Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Pacheco Inspired By Gerrard

Dani Pacheco believes Steven Gerrard's passion for self-improvement sets the perfect example for younger members of the Liverpool squad.

Reds youngster Pacheco recently committed his future to the club by penning a two-year contract extension that ties him to Anfield until 2014.

He recognizes that it will be hard to secure a regular first-team place, especially when established stars such as Gerrard are always trying to better themselves.

But Pacheco has been inspired by his skipper's work ethic and is determined to do everything in his power to fulfil his potential.

"Everyone can improve. Every day," Pacheco said in the Christmas edition of LFC Weekly.

"When you're 19 and you see Stevie trying to improve himself in training - with his left foot for example or maybe heading.

"If a player like him tries to improve, you realise how far you have to go if you want to reach the top."

Pacheco accepts that it is far too early in his development for comparisons to be made to Gerrard but he hopes to prove himself to be similarly versatile.

"We are completely different physically and I am not comparing myself to him because he is one of Liverpool's greatest players," Pacheco pointed out.

"But I know I can play a role in the team - try to help them - from that position (behind the striker).

"I have played a lot on the left and right for both Liverpool and Spain over the last few years and I will always play wherever the manager wants me to play.

"I understand Stevie has been everywhere for Liverpool - right-back, left-back, across the midfield and further forward.

"He is as complete as you can get now and there is so much I can learn from him."

Kop To Battle With Fulham Over Young Palace Hotshot

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is ready to battle with old club Fulham for Crystal Palace’s exciting young striker Wilfried Zaha.

Kop chief Hodgson wants to take the young Eagle as part of the club’s long-term planning - with Kenny Dalglish also involved in the recruitment of top talent for the future.

Zaha has been a hit for Palace since making his breakthrough this season and Liverpool want to snap him up after landing other prospects like Jonjo Shelvey and Raheem Sterling this year.

Hodgson’s spies have been checking on Zaha, who will ironically face his team in the FA Cup, while other calls have been made to register their interest.

However Hodgson’s old employers at Fulham are also on the hunt for Zaha, who may be sold by George Burley’s club if they need to raise funds to bring in new faces to beat the drop.

Palace would want around £2 million for Ivory Coast-born starlet Zaha, who is still just 18. But in their ideal world he would be left with them for the season.

Hodgson will be given cash for new recruits who will stand the test of time at Merseyside - and may be there beyond his period in charge.

And the fact that there is growing interest - with Fulham also prepared to splash out now - means that Zaha may be one of the surprise movers in the window.

Liverpool Hope To Persuade Hatem Ben Arfa To Make Anfield Move

Liverpool are reportedly considering a move to bring Hatem Ben Arfa to Anfield and will attempt to beat Newcastle United to sealing the French winger on a permanent deal. The 23 year old is currently on loan at St James’ Park but is sidelined with a long term injury after breaking his leg against Manchester City early in the season and Roy Hodgson is hoping to pip the Magpies to securing a deal to bring the Marseille man to Anfield in the summer.

Alan Pardew’s side are hoping to seal a £5m deal to bring the French international to the club on a permanent deal but Liverpool may hope to be able to persuade the speedy winger to move to Merseyside but clearly any hope of doing so would depend very much on what kind of finish Hodgson can get out of his team.

If Liverpool have secured European football come May and the Toon Army have not then perhaps Hodgson can convince the talent flair player to turn his back on Newcastle United.

Ben Arfa looked very impressive before a Nigel De Jong tackle left him out injured but the Clairefontaine academy graduate is expected to be back by mid February. Liverpool had been linked with a move for the player during the summer before he sealed a season long loan switch to the north-east.

Liverpool Officially Table €12.5m Bid For Gervinho

The Reds have reportedly identified the Ivorian as their prime target in January.

Liverpool has turned their well-known interest in Lille ace Gervinho into an official offer in the region of €12.5m, according to tuttomercatoweb.com.

French outfit Lille were believed to be demanding €15m for the player, but due to good relations between the two sides, it appears they have now lowered their asking price.

The Ivorian international, who has been doing exceptionally well this year, has so far contributed seven goals and four assists to Lille's league campaign.

Liverpool Join Tottenham In Race For Jose Antonio Reyes

Liverpool have joined Tottenham in the race for Atletico Madrid winger Jose Antonio Reyes, according to fichajes.com.

Although he had problems adapting to life in the Premiership with Arsenal, there is no denying Reyes' talent.

When on song, he can do just about everything - shoot dribble, pass or cross - although his decision making has room for improvement.

The 27-year-old forward/left winger scored three and set up seven for the La Liga outfit last term, and has a goal and an assist to his name so far this season.

