Monthly Review - December

December 5  - Thomas rejects move to Conventry.

Michael Thomas rejected a 800,000 move to Conventry City. Though the board accepted Conventry's offer, Thomas declined saying he wish to win back his place in the side.  

December 6  - Reds relive last season's nightmare.

Fowler's  return to the side after suspension fail to ignite Liverpool against arch-rivals Manchester United at Anfield. After a goalless first half, the Red Devils took the lead through Andy Cole due to a defensive lapse by Kvarme. Minutes later, Liverpool drew level with Fowler's penalty, earned when Nicky Butt fouled Owen in the penalty box. However, just as Liverpool are picking up the momentum. David Beckham scored a scorching free kick past James. Evan's gamble to bring Riedle and Berger on for Kvarme and Bjornebye proved to be costly. Cole added a third to seal the match for the league leaders. Truely a disappointing result.

December 12  - Liverpool to appeal against DOE's decision

The club after consulting with lawyers are said to have submitted a letter of appeal to Department of Employment against the decision to reject American 'keeper Brad Friedel a work permit to play.

December 13  - Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 3

McManaman, Owen and Leonhardsen scored for Liverpool to savage some battered pride back after league defeat to Manchester United at Anfield last weekend. Crystal Palace which has only won once at home (that being an away fixture against Wimbledon) failed to impress their home fans yet again. It also marked yet another goal by Liverpool's latest prodigy, Michael Owen, a day before his 18th birthday.

December 15  - Wenger eyes Fowler

Arsenal's gaffer made it known to the press that he is a great admirer of Fowler and would love to have him in his squad.  This is perhaps a sign that Wenger is finding a new successor to Ian Wright, Arsenal's all time top-scorer, who is suffering a dip in form lately. Meanwhile, Evans laughs off the bid, saying that Fowler is not for sale to anyone.

December 16  - Barcelona sets sight on Macca again

Barcelona are reportedly back in the hunt for Liverpool and England ace Steve McManaman. This time, the Spanish giants will try and do things properly after annoying both the player and Liverpool back in September. At that time, Barce seemed to use McManaman as a foil while they signed the Brazilian winger Rivaldo. This time, or rather after France '98, they will try to do the 12m deal in the correct manner. After failing to make the knock-out stages of this season's European Cup, Barcelona's new coach Luis Van Gaal is set for a major rebuilding programme at The Nou Camp Stadium. -teamtalk

December 18  - Offer to keep Fowler for good

Liverpool are set to offer striker Robbie Fowler a new five year contract worth some 25,000 a week, more than double his present salary. In the wake of recent speculation linking Fowler with a record transfer move to Arsenal, Liverpool manager Roy Evans has declared his intentions, first with Fowler and next, hopefully, with Steve McManaman.
If put up for sale, the Liverpool duo could raise some 25m on the open market, but the distinct message coming out of Anfield is a simple one: "Not for sale - at any price!" -teamtalk

December 19  - Friedel gets the nod (finally)

Liverpool have won their appeal for a work permit for the American keeper Brad Friedel. Liverpool had originally failed in their bid to secure a work permit from the Department of Employment as Friedel is not America's first choice keeper. The keeper will now hot-foot it to Merseyside and be unveiled at a press conference during the week. The full details of the actual deal that will see Freidel move from Colombus Crew haven't yet been released but, with the 75% ruling still applying, he'll have to take David James' place.

