Club Focus – Liverpool – Reds appoint new managing director and urge for England caution with Carroll

Liverpool have appointed a new managing director to replace Christian Purslow, who stepped down from the role in October 2010. Former commercial director Ian Ayre has been promoted to the job after principal owner John Henry was impressed by Ayre’s track record and success at the club since 2007. The Reds had been searching far and wide to appoint someone to the role and they now have a local, experienced man in the key position.

Meanwhile, Frenchman Damien Comolli has also been promoted from his position as director of football strategy to the more-respected director of football role. Comolli, well-known for his time at Tottenham where many credit him with the signing of Gareth Bale, has also impressed the new owners with his knowledge of the game and his track record of identifying young, talented footballers.

Comolli is said to have played a major part in bringing Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll to the club and it is thought that he will also have a major say when it comes to purchasing players in the future. Comolli’s knowledge of French football in particular has led to Liverpool being linked with a number of young French stars such as defensive midfielder Yann M’Vila, while winger Sylvain Marveaux is thought to be on the verge of agreeing a pre-contract deal with the Reds.

The club’s American owners have made a number of senior appointments but still have one key decision to make regarding the future of current caretaker boss Kenny Dalglish. It had been rumoured that the Scot had been handed a two-year deal, but those reports were later quashed. Nevertheless, given the turn in fortunes at Anfield since Dalglish’s second coming, it appears more and more likely that Henry will offer ‘King Kenny’ the job in the near future.

Meanwhile, record-signing Carroll has been named in Fabio Capello’s squad to face Wales in a Euro 2012 qualifier and also a friendly against World Cup quarter-finalists Ghana. Carroll, who has just returned to first-team action following a lengthy knee injury, could be in line to partner Wayne Rooney up front for England, although Dalglish has urged Capello to use Carroll cautiously in order to prevent him from picking up another injury.

The former Newcastle United striker, who joined Liverpool on deadline day for a fee thought to be around £35m, has only made one appearance for the Three Lions to date, which came against France in November last year. Carroll has previously represented England at both Under-19 and Under-21 level.

Glen Johnson is Liverpool’s only other representative in the England squad, with the defender likely to start in a familiar right-back role for his country. Reds skipper Steven Gerrard however is still recovering from a groin operation and has not been called up. Dalglish will be hoping that all his players on international duty return unscathed as Liverpool continue their push for a top-five finish in the Premier League.

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