Liverpool | Anorak - Part 11

Liverpool Category

Liverpool football club news, Liverpool transfers, Premier League

Transfer Balls: Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling ‘agrees’ £45m move to Manchester City: now for the wages

Transfer Balls: Liverpool have told Raheem Sterling he doesn’t have to go on their pre-season tour of the Far East. Well, so says the Telegraph:

Liverpool are now in advanced negotiations with City as the clubs edge closer to a £50 million deal, prompting the decision to omit Sterling from the travelling squad heading to the Far East and Australia.

The Mail says Sterling will head to Manchester City for £45m.

City have agreed to pay £45million for the England star, who has been Manuel Pellegrini’s target No 1 summer target.

Now do the tricky bit: what does Raheem Sterling think he should earn every week?

Liverpool fans will be left to wonder why a player poached from QPR was not secured for more money when his last contract was signed. If Liverpool says he’s worth £50m, it’s little wonder Sterling believes he’s worth more than the £100,000-a-week the Reds have offered him? It remains to be seen whether Sterling’s potential bears fruit, but Manchester City clearly think it will.

Posted: 12th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Manchester United will sign Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke unless Liverpool pay up

Transfer balls: Manchester United have joined Liverpool in the hunt United move for Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke. Well, so says one newspaper.

The Sun shouts that “CHRISTIAN BENTEKE is next on Louis van Gaal’s hitlist” because “Manchester United’s boss has made signing a top striker a priority.

Is Benteke a top striker?

The Birmingham Mail announces:

Stats that reveal why losing Christian Benteke would not be the end of the world

So why do Man United want him if, as the Brum Mail says, Charlie Austin’s the better player?

In any case, the Guardian told us on July 6 that Liverpool had agreed to sign Benteke:

So expect all hell to break loose this week as Christian Benteke, with his £32.5m release clause dynamically, explosively and apocalyptically triggered by Liverpool, leaves Aston Villa for a journey of mind and body under Brendan Rodgers, who will apparently make the Belgian his seventh summer signing.

The Daily Express agreed:


Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 06.02.57


But they were pipped to the news by TalkSport’s man in the know, who stated on July 1:

“I expect him to sign if not today then certainly in the not too distant future. Liverpool have done their work and have sealed a deal [with Aston Villa].”

But on July 4, the Mail said Liverpool had not triggered Benteke’s £32.5million buy-out clause.

Benteke remains of interest but there has been no dialogue with Villa or bid and that is likely to remain the case unless the Midlands club show a willingness to reduce their valuation.

And, apparently, now Manchester United want the Belgian. Liverpool had best find the money to secure the player or risk losing him to their big rivals. Well, so says the Sun in a story with not a single source. Wonder what Benteke’s agent makes of it all?

No words from Benteke. But Man United and Liverpool fans might care to know what he said before:

“I’m not afraid of making enemies at Villa by saying I love Arsenal… When I joined Villa I didn’t know where they played. I thought they were a London club!”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 12th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, manchester united, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Manchester City bid £44m for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling

Transfer Balls: a look at today’s reporting on Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.

The Daily Mirror says Liverpool’s owners are ready to stick Raheem Sterling, 20, in the reserves rather than allow him to leave for below their £50m valuation. But surely doing that would result in Sterling playing less top-level football, not being picked for England and a reduction in any transfer fee.

Steven Gerrard has heard enough, telling Sky Sports:

“I’m not happy with all that carry-on and I don’t think there’s any need for it. They all need to be men about the situation. Raheem needs to go in and speak to the owners [Fenway Sports Group] and to Brendan himself, tell them what he wants and go about it that way. You don’t have to throw illnesses in and refuse to go on tour. There are millions and millions of Liverpool fans around the world who are itching to see Raheem Sterling in a Liverpool kit. So I don’t think it’s fair on them if he is behaving like that.”

The Times hears more from the former Liverpool skipper:

However, the 35-year-old said that Sterling, who is under contract until 2017 at Anfield, compared unfavourably with [Jordan] Henderson. “Raheem and Jordan are at different ends of the scale,” the former England captain added. “Jordan’s so professional, he’s a winner, a great lad. I don’t think there’s a more fitting player to take that armband off me. I see a lot of my game in Jordan’s game and what I like about him is he’s very humble.”

