Archive for the ‘English Premier League’ Category

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————————————————

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.

Roy Hodgson’s disastrous 6 month reign came to end in January, after he left the club by mutual consent. The owners, immediately, appointed the 59 year old Liverpool Icon Kenny Dalglish as its Caretaker Manager till the end of season.
Things have gradually improved,both on and off field for the club. Under Dalglish, the club has earned 23 points from 12 games, as compared to 25 points from 20 games under Roy Hodgson. Going by the points per game, if Dalglish had been appointed at the start of the season, Liverpool would be sitting in the Top 4 right now. The fans want Dalglish to be appointed on a permanent basis.

However, there has been no clear response from the owners to this demand. Tom Werner,chairman, said that Dalglish is certainly one of the candidates. In this article, we attempt to look at and analyse the possible candidates for the post of Liverpool Manager.

1.) Kenneth Dalglish

Dalglish

He used to be the best striker of the League in the 80s. He became
Liverpool’s first(and currently,only) player-manager in 1985. In his
tenure as manager, he won 10 titles for the club. He has also had
successful stints with Blackburn Rovers (1995) and somewhat less successful stints with Newcastle (1997-98) amd Celtic (1999-2000).

According to critics,Kenny is more of a motivator rather than a tactician. However, after Liverpool’s recent revival. one cannot question his methods. His age can act as a drawback as he won’t fulfill the owners’ “long term” criteria, he is still the crowd favourite and the best bet to takeover as permanent manager of Liverpool. His infusion of players from the Academy into the senior set up will also aid the club in its long term objectives.

2.) Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho

The self proclaimed “Special One” has won 2 UEFA Champions League titles with two different clubs. Since 2002, Mourinho has not gone a full season or a calendar year without winning at least one trophy. Mourinho has been a successful manager at FC Porto,Chelsea and Inter Milan. He has yet to win a title with his current club Real Madrid, but is in the final of the Copa del Ray and the Semi Final’s of the Champions League (Both ties against Barcelona).
However, after reports of a fallout between Mourinho and the Real Madrid Board, Mourinho stated that he is open to the idea of a possible Premier League return. Mourinho is a smart tactician and a brilliant strategist. He is 48 and
hence,quite young. However, his tendency to spend and his controversial nature might act as a deterrent to his appointment by theLiverpool board.

3). Andre Villas Boas

A former significant member of Mourinho’s coaching staff, Andre Villas Boas did wonders with a relegation battling side Academica. Under him, the weak side went to the semis of the Portugese League Cup in 2009-2010. He is currently the

André Villas Boas

manager of F.C Porto,once managed by his mentor Jose Mourinho. With an impressive win record at both-Domestic and Europe- Boas is tipped to be the biggest competition to Dalglish.  He’s beaten Mourinho’s record at Porto by going 36 matches unbeaten in all competitions (33 under Mourinho)
The current owners of Liverpool,FSG, are known to give opportunities to young and relatively unknown faces. They appointed an inexperienced and young Theo Epstein as the General Manager of Boston Red Sox
Baseball Club. The Red Sox have,since performed exceptionally well. With rival clubs like Manchester United,Real Madrid and Machester City already eying him, the owners will really have to think over this 33
year old “boy genius”.

4.) Martin O’Neill

He was the bookies’ favourite to succeed Gerard Houllier and then Rafa Benitez One of the best motivators in the game, he is known to bring out the best in his players. He is an economical manager and is best known for his 5 years with

Martin ONeil

Aston Villa. Under him,Villa became the most consistent team in the Premier League and one of the “dark
horses”. Though,his chances are very less, the owners will definitely consider him.

Other potential candidates could be Guus Hiddink,Owen Coyle,Didier Deschamps,Louis van Gaal,Frank Rijkaard and a possible return of Rafael Benitez, who still remains a fan’s favourite.

NOTE:- We’d like to thank Indroneil Biswas for writing this article for TheFootballGig.

Ji Sung Park might possibly be Sir Alex Ferguson’s best signing in the last 6 years. The former South Korean Captain has always been overshadowed by his marquee teammates Cristiano Ronaldo (Now at Real Madrid) and Wayne Rooney, but he embodies the spirit that drives the Red Devils towards becoming the most successful club in England. Singled out for his big game goals, what often escapes the media’s glance is how integral Park is tactically to Manchester United.  Park has an uncanny habit of scoring in the big games, a look at his record against Arsenal only confirms this. Add to that important goals against Chelsea, Liverpool and even Wolves this season, help keep the momentum firmly with Manchester United in the title race.

Ji Sung Park

A workhorse with exceptional skill and versatility across the midfield, Park has earned praise and respect from everyone of the Clubs staff, signified by him being made captain against Lille in a Champions League game in 2005, the first Asian to do so.

Having already helped Manchester United to 3 league titles, Park’s desire and dedication to doing his best for the Red Devil’s will only increase the size of the trophy cabinet at Old Trafford and underline his status as a Manchester United Legend.

Starting today we’ll be featuring teams from all over Europe and India, discussing their “ideal” transfer activities in the upcoming Summer Transfer window.

Kicking this feature off is Arsenal Football Club who have been under the microscope for the past few seasons due to their failure to perform under pressure and always fading at the last hurdle.

