Liverpool winger Stewart Downing admits his fallout with Boss Brendan Rodgers and being told he could leave Liverpool FC is the inspiration to his recent revival in Reds career.
Downing was told he could leave Liverpool FC a couple of months ago if the right offer came in as he was not a regular under the Northern Irishman. However his performances in the last six weeks have shown a marked improvement and believes he is enjoying his best spell for Liverpool Football Club:
It was very open I wasn’t in the team or playing and he said to me maybe I could look elsewhere because I need to play at my age. I didn’t totally agree but I understood where he was coming from. Obviously he needs players who are going to play and not be sat about, but I thought in the back of my mind if I get a chance I can prove myself to him. Luckily enough I did in the next week.
Our conversations have been very open. If I’m doing well he will say so and if not, I’ll be pulled and told what I need to do. It’s the same for all the players. It’s good for me and that’s how I like it, to be told if it’s right or wrong. At the moment it’s all going well and he’s pleased with me, so I have to keep it going. I said to him I’d love to stay and if I keep playing well, then hopefully it can continue into the seasons after.
What do you think of Downing’s recent performances? Does he now have a real future at the club?
The Reds got back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League after a thumping 5-0 win over Norwich City at Anfield on Saturday afternoon. Jordan Henderson’s 26th minute strike gave Liverpool the early lead before a well-worked move saw Luis Suarez double the advantage nine minutes before the break. £12million signing Daniel Sturridge found the net after the break and became the first Liverpool player since Ray Kennedy in 1974 to score in his first three matches. Steven Gerrard and a Ryan Bennett own goal made it a comfortable 5-0 victory.
Boss Brendan Rodgers was pleased to see the exiting partnership between forwards Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge and now believes the Reds have the front two capable of striking fear into any Barclays Premier League defence:
“They linked very, very well. Luis has done what he’s done for us all season. He’s 100 per cent every game. They are both players who are not just static. Daniel’s got pace and power but he’s also clever. That was important for us today. It gives the opponent someone else to really worry about. Suarez has been incredible for us this season and has had some young players up there with him, but we’ve now got a recognized goalscorer up beside him. If you look at the movements between the two of them. The second goal was a wonderful demonstration of how good players can link together.”
What did you think of the match?
Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers admits the Club are looking for further additions to the squad before the close of the January transfer window.
Liverpool have already signed Striker Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea and the boss is hopeful he won’t be the only new face when the window shuts. He told reporters at Melwood:
“We’ll see what happens over the course of the next few weeks. Daniel was our main priority and we’ll have to see what else is available. There’s no doubt we need to support the group. We had 20 players training this morning, of which some of those are our younger players, so we know we need to reinforce and top up the group. That’s something we’ll look to do. If we can do it then great and if not, then we’ll wait until the summer.”
Asked about the speculation linking Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder with the Reds, Rodgers replied:
“You could probably rattle off about 20 names and the answer would be the same. The club have been linked with a whole host of players, but I couldn’t see that happening.”
Liverpool lost 2-1 against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday after Robin van Persie gave United a first-half lead and then doubling their advantage shortly after the break Vidic deflected a Evra header home.
Substitute Sturridge made an immediate impact as he fired home after David De Gea had spilled a Steven Gerrard drive. However Reds couldn’t find the equalizer and United were able to hold out for the win.
“I was very proud of the team. I thought that the first half we were a wee bit tentative at times in our passing and we actually presented them with opportunities in the game. But in the second half – you could have easily at 2-0 given up the fight – the fightback was brilliant by the players and I thought second half we maybe deserved something from the game.
We are disappointed to lose but take heart from the fact we kept going and Daniel Sturridge coming on and getting another goal was terrific. The second-half performance was much better. It’s never easy when you have got young players that are making their debuts at Old Trafford and when you look at Manchester United’s experience in their team – they have been there and been around a lot of them.
For us it was just about reinforcing a couple of details that we needed to be better at. We are disappointed with the free-kick because we never defended that well enough. But after that the reaction was terrific. We will take great hope from the second-half performance. We know the improvements we need to make if we are going to sustain a challenge at the top of the table.
There was 21 points difference before this game but it wasn’t 21 points in terms of quality, it was 21 points in terms of the depth of the squad. So if we are going to be able to compete we need depth in our club that is going to enable us to compete on a consistent basis.”
Suarez and Sturridge both showed good signs of an early partnership forming as both players seemed to be on the same wavelength. Lets hope we can bounce back next week with a good win over Norwich.
The Reds are reportedly considering bringing an end to Nuri Sahin’s loan spell with the club. The Turkish international joined Liverpool on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid but has failed to impress, making just seven appearances in the league and scoring one goal. Sahin was also not in the squad for the FA Cup third round victory over Mansfield last weekend which really says it all.
It is understood Liverpool will be able to cancel his loan this month but it is believed will only do so with the player’s and Real Madrid’s agreement.
It is rumoured that the 24-year-old might go on loan to Inter Milan or Borussia Dortmund who are both interested in securing the service of the player. Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc said recently the Bundesliga club,
“Of course we are following Nuri’s career – he’s one of our lads. We said to him back then (when he left), if Nuri says that he wants nothing other than to play in Dortmund, then we will deal with the issue. But it has got to be manageable, and nothing has changed in that regard.”
Sahin clearly has all the talent but seems to lack the hunger to fight for his place. Liverpool simply cannot afford to pay £70,000 a week for a player to have him sit on the bench. The Reds already have good depth in the midfield department with Steven Gerrard, Jonjo Shelvey, Lucas, Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen and frankly I don’t see a place for Sahin in the starting XI.
What does everyone think of Sahin and how he has performed in a Liverpool shirt this season?
