LIVERPOOL

Six months ago the 5 times European champions were at the wrong end of the table fighting against relegation. No one would have thought at the end of last season that things could get worse but after 20 games Liverpool were 12th in the league just 4 points above the relegation zone. Roy Hodgson was sacked and Kenny Dalglish aka King Kenny himself had to intervene to steady the ship. Since then Liverpool have embarked on a staggering run of warm gather 33 points from 21 games. Purely on statistics under Dalglish, Liverpool would have finished 3rd in the league. To take the next big step Liverpool need to build on the impressive January signings and form. In terms of providing stability the new American owners have done a fabulous job and Kenny Dalglish along with Steve Clarke and Damien Comolli look like a very good team to take the club back to the top of English Football and catch up with Manchester United. Here are the areas which we feel need to be strengthened in the summer-

WINGERS
This is one problem which has been dogging the Liverpool teams ever since Steve Mcmanaman and John Barnes left the club with none of the subsequent managers being able to find a suitable solution. Liverpool lack the natural width in their play and with Andy Carroll set to spearhead the attack next season, a natural winger should be a top priority for the club to compliment Carroll.

Also, the exit door should be shown to Joe Cole who has failed to live up to the astronomical 90,000 per week salary.                                                             MARKO MARIN (WEREDER BREMEN)

Marko Marin

ESTMATED COST- £ 15 MILLION
AGE-22

The young German has been in scintillating form for Werder Bremen and has been labelled as the next Lionel Messi. Marin is exceptional with ball at his feet, a very good dribbler and has the ability to open up defences with his accurate passing. His crossing will compliment Carroll and being just 22 years of age, he fits in the youth policy of Kenny Dalglish perfectly.

EDEN HAZARD (LILLE)
ESTIMATED COST- £ 18-20 MILLION
AGE-20

Another great young talent from Belgium, he is an integral part of his club and country teams at the age of just 20. He can cause mayhem in the ranks of opposition defence on his day with his direct and quick play. It remains to be seen how long can Lille hold to their prized asset.

ASHLEY YOUNG (ASTONVILLA)

Ashley Young


ESTIMATED COST- £ 12 MILLION

Young is in the final year of his contract and his unwillingness to extend his current deal means his days are numbered at Villa. Liverpool and Manchester United are set for a bidding war for the villain who might prefer Liverpool over Manchester as first team football will be a guarantee at Anfield. Young is a versatile and can play in a number of positions across the midfield.

CENTRE BACK
Liverpool  uncharacteristically conceded a staggering 44 goals this season. Although after Kenny Dalglish and Steve Clarke took over defensively the side improved drastically but reinforcements are required. Daniel Agger is still one of the best centre back in Europe but persistent injury problems suggest his body cannot take the rigorous demands of English football and letting him go in the summer might be beneficial for all sides. The money from his sale can be used to buy a replacement. However, the performances of Matrin Skrtel and Sotirios Kyrgiakos have been unsatisfactory and selling them shall not be a big loss to Liverpool as youngsters such as Danny Wilson, Martin Kelly and Daniel Ayala are capable players coming through the Academy.

MAMADOU SAKHO (PSG)

ESTIMATED COST- £ 15-20 MILLION
AGE- 21

A number of elite European clubs are after this youngster including Arsenal and Liverpool. A leader on the field he is known for his tough tackling and heading abilities. He is a perfect long term replacement for Jamie Carraghar who is in the twilight of his career. The only thing which could scupper the deal is his price tag as Liverpool may be unwilling to shell out a massive 20 million pounds on a centre back.

PER MERTESACKER (WERDER BREMEN)
ESTIMATED COST- £ 15 MILLION
AGE-26

The tall German Centre back is a force to be reckoned with in air. Has the experience of playing at the top level he will be a great addition for the reds.

Phil Jones

PHIL JONES (BLACKBURN)
ESTIMATED COST- £ 6-8 MILLION
AGE-19

Manchester United and Liverpool are rumoured to be interested in this fine young talented centre back from Blackburn. Definitely a star of the future.

LEFT BACK
After the departure of John Arne Riise, the left back position has been the Achilles heel for Liverpool. Although Aurelio is a very good player, he spends more time with the team doctors than the team.

Fabio Coentrao

FABIO COENTRAO
ESTIMATED COST- £ 12-15 MILLION
AGE- 23

A very good attacking left back who can also play as a winger. He was an integral part of the Portuguese world cup squad last year.

LEIGHTON BAINES
ESTIMATED COST- £ 10-15 MILLION
AGE- 26

Leighton Baines had a wonderful season with Everton and has been linked across Europe. He is solid defensively and also possesses very good crossing ability evident with the 11 assists to his name this season. Will Everton will let him leave in the summer especially to their closest rivals Liverpool remains to be seen.

GAEL CLICHY
ESTIMATED COST- £ 6 MILLION
AGE-25

Clichy’s contract runs out next summer so this talented young left back should be available for as less as 6 million. He has been linked with the Dlaglish’s reds but whether he will make the switch to Merseyside remains to be seen who will not be playing in Europe for another season.

