Puzzled Liverpool lack fight yet captain told to stay at home

LIVERPOOL captain Steven Gerrard made his 500th appearance for the Reds on Saturday – but he was told he wasn’t needed for Tuesday night’s trip to Hull – not even as part of the travelling party to give some encouragement to his squad mates in the dressing room. He wasn’t wanted.

He clearly isn’t the force he once was on the field but as a player who lives and breathes Liverpool – or did – he really should have been there if Liverpool really were looking to capitalise on the favour Everton did by beating Manchester United. He wasn’t there and he’ll be puzzled as to why.

The Reds’ defeat to Steve Bruce’s side was the latest in a season of disappointments for Liverpool and the captain will have felt those disappointments as keenly as any supporter, including those who normally travel all over the country to see the Reds but stayed away on Tuesday in protest at the spiralling cost of match tickets.

Gerrard’s Liverpool career comes to an end this season as he moves to pastures new for MLS side LA Galaxy, a decision he made after Liverpool apparently stalled on offering him a new deal, letting it approach its last six months. When he eventually did announce this would be his last season as a Liverpool player he said it was to avoid a situation where he spent more time on the bench than on the pitch. He wanted to be involved as a player as much as possible before he finally retires. He said he didn’t want to go into coaching yet, but it’s understood that’s an option that was never offered to him.
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5 Players for Brendan to clear this summer

TWELVE months ago, Liverpool FC looked to be on course for their first Premier League title, and Brendan Rodgers was set to enter the club’s pantheon of managers that had taken the Reds to top flight glory.

A year later, and the Merseyside club are in relative disarray and despite Manchester United’s defeat at Everton, the Reds remain outsiders for the top four.

We’ve seen shambolic performance in the Champions League, Rodgers’ failure to win a trophy, making him the first Liverpool manager ever to miss out on silverware in all of his first three seasons at the club, and the faltering league form against better opposition, picking up just four points from seven games against teams above them in the league.

With those issues in mind, they are bound to make changes in the upcoming off-season, but who is set to depart?
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Molby – FSG may let Rodgers go before allowing him experienced players

LIVERPOOL’S exit from the FA Cup at Wembley on Sunday is effectively the end of a season that begin with hopes it would feature another title challenge, a decent run in the Champions League and maybe some silverware. It will end without any of those and, failing a further collapse from Manchester City, won’t even end with Liverpool in the top four.

Everybody has their own opinions on what needs to be done, but just about everybody agrees something does need to be done.

Former Liverpool players John Aldridge, Jason McAteer and Jan Molby discussed it on the 5Times podcast this week, but there seems to be something of a conflict over one key change they feel the Reds need to make for next season.

Instead of signing unproven potential the trio think the club needs to sign more experienced, proven players, especially with more of the existing experience leaving in the summer.

But if Brendan Rodgers goes to owners Fenway Sports Group to tell them it’s time to set aside the quest for youth and bring in some experience, Molby worries they are more likely to react by finding a new manager than by listening to his requests. Read more

Lallana: FA Cup semi win would be icing on the cake

LIVERPOOL midfielder Adam Lallana hopes the club can make it back to Wembley for the FA Cup final to end a season he admits has “not gone great” for him.

Lallana was one of three players Brendan Rodgers signed from Southampton in the summer for a total outlay approaching £50m and as the season draws to a close it’s fair to say that none of the trio have had the impact expected of them so far.
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In memory of 96 football fans

The Hillsborough memorial in Liverpool city centre

The Hillsborough memorial in Liverpool city centre

26 years ago today thousands of Liverpool supporters left home and made the journey to South Yorkshire to see their club play Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup semi-final at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough stadium.

96 of them never returned home.

As the fresh inquests into their deaths continue we are limited as to what we can say about what happened that day, or about what happened in the days, months and years that followed, but we can say this:
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Liverpool FC launch New Balance 80s-inspired home kit

ANOTHER year, another new shirt – in fact there’ll be three – as Liverpool launched the latest all red home kits.

New kits come out annually now, in home, away and what used to sometimes to be called ‘European Away’ flavours. With no guarantee of European football for Liverpool next season, chances are it’ll just be a ‘third kit’ that get unveiled last.

For now though it was just the home kit, the first to be produced under the New Balance brand name. New Balance are the owners of the Warrior brand Liverpool have been wearing for the past few seasons, a name that looks like going back to use as a Hockey or Lacrosse brand only. The change suggests top brass at the US company needed to be convinced that soccer was as big a deal as they’d been told and having seen it is, perhaps realise just how much leverage they can get for their wider range of New Balance clothing. Read more

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling speaks out on his contract talks – is he greedy?

LIVERPOOL youngster Raheem Sterling has given an exclusive interview to the BBC that will no doubt add to the controversy surrounding the current standoff between the player and the club over a possible new contract.

Sterling’s current contract has plenty of time left on it but it’s a £30k-£35k per week contract that reflects his standing at the time he signed it, as a teenager with much still to prove.

Having turned 20 in December he now expects a better deal, but his expectations of what he’s worth seem to exceed the club’s and the talks have been put on hold until the end of the season.

At least that’s how his expectations seem to have been portrayed on social media and in the gossip columns. This was his chance to put his side across. Why had he put his contract talks on hold, why had he rejected so many offers?
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Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling speaks out on his contract talks – is he greedy?

LIVERPOOL youngster Raheem Sterling has given an exclusive interview to the BBC that will no doubt add to the controversy surrounding the current standoff between the player and the club over a possible new contract.

Sterling’s current contract has plenty of time left on it but it’s a £30k-£35k per week contract that reflects his standing at the time he signed it, as a teenager with much still to prove.

Having turned 20 in December he now expects a better deal, but his expectations of what he’s worth seem to exceed the club’s and the talks have been put on hold until the end of the season.

At least that’s how his expectations seem to have been portrayed on social media and in the gossip columns. This was his chance to put his side across. Why had he put his contract talks on hold, why had he rejected so many offers?
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