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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Liver n' Onions: Dog days of a Deuce deal.

The flirting continues between Dempsey and Liverpool. On reading the rumor mill of newspaper headlines you'd think that Liverpool would be close to landing Clint Dempsey. Really it's anyones guess the status of talks between Reds manager Brendan Rodgers and Dempsey. Reported on nearly every outlet from the Daily Mail to Bleacher Report, " Rodgers has confirmed interest in Dempsey." That's all well and good, but when will you sign him?

It seemed a perfect scenario to sign him before Liverpool departed on their North American tour, and have him square off against American National team colleague Michael Bradley and Roma at Fenway Park. This was not to be, and If the Reds are to acquire the services of the Texan they look to be leaving it late.

Just today BBC Sport reports that Dempsey has been left out of Fulham's pre- season training camp in Switzerland, but manager Martin Jol insists it's due to his lack of fitness. For me this is denying the inevitable. The player has made it pretty clear that he wants to go by not signing a new contract, and some reports suggest that Dempsey excluded himself from camp in an effort to force a move. He has said that he wants to play for a Champions League caliber side, which whoever says Liverpool is not is mad. The team is in a state of transition, with new manager, new players and a new identity that sees last year's big money signing, Andy Carroll, possibly being loaned out. Dempsey could flourish in then new set up at Liverpool, acting as the focal point in Midfield.

According to reports the transfer has staled due to a disagreement on a fee between Fulham and Liverpool. Liverpool seem to have been valuing the move at around 5 million pounds due to the fact that Dempsey entering the last year of his contract. With the start of the Premier League season a mere 3 weeks away, it looks like it might be one of those deals that might reach a conclusion on the eve of the seasons commencement.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ninja Attack In New York

Tim 'The Ninja" Cahill has officially signed for the New York Red Bulls and already has an exclusive interview up on the teams site. The new number 17 rounds out an already formidable attack in place at NY, and the edition of his contributions excites the piss out of me. 


“We are absolutely thrilled to bring in a player of Tim’s caliber to the Red Bulls,” said New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He is the technical, physical presence we have been looking to add in our team and he brings a wealth of experience to our club having played in some of the highest levels of international soccer. Tim is a proven leader both on and off the field and we believe that he can help us immediately in our quest to win the MLS Cup this season.”  

For  a player standing 5'10, Cahill netted numerous headed goals for his previous club side Everton with his ninja like skills. What is most exciting about the Australian internationals signing is that he is at an age where he can make a impact for a handful of years. At 32, Cahill still has plenty to offer Major League Soccer and the signing of players like Cahill continues to contribute to the growth of the American game.

You've got to admire an attacking line up of Thierry Henry, Kenny Cooper, Sebastien Le Toux and Tim Cahill. Makes the LA Galaxy's attack look like Kris Kross.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

FOX Soccer presents: Being Liverpool (Trailer)

Liverpool Football Club and FOX Soccer haver teamed up to bring fans a six-part documentary series about the going-ons at LFC. This series known as "Being Liverpool" will provide unseen insight into the inner workings of the beloved club.

Filming started in May of 2012 and will run through the summer and their North American tour, all the way up to their first few matchs of the 2012-13 season. 

For one I 'am stoked beyond belief to see this. If you have followed this blog you will know that I'am quite partial to the Red side of Merseyside and the chance peak behind the curtain fills me with such excitement. With the recent change of manager and various back room staff this documentary should shed such much need light on how things are done, to a certain extent. Even if your not a supporter of LFC, such documentation of a top-flight club should interest many who follow the beautiful game.

"Being Liverpool" premiers September 16th.

Check the trailer:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ibra signs for PSG

Now the Eiffel tower is the second largest structure in Paris. The signing of the Ibra is the most recent in a string of high profile signings conjured by manger Carlo Ancelotti. New feeding ground: AC Milan, signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for 14 million Euros, Thiago Silva, and from Napoli Ezequiel Lavezzi.

The towering Swede will add a new dimension to PSG's attack, and a target for player's like Nene and Menez to find. Seriously, It's Ibra we are talking about here, and I would expect nothing less than a a great season from him. Having performed well at every club he has been at since his Ajax and Juventus days to recent times with Barcelona and the Milan clubs. Having player's such as him in your squad it attracts the eye of the watching world, and I will be one that will look on with intent at the upcoming season.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bradley training with AS Roma (Video)

Here's a Roma training video featuring (drum roll please) America's own Michael Bradley. The next step in his meteoric rise to stardom leaves my mouth watering in anticipation of viewing him line-up next to Danielle Di Rossi and Francesco Totti next season.

Making the move form Chiveo Verona, Bradley now has to be considered the American player playing at the highest profile club. What opportunities he will get next season remains to be seen, but the edition of Bradley to the Roma squad, not only benefits the player, but adds some steel and vision to the club's Midfield. Can't you see how happy he looks?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Liver n' Onions: Summer Shopping List

It's that time a year once again where football fans make their "wish list" so to say. The summer transfer window is open, and new signings offer to possibly catalyze a teams success for the upcoming year.

With out further a duet I bring you my summer shopping list for Liverpool Football Club. Liverpool have a new manager in the shape of Brenden Rodgers. A patron of pretty football, played on the ground, with good movement and passing as the backbone of his philosophy. It will be his goal to find players that fit this mold, and implement them into the current squad. Some players have already moved on, most notably and most aggrieving, Dirk Kuyt who has moved to Turkey. The long time Liverpool servent was unparalleled in his work rate and industry, and will be missed by moi.

