Ex-Liverpool defender Daniel Agger retires at 31

Former Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger takes to Twitter to confirm he is calling time on his playing career.


Sad news from Daniel Agger as the ex-Reds defender today announced his retirement from football at just 31 years of age.

Agger’s career has been plagued with injury setbacks and although the Dane admitted it was “sad” to accept his playing days were over he said he was “proud” of the career he had.

Daniel used Twitter to confirm the news: “Thank you for your support,” he tweeted. “A great experience,” he added, in a tweet that also included a photo of a selection of his shirts, including a Liverpool one.

“It’s sad, but it is the right decision to stop. I’m proud of my career,” he wrote.


The centre-back was signed for Liverpool by Rafa Benitez in 2006 from boyhood club Brondby and left Anfield eight years later having established himself as a favourite for many fans, especially when he responded to transfer rumours linking him with a move away from Anfield one summer by getting “YNWA” tattooed on his knuckles.

Those injuries restricted his appearances in a Liverpool shirt but he still managed to turn out 232 times in his eight years and won a League Cup Winners’ medal in 2012 under Kenny Dalglish.

Perhaps one of the lowest points of his time at Anfield was when current England manager Roy Hodgson was boss for an ill-fated six-months. Responding to stories in the Danish media Hodgson said of Agger:

“I don’t give them mass media training. I would give mass media training to young players, but people like Agger who is knocking on 30 years of age… I wouldn’t want to pull him aside and say, ‘be careful what you say,’ because he understands those things.” Agger was actually 25 at the time.

“You’re going to get caught out,” Roy added, “But to be quoted, as he was on Sky, he doesn’t like our long ball approach, I think that’s not only tough on the boy that he’s been caught out but to be made to look a complete fool, because I think probably the one thing, at the moment, nobody in this room for one minute suggest, was that Liverpool are a long ball team.

“In fact there might be people who would suggest we should play a bit longer because we win the passing statistics every match but even our goalkeeper rarely kicks the ball beyond the halfway line so I think they’ve made him look a bit of a fool with that.”

In the same interview Hodgson also explained why Agger wasn’t playing – it was because Roy’s new signing had taken his place. “To play regularly you’ve got to be fit [which Agger was at the time]. I think most of last year he wasn’t fit.”

That was before Hodgson arrived, so why wasn’t he playing under the former Fulham boss? “He was fit at the start of this year but he had to play at left back until we signed Konchesky. Now of course Carragher and Skrtel have been playing in the centre of defence and doing well and he’s got to get into the team in the place of one of those.”

Agger’s appearances were few and far between and a few months later Hodgson was sacked, much to the delight of the vast majority of Liverpool supporters, and Agger was quoted later on how things were under Roy.

“Look at the team – we played awful, we were s**t,”  he said.

“When you look now every single player is better. Confidence can win you games and Kenny [Dalglish] and Steve [Clarke, his assistant] have put the confidence back in the players and we have shown that definitely in the last four games.”

Better still, the football was now of a style Agger – and most fans – would prefer to see from the Reds: “Kenny likes to play positive football, going forward, and keeping the ball on the ground and he is good among the players. The training sessions have been really good and everything starts at the training ground. If you get that right you have a big advantage in the games.”

Of course those good times under Kenny didn’t last as FSG sacked him just after that League Cup winning season. In his place came Brendan Rodgers and soon, as it had been under Roy, Agger found himself making limited appearances. In 2014 he moved back to Brondby, a year after rejecting reported advances from Barcelona to stay at Anfield.


He told Danish TV what had led to him making that big decision to leave Anfield, pointing to his relationship with Rodgers. “There was much [distance] between us, and for me it was just enough,” he said.

“I felt that he didn’t appreciate the things I could do or contributed. When I feel that, then it’s time to move on.

“When you are a part of the starting eleven for several games in a row and the team have performed well, and you feel that you have played well, then you are left out of the team and don’t feel appreciated, it starts to get pray on your mind and you wonder.
“Then, at the same time, you see the statistics from your game – which are so important all around the world of football – and you don’t understand why you weren’t used more often.”

The defender did have some praise for Rodgers, but suggested he felt let down by a lack of openness from his former manager: “He’s an extremely, extremely competent coach. The things that went wrong between us is that I say things the way they are and I expect others to treat me the same way. Maybe it is wrong to always expect this.”

Agger, who also won 71 caps for Denmark, was recently linked with a reunion with the man who brought him to Anfield, Benitez, who is now Newcastle boss, but today’s news confirms that won’t be happening.

The willingness Agger showed to put his body on the line for Liverpool – despite all those injuries – showed an attitude that many Reds players have lacked in recent times. An excellent defender, his abilities going forward and his desire to turn defence into attack are qualities Jurgen Klopp needs to look for as he rebuilds his Liverpool side.

At £6m Agger, despite the injuries, turned out to be something of a bargain.

He’ll be missed from the game but left us with plenty happy memories. Good luck in whatever comes next for you Daniel.