The Guardian says Sterling is now feeling much better. He’s presented his off-games not to Mr Rodgers and after two days in front of daytime telly returned for pre-season training. Will he now take part in Liverool’s pre-season tour?

The Liverpool Echo says he could be. Sterling’s name has been included in Lvierpool’s 30-man squad to tour Australia and the Far East. However, the Echo concedes “it is still unknown, however, whether Sterling will actually join up with the squad”.

The Telegraph says the Professional Footballers’ Association has volunteered to mediate between Sterling and Liverpool.

As the Times notes, the PFA did that when Arsenal came knocking for Suarez:

The situation is not a new one for Liverpool, who were faced with a similar predicament two years ago during Arsenal’s unsuccessful pursuit of Luis Suárez.
At the time, Suárez’s attempts to force a move were faced down by Liverpool and after joining up with his club’s pre-season tour of Australia, the Uruguay striker ended the summer training alone before reluctantly accepting that he would not be allowed to leave.

The key difference with Sterling, however, is that Liverpool will sanction his sale at the right price but, unless a deal is struck with City before this weekend, Rodgers will expect the former Queens Park Rangers player to be on the flight to Bangkok with the rest of his team-mates.

But no need to worry the Mirror says Manchester City have bid £44m for Sterling.

It is set to be £40m cash with add-ons which may still not be enough for Liverpool to accept as they are holding out for £50m. The clubs have opened dialogue about Sterling and must try and resolve it in the next 24 hours.



Posted: 11th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool fans branded racist by Raheem Sterling’s people

sterling raheem greedy


Time to catch up with Liverpool and England footballer Raheem Sterling. What’s he been up to this summer? How’s the agent? How are the kids and the balloons?

The Sun: “Pack yer bags, Sterling”

LIVERPOOL have told Raheem Sterling he MUST go on the club’s pre-season tour. The Kop rebel missed training yesterday, claiming he was ill, after informing boss Brendan Rodgers he did not want to be considered for the trip to Asia and Australia.

The problem with calling in sick is that if you do it and only secure one day off, you look like a skiver.

Liverpool were set to send a doctor to give Sterling a check-up and the wantaway winger, 20, faces a massive fine if he does not turn up for the four-game trip. He could also be left sweating on a move to Manchester City, who are the only club to make offers for him.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 9th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Raheem Sterling cries off training as suitable treatment sought for mystery illness

Raheem Sterling is still on Liverpool’s books. He won’t be for very much longer. HE doesn’t even want to train with the Reds, failing to attend training with Liverpool this morning after, as the Times says, “informing the club that he is unwell only 24 hours following his request to be omitted from their pre-season tour to Australia and the Far East.”

Get well soon, Raheem.

In keeping with club protocol, Liverpool will despatch a doctor to Sterling’s home address in Birkdale where the 20-year-old will be examined and, if necessary, prescribed suitable treatment.

Maybe a spot of sun in, say, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium will sort him out?

Regardless of his desire to leave, Liverpool maintain that Sterling will continue to be treated in accordance with his contract and expect him to return to training as soon as he is well enough to do so and to make himself for their forthcoming pre-season tour.

If they really expect that, we wonder what are they smoking at Liverpool?

Posted: 8th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling worth £35m, Manchester United lose £10m on Luke Shaw and Arsenal overpay for Chambers

According to Soccerex Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling is the most valuable young player in Europe. The 20-year-old, linked with a move to Manchester City, heads the ‘Soccerex 20 Football Value Index’, which ranks players under 21 in Europe according to a whole list of factors including age, position, club, contract length, injuries, technical quality, tattoos, hair gel and shaggability (only some of those have been made up).

Players are given a projected value, with chart-topper Sterling given a £34.5million figure, some way below the £50million Liverpool are asking for.

Nine Premier League players overall make the list with Man Utd’s Luke Shaw (signed for £27m in 2014) and new-boy Memphis Depay, Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma, Liverpool’s Emre Can and loanee Divock Origi, Everton’s John Stones and the Arsenal duo of Callum Chambers (signed by Arsenal last summer for £16m) and Hector Bellerin joining Sterling in the countdown.

