Thursday, May 17th, 2012
Comment & analysis round-up
Quote of the day: “It seems like Ferguson is the president of England. He’s always spoken nonsense about me and I’ve never asked him to say sorry. When someone plays a joke on somebody else, you might apologise. But I won’t say sorry.” – Carlos Tevez.
Runner-up: “I am disappointed with results in the league, but I would not have swapped the Carling Cup win for anything as I know how much it meant to our fans and the club to be back winning trophies. It has been an honour and a privilege to have had the chance to come back to Liverpool as manager. Whilst I am obviously disappointed to be leaving, the matter has been handled by the owners and all concerned in an honourable, respectful and dignified way and reflects on the quality of the people involved and their continued desire to move the football club forward.” – Kenny Dalglish.
The England 23
Roy Hodgson uneasy in England chair with limited stock of talent (Daniel Taylor, Guardian) These are the moments when you are reminded that Hodgson has a tremendously difficult job on his hands. He is not so much selecting from a shallow pool but something more resembling a puddle.
An officer and a gentleman (Steven Howard, Sun) For Hodgson, so far so good. But the Downing thing still gnawed away at you. At one point he talked about selecting players for footballing reasons and the next he includes one with no goals and no assists all season. Well, apart from the two assists that have seen the end of Damien Comolli and Dalglish at Liverpool. Like all England managers, Hodgson will be judged on results. But, unlike his predecessors, we won’t be too surprised if he doesn’t get them.
A football man who arrived at the right decision on Terry (Martin Samuel, Mail) Roy Hodgson is all about the 4-4-2. So when required to choose one senior presence in the heart of his defence at the European Championship, he simply asked: who do I want in my back four against France, who is the best centre half in the country? And the answer came back: John Terry.
Euro 2012: Five talking points about Roy Hodgson’s England squad (Guardian) Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain can provide the x-factor; the inclusion of John Terry represents a risk; Andy Carroll’s raw promise deserves recognition; and Phil Jones is a vital utility man.
England have same old faces apart from the new assertive Roy Hodgson (Barney Ronay, Guardian) So, here they come again. You know: them. In the end Roy Hodgson’s squad for Euro 2012 contained no great surprises.
Weakest England squad since 1980s but rock bottom is good place to start (Paul Hayward, Telegraph) Hodgson has had to dip his bucket in the smallest well of international quality since the 1980s. Seven of his 23 are not guaranteed or regular starters for their clubs and two of his four strikers — Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck — have seven caps and one international goal between them.
Not Going To Euro 2012
Without Rio this squad is naked (Terry Venables, Sun) [Ferdinand's] inclusion would have evened out an imbalanced squad that I feel is too heavy in the middle. Hodgson, who it should be remembered has been thrust into the job at the 11th hour, has named NINE midfielders — while Phil Jones, who has also played in midfield, is listed among the defenders, of which there are just seven.
Ferdinand: I’m gutted (Sun)
London 2012: David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Joe Cole set for Team GB (Guardian) Stuart Pearce can now concentrate on selecting his squad for the London Olympics – and it may be wise to wait so he can use Roy Hodgson’s England standby players.
King Kenny Is Gone
Brutal price of failure… Dalglish sacked to stop rot at Liverpool (Martin Samuel, Mail) Either Dalglish was the victim of a poisonous equation (Suarez debacle + lowest league wins in Premier League history x surly manner projecting poor image = P45), or something went down at this week’s meeting that altered his status quite dramatically… Dalglish, who has not been given sufficient time to realise his plans despite a dismal League campaign, is the victim of a grand design that is increasingly floundering.
Kenny Dalglish will be torn apart by the way his love-affair with Liverpool has ended (Alan Hansen, Telegraph) Kenny knew how critical it was to get Liverpool back in the Champions League again, but he also believed that winning a trophy would be significant in terms of moving the club forward. When you win silverware, it can be a springboard to greater success and I cannot believe that the owners would have parted company with Kenny had he also guided the team to the FA Cup.
Sacked Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish will never walk alone (Henry Winter, Telegraph) Kenny Dalglish walked away from Anfield yesterday but he knows he will never walk alone. For all the mistakes he made, for all the poor PR, misguided handling of the Luis Suárez saga and the meagre league form, Dalglish’s love affair with Liverpool will never end. He may have gone but the fans will still sing his name.