John Barnes is Deezer’s most-streamed footballer

When footballers try their hand at music…


On the eve of Euro 2016 someone at music streaming service Deezer has a good look at their streaming data to find out if any footballers have managed to do well in the music industry – and found enough of them to pick a full team, with one still a current player.

Sadly it’s not the best selection of songs, on the whole, with former Liverpool, Hamburg and Newcastle forward Kevin Keegan giving everyone the opportunity to tell him they’d “love it” if he stayed well away from any recording studios. His effort, ‘Head Over Heels in Love’ is at No.4 in Deezer’s chart. Somehow.

Top of the chart is another ex-Red and this time it’s probably the best of the lot by some distance. No, not his efforts on Craig Johnston’s ‘Anfield Rap’ with the rest of the LFC squad from 1988 but his well-loved rap along with New Order on ‘World in Motion’, England’s World Cup song for Italia ’90. The difference ‘Digger’ made was enough for it to be New Order’s only UK No.1 and it’s now Deezer’s most streamed song by a footballer.

Although John has now retired from playing he is still rapping and can often be heard doing so on tour with 5Times, the Liverpool Former Players Association, although more often than not it tends to be ‘Rapper’s Delight’ by the Sugar Hill Gang and it’s well worth a listen if you ever get chance to go to one of his shows.

Real Madrid’s Jesé Rodríguez is the current player who’s had a dabble in the music industry and the Deezer list also includes actor Vinnie Jones, who used to dabble in the football industry.

Explaining their chart, Deezer say: “By examining the long-standing relationship between football and music – from renowned chants to rousing championship raps – the line-up is composed of European players past and present who have tackled the music industry, and have been ranked according to the frequency of their music streams on the platform over the last 12 months.”

Of Barnes and New Order’s efforts Deezer say: “It comes as no surprise that England midfielder John Barnes takes the coveted title of the most streamed footballer in the ‘Deezer 11’ with his 90s smash hit and team up with New Order, World In Motion – perhaps the only thing England will win this year.

“Receiving almost five times as many streams as his closest rival Jesé Rodríguez, World in Motion is almost as synonymous with John Barnes as his powerful left foot.”

The Rodríguez number is Spanish hit, ‘Yo Sabía’, which pips the effort by the sadly recently departed Dutch soccer maestro Johan Cruyff. His hit was ‘Oei, Oei, Oei (Dat Was Me Weer Een Loei)’, one we’re sure everyone reading this is familiar with.

The ‘Starting 11’, ranked in order of streams, is:

John Barnes – World In Motion
Jesé Rodriguez (Jey M) – Yo Sabía
Johan Cruyff – Oei, Oei, Oei (Dat Was Me Weer Een Loei)
Kevin Keegan – Head Over Heels in Love
Vinnie Jones – Big Bad Leroy Brown
Andy Cole – Outstanding
Slaven Bilic – Vatreno ludilo
Franz Beckenbauer – Gute Freunde Kann Niemand Trennen
Ruud Gullit – Not The Dancing Kid
Peter Schmeichel – We Can Do It**
Youri Djorkaeff – Vivre Dans ta Lumière**

*For this activity Deezer analysed songs from 30th May 2015 to 30th May 2016

**Note: Peter Schmeichel’s and Youri Djorkaeff’s hits are not listed on Deezer

Deezer 11 (high res)

Christian Harris, Deezer UK & Ireland Managing Director says: “While the odds on England winning Euro 2016 may be slim, we know with certainty that England would definitely take home the trophy for the most iconic football song. Who doesn’t remember John Barnes’ World In Motion summing up the 1990 World Cup?”

Deezer don’t just stream music they also stream sport and this summer that includes Euro 2016 coverage. Harris said: “With more live football on Deezer than ever before including all of Euro 2016, we wanted to celebrate some of our favourite football songs from across Europe through the ages with our ‘Deezer 11’.”

Quite why they ignored ‘Liverpool (We’re Never Gonna Stop)’ by the Liverpool FC 1983 Squad is something we’ve not asked them, but it’s track nine on this album of, er, masterpieces.

At least they didn’t mention ‘Diamond Lights’ by Hoddle and Waddle.

New feature length documentary tells LFC’s 1986 double winning story

Documentary tells the story of an amazing season for Liverpool as Kenny Dalglish stepped up from player to player-manager – 30 years on.


30 years after Liverpool’s historic League and FA Cup double in Kenny Dalglish’s first season as player manager, a new feature-length documentary has been produced and will air exclusively on the club’s LFCTV GO service.

With a running time close to 90 minutes, the programme features in-depth interviews with the men who played such an important role in that special season, including Kenny of course, his captain Alan Hansen and many more including Jan Molby, Jim Beglin, Ronnie Whelan and Craig Johnston.

The season began after the darkness of what happened in Heysel on May 29th 1985, 39 supporters dying after crowd violence before Liverpool’s European Cup final with Juventus. Liverpool, along with all other English clubs, were now banned from Europe.