Skipper Steven Gerrard says he is getting back to his best after describing his form over the first half of the season as “mixed”.
The 32 year old has played every minute of Liverpool’s 21 Premier League games so far this season and scored four goals, three of those coming in the last five league appearances a sign that means Gerrard’s peak performance level is about to return.
Gerrard told Liverpool FC magazine:
“I’ve had mixed experiences this season. I’ve passed some unbelievable landmarks for club and country, getting to the 600 games mark and winning my 100th cap for England. But with the slow start we made and being where we have in the league it’s been a bit mixed for me.
There’s my form as well. I’ve played well in some games but I’ve been disappointed with myself in others and I’m not happy with my goal tally at the moment. I think my performances are getting closer to where I want them to be so if I can add goals to those performances then maybe people will start saying the old Steven Gerrard is back.
I don’t think the manager’s asked me to do anything different in terms of the way he wants to me to perform but because of certain injuries, situations that have happened to the team and formations that we’ve played, I’ve naturally played a little bit deeper.
I’ve maybe gone into protection mode rather than playing the old Steven Gerrard way with the shackles off and going for the jugular. When you’re one of the experienced players in the team, the team’s more important than yourself and maybe I’ve sacrificed myself in certain games and tried to protect by playing deeper and be a controller with Joe [Allen] but now that Lucas is back, he gives me the licence to get forward a lot more so hopefully I can add some goals to my performances.
But I’ve got the buzz that the team’s improving and it’s going to get better. I’m confident that come the end of the season I will be satisfied with myself and the team because I do believe we can finish the season really strong.”
Steven Gerrard is top of the Premier League’s assist chart, with 8 assists and has scored 4 goals for Liverpool this season. Let’s hope our Captain fantastic continues his form against Manchester United this weekend.
New Reds signing Daniel Sturridge has said he will continue to get better, following his debut goal in the FA Cup win at Mansfield.
Sturridge, who hasn’t played a senior game since November, took just seven minutes for his debut against Mansfield to open his account for the Reds.
He said to the Liverpool Echo:
“I am lacking sharpness in front of goal. I missed a few chances but hopefully once I get my fitness those ones that I missed will go in. I was quite tired out there as I haven’t been playing or training much over the last few months. But I’m grateful to the boss for giving me nearly 60 minutes. I haven’t had much training. I’ve only had three sessions with the lads and then a light session on Saturday before the game.”
The 23 year old also praised his new team-mates following the win, but singled out Jonjo Shelvey for his perfectly weighted pass which lead to the striker’s opener:
“It was a great pass from Jonjo – the vision and the weight of the pass for the goal was perfect. He made it quite easy for me to take the shot first time. We haven’t had much time to work on stuff but we were both on the same wavelength. We get on well on and off the field.”
“All the lads have been great with me and they’ve made it easy for me to settle in over the past few days. I want to say thank you to them for making me feel so welcome. I look forward to playing with them for many years to come”
How did everyone rate his opening performance? Do you think Sturridge, Suarez and Sterling can form a lethal partnership upfront?
Liverpool move to the fourth round of FA cup with Daniel Sturridge scoring on his Liverpool debut which helped to beat Mansfield Town 2-1.
Sturridge who just signed from Chelsea, took the lead in just seven minutes while Suarez made it 2-0 after just four minutes on the pitch replacing Sturridge in the 55th minute.
Rodgers said in his press conference.
“We’ve seen over many years in this competition that these games are very difficult. In some ways, they can be more difficult than Premier League games. It’s a big credit to my players; I thought we showed great character. The game could have been out of sight in the first half with the chances we had. But you’ve also got to give credit to Mansfield because at 2-0 they kept the game alive. There were periods in the second half where we had to show resilience and character. We’ve seen it over the years in this competition, the big teams going to away grounds of a lower league opponent and coming unstuck.”
Thankfully we got through and into the next round.
Boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed full back Jose Enrique could be out of action for six weeks with a hamstring tear.
The 26 year old was withdrawn during the Red’s win over Queens Park Rangers last weekend with a hamstring injury but scans now reveal tear in his hamstring which will keep him out of action for at least 6 weeks.
Rodgers said in his Press Conference:
“He has looked fantastic in the games but it looks like he’ll probably be out for up to six weeks with his hamstring. It’s a shame because in the game he felt nothing. Sometimes you can enter the games and be tight and stiff. He felt great, and even within the game.”
It remains to be seen if Liverpool will be tempted to look at signing another left back this transfer window or it could be time to give Jack Robinson a chance.
Does Liverpool need strengthening? Of course it does. But Luis Suarez is doing a good job of trying to hide this fact.
That second goal should have never been but Suarez had one thing in mind. He got bumped off by Carlos Cuellar, regained his balance, and then as the defender collapsed in a heap corralled the ball and put the burners on. The Uruguayan came at Simone Mignolet from an angle and finished off with superb placement.
Last season Suarez seemed to struggle, missing an awful lot of good opportunities, but this season it seems harder for him to miss at the moment. Liverpool climb to eighth and they could go a lot higher if they can continue this form.
Looks like Joe Cole’s disappointing time at Anfield could soon be over after he has been told he is free to find another club.
West Ham appear to be the front runners for his signature and have started talks. Reports are he will be available on a free transfer, Liverpool will have to pay Joe Cole a settlement tho to cancel his current deal and get his £100,000 a week salary off the wage bill.
Joe Cole was signed from Chelsea on a free transfer in 2010. But after being sent off in his first match he never really settled in. He was then loaned to French club Lille last season.
Unfortunately Joe Cole will likely go down as one of Roy Hodgson’s most costly transfers due to his ridiculous wages he was receiving while hardly ever playing.