Rodgers plays down Philippe Coutinho praise

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers has played down growing hype surrounding Liverpool ‘s new Number 10 Philippe Coutinho, after the Brazilian starred in a 6-0 win at Newcastle United.

Coutinho was in sensational form when Liverpool ripped Newcastle apart , a 6-0 at St James’ Park on Saturday. Coutinho has become a regular since arriving from Inter Milan for £8 million in January.  We build up players in the country and put them on a pedestal and then quickly nail them down.

“He’s had an outstanding performance and people can see why we brought him in.  He’s 20 years of age and fits the culture of what we’re trying to do here.  He’s technically strong and he’s a very humble boy.  He works hard, you can see the effort in his game, the pressure, the intensity, so he fits in really well, but there’s a long way to go.  If you look at the stats you’ll see I haven’t eased him in gently. He’s played nearly every game.”

How do you rate Coutinho’s performance against Newcastle last weekend. Was he the man of the match? Is he the best signing Rodgers has made for Liverpool?

Liverpool FC confirm Gerrard testimonial

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool Football Club will be holding a testimonial match for skipper Steven Gerrard against Greek side Olympiacos.  The match will take place on August 3, Liverpools only pre-season fixture at Anfield.

Gerrard’s opponents are the side he scored a dramatic 86 minute goal to send Liverpool into the Champions League knockout stages in 2004- which they eventually went on to win.

Gerrard said:

“I am delighted to be honoured by Liverpool with a testimonial match and particularly thrilled that Olympiacos have accepted my invitation to play the fixture.  Last time we met proved to be such a memorable game both for me personally and Liverpool Football Club.  I am also especially grateful that Olympiacos have truly embraced the aim of this match and chosen to donate their fee to charity.  I am looking forward to what I know will be a fantastic game and a wonderful occasion.”

All the money raised from events celebrating Steven’s testimonial year will go to the Steven Gerrard Foundation (SGF), a registered charity — stevengerrardfoundation.org

Liverpool FC: Carragher to extend contract?

Jamie Carragher

Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers says he will hold talks with Jamie Carragher before the end of current Barclays Premier League season in an attempt to persuade the Liverpool defender to resign a new contract and postpone his retirement.

Carragher announced that he would retire from professional football back in February after struggling to break into the first-team earlier in the season.

However, the 35 year old has been a regular in Rodgers’ starting XI in the second half of the campaign, producing a string of impressive performances alongside Daniel Agger.

“He’s been fantastic and I do [believe he could play next season]. Him and I communicate a lot and he’s obviously got something in his mind.  Him and I will sit down between now and the end of the season anyway and we’ll see where it goes. If he does go, I will certainly miss him because he’s been brilliant for me in my time there, going in as a manager of a club of that size.  He’s shown great respect and really helped me and the other guys. The thing for now is to keep performing the way he is until the end of the season and between then and now him and I will chat and we’ll take it from there.”

Share your opinions? Do you think Jamie Carragher should extend his contract and play the next season for the Reds?

Liverpool FC: Euro absence could be a blessing – Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers - 1

Boss Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool could be better off next year if they miss out on a place in the Europa League.

Liverpool currently lies seventh in the Barclays Premier League table, nine points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham.  Even qualifying for the Europa League, which would only be guaranteed if finished fifth, looks unlikely with Liverpool seven points adrift from Arsenal, who currently occupy fifth spot.

However Rodgers believes a successful summer window with no international tournaments to affect pre-season and the absence of Europa league football will be ideal for Liverpool to finish in the top four next season.

Rodgers said:

“It is a double-edged sword for us.  The players and supporters want to be in Europe and as a manager it is a great test and I have really enjoyed the Europa League (which they exited at the last-32 stage) this year.  But you could argue having one season out of Europe would give us an even greater chance of challenging for the top four next season.  That is a real difficult task now with the number of teams up there and the finances involved way beyond ourselves but it (the lack of Europa League action) would give us a real good run to do that.  Ultimately we want to be a club that is in Europe and we want to have a squad which is strong enough to be able to cope with European football and the domestic league and cups.  We will see where it takes us. We will finish as high as we possibly can but if Europe doesn’t end up for us then it might be a blessing for us next year.”

Do you think Rodgers is right with his comments? With the top four being extremely unlikely, where would you like Liverpool to finish in the table?

Liverpool FC: Lucas extends stay at Anfield

Lucas Leiva

Liverpool football club yesterday announced midfielder Lucas Leiva has committed his future with the club by signing a new “long term” contract extension.

