Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Steve Clarke Chasing Brazilian Talent On International Break

Steve Clarke has admitted to heading to the Brazil v Ghana game at Craven Cottage on Monday night, with the Liverpool first team coach looking for future talent.

“You can always pick up a game that’s interesting, whether it’s by television coverage or getting down to watch it,” Clarke said of his plans for the international break.

“I’m actually penciled in to go and watch Lucas play against Ghana. There’s always something you can do and always a game you can watch – and who knows? You might identify a talent for the future.”

Liverpool currently has Fabio Aurelio and Lucas Leiva on their books from Brazil, and the Reds signed goalkeeper Doni in the last transfer window.

But with young stars Neymar and Paulo Henrique Ganso being targeted by top English clubs, Liverpool are hoping to steal the march on their rivals and look at the best talent coming out of Brazil in the friendly.

Liverpool has made seven signings this summer in the hopes of getting back to their glory days and challenging for trophies in England and Europe. And with the January window coming around the corner, the club is already looking at potential targets to continue to bolster their squad.

John Aldridge: Stoke Will Provide Tough Test For Liverpool FC

Liverpool hasn’t won at the Britannia Stadium in the Premier League and they will be in for another tough game at Stoke on Saturday.

Tony Pulis has done some great business in the transfer market and it’s been a real show of ambition by Stoke.

They’ve brought in the likes of Peter Crouch, Matthew Upton, Jonathan Woodgate and Cameron Jerome and look set for a good season.

They play to their strengths and we all know about Rory Delap’s long throws.

Hopefully he sprains his hand before Saturday!

Liverpool just rolled over at Stoke last season and was comprehensively beaten but now we’ve got better players to deal with what they throw at us.

If Glen Johnson isn’t back, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jamie Carragher at right back with Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger in the centre.

I don’t think it’s the kind of game to throw in Sebastian Coates. If Coates plays his first match at Stoke he might be left wondering what English football is all about.

Suarez Unfazed By Attention

Liverpool hot-shot Luis Suarez insists he is not worried about becoming a marked man from rival defences after lighting up the Premier League.

Suarez has been a revelation at Anfield since arriving during the January transfer window from Ajax and he has carried the form he showed last season into the new campaign.

The Uruguayan ace claims he is not worried about defenders doing their homework on him and he insists he does not feel under pressure to avoid second season syndrome.

"I feel no pressure at all. In fact when a defender studies you, it almost makes it easier because you just don't do what he expects you to," Suarez told the club's official magazine.

"If he thinks you are going to go to your right, you go to your left and so on, and you just keep switching it round so you are hard to read.

"It keeps you on your toes but really it's harder for the defender because he can't know what you are going to do."

Suarez, who helped Uruguay win this summer's Copa America, claims he has not set himself a goals target for the season despite hitting three in his four games.

"I don't set a goals target and I never really have personal goals, just collective goals for the team," added Suarez.

"That is far more important than what I do myself. It is about team targets."

Suarez admits Liverpool's main objective for the season is to get back in the Champions League, but insists they will try and challenge for the Premier League title.

"We want to get Liverpool back into the Champions League and maybe win a cup," continued Suarez. "But we also want to get as high as we can in the league. It might be a little bit early but if there's a chance to win the league, we will go for it."

Liverpool Plan Nacional Link After Coates Purchase

Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli has revealed the club are looking to tap into the talent emerging from Uruguay with two internationals from the country now at the club.

Liverpool signed 20-year-old Sebastian Coates from Nacional late last month and he will link up with countryman and former Nacional player Luis Suarez, who joined in January from Ajax.

Comolli says Liverpool are now looking to establish a more formal relationship with Nacional on the back of the Coates deal.

"I've got to thank the people from Nacional, the directors and their chairman, because they have been very helpful," he told the club's official website. "They tried to help the player complete his will, which was to come here.

"They tried to find a solution for us to make it happen. We now have strong links with them because both Luis Suarez and Sebastian Coates have come from this club and been developed by their academy.

"We are talking about a partnership with them that we would like to create over the next three, four or five years, to see if there is more talent coming through. Maybe we can help them to develop their standards and in turn have the ability to bring those young players here.

