Monday, August 08, 2011

Suarez Can Eclipse Tevez

The only way is up for star striker Luis Suarez, according to Liverpool captain Steve Gerrard.

The Uruguayan proved a smash hit at Anfield in the second half of last season following his January arrival from Ajax.

Suarez also lit up the Copa America as his country won the competition this summer, and Gerrard thinks his club-mate can prove to be an even better player than Carlos Tevez.

The Liverpool skipper said: "Luis is a special player, he really is. He's so good. His movement, his touch, his awareness and the way he takes his goals is fantastic.

"It's natural you are going to compare him to Tevez because of his build, his shape and the way he plays. But I think he can go on to be even better."

Kuyt Expects Carroll Hot Streak

Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt has warned the Premier League that Andy Carroll is ready to live up to his star billing this season.

The £35million man demonstrated flashes of his ability in the second half of last season after completing his record-breaking move to Anfield, but he was frustrated by injury.

Carroll, though, scored his third pre-season goal when netting against Valencia on Saturday and Kuyt thinks it is a sign of things to come from his team-mate.

Ahead of next Saturday's campaign-opener against Sunderland, the Dutchman said in the LiverpoolEcho: "Andy is going to be top quality for us this season.

"It was difficult for him when he arrived because he had an injury. Then he played a few games and did very well but got another injury.

"Now he's had a full pre-season and has scored in his last two games. Hopefully he'll get another one next weekend.

"Andy is very strong in the air and you can also play it into his feet. He's a top striker and I'm sure he will do well and score a lot of goals for us."

It is a new-look Liverpool squad this season following the signings of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Alexander Doni.

Neven Subotic Emerges On Anfield Radar

Liverpool have made an enquiry over Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic, according to reports.

The Sunday People claims the Serbian has rejected the possibility of a move to Anfield though, with the Reds' interest immediately falling flat over the £13 million-rated centre back.

Kenny Dalglish is thought to be in the market for defenders after a disappointing pre-season, with Liverpool conceding a plethora of goals before yesterday's 2-0 win over Valencia.

A left back is thought to be the club's main priority, with Spanish full back Jose Enrique the favourite to join Liverpool amidst a plethora of linked players.

Whilst Subotic is reportedly keen to play English football, the defender is claimed to want Champions League football, something Liverpool are unable to offer the player this season, unlike Dortmund, who won the Bundesliga last term.

With the 22-year-old target staying in Germany, Liverpool will now have to take their search for a player in the position elsewhere, with Scott Dann a defender also thought to be on the Merseysiders' radar.

Charlie Adam: Playing Regularly Is More Important Than Hefty Wages

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam insists that playing regularly will always trump big wages.

The Reds midfielder began his career with Scottish giants Rangers and remained at Ibrox for six years, during which time he was sent out on loan on three occasions.

The last time the 25-year-old was dispatched on a temporary move elsewhere was to Blackpool in 2009. And he eventually joined the Seasiders to play regularly and establish himself by putting in strong performances.

Now the former Gers man is believed to have been handed a contract worth £60,000-a-week on Merseyside, but still hopes to play regularly at his new club.

"I’ve always been confident in my own ability to play at the highest level," said Adam, according to The Sunday Mirror. "But up until last year when Blackpool was in the Premier League I had never been given the opportunity to prove it.

"There’s no better feeling than walking out at three o’clock on a Saturday to play football. Every footballer would tell you that – or they should do. It doesn’t matter how much money you earn, playing is the most important thing.

"That’s what I have looked forward to since I was a boy and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do that and be successful at Liverpool. It’s like when people talk about taking steps forward and taking steps backward.

"But for me, it’s all about playing. It’s no good sitting on the sidelines at a top club. I’d prefer to play every week somewhere else. That’s all I have wanted to do since I was a boy.

"That’s why it makes me laugh when people say I took a step down leaving Rangers for Blackpool. For me it was a step forward. In fact, to go from not playing at Rangers to playing every week at Blackpool was a massive step forward.

"They looked after me, gave me an opportunity to come to England, and now I’m a Liverpool player."

The Reds currently have a plethora of midfielders, as Adam has to compete with Steven Gerrard, Lucas, Raul Meireles, Joe Cole, Alberto Aquilani and Jordan Henderson for a place in the team.

He said: "At every club there are players who bring different qualities to the team and it is all about learning to complement one another.

"I am a piece of the jigsaw. The manager is putting together a package here and he obviously sees me as part of that."

Dirk Kuyt Welcomes Competition For Places At Liverpool

Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt says he is delighted by the club’s transfer activity this summer and is optimistic about their prospects of success this season.

Kuyt has been one of the most consistent performers at Anfield since arriving from Feyenoord in 2006 despite often being deployed out of position on the right flank, even finishing as the club’s top scorer last term with 15 goals.

