Roy defends his summer signings

Liverpool's manager, Roy Hodgson, has defended the club's summer signings ahead of Sunday's derby against Everton, accusing critics of the likes of Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles of being "naive in their expectations".

He added: "Quite a few of our players are new – some are new to the country and not just the club – so it takes time for players to adjust to that. We are naive in our expectations sometimes. We sign a good player from abroad and then expect him to go and play like Steven Gerrard from the first moment. That doesn't happen.

"That's our situation at the moment. It's a new team and a new venture. Maybe we've expected too much from some of the people – they are still finding their feet. But they are good players so let's hope they have the ability and quality to deal with it."

Meireles was signed from Porto for £10.7m, while Poulsen moved from Juventus for £4.5m. Joe Cole, Paul Konchesky and Milan Jovanovic also joined in the summer. They have seen the new club suffer their worst start to a season for over half a century, since they were relegated in 1953-54, with only one win so far.

Hodgson, however, believes his side – and Everton, who have fared little better and are ahead only on goal difference – are certain to climb the league. "It would've been nice if we could have been in a better position," said Hodgson ahead of his first Merseyside derby. "I'm sure my colleague David [Moyes] would be saying the same thing.

"It's a bit unusual to see a derby with both teams down there, but I'm pretty sure we'll see both teams in a better position for the next one. I suppose there is extra importance because both of us are desperately in need of points – but it would be nice if we could get them."


England pair interested in Lyon's striker Lopez

Liverpool and Tottenham are tracking Lyon striker Lisandro Lopez, according to reports in the press on Thursday.

Harry Redknapp is scouring Europe for a new front man to help cope with playing a Champions League campaign and has also been linked with Sevilla's Luis Fabiano and Juventus' Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Liverpool also need a new striker to take some of the burden off Spain star Fernando Torres, although any move the Reds make is dependant on the ownership issue being concluded before the January transfer window opens.

Lyon are thought to be willing to let Lopez leave this winter if they receive an offer of around £14m for the 27-year-old Argentine.

Mirror Football

US company NESV set to announce purchase of Liverpool

New England Sports Ventures are set to complete their takeover of Liverpool after the club's co-owners removed the restraining order blocking any sale.Collapse )


Hicks removes restraining order stopping Liverpool sale

Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have removed the restraining order preventing the club's sale to New England Sports Ventures.Collapse )

Carra signs a new deal

Liverpool vice-captain Jamie Carragher has agreed a two-year contract extension that will see him stay at Anfield until June 2013.

It means the centre-half, 33, in January, is likely to end his career at the club he joined as a schoolboy.

Bootle-born Carragher is currently sixth in the list of all-time Liverpool appearances, with 641 games so far.

He has won 10 major honours, including two FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Cup and the Champions League.

Manager Roy Hodgson had said in August that sorting out Carragher's future was one of his top priorities, with the defender's previous contract only having a year left on it.

And tying the veteran to the club for the foreseeable future provides the club with a welcome boost ahead of Sunday's Merseyside derby against Everton.

According to the Liverpool Echo, however, there are no clauses in the defender's contract that relate to him joining the coaching staff.

Carragher is currently studying for his UEFA coaching badges and said last month: "I think I would find it very hard not to have football in my life.

"If I go down that road I might be coaching, scouting...I don't know.

"Here would be great. But Liverpool always have top managers and you would have to earn your stripes."


LFC appoint Dallas lawyers to challenge Hicks

Liverpool Football Club have acquired the services of Dallas based lawyers to help overturn Tom Hicks’ injunction against the club’s sale as quickly as possible.

At the 11th hour last night, just as Liverpool’s board were about to start concluding the sale to New England Sports Ventures, Hicks won the injunction, seeking $1.6billion in damages from the board and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Hicks claims that the board and bank did not consider higher offers, and NESV’s £300million offer massively undervalues the club.

Liverpool hope lawyers can convince the court in Texas that the case is not worthy of even being heard, with its date set for October 25th.

The Mirror reports:

The judge who granted the TRO has already expressed his unease with jurisdiction over the case, and after reviewing documents, he made clear that the claims made by Hicks were not backed by any substantial evidence.

This suggests Judge Jim Jordan, who will be the first to consider Liverpool’s move to strike the TRO, could well reverse his decision as soon as the case is heard. If not, then it will be moved to a higher United States State Court, which would be expected to respect the decision of the High Court.
The 8 hour time difference between the UK and Texas could prove a stumbling block in today’s proceedings.

