Kromkamp and Anderson join Reds

A huge sigh of relief has gone out around Anfield tonight as the deal to exchange Spanish full-back Josemi for Dutch full-back Jan Kromkamp has gone through in full. Josemi had already completed his signing for Villareal, but Kromkamp didn’t complete the formalities of his move until today, when he passed his medical and the paperwork was completed.

Kromkamp has been signed as a full-back and will provide both cover and competition for Irish international Steve Finnan. The Dutch star however is also capable of playing a more advanced role should Rafa feel that he needs to make use of him there.

The deal is effectively one that sees the Reds make a huge profit – Josemi cost the Reds £2million, Kromkamp was signed by Villareal six months ago for £4.8million, and the deal was a straight exchange.

25-year-old Kromkamp struggled to settle in at Villareal, with language difficulties being named as the biggest problem he faced. At Anfield he’ll have his compatriot Bolo Zenden to help him settle in to some extent, although Bolo’s not going to be playing for the Reds again this season thanks to injury. Speaking about the deal last week, Reds boss Rafael Benitez said: “He is a strong full-back, aggressive and offensive. He can play as a full-back or a wing-back.” Kromkamp is hoping to get a decent run in the team for the Reds in advance of the World Cup in Germany.

Kromkamp has been signed in time to be eligible for selection in this Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie at Luton. He won’t however be able to play in the Champions League this season – he’d already played for Villareal earlier in the season.

Liverpool also finalised another exchange deal today – seventeen-year-old Hull City winger Paul Anderson became a Red with midfielder John Welsh moving the other way. Welsh had looked for some time to be set to become the next home-grown player to start making regular first-team appearances. Unfortunately for John the position he plays was already full of quality and so the central midfielder’s loan move to Hull has now become a permanent deal. Anderson will train at Melwood as part of the reserve squad, which has been gradually improved over the course of the season with a host of signings of promising youngsters.

In a busy day for Reds transfer news, Millwall announced that defender Zak Whitbread, on loan from Anfield, will stay with them for the rest of the season. They also announced that they had been given permission by Liverpool to play him in the FA Cup this weekend if they wish.

There’s more to come this January with Darren Potter and Francis Smith both set to leave the Liverpool set-up to become Hearts players. Also looking set for a move before the month is out is right-back David Raven. According to website The Liverpool Way, Raven is finally going to be granted his wish of a loan move after the deal to sign Kromkamp went through and gave Rafa some cover for the right-back position.

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Allardyce fails to get Stevie and Momo charged

Sam Allardyce has failed in his attempts to get Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard and Momo Sissoko banned after incidents in the draw between Bolton and Liverpool at the Reebok Stadium yesterday.

Steven Gerrard stood on Kevin Nolan’s chest in what both players said was an unavoidable accident, and Momo Sissoko caught El-Hadji Diouf’s leg when trying to retrieve the ball after a Diouf dive had been ignored by the referee.

Under FIFA guidelines there is no option for the referee to take further action against the two players because both incidents were seen by the referee, and FIFA don’t allow an official to change his mind after the game if he had already seen the incident.

An FA spokesman confirmed that the referee had mention both events in his match report: “Referee Mark Clattenburg has confirmed to us that he saw both incidents during the game.”

No word on whether Sam Allardyce will face any action for his comments, or whether El-Hadji Diouf will be penalised for his persistent “simulation”.

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Allardyce accusations deserve FA charges

Liverpool’s ten-game winning run came to and end at the Reebok Stadium yesterday on a pitch that looked even more tired than the Liverpool players who tried to play football on it. At the end of the game there was a feeling that referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistants were perhaps also worn out after the heavy Christmas schedule, certainly they had not had one of their better days, with numerous incidents missed or called wrongly. The one person that seems to have suffered most of all from the busy period though was Bolton manager Sam Allardyce. Tiredness is one possibility at least, as he gave the impression after the game that he’d been hallucinating for the 90 minutes of the match. His comments after the game certainly suggest he saw things differently to most other people.

Bolton’s players got an extra day off over Christmas, their undersoil heating failure leading to an FA investigation after Alex Ferguson complained, but Sam wouldn’t have benefited too much from that fixture being cancelled. Maybe he wasn’t tired, and felt if he complained enough about nothing it would divert attention away from the offences of his own players.

Allardyce was bitter after the game, claiming that Liverpool should have ended the game with nine men, with Gerrard and Sissoko guilty in his eyes of dangerous play. He said: “There are clear and serious events which Liverpool have been guilty of that have not been dealt with. Gerrard stamped on Nolan and Sissoko stamped on Diouf. It is serious foul play. The incidents are plain, clear and obvious. It’s difficult, I know, for referees in a split second but it couldn’t be anything less than intentional. Gerrard stamped on Nolan, and Sissoko stamped on Diouf. Both should have been sent off. It is not anything other than intentional from my point of view and that is sad. Sad, because the outcome would probably have been three points for us rather than a draw. We went in front twice and maybe would not have lost the lead. I am pleased with the overall performance but not pleased with result after the decisions that were made by the referee.”

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Josemi has gone home

The first signing for Liverpool by Rafael Benitez has now completed his move back to his homeland. Spaniard Josemi joined the Reds during the summer of Rafa’s arrival, but thanks to language difficulties his family could not settle, and the player found it hard to get buy professionally. In what seems on the face of it to be an excellent deal for Liverpool, the player that cost the Reds £2million is being exchanged for Villarreal’s Dutch international defender Jan Kromkamp – who cost Villareal £4.8million just six months ago.

Speaking at a press conference in Spain, Josemi explained how the move back to his homeland had delighted him and his family: “Myself and my family are really happy to be returning to Spain – I’m thankful to Villarreal for giving me this chance.”

