Monthly Review - May

May 1  - Evans pins his hopes on new deal with Macca

Liverpool manager Roy Evans hopes to make his biggest signing this summer without dipping into his 15million transfer kitty. He is optimistic that England forward Steve McManaman will agree a new contract to stay at Anfield and end the uncertainty about his future after a season in which he has been linked to Barcelona and other top European clubs. Evans said: 'Steve said he would make a decision at the end of the season so we will talk then. It is important. We want him to stay. We have said that from day one and that's not changed. Ideally, we don't want it to go on into next season.' McManaman's present contract runs to the summer of 1999 and the worry for Liverpool is that under the Bosman ruling the 26-year-old will then be free to leave without a transfer fee if he does not re-sign. - World Soccernet

May 2  - Liverpool 5 West Ham United 0

Despite being forced into five changes, Liverpool produced an exhilarating performance against West Ham at Anfield. Harkness, Kvarme, McAteer, Owen and Riedle all returned to the starting eleven, and it was two of these players who helped give the Reds the lead. McAteer played a delightful ball through to Owen, who cooly chipped the ball past Bernard Lama in the Hammers goal to record his 17th league goal of the season.
Roy Evans' condemnation of last week's defeat at Chelsea certainly had the desired effect, with two more goals scored inside 25 minutes. McAteer was the marksman on both occasions, the first after good work form Owen and the second after making the most of poor goalkeeping from Lama. It was vintage football from The Reds, and they scored a deserved fourth on the stroke of half-time. Oyvind Leonhardsen, with his back to goal, turned and fired an unstoppable shot past Lama.The visitors improved slightly at the start of the second period, but could not turn possession into meaningful chances. This was capitalised upon by The Reds, who scored a fifth through Paul Ince. Ince got on the scoresheet by firing home a low shot from 25 yards. Exhibition football was the order of the day thereafter, as Liverpool showed to the supporters what they are capable of. The win lifts the side to third in the Premiership, with European football now assured.
- TeamTalk

May 6  - Reds gun down the Gunners

Liverpool stunned Arsenal with a four-goal blitz that secured third place in the Premiership and dampened the new champions' celebrations. Arsene Wenger sent out a shadow squad just three days after the crown was claimed with a similar 4-0 demolition of Liverpool's relegation haunted rivals Everton.

With the little matter of the FA Cup and the Double still to sort out, his reasons for resting five players - added to the absence of injured pair Dennis Bergkamp and Emmanuel Petit - were obvious. So however much Liverpool point to the fact that they are the only team to do the double over the champions this season, this has to go down as a hollow victory.

Arsenal's travelling army chanted that they "only win when we have to" and that they were not worried about the result. Liverpool, though, clearly were. They need a sound end to an erratic season to cover up the fact that they have failed once again to show the sort of stunning consistency that has left the Gunners holding the silverware. - Press Association

May 8  - Redknapp to sign new contract

Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp should put pen to paper on his new five year Anfield contract next week. The deal is said to be worth some 5m to the 24 year old Redknapp, who is also set to declare that he is over his recent knee injury and raring to go for Glenn Hoddle's World Cup squad this summer. "My contract is all sorted out, I expect to sign it on Monday," said a delighted Redknapp. Hopefully, Redknapp committing his long term future to Anfield will cause Steve McMamanam to do likewise, he is set for contract talks next week. - TeamTalk

May 8  - Thomas desires to move

Michael Thomas spoke today of his desire to resurrect his career - and he believes it will be away from Anfield. The Liverpool midfielder, a second half substitute in Wednesday's win over Arsenal, has until the end of the month to negotiate a free transfer or remain on the Reds' staff.

