Tuesday, September 04, 2007

No New No 2 For Rafael Benitez

Ayestaran has not yet officially left the club but has had a major fall-out with the man he has sat beside for 11 years with Tenerife, Valencia and now Liverpool.

The Premier League leaders are in discussion over the termination of Ayestaran's contract and an announcement is expected this week.

Benitez said: "It was a great week, we scored four and six in front of our own fans and that makes me happy. But on a personal basis I am disappointed with what's happened. He [Ayestaran] is talking to the club, but the situation will not change."

Sources at Anfield do not expect Benitez to appoint a successor. The situation came to a head during training last week at Melwood, and Ayestaran was immediately sent on leave and was not at Anfield on Saturday for the 6-0 win over Derby.

Now it is believed Benitez will take a more hands-on role in training with first-team coach Alex Miller assuming greater responsibility. Ayestaran's fitness work will be absorbed by the two fitness coaches Paco de Miguel and Antonio Gomez. Liverpool have also imported a new goalkeeping coach in Xavi Valero, who had a spell as Wrexham's keeper.

Ayestaran was in sole control of team administration and fitness training, but during the summer Benitez changed some of the training regimes in an attempt to avoid another sluggish start to the season.

I'll Take Your Golden Boot - Torres Warns Drogba

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has warned Didier Drogba that he will not walk way with the golden boot as easy as he did last season.

Drogba notched 20 goals last season to claim the prize, but Torres believes he can scoop the award ahead of Drogba and the rest of the Premier League's top strikers in his first season in the Premier League.

"I am happy with my work at Liverpool," Torres told the Daily Star. "But really I warn the fans they have only seen 60 per cent of the real Torres.

"To be the top scorer in the Premier League will not be easy, but in the first few weeks I have shown it will not be a parade for Drogba to repeat his success of last season."

Torres scored twice in Liverpool's 6-0 win over Derby on Saturday, to take his Premier League tally to three.

"On Saturday I realised how to be a hero at Anfield," Torres added. "The people were happy with my goals and it was a sensational experience.

"I am not obsessed with the number of goals I score this season and at the moment I am still a nobody in the Premier League.

"My challenge is to triumph in Liverpool and become the best striker in the club's history.

"I know that this will be difficult, but I am prepared for the adventure."