Joe Fagan, who had taken the reigns from Bob Paisley, himself taking over from Bill Shankly, had retired and for once Liverpool had broken with tradition by not handing the job onto another member of the famous ‘Boot Room’. Sort of.

As Kenny explains in the documentary, he had the continued support of the Boot Room with the likes of Tom Saunders, Ronnie Moran and Roy Evans a part of his backroom staff, just as they had been for his predecessors. He also had one of those illustrious predecessors on hand as an advisor – a certain Mr Paisley.

“I had fantastic knowledge, help, support,” Kenny says.

“Tom Saunders was there, Ronnie and Roy stayed, old Bob came in to help me.

“If you’re given a managerial job and you’ve got arguably the most successful manager in football history beside you, who’s totally humble, supportive, appreciative and a fantastic help, then you’ve given yourself a bit of a chance.”


The documentary is narrated by ITV Sport’s Clive Tyldesley, at the time a familiar voice to any Liverpool fan who had to get their LFC fix through the radio, in his case the local commercial station Radio City. For many a young Reds fan he was the voice that described the scenes over what sounded like a telephone line from distant places across Europe as the Reds marched through the continent picking up their first four European Cups. As this documentary explains, those days were now gone and would be for quite some time to come.

Entitled ‘Double Winners ’86 – On The March With Kenny’s Army’, the show is to be released exclusively to LFCTV GO subscribers today, Tuesday 31st May, reliving what still remains one of Liverpool FC’s greatest ever achievements.

The dramatic story of the Reds “forgotten season” is told with the help of extensive archive footage, some of which has rarely been seen due to the 1985 television dispute that kept all Football League and FA Cup matches from television screens until the start of January 1986.

“It was a fairy-tale season for us,” said Dalglish. “It’s unbelievable to consider the amount of success that the football club had enjoyed but they had never won the double.

“It was a fantastic achievement. It doesn’t get any better.”

The documentary will be available to view for current LFCTV GO subscribers from 31st May 2016 at 2pm BST.

Fans can access exclusive official LFC content on LFCTV GO, whether that’s the latest interview from a first team player, the manager or behind-the-scenes access to the Club’s backroom activities, plus full match replays and exclusive live coverage of U21, U18 and Ladies matches through. For details and to subscribe to LFCTV GO, visit: www.liverpoolfc.com/watch.

What do Liverpool need for the coming season?

Now Jurgen Klopp has had over half a season of Premier League experience, it is now time for him to bring in his own players and take Liverpool to the next level. I will be analysing what positions Klopp will need to invest in and possible candidates.

Signings so far

Loris Karius is the latest Klopp signing, a young promising goalkeeper from ex club Mainz. Karius is a great signing with the inconsistent performances from current number one, Simon Mignolet. A very good shot stopper and confident in possession of the ball whilst delivering good distribution much like ex Liverpool player Pepe Reina. It is not yet clear whether Karius is the new number one goalkeeper but he will definitely be good competition for Mignolet for the coming season. 

New LFC goalkeeper signing Karius

Is Karius the new number one at Liverpool?

Joel Matip was signed in February on a free transfer from FC Schalke 04 and could be the dominant centre back Liverpool are crying for. Over recent seasons, poor defending has been the Reds downfall and Klopp has immediately tried to rectify that. Joel Matip stands at 6 ft 4 inches and is known for his power and heading ability, which can certainly help Liverpool with their inability to defend corners/crosses. On a free, this is a brilliant signing as he is still young but has good experience, collecting nearly 200 appearances for Schalke and 27 for his national team Cameroon. Matip will go straight into the first team and Klopp will hope for him to build a formidablle partnership with the rejuvenated Dejan Lovren.

Marko Grujic is relatively unknown to fans of the Premier League and Liverpool but looks a very promising player. The Serbian made it into the SuperLiga team of the season accumulating six goals and seven assists along the way. A big powerful midfielder, Grujic has been likened to fellow Serbian Nemanja Matic and for sum of £5.1 million, Liverpool may have just found a top European midfielder.

Positions Liverpool need to strengthen this summer

Left Back has been a constant problem for Liverpool since club legend John Arne Riise left the club. The likes of Paul Konchesky, Jose Enrique and Fabio Aurellio have tried to fill the void but have not been up to Liverpool’s expectations. The current left back is Alberto Moreno, whilst Moreno provides a great attacking threat, his ability to defend is often questioned and his abysmal Europa League final performance has many fans wanting Klopp to sign a new left back. Moreno did not convert to a left back until he was 21 and this shows in his current game, a backup left back or playing him higher up the pitch will be more suitable for this coming season.

Potential signings – Jonas Hector, Caner Erkin, Ben Chilwell.

