Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dalglish Wants Away Success

Kenny Dalglish has pointed to Liverpool's home form as an indication of what they are capable of.

The caretaker manager has managed to make an instant impression since taking over from Roy Hodgson, highlighted by his nine-match unbeaten run at Anfield.

But it is Liverpool's away form that has become a cause for concern and hampered the progress made under their former playing idol.

Defeats on the road have come against Blackpool, West Ham and West Brom, teams the Merseyside outfit would have expected to dispatch of.

These defeats have helped to build the sum of a staggering 10 losses on the road this term.

Newcastle will be the visitors on Sunday as the Reds go for a fourth successive victory.

And although there have been signs of a renaissance at Anfield under Dalglish, he is aware there is still much work to be done.

"You cannot have great home form and terrible away form. You may need to marry the two together," he said.

"We've had a lot of positive results at Anfield and that's a step in the right direction. We know that if we can do it at home then we can do it away too.

"The away form is something everyone would like to improve upon and if we do there will be a better chance of being successful."

Liverpool still have an outside chance of qualifying for the Europa League as they sit sixth in the table, just three points behind fifth place Tottenham.

However, they have played one game more than Harry Redknapp's team, they are still in with a chance of qualifying.

Yet, their stand-in boss, who is set to be appointed on a permanent basis in the summer, is remaining coy about their chances.

"We will play every game as it comes and see how many points we get," he added.

"The more points we get the better chance we have of finishing higher up the table.

"That is our ambition, to get three points against Newcastle on Sunday, and let's see where that takes us."

Liverpool And Arsenal Keen On Krkic

Arsenal and Liverpool are chasing Barcelona star Bojan Krkic, according to reports in Spain.

Much was expected of the young striker after his prolific form throughout the club's youth ranks, but he has so far failed to produce his best in the first team.

The 20-year-old has often struggled to break into Barca's star-studded starting line-up and has been utilized mainly from the bench in the last four seasons.

But sources in Spain have suggested that Bojan will look to move on in the summer in a bid to secure more regular first-team football.

The striker has started just seven La Liga games all season, and only 40 since his breakthrough into the first team in 2007.

Now Barcelona are reportedly ready to let him leave and Arsenal and Liverpool are among a host of clubs who are keen on making a bid for him in the summer.

Liverpool Defender Target Hints At End Of Season Move

Porto center back Rolando has hushed rumours of reaching an agreement with Liverpool already, though the star has hinted that he will consider offers to move to the Merseyside club in the summer.

“At the end of the season we’ll speak about it,” Rolando said of the interest shown by Liverpool and other English clubs.

“For now, I want to concentrate on my team and my all for them.”

Rolando’s agent recently admitted that there has been a lot of interest in the 25 year old this season, with competition hotting up for the star as the summer transfer period draws closer.

“Manchester United and Liverpool are following the player,' he revealed.

“I think something could move towards the end of the month but, for now, the clubs are both focused on the league and the Champions League.'

“There were observers to follow him from many clubs including Inter Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and Liverpool,' Rolando’s agent Peppino Tirri said.

'The player’s rating is very high. €15million? Even a little more.

Marveaux Becomes Liverpool's First Summer Signing

Liverpool has already started putting their squad together for next season's Premier League title challenge with the signing of Sylvain Marveaux.

The free transfer for the Rennes midfielder was agreed in April, with the former France Under-21 coming to the end of his contract, but the details of his Merseyside contract are now being revealed by French newspaper L'Sport.

The respected French paper reports that the attacking midfielder, previously of interest to Manchester United and Chelsea before his injury, has agreed a four-year deal with a possible fifth year based on appearances and performance.

The left-footed winger has played just 10 league games this season, having picking up a serious groin injury in November, but still achieved one goal and two assists.

And that form is believed to have attracted the attention of Liverpool's French director of football Damien Comolli, who plays a pivotal role in the club's European recruitment policy.

Liverpool Join Arsenal In Race For Florin Gardos

Liverpool is the latest club to join the race for Romanian defender Florin Gardos.

The Steaua Bucharest centre back, who can also play in a defensive midfield role, has been tracked by a number of clubs across Europe, with Arsenal, Juventus, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich all thought to be monitoring the 22-year-old.

Romanian daily newspaper Adevarul now claims Liverpool have joined the chase for the player, with director of football Damien Comolli making the player a 'high priority' amidst a host of potential summer targets.

Kenny Dalglish is thought to have a handful of defenders on his transfer shortlist, with a left back the main priority for the Scot. However, with an ageing core in the central position and Sotirios Kyrgiakos heading for the Liverpool exit door, a young replacement could be in the pipeline for the Merseysiders.

However, competition is likely to be fierce for the two-cap international, and Arsenal are known to be in the market for a central defender.

Gary Cahill and Mamadou Sakho have been heavily touted as potential summer additions at the Emirates, with Gunners' chief Arsene Wenger looking to spend part of his £40 million transfer war chest on a player in the club's problem position.

