Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Liverpool Look For Reinforcements After Losing Jamie Carragher

Roy Hodgson will accelerate his search for reinforcements after learning that Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher will be out for at least three months because he needs surgery on his dislocated shoulder.

The former England defender will have an operation this week to repair the injury which was sustained during Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Tottenham.

In the short term, Hodgson is ready to give 18-year-old Danny Wilson, the £5 million summer signing from Rangers, the opportunity to fill the void.

But with Daniel Agger also troubled by injury, Hodgson is determined to recruit at least one experienced defender in January, with Bolton’s Gary Cahill and Adil Rami, Lille’s £12.5 million-rated France centre-half, the Liverpool manager’s leading targets.

Liverpool have scouted Cahill intensively over the past month, but Bolton’s £20 million valuation of the England defender is likely to prove prohibitive, despite the improved financial picture at Anfield following the NESV takeover in October.

Lille are similarly determined to retain Rami, but the loss of Carragher until March has left Liverpool in serious need of quality defenders as they attempt to compete for Champions League qualification.

Carragher had been hopeful that a period of rest would enable his injury to recover naturally and leave him with an outside chance of facing Manchester United in the FA Cup next month or Everton in the Merseyside derby at Anfield on Jan 16.

But a scan of the injury has highlighted more serious damage and Carragher, who has missed just nine Premier League games since the start of the 2004-05 season, has been told to expect a lengthy lay-off.

He said: “I’ll be having surgery at the end of the week. The average [recovery period] is about 12 weeks. I’d like to come back before that, but I’ve got to make sure it’s right. It will probably be late February or early March when I’m looking to come back.

“It’s difficult for me when I’m injured. It hasn’t happened very often and I’m very lucky with that I suppose, but maybe it’s caught up with me a little bit now.

“I’ve been here before with a broken leg, which put me out this length of time. It’s not easy, but you’ve got to get on with it and it makes you more determined to get back.

“I’m sure towards the end of the season, when people are maybe feeling a little bit tired, I’ll be raring to go.”

Liverpool Will Look To Martin O’Neill As Replacement For Roy Hodgson

Liverpool will turn to former Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill as new owners NESV look to replace Roy Hodgson. The under fire Anfield manager is thought to be nearing the axe after a poor start to the season and the 58 year old Northern Irishman is apparently seen as the man to take over the reigns at the Merseyside club.

Roy Hodgson had appeared to be steadying the ship after a series of positive results, including a win over Chelsea, but one win in his last four Premier League games has heaped pressure back on the Croydon born veteran and it appears he may be heading for the chop.

Frank Rijkaard is the marginal favourite to be the next Liverpool boss with some bookmakers but some sources believe that the former Barcelona man may be looking to take a break from the game following his recent sacking by Turkish side Galatasaray and could also be hoping for a job back in his native Holland in the short term. Fellow front runner Martin O’Neill has been out of the game since he left Villa Park in early August and is thought to be very keen on taking the Liverpool job.

Liverpool’s new owners are thought to be keen to make any managerial changes by January at the latest as they would look to any prospective new manager to invest any transfer fund injection and not Roy Hodgson. The club is currently in 10th spot, some seven points from a coveted top four finish.

Fernando Torres Ruled Out Of Steaua Bucharest Clash

Fernando Torres is set to be rested from Liverpool’s Europa League clash with Steaua Bucharest after Roy Hodgson revealed he would not be travelling with the squad.

The Reds boss also made it known Scottish youngster Danny Wilson will replace the injured Jamie Carragher for the trip to Romania.

Torres is being rested with the Anfield club’s match against Aston Villa in mind while Wilson gets his opportunity after Carragher was ruled out for three months following surgery on his shoulder.

Wilson will make his second appearance since joining from Rangers and he will partner Sotirios Kyrgiakos at the back - and the pair are likely to be joined in defence by Fabio Aurelio and Martin Kelly.

Hodgson told the club's official website: "Martin Kelly and Danny Wilson will start against Steaua Bucharest and it's a great opportunity for them to stake a claim to be in the first team.

"Not being able to take the points we deserved against Tottenham has kept us in a mid-table position so the next games coming up are going to be very important.

"I've got to be careful not to risk too many of the players I want out on the field against Aston Villa.

"Torres won't travel. I can leave maybe as many as six or seven players who I expect to start against Aston Villa out of the team.

"It means on paper I'm taking a weakened team, but I believe people like Joe Cole, Ryan Babel, Milan Jovanovic, Danny Wilson, Christian Poulsen and Jonjo Shelvey are more than capable of doing a good job for Liverpool Football Club."

Steven Gerrard To Return To Training 'Next Week'

Steven Gerrard could return to full training as early as Monday, after making good progress from his recovery from a hamstring injury sustained on international duty.

The Liverpool captain picked up the injury during England’s 2-1 defeat to France in November.