Midfield is a tricky one as Liverpool do possess very good midfielders in, Emre Can, Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Philippe Coutinho. Despite the quality in midfield, it feels like Liverpool are desperate for a proven top class player to add another option for Klopp. There has been much speculation about the potential signing of Mario Gotze, this would be the marquee signing Liverpool fans are begging for. Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, it seems like the deal is not on the cards. Speaking to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, Gotze’s father Jurgen Gotze stated he has heard nothing about a possible deal to the Reds; “I don’t know anything about an alleged imminent transfer to Liverpool,” he said. “Mario is my son, we talk to each other. I would know about it.” This is a huge setback for everyone involved with Liverpool but this transfer can be resurrected.

Gotze waving goodbye to Bayern fans?

Gotze waving goodbye to Bayern fans?

Potential signings – Mario Gotze is a main target for Klopp and they should do everything they can to secure his services.

Now Liverpool have a world class manager in Jurgen Klopp, fans will need to be patient and give Klopp time to bring in the players he believes can take Liverpool to the next level and bring the Premier League back to Anfield for the first time in over 20 years.

Follow Jake on Twitter.

Competition: Win a personalised Ireland shirt in time for Euro 2016

To celebrate Ireland’s involvement in this summer’s European Championships we are giving away a personalised replica Ireland shirt in a free-to-enter competition.

ROI Shirt

The domestic season is now over and done with but fans don’t have to wait long for the return of competitive football with Euro 2016 right around the corner. One of the nations involved this summer is Ireland and memories of slightly older supporters are flooding back from the 1988 tournament when the Irish lads upset another of this summer’s qualifiers, England.

Read on for details of how to enter our competition.

Wales and Northern Ireland are also involved this summer and whether there will be any upsets this time remains to be seen, but if you think there might be one or two red faces you can always Bet on the Euros with Paddy Power, whether it’s for individual games or the tournament as a whole.

The 1988 tournament was held in what was still then West Germany with just eight teams qualifying compared to the 24 sides who are involved in the Euro 2016 finals.

The opening game in Group 2 saw Ireland take on England in a match in which both sides had Liverpool players on the pitch, five Liverpool players starting the match in all.

On the England side Reds legends John Barnes and Peter Beardsley started, with future Liverpool defender Mark Wright, then with Derby, also involved. LFC midfielder Steve McMahon was an unused England sub.

Ireland named three Liverpool players in their Euros squad and all three started the group’s curtain raiser against the English, played at the VfB Arena in Stuttgart. John Aldridge, usually seen in Liverpool colours wearing the No.8 shirt – as worn by his boyhood hero Roger Hunt – was handed the No.9 shirt for Ireland, with Reds teammate Ray Houghton wearing the 8.

Also involved for the Boys in Green was Liverpool and Ireland legend Ronnie Whelan, the midfielder wearing the No.6 shirt for the tournament.

The half a dozen Liverpool players involved in the game on and off the pitch would still have fresh memories of the upset at Wembley in the FA Cup final just a few weeks before when Wimbledon broke Reds hearts with their unlikely victory over hot favourites and league champions Liverpool.

Could Ireland pull off what would be seen, at least in England, as a similar upset?

They did.

It took just six minutes for Jack Charlton’s Ireland to take the lead and, try as England might, they were unable to break the Republic down, thanks in large part to goalkeeper Packie Bonner.

The game ended 1-0 and Ireland were in heaven.

The rest of the tournament didn’t go quite so well for Ireland and their adventure was over soon after, but that victory over England remains one of those games that fans will talk about for a long time afterwards. Also at least Ireland, unlike England, went home with some points on the board. Ireland finished third in the group with three points (it was still two points for a win in those days), Bobby Robson’s side losing all three of their games.

To enter our competition just answer the following question. Leave your answer in the comments before the closing date and we’ll pick a winner at random shortly afterwards.


As a bonus – just for fun – who got the assist?

Leave your answer in the reply/comments box below.

Please make sure you enter your email address correctly in the space provided – we won’t share this with anyone without your permission, but we will need this to contact you in the event you win the prize! Closing date: 11:59pm (UK & Ireland Time) Monday 30th May 2016. The decision of Anfield Road is final.

Liverpool’s hopes of turning “distraction” into Champions League ticket dashed

When Liverpool qualified for the UEFA Europa League, many of their fans saw the competition as a distraction because they were hoping the Reds would be focussing on another attempt at a Premier League title or at least a top four finish. The league season didn’t work out that way and long before it ended Liverpool’s online sportsbook soccer odds of winning the league title were non-existent and the Europa League was considered Liverpool’s golden ticket to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Sadly that ticket ultimately went to Sevilla, Liverpool’s amazing adventure in the Europa League coming to an end against the second Spanish side they faced in consecutive ties of the UEFA competition.

In the semi-final of the Europa League, team manager Jürgen Klopp spoke about his team’s strong chances of advancing to the final but also cautioned that the players and fans not to get too far ahead of themselves because the team faced a tough test against Villarreal. That seemed to be proved right when the Reds came home from Spain with a 1-0 deficit. A week later, under the Anfield floodlights, Liverpool put on a display that banished any concerns they might not make the final, a 3-0 win booking them their place in Basel 3-1 on aggregate.

