Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

Barclays Premier League – January 1st 2011

Liverpool 2 Bolton 1

Liverpool played host to Bolton for the first game of the New Year and the 2-1 win – thanks largely to a moment of brilliance from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres – gave Liverpool supporters something to smile about. As long as they didn’t look too closely at the league table that is.

Gerrard was only on the field because of an injury to Meireles. The captain was on the bench at kick-off after – in manager Roy Hodgson’s words – he’d been left “extremely tired” from playing the full 90 minutes of his first game back from injury on Wednesday.

That tiredness meant Liverpool started with Dirk Kuyt on the right instead of out of position on the left, with Meireles starting in his natural role in the middle of the park. Gerrard was a straight swap for Meireles so nobody had to move out of position when the change was made.

Two other changes gave Liverpool a different look to Wednesday; Konchesky was replaced by Aurelio and Daniel Agger was back in the side in place of Kyrgiakos. Continue reading Liverpool win, Hodgson happy and proud

What will Henry and Werner be asked by Liverpool fans?

In what must be an unprecedented move by any English football club Liverpool Football Club are today planning to offer fans the opportunity to grill the club’s owners live on TV.

John W Henry and Tom Werner, joint owners through FSG (or NESV as it used to be called), will sit alongside commercial director Ian Ayre for the official channel’s two-hour show “LFC Now” from 5pm. Supporters can get their questions over by email, Twitter, Facebook or phone.

There are obvious questions that supporters will want to ask, and despite suspicions from some supporters about possible censorship and vetting of questions it’s expected that this would be kept to a minimum by the producers of the show. Understandably there will be some questions that can’t be answered on air and there will be others that might well result in a diplomatic rather than openly honest answer, but other than that, and as long as the question doesn’t effectively repeat earlier questions, it should be possible for any point to be put to the new owners.

Anfield Road asked on Twitter for supporters to list the kinds of question they might ask if they got through tonight.
Continue reading What will Henry and Werner be asked by Liverpool fans?

John W Henry answers fan questions

Liverpool FC are now owned by a group of investors under the umbrella of New England Sports Ventures, the people who own Boston Red Sox in the US, a group that is led by John W Henry.

Mr Henry is clearly a man who wants to engage with fans, and the latest example of that is a serious of questions he answered for the Liverpool fan site Red and White Kop (RAWK).

Some of the questions he answered included one on how NESV funded their acquisition of the club, and one on whether or not there is any binding agreement in place to prevent acquisition debt being placed on the club at a late date.

He also gave an indication of how NESV hope to make a return on their investment, and his answer should be quite reassuring for supporters.

To see the answers you’ll need to visit Red and White Kop, it wouldn’t be fair to reveal any of them here. We’ve mentioned the interview in an effort to give it a tiny bit more exposure, but RAWK is probably the biggest independent LFC forum on the net.

A second set of answers to some further questions is expected at a later date.

Reassuring words, but fans await action

John Henry from Liverpool’s new owners NESV sent the club’s official website some quotes earlier today. They were part of a concerted effort by the club to try and dampen down some of the speculation surrounding the future direction of the club.

Do NESV hear the concerns of the fans?He said “We have recently read stories about our intentions for the forthcoming January transfer window and have a sense of humour about this type of inevitable speculation.”

Word that NESV will look at transfer fees and contract costs in a different way to any of their predecessors was been taken by some sections of the media to mean they’ll not be spending any money. But with the Red Sox the second highest spenders in baseball’s equivalent of the transfer market that’s an assumption that isn’t being made by many supporters.

Nobody expects – and few fans wanted – Liverpool’s new owners to be sugar-daddies. What supporters want to see is a club that practically runs itself; generating its own income for transfers and player wages. We don’t want to find we’ve become reliant on money coming in from outside the club that could be taken away at any time.
Continue reading Reassuring words, but fans await action

Money problems over, but are LFC still lacking ambition?

