Monthly Review - January

January 3  - Conventry extinguishes Reds Wembley Dream.

Despite leading 1-0 after a 7th minute strike by Redknapp, Liverpool slumped and threw the macth away losing 1-3 to Conventry. Owen having to miss the game due to food poisoning was replaced by Riedle in the starting lineup. With this shock defeat, Liverpool can only hope for a victory against Newcastle United in the Coca Cola Cup the following week. 

January 7  - Fowler and Owen destroys Magpies in extra time.

A pair of superbly-crafted extra-time goals from strikers Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler steered Liverpool into the Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals at St James' Park tonight.
The 18-year-old Owen, who has already trained with the full England squad, showed international quality to beat Shaka Hislop five minutes into the first period of extra time.
Then more fine play set up Fowler for a simple finish from an acute angle in the 103rd minute. Liverpool meets Middlesbrough in the 2 leg semi-final, while Chelsea will meet Arsenal - Press Association.

January 8  - McManaman named Player of the Month.

Liverpool midfielder, and recent captain, Steve McManaman has been named as the Carling Player of the Month for December. Surprisingly enough, it is the first time in his career that McManaman has received the award and perhaps it signifies that he has now the maturity, ability and temperament to turn in consistent performances week in - week out. The 25 year old pipped Michael Owen for the award as Liverpool won four Premiership games with McManaman capping the away victories over Arsenal and Newcastle with brilliant goals. - TeamTalk

January 10  - Macca rumoured to go (again).

Yet another uncomfirmed news (possibly untrue) in Spanish papers that McManaman has agreed on a contract with Spanish giants Barcelona in July after the World Cup. The fee is rumoured to be around 12 m. 

January 10  - Redknapp double sinks the Crazy Gang

The Reds beat their bogey team Wimbledon on Saturday thanks to a double strike from Jamie Redknapp, which makes it five Premiership victories in a row.

January 10  - Reds deny Macca rumours

Liverpool have denied that Steve McManaman has joined Barcelona. The Merseysiders moved quickly to dismiss speculation ahead of their Premiership meeting with Wimbledon at Anfield. Reports from Spain suggested McManaman had joined the Spanish giants but McManaman, before facing the Dons, said: "It's news to me" - Press Association

January 12  - Fowler demands 50,000 a week

Robbie Fowler is demanding a staggering 50,000 a week to sign a new contract which would keep him at Anfield for the next five years. Although the England striker has more than two years to run on his current agreement, Liverpool are anxious to tie their major stars down well into the millennium to avoid them becoming free agents under the Bosman ruling. Given any encouragement, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger would move in for Fowler, rated in the 10m to 15m bracket, as a replacement for 34-year-old Ian Wright. But Liverpool are prepared to pay big wages to keep influential stars such as Fowler, McManaman and Michael Owen on Merseyside. That is why they asked Fowler's advisers to name their price for a long-term commitment. The answer has come in the shape of 50,000 a week, which would make Fowler one of the highest-paid performers in the Premiership. - World Soccernet

January 14  - Reds Reject Berger Bid

Liverpool have turned down a 4 million bid from Portuguese giants Benfica for Czech star Patrik Berger. New Benfica boss Graeme Souness got an instant snub when he contacted his former club with an offer for Burger. Manager Roy Evans said: ``Patrik's got fantastic ability, he's still young - and he's staying with us.'' But there is growing speculation on Merseyside that Liverpool will sell Berger in the summer. Evans will have to play the striker in 75% of games for which he is available between now and the end of the season. If Berger does not play in the mandatory number of matches he could fail to have his work permit renewed. - Press Association

January 14  - Friedel to move???

Liverpool could well be ready to sell goalkeeper Brad Friedel - just three weeks after finally securing his services following a long drawn out work permit battle. The player and his advisers met Roy Evans for talks about his future after Friedel had been mislead into believing his first team status was a matter of inevitability once he joined the club. Roy Evans has said there is no way he is going to bring the player on as a substitute just to fulfill permit requirements.  Evans seems to have found new faith in David James - who has kept two successive clean sheets on the trot. Should Rangers buy the player it does leave both clubs under a suspecting public eye. Rangers have no work permit problems due to Scottish league rules and now that the player has satisfied Department of Employment conditions in the UK he is available for a move anywhere in Britain. - TeamTalk

January 14  - Kennedy and Thomas available for loan.