Charlie Adam

Although Liverpool have a considerable number of Central Midfield players, the quality can be improved through the signings of Ever Banega (Valencia), Javier Pastore (Palermo). Charlie Adam (Blackpool) is a confirmed target for Liverpool after his scintillating performances for Blackpool this season. These players should be able to fill up the void left in the Midfield by Xabi Alonso.

OUR IDEAL FORMATION FOR NEXT SEASON-
———————————————–CARROLL———————————————
SUAREZ————————————MEIRELES——————————-MARIN/HAZARD
——————————ADAM—————————-GERRARD————————
COENTRAO——————-SAKHO——————–CARRAGHER————JOHNSON
———————————————–REINA————————————————

Armando Colaco

According to a report in Times of India today, Dempo SC Head Coach Armando Colaco has been appointed as Interim Coach of the Indian National Football Team by the All India Football Federation. Thus, the Indian Team will train under Colaco prior to their 2014 World Cup Qualifier matches against UAE. Colaco is regarded as one of the best Indian coaches, transforming Dempo SC into regular I-league contenders and leading them to an AFC Cup Semi Final in 2008. Mr.Colaco will be temporarily incharge until the AIFF finalises a foreign coach for the National Team

Source: Times of India

This week we will be analysing Roman Abrahimovich’s Chelsea. The pensioners have come under great scrutiny this season following a disastrous campaign that saw them falling behind arch rivals Manchester united and Arsenal in the league and being knocked out of Europe and the FA cup.

Torres

Record Signing of Fernando Torres from Liverpool for £50 million posed more problems for Chelsea than it has solved and Carlo Ancelloti is the bookies favourite to face the sack in the summer but is it right to put all the blame over Ancelloti’s shoulders? Ancelloti was the mastermind behind Chelsea’s double last season, an incredible feat to achieve considering the level of competition that exists in the premier league. Then how can he loose his managerial abilities in a year? The reason for Chelsea’s poor performance this season is down to the fact that Ancelloti does not have full control over Chelsea’s transfer activities. How can a manager succeed if he is not allowed to build the squad the way he wants to? On top of that an unrealistic level of expectation of winning the treble with a squad that is ageing and needs heavy reinforcement.

Despite their revival in the last weeks of the season, their failure to sustain their winning form consistently highlighted the need for change in the squad. The lack of stability in club management recently has also affected player performances. I feel if Ancelloti is given time and freedom, he is the best man to lead Chelsea to the holy grail of champions league trophy.
Chelsea still has one of the best squad in the league but most of the players are entering their twilight and the club needs to plan for the future. Fernando Torres has come under enormous criticism but I strongly believe it’s only a matter of time before he rediscovers his lethal goal scoring form just like Wayne Rooney has done recently for man utd. David Luiz will add steel and skill to an already solid defence marshalled by John Terry. What Chelsea lack is a pacy natural right winger and a quality right full back. Here are some of the players we think Chelsea should sign in the summer –

WINGER

Chelsea’s lack of width at times has been a major reason in their failure to pick up points during mid-season.

JESUS NAVAS
AGE- 25
ESTIMATED COST- £15-20 MILLION

Jesus Navas

The skillful winger is an integral part of Sevilla and has consistently been one of the best wingers in the La Liga. He can play on both wings and his trickery and direct style dribbling  will make him a hit in the Premier League. The only thing which could scupper the deal is his homesickness problem which stalled his transfer to Chelsea in 2006.

RENATO AUGUSTO
AGE- 23
ESTIMATED COST- £18-20 MILLION
Renato Augusto has been in scintillating form for Bayern Leverkusen and a move to a big club in future is inevitable. Primarily a winger but he can also play behind the striker.

AARON LENNON
AGE-24
ESTIMATED COST- £20 MILLION
Aaron lennon will be a very good signing for Chelsea. Lennon has the ability to terrorize any defence on his day with his pace and directness. He will add a new dimension to Chelsea’s attack which is often criticised for lack of pace.

FULL BACK

Chelsea’s full backs barring the mercurial Ashley Cole have been woeful at times and the imbalance between the two wings is apparent. Replacing Bosingwa is a priority.

Davide Santon

DAVIDE SANTON
AGE-20
ESTIMATED COST- £ 15-17 MILLION
A young and talented right back playing at Cesena (On Loan from Inter) who is very good going forward and is solid in defending. Can also play as a left back therefore providing cover for Ashley cole. He was a revelation under Mourinho at Inter but has since fallen off the radar ever since his departure.

DARIJO SRNA
AGE- 28
ESTIMATED COST- £15-20 MILLION
The experienced right back is one of the best attacking wingbacks in Europe. A dead ball specialist with amazing crossing ability, someone who can provide ideal ammunition for Torres and Drogba.

MARTIN KELLY
AGE-20
ESTIMATED COST- £8-10 MILLION

Kelly

A product of Liverpool’s youth academy, Kelly is one of the major upcoming talents of England. Very solid defensively and equally dangerous going forward with his energetic overlaps.

Lukaku

Chelsea also need to sign long term replacements for Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard. Romelu Lukaku will be an ideal long term replacement for Drogba while Christian Eriksen of Ajax has been earning rave reviews and a move to a bigger league is on the cards.

