Liverpool FC: Triple injury boost

Brendan Rodgers

Ahead of the Fixture against Crystal palace Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers has given an update on team news and the fitness of Glen Johnson, Philippe Coutinho, Aly Cissokho, Joe Allen and Sebastian Coates.

Fullback Johnson has been on out nursing an ankle sprain that he picked up against Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester United while Cissokho and Allen got injured against Notts County in the Capital one cup.  Rodgers said:

“Glen’s out on the field and hopefully after the international break he’ll be ready to come back into the squad.  We’re okay. Aly Cissokho has trained over the course of the last week or so, so I think after the international break he’ll be fine and fit. Joe Allen likewise – he should be ready for the Newcastle game.”

Rodgers also mentioned that is should not be too much longer after that until we see the return of Coutinho. So for now it looks like Liverpool will have Johnson, Cissokho and Allen returning after the international break.

“Obviously Sebastian Coates will be that bit longer and has a bit more to do yet, but apart from that we’re getting back to our numbers now.”

Liverpool’s new 3-5-2 formation looks tailor made for the retuning Johnson and Coutinho as Johnson can make full use of his attacking talents playing as a wing back and Coutinho, playing behind the front two can provide even more ammunition for Sturridge and Suarez .

Liverpool still need to sort their midfield problems as both Lucas and Gerrard being very similar in their playing styles these days is one of the main reasons the Reds are finding it hard to keep the ball. With Allen and Coutinho returning soon let’s hope Rodgers can find the best midfield combination.

Who would be your best midfield combination?

Sturridge ruled out for England

Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool star striker Daniel Sturridge has failed to recover from a thigh injury in time to play for England’s fixture with Moldova at Wembley on Friday evening.

The injury, which Sturridge suffered prior to Sundays clash with Manchester United, is not considered to be serious. However it is unclear whether the 24 year old will be fit to play against the Ukraine next Tuesday.

An FA statement read:

“As Roy Hodgson prepares his England team to face Moldova on Friday evening, Daniel Sturridge has returned to Liverpool for further treatment.  The squad departed St. George’s Park on Thursday afternoon ahead of the World Cup qualifier at Wembley, but the Liverpool forward will return to his club with the intention of joining the England squad again at the weekend and traveling to Ukraine.”

Looks like the international break has come at a good time for Liverpool and hopefully Sturridge will be fully recovered and ready to play against Swansea next weekend.

LFC: Liverpool beat Manchester United!

Three games in, nine points earned and the Reds sit at the top of the Barclays Premier League table life doesn’t get much better than this.

Ex Everton manager David Moyes’s first visit to Anfield with Manchester United ended in defeat on Sunday after in form Striker and birthday boy Daniel Sturridge gave Liverpool a fantastic start, heading past the united keeper during the 4th minute mark.

Liverpool had to bring back Martin Skrtel to pair up with Daniel Agger after the injury to Kolo Toure and what a change that turned out be as both Skrtel and Agger hardly gave a yard of space to the Dutchmen Robin Van Persie.

The last time Liverpool started a Premier League season with three consecutive wins was back in 1994/95 but Boss Rodgers urged the fans and the players to not get carried away insisting there is still a lot of hard work to do:

“It’s another step [forward] for us. I mentioned in the press the other day, since we last played Manchester United in January, we had both played 18 league games and there were only two points difference.  Today was another indicator that the winning mentality we’re growing and evolving all the time in the group is becoming stronger. You could see from the reaction that the togetherness is very good and that is going to be important for us this year.  We drew too many of the big games last year and we lost home and away to Manchester United, so today was another step to show we’re going in the right direction – but there’s still a long way to go.”

Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain, Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon and Victor Moses from Chelsea were all present at the stands watching the game and the Boss confirmed the signings will be announced tomorrow:

“We hope they can be completed. I don’t think there will be any confirmation until tomorrow.  We need that depth and we need more numbers.  The players that we want, if we can get them over the line, are all quality players and will really help us going forward.”

What did everyone think of the fantastic performance? Will there be another surprise signing on deadline day?

Liverpool FC: Reina disappointed by Liverpool

Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina has hit out at Liverpool management accusing them of forcing him out of the club. Reina’s position at the club was already under doubt after Liverpool signed Simon Mignolet from Sunderland. Last week Liverpool confirmed that they had to come to an agreement with Napoli on a season-long loan where Reina will reunite with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.

Speaking about the move on his personal website he said,

“’But if I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving.  It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first, I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football.

A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it.  But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made.  I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home.  When it didn’t come I was happy to fight for my place so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club´s interests to send me to Napoli instead.”

Reina’s move away from Liverpool shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. His form has been down for last 2 seasons and his fate was sealed the moment Liverpool captured Simon Mignolet. There were reports earlier that he was going to replace Victor Valdes at Barcelona but nothing came out of it.  With the World Cup fast approaching Reina knows that lack of game time will affect the chances of him getting picked for Spain. And with Napoli having sold their first choice keeper Morgan De Sanctis to AS Roma this is a move that will benefit both parties involved.

Liverpool FC: Suso and Ngoo loaned out

suso-loan-deal

Liverpool’s Spanish starlet Suso is reportedly on the verge of joining newly promoted la-liga side Almeria for a season-long loan. Suso who signed a long term deal in October last year is highly regarded by Rodgers and a season out on loan will give the 19 year old much needed experience.