But where’s Harry Kane?!

Here’s the top 20. Make of it what you will…


raheem sterling liverpool

Posted: 8th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Benzema heads to Liverpool for £38m and to Arsenal for much less?

Karim Benzema arsenal move transfer


Transfer Balls: the summer is here and with comes the return of the story that Arsenal and Liverpool are to sign Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

The Daily Star tells its readers (and we can see your lips moving):


Arsenal step up attempts to sign Karim Benzema with £17.8m bid

So the Gunners have made a bid for Benzema?

Spanish daily AS are reporting that Arsenal have upped their attempts to sign the French striker after being alerted about his availability. AS say Arsene Wenger is a big fan of Benzema and would love to bring him to England for around £17.8m.

No. Arsenal have not made a bid for Benzema. But if they do it will be for £17.8m. Maybe.

It is unclear at the moment how much Real are demanding for Benzema.

In other words: the player is not on sale. That £17.8m is a guess.


It all smells of utter balls, but to The Metro it means:

Arsenal ‘closing in on Karim Benzema transfer’

The Metro then adds:

Manchester United are also thought to be interested in Benzema

Thought by whom, the Metro doesn’t say.

We’ve been here before, of course:

Daily Express, June 5: “Arsenal set to make Karim Benzema a MASSIVE offer to fend off Man United and Liverpool”

Is £17.8m massive?

ITV, May 26: “Arsenal launch £35m bid for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema”

That’s bigger. But no bid has been made.

Daily Mirror, Jan 7: “Benzema wants Anfield switch”

Words from Benzema: none.

Daily Star, October 4 2014: “Liverpool AGREE £38m deal for Arsenal target Karim Benzema”

No. They didn’t.

Looks like Arsenal are getting a £17.8m bargain.

Such are the facts.



Posted: 6th, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool ‘accept’ £45m for Sterling because Manchester City are desperate to spend £191m?

raheem sterling £45m Transfer Balls: The Star says Manchester City will bid £45m for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling as part of a “£191m City spree”.

The Sun says:

MANCHESTER CITY have been given the green light by Uefa for a £150million spree.

ESPN says that spree will be £100m.

Where does the Star conjure £191m from? It fails to say.

And if City have so much money to spend, then surely Liverpool will hold out for the £50m they want for Sterling.

The Star adds:

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will land Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling at the third attempt – for £45million.

The Star’s “story”, labelled as an “exclusive”, contains not a single source, named or otherwise.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 4th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer balls: Manchester City miss out on Pogba and £45m bid for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling

Transfer Balls: a look at today’s news on Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and his move to Manchester City.

The Sun: “Sterling… spend it! And Raheem won’t be the only deal after Uefa lift FFP cap”

MANCHESTER CITY have been given the green light by Uefa for a £150million spree.

ESPN says that spree will be £100m. But, still, it’s a huge number.

Part of that spree is the likely purchase of Raheem Sterling, who, says the Sun, will cost City £45m.

The Times reports:

City’s second offer of up to £40 million for the England forward [Sterling] was rejected, but the club will be in a stronger position to raise their bid closer to Liverpool’s asking price of £50 million. Manuel Pellegrini is also confident of being able to sign Kevin de Bruyne, who is likely to cost £35 million, despite Wolfsburg wanting to offer their Belgium midfielder a new contract. The City manager has not given up hope of bringing in Paul Pogba, the Juventus midfielder.

Last season City were hit with a £49m fine and forced to submit a reduced Champions League squad of 21 players after breaching Uefa’s Financial Fair Play regulations. Those barriers to recruitments have now been removed. A Uefa statement read:

“We have lifted a number of restrictions on transfer activity, employee expenses and number of players in Uefa club competitions imposed on Manchester City.

“This is after the club reached certain targets towards break-even compliance as part of the ongoing monitoring of their settlement agreement.

“The lifting of restrictions is subject to ongoing additional controls and audits. The club remains under strict monitoring and has still to meet break-even targets and is therefore subject to some limitations in 2016.”

All media sources agree that City will Paul Pogba, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph.

But the Manchester Evening News says Pogba as “agreed” to join Barcelona.