The 26-year-old was signed from Gremio in 2007 and has since become a regular at Anfield, playing 143 matches in the Barclays Premier League. Lucas’s previous deal was due to expire in 2015, but the new contract will extend his stay on Merseyside 2018.  The Brazilian couldn’t hide his happiness in front of the reporters and admits that he is delighted to have put pen to paper.

“It’s another long-term contract that I have signed – but it was the same feeling as when I first came here.  I am really delighted to have the opportunity to play for this club. It’s where I belong and where I wanted to stay, so I am very happy and looking forward to a few more years here.  It was an easy decision because after the long period of my career I have had here, I would like to give the best of my time to this club. It was not a difficult decision to make and I am really looking forward to what will hopefully be a few more years with a lot of success.”

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre hailed the impact Lucas has had at the club:

“He has been such a great servant to the club and I think during the period he went through with his two injuries, he put so much work into it and the club supported him through it.  He just goes from strength to strength.  We said throughout last summer and January, we wanted to keep our best, experienced players, and this is another great example of that.”

Liverpool FC: Coutinho loving Premier League life

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho believes he has adjusted quickly to life at Liverpool after making an instant impact since arriving at his new club near the end of the January transfer window.

Coutinho has scored two goals and three assists for Reds since his move and the Brazilian winger once again showed his class, as his defense splitting pass set up Jordan Henderson for the equalizing goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

I have been very well received here,” Coutinho told Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte as he and his new teammates prepare for the final seven games of the Premier League season.

“Everyone has treated me really well and the club is like a family, even with so many great players playing here.  The style here is much more physical, that was hard during my first few weeks here. In Italy they have more tactical discipline, marking is tighter, so there is less space. Here it is faster, there are more spaces to play in, but I also have to be faster. It’s a lot better [for me] playing in England.”

“We have the goal of winning as many games as possible to try and catch up with the top teams. The manager has always made it clear that we have to finish in the top five to qualify for [the Europa League].”

Liverpool FC: Joe Allen has successful surgery

Joe Allen

Liverpool Football Club today confirmed midfielder Joe Allen has successfully undergone surgery on the shoulder problem.

The surgery will rule Allen out for the rest of the season. The 23 year old is expected to be fit for pre-season ahead of the 2013-14 campaign.

‘Joe Allen had surgery this morning, which went very well,’ head of performance Glen Driscoll told Liverpoolfc.com on Thursday.

It’s going to be a relief for Joe that this has now happened for him. It has been quite a long-standing issue. He was repetitively subluxing, so his shoulder was coming out very easily and very often.

‘It was a procedure that was very important. He should be 12 weeks from now, so he’ll be fighting fit for the start of pre-season.’

Driscoll explained the extent to which the injury was affecting Allen, who has played matches without knowing where and when the problem might recur.  He said:

‘I think he has done amazingly well. Anyone who has ever had repetitive subluxations of shoulders will know there is a lot of apprehension involved.  I find it difficult to see how that wouldn’t have affected Joe. It was getting to the point where he would do a high-five to celebrate a goal and would actually feel a sublux.  When you know this is happening, it’s not just the pain that occurs – it’s the apprehension.  He has done very well to get through this and it’s great for him that we can draw a line under this, get him fit and see how he goes next season.’

Liverpool FC: Summer transfer window will be busy

Manager Brendan Rodgers today confirmed Liverpool Football club will be looking to bring in three to four quality players in the upcoming transfer window so that club finally have the squad to compete for the Premier League title.

Swansea skipper Ashley Williams, Blackpool forward Thomas Ince and Feyenoord defender Stefan de Vrij are some of the names that has been constantly linked with Liverpool .

Rodger said:

“There is a natural rebuilding with the likes of Carra going.  I am happy with the squad and if I can then put another three or four quality players to it, then great. But it is quality we are after, not quantity.”

Rodgers is pleased by the impact Phillipe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge are having at the club since arriving in January.  The manager added:

“We see Coutinho and Sturridge’s quality.  There were some key positions we needed support in but I didn’t want to waste the club’s money.  I like to know what we are bringing in.”

Share your opinion.  Who would you be chasing in the summer transfer window and who would you sell?

Liverpool FC: Injury Update: Joe Allen Out For Three Months

Joe Allen

Liverpool summer signing Joe Allen revealed he won’t play for the rest of season due to a shoulder injury and confirmed he will be having an operation in the coming days.

Allen who turns 23 on Thursday fought through the pain barrier to play a part in Reds 3-2 victory over Spurs at the weekend. The surgery date has not been set but suggested the procedure would take place in the coming days.