He has a contract until 2014 with Atletico, and is valued at €10M-15M.

Former Juventus Star Rules Out Liverpool Move

Liverpool target David Trezeguet has ruled out a move to England in the transfer window.

The French striker has reignited his career at Hercules in La Liga after falling out of favour at Italian club Juventus.

Liverpool had reportedly been linked with a move for the striker but, in an interview with Argentinean newspaper La Nacion, he has distanced himself from a move to the Premier League.

"It would have been an important experience in my career to have been able to play in the Premier League but there were complications," he said.

"My move to Hercules has gone really well, even learning the new language. I also like Alicante, the city has the sea, the sun, the good temperatures and the good people. Plus, my wife and part of her family are from there."

The forward spent 10 years at Juventus but he felt he needed a fresh challenge and he has found that in Spain where he scored six goals in his first eight league games.

"My first objective, after playing in Juventus, was to find a team that had confidence in me. The fact I signed on the last day of the transfer window meant possibilities were very few, but I feel at Hercules I have returned to my best form and we have shared ambitions."

A move to England has virtually been ruled out with the striker hinting that the only place he would consider ending his career would be in Argentina, where he started out with Club Atletico Platense.

French striker Trezeguet, whose father is from Argentina, added: "I think I would be able to return to play in Argentina. I am still in love with Argentine soccer and I like the rivalries, because they are something you can never forget."

Liverpool Defender Chris Mavinga Set For Genk Loan Move

Liverpool defender Chris Mavinga is set to move to Belgian club KRC Genk on loan until the end of the season, according to French sources.

The 19-year-old arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2009 from Paris Saint Germain FC.

The Frenchman is deemed a good prospect, and has impressed for Liverpool reserves, but is yet to make a first-team appearance and has accused Reds boss Roy Hodgson of bias toward English players.

Mavinga is a tough tackling defender, who gets about well using his pace, energy and determination. He is also quite comfortable on the ball and possesses good passing abilities.

He has been playing chiefly at left-back this season but he can also be utilized in the centre of defence.

Injury Cuts Short Ayala Loan Spell

On-loan Hull defender Daniel Ayala has returned to Liverpool due to injury.

The 20-year-old centre-half, whose three-month deal was due to expire on January 1, has been absent for the last five games with a troublesome hamstring problem.

The Spaniard made 12 appearances for Nigel Pearson’s men and scored one goal, coming in the 2-0 win over Derby in September.

A club statement read: "Everybody at Hull City would like to thank Daniel for his efforts during his time at the KC Stadium and we wish him well for the future."

Liverpool FC And Everton FC Harnessing Power Of Football To Help Men’s Fitness

An innovative health program is harnessing the power of football to encourage young men to pay closer attention to their fitness.

Premier League Health (PLH) has been adopted by 16 Premier League clubs - including Liverpool and Everton - in an attempt to reach out to over-18s.

The £1.6m of funding from The Football Foundation allows the clubs with PLH status to implement programs designed to raise men’s awareness and help them adopt healthier lifestyles.

A Premier League spokesman said: “An increasing proportion of young men are overweight or obese, leading to a significant risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and fat-related cancer, amongst other health problems.

“Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, low physical activity levels and other risk-taking are estimated to account for over 14 years of lost life.”

The spokesman added: “Currently there is limited provision for tackling the health needs in these vulnerable groups of men.”

Hansen: Stadium Is Key

Alan Hansen played for Liverpool Football Club for 14 years. He is now one of the most respected pundits in the game and says exactly what he thinks. But he still has LFC at heart.

This week, in his exclusive LFC Weekly column, Hansen reveals what he believes needs to happen both on and off the pitch in 2011 at Liverpool FC.

The former Reds skipper passionately believes that building a new stadium - or redeveloping Anfield - is absolutely central to our hopes of future success.

"Everyone has an opinion on what needs to be done to restore Liverpool FC to its former glories. For me, the big thing is the stadium situation.

"It is over 10 years since a move from Anfield to the new LFC stadium on Stanley Park was first suggested and we are still waiting for it to happen.

"I played at Anfield for 14 years. I love Anfield but, in all honesty, when I go to there now it is like being in a 1960s stadium.

"The seats in the Main Stand are old, wooden and rickety. It was a stand built for the 1960s and 1970s, not 2011, and we need to do something about it.

"We were all promised a lot by the previous owners and because they failed to deliver, particularly as far as the stadium goes, we have fallen further and further behind where we should be.

"I do not think Liverpool Football Club will get back to where it belongs until the stadium situation is resolved."