A quick glance at the faces boarding the plane to Naples for Thursday’s Europa League fixture would have told you all you need to know about where Liverpool’s priorities lie.
Missing from that trip were the likes of Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Raul Meireles and all three return to the squad for today’s match at home to Blackburn, the club from whom Roy Hodgson believes he was unfairly dismissed after 17 months in charge between 1997 and 1998. With the pressure on Hodgson mounting, The Guardian reports, all three will return to the starting line-up, with Gerrard, Cole and Jovanovic given specific instruction to support Torres in attack at every opportunity.
Hodgson slams Rijkaard rumours.
Speculation about Roy Hodgson’s future intensified this week as the news spread that Frank Rijkaard had been relieved of his duties at Galatasaray. In spite of his inability to capture the title with one of the traditional Istanbul giants, his history of playing exciting, successful football at Barcelona and when manager of the Netherlands nevertheless set pulses of those who want Hodgson out racing. Once again, Hodgson finds himself on the defensive.
“He must have been a great manager to have been sacked by Galatasaray,” he said to the Telegraph. He then blamed Rijkaard’s agent for fuelling the rumours which put his position under more threat. “What you are talking about is Frank Rijkaard’s agent who is putting his name about. It is all speculation.”
New faces in boardroom.
New England Sports Ventures will have two more representatives on the Liverpool board after David Ginsberg – one of NESV’s two vice-chairmen – and investor Michael Gorton have been added to the Anfield boardroom to join John W. Henry and Tom Werner as club directors.
John W. Henry promised stability for Liverpool fans after three years of turmoil under Tom Hicks and George Gillett’s stewardship. “We are hard at work setting a course for the future including the search for a chief executive officer,” he promised to Skysports.com. “I wish the club and the fans all the best for the match against Blackburn.”