“It requires another operation which is a bitter blow. These things happen in football, unfortunately, and it will keep me out for around three months when I do get the operation done.  I’m not sure, to be honest (when the operation will be). That’s something that is being decided and I will have to see what comes of it.  I’m not looking to use it as an excuse. It’s something that has deteriorated recently and it has got to a stage where an operation is all that can resolve it. I’m looking forward to getting it done, putting it behind me and moving on from there.  It’s not an ideal situation, but a player carrying an injury throughout the football season is part and parcel of the game and you come to expect it.”

I hope for a quick recovery Allen, he was key for us in our game against Spurs and we want him back asap.

Liverpool FC: Rodgers hails outstanding Liverpool

Steven Gerrard put a dent in Tottenham’s hope for a top four finish as the skipper slotted home a late penalty that clinched a 3-2 win at Anfield after goals from Luis Suarez and Stewart Downing.

Liverpool climbs to sixth place over Everton, closing the gap on Chelsea to seven points, and retains an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Boss Rodgers believes the victory is a ‘marker’ of how far the Reds have progressed since the start of the season.  Rodgers reflected:

“It’s a very important win for us. We’re on a great run at the moment and we knew it was going to be a severe test of our qualities and our character against a team in great form who are particularly strong and have been together for a few years.  For us to get the three points and play like we did, and more importantly show the character, was fantastic.  All season people have spoken about us not beating anyone from the top 10, then it was the top eight and top six and top four. Today was a stringent test and they came through it.  We know where we want to be eventually but this is another marker for us in terms of our growth.”

The decision that Rodgers made to bring on Joe Allen for Coutinho during the 60 minute mark played a big part in today’s win. Tottenham were completely dominating Liverpool’s two man midfield and the introduction of Allen certainly allowed us to control the match which eventually gave us a very vital win. A very good move from Brendan Rodgers!!

Liverpool FC: Liverpool don’t need to sell despite £40.5m loss

Ian Ayre

Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s managing director has confirmed that there is no pressure on Liverpool Football club to sell their star players despite an increase in the club’s debts to £87.2 million.

Accounts released on Monday shows a rise in debt of £21.8 million during the ten-month period from August 1, 2011 to May 31, 2012.

Ayre told Sky Sports:

“We won’t be selling anyone because of the financial position.  If we are selling anyone, it will be because they are deemed by the manager to be surplus to his requirements and if that happens we will be replacing them and bringing new players in as we always do.  There’s no panic on our part. We feel that we are making progress and improving all the time.  Our aspiration for the next couple of years, as the rules will dictate, is to break even and then to make a profit beyond that.”

Andy Carroll(loan), Joe Cole, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez are some of the players that were transferred out in the last year due to their hefty pay packets at Anfield.  However Ayre has confirmed Liverpool won’t be selling players and confirmed will remain competitive in the transfer market.

The new Warrior kit deal worth £25million a year for six years isn’t included in the recent report.

Liverpool FC: Is Martin Skrtel on his way out of Anfield?

Martin Skrtel

Liverpool FC defender Martin Skrtel has spoken out his frustrations at being benched by Boss Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks.  He admits he does not know the real reason for his recent omission from the starting XI, raising doubts over his future at the Club.

Skrtel has been a regular first team player over the last few seasons also winning the player of the season award last year, but his recent inconsistent form has found himself back on the bench as Jamie Carragher has become first choice partner alongside Daniel Agger.

The 28 year old says his manager told him why he was leaving him out, but claims he doesn’t feel that’s the actual reason for his omission.

He gave me some explanation, but it’s hard to tell if it was the true reason he gave me.  I don’t think it was and think there is something else behind it.  It all happened after our match with Manchester United in the middle of January. We lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. Moreover, a lot of sources gave me a good rating. But he [Rodgers] told me we had lost the organization of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.

I don’t know which fixtures he spoke about because we had kept a clean sheet twice in a row and won both matches. Also, we did not disappoint in the game against United.  Anyway, I’m not the type of player who would be chasing the coach and be in his office all the time, asking for explanations why I’m not playing. If the coach wants to tell me something, he will summon me. I would not like to make any unnecessary conflicts.

Skrtel says he is not thinking of leaving “for the present”, but the 28-year-old admits he would have to do so if he was not “kept in the team”:

For three years at Liverpool I was playing in almost every match. I have had various thoughts but certainly I’m not going to make any hot-blooded decision.  I want to be fit as soon as possible and fight for the place in the starting line-up. If the coach should lose interest in keeping me in his team, then we would have to handle it with my agent.

Skrtel certainly is a good defender but his inconsistency has always been a problem in the back four. Liverpool desperately needs to sign some world class defenders to tighten up the defense next season.  Do you think selling the 28 year in the next window will be a good move from Rodgers?