Juventus have told Barcelona that they will not sell Paul Pogba until next summer in what appears to be a blow to City’s hopes.

And in a meeting between officials of the two giant clubs in Italy, it is also reported that Barca made it plain that they will launch a bid for the player ahead of the 2015-16 season.

That clearly paves a way for a deal between the two giant European clubs for the France midfielder, who is the Blues’ main target in this transfer window.

Barca are under a transfer ban this summer after being found guilty by Fifa of breaching rules regarding the purchase of players aged under 18.

As for De Bruyne, who has a contract with Wolfsburg until 2019, the Indy reports:

Speaking to Sport1 earlier this week, Wolfsburg’s sporting director Klaus Allofs said: “Kevin has a contract until 2019, so the signal has already been sent out. He will stay with us. We’ve said we will look at his contract.

De Bruyne lifts the German Cup at the end of last season De Bruyne lifts the German Cup at the end of last season “The aim is to take into account financially Kevin’s extraordinary development. The best players should earn the best wages. We will make an offer to him and I think we will reach an agreement here very quickly.”

Surely there is no way Wolfsburg can beat super-rich City’s offer. Given news of City’s huge transfer kitty, the German club will know they can ask top dollar of any player.



Posted: 4th, July 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Arda Turan signs for Manchester United, wants Chelsea and ‘dreams’ of Liverpool

Arda Turan of Club Atletico de Madrid


Transfer Balls: Chelsea are in for Arda Turan. But he’s agreed to join Manchester United. And Barcelona. And Arsenal want him. Well, so we read in the papers:

Daily Mail, June 30: “Arda Turan keen on £29m Chelsea transfer as Turkey midfielder says he wants to leave Atletico Madrid”

He’s on his way to Chelsea.

The Metro, June 30: “Arda Turan has agreed terms to sign for Manchester United from Atletico Madrid”

He’s on his way to Man United.

ES (Spain) July 1: “Barelona has reached an agreement with Atletico Madrid for Arda Turan”

He’s on his way to Barcelona.

Daily Mail, July 1: “Chelsea favourites to sign £29m Arda Turan from Atletico Madrid with Turkish star preferring London move over Barcelona”

Come on you Blues!

Daily Mail July 2: “Barcelona set to beat Chelsea to the £25m signing of Arda Turan”

Daily Express, July 2: “Arda Turan revelation gives Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal a huge boost – ARDA TURAN has confirmed that talks of a deal with Barcelona are completely false”

Can Arsenal get him? Do they want him?

But the Daily Star says it will all be sorted out today:

Arda Turan to decide whether to join Arsenal, Chelsea or Manchester United tomorrow – ARDA TURAN will announce which Premier League side he is going to join tomorrow.

Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 07.32.31


Number of words in any of those stories from the player or Chelsea: nil.

But one paper has quoted the player.


Screen shot 2015-07-03 at 07.44.13


Daily Express, February 27: “Arda Turan: Liverpool is my DREAM team and I want to play for them!”

Such are the facts.



Posted: 3rd, July 2015 | In: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino supported Manchester United in a house made of cheese

What do we know of Liverpool’s newest player Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira? Not much.

We know that in January 2011 Bundesliga club Hoffenheim signed Brazilian Firmino for €4m. And he scores around one goal every three games.

While we await the news that Firmino grew up supporting Manchester United, preferred Brookside to EastEnders and enjoys long walks on the beach, writing in the Times, Tony Evans nails it:

So, it is in many ways both inevitable and understandable that the decision to make Firmino the second-most expensive player in the club’s history behind Andy Carroll is greeted with suspicion. When you have a reputation for buying badly, you cannot complain if the idea that you might have bought well does not immediately take hold.

That Firmino is something of an unknown quantity might add mystique to the deal, but beyond the exotic and the YouTube videos that make most players look good, a lack of knowledge leads many to ask how Liverpool could have paid £29 million for a player they do not even know.

All of that, though, remains moot. Beyond the sizeable minority of Bundesliga addicts who have tuned in to watch Hoffenheim games and kept abreast of Firmino’s progress in Germany, it is impossible for the rest of us to pass any kind of judgment on the 23-year-old. All we can do is wait and see.

But journalists at other newspapers feel a need to look like they know about Firmino.