In the quarter-finals, Liverpool pulled off one of the most thrilling comebacks in the tournament’s history against Klopp’s former team Borussia Dortmund, who had a big aggregate lead – including the advantage of away goals – at one point during the second leg of the tie. The Reds mounted a furious comeback in the second half of the game against Dortmund, and eventually won the game 4-3, and advanced to the semis with a 5-4 aggregate win.

Prior to their quarter-final match with Dortmund, Liverpool had knocked off Premier League rivals Manchester United out of Europe with a 3-1 aggregate win in the Round of 16. With the convincing wins against Manchester United and Dortmund, Liverpool fans are excited about their chances of making winning the tournament and qualifying for the Champions League.

Despite his joy about the way his team fought back against Dortmund, Klopp was hoping the comeback wouldn’t be wasted by losing to Villarreal in the semis. He was worried that some of his players might have been overconfident heading into the tied and warned them about the consequences.

Klopp told his players that despite Villarreal being fourth in the Spanish League, they were a very tough side capable of defeating any of the best teams in Europe having already knocked Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen out and easily dispatching Sparta Prague in the quarters.

Despite Klopp’s cautious optimism, Liverpool were favoured to win the tie against Villarreal, and to advance to last week’s Europa League Final, a prediction that turned out to be true. A win in Basel in the final would have earned them that spot in the Champions League next year and would have allowed them to commence the battle to win their sixth Champions League title. That battle will now have to wait.

The game against Sevilla proved to be one game too far, one half too far even, with Liverpool certainly dominating proceedings and looking well in control when the two sides went into the dressing rooms after the first 45 minutes. A Daniel Sturridge goal was the difference between the English and Spanish teams by that point and the Reds fans that made up the majority of the crowd were full of confidence.

Sadly for Liverpool the confidence was obliterated after less than 20 seconds of the restart, Sevilla catching Klopp’s side cold and grabbing an equaliser the Reds never recovered from. There was a great deal of controversy about some of the decisions made by the officials during the game, including an assistant seemingly changing his mind about an offside call, but Klopp’s men showed none of the determination for a comeback that had got them past Dortmund a couple of rounds before.

A competition originally seen a distraction had become far, far, more and with just 45 minutes of a marathon season left it looked like Liverpool were heading into next season’s Champions League. In the end it wasn’t to be, but it’s safe to say that the Reds’ adventure should make more teams take the competition seriously in future.

Five Liverpool Transfer Rumours

Every day brings with it a new transfer rumour. With Liverpool doing better than ever this season, it’s natural that the Anfield rumour mill is working overtime. Here are five transfer rumours that have been making the rounds lately.

1. Joe Allen

First and foremost, fans want to know what’s going to happen with Joe Allen. With the Liverpool midfielder’s contract expiring at the end of this season, there have been rumours that he may be transferring elsewhere. The contract was originally signed in 2012 when he transferred from Swansea for £15million. However, his Europa League performances over the past few weeks may have secured his chances of a contract extension, according to Jurgen Klopp.

Image Source: Ronnie MacDonald/Wikimedia Commons


Clearly the uncertainty of his future at Anfield hasn’t distracted Allen from getting the job done. With Jordan Henderson’s knee injury taking him out of the limelight, Allen has had a chance to shine. On the heels of their victory against Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool squares off against Villarreal on April 28. This will be the first time that the two teams play competitively, with some giving Liverpool the edge and others giving it to Villarreal. Sites like Betsafe slightly favour Villarreal in terms of odds, but could Allen help drive Liverpool to another win?

2. Ryan Sessegnon

He may only be 15, but Ryan Sessegnon has made a splash as captain of Fulham’s under-16 squad. Both Liverpool and Arsenal plan to duke it out for Sessegnon, who is already considered to be one of the country’s most exciting talents. Compared by some to a young Gareth Bale, Sessegnon is classed as a defender. Arsenal has already tried and failed to snare Sessegnon, as a trade for Serge Gnabry until the end of the season. However, Fulham wouldn’t agree to the deal, deeming Sessegnon too valuable. It remains to be seen whether Arsenal will be able to make it work this time, or if Liverpool will be able to outbid them.

3. Theo Walcott

This certainly isn’t the first time that Theo Walcott has been linked to Liverpool, and it probably isn’t the last if things don’t pan out. For example, just last summer there were speculations that he would be part of a swap with Brendan Rodgers. At that time, Walcott had caught Liverpool’s eye as a potential striker, for scoring the opening goal against Aston Villa in the FA Cup final. According to recent reports, he’s now been linked once more with Liverpool. The Star on Sunday claimed that Klopp may be interested in making a play for Walcott, with rumours that the England international player is feeling antsy and on the hunt for new opportunities.