May 9  - Liverpool tell Berger he is not wanted

Liverpool have told Czech international midfielder Patrik Berger that his career with them is over after he refused to turn out for the reserves on Wednesday. The English premier league side fined the 24-year-old Berger 30,000 pounds ($49,000) and told him to look for a new club after he pulled out of a reserve game against Leeds. Manager Roy Evans had already said in March that he planned to sell Berger if a prospective purchaser could match the four-million-pound ($6.5-million) asking price. Berger has been unhappy about his lack of first-team chances at Anfield since his 3.5-million-pound ($5.7-million) move from Borussia Dortmund following a successful Euro 96. He has played 31 times for Liverpool and scored 10 goals but has started only eight games this season, with his last outing on February 18 against Middlesbrough in a League Cup semifinal. - Reuters

May 10  - Liverpool loses final game

Liverpool loses it final game at Pride Park. The result is inconsequential however with the Reds already clinched their third position and a place in the UEFA Cup next season.

May 11  - Owen Wins Carling Award

Michael Owen has scooped the Carling Player of the Year and in doing so becomes the first Liverpool player to do so - with Juninho, Eric Cantona and Alan Shearer having previously taken the prize - and he is also the youngest.  - Press Association

May 14  - Liverpool targets Serrant

Hard-up Oldham are poised to sell Carl Serrant to Liverpool for around 2million. Serrant, 22, an England B full-back, has also interested Leeds and Leicester and new Oldham manager Andy Ritchie said: "We have had calls from Liverpool and Carl won't be with us next season. "He has refused a new contract - and I can't blame him." - Press Association

May 17  - Liverpool bids to resign Staunton

Liverpool are preparing a late move to snatch Steve Staunton back for nothing seven years after selling him to Aston Villa for 1.1milllion. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland defender is high on the list of football's most wanted men as a free-transfer target under the Bosman Ruling despite Villa's confidence that he will accept their offer of a new 20,000-a-week contract. 

May 19  - Liverpool launches new kit

The kit launched by manufacturers Reebok today is based on the strip worn by the successful Liverpool team of the 1960s captained by Yeats. Liverpool's chief scout was described at the time as a "colossus" by manager Bill Shankly and was chosen as the first man to wear the all-red strip in 1964.

May 19  - Liverpool launches new kit

The kit launched by manufacturers Reebok today is based on the strip worn by the successful Liverpool team of the 1960s captained by Yeats. Liverpool's chief scout was described at the time as a "colossus" by manager Bill Shankly and was chosen as the first man to wear the all-red strip in 1964.

May 21  - Kop swoop for 5m Desailly

Liverpool have made an astonishing swoop for French World Cup ace Marcel Desailly. Manager Roy Evans has been unable to prise Sol Campbell from Tottenham for 10million. So now he has turned to the powerful AC Milan star. Liverpool have invited Desailly to Anfield to negotiate a deal before the World Cup finals. Desailly will command a 50,000-a-week salary. And he has a clause in his contract with AC Milan which says that he can be sold for 5million.

Evans's priority has been a top-class centre-back to cure Liverpool's glaring defensive lapses. Desailly has also attracted interest from Chelsea and Manchester United. But Liverpool are ready to pay the wages necessary to make Desailly one of the highest-paid players in the country.  Liverpool realise they have to smash their wage structure if they are to sign world-class players and to keep pace with deposed champions Manchester United and newly-crowned Arsenal.  - Daily Mirror

May 21  - Liverpool eyes on Dundee

Liverpool are ready to offer Karlsruhe 2 million for Sean Dundee to fill the gap created by Robbie Fowler's long-term absence through injury. The 25-year-old South Africa-born striker, now a German citizen, was close to a place in the World Cup squad but is keen to play in England. With Fowler still some seven months away from full fitness after corrective surgery on a knee ligament injury, Evans has only Karlheinz Riedle as a partner for Michael Owen. - Irish Times

May 24  - Riedle back to Germany ?

Hertha Berlin plan to take Karlheinz Riedle back to Germany in a 800,000 deal. Hertha put their proposal to Evans and Robinson when they were completing negotiations to sign Sean Dundee from Karlsruhe for 2million.