The Guardian:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 24th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool sign Brazil winger Roberto Firmino for £21m

roberto firmino


Transfer Balls: the BBC says Liverpool have signed winger Roberto Firmino, 23, from Hoffenheim for £21m – but the fee could rise to £28m with add ons.

Firmino is Liveprool’s second most expensive signing ever – only Andy Carroll, a £35 million signing from Newcastle United four years ago, has cost Liverpool more.

The Brazilian knows where the net is, scoring 49 times in 153 appearances for Hoffenheim.

But which of the faces above is he?




Answer: B.

Posted: 24th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool ‘sources’ imagaine a £50m Manchester Bid for Raheem Sterling

sterling raheem liveprool £50m Manchester CityTransfer Balls: a look at rubbish football rpeoting in the mainstream media. Today the Daily Express says Manchester will pay £50m for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling. Having had a £40m offer rejected, the Express is hardly alone in reasoning is that City will offer more for the talented young English player.

The Express says this is an “exclusive”. And it is one – in much the same way that the contents of you toilet are exclusive to that toilet.

John Richardson writes:

As Sunday Express Sport has revealed Liverpool are prepared to sell the 20-year-old but not for a penny under £50 million.

As all papers, blogs, radio stations and carrier pigeons have also revealed, Sterling wants to leave Liverpool and the Reds wants to get as much as they can for the player.

Sources close to the Merseyside club have indicated that City won’t drop their interest for the sake of another £10 million in a summer in which they are committed to bringing in top English talent.

These sources are unnamed. They are also on the Liverpool side of the deal. The Express‘ scoop about what Manchester City will do contains not a single word from anyone at Manchester City.

Posted: 21st, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Which wantaway Liverpool striker’s agent calls him ‘a lion in a cage’?

Football agent of the day is Marco De Marchi. He represents Liverpool striker Fabio Borini. Since signing for Liverpool in July 2012, the £10m Italian has scored 10 Premier League goals – seven of which were for Sunderland when he went out on loan.

You could deduce from the stats that Borini has been less than great. But Marco De Marchi tells Corriere dello Sport

“Fabio wants a new experience. We expected more consideration from Liverpool. There are teams from all over Europe interested in him. Top clubs in Europe are keen on him, from the Premier League to the Bundesliga and there also clubs in Italy, but many clubs in Italy have had coaching changes and that has slowed things down. He has no preference, he just wants a team that gives him a clear chance to prove himself. Right now he feels like a lion in a cage.”

Ready to strike just as soon as he can find his teeth…

Posted: 19th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling is my hippy crack role model

sterling hippy crack


Is that Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling inhaling nitrous oxide – always billed in the newspapers as ‘hippy crack’  – on a boat in Ibiza? The Sun’s Chris Pollard says it is:

FOOTBALL star Raheem Sterling has been caught sucking from a balloon — just weeks after The Sun exposed him inhaling laughing gas… on Tuesday he was videoed with the stem of an inflated pink balloon between his lips.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 18th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Reviews, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool turn down £40m Raheem Sterling bid

Manchester City’s £40m Raheem Sterling bid will not to be succesful. Liverpool are digging their heels in, demanding £50 million for the English tyro. QPR, Sterling’s old club watch with intersted – 20% of any fee goes to them.

City have offered £35 plus £5m in performance-related payments.

City are desperate for homefrown talent to ensure that they comply with Uefa regulation. And they are the only City to have made any official offer for him.

But Sterling wants to play in London. Which leaves Sterling hoping that Arsenal or Chelsea offer Liverpool that £50m. Good luck waiting for that, Raheem.





Posted: 18th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool await the inevitable Manchester City £50m bid for Sterling

The less he plays for the Liverpool, the more his value rises. So it is for Raheem Sterling, who is now the subject of a £40m bid from desperate Manchester City.

Liverpool will, of course, reject the offer. City have upped their bid from £30m to £40m in a matter of days. Liverpool know that making City wait for prime, young English talent will only increase his price.

Liverpool want £50 million for Sterling. When that was announced, it looked high. But now it looks reasonable.

City will make the offer. And it looks very much like no-one else will.