Kenny Dalglish farewell: no more excuses for John W Henry at Liverpool (Andy Hunter, Guardian) FSG is now free to implement the plans it always envisaged for Anfield. It has no more excuses. Liverpool’s support, meanwhile, awaits evidence the owners’ decisiveness is not merely restricted to firing employees.
Kenny Dalglish is gone but has Fenway taken on too much at Liverpool? (David Conn, Guardian) Liverpool supporters will demand a coherent plan from FSG, for a new manager, coaching structure, and some action on the stadium.
Dalglish didn’t fail to recreate the past, he failed to face the future (Jame Lawton, Independent) The bitter truth was that the job lot of players brought in by Dalglish at a cost of more than £100m simply wasn’t good enough.
Missing the Champions League far outweighed winning cup the Yanks had never heard of (Phil Thomas, Sun) At the moment Liverpool are in danger of becoming a rudderless ship, with the dismissal of Dalglish leaving them short in a host of crucial positions. While the hunt for a new manager has started, they have yet to replace axed director of football Damien Comolli, are still without a CEO and have no official head of communications. It all means the next few months could have massive repercussions in terms of where the Reds go for the foreseeable future.
King no more! Dalglish exits Liverpool as owners forced to accept he’s out of his depth (Dominic King, Mail) Just 34 days after Liverpool chairman Tom Werner had said the Scot retained the ‘full support’ of Fenway Sports Group, Dalglish became the highest-profile victim of their ruthless cull.
Moneyball fans at Liverpool admire Newcastle boss Pardew’s midas touch (Mail) [FSG] will look to appoint a young manager, who can work with a director of football and make their ‘Moneyball’ approach to football work in the way it has been successful for their baseball club, the Boston Red Sox.
Who Is Next For Liverpool?
We’ll Kop Bren (Kenny Dalglish gone – Brendan tops Kop list with AVB & Pards) (Sun) John W Henry will now fly into Britain to interview candidates with inspirational Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers understood to be top of his shortlist. Wigan’s Roberto Martinez, Newcastle boss Alan Pardew and former Chelsea chief Andre Villas-Boas are also in the frame. There was even a betting stampede last night for ex-Kop boss Rafa Benitez.
Liverpool sack Dalglish and approach Villas-Boas (Independent) The Independent understands that Villas-Boas is interested and considers Liverpool to be the kind of high-profile, marquee job which would be the appropriate next step for him.
Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool sacking could be André Villas-Boas’s chance (Guardian) André Villas-Boas, the former Chelsea manager, Jürgen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund and Marseille’s Didier Deschamps are among the candidates to succeed Dalglish.
Kenny Dalglish’s Liverpool sacking: the contenders to succeed him (Guardian) Roberto Martínez, Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert all fancied to fill vacancy at Liverpool.
The Champions League Final: Chelsea vs Bayern
Nazi thugs plot Chelsea ambush (Skinheads gearing up for brutal battle at Champs League final) (Sun) A hard core of skinhead thugs in Bayern’s “Schickeria” — “Smart Set” — want to test themselves against Chelsea’s notorious “Headhunters”.
Hanging Onto Van Parsie
RVP talks crisis (Sun) The Gunners had hoped to persuade their captain to agree a lucrative new three-year deal worth £130,000 a week that would see off interest from champions Manchester City and keep him at the Emirates. But yesterday’s talks, which have been described as tense and tetchy, broke down with no agreement.
Outgunned? City lurk as Van Persie tells Arsenal he’s sick of being potless (Mirror) The Dutch striker wants assurances on whether Arsenal will be able to compete next season, and has major doubts whether they can.
City target £25m Ibrahimovic (Sun) Roberto Mancini will pay the Swedish superstar £300,000 a week.
Just take it or leave it Nani (Sun) Manchester United will listen to offers for Nani if contract talks break down.
Sunderland considering swoop for £5m Spurs midfielder Pienaar (Mail) Tottenham want £5million for the 29-year-old and Everton may struggle to raise the funds immediately, with Sunderland believing they can step in.
Arsenal, Spurs and QPR on alert as Italian legend Del Piero eyes Premier League move (Mail) Del Piero is considering three options and Arsenal, Tottenham and QPR have all been linked in recent weeks. He told Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport: ‘England is a place where the football is so good, but I have still not agreed anything with a club.’