Evans has resigned himself to the fact that he'll have to let Mark Kennedy leave the club on a loan basis in the wake of a total lack of interest in a permanent move for the player, who has been on the transfer list for two months. Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough are both keen to take the player on loan and Evans seems resigned to the fact that no club is willing to meet a 2m asking price for the player. The former Millwall star's move to Liverpool has been a monumental disaster. Even when put in the proverbial shop window, playing for Ireland, he has failed to prove his worth to interested parties.

Michael Thomas is to be made available on loan. Thomas is desperately in need of first team football to test his recovery from a recent ankle injury. Although Roy Evans does not appear to be thinking in terms of any move becoming permanent, he is keen to get the midfielder playing again at a fairly decent standard of competitive football.
-TeamTalk

January 14  - Mark Wright set to return (soon)

Mark Wright has stepped up his training as he looks forward to a complete recovery from the back injury that has sidelined him for the last four months. We understand he is confident that the problem has now been sorted out successfully and he expects to be back in contention for a first team place before too long. -TeamTalk

January 15  - Fowler's 11m offer

Liverpool are set to offer Robbie Fowler 42,000 a week over a five year deal which, including signing on fees, comes to around 11m. The same offer will be put in front of Jamie Redknapp and Steve McManaman. The eldest of the trio is McManaman, who is 26 next month, and the latest offers signify The Reds' intentions to base a team round the England internationals."We are optimistic of signing all of them because we are still talking and no has said that they wanted to leave," said Roy Evans. - TeamTalk

January 17  - Leichester City 0 Liverpool 0

Liverpool failed to make it 6 league wins in a row as they are held to a goalless draw at Filbert Street.

January 20  - Three out of three

Michael Owen scored a beautiful goal in the 17th minute against Newcastle United at Anfield to help the Reds close the gap between them and leaders Manchester United. With this victory, Liverpool is 3rd on the table, 5 points behind United.

January 23  - Thomas wanted

Hearts want Liverpool's 30-year-old midfielder Michael Thomas on loan (with a view to a permanent deal) until the end of the season as they try to overhaul Rangers in the race for the title.

January 27  - Kennedy off to QPR (on loan)

Liverpool misfit Mark Kennedy has moved one step closer to ending his Anfield hell by signing for Queens Park Rangers on loan. Kennedy, 21, has signed for the First Division club for six weeks with a view to a permanent move - Press Association

January 27  - Liverpool 2 Middlesbrough 1

Liverpool will take an important one goal lead into the second leg of the Coca Cola semi-final at the Riverside, after a 2-1 win at Anfield on Tuesday evening. The opening goal did come though on 28 minutes and it went to Middlesbrough, thanks to Paul Merson. It took Liverpool only three minutes to equalise, with another cracking strike by England international Jamie Redknapp. The midfielder struck a 25 yard shot with his right foot into the corner, giving Schwarzer no chance, and that's how it stayed to the break. In the second half it was all Liverpool, with the visitors finding it hard to get out of their own half for long periods. The Liverpool fans behind the goal rose as one to encourage Fowler as he hung his head - and nine minutes from time they got their reward. -TeamTalk

January 29  - Redknapp undergoes operation

Jamie Redknapp will undergo an operation on a slight tear on his cartilage later today. Manager Roy Evans is optimistic that the England international will miss just two or three weeks. - Press Association

January 29  - Ruddock rejects loan to Tranmere

Neil Ruddock has turned down a loan move to Mersey rivals Tranmere. The Anfield hardman insists he wants to fight for his first team place and re-ignite his Liverpool career. Ruddock explained: "I still believe I am a Premiership player and I'd love that to be at Liverpool."

January 31  - Thomas on loan to Boro

Michael Thomas has been loaned to Middlesbrough for a month (he's cup-tied so won't play against Liverpool next month of course). - Mighty Reds

January 31  - Liverpool 0 Blackburn Rovers

Liverpool and Blackburn fought to a goal-less draw at Anfield. Reds begun the match with Carragher coming for the injured Redknapp. Macca came off at the start of the second half with suspected hamstring problem, Berger replaced him. During the match, McAteer was injured and was replaced Jones. With this draw, Liverpool slipped to 4th (Chelsea won their tie). However, Evans would be pleased that the Reds gained a point in closing the gap between Manchester United. (United lost 1-0 to Leichester at Old Trafford)


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