Liverpool: The Vital LFC News Roundup
Your easy to digest news update on all things LFC. Snippets this week are dominated by reaction to Jamie Carragher's impending retirement...
Jamie Carragher's revelation that he will retire at the end of the season has unsurprisingly led to a heap of praise for the defender's service to Liverpool as well as debate over whether or not it's the right decision. Here's some of the reaction:
Club legend Kenny Dalglish speaking to the Liverpool ECHO: "It is always a difficult decision for a footballer - as hard a decision as you can face as a professional. It is more difficult because playing is the best part of your career - especially at the level he has played at and is playing at. That makes it so much more difficult to retire. But it's Jamie's shout, his call. I'm just surprised. I thought he had a bit left in him yet."
Reds Skipper Steven Gerrard, who revealed he had been trying to get his friend to play on for another season, commented to Liverpoolfc.com: "I've known a little bit longer than other people. I've tried just as hard as everyone else to try to keep him going for a bit longer. But we have to respect his decision. He's had a fantastic career and he feels it's the right time to go out, at the end of the season. Hopefully there are still some big performances left in him before he goes."
Former Liverpool defender and former assistant manager Phil Thompson told Sky Sports: "He's pushed his body to the limits over the years, all for the great honour of playing for Liverpool. We have to give him credit for what he has achieved for the football club. Everything that Jamie has done throughout his career has been for Liverpool."
Liverpool's managing director Ian Ayre speaking to the official website: "Everyone within the game knows that Jamie Carragher has been a colossal figure for Liverpool Football Club. You don't have a career spanning three decades at the very top of this game unless you are an exceptional player and what's more, he epitomises the values this club was built on and continues to stand for."
One player who will be at Liverpool for many more seasons to come is fellow defender Martin Kelly. The 22-year-old signed a new long-term deal on Friday and subsequently revealed his happiness to Liverpoolfc.com: "I'm delighted to have signed. It means everything to me and my family. I've been at Liverpool since I was seven, so it's in my heart and I love the club. When you play in the Liverpool shirt, you have to show the fans what it means. I just love playing and trying my hardest for the supporters and for my family."
Another big news story this week was the acceptance of financial restrictions and regulations by the Premier League. On the subject, Kop boss Brendan Rodgers told reporters at his pre-match press conference for Monday's visit of West Brom: "For me, it's a good idea. We certainly wouldn't want to see one or two clubs who have got a lot more finance than anyone else run away with it. We've seen in the last couple of years, clubs that we would consider to be massive clubs and institutions in the game going bankrupt and struggling. That's not anything we want to see."
Steven Gerrard has been voted the official Standard Chartered Player of the Month for January by Liverpool fans. The 32-year-old received 29% of the vote to edge out Jordan Henderson (24%) and Luis Suarez (23%). Click here to see who Vital Liverpool users voted their January Player of the Month.
To coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Football Association, the Royal Mail are releasing a series of 1st class stamps depicting a team of Home Nations superstars and amongst them are Liverpool legends John Barnes and Kevin Keegan. The team in full is: Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Dave Mackay, John Charles, Bryan Robson, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, John Barnes, George Best, Jimmy Greaves, Kevin Keegan.
Two Liverpool youngsters, midfielder Jordan Rossiter and defender Tom Brewitt, have been named in manager Kenny Swain's 18-man England U16 set-up. The group will travel to the Franz-Kremer stadium for a match against Germany this Wednesday (13th February). Click here to see how the club's senior and U21 stars got on during this past midweek's international fixtures.
Liverpool Ladies have made two further additions to their squad ahead of the new Women's Super League which starts next month. Manager Matt Beard has recruited the vast experience of Becky Easton and the clever passing abilities of midfielder Jess Holbrook. Easton, who played for Liverpool back in the late 90s, is a former England captain with 44 caps. Holbrook meanwhile, who joins from Leeds United, has represented England at U17 and U19 level and is a current member of the England U23 squad.
Speaking of the Ladies, it has been announced by broadcaster ESPN that the Continental Cup clash against Everton will be their first match of the season to be televised in 2013. Scheduled for the weekend of March 23/24, kick-off will be at 7.15pm GMT and coverage of the action will start at 6.45pm. The station will also be broadcasting a weekly highlights show throughout the campaign on Tuesday evenings at 6.30pm.
Official Liverpool stores and the online shop have got some amazing offers on the current Warrior home, away and third kits - with discounts of up to 45% on some items. The pick of the products is arguably the men's short-sleeve home shirt which is now only £25 - a saving of £20. Click here to find out more and to purchase.
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