The Frenchman was searching for a player in the January transfer window, but failed to secure a signature for Arsenal either permanently or on loan. That will look to be rectified this summer, with Gardos an option for the north London outfit.

Reports in Romania claim the player is valued at €5 million, a figure Liverpool would be able to match should they pursue their interest in the player.

Agent Insists Perotti To Liverpool Is Not A Done Deal

Liverpool remains on the trail of Argentine winger Diego Perotti, although his agent insists no deal has been done.

Reports in Spain last week claimed Seville are ready to cash in on their £12million-rated player after they lined up his replacement in the form of German international Piotr Trochowski.

But Perotti's agent Alvaro Torres was quoted on radio station Onda Cero claiming: "There is nothing [to report]. The only thing we know is that some important clubs want to talk to Seville about their players and Diego will be one of them.

"But Seville are in charge of the situation and no proposal has come directly to us nor have any clubs spoken to us."

Liverpool reportedly faces competition for the highly-rated 22-year-old from Everton and Newcastle United.

Liverpool Youngster Set For Olympiakos

Liverpool goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis is set to join Greek side Olympiakos.

It is unknown whether any deal would be a short-term measure or a permanent transfer but it is believed Liverpool is keen on cutting the number of goalkeepers on their books.

The 20-year-old spent the 2009/10 campaign on loan to Accrington Stanley but has been appearing for Liverpool’s reserve team this season.

A move to Greece could be attractive for Bouzanis’ family with the shot-stopper’s mother originally from the country.

Reina: Four Wins Key To Europe

Pepe Reina is confident a quartet of victories will secure European football for Liverpool next season.

The Reds head into the final straight of the 2010-11 campaign three points adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham having played a game more.

However, the Spaniard is adamant Kenny Dalglish's side can still leapfrog the Londoners and reckons this weekend could be a pivotal moment in the race for a Europa League spot.

Reina told "We have to try to win all of our games and after we will see.

"I believe if we win them all we will be in the fifth position and that is probably the closest and most important target."

He added: "We won't win every game 5-0 like we did against Birmingham last week, but if we play with the same mentality and approach it in the same way, we have more chance of winning than losing.

"We have to take it one game at a time and the most important one is Newcastle because that is next. Tottenham have Chelsea away so there is a possibility we can pass them and take the fifth position this weekend. We have to make sure that we don't drop points at home because we also have Tottenham to come here.

"We also have two difficult away games at Fulham and Villa, so as I said, it's better to go game by game and make sure we don't drop points.

"Our home form has been the key and it is important if you want to be up there. Just look at Man United's results at home. They say everything about why they are up there so we have to be like that if we want to challenge at the top."

Reina concedes that he did not expect Liverpool to challenge for Europe prior to Kenny Dalglish's January arrival.

The Reds have since put together a sequence of results that has seen them emerge as one of the in-form teams in the second half of the season and the stopper is confident the future is bright for everyone involved at Anfield.

"I definitely could not see (Europe) it five or six months ago. But we kept fighting and turned the situation around. Now we need to do more to be even higher.

"It is down to all of us. Kenny Dalglish, Steve Clarke, Sammy Lee and all the staff have done a great job from January onwards.

"When the results are better and the team is winning people are happier and the mood in the dressing room is always better.

"Melwood is a happy place. The dressing room is quite young, loud and funny. When we have to work we are the first to do it and when it is time to joke, we like to joke and have fun too."

He continued: "I think we want to grow and we have to grow. The owners and the people in command of the 'boat' see we have to bring in some players. We have to be right in those transfers and the players that we already have can be important for the new project. I'm very optimistic and I believe we are going to be better.

"You can see that the fans are much more optimistic now. The team is playing better and that is easier for them. We have always felt their support though because they are so loyal. It is always great to have this kind of support."

Kenny Dalglish Hails 'Fantastic Servant' Jamie Carragher

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has praised defender Jamie Carragher as he approaches a landmark 665th appearance for the Merseyside club.

If selected at the weekend, Carragher will join Emlyn Hughes and Ray Clemence sitting second in the club's all-time appearances list, and Dalglish had several kind words to say about the Champions League-winning defender.

"Carra has been a fantastic servant to this football club. I don't know how far short he is of Cally's [Ian Callaghan's] record - I think he's got a wee while to go before he reaches that, but he's been great," he said to the club's official website.

The defender, who rose through the ranks at Liverpool, was also praised for his versatility and commitment by his manager.

"He's filled in loyally and comfortably in many positions for the football club and he's someone who has been very pleased to be associated with Liverpool - and we're pleased to be associated with him," he added.

Dalglish also offered advice to emerging young defenders Jack Robinson and John Flanagan, who will be looking to follow in Carragher's footsteps.

He said: "It wouldn't be bad for them to model themselves on Jamie or Steven [Gerrard].

"There are a lot of things a local lad coming through has to endure and the ones who might experience that in the future could do a lot worse than having a word with either of them because they know what lies ahead."