Image Source: Ronnie MacDonald/Flickr

4. Mario Götze

Bayern Munich forward Mario Götze is rumoured to be more than interested in reuniting with Jurgen Klopp, who he has worked with before at Dortmund. Chief executive officer of Bayern Munich, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has stated in a recent interview that he is willing to sit down and work with Götze and discuss his future at the end of the season. This has added credibility to the possibility of a transfer to Liverpool. Klopp has already been painted as quite confident that Liverpool will be able to sign Götze, who has been marked as a high priority for transfer. Just 23 years old, Götze is ready for a change as he has only made 12 appearances at Bayern Munich this season and is hungry for a higher profile role. By the end of the season, he’ll only have a year left on his Bayern contract and Liverpool hope to get a good deal for the transfer as a result. Naturally, Arsenal have also got their eye on World Cup winner Götze, but Klopp’s history with the player gives Liverpool a leg up in negotiations.

Image Source: By Steindy/Wikimedia Commons

5. Marc Andre ter Stegen

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is being pursued by a number of teams, particularly Manchester City and Liverpool. Online reports say that he’s restless and looking for new opportunities, having made only a handful of La Liga appearances this season. According to rumours, Liverpool are prepared to double his salary to £110,000 a week, which would make him the fourth highest paid player on the team. Barcelona would also demand a sizeable sum for the transfer, to the tune of £30million, according to Squawka. Ter Stegen has been the subject of Liverpool transfer rumours since October, but at the moment it seems that Manchester City may be winning out.

Top Five Liverpool Kits

By Andrew Moody
May 9th 2016

With the Jurgen Klopp era now starting to take effect at Anfield, Liverpool’s new kit for the 2016/17 campaign by American manufacturer New Balance was leaked ahead of the intended launch on the 9th of May. The reveal of the new Liverpool shirt is always much anticipated amongst the Kop and the forthcoming season’s release is no exception, adding to an impressive portfolio of classic designs in years gone by.

Following this announcement, I have decided to take a nostalgic look at both past and present football kits that have become etched in the hearts of many Liverpool supporters, either through their classic appearance or because of an affinity that has been attached following one of the club’s many memorable achievements in its illustrious history. Here are my top five.

1. 2004/05


One word. Istanbul. The kit that sparked the greatest comeback in European Cup history. From its simplistic and smart design to the famous red Liver Bird that has been incorporated into the crest, this shirt more than any symbolises the prestige and will to win attached with this great football club.

2. 1983/1984

From a visual perspective, the white stripes balance off against the scarlet red perfectly. This kit would not look out of place in the modern game and the subtle dashes of red around the v-neck collar and sleeve hems add a touch of panache to what is considered the greatest team to embellish the hallowed turf of Anfield. Pure class.

3. 1965/66

Without doubt, this iconic old-school strip, typically worn with long-sleeves remains a pivotal part of Bill Shankly’s legacy. It was in 1964 that their dynamic leader made the decision for Liverpool to switch to an all red kit which has now become synonymous with the club. Shankly believed that the introduction of the all crimson apparel had a huge psychological affect on everyone connected with the club. “You know something… tonight I went out onto Anfield and for the first time there was a glow like a fire was burning,” claimed Shankly.

4. 1988/1989

This sweet offering was the first Liverpool shirt to be sponsored by domestic applier manufacturer Candy and always divides opinions amongst the Anfield faithful. The traditional three stripes of Adidas adorn the shoulder and complement the stylish white collar. Cult-heros such as Ian Rush and Peter Beardsley have graced this particular number on their back – surely that is enough to silence the doubters?

5. 1997/98


Liverpool stuck with this shirt for two seasons with its classic collar look embodying Roy Evans’ fearless side who were arguably one of the Premier League’s most exciting and aesthetically pleasing team of the 1990s. This kit signified the emergence of a young Michael Owen who went on to form a compelling strike partnership with Anfield hero Robbie Fowler. However despite this trophy-less period, the Carlsberg era would experience glory on the biggest stage further down the line.


How does Liverpool’s new kit stand up to these timeless pieces of attire with its definitive yellow lettering and flashes of gold across the neck and sleeve lines? If you haven’t seen it yet then there are photos of it at the UKSoccershop blog. I suspect the minimalistic; one button style will cause a difference of opinion amongst supporters, especially as it bears a strong resemblance to the home kit donned by arch-rivals Manchester United last season. Where does the 2016/16 design rank in your favourite Liverpool kits of all-time?


LFC former players set to honour more Liverpool greats

The 2016 5Times Liverpool Former Players Association Gala Awards Dinner takes place early next month in Liverpool city centre


Reds legends past and present will be in attendance at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool on May 9th as the 5Times Liverpool Former Players Association hold their annual Gala Dinner, raising funds for charity whilst paying tribute to some of LFC’s most decorated and celebrated players.

