Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Kenny Dalglish To Work Hard To Repair Damage Of West Ham Defeat

Kenny Dalglish returned to the training ground with Liverpool today on a mission to carry out the “repairs” needed in the wake of his side’s defeat at West Ham.

The preparations will start for Sunday’s crunch clash with Premier League leaders Manchester United at Anfield.

Top of the list will be subjecting his players to a re-run of their miserable performance against the Hammers in a bid to iron out the errors which proved so costly.

No midweek game at least gives the manager the benefit of a full week at Melwood to prepare the Reds for the showdown with United.

“We will sit down and the players can go through the game,” Dalglish said.

“We will have a look and make sure we learn from the mistakes that were made.

“We will look to see where we went wrong and try to repair it.

“The pleasing thing was that the fitness and desire to get back in the game was still there. In the last 20 minutes we played well.

“Collectively we will move forward but we won’t dismiss it. We will get back in and see where we are on Tuesday. A week’s training will do us no harm at all.”

Dalglish will hope for positive news on the injury front. Fabio Aurelio and Daniel Agger both missed last weekend, while Martin Kelly and Raul Meireles limped off at Upton Park.

Liverpool And Arsenal Remain In Hunt To Sign Gervinho

Liverpool and Arsenal have been boosted in the race to sign Ivorian striker Gervinho.

The 23-year-old Lille hitman has been on the radar of a number of Barclays Premier League clubs in recent seasons, with former Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson thought to be keen on the player back in the summer.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has also expressed an interest in the past, with scouts from north London sent to watch the player at the Stade Lille-Metropole on a number of occasions.

It's Liverpool who has most recently been linked with the player though, with IM Scouting reporting that an offer was made at the end of December in an effort to bring the player to Anfield.

"I do not know what will happen at the end of the season, but it is normal that I want to improve and grow as a player," Gervinho told French radio station RMC.

"But now my goal is to fight for Lille to help us qualify for next season's Champions League."

With under 18 months left on the player's contract, talkSPORT reports that Les Douges will do business for a fee in the region of €12m.

This is a similar fee to the one reportedly put on the table by Liverpool back at the end of 2010, although at the time the Ligue 1 outfit were reportedly holding out for €15 million.

It's unknown if Arsenal are in the market for a striker, although injuries at the earlier part of the season exposed a threadbare strike-force at the Emirates.

Robin Van Persie has returned to form, but injury still plagues the Gunners' hitman and Wenger is thought to be unsure over his other Arsenal options.

Both clubs could go head-to head in their efforts to bring the player to England, and it remains unclear as to whether Liverpool or Arsenal appeals most to the player.

Liverpool Locked In Three-Way Battle For Left-Sided Samba Star

Real Madrid and Juventus will face further competition from another European heavyweight in the form of Liverpool in their pursuit for summer additions to their respective squads.

Brazilian international Michel Bastos is the latest player in a long list of targets to be linked with a move to Anfield as the successor to Liverpool’s problem position at left-back.

The 27-year-old Lyon star can operate anywhere down the left hand flank, either as a defender or a midfielder – both of which are positions that Kenny Dalglish is looking to strengthen in the summer.

Liverpool Director of Football Strategy Damien Comolli may favour a move for Bastos as a ‘safer’ option, as he knows the player well from his time spent in France.

The former Lille man has impressed following his €18million move to Lyon in 2009 and is seen as an ideal replacement for the outgoing Paul Konchesky who has been exiled to Championship side Nottingham Forest no sooner after he moved to Anfield just over six month’s ago.

Glenn Johnson has been temporarily deployed as a makeshift left-back with academy graduate Martin Kelly impressing in the right-back berth, but a long-term signing has been made a priority when the transfer window reopens in June.

Manchester United had also expressed an interest in Bastos although they appear to be out of the running after Patrice Evra committed his future to Old Trafford last week when he signed a three-year contract extension.

That news means Madrid - who were one of the clubs keen on luring Evra away from the Barclays Premier League may turn their attention back to Bastos if they fail in a bid to sign Benfica defender Fabio Coentrao, who has also been monitored by Liverpool in recent months.

Shane Long Emerges As Surprise Summer Target

Liverpool are being linked with a shock summer move for Reading striker Shane Long.

The Irish international forward has been in fine form for the Championship outfit this season, and Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is thought to have targeted the player as a potential summer addition.

Long, who scored the winner against Liverpool in Reading's 2-1 FA Cup victory at Anfield last season, has 14 goals to his name this term and is the leading score at the Madejski Stadium for Brian McDermott's outfit.

Joe.ie reports that the player is desperate to ply his trade in the Barclays Premier League, although with Reading only six points outside the play-off places that dream could be realized in Berkshire.

Liverpool spent big on strikers in January, with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez brought into Merseyside to nulify the exit of Spaniard Fernando Torres.

Dalglish has hinted at strengthening in a number of positions in the summer too, and despite the double striker addition it appears another forward could be on the radar for Liverpool.

A left back is thought to be the club's main priority though, and the Liverpool squad is set for a major revamp in the summer.

