Rodgers: Suarez sent message of support

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers revealed how he received a text message from Luis Suarez on Sunday morning wishing his former club all the best for their first game of the new season against Southampton.

 Ahead of Liverpool’s 2-1 opening-weekend victory over the Saints, the Uruguayan, who joined Barcelona earlier this summer after three and a half years at Anfield, sent his support to his ex-colleagues.

Rodgers explained the gesture to reporters in his post-match press conference following the clash, during which he also reiterated his desire to add another striker to the Reds ranks before the close of the transfer window.

When asked how he felt Liverpool would fare without Suarez this season, the boss said:

“Our ambitions here at Liverpool, they have to be bigger than one player – I’ve said that repeatedly. Big clubs will lose players. Our ambition is bigger than Luis.  He sent us a lovely text this morning wishing us all the best and that [he hopes] we start strong. It was a great gesture.  He’s a friend of Liverpool now. But we look forward. We’re bigger than any one single player.  I do still think we want another striker. It’s something we’ll look at, but it’ll depend on the availability of one. We’ll search for that through until the end of the window.  But you see the players and the quality we have. The fluency will come and today was about the win – and we got the win.”

Asked if he responded to the text message from Suarez, Rodgers replied:

“I did, yes. He’s a good boy, but he’s gone. His heart is with Liverpool and he’ll always be Liverpool. It was a lovely touch.”

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: 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.

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?

Liverpool FC: Rodgers refuses to blame players after shock defeat

Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers avoided blaming his players after their home Premier League defeat to West Brom.

The Reds dominated the vast majority of the tie at Anfield, but slipped to a shock 2-0 loss when Gareth McAuley and Romelu Lukaku found the net late after skipper Steven Gerrard failed to convert from a spot kick in the final quarter.

Rodgers admitted his disappointment following the defeat but insisted he could not fault the efforts of his players.

“These players always react very well. They were very disappointed, like we all were, last night because we wanted to make our home form better in the league.  That’s something we’d done, especially of late. We entered into the game against West Brom with the best defensive home record in the league, so that shows the mark of improvement we were making as a group.  It’s something that left the players disappointed, but they will react in the right manner. They’re good guys here, they want to work well and they’re very good at moving on. That’s something we’ll have to do if we want to progress.”

Liverpool are now down to ninth spot in the table, a gaping 12 points adrift from fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. With 12 matches remaining do you think the Reds will climb back to finish fourth in the table ?

Liverpool FC: Downing says that Rodgers talks inspired him

Stewart Downing

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?

Liverpool slip to Old Trafford defeat

Daniel Sturridge scores for Liverpool against Manchester United

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.

Rodgers said:

“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.