steven gerrard liverpool

More Liverpool news: third choice `keepers, selection curiosities, and Steven Gerrard speaks

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A few minutes ago we talked FA Cup Saturday. Here are some quick hits to get you up to date on the ever-active affairs around Anfield:

  • With Pepe Reina and Doni suspended, Brad Jones will start in goal for Liverpool. The Australia is only one-year removed from a tragic loss. Peter Gulacsi has been recalled from his loan at Hull City to backup Jones. (Coincidentally, Steve had some Thursday thoughts on the value of backup `keepers.)
  • From the same, linked article, Dalglish’s thoughts on this weekend’s 23rd anniversary of Hillsborough and the match’s planned moment of silence:

    “A minute’s silence at Wembley – it’s ironic that it’s Liverpool and Everton at Wembley again because that was the final that year,” Dalglish said. “It’s going to be very emotive for everybody. The Evertonians were affected by Hillsborough as well as the Liverpool fans, with family members who never came home. It will be poignant and I’m sure both sets of fans will grace the minute’s silence with the dignity they’ve shown since 1989.”

  • Andy Carroll’s Tuesday winner at Ewood Park creates a small selection quandary. If the goal is rewarded with faith from Dalglish, Carroll could start with Suarez up top, leaving Liverpool with Craig Bellamy, Dirk Kuyt, and Maxi Rodríguez as attacking-esque options from the bench.
  • At the back, Daniel Agger’s return to health creates another pre-match question. Will the Danish international resume his place along side Martin Skrtel?
  • On Thursday, Liverpool parted ways with Damien Comolli, who was serving as director of football. “[M]utual consent” was cited, but chairman Tom Warner also noted “it was important to make this change expeditiously” with the approaching transfer window. With Kenny Dalglish having last say on a number of transfer busts, it remains to be seen if this is the first domino.
  • And finally, some thoughts from Steven Gerrard:

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.