However, the summer arrivals of Jordan Henderson from Sunderland and Stewart Downing from Aston Villa have raised questions over whether Kuyt will be able to hold down a regular first team place this season.

But the Dutchman is not dwelling on any such concerns, instead choosing to concentrate on the positive aspects of the Merseyside giants’ summer strengthening.

"I am very happy with the signings we have made this summer and it was good for them to have their first game at Anfield," Kuyt told the club's official website after Liverpool’s 2-0 friendly victory over Valencia on Saturday.

"Everyone wants to play, but rivalry is something that in my opinion belongs to a club such as Liverpool. That's what should happen, you have to double up in every position.

"We want to progress and move forward and to do that you need more than 11 good players."

Liverpool FC Hopeful Glen Johnson Will Shrug Off Valencia Injury

Liverpool is hopeful Glen Johnson will be available for the start of the Premier League season after the defender limped out of action at the weekend.

Johnson lasted only seven minutes of Saturday’s showpiece friendly against Valencia at Anfield before pulling up with a thigh problem.

The right-back was immediately ruled out of the England squad for the Wembley friendly against Holland on Wednesday.

But Liverpool and the player are confident scans will show no serious damage and that he will be fit for the season opener at home to Sunderland in five days’ time.

Liverpool ended their pre-season preparations with a 2-0 win over Valencia thanks to goals from Andy Carroll and Dirk Kuyt.

Lucas Leiva made his first appearance of pre-season having had an extended break following his participation in the Copa America with Brazil, while compatriot Fabio Aurelio also returned to the fold after recovering from a calf problem that had hampered his preparations.

And Aurelio believes Liverpool’s lack of European football could work in his favour this season.

“My problem has been the injuries and I'm aware of that but I still believe I can be better than in the past and more available,” said the left-back.

“This season we have our games mostly once a week so it could be a good season for me to have a run of games and fill that gap.

“I had an injury to my calf at the beginning of pre-season so I've been working in the gym and on the bike. I have been involved with the team in the last week.

“I'm very pleased to have time on the pitch, especially because I felt very well. It was a good test after just one week with the team. Physically I didn't feel behind the others.”

Of the coming season, Aurelio added: “The first target is getting in the Champions League and once we get that, then we can look for more.

“The mood among the players is one of excitement. I think everyone is anxious to start the season. Everyone is expecting a lot from us with the signings but we have to look at the long-term as well – a few new players have arrived and they'll need time to settle in.

“Some of them already feel good in the red shirt so hopefully we can do well from the start of the season.”

Stanley Park Is Still The Best Option For Liverpool FC’s Redevelopment Plans

Former chief executive Rick Parry expects Liverpool’s owners to build a new stadium rather than redevelop Anfield.

Fenway Sports Group are still considering their options but have admitted that increasing capacity at Anfield is fraught with problems.

Parry, who was the Reds’ chief executive in 2008 when plans to build a new ground were shelved due to a lack of cash, believes FSG will conclude that taking up the lease in Stanley Park is the best way forward.

“The new owners have been very smart in not making any false promises or predictions,” he said.

“Full marks to them for taking their time to make sure they come up with the right answer.

“Initially we wanted to develop Anfield but there were too many complications. The idea of building new actually became increasingly attractive the more we studied the options.

“I can’t imagine what has changed radically that would lead you easily to a different conclusion.”

'They Did LFC Proud'

Liechtenstein Prime Minister Dr. Klaus Tschutscher has hailed Liverpool's Ability Counts team and believes they have done the club proud during their week-long stay in Switzerland.

Although they were beaten in the final of the European Disabled football tournament by FC Zurich in Ruggell on Saturday, the Reds made a big impression on everybody they encountered.

Indeed, following the final whistle, Dr. Tschutscher made his way onto the pitch to speak to the Liverpool players and enjoy a kick about with them.

He told "As a former sports minister, I was very proud to be able to meet them and it was a very important moment.

"They have done the club proud. I think they have made us proud as well and I hope they will go back home with good memories.

"Sport is a good way of opening doors and building bridges between non-disabled and disabled people. It's been good to see the players integrating and when you see that, you see the real use of sport in learning fairness and togetherness."

Dr. Tschutscher also revealed his fondness for Liverpool and admitted he'd love to take in a game at Anfield sometime in the near future.

He said: "My first shirt I had was a Liverpool shirt. That was some years ago, but I have never been to Anfield. I hope I will have the chance to see a game in that important stadium."

His sentiments were echoed by Swiss politician Hildegard Fassler, who believes the Ability Counts squad are an example to everyone.

She said: "Unfortunately I did not see them play, but I was very impressed with the manner in which they and the U16s have been mixing together. It's been very good for them (Ability Counts squad) to come here.

"They have done Liverpool proud with the way they have behaved, laughed, played and integrated.

"The club can be very proud they have such a team and that they have taken them abroad. They are an example for everyone."