We also have a list of potential managerial candidates if Ancelloti is sacked in the summer :

FRANK RIJKAARD

The former Barcelona manager is undoubtedly one of the best managers in the world. Rijkaard knows what it takes to win the Champions League which should make him an ideal candidate for the Chelsea hot seat.

JURGEN KLOPP

Jurgen Klopp and his Borrusia Dortmund have taken the Bundesliga by storm this season and won the title with games to spare. Considering the resources at his disposal, Klopp has done a fantastic job and deserves all the plaudits coming his way. Definitely on his way to a big club.

GUUS HIDDINK

Guus Hiddink

Guus Hiddink is a master of man management and knows how to handle pressure well. Tactically sound and also familiar with Chelsea, he is an ideal candidate for the post. The only problem is that he is not too keen to manage a club at the age of 66.
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East Bengal will look to end their 2011 AFC Cup Campaign on a high when they take on Indonesian outfit Persipura Jayapura at the Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Kolkatta today.

East Bengal are unbeaten at home, however having picked up 2 points in 5 games, they are virtually out of the AFC Cup.

“We will rest four or five players… But I haven’t decided yet and will know only tomorrow (Tuesday). We have other games (I-League) also coming up,” East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan said referring to their crucial I-League encounter against Dempo SC on the 15th of May.

East Bengal are missing a few key players . Penn Orji and Tolgay Ozbey are suffering from injuries while Mehtab Hossain is serving suspension and Saumik Dey will be missing the game due to personal reasons.

The Indonesian side breezed past East Bengal 4-1 in the first leg. They are tied at 10 points with Chonburi FC and will look to win to top the group.

Two Korean youngsters have today taken their first steps towards realising their dream of playing for Liverpool FC.

Kim Yoon-Soo, 16, and Park Hyeon-Jim, 18, arrived in the Liverpool on Saturday ahead of a week-long trial at the club’s Academy.

The Korean duo showed some neat touches during a two-hour work-out and later sat down with Liverpoolfc.tv to explain what it means to be the first Koreans to pull on a Liverpool shirt.

“I’ve grown up as a Liverpool fan so this is very special for me,” said Kim, a central midfielder who has grown up idolising Barcelona star, Xavi.“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I was shown the letter saying I was coming here. I was so excited I woke up several times last night and couldn’t wait to get out there.

“Back home we can only dream of an opportunity like this. I am living that dream and have no words to describe it. It is massive.”

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am very grateful to be here. It is something I will be able to talk about for the rest of my life and I’ll always be proud of it no matter what the outcome is.”

This trial comes after Standard Chartered Sponsorship Chief Gavin Laws stated that the Club should figure out ways to exploit the prosperous Asian market by nurturing and signing Asian players.

David Beckham’s black Cadillac bumped into the rear of a broken down Mitsubishi which was stalled in the carpool lane. He was with his 12 year old son Brooklyn. The duo escaped unhurt.

The 40-year-old male driver of the other car was taken to a local hospital complaining of neck pain but was understood to be not seriously hurt.

“This collision occurred when his  black Cadillac collided with the rear of a disabled gold Mitsubishi which was stalled in the carpool lane due to mechanical problems,” the California Highway Patrol spokesperson told the English Guardian newspaper.

The accident took place on the southbound 405 Freeway shortly after 9AM Local Time.

The former England captain was neither cited nor arrested.

With Bob Houghton resigning on Saturday evening,  Indian Football is at a crossroads again as to who will be the next man to try and take the game forward in the country. Sources say that the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will again look for a foreign coach to take over but after the fiasco surrounding Houghton’s resignation, will anyone actually come forward?

We take a look at some of the candidates in the running for the job:-

1.) Philippe Troussier

Philippe Troussier

The 56 year old former French footballer nicknamed the,”White Witch Doctor” is known for his astonishing success with African Club teams such as Asec Abidjan and the national teams of Nigeria, South Africa and Bukina Faso. He has experience of coaching in Asia as well as the Head Coach of the Japanese National team from 1998-2002, a period in which they won the 2000 AFC Asia Cup, 2nd in the FIFA Confederations Cup and reached the round of 16 in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Troussier, if appointed, will definitely provide a sense of excitement to both players and fans of the Indian Football team. However, after the controversies surrounding Indian Football in the last year, he might be wary of taking the job.

Troussier was linked with the job after the 2011 Asian Cup when some AFC officials allegedly recommended him to AIFF officials.

2.) Karim Bencherifa

Karim Bencherifa

The ex-Churchill Brothers and Mohun Bagan coach and current Salgaocar SC coach has been extremely successful in the I-League with each club he’s headed. He’s turned I-League struggler’s Salgaocar into Championship contenders and is very highly thought of by the AIFF. His strong connections with players India and familiarity with the facilities available will give him an advantage. He has also unearthed some hidden gems like R.Vashum and Robert Lalthamla who will be future stars for the National team.

3.) Armando Colaco

The current Dempo SC coach is one of the most successful coaches in India. He’s transformed Dempo into the top club in India and has even led them to the AFC Asia Cup Semi-Finals in 2008.