Roy Hodgson has passed comment on reports linking Pepe Reina to Manchester United. He said Liverpool don’t need the money and don’t want to sell, a situation that he says also applies with Fernando Torres.

What he failed to discuss were the claims that have grown in recent days – that Torres and Reina are disillusioned with their manager, his coaching and his tactics. That the likelihood of them leaving hinges more on their own personal satisfaction with the club’s future direction than on any interest from other clubs or on Liverpool’s financial situation.

Despite a far better performance on Sunday against Blackburn, Hodgson is still some way short of meeting the expectations of most supporters. He’s only managed to get two wins out of the first quarter of the league season, Liverpool are languishing in the relegation places with negative goal difference and Roy is acting like it’s a minor setback.
Continue reading Money problems over, but are LFC still lacking ambition?

NESV: Stability the initial focus as Liverpool ownership begins

Thomas Werner, chairman of Liverpool’s new owners NESV, was at Melwood this morning with colleagues John W Henry and Joe Januszewski.

NESV visit MelwoodIt was all smiles as the new regime got to have another look at this important part of their new empire, meeting the coaching and playing staff. For now it’s all about steadying the ship.

The words sound much the same as they did last time the club changed hands – but the trio of what became known as the ‘independent directors’ insist that the new hands are very different to the (man) ham-fisted ones that left in embarrassing circumstances yesterday.

Actions will be more important than words, and NESV are understandably reluctant to say anything that will be construed as a promise and used against them at a later date.

Werner told that LFC “is one of the great clubs in all of sport, its history, its tradition, its fans – in some ways it’s similar to the fans of the Boston Red Sox in that they’re loyal, they’re passionate and it’s our good fortune to be stewards and we hope that we will take care of this extraordinary club and provide it with the resources and the commitment to win in the near future and hopefully restore some of its lustre.”
Continue reading NESV: Stability the initial focus as Liverpool ownership begins

Hicks moves closer to final Anfield exit

Today sees Liverpool entering a week that will almost certainly go down in history as a turning point.

The end may well be nighThis isn’t the classic football turning point, the last minute goal awarded despite it looking offside that brings to an end a run of defeats. Nor is the other type of turning point the world of football often discusses, the bad signing that somehow turned a team making progress into a team going backwards.

This week should see Liverpool’s boardroom change, and with it the ownership of the club. If it doesn’t happen this week, the events that make it happen will have already got well underway.

Tom Hicks tried to change one of the boards last week – it’s not clear if that was the Liverpool board or its holding company boards – in an attempt to block the same of the club to NESV. The existing board, the majority of it at least, insist they are still in place and the sale was valid.

Tomorrow the High Court will hear all about it as it asked to make a decision that will be key to Liverpool’s future. However it is believed that tomorrow’s case is one of two that will decide the club’s fate.
Continue reading Hicks moves closer to final Anfield exit

NESV threat to walk is an early worry

Do Liverpool’s potential new owners have the resolve to match that of its fans? Fans who have done all they can to see off the old owners?

American owners - old and newAfter over 3000 votes had been cast on a poll on this website the message that came across was about as clear as it possibly could be.

We’d rather face the uncertainty of administration than the uncertainty of one more day under Hicks and Gillett.

97.6% of the 3188 votes said the risk of a nine-point deduction was worth it.

We started 2009-10 with fans talking seriously about a title challenge – after all we’d finished second a few months earlier. Despite the events that have happened since we still started this season with expectations of a top-four challenge at the very least.

Unfortunately the start to the season has been embarrassing. Roy Hodgson’s men have played so badly, been so unlucky, been so fed up, lacked so much preparation time or whatever else you want to put it down to that they’ve dropped a total of 15 points already this season.

The club is in the bottom three, with only six points managed so far – meaning nine-points docked would see us in minus figures. But it would take some seriously bad form for this club to be relegated.
Continue reading NESV threat to walk is an early worry