At last, some happier noises coming out of Anfield; ‘oh happy day (oh happy day), oh happy day…blah, blah’. Ok, the gospel sing-song is a little over the top but, after all the recent apocalyptic coverage, it makes a welcomed change.
In the midst of constant transfer speculation, Roy Hodgson has revealed his delight over productive and positive talks with Steven Gerrard ahead of the new Premier League campaign, and now a new signing has also been added to the Liverpool ranks…‘oh happy day!’
Indeed, Liverpool’s official website reports how Hodgson has spoken with enthusiasm regarding talks with both Gerrard and Carragher:
“I think they went splendidly” he told LFC Weekly (see, there’s your evidence; dripping with enthusiasm) before adding “I was delighted to see how positive they are. Everybody is looking forward towards to the new season”.
Specifically on Gerrard, Hodgson admitted “I anticipate there might be a situation where other big clubs will try and sign Steven, but he gave me no indication that he wanted to leave.
“Nobody at the club wants him to go so I will be doing my utmost to make sure he stays. I am confident he will.”
Clearly words are one thing and actions are another – prescription and practice can often diverge – but all the signs look good for Liverpool holding onto their heartbeat and the Kop incarnate.
As for the new signing, Milan Jovanovic, it was inevitably (as a cruel reminder that not everything is quite so rosy) on the cheap; specifically the ‘free’ kind of cheap. Nevertheless, this doesn’t detract from the fact that he is a fine player and should be a very valuable asset at Anfield. The deal was, of course, put in the pipeline back at the start of the year – under Rafa Benitez – but was ultimately finalised today.
Jovanovic, now 29-years-old, joins from Standard Liege with a decent reputation. The Serbian forward achieved substantial success during his four years in Belgium; aiding his club to two league titles and, on a personal level, picking up the Belgian Footballer of the Year award in 2008 and the Golden Shoe is 2009. He possesses great movement, versatility, a distinct eye for goal and a cultured left-foot. An alleged fall-out with coach László Bölöni limited his first-team opportunities last season, nonetheless he still managed to notch up a total of 13 goals, whilst his international record has seen him bag a total of 10 goals in 29 appearances.
Highly coveted and with competition for his signing, it appears to be a shrewd bit of business for Liverpool and it will certainly be interesting to see how he copes in the Premier League. So, again, ‘oh happy day’ – I’ll keep repeating it until it gets stuck in your mind and drives you utterly insane – ‘oh happy day!!’ (Just don’t mention those American fellas, yeah).
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