Josemi may have left the European Champions, but he says that Villareal are still a big club: “The club is showing that it is growing all the time and the results prove that it is now one of the biggest clubs in Europe.” Villareal have made it through to the last 16 of the Champions League and are fourth in La Liga; they are certainly a bigger club than the one he left to join the Reds – Malaga.

Josemi managed to get a European Cup winner’s medal in Istanbul, after being an unused substitute, but was rarely used after showing he wasn’t managing to adapt to the English game. He felt he wasn’t allowed enough chances: “I wasn’t given all the chances I had hoped I would get at Liverpool. Now I want to recover the sort of form I showed when I played at Malaga.”

26-year-old Josemi has signed for four and half-years and, like Kromkamp, will be ineligible for his new club in the Champions League. Kromkamp’s deal should be tied up in the next day or two.

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Prem Result: Bolton 2 Liverpool 2

Monday January 2nd 2006

FA Barclays Premiership Result

2 – 2
Jaidi 10, Diouf 71

(1 – 0)

Gerrard 67 (pen), Luis Garcia 82

J Jaaskelainen, J O’Brien, R Jaidi, B N’Gotty, R Gardner, A Faye, K Nolan, S Giannakopoulos, G Speed (K Fadiga, 90) , E Diouf (T Ben Haim, 83) , K Davies
Unused subs: J Borgetti, R Vaz Te, I Walker
Booked: Faye 38, Nolan 48

Liverpool: J Reina, S Finnan, J Carragher, S Hyypia, D Traore, S Gerrard, D Hamann (X Alonso 64) , M Sissoko (D Cisse 83) , H Kewell, F Sinama Pongolle (S Luis Garcia 62) , P Crouch
Unused subs: J Riise, S Carson
Bookings: Crouch 41, Carragher 42, Sissoko 58

Referee: M Clattenburg

Attendance: 27,604

Continue reading Prem Result: Bolton 2 Liverpool 2

Premiership half-time: Bolton 1 Liverpool 0

FA Barclays Premiership
Monday January 2nd 2006

Bolton Wanderers 1 – 0 Liverpool
R Jaidi 10

Bolton: J Jaaskelainen, J O’Brien, R Jaidi, B N’Gotty, R Gardner, A Faye, K Nolan, S Giannakopoulos, G Speed, E Diouf, K Davies
Subs: J Borgetti, R Vaz Te, T Ben Haim, K Fadiga, I Walker
Booked: A Faye 38

Liverpool: J Reina, S Finnan, J Carragher, S Hyypia, D Traore, S Gerrard, D Hamann, M Sissoko, H Kewell, F Sinama Pongolle, P Crouch
Subs: J Riise, D Cisse, S Luis Garcia, X Alonso, S Carson
Booked: Crouch 41, Carragher 42

Referee: M Clattenburg
Continue reading Premiership half-time: Bolton 1 Liverpool 0

Confirmed teams: Bolton v Liverpool

FA Barclays Premiership
Monday January 2nd 2006

Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool

Bolton: J Jaaskelainen, J O’Brien, R Jaidi, B N’Gotty, R Gardner, A Faye, K Nolan, S Giannakopoulos, G Speed, E Diouf, K Davies
Subs: J Borgetti, R Vaz Te, T Ben Haim, K Fadiga, I Walker

Liverpool: J Reina, S Finnan, J Carragher, S Hyypia, D Traore, S Gerrard, D Hamann, M Sissoko, H Kewell, F Sinama Pongolle, P Crouch
Subs: J Riise, D Cisse, S Luis Garcia, X Alonso, S Carson

Referee: M Clattenburg
Continue reading Confirmed teams: Bolton v Liverpool

Diouf ready to face his former club

Former Reds player El-Hadji Diouf will be back from suspension to line up against his former club for Bolton Wanderers tomorrow. Diouf was arguably the worst signing ever made by a Liverpool manager, the manager in question being Gerard Houllier. Houllier signed him as a striker when he could have bought Nicolas Anelka, the player that had just been through a successful six-month loan spell at Anfield. Diouf never worked as a striker and was moved to the right side of midfield, where he continued to fail to impress. When he spat at a Celtic fan during a European game his days were certainly numbered. Rafa Benitez wouldn’t even consider using him when he arrived, and the Senegalese international went on loan to Bolton, later making the deal permanent. Diouf is well-liked by Sam Allardyce, who seems to be able to get more out of the player than Houllier ever could, and he’ll certainly be a danger to the Reds 10-game unbeaten run. Bolton have no fresh injury concerns.

Diouf wore number nine for Liverpool, a shirt normally associated with legends like Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler. The player that wears that number now is Djibril Cisse, a striker trying hard to live up to the true reputation of a Liverpool number nine. There are still rumours, despite the denials, that his Anfield days are numbered, but he’s certainly not going anywhere during this transfer window. As for tomorrow’s game, Cisse is looking slightly doubtful after he was taken off with a muscle strain during the game on Saturday against West Brom. If he misses the game he’ll join fellow striker Fernando Morientes and midfielder Bolo Zenden on the sidelines.

Bolton (from): Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Ben Haim, Jaidi, N’Gotty, Gardner, Giannakopoulos, Speed, Faye, Nolan, Nakata, Davies, Diouf, Walker, Hunt, Okocha, Vaz Te, Fadiga, Borgetti.

Liverpool (from): Reina, Finnan, Carragher, Hyypia, Warnock, Traore, Riise, Luis Garcia, Xabi Alonso, Gerrard, Hamann, Kewell, Cisse, Crouch, Sinama-Pongolle, Sissoko, Carson, Dudek.

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