Reds v Napoli: Johnson returns, Gerrard on bench

Roy Hodgson’s first match under the watchful eye of Liverpool’s new Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli is tonight’s Group K Europa League tie against Napoli.

Glen Johnson makes his comeback from injury, meaning Martin Kelly misses out with Jamie Carragher moving back into the centre alongside one of Liverpool’s biggest goal threats this season, Soto Kyrgiakos. Roy’s own signing Paul Konchesky retains his place at left-back.

In midfield the under-fire boss has selected another of his signings, Christian Poulsen, to play alongside academy graduate Jay Spearing. Raul Meireles is likely to start on the right, Milan Jovanovic on the left, with Jonjo Shelvey expected to play off lone striker David Ngog.

With one eye on the upcoming game against Chelsea, Fernando Torres is rested.


Continue reading Reds v Napoli: Johnson returns, Gerrard on bench

Rafa tells Roy to quit talking and concentrate on coaching

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has responded to the latest round of attacks on him by current Reds manager Roy Hodgson.

Was Kenny frozen out of Melwood - and who by?Hodgson yesterday described an 1-0 away win at Bolton, courtesy of a very late goal, as a “famous victory”. Despite Roy’s description this match is unlikely to feature in any “hall of fame” featuring Liverpool’s genuinely famous victories down the years. It was Liverpool’s first away league win since April, but Roy’s first away league win in 442 days.

Before that match came some quotes from Roy dismissing Kenny Dalglish’s credentials to become Liverpool boss  a second time and accusing Benitez of freezing Kenny out of Melwood.

Hodgson said Dalglish, who has won the league four times as a manager, was “good at” scouting, working at the academy and playing an ambassadorial role. “You cannot find a better person for that than Kenny,” said Roy, who got the manager’s job at Anfield despite a CV that raises big questions about the criteria used to select him.

As Liverpool’s season slid from bad to worse with embarrassing defeats at home to Blackpool then away to Everton there were calls for Roy to be removed from his post. Many felt it was better for the club if Kenny was to take over in a caretaker capacity until the club could secure a suitable replacement.
Continue reading Rafa tells Roy to quit talking and concentrate on coaching

Bolton 0 Liverpool 1 – Maxi leaves it late, Reds go 12th

Sunday 31 October 2010 – Premier LeagueResult

Bolton 0 Liverpool 1 (Maxi 86)

Bolton v LiverpoolRoy Hodgson finally saw the end to his personal 442-day run without a league game as Liverpool made it three wins in ten games this season and moved all the way up to twelfth.

Once again Fernando Torres was involved in the goal, his delicate backheel setting up Maxi Rodriguez for the winning goal after 86 minutes of stalemate. Bolton ‘keeper Jaaskelainen got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out.

Jaaskelainen certainly had little to do the rest of the game, Liverpool rarely threatening his goal. Bolton made Pepe Reina work more often but not much harder. 0-0 would have been a fair result although a number of ignored Bolton penalty claims might give them room to dispute that.
Continue reading Bolton 0 Liverpool 1 – Maxi leaves it late, Reds go 12th