The central midfielder will not make the club’s Europa League game against Steaua Bucharest and will just miss out on the match against Aston Villa next Monday.

But the club’s head of sports science, Peter Brukner, is confident the rehabilitation has gone exactly to plan and Gerrard could return for the Newcastle game.

"Steven's going well. He's back running, though not back in training," Brukner told the club's official website.

"He's certainly looking good to play the Newcastle game, which has been our target all along.

"We're hoping he'll be back in training at the start of next week.

"Everything's gone to plan."

Martin Skrtel Wants Liverpool To Improve After Loss To Tottenham

Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has called on his team-mates to knuckle down and improve their performances in terms of putting away their chances.

The Reds had many chances during the recent defeat to Tottenham, but scored only once as their opponents responded by coming from behind to win the game.

The Slovakia international now hopes that future performances will be better, so they don't have to suffer the heartbreak of losing in stoppage time.

"Losing that game was very difficult to take," Skrtel told the Liverpool Echo.

"In the first half we did really well and controlled the game. We scored one and created a few more chances.

"In the second half we let them get back in it and to concede again right at the end was so disappointing.

"It came down to us missing our chances. If you don't score goals you don't win games. We have to improve."

The former Zenit St Petersburg defender scored his first goal in more than a year, but insisted that it was rendered meaningless due to the result.

"It was nice to score a goal after so long without one but for me the most important thing is winning and we didn't do that," Skrtel said, as it was an own goal from him that saw Tottenham level matters.

"I might have scored but I can't be happy after that because we didn't get the result."

Liverpool 'Start Negotiations' With €12 Million World Cup 'Genius'

Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Japan star Keisuke Honda, and are reportedly in talks over a January move.

According to Japanese daily Sports Nippon, the Reds have commenced negotiations over the €12 million-rated playmaker with his current club CSKA Moscow.

Honda has built up quite a reputation thanks to his swashbuckling displays for Japan at the World Cup; some of which led Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to label the 24-year-old a 'genius'

"This Japansese team is based on a solid and collective defence in which everybody knows exactly what to do," Wenger told Eurosport.

"When they get the ball they can give it to Honda - and the magic starts.

"When they get that genius Honda playing up front, he has shown what a top class player he is. For me he's the best performer of the competition so far."

Arsenal have previously been linked with a move for Honda, however Liverpool have now emerged as favourites for his signature as they look to add to their attacking options in January.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is keen to increase the potency of his attacking force at Anfield, which currently relies too heavily on Kop hero Fernando Torres - something that Hodgson readily admits.

Honda is also reportedly a target for AC Milan so, should Liverpool capture him, it would represent quite a coup for the Anfield club.

Hodgson is expected to have plenty of money to spend in January as he looks to bring new faces to Anfield in January with new Liverpool owners NESV prepared to back their manager in the transfer market.

Liverpool Preparing To Make A Move For Colombian Hit Man

Liverpool are apparently preparing a bid for Colombian striker Teofilo Gutierrez who currently ply’s his trade for Turkish outfit Trabsonspor, the reported fee will be in the region of £6 Million which is well within the budget of the Anfield outfit.

Liverpool have been looking for a second striker capable of knocking the goals in regular and it is no surprise to see Roy Hodgson show interest in the 25 year old who has scored a goal every two games at both club level and International level although he has not been able to nail down a permanent spot in the national team.

Liverpool has been interested in the player for some time and were close to making a bid for the Colombian back in the summer and it seems that their interest has not waned, if anything it has increased.

The main stumbling block to any bid is if there is a change of management at Liverpool but as things stand Liverpool remain on course to sign a player they have been interested for some time.

Jamie Carragher To Have Surgery On Shoulder Injury And Miss Three Months Of Action

Liverpool have confirmed that defender Jamie Carragher will likely miss the next three months of the campaign, as he has to undergo surgery to correct a dislocated shoulder.

The 32-year-old suffered the injury during the game against Tottenham, which saw the Reds lose 2-1 thanks to a late Aaron Lennon winner for Spurs.

The defender will now go under the knife this week, and hopes to make a quick recovery to return and contribute to the cause.

"I'll be having surgery at the end of the week," Carragher told the club's official website. "The average is about 12 weeks. I'd like to come back before that but I've got to make sure it's right. It will probably be late February or early March when I'm looking to come back.

"It's difficult for me when I'm injured. It hasn't happened very often, and I'm very lucky with that I suppose, but maybe it's caught up with me a little bit now.

"I've been here before with a broken leg which put me out this length of time. It's not easy but you've got to get on with it, and it makes you more determined to get back.

"I'm sure towards the end of the season when people are maybe feeling a little bit tired I'll be raring to go."

Carragher's injury is the latest blow for the Reds, as Daniel Agger is still recovering from a calf problem, while Joe Cole and Steven Gerrard are both sidelined with hamstring injuries.