Meanwhile Yeovil have announced the capture of Liverpool striker Michael Ngoo for a season long loan deal. The 20 year old was loaned out to spend the 2012-2013 season with Heart of Midlothian and managed to score 4 goals in 15 appearances

Speaking to the Official Site Gary Johnson said of the signing.

“Michael will create strong competition for our already strong front line, which is what we need for the Championship season.”

Hopefully both players can get the experience they need to challenge for the first team when they return, as both players could have a massive future at Liverpool.

Liverpool agree Aspas fee

According to reports Liverpool’s bid of £7.7 million has been accepted by Celta Vigo for the transfer of striker Iago Aspas.

Aspas has scored 60 goals in 130 appearances for Celta and was strongly rumored with a move to the Premier League in the January Transfer Window.

The 25 year old scored 12 goals with 6 assist in 33 appearances in La Liga this season, can lead the line, play as a second striker or in a wider role.

Aspas will become Liverpool’s second signing for the summer following the capture of Kolo Toure.

Liverpool complete Kolo Toure signing

kolo toure

Liverpool FC confirmed they will sign Manchester City defender Kolo Toure on a free transfer on July 1. A statement in the official site read:

“Liverpool Football Club can today announce they have agreed a deal in principal with Kolo Toure to join the club on July 1.  The powerful defender will be registered as a Reds player when his current deal with Manchester City expires.”

The Ivorian was out of contract with Manchester City, and Liverpool were rumored to be keen on bringing in some much needed experience in the defensive department after the retirement of Jamie Carragher.

Liverpool will offer Toure a two-year deal as they look to make the defender their first signing of the summer.

The 32 year old was a member of Arsenal’s invincibles side that won the league title in 2004 and was a regular for Manchester City in his first two seasons.  Toure certainly is a world class centre back with more than a decade of Premier league experience. However the 32 year old will be used as a second choice defender, someone who can come in and stabilise panic with his experience during the dying moments of the game.

Reds close to Carroll sale

It is rumoured Liverpool have agreed a fee with West Ham for Striker Carroll after the club showed desire in keeping the player after his successful loan spell at Upton Park.

Reports suggest Liverpool had a £15 million offer accepted on Tuesday for the 24-year-old, and it all depends on Carroll’s willingness for a permanent move.

Rodgers told the reporters he has spoken to Carroll about his future, telling

“It was just a general conversation in terms of the experience of getting out and playing. He enjoyed that apart from the injury.  At the start of the season the whole thing was about going and getting games because he wasn’t going to be a starter here. We will talk again with him and the club to see how it all evolves. It’s one of those situations where it will probably be resolved a lot quicker than that for both parties.  It’s a difficult one. I spoke to him and we had a good chat.  In terms of the money, that’s something out of my control. But he’s a talent so we will assess the whole situation.  The objective at the beginning of the season was for him to go out and play. He’s gone away to think of what we spoke about and we will talk again through the weeks.”

Liverpool FC: ‘Pepe Reina not for sale’

Pepe Reina

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has denied reports suggesting shot stopper Pepe Reina will leave the club at the end of the season and insisted Reina will not be leaving the club this summer.

There were suggestions earlier this season that Rodgers was looking to sell Reina with the 30-year old constantly linked with a £10m move to Barcelona.  Rodgers said:

“It’s that silly season now that starts up all the rumors and what not but Pepe’s not for sale.  He’s got three years left on his contract here, he’s happy and obviously there’s speculation but it’s not worth commenting on.”

Liverpool FC: Gerrard ‘We lacked cutting edge’

Steven Gerrard 1

Liverpool Skipper Steven Gerrard believes the goalless draw against Everton is another proof that Liverpool lacks that cutting edge to finish of teams.

The match ended in 0-0 draw with Liverpool struggling to turn their possession into clear-cut chances without top scorer Luis Suarez.

Gerrard said:

“We all wanted [a goal] at the end, mainly for this fella [Jamie Carragher] playing in his last derby.  Everton have improved a lot. They’ve had a good season and are difficult to beat and that sums our season up in a way.  We played well but lacked the cutting edge against the sides above us. We’ll take a point but we’re slightly disappointed it wasn’t three.”

Carragher who played his last derby also expressed disappointment to not to sign off with a win in his final game against Everton.

”It’s a fair result. It wasn’t to be and a draw was a fair result. There weren’t too many chances at either end. It was a tense derby if you like and credit to Everton.  Coming to Anfield and getting a draw is a good result. I’m slightly disappointed but a fair result in the end I think. It was a good day. I’ve got a few games left with Liverpool. It was a big-game derby and I would have liked to have won it but ultimately we didn’t lose.”

Liverpool FC: Steven Gerrard set to pen new deal

Steven Gerrard 1

According to the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool have opened talks with club captain Steven Gerrard over a contract-extension.

The England skipper expects to pen a new deal over the next few months, with his current contract expiring at the end of the 2013/14 season.  He said:

“They want me to extend, I want to extend, so it’s just a matter of time really.  How long for I’m not too sure yet. That’s under discussion at the moment. But it will get sorted one way or another in the summer.”

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has also confirmed that talks have taken place with midfielder, stating:

“Stevie and I went out for something to eat a couple of weeks back and had a good chat about plans and whatnot.  I have been ever so pleased with Stevie this year. For me as a manager, to have a captain like that has been brilliant. He’s certainly one I would envisage to be here for a good few years yet.”

Liverpool fans will be hoping that their talisman in Steven Gerrard will stay at the club for the years to come having notched up 9 goals and 9 assists in England’s top-flight this season – proving yet still to be one of the best in the business, all at the ripe age of 32.

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?