But Reds chairman Martin Broughton, working 24 hour days at the moment, is confident a legal challenge can be made.

He told fans, “They are trying every trick in the book, but keep the faith, we are trying to overturn this and we always remain confident.”

UPDATE: Liverpool and the Royal Bank of Scotland will return to the High Court in London this afternoon to try and overturn Tom Hicks’ injunction preventing the sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures. The hearing is set for 2pm.

This is Anfield


Glen Johnson looks forward to Sunday's derby

Liverpool fullback Glen Johnson is looking forward to Sunday's derby against Everton.

Johnson got his first taste of the clash between the Red and Blue halves of Merseyside in Liverpool's 2-0 win at Goodison Park last November, and far from shy away from the hostile atmosphere, the right-back insists he enjoys the friendly confrontation with Everton fans.

"The Merseyside derby is different to any other I've played in," he said. "The Liverpool area is so passionate about football. You're either a Red or a Blue.

"Where I grew up in London people supported all different teams but here it's one or the other. It's what you live for.

"You can sense when a derby is coming because of the build-up the week before. It's so intense.

"I've got to know plenty of Everton fans since moving here and they aren't afraid to give you some stick. The guy who I rent my house from is a Blue and he loves it. But the banter is great and unique.

"To win any derby you need to fight and stick together. That's what we'll do."

Tribal Football

Dutch international interested in England switch

PSV Eindhoven midfielder Ibrahim Afellay has revealed that he would prefer to join Liverpool or Manchester United.

The highly-rated Holland international has been linked with a host of Europe's elite clubs including Bayern Munich, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Arsenal and would relish a move to the Premier League.

Afellay, 24, is out of contract at the Phillips Stadium at the end of this season and hopes that he can secure a move to either Old Trafford or Anfield, not the Emirates Stadium.

"Playing in the Premier League would be best for my prestige," he told Dutch newspaper Oranje.

"I'd like to play for Liverpool or Manchester United , the top-level prospect for any player."

Click Liverpool

NESV prepared to wait to buy Liverpool

Liverpool's prospective new owner NESV is prepared to wait to conclude its £300m takeover of the club.

The purchase was delayed on Wednesday after current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett gained an injunction.

But having earlier won a High Court battle to seemingly confirm the deal, NESV chief John Henry is set to wait.

"He is prepared to wait for the order to be lifted. Sources tell me he has binding agreements," BBC sports editor David Bond said.

Hicks and Gillett gained the injunction in a Texas court only hours after their bid to prevent the £300m sale to NESV had been thrown out by the High Court.

The petition, in which they describe the sale as an "epic swindle", is due to be heard on 25 October, though Bond suggested that those wanting to push through the deal - NESV, Liverpool's board and the club's creditor Royal Bank of Scotland - will aim for a swift resolution.

"RBS is likely to try to push through the deadline," added Bond.

"There are meetings going on between lawyers, especially RBS's lawyers, about what they do next and the feeling is they want to put pressure back on Hicks and Gillett to allow this deal to go through."


Liverpool owners lose case in High Court

Liverpool have moved a step closer to being sold to new owners, with New England Sports Ventures hoping to have a £300m bid accepted by the board.

Mr Justice Floyd ruled in the High Court that current owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett had no power to block the sale to the Boston Red Sox owners.

Liverpool chairman Martin Broughton said a new board would be reconstituted which would decide who to sell to.

He said: "It would be inappropriate to pre-judge what the board will say."

Hicks and Gillett had asked to delay the hearing of an application by creditors Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for mandatory orders, paving the way for a possible sale this week.

But the plea was rejected by the judge, and at RBS's request the court imposed injunctions on the two men requiring them to restore the original constitutions of the companies and managing directors.
RBS is now able to recoup its original £237m loan to Hicks and Gillett.

Broughton, for whom Wednesday's ruling is a significant victory, had consistently claimed that when the owners decided to put the club up for sale in April, RBS requested undertakings from them that only he - as independent chairman - could make changes to the club's board.

However, minutes before a meeting last week to discuss the bid by NESV, Hicks tried to sack Purslow and Ayre and install his son, Mack, and Lori McCutcheon, who works for Hicks Holdings.

Broughton rejected the proposal and continued with the meeting, with the England-based board members coming down in favour of the NESV bid.

In court, Philip Snowden QC, for RBS, had told Mr Justice Floyd that Hicks and Gillett were committing "a calculated breach of contract" by seeking to change the constitution of the board without the consent of the bank.




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