Monday, July 25, 2011

Rush Backs Suarez & Carroll To Bring Success To Liverpool

Liverpool legend Ian Rush has backed Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez to forge a successful strike partnership and bring success to the club.

The duo joined the Reds in the January transfer window but Carroll's injury problems meant Suarez was often partnered by Dirk Kuyt or deployed as a lone striker.

But Rush, who enjoyed a partnership alongside Kenny Dalglish in attack during his time at Liverpool, insists the players can hit it off well and cause problems to opposing teams when they are paired together this season.

"I think if they can gel, which they should be able to, the partnership between Carroll and Suarez could be a really big thing," he said on the club's official website.

"It doesn't matter that they are from different backgrounds. Actually, Kenny and I didn't speak much off the pitch.

"I talk to him far more now than I ever did when we were playing together. We just fitted in because we had different skills.

"I had speed and could finish chances, and he had the most amazing football brain.

"I've watched Andy getting his fitness up to standard on the club's Far East tour and when Suarez gets back from international duty and the two start training together, I'm sure they'll build up a partnership.

"The potential is fantastic. Andy came to us with injuries last season, but in any case your first spell at a club like Liverpool is always an adjustment.

"People forget that I struggled a bit in my first season. But I've no doubt it will come right for him - and quickly, too."

Liverpool Favourites To Land Enrique After He Slams Newcastle Board

Newcastle United left-back Jose Enrique could be on the verge of leaving St. James Park after launching an attack on the club's transfer policy.

The Spaniard has been linked with a move away from the north east for a number of months after refusing to sign a new contract with Newcastle and has indicated that he would like to move to a bigger club.

Both Arsenal and Liverpool have been touted as a possible destination for the 25-year-old, but it would seem that the Reds are the favourites as manager Kenny Dalglish looks to make a left-back the last signing of the summer.

Dalglish has already signed Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing and is keen to bring Enrique to the club before the start of the season.

It appears Enrique is determined to force a move and after refusing to sign a contract extension has now blasted the club via social network site Twitter.

"The club is allowing all the major players of the team to go. Seriously, do you think it is the fault of the players? Andy (Carroll), nobby (Kevin Nolan) etc etc.

"This club will never again fight to be among the top 6 again with this policy."

Enrique later paid tribute to the Newcastle fans, adding: "I think you fans are the best and you deserve the best, not what they are doing with the club. Thanks to everyone for supporting me."

The attacking full-back joined Newcastle from Villarreal in 2007 and has gone on to impress during his spell on Tyneside. Should Liverpool attempt to land the defender then it is believed that they would need to bid in the region of £8million.

Pacheco Reveals Norwich Interest

Out-of-favour Liverpool striker Dani Pacheco has revealed he would be interested in a return to Norwich in the future.

Pacheco became an immediate favourite with Canaries fans last season during a short loan spell at Carrow Road in which he made six appearances.

Norwich boss Paul Lambert is still on the look-out to strengthen his squad if the right player becomes available and the 20-year-old admitted he would consider rejoining the Canaries if things continue to not work out for him at Liverpool.

Pacheco has made only 14 first team appearances for the Reds since joining them in 2007.

The Spain U21 international told Spanish daily newspaper Diaro Sur: "I hoped for a lot more (at Liverpool); why should I deny it?

"I was told I was going to have opportunities; quite simply, if they don't give me more opportunities, I am very clear I want to leave.

"Above all, I want to play and if I have to leave to do that then there will be no problem.

"Some day I would like to return home. If it happens, it happens. I've become very fond of Norwich and their fans. It's another option for the future and I'll have to assess it."

Jol Looking At Poulsen

Fulham boss Martin Jol has made a £1.5m approach for Liverpool midfielder Christian Poulsen, according to reports.

Jol signed Czech under-21 star Marcel Gecov last week but remains keen on bolstering his squad ahead of the new season and speculation suggests that Poulsen is one of his targets.

The Denmark international is facing an uncertain future at Liverpool having made only 21 appearances for the Reds last term and looks to have fallen further down the midfield pecking order over the summer following the arrivals of Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson.

Liverpool appear ready to sell Poulsen but the transfer fee could be the sticking point with Fulham's Premier League rivals likely to want to recoup the majority of the £5 million fee they paid for him last summer.

Bayern Munich Make Approach For Daniel Agger

Bayern Munich is interested in Liverpool defender Dan Agger.

The Mirror says Bayern Munich have expressed an interest in defender Agger.

The Dane is only thinking of staying with Liverpool for the coming season, despite Bayern’s long-term interest.

