Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aquilani Reveals Kop Goal Motivation

Alberto Aquilani has revealed the motivation that has seen him through some tough times on his road to recovery.

The Italian midfielder has yet to appear for the Reds since signing from Roma in the summer, but he's told LFC Weekly Magazine the thought of scoring a goal in front of his new fans has spurred him on.

"It's not been easy for me," the 25-year-old said. "I moved to a new club in a different country and have been unable to play or train properly.

"When you are not involved with the team it is not a good feeling.

"It is my ambition to score at the Kop end though. I've thought about it a lot during my rehab here. Anfield is a great stadium with a superb atmosphere. I can't wait to play in front of that crowd."

Ian Rush: Rafa Benitez Needs International Stars To Return In Top Condition

International breaks are the bane of a manager’s life and never more was that evident in the weekend just gone – if anything, Rafa Benitez could not have scripted it to go any worse.

Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres and Dirk Kuyt all picked up injuries to some degree and with a crucial run of fixtures set to begin this Saturday, it goes without saying that all three men will be needed to play a part.

Kuyt, thankfully, will be back at Melwood in plenty of time to receive treatment on his damaged ankle but Benitez will be worried as to what happens to Gerrard and Torres tomorrow evening.

You would hope, therefore, that Fabio Capello and Vincente Del Bosque – both of whom have been club managers – will exercise some commonsense.

England and Spain are both assured of their place in South Africa and their games against Belarus and Bosnia have nothing riding on them, so why would they risk two star men?

There is a chance, after all, of it being counter productive.

Capello and Del Bosque will want Gerrard and Torres fit to fire their World Cup bids and they won’t want them exhausted by the time or out of condition before the tournament starts.

So, all being well, they will give Liverpool’s star men a chance to draw breath tomorrow and allow them to be in top form for the trip to the Stadium of Light, where a confident Sunderland side will be waiting.

It’s a game that Liverpool must win, to get a massive week off on the right note.

Big characters will be needed to turn the situation around and who are bigger than Gerrard and Torres?

Academy Football: Bolton Penalty Condemns Liverpool FC Under-18s To Defeat

An early penalty and late spot-kick miss condemned Liverpool under-18s to their fifth defeat of the season in the FA Premier Academy League at they lost 1-0 to Bolton Wanderers at the Kirkby Academy.

Liverpool had hoped they had turned a corner with the previous week’s 4-1 victory over West Bromwich Albion. But they failed to reproduce against the Trotters this weekend.

Despite having most of the possession Rodolfo Borrell’s side failed to create too many clear-cut opportunities.

Liverpool had started well and almost took the lead on three minutes when James Ellison saw a superb 20-yard strike come back off the post after being teed up by Krisztian Adorjan.

But two minutes later they found themselves behind through Chris Stokes’ spot-kick goal.

It was a big blow for Liverpool and despite having much of the play for the rest of the first half, they couldn’t make the breakthrough. There were not too many chances at either end and Bolton’s only rare opportunities came from set-pieces.

Deale Chamberlain saved quite comfortably from Jack Sampson’s long-range strike and Adorjan fired over the only real efforts on goal.

In the second half Liverpool were a bit better and came close to an equaliser 10 minutes in. Adorjan should have hit the target but headed over from close-range and after an excellent Ince’s free-kick.

Conor Coady was also off target with a free header following a corner with 20 minutes remaining. While the lively Adorjan had the chance to grab a point later on, but the 16-year-old Hungarian striker saw a late penalty saved.

Miroslav Klose Reveals His Admiration For Inter And Liverpool

Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose has spoken about his future in football, suggesting that should be leave the Bavarian giants, he would prefer to go to Inter or Liverpool.

If the 31-year-old were to join the Nerazzurri, he would be reuniting with former Bayern team-mate, Lucio.

"I am very happy at Bayern Munich and I intend to stay," the German international told Kicker newspaper.

"But it is normal that in Europe, there are other big clubs of the highest level.

"I have two teams that I follow with pleasure and curiosity.

"In England, it is Liverpool and in Italy, I like the Inter of [Jose] Mourinho, who I consider to be a great coach," Klose summed up.

Rafa Benitez Ready To Make A Move For Heskey In January?

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez could be ready to step in and save Emile Heskey's World Cup dreams by offering him a move back to Anfield in January, but only on the cheap.

Heskey has admitted he will consider his future when the transfer window reopens, if he continues to warm the bench at Aston Villa, and he has also attracted the interest of Fulham after starting just one Premier League game this season.

According to a report in the Daily Star, Benitez is considering boosting his attacking options with a £1.5 million bid for the striker to compliment Fernando Torres and he is believed to have made a move for Heskey last year, only to see him opt for Wigan.

Heskey's place in Fabio Capello's England squad is certainly under threat unless he sees more match action, although Villa boss Martin O'Neill will be reluctant to part with the targetman cheaply.

Former Villa team-mate Gareth Barry, now at Manchester City, said: "He's done fantastic for England with his partnership with Wayne Rooney. He is probably thinking about how long it can go on without playing for his club.

"The manager has made it clear that you have to be playing regularly and I am sure Emile will need to think about. When I was there Emile worked hard for the team, just like he does for England. It's that time of year when you want to be playing regularly. The World Cup is in the back of everyone's mind."

Hicks Raises Reds Stakes

The disharmony plaguing the Liverpool boardroom has been laid bare again after Tom Hicks called the bluff of George Gillett Jr., his co-owner, by letting it be known that he would allow Gillett to sell his 50pc stake in the club.

The war of attrition between the Americans has been stepped up over the past fortnight, with Gillett playing host to Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a potential investor, during a rare visit to Anfield and scheduling talks with the Saudi in Jeddah this week, without discussing the negotiations with Hicks before they became public knowledge.

