football was my final game at Liverpool when I was taken off at half-time against Sunderland. I never got the chance to say goodbye to the fans. Now I am getting the chance to do things properly with the fans and it is just such a great feeling. I am here and I am committed to a future at Liverpool.”
That future includes a need to show Rafa Benítez just how good he really can be. The 30-year-old hopes to see his fitness improve under the current fitness techniques employed at Melwood, and wants to ensure that his return is not going to sour the memories of the supporters for the local lad. He’s here until the summer, after that there’s an option for another year, which is reliant on him proving that fitness and form won’t be an issue: “I know the odds, I have come back on a short-term deal and after that it’s up to me. I have come back to Liverpool because the club and the fans have always been in my heart, and I just hope I can give something back to the fans for the incredible support they have always shown to me, even when I was playing for another club.”
Continue reading As Fowler celebrates Anelka admits missing Anfield
Robbie Fowler was interviewed by the official LFC website straight after re-signing for the European Champions and it was impossible for him to hide his delight. It sounded like he couldn’t sign quickly enough: “It hasn’t sunk in yet. Just to travel back to Anfield was great and to actually get into the office and obviously put pen to paper was something that I have wanted to happen for a long time. Honest to God, I’m so happy it’s frightening! I’m just so chuffed – that’s all I can say.”
Fowler was practically forced out by the previous management team at Anfield, at least according to him and most people who were around the club at that time. He was asked if he thought he’d ever get a chance to play for the Reds again: “Probably if I’m honest, no. Obviously since I have left, deep down, I have always wanted to come back and it has been a long time but I’m glad to say I’m back now.”
Fowler also spoke about how disappointing it was not to say goodbye to the fans properly last time: “That was probably one of my biggest regrets in football. The fact is when I did leave I played against Sunderland and I got taken off at half-time. I never got a proper chance to say good-bye. It will be nice to get back out at Anfield wearing the red shirt again. Just to walk back out of the tunnel will be amazing.”
Continue reading Fowler chuffed to bits to be Red again
Rafael Benítez told the official Liverpool FC website tonight that he felt the return of Robbie Fowler would be another step forward for Liverpool and a boost for the team, the fans and the player himself. Rafa said: “My idea is for Liverpool to take one step forward and I think Robbie can help us make that step. We have signed a player with so much passion for this football club and I think he will act as an example to every player here in how much he loves Liverpool. It is a boost for the team, a boost for the supporters and a boost for Robbie himself. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player quite so happy to be joining a club before.”
Robbie’s departure from Anfield under the previous regime was a big blow to the player, and his return has undoubtedly been the move of his dreams, not to mention all those who follow the Reds with such passion: “I think it’s a signing that will lift everyone who loves Liverpool Football Club because Robbie is a great finisher who can help us reach a new level.”
Being so passionate about the club he plays for is obviously a good quality in any player, but Rafa makes clear that this isn’t the reason he was brought home: “He hasn’t been signed because he loves the club – he’s been signed because he’s one of the best goal-scorers ever to play in the Premiership. He can score goals for us right now. He’s got a wealth of experience and he gives us more attacking options. He’s a different kind of striker to what we have at the club and that is good for the team.”
Continue reading Rafa: Never seen anyone so happy to sign as Fowler
The rumours were true and Robbie Fowler has in fact returned to
Anfield. The Reds legend who is of course known to fans as “God”, has joined on a free transfer until the end of
the season. It’s a move that will thrill the majority of Reds fans.
Fowler left Anfield in 2001 when he signed for Leeds in a deal that was
publicly announced as being for £11 million, although it was later
claimed the actual amount was around £13 million. He’s now arrived
without costing the Reds a penny other than his wages, making him
excellent value if he can show anything like the form he’s remembered
An announcement on the official site confirmed the news: “Liverpool
Football Club are delighted to announce that Robbie Fowler has rejoined
the club on a free transfer from Manchester City until the end of the
season when the situation will be reviewed. Fowler, 30, completed the
formalities of what is a sensational move this afternoon.”
The players is cup-tied and so won’t be able to line up against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on Sunday, but could well
make his “debut” against Birmingham at home on Wednesday night, should
Rafa Benitez choose to throw him straight in. He’ll also be eligible for the Champions League, ironically helped by the fact that City missed out on a place in Europe this season after Fowler missed a penalty that would have helped them to qualify at Middlesbrough’s expense.
Robbie was part of the squad that helped Liverpool to their five
trophies in 2001, when as vice-captain he was able to lift trophies for
the club due to the unfortunate injury club captain Jamie Redknapp was
suffering from at the time. A local lad (born in Toxteth) Fowler was
struggling to get a starting place in the side over that season due to
a rift with Gerard Houllier and Phil Thompson.
His presence on the pitch will be matched by his presence at Melwood,
and the thoughts of Morientes and Fowler teaching each other any tricks
the other didn’t know, watched by Pongolle and Crouch, must have Rafa
rubbing his hands together.
Continue reading The second coming:”God” is back
The rumours were true and Robbie Fowler has in fact returned to Anfield. Reported on Sky Sports this afternoon is that the Reds legend has joined on a free transfer until the end of the season. It took the official site a little longer to confirm the news. We’ve known the deal was on the cards for some time, but it was only this afternoon that Robbie made it through the last of the formalities.
More on this story to come…
Continue reading Fowler is back!