Every year the event sees the club’s former players select their Player of the Season as well as picking new entrants to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Much like the Association’s annual Christmas dinner, the event is well supported by players and staff from the club. Brendan Rodgers attended the dinner when he was manager and handed out awards, whilst current boss Jürgen Klopp surprised the attendees at the Christmas event when he made an unannounced appearance – despite it falling on a day where he was busy not only with training sessions ahead of a game but also his press and media duties.


Last season’s Awards Dinner was attended by members of the first team including Steven Gerrard, Lucas Leiva and Simon Mignolet, with Olympic medallist Beth Tweddle and comedian John Bishop amongst the guests on previous occasions. Fans are also invited to the event, which also raises funds for charity.

Gerrard’s attendance in 2015 was one of his last public appearances whilst still officially a Liverpool player and the former players wanted to mark the end of his amazing career by presenting him with a special honour. Handed over by the chairman of the 5Times Liverpool Former Players Association, John Aldridge, the ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone Award’ was in recognition of everything Gerrard did in that Red shirt over all those years. In many ways it served as a welcome gift to Steven as he joined the distinguished ranks of sportsmen who can proudly refer to themselves as former Liverpool players.

Similar thoughts were in the minds of the ex-players back in 2013 when another recent legend was about to bid farewell to the club he’d been at since childhood. Jamie Carragher was set to embark on what we now know turned out to be a very successful career working as an analyst for Sky Sports, but he must have felt quite reassured at the reception he got from the Legends he would soon be joining as a former player.


Carragher was inducted into the Liverpool FC Hall of Fame, picked for the honour by the ex-players, and went in as a representative for the decade starting in the year 2000.

This year will be the fourth in succession that the Legends pick out someone who made a difference in each decade from the sixties onwards.

The Hall of Fame entrants for the 1960s so far are Ron Yeats, Ian Callaghan and Ian St John, with Phil Thompson, Phil Neal and Chris Lawler honoured to represent the 1970s.

Ian Rush, John Barnes and Alan Kennedy represent the 1980s Liverpool era with Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler and Jan Molby recognised for their efforts in the 1990s.

Completing the Hall of Fame are Jamie Carragher, as mentioned, along with fellow heroes of Istanbul Didi Hamann and Steven Gerrard.

The medal haul of all those legends is phenomenal.


Next month’s dinner will see the fourth set of entrants in the Hall of Fame but the former players are keeping their identities a very closely-guarded secret, even from those they have actually picked.

As Alan Kennedy said last year, after finding himself with a place for the 1980s, the honour was a huge surprise: “I’m on the committee!” he said. “They’ve gone behind my back – I was waiting for Alan Hansen to come in!”

The event helps 5Times in its quest to raise funds for charities close to the player’s hearts and forms part of a number of initiatives involving the former players over the course of each year. 257211_109195139288452_1050469571_oBy holding events like the Gala Dinner and by taking former players all around the world the Former Players Association keeps the Legends in touch with the fans and helps numerous good causes.

5Times Liverpool Former Players Association have taken players as far away as Australia and the West Coast of the USA as well as embarking on regular trips all over the UK and Ireland. It’s not just about formal dinners, the 5Times stage shows that have toured the world have all been priced at an affordable level meaning fans who lives miles away from Liverpool and who can otherwise only dream of meeting their heroes are given a real chance to get close to the Legends who made all those great stories happen.

All the 5Times events include auctions and raffles for special, rare and often unique prizes and help boost the funds raised for good causes.

When current boss Jürgen Klopp made that unexpected appearance at the last Christmas dinner he also gave the fundraising a massive boost. When he arrived he was asked to sign a Liverpool shirt which of course he gladly did. When this went up for auction he was taken aback at the fact it attracted a very generous bid of £1000.

klopp-with-robbie-and-aldo“Why don’t I sign some more?!” he asked – and so another four shirts were quickly rounded up for the manager to sign – and every single one raised another four-figure sum.

This year’s event is being held in honour of Liverpool’s ‘three lions’, the trio that represented England in their victorious 1966 World Cup campaign 50 years ago – Roger Hunt, Ian Callaghan and the sadly recently departed Gerry Byrne.

When last year’s 1960s entrant into the Hall of Fame, Ian St John, collected his honour he humbly pointed to the quality of the teammates he had back then, not only Hunt, Callaghan and Byrne but also the likes of Tommy Lawrence, Ron Yeats, Peter Thompson and Tommy Smith. It was a squad became the blueprint for Liverpool teams for decades to come: “It was a fantastic team which set out how Liverpool would be for the next 50 years,” the Saint said.

“I was fortunate to play with some great lads,” he added.


Some of those players from the 1960s were of course still around into the 1970s and Chris Lawler recalled the difference it made that everyone understood each other’s way of playing: “We all knew each other’s play,” said Lawler last year. “I spent my wedding night with Tommy Smith, he kept me awake with his snoring!” he laughed.

The players also select a Player of the Season each year and no explanation is needed as to why the winner of the 2013 and 2014 awards was selected, just to mention his name will suffice – Luis Suarez.