Oscar Wendt 'Top Target' for Liverpool Left Back Role

With Paul Konchesky, Emiliano Insua and Fabio Aurelio all seeming unlikely to fill the first-team role in the future and Glen Johnson playing out of position, Liverpool's need to bring in a left back in the summer is no secret.

Emilio Izaguirre and a host of others have been floated as possible options, but now, reports in the Swedish press have revealed that FC Copenhagen's Oscar Wendt is the "top target" for the position, according to talkSPORT.

The 25-year-old Swedish international would come at a great price, as he is available for a free transfer this summer, though his strong performances for club and country have also brought about the interest of Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Liverpool scout Jakob Friis-Hansen has apparently evaluated Wendt and has confirmed interest, reports Sport.co.uk.

Liverpool Line Up Move To Sign Barcelona Youngster On Loan

Liverpool are lining up a move to sign Barcelona youngster Bojan Krkic on a season long loan next term with a view to making such a move permanent on the completion of the initial temporary deal. The Nou Camp side is reticent to sell the talented attacker but is also aware that the Spanish international is growing increasingly disenchanted by his lack of first team football.

Anfield Director of Football Damien Comolli, who helped bring Giovani to Tottenham from Barcelona during his spell at White Hart Lane, is a big fan of the 20 year old starlet who has become something of a cult hero at the Catalan giants and believes he can convince Pep Guardiola to allow the loan move to become a reality.

Bojan is now in his fourth season in the Barca first team set up and is arguably no nearer securing a regular first team spot with the likes of David Villa and the up and coming wide man Pedro forcing themselves ahead of him in the pecking order. The recent arrival of Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay has further restricted his playing time and things look likely to come to a head in the summer.

Though Bojan is tied down to a long term contract it is thought that loaning the pint sized striker, who also plays effectively out wide, is an idea that Barcelona are willing to entertain as it would in many ways kills two birds with one stone. More playing time will help appease a player who clearly wants to make it at the La Liga champions whilst also helping to hone his skills with competitive football.

Liverpool could well do with more attacking options as apart from new signings Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll the Merseyside club’s fire-power is seemingly non-existent. Whilst Dirk Kuyt can pitch in with important goals he is by no means prolific and the likes of David N’Gog, Milan Jovanovic and Joe Cole have alls failed to shine at the club.

John Aldridge: Martin Kelly Will Be A Big Loss For Liverpool FC

It was sad to see Martin Kelly limping off at Upton Park.

I really feel for the young defender because he’s been playing so well.

I’m a big fan of Kelly – what you see is what you get with him. He’s a 100 per center and it was typical that he pulled his hamstring going full pelt down the wing.

Kelly has been linked with an England call-up and it was no surprise to see Fabio Capello at Anfield last week to watch him.

Anyone who is keeping England’s regular right-back out of that position for his club has to be worth a look.

Capello has talked about how he’s building for the future and I’m sure Kelly is going to be a part of that.

I’ve got no doubt he’s got the quality to make the step up to international football.

My only worry is that he’s had a few of these injuries. I just hope he can get over them because he’s an exciting talent.

Christian Poulsen Keen To Remain At Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen has revealed he has every intention of remaining at the Merseyside club.

The former Sevilla and Juventus player has failed to make an impact at the Reds, and has been linked with a move to Danish side Copenhagen at season's end.

"At the end of the season, I will evaluate what to do about my future," the 31-year-old told The Daily Star. "There are many factors to take into consideration.

"I am happy here, as is my family. I have the full support of the side."

The Denmark international has played 12 matches for the English side this campaign, but has struggled to find a starting XI spot since Kenny Dalglish took over the club from Roy Hodgson.

Poulsen joined the team from the Bianconeri for £4.5 million. Liverpool currently sit in sixth position on 39 points.

Liverpool FC Reserves Go Top After Pacheco And Suso Get On The Scoresheet

Spanish duo Suso and Dani Pacheco fired Liverpool Reserves to the top of the Barclays Premier Reserve League North table after a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers on Monday night.

John McMahon’s side leapfrogged Sunderland after goals in each half from the Spanish forwards.

Liverpool dominated for much of the first half but couldn’t find a way through in the early stages, despite Tom Ince and Steve Irwin both going close.

But on 25 minutes Liverpool took the lead. Jay Spearing and Ince sent Gerardo Bruna down the right-hand side of the area and he then played it inside for Suso to poke a low shot past Blackburn keeper Jake Kean.

Blackburn tried to hit back but Liverpool were unlucky not to add to their goal when Nikola Saric sent Ince through but he was denied by brilliant recovering tackle from Jackson Ramm.

Emmanuel Mendy blocked well from a Tom Hitchcock effort and Zak Aley went close with a header from a corner.

Liverpool gave a debut to Conor Thomas, the England youth international on loan from Coventry, as he replaced Spearing with 20 minutes left.

Then with seven minutes Pacheco sealed the points when he found space in the area before firing an excellent left-footed strike beyond the helpless Kean in the Blackburn goal.

Ince had three chances in the last few minutes to make the scoreline more emphatic, but on each occasion he was stopped by keeper Kean.

But in the end the two goals were enough to seal victory.