December 20  - Liverpool 1 Conventry City 0

Liverpool, without Paul Ince, dominated the game in the early stages and their possession paid off on 14 minutes when Jamie Redknapp switched play and found Steve McManaman, his low cross was met by 18 year old Michael Owen at the far post. despite lots of pretty football, Liverpool failed to penetrate the Coventry defence after the goal. Indeed, Coventry could have scored twice as Hall and Howarth both went close. Liverpool where finding it very hard going against a well marshalled Coventry, who hadn't lost at Anfield in their last three visits. The second half was a very scrappy affair indeed with an increasingly nervous Liverpool facing a Coventry team growing in stature the more the home crowd voiced their distain. Michael Owen should have scored his second to appease the Anfield faithful, but Hegman saved well. Coventry succeeded in getting the sides booed off the pitch. - TeamTalk

December 23  - Liverpool signs Icelandic youngster

Liverpool have signed Icelandic Under-21 forward Haukur Gudnason. The 19-year-old from Keflavik will cost an initial 150,000 with another 500,000 if he makes the grade. Roy Evans beat off opposition from PSV Eindhoven. - World Soccernet

December 23  - Christmas dream comes true for Friedel

Brad Friedel is set to move to Liverpool from Columbus Crew for 1m. The American is also the first 'keeper to move to Liverpool from North America since Bruce Grobbelaar. Of course, Grobbelaar went on to become a legend. Will Friedel do the same?

December 25  - Macca set to sign new contract ?

It is being reported that negotiations with representatives of Steve McManaman have been successfully concluded and he is expected to sign a new five year contract over the holiday period. If the agreement is confirmed, it will end months of speculation about the England international's future, which has been clouded in doubt following huge offers from abroad. Club officials are also expected to confirm that Australian teenager, Nick Rizzo, will join the club on a permanent basis after impressing during an extended trial period.
He has twice been selected as a substitute in Premiership fixtures and it is a mark of the progress that he has made that Liverpool are now ready to secure his immediate future. -TeamTalk

December 26  - Liverpool 3 Leeds United 1

Liverpool secured the three points against Leeds in this Boxing Day clash as they continued their good record at Anfield against the West Yorkshire side. Liverpool went into this Boxing Day clash with skipper Paul Ince back in the starting line-up, returning after a groin injury. Meanwhile David James retained his place in goal ahead of Brad Friedel. It was an unspectacular start to the game with neither side creating genuine goalscoring chances in the opening exchanges. H-T Liverpool 0-0 Leeds.

Moving into the second half and Liverpool quickly grabbed the initiative, taking the lead on 46 minutes. The ball was launched towards the Leeds defence, who were unable
to clear the danger, and hot shot teenager Michael Owen pounced to shoot home and give Liverpool the lead. Liverpool doubled their lead in the 79th minute courtesy of Fowler.
Suddenly after the inaction of the first half the goals began to flow and Fowler got himself on the scoresheet again four minutes later, hitting Liverpool's third from close range after good work from Michael Owen. Sixty seconds later Leeds grabbed a goal back courtesy of
Norwegian Alf -Inge Haaland's header from six yards out. That was the end of the scoring glut as Liverpool ran out winners by 3-1, a result that sees them leapfrog Leeds into fourth spot.erpool won handsomely to leap up to fourth place, highest this season.  - TeamTalk

December 28  - Atkinson moves in for Jamo

Transfer speculation, this Sunday, reveals that Ron Atkinson is on the verge of lining up a big money deal to land David James. The move comes about as a result of Liverpool signing goalkeeper Brad Friedel last Tuesday. His arrival has inevitably cast a dark shadow over the future of James, who has endured his fair share of mishaps whilst at Anfield. Despite Liverpool boss Roy Evans insisting that James still has a future at Anfield, all the evidence would suggest that the former Watford 'keeper has reached the end of the road. It is rumoured that Big Ron may enter the fray with a 2m bid for James, a player who he feels would add some long-awaited pressure on current 'keeper Kevin Pressman. -TeamTalk

December 28  - Macca double seals match for Liverpool

Liverpool recovered from an Steve Watson header to win the match 2-1. Straight after the shock goal by Watson, the Reds dominated the half. Macca scored 2 splendid goals in the first half. Half-time 2-1 to Liverpool. Newcastle rejuvenated from the break controlled the second half and seemed like snatching the points from Liverpool. The Reds survived quite a few scare to win their fourth league game on the throt. Meanwhile leader Manchester United suferred a shock lose to Conventry at Highfield Road.

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