                                                                        ARSENAL

Arsenal Football Club is on track for their 6th trophy less season due to at times comical goalkeeping and the teams inability to perform under pressure. Although this season was a big improvement over the last, with the immense talent at their disposal the club should be ending this season on a high with at least one piece of silverware (Mathematically their still in the running for the title but at the moment it’s Manchester United’s to lose).  The primary reason for their failings this season is the lack of leadership and determination in the team. Compared to the “Invincibles” side of 2003-2004, the character of the current squad falls short by a considerable margin. A defence marshaled expertly by Sol Cambell, assisted by Lauren,  Kolo Toure and Ashley Cole and with Martin Keown in the wings to add experience, a midfield consisting of Viera, Ljunberg, Gilberto and Pires and the exceptionally talented duo of Bergkamp and Henry up front, this Arsenal Squad terrorised teams throughout the Premier League.

The Invincibles

A lack of local talent (with the exception of Wilshere) has probably lessened the desire and determination to win for Arsenal. English players provide you with a sense of passion which cannot be replaced by a foreign player. The obvious need for a competent Goalkeeper apart, Wenger should look at signing English talent to inject some passion into the squad.

Goalkeeper

Buying a world class goalkeeper is a top priority for Arsenal as every Championship winning team has a keeper they can depend on day in day out (Van Der Sar at Manchester United, Cesar at Inter, Casillas at Madrid). Szczęsny, while performing exceptionally in the games he has played, is still young and Wenger may consider loaning him to a fellow Premier League club to speed up his development.

Shay Given would be an ideal signing for the club as he is one of the best shot stoppers in the Premier League and is unlucky to be on the bench at Manchester City. Due to his obvious unhappiness at City, he shouldn’t cost above £7 million and would be a steal.

Shay Given

Hugo Lloris is undoubtedly one of the best young keepers in the world at the moment but his price tag (Above £20 million) might scupper the deal.

Other options available to Arsene Wenger include Carlos Kameni(Espanyol), Pepe Reina and David De Gea, with the latter two deals being unlikely due to their high price tags.

Defence

Gary Cahill

The lack of a leader in defence is apparent to everyone. The Gunners need a young center back who can dominate striker’s and compliment Vermaelen as his partner.

Gary Cahill (25) and Phil Jagielka (28) have been exceptional at the back for their respective clubs and will probably be targeted by a lot of big clubs this summer. However, due to the inflation in prices of British players, Arsenal may turn their attention to young European talent such as Mamadou Sakho (21) who has been linked with every major club this season.


Midfield

While Wilshere and Fabregas are two of the best central midfielder’s around in the world today, asking Wilshere to protect the defence to accommodate Fabregas does not bring out the best in this team. Diaby, Denilson and Song although talented are not consistent in their performances.

Scott Parker

Scott Parker has been a revelation for West Ham United in the past 2 seasons and would be an excellent signing for the Gunners, providing steel to the midfield and enabling Wilshere and Fabregas to overrun the opposition’s midfield. An excellent distributor of the ball, strong tackler and an eye for the odd spectacular strike, Scott Parker would definitely improve the Arsenal midfield but his age (30) might act as a stumbling block.

Another option is the young French player Yann M’vila, who has been earning rave reviews from the critics for his performances this season. He will probably be an ideal signing for Wenger as he is only 20 and will be able to mould his game according to Wenger’s preference.

Keeping Fabregas from Barcelona’s clutches is also a priority for the club.

A striker shouldn’t be a priority for Arsenal as Van Persie, Chamakh, Walcott and Arshavin can trouble any defence in the world on their day.

Ideal Formation for next season:-

------------------------------------------- Van Persie----------------------------------------------
Nasri-------------------Wilshere-----------------------------Fabregas---------------Walcott
-------------------------------------------Parker--------------------------------------------------
Clichy------------------Vermaelen--------------------------------Cahill--------------Sagna
--------------------------------------------Given--------------------------------------------------

Keeping Fabregas a priority

Players to be sold:-

Diaby- Looks disinterested on the field

Almunia- It’s tough to pick out one reason…

Denilson- Surplus in a packed midfield

Let us know who you think Arsenal should sign!

NOTE:- We’d like to thank Anmol Chowdhry, a massive football enthusiast for writing this feature for us.


									

It was reported on 10th April 2010 that Stan Kroenke, the majority shareholder of Arsenal Football Club was in advanced talks to complete the takeover of Arsenal. The following day, it was announced that he increased his shareholding in Arsenal to 62.89% by purchasing the stakes of Danny Fiszman and Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith, and agreed to make an offer for the rest of the club valuing the club at £731M.

Arsenal

However, earlier today the Arsenal Supporters’ Trust (AST) have voted not to sell the club to Kroenke stating that “the club is too important to be owned by one person.” Due to Kroenke’s purchase of shares yesterday he is now obligated to make a mandatory cash offer for the rest of the shares.

The AST is looking for assurances of fan involvement in the ownership of the club and is not necessarily against StanKroenke’s takeover of Arsenal according to a statement made earlier today.

 

7-time NBA All Star Lebron James has taken his first step into becoming a sports mogul by buying a minority share in 7 time FA Cup champions Liverpool.

James who makes an estimated $46 million a year has expressed his desire to become a billionaire and thinks Fenway Sports Group can help him achieve this by securing more marketing, sponsorship and business opportunities across the globe.

In return for a small shareholding in the club,  Fenway Sports Group will become “The Chosen One”‘s exclusive worldwide representative.