Posted: 17th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Arsenal and Liverpool target Alvaro Morata’s ‘staggering’ fee used to be higher

Transfer Balls: Is Juventus striker Alvaro Morata heading to Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United? The Daily Express’ Joe Short finds the fee staggering:


Screen shot 2015-06-15 at 14.15.22


Back in March 2015, the news was not as staggering – which is odd because back then the Express valued Morata at £60m:


Screen shot 2015-06-15 at 14.16.29



Is Morata heading to Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester United for a ‘Staggering’ £58m or a reasonable £60m? No. He’s not.

Of course, Morata already plays for Arsenal. We read that in the Daily Express and its sister organ, the Daily Star:


Screen shot 2015-06-15 at 14.22.43



Screen shot 2015-06-15 at 14.22.03



Such are the facts.

Posted: 15th, June 2015 | In: Arsenal, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Raheem Liverpool’s Sterling is exclsuive to Manchester City

In an “EXCLUSIVE” the Daily Express says “Arsenal and Real Madrid join Man City in race for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling”.

But they don’t. They haven’t. The only bids for Sterling have some from Manchester United (an unofficial enquiry about buying the player for £25m) and Manchester City (£25m plus £5m if he turns out to be any good for them).

John Richardson’s exclusive hangs on not a single fact. All he writes is:

Liverpool are expecting the first official move from the Spanish giants in the next few days while Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a confirmed admirer of the winger.

Bids from Madrid and Arsenal for Sterling: none.

Such are the facts.


Posted: 15th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Liverpool reject Manchester City’s £30m bid for Raheem Sterling

Sterling MAnchester City


Raheem Sterling will not be leaving Liverpool to join Manchester City. Well, not yet. Liverpool have rejected City’s £30m offer for the England player.

The bid – 25 million, plus £5 million in potential future payments – falls well short of the £50m Liverpool wants for Sterling, whose contract ends in June 2017.

Should City offer more for Sterling, who favours a return to London?


Posted: 12th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Manchester City, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Raheem Sterling is thin-skinned, dusty and broken

Screen shot 2015-06-08 at 10.06.52


In a game so dull it made you understand why FIFA settled on playing the World Cup on red-hot sand in Qatar, Ireland and England’s draw was remarkable for one thing: a few fans jeered and booed Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling.

“I think he’s going through a bad time publicly,” said England manager Roy Hodgson said. “You can’t expect people just to shrug off the criticism he has been receiving, not least from the local media in Liverpool. That becomes national pretty quickly. He does ever so well and tries well to shrug it off, to let his football do the talking. He needed this game to realise that, if he is going to get it out of his system, he’s going to have to work harder still and get a thicker skin than he has at the moment.
We only took him off today to give others a game, to air the squad.”

If Sterling is letting his football do the talking for him, right now he’s in whisper mode. And we do like the bit about airing the squad, as you would a mattress, cellar or attic. Sterling made way for Andros Townsend, who could have enlivened the moribund affair had he appeared dressed as Miss Havisham or a dusty bottle of wine.

So. Is Sterling going to play for England in Slovenia on Sunday?

“I have no reservations about playing him in Slovenia,” says Hodgson. “I trust Sterling, but players are not robots. He’s done some fantastic things for us, but today he didn’t hit those heights. It’ll take a lot before I and the English national team sway from Raheem Sterling.”

In the meantime, enough with the jering and the booing. Can fans not think up a decent chant to hail Raheem?



Posted: 8th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Raheem Sterling Is Off To Manchester United For £15m Less Than Manchester City Bid

Transfer Balls spots the rumours that Raheem Sterling is leaving Liverpool for Manchester United. The Daily Mirror says United will offer £25m for the England player. How it knows this is left unsaid. But, you know, “sources”.

ESPN says Liverpool would rather sell Sterling to Arsenal. The fee? Lots of money plus Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs.

The Star says Manchester City have £40m reserved for Sterling.

Not too long ago (‘hours’ – ed) Sterling was surely heading to Real Madrid, where he’d link up with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez. 

Newly sat in the Real Madrid ejector seat, Benitez was very quickly reading aloud from the Real Madrid Big Book Of Transfers:

 “We admire [Raheem], that’s no secret – but he is not one of our players so I can’t really comment on him.”