The 32-year-old Riedle joined Liverpool from Borussia Dortmund for 1.7million last summer soon after scoring two goals in the shock European Cup final victory over Juventus. He started the season in the Liverpool attack but lost his place in the starting line-up when Michael Owen established himself and only regained it when Robbie Fowler was sidelined with his serious knee injury in February.

He scored seven goals in 33 appearances and is a valued member of the squad. Evans described Riedle, who also has a World Cup winners' medal from Italia 90, as the best professional he had ever worked with. Liverpool moved for Dundee to reinforce their front line with Fowler ruled out until Christmas. They will be reluctant to part despite the imminent capture of Dundee, but if Riedle indicates he wants to return to Germany will not stand in his way. - World Soccernet

May 27  - Michael Owen becomes England's youngest scorer !

Teenage sensation Michael Owen blew Glenn Hoddle's World Cup plans wide open last night by becoming the youngest player ever to score for England. The Liverpool star survived a frightening moment when he was knocked unconscious and swallowed his tongue in an ugly collision with the Moroccan goalkeeper. 

But he insisted on playing on - showing the sort of grit even Humphrey Bogart would have been proud of - and scored in a 1-0 victory here in Casablanca. By smashing Tommy Lawton's 60-year-old milestone at the age of just 18 years and 164 days he added fuel to the burning debate that he deserves a place in the starting line-up at France 98. England finished the match as winners 1-0. - Daily Mirror

May 28  - Staunton eyes Anfield return in mega deal

Steve Staunton will move to Liverpool for a 4million package next week, 12 years after joining them as a teenager for peanuts. The 29-year-old defender, who becomes a free agent on Monday, rejected Aston Villa's offer of 20,000-a-week to stay on Wednesday. 

In fact, Liverpool will put an identical 1million-a-year pay package on the table when talks take place next week. And they will also pay a 1m signing-on fee to clinch a three-year deal. That offer is too high for Staunton to refuse, despite lucrative packages from Blackburn Rovers, Tottenham and Benfica. - Daily Mirror

May 30  - Liverpool complete Dundee signing

Striker Sean Dundee completed his two million pounds transfer to Liverpool last night and immediately conceded he will struggle to become an Anfield regular.   Dundee, 25, signed a three-year deal after quitting relegated German Bundesliga side Karlsruhe and is now looking forward to playing in the premier league. But with teen sensation Michael Owen and German international Karl-Heinz Riedle already in the Liverpool line-up, and Robbie Fowler likely to return at Christmas after a long-term knee injury, the South African-born striker is worried about getting a game. "Keeping a place in the team will be difficult because Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler are two of the best strikers in England," he told the Daily Express. "But obviously it is an ambition of mine to win trophies. I will give everything I've got for Liverpool. They are one of the biggest names in the world and it will be an honour just to wear their shirt." - Reuters

May 31  - Sacked  Real's coach for Liverpool?

Jupp Heynckes has emerged as a shock candidate to join Liverpool having been brutally sacked by Real Madrid after taking them to their first European Cup triumph in 32 years. The 52-year-old German is now a free agent and Liverpool are strongly considering making him their coach, with Roy Evans moving up from manager to a senior directorial role with the club.  Liverpool, hungry for success at home and in Europe, are attracted to a man who has been a World Cup winner as a player with Germany and has coached a European Cup-winning team.  What Liverpool have to take into account is that he also has a reputation for relishing confrontation with club officials and players alike. He does not always make things easy for himself. In fact, trouble appears to attach itself on his journey around his various stops on the European coaching circuit. - World Soccernet

May 31  -Hoddle names his squad

Glenn Hodlle has named his squad for France 98 ahead of time. Liverpool's 3 players (Ince, Macca, Owen)  on the provisional team made it to the final 22. Among the 6 players are 2 Manchester United players, Phil Nevielle and Nicky  Butt. The most noticable exclusion is Paul Gascoigne.


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