Liverpool's lynch pins for next season will be Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard (though sat in a deeper position), Daniel Agger, Glen Johnson, and to a certain extent Andy Carroll, though linked with AC Milan...."chuckles." Quality is needed and I would like these new signings not to just provide support but to steal the headlines. Unfortunantly poor results last season makes it harder to attrack the talent that will grace the front pages, unless Rodger's system is eye catching in its self, and such stars by into it the systems philosophy. The Reds have already missed out on Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played under Rodgers at Swansea, choosing to join Tottenham Hotspur for the reason that " The London club is going places," he told the Daily Mail.

Before I get to my wish list I want to touch on the fact that Liverpool have a couple talents that will be returning to the club after loan deals. Joe Cole out on loan with French side Lille has hopefully done his soul searching abroad, now ready to return to Merseyside, refreshed, renewed and on form. A creative force is what Liverpool needs in midfield and the silky touch and vision of Cole could just be what's needed. He is now back training with the Reds ahead of next season. Alberto Aquilani, once known as"The Little Prince," in Rome, now has the demoted tag of "The Habitual Injury Victim," Slick huh? He makes his return to Merseyside as well, guessing a long with everyone whether he'll be in the plans for the upcoming season. Unless Rodgers intends to sell either Cole or Aquilani, the Northern Irishman might as well give them ago, and hope and pray they can plug a few gaps needing to be filled.

If the aforementioned don't pan out, a possibility not by any stretch of the imagination, Liverpool needs an attacking creative midfielder, winger and a central defender. Here's a few that would work:

1.) Clint Dempsey- Fulham

It's no secret that the rumor tabloids have been boasting a link between the American and Liverpool, as reports of a 6 million pound move has been made. Dempsey has one year left on his contract and refused a new one last April. Tied for the fourth top-scorer in the Premier League last year, Dempsey is creative, versatile and has a nose for the net. A player who would give Liverpool what they missed last season, drive and creativity, Oh and goals. The American link between owner John Henry and Fenway Sports Group is another element that could help persuaded Dempsey of a move. Landon Donovan is still seen as the best American Soccer player currently, but those who watch the Premier League know that Dempsey is more talented and competing at a higher level.  Having an American Soccer star like Dempsey on a American owned team could see Liverpool develop a more depthful fan base in the United States. A situation not dissimilar to AS Roma's American owner going after Michael Bradley. Dempsey is also a proven Premier League player, and that's what Liverpool needs right now.

2.) Adam Johnson- Manchester City

The silky winger has had more than a difficult time getting into Man City's first team, though netting six times in 26 League games for City. Rumor is that Liverpool are plotting a 16 million pound move for the winger, which is inflated English player prices, yet compared to the 20 million pound payout for Stewart Downing, it looks like a snip. Like Downing,  Johnson has a deadly left foot, which is showcased by cutting in from the right side. Johnson is direct and takes his opponent with quick, tricky play. He's not bad defensively when I have seen him, more than able and willing to track back when necessary. Prying the winger from City wouldn't be difficult, as his chances have been limited and at Liverpool he'd be a shoo-in to start. On road-block might be that Sunderland is also rumored to have it in for his services.

3.) Mamadou Sakho- Paris Saint Germain

He has stated that he would leave club side PSG If they where to sign another defender. The 22 year old, 6 foot 2 Senegalese defender found it hard to get into PSG's starting line-up after Ancelotti took over as manager. Due to the riches at the club, the higher-ups seem to be opting for the expensive imports rather than the young talent, spurning his interest to possibly move on. Liverpool's central defensive pairing of Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel was solid last season, and I would render a guess that will be the preferred pairing for next season. That said the back up behind those two looks thin. Jamie Carragher has lost a step in pace, and Sebastian Coates still is finding his bearings since moving to the club last summer. Sakho is young, yet experienced having made his debut for PSG at age 17.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AVB Squats His Way Into North London

Two days after the completion of the European Championships, one of, if not the most interesting signing of this summers transfer window has been completed. Tottenham Hotspur has signed Andre Villas-Boas on a 3-year contract, appointing him as head coach for the upcoming season. After his successes with Portuguese club side Porto where he won four trophies including being the youngest manager to ever to win the Champions League, he announced to the world that he was ready for a big job. His managerial nonce earned him a shot with Chelsea, where fallouts out with players' ultimately earned him a ticket out of west London.

Their is no doubt that AVB deserved a shot at the big time, with a big club, but the situation that transpired at Chelsea spoke ill on his ability to manage a group of egos. All football players have egos, no doubt, but comparatively the egos at Porto are to a lesser extent than the collection of superstars plying their trade at Chelsea.  I'am extremely delighted, yet slightly skeptical of AVB's appointment at Tottenham. Giving the young Portuguese manager another shot at the big time is warranted. After his departure from Chelsea, the team went on to defeat Bayern Munich to win the Champions League with his assistant Roberto Di Matteo at the controls. That said how much of that success, and foundation of success can be attributed to the work of AVB? I would say a lot. The key to AVB's success at Tottenham is recapturing the team spirt and camaraderie that his Porto side had, which is not all dissimilar to the spirt that former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp captured last season.

Also newly announced this week was that come July 12th Tottenham will release their new kit this season, manufactured buy Under Armour. I have never been a fan of the work the company has done within football, but Liverpool's fantastic new kit made by Warrior, anything is possible.