Last season was a difficult campaign for Liverpool and the former players would have had a tough job selecting a player of the season for a campaign most fans wanted to forget. They did pick one, Simon Mignolet, and although that might have surprised a few people the Legends felt they had good reason to pick him based on his turnaround – from the first half of the season where he was eventually dropped after much criticism to a second half where he kept numerous clean sheets.

One Legend said afterwards: “As former players judging these awards through a player’s eyes we appreciate how much of an achievement it is to go through some very tough times and to come back. Mignolet has been brilliant this second half of the season.”


Like the new entrants into the Hall of Fame, the former players are keeping the identity of their Player of the Season close to their chests but as Liverpool settle into a new era under a new manager they will have no shortage of candidates. Candidates who one day might just find themselves being referred to as Legends just like their predecessors.

Join the former players and their surprise guests at this year’s Gala Awards Dinner at the Hilton in Liverpool on May 9th. Tickets can be purchased through the 5Times Liverpool Former Players Association website at 5times.co.uk/dinner.




Reports: Allen and Ibe catch Watford’s eye

Liverpool have been strongly linked with Mario Gotze and Jonas Hector, but new players coming in means existing players going out and Watford could be the next destination for a couple of Reds first teamers.

Jordon Ibe and Joe Allen

Reports in Wednesday’s papers suggest Watford could be in for two of Liverpool’s first team players this summer as they look to strengthen ahead of their second season back in the top flight. According to the Guardian, Joe Allen and Jordon Ibe could become Hornets players at the end of this campaign.

Neither player is getting as much playing time for Liverpool as they would like, Joe Allen in and out of the side but unable to force his way past Jordan Henderson and Emre Can. Ibe, meanwhile, hasn’t started a league game for over two months, his last one in the dramatic away win against Norwich in January, and now seems to be finding himself behind Sheyi Ojo in Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

This lack of appearances has caught the attention of both their coaches at international level and may be enough to make Watford’s interest mutual.

Allen was awarded Man of the Match in Wales’s defeat to Ukraine and afterwards the Welsh boss Chris Coleman alluded to the midfielder’s difficulties getting those games for the Reds. “Joe’s a great player,” said Coleman. “I don’t use that term loosely. It’s unfortunate he’s not playing much for Liverpool but, for us, he’s irreplaceable.”


Ibe, who is still only 20, was a second half substitute for England U21s last week but was sent off before the end of the game and boss Gareth Southgate suggested that might have been down to a lack of confidence stemming from not having the rhythm that regular games will bring.

“I think players, especially at Jordon’s age, go through peaks and troughs,” Southgate said. “He doesn’t look full of confidence at the minute and we have got to try and help him get to the level that we think we can achieve.

“He doesn’t look like he is in a rhythm. That’s disappointing for him but no reason that he can’t find it again.”

Southgate went on to compare Ibe’s situation – he’s now suspended for one of the U21 fixture to that of Reds team mate Andre Wisdom. Wisdom’s last appearance for the U21s saw him sent off and by the time he was eligible to play the manager had moved onto other players instead.

At 20 years of age Ibe has plenty of time left in him but being out of the side like this means he has a gamble to take this summer, as found on Grizzly Gambling, should Watford make a serious approach: Does he move south in the hope of more playing time or remain at Anfield and fight for the regular starting place he has already enjoyed?


Allen has – unsurprisingly – often struggled to live up to the “Welsh Xavi” tag he was so foolishly given when he first signed for the Reds but under Klopp, in the games he has been given, he has shown he is a far more capable player than many give him credit for.

Ex-Reds striker Ian Rush has been impressed with Allen under Klopp and hopes Liverpool hang on to his fellow Welshman: “Joe’s frustrated by not being in the team,” Rush said.

“I’ve seen a lot of players who are happy on the bench, but the thing with Joe Allen is he’s not happy doing that. If he’s not happy then he might well want to move on.

“I think he can do a great job for Liverpool. When he came on against Northern Ireland that was the difference.

“I’ve noticed the last few times he’s played for Liverpool, he’s getting in scoring positions and getting the odd goal, which he hasn’t done before.

“The Euros will be big for him, to prove that he should be playing every week. For me, I hope that’s for Liverpool.”

Rush and Robbie

Rush, who will be on stage with fellow hitman Robbie Fowler in a Legends show tour that takes in cities including Glasgow this summer, says Allen knows where the back of the net is: “At the end of the day, he can score goals,” Rushie said. “The thing is with Brendan, he was happy to never give the ball way, to get the ball from the defence and move it around the midfield, but what I like about Joe is he knows to get a regular game these days he has to score goals.

“He’s done that a few times, Christian Benteke is knocking it down and there’s Joe in the six-yard box! He wasn’t doing that under Brendan.

“Playing for Wales, he looks really confident and that gives them a real boost.”

Allen will have 12 months left on his existing contract at the end of this season.

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