Hicks has responded by making it clear that he will be willing to forgo his right of veto should Gillett find a buyer for his half-share, while maintaining that he has no desire to give up his stake in the club.

Hicks has used his veto once, in March last year, when Dubai International Capital attempted to buy out Gillett only for the Texan to refuse to give the proposed deal his blessing.

The divisions between the pair are becoming increasingly pronounced and their latest posturings appear to amount to little more than a high-stakes game of bluff, with both attempting to use the media to strengthen their bargaining position while weakening that of their partner.

The latest evidence of their falling-out has been greeted with dismay by the Spirit Of Shankly (SOS) supporters' group, which was set up in opposition to the Americans' regime.

"Tom Hicks and George Gillett have once again shown that they are not the custodians they promised to be, or that the club needs," SOS said. "Rather than work together to move Liverpool Football Club forward, they are more interested in their own egos and making as much money from the club as possible."

Kuyt: We Can Still Win The Title

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt is confident they can still fight for the Premier League title despite their indifferent start to the season.

The Reds' title credentials have again been questioned after losing three of their opening eight games to leave them six points behind leaders Chelsea.

Kuyt was disappointed after losing to the Blues last time out, but the Dutchman believes Liverpool can still be up there challenging if they can go on a winning run.

"I was very disappointed in the beginning that we got beaten twice. After that we picked it up and we won a couple of games in a row," Kuyt told FIFA's official website.

"But then we had another defeat away at Stamford Bridge at Chelsea. It was a very difficult game, but I still think we could do something more in this game.

"It is a very tough league, it is a very long season and there are still chances for Liverpool.

"We have to keep coming as a team and concentrate on our own game and winning every upcoming game.

"I'm sure in a month or in a couple of months that we will be there. The games will be decided on small details and I think that is what happened at Chelsea."

Del Bosque Won't Risk Torres

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque insists he will not play Fernando Torres against Bosnia-Herzegovina if he is injured.

The Liverpool striker has been suffering from problems in his adductor muscle over the past week, although he did play 53 minutes in the victory over Armenia on Saturday.

With Spain having already qualified for the World Cup in South Africa next year, del Bosque has assured Reds boss Rafa Benitez that he will not risk Torres if there are any doubts over his fitness.

"Torres is in very good hands here," Del Bosque told AS.

"Yesterday (Sunday) he stayed at the hotel and did not train because we went to a pitch in which there was no stretcher. He stayed at the hotel with the physios.

"Rafael Benitez has called me and I reassured him. We will care very much for Torres, like the rest.

"I told him (Benitez) that we will treat Torres as if he was at Liverpool. If the boy is well and wants to play, he will play against Bosnia. And if he has any problem, he will not play. It's that simple."

Del Bosque has received criticism from some quarters that he is favouring Barcelona after he allowed Xavi, who is carrying a similar injury to Torres, to leave the squad.

"I insist that there is no preferential treatment and there is the best care for everyone," he added.

"I respect everyone but they have to respect the national team. We have a duty to win and to call up the best.

"I don't care if a player comes from (Real) Madrid, Barcelona or Fenerbahce. Taking a player along for the sake of it has never been my style."

A statement from the Spanish Football Federation said: "Fernando Torres will not abandon the Spain camp as several media outlets have said.

"The forward, who has been hindered by some adductor pain, underwent a scan after lunch which showed encouraging results.

"The player has improved thanks to the physiotherapy carried out by the medical staff and we are studying the possibility of the player participating in part of the afternoon training session."

Dutch Star: I Love Liverpool

Dutch international Dirk Kuyt has stressed how he is enjoying life on Merseyside with Liverpool despite the club’s poor start to the season.

The striker, who played for his homeland in a friendly against the Socceroos in Australia this week, is expected to feature against Sunderland despite his long round-trip and hopes that the Reds can now focus on getting their title challenge back on track.

“I am a very happy person,” Kuyt told Fifa.com.

“I love the city of Liverpool, very nice, warm and respected people. I love Liverpool Football Club. Every day that I can be there, it makes me more than happy. I try to play as good and as long as possible for Liverpool.”

“To play in England is already unbelievable, when you look at all the supporters. If you play for Liverpool it is unbelievable and the supporters are an extra dimension. I have never seen such good supporters before I came to Anfield.

“I was used to playing at Feyenoord with a fantastic crowd, definitely the best in Holland, but when I came to Anfield it was another level. It really helps us and I'm sure it helps us when we are in difficult times, so the supporters are really important to us.”

Responding to suggestions that he may eventually return to Holland, Kuyt continued:

“I have just signed an extension of my Liverpool contract so I am more than happy. I am just trying to keep going (at Liverpool) for as long as possible, and we will see what the future brings. I will always have a special feeling for Feyenoord. It was, and still is a very important club for me, but at the moment I am very happy at Liverpool.”

Daniel Agger On German Radar As Borussia Moenchengladbach Weigh Up Loan Move For Liverpool Defender

Borussia Moenchengladbach are lining up a cheeky bid to take Liverpool defender Daniel Agger on loan.

The Bundesliga side's sporting director Max Eberl confirmed he had sent scouts to watch Denmark beat Sweden 1-0 on Saturday, but refused to confirm they were looking at the centre half.

Agger, who has been dogged by a back injury, played 90 minutes for the Danes, impressing against Barcelona star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

But he has yet to play for Liverpool so far this season and the Germans are prepared to pay half his wages to take him on loan and nurture him back to full fitness over the second half of the season, reports German newspaper Bild.

But Liverpool are themselves counting on the 24-year-old's return after an unconvincing start to the season that has seen them leak 12 goals in eight Premier League matches.