Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Portsmouth Interested In Crouch

Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp has admitted he would be interested in signing Liverpool striker Peter Crouch.

Redknapp is a big fan of Crouch having worked with the England striker during his time in charge of Portsmouth and Southampton.

Crouch's long-term future at Liverpool looks uncertain with reports suggesting Rafa Benitez could be willing to cash in on the forward.

And should Crouch become available, Redknapp has indicated he would be at the front of the queue to sign the 26-year-old.

"You will always be interested in someone like him," Redknapp told The Mirror.

"He is a great player and can be unplayable at times. He is a great lad and great to work with.

"He was fantastic in that year he had at Portsmouth. The club owe him a massive debt for what he did.

"We bought him for £1million and sold him for £5million. He scored 19 goals and without those goals they would probably have gone down.

"He kept the club going and for me he has been one of the main players for the last six or seven years."

Rafa: We Will Come Good

Rafael Benitez believes that Liverpool's young lions will savage their title rivals in the second half of the season.

The Anfield boss is backing the likes of Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel and Lucas Leiva to show exactly why he spent so much money on them by inspiring an historic Premier League triumph.

Liverpool have secured a menacing position just behind the league pacesetters, and Benitez believes his meticulous planning over rest and recuperation through player rotation will give them the strength to become champions.

"Our squad is really good and hopefully the strength of the squad will become more clear as the season goes on - you will see how strong we can become," Benitez explained.

"Some young players, especially the likes of Leiva, Torres, Babel and Sebastian Leto, will play better and get stronger as the season progresses.

"I am not disappointed with them but I think they do have the potential to play better.

"We have more points than this time last season. I cannot be 100 per cent happy because I know we could have won the games against Birmingham, Chelsea and Tottenham. So there is plenty of room for improvement."

Reina Not Attracted By Atletico Madrid

Jose Reina claims he would not be interested in leaving Liverpool after reports linked him with a move to Atletico Madrid next summer.

The Spain international goalkeeper is said to be a target for Los Colchoneros next summer, who apparently thought he may fancy a move there.

Although no official contact has been made, Reina has spoken out to prevent any more stories as rumours continue to circulate.

"I am flattered," he said. "But at this moment it would not be good for me to move as my family is comfortable.

"I am feeling happy and valued. I have no reason to move."

Reina's father, Miguel, played for Atletico in the 1970's and was a member of the side that was beaten by Bayern Munich in Belgium.

Despite being born in Madrid, Reina junior rose through the ranks at Barcelona before moving to Villarreal in 2002.

After three seasons at El Madrigal, Rafa Benitez swooped to sign him for Liverpool and he replaced Jerzy Dudek as the club's number one.

Torres Unfazed By Rest Of ‘The Big Four’

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres declared the Reds have nothing to fear from their Premier League title rivals this season.

Rafael Benitez's side have made an inconsistent start to the season, with glorious 8-0 hammerings in Europe standing alongside disappointing 0-0 draws at home against ‘smaller’ clubs.

This patchy form has placed Liverpool six points behind leaders Arsenal, but Torres feels the fact that the Reds are still within touching distance with their rival’s in-spite of their inconsistency is a positive sign.

The £23m hitman insists Liverpool shall be firmly in the mix with Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United at the end of the season in the race for the title.

Speaking to the club's website, the Spaniard said: "We have a confidence and a focus which will make us a very dangerous opponent for everyone who has to face us.

"We have maybe not played as well as we are all capable of all the time this season but look at how close we are to the teams at the top of the table. That is highly encouraging for us.

"From what I have seen so far in England we do not have anything to fear from any of our opponents for the title. They are all great teams with a lot of experience and many very, very good players but so are we.

"I am sure that as the season progresses it will come down to a fight between Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea - and we will be in there too.

"There is a winning mentality at Liverpool," he said.

"I look around in the dressing room before a game and in the face of every player and every coach you see the winning expectation.

"They do not go out on to the pitch either hoping they will or praying they will win. They expect it. They have such a belief in their ability that another outcome is just not something they consider.

"It is very new to me but I enjoy that mentality very much and I am thinking this way too now.

"Hopefully we have had all the injuries that we are going to have and for the next few months we can really start to build a momentum that makes us very hard to stop.

"Any team that concedes as few goals as we concede is going to be tough to play against. If we begin to take the chances that we are creating in our games then I am sure those teams above us will start to fear us."