Liverpool, however, need to sell if they’re to bring in more signings this summer.

Fiorentina Monitor Aquilani

Alberto Aquilani's long-term future at Liverpool remains shrouded in doubt as Fiorentina continues to monitor his situation.

The 27-year-old returned back from a season-long loan with Juventus last term after the Italian club failed to match Liverpool's valuation of the midfielder.

Aquilani has been impressive in pre-season for the Reds and even drew praise from owner John W Henry.

Henry described the playmaker as "our missing link last year" after his performance against a Malaysia XI.

But a return to Italy remains a possibility, although his agent is keen to hear Liverpool's plans for the player before a decision is made on his fate.

"We must still talk with Fiorentina and Liverpool," Franco Zavaglia told the Adnkronos agency.

"Aquilani is still a Liverpool player. We need to talk to them to see what their plans are for the new season and then we will see.

"We are evaluating the situation with both parties before we make any decision."

Reds Say Gerrard Is On Course

Liverpool have moved to quell reports that Steven Gerrard could be set to miss up to the first two months of the season, after claims that his groin injury is worse than first thought.

A Sunday newspaper had written that the club was braced for the fact they will have to start the new Premier League campaign without their skipper after complications arose in the recovery from his current injury.

Such a layoff would also force him to miss England's international friendly with Netherlands on August 10 and struggle to be fit for the Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales on September 6, but the Reds are adamant the midfielder has not suffered any sort of setback.

"Steven Gerrard's rehabilitation is progressing as planned," the club told ESPNsoccernet.

Gerrard, 31, did not travel with the club on their tour of Asia as he continues his recovery on Merseyside.

Downing and Henderson Insist There’s More To Come From Liverpool FC

New signings Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson believe there is much more to come after their Liverpool debut ended in disappointing defeat.

The Anfield outfit’s pre-season preparations suffered a setback when they were soundly beaten 3-0 at npower Championship side Hull City on Saturday.

Downing and Henderson, along with goalkeeper Alexander Doni, were all making their first appearances for the club following their arrivals during the transfer window.

Downing almost scored within three minutes of being introduced at half-time but was denied by a save from goalkeeper Adriano Basso.

And the former Aston Villa man said: “It could have been a dream debut. I thought it was in to be honest but it was a great save from the keeper.

“We created a lot of chances but just didn’t put them away – hopefully we’re saving that for the season.

“It’s been good training, I’ve enjoyed it up to now and it was nice to be out there. A disappointing result but pre-season is all about fitness.”

Of life at Liverpool, Downing added: “It’s brilliant so far. It’s a top football club and I’m getting looked after very well! Hopefully I can make an impact and do my best.

“I did a week at Aston Villa and a week here so I just want to get out there, get underway, get the debuts out of the way.”

Henderson arrived at Liverpool last month but sat out the recent tour to the Far East due to his involvement in the UEFA European Under-21 championships.

And he said: “I feel part of it now. It was a little bit frustrating watching them on the telly but it was good to have a rest.

“It wasn’t a good result but that’s what pre-season is about and we’ll learn from our mistakes.

“I think I’ve settled in well so far and hopefully I can keep doing so.”

Dalglish believes the duo, along with goalkeeper Doni, are settling in well at Anfield but will not be happy with their first experience in a Liverpool shirt.

“They’re very comfortable,” said the manager. “It’s an easy place to come and settle, it’s very welcoming, but they’ll not be too satisfied getting back on the bus after that.”

Reds To Fulfil Norway Fixture Despite Terror Attacks

Liverpool is to fulfil next Monday’s friendly in Oslo in the wake of the terrorist attacks which have rocked Norway.

The Reds enjoy huge support in the Scandinavian country and a sell-out crowd of 25,000 is expected for the clash with Valerenga at the Ullevaal Stadium.

One of Friday’s two attacks saw a bomb go off outside government buildings in the capital – three miles from where the match will be held.

Liverpool is continuing to monitor the situation but as it stands there is no talk of postponing the trip.

An Anfield spokesman said: “At this stage there is nothing to indicate the game will not go ahead.”

Kenny Dalglish’s players wore black armbands in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Hull City in respect for those killed.

Reds managing director Ian Ayre said: “Everyone at the football club was shocked to hear the news and see the television pictures coming out of Norway.

“Some of our most passionate fans are Norwegian and we count them as friends as well as supporters.

“The team is due to play in Norway on August 1. Ahead of that, we want our fans to know we are thinking of them at this terrible time.”