A Real Madrid comment is in actual fact a huge comment that Real want to buy Sterling.

As it is the lad’s gone nowhere.


Posted: 4th, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Brendan Rodgers given one season to finish his sentence

Liverpool new players

Liverpool fans will get at least one more season of Brendan Rodgers, a man whose ability to smug it out is unrivalled.

After a meeting with Liverpool chariman Tom Werner and owners’ representative Fenway Sports Group (FSG) President Michael Gordon, Liverpool have agreed on a “comprehensive plan for improvement”. The meeting was “positive and progressive”.

Details are thin.

What will change?

The talk is that James Milner, Danny Ings, Christian Benteke and Nathaniel Clyne could be arriving at Anfield in the near future. The Times says 29-year-old Milner has agreed terms with Liverpool after rejecting a more generous contract offer to remain on Manchester City’s bench. The paper adds that Liverpool are in the hunt for a new goalkeeper.

That would be five new players Rodgers would have to mould into the team in quick time. Given the £110million-worth of new signings bought last summer, the squad is not being short-changed in the club’s quest to move on from last season’s post-Luis Suarez mediocrity, when they were most notably out-thought by Aston Villa and Stoke City and the momentum of that 2013/14 season title-surge was lost.

Rodgers could once rely on Luis Suarez’s brilliance and flashes of inspiration to mask any lack of tactical nous. Last season, the plan seemed to be for Raheem Sterling or Philippe Coutinho to do the same. When they failed Liverpool looked tame, witless and disorganised.

New players bought in by the club’s data and value-driven transfer committee failed to gel. Rodgers remained verbose, talking and talking a good game, continuing to make baffling selections and fussing over details.

One thing Liverpool can move on is to colour-in the grey areas between ownership and management. The club’s structure seems messy.

What is expected of Rodgers? Obviously, Champions’ League qualification and a cup are the targets, but if Rodgers’ Liverpool fails to deliver one or both will be be sacked?

It would be useful to know how Rodgers is being measured and what part FSG consider they’ve played in the club’s slide from the Premier League’s top four. 

Posted: 3rd, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Transfer Balls: Real Madrid get Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling in a Spanish package deal

sterling £45m Real Madrid


Transfer Balls hears the Daily Express say that Real Madrid are making a move for Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea target Raheem Sterling. The fee of £45m is mentioned.

The Express cites as its source another tabloid:

But according to The Sun, Real are keen to open talks over a potential £45m deal.

Over in the Sun we learn:

REAL MADRID will open talks over a £45million move for Raheem Sterling in the next fortnight. Liverpool’s top brass are expected to travel to Spain for a friendly between Real and Reds legends on June 14.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 2nd, June 2015 | In: Liverpool, Sports | Comment

Liverpool Balls: Klopp, Allardyce, McClaren and Ancelotti the flying pig challenge Rodgers

Football Balls: the intersection of media football fact and fiction spots the Sun’s story that “JURGEN KLOPP has made himself available to be next Liverpool manager”.

Has he? Klopp has left Borussia Dortmund. He’s a free agent. He’s pretty much made himself available to be manager any club.

Ken Lawrence writes:

The German, 47, has scrapped plans to take six months off after his last game as Borussia Dortmund boss in tomorrow’s German Cup final. And he has made it known he would be interested in taking over from Kop boss Brendan Rodgers at Anfield.

How did he make that interest known? The only quote the story provides is this:

“I am not tired. I haven’t had any contact with any other clubs but I am not planning a sabbatical.”

Mentions of Liverpool: none.

Lawrence then ends his story by noting:

Carlo Ancelotti is also a possibility for Liverpool after leaving Real Madrid.

Yeah, of course he is. Other managers with Premier League experience looking for work and, therefore by the Sun’s reckoning possible Liverpool head coaches, include: Steve McClaren, Sam Allardyce, Ian Holloway, Malky Mackay, Paul Lampbert, Harry Redknapp, Stuart Pearce, John Gregory, Danny Wilson and Gus Poyet.

Looking at that lot, Liverpool sticking with their current manager Brendan Rodgers doesn’t look such a bad option.

Posted: 29th, May 2015 | In: Liverpool | Comment