Monday, September 08, 2008

Steven Gerrard: I'm Suffering Because I Can Play Various Roles

Liverpool and England midfielder Steven Gerrard feels his game has suffered because of his versatility.

The 28-year-old favours a central position but has frequently been used on the left and right with both club and country.

Gerrard told the Sunday Times: “I’ve paid the price for being able to do a decent job in other positions.

“Other players don’t get shunted around because they can’t do it. I can’t go and play on the right or the left and become Kaka or Robinho, I just go out there, give 100% and do a steady job.

“I’ll work hard, do my bit defensively and help the team. That’s why managers do it to me, but it is affecting me.

“My game suffers when my position is changed. I’m a central midfielder and in the big games I want to play in the middle and show that I’m one of the very best in that position.

“I’ve played in my favourite position for England five times in 68 games. What can you do? I go into training with England and try to prove myself every day.

“Every England manager I’ve worked under knows where I want to play, but they pick the formations and I play where I’m told.”

Gerrard will miss England’s crunch World Cup qualifying clash with Croatia on Wednesday after undergoing groin surgery.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez was hoping his captain would be fit to face Manchester United next weekend, but Gerrard insists that is too soon.

“I’ve a decent chance for the Champions League game in Marseille,” he continued.

“I’ve spoken to the manager and told him I’d like to do a certain amount of training before I come back. I don’t want to go into a big game only having had one session with the boys.”

Jamie Carragher Admits Concern Over Ownership Of Liverpool

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has revealed his concern over the structure of the club.

Carragher believes a lack of footballing knowledge within the Anfield hierarchy could prove damaging.

The 30-year-old Liverpudlian would like to see American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks appoint a figure such as former manager Kenny Dalglish to a senior role to help with key decisions.

Hicks and Gillett last year revealed they had sounded out Jurgen Klinsmann with a view to succeeding manager Rafael Benitez should the Spaniard leave, but admitted having limited knowledge of the German.

Carragher, writing in his autobiography Carra, printed in the News of the World, said: “What worries me about Hicks saying saying he’d never heard of Klinsmann is this: what happens when we do need to appoint another manager?

“Liverpool fans will shudder at the idea of names being checked on the internet.

“If Kenny was on the board, the owners would be able to ask his advice in the knowledge he has a grasp of what supporters here expect.”

Plessis Eager For More Games

Liverpool starlet Damien Plessis has revealed his determination to feature regularly at Anfield this season.

The French youngster has played regularly this season, starting in the critical first leg against Standard Liege in the Champions League qualifier.

And the France under-21 international is thrilled with the faith manager Rafael Benitez has shown in him this season and is determined to play more and more games to improve as a player and showcase his talents.

"I want to play, to play again, and to play as much as possible," Plessis said to Liverpool’s official website.

"My plan is to perform well with my club in order to be called up again for the France Under-21 team. It's up to me to do what it takes with Liverpool to carry on this way,” the midfielder stated.

"The good thing with Rafael Benitez is that he doesn’t care whether a player is young or not. Everybody has equal chances."

Another target for the starlet is to make the squad for this season’s Champions League proper, for which the Reds’ campaign begins against French side Marseille, who beat Liverpool at Anfield last year in the group stages, on September 16.

"Of course [I am looking forward to the Champions League]! First of all I hope I'll be part of the squad," he stated.

"Then, for sure I was hoping we would draw Lyon or Marseille so I could come back and play in France. At the end of the day it's an immense pleasure, even if we know it’s going to be very difficult,” Plessis added.

"L'OM proved last year at Anfield they are a very dangerous team. They strengthened well this summer and are top of Ligue 1. We are aware of it.

"The game at the Stade Velodrome is a must-win one because then there is Atletico Madrid and PSV Eindhoven, who are redoubtable adversaries. It's going to be a nice encounter."

Torres Expected For United Date

According to the latest reports out of England, Fernando Torres is winning his race for fitness ahead of the hotly anticipated clash between Liverpool and Manchester United next Saturday.

The News of the World is reporting that the Reds' medical staff have been delighted with the progress that the Spaniard has made since tweaking his hamstring against Aston Villa last week, and are confident that he will be fit in time for the United date.
This would be a massive boost for Liverpool, who will almost certainly be without Steven Gerrard for a clash that could go on to define their season.

Rafa Benitez had been desperately hoping that their most influential player would be able to return from two minor groin operations that caused him to miss England's World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia for the upcoming clash against their arch rivals, but Gerrard's latest comments suggest that this is no longer realistic.

"That's a bit too soon," he said over the prospects of being back in time for the home match against United.

"I've a decent chance for the Champions League game in Marseille. I've spoken to the manager and told him I'd like to do a certain amount of training before I come back. I don't want to go into a big game only having had one session with the boys."

Gerrard Hopeful Of Premier League Glory

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has his sights set on winning the Premier League before retirement.

The all-action midfielder has been hailed as a Reds legend at just 28 years of age, but admits his trophy cabinet is somewhat lean in comparison to past greats throughout Anfield history.

While the England international remains proud of his side's incredible comeback victory in the 2005 Champions League final, as well as FA Cup, League Cup and European Super Cup triumphs during his time with the club, the grand prize of the league has thus far passed him by.

The Reds have never won the Premier League, and have gone 18 years without a league title in any form, with bitter rivals Manchester United close to catching their all time record of 18, having just won their 17th last season.

"The memories of Istanbul will go to the grave with me," Gerrard told Liverpool's official website.

"There isn't a day goes by that I don't think about it, but I want more memories. I want to get on another open-top bus and see another million people on the streets of Liverpool, acclaiming the league title.

"The city will explode if we win the league, and I don't want it to happen when I'm retired. I'm 28 and realise the years are flying by.

"In November I'll have been a first-teamer for 10 years and yet it seems like I only made my debut two or three months ago, I've enjoyed it that much. I want from 28 to 35 to be even better, and I feel my best years are ahead of me.

"I don't want to retire and have just Istanbul and a couple of FA Cups to remember. It will be a disaster, personally, if I don't win the league here."

Arbeloa: Why Would I Want To Leave?

Alvaro Arbeloa has poured cold water on reports that he is looking to engineer a move away from Liverpool.

Rumours that the 25-year-old Spanish defender is unsettled at Anfield surface intermittently, despite both he and the cub continuously insisting that such concerns are completely unfounded.

The most recent media reports were suggesting that the ex Deportivo La Coruna star is looking to move back to La Primera Liga at the next best opportunity.

"I don't know where all the speculation that I am not happy has come from but it is miles from the truth," Arbeloa insisted to the Daily Star Sunday.

"I am at a massive club. I have played in a European Cup semi-final and a final too since I came here. I also broke into the national team through my displays for Liverpool.

"There is competition for places here just the same as there is at any big club. But I know if I play well, play to a really high level, then the manager has confidence in me and will play me in his team.

"I have played anywhere the manager has asked me to play and I will do the same again this season," he concluded.