Non Home-Grown Players
Of course, on seeing the list you're bound to get the knee-jerk-type fans out there, who demand Roy Hodgson's head on a plate because he's excluded shining talents like Dani Pacheco, Martin Kelly and even David N'Gog. To those of you out there that suffer from this predicament, I have only one word of advice: Relax. Oh, and while you're at that, you should probably stop screaming your collective heads off for Arda "he's-not-coming-to-Liverpool-any-time-soon" Turan. Please.
Hodgson might not have completely won over most Liverpool fans (yours truly included) but he's certainly no idiot. The players mentioned above are all 21 or under (yes, even N'Gog) and according to the new rules,
Premiership clubs can supplement their named squads with an unlimited number of under 21 players. So, there you go.
The more eagle-eyed of you out there might also be wondering how in the world Brad Jones, who holds a passport from a country 10,000 miles away from England and Wales, is considered home-grown. The simple answer to that is that Jones, although from Down Under is actually home-grown. He joined Middlesbrough way back in 1999 so there's no doubt about his home-grown credentials which conveniently makes him slightly more attractive (in a squad sense) than his predecessor, Diego Cavalieri.
And, if conventional wisdom tells you that a Premiership squad should have three goalkeepers, don't worry. The third keeper is young Hungarian, Peter Gulacsi who is not on the list because again, he's under 21.
Also, if one bothered to read the new rules (and have ultra-basic mathematics ability), you'd quickly come to the conclusion that Liverpool are 4 men short of the 25 men allowed under the new rules. Nothing to be panicked about. This simply means that Liverpool have a bit of a cushion there should the manager feel that there's a need to strengthen when the January window comes along. That's if, the current owners do give him the chance to re-invest the funds from the sale of Mascherano, Benayoun and Riera.
Anyway, as the title of this post suggests, Michael Owen is set to make a return to Liverpool. Really.
Fortunatelly, it's only for Jamie Carragher's testimonial on Saturday. Should be a good match that one. If anything else, it would certainly be strange to see Owen in a Liverpool shirt again. He'd certainly get some amount of stick from the Kop...