"During the Copa America they had 14 players out of the 23 who had at some point played at Nacional or were developed by Nacional. That is a fantastic record for their academy."

Comolli added: "It is very interesting for us. ''We already have a strong link with South America through Lucas (Leiva), Maxi (Rodriguez) and Luis.

"Since it's been such a success with Luis - and I'm sure it will be for Sebastian - why don't we try to make it an even bigger success by bringing in other players from Nacional?"

Martin Kelly Delighted With Capello's Words Of Praise

Liverpool youngster Martin Kelly has revealed his delight with England manager Fabio Capello's recent words of praise.

The defender, 21, broke into the first team with the Reds under Kenny Dalglish last season and he has been reliable when called upon, though injuries have restricted his availability.

Capello recently referred to him as “really interesting” footballer who played a “good, good game” against Arsenal in Liverpool’s 2-0 victory at the Emirates.

“It's exciting as a youth England player to hear that from an England manager but I've not been up there and trained with the senior side yet," said Kelly to Liverpool’s official website

“Obviously I can still play for the under-21s and helping them qualify for the Euros is the main objective. I've been brought up to have my feet on the ground and that's where they will stay.

“I don't think you can take anything for granted in football. Things change so quickly. You've got to be on top of your game all the time, there's always competition coming in

“You've got to keep working hard because it's a short career and you have to make the most of it.

“The injury made me a stronger character. I missed nearly two years of my growth but if you keep working at it and take your chances – that's what you need to do in football.

“There are millions of kids out there looking for a chance and you've got to take it.”

Kelly is desperate to be involved in the England set-up, although he would be ecstatic if they won even without his involvement.

He said: “One of my all-time ambitions, even if I'm not in the squad, is to see England win a World Cup.

“While I'm alive I want to see England win a World Cup because I'm a massive England fan. When it comes to the World Cup and Euros I've always got the England shirt on and I'm with the lads watching it at the local pub.

“It's a massive thing to be thought of to be in that senior squad – it's great to have had a little mention off the England manager."

The defender, who has two under-21 caps, will be looking at the recent youngsters to have broken into the first team and feel that he could follow in their path.

Manchester United’s Chris Smalling is the latest promising talent to start for his country, while Andy Carroll, Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson have all made the step up in the past year.

“The word 'potential' is used a lot and I think the generation coming up that's my age, there's a really good squad there,” Kelly added.

“There is definitely the quality there to replace the people who are getting a little bit older now.

“I think it will be exciting times in the next three or four years when my generation grows up and gets into their mid-20s. We'll have a really good side.”

Danny Wilson Should Not Have Joined Reds, Says Richard Gough

Danny Wilson's move to Liverpool last summer was a mistake, at least that is according to former Rangers captain Richard Gough.

The young defender was signed in July 2010 by then Reds manager Roy Hodgson, having won the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year award for his exploits at Ibrox the previous season.

However, the 19-year-old has made only nine appearances for Liverpool - including just one league start - in what has been a testing time at Anfield for the Scotland defender.

And, says Gough, Wilson really ought to have not joined Liverpool at all as it has hampered his progress - and provides an issue for the national side.

"The move to Liverpool had its lure for Wilson, he may have doubled his wages and I understand why the former Rangers kid took it," Gough told the Scottish Sun.

"In football terms, though? It was a mistake.

"Danny would have been better staying put with Gers for another season and learning under the wise guidance of the likes of David Weir.

"If I was Wilson's agent I'd have told him to STAY at Ibrox.

"Danny has a huge future and played really well in the Denmark game but that was a friendly and it was 23 days ago.

"Since then he has played the full 90 minutes in Liverpool's 3-1 win at Exeter City in the Carling Cup. That's it."

Kenny Praises Jordan Gesture

Kenny Dalglish today praised Stuart Pearce for allowing Jordan Henderson a free week to prepare for Liverpool's fixture at Stoke on Saturday.

Henderson captained the U21s to a 6-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Thursday night but rather than retain his services for the friendly with Israel last night, Pearce instead opted to send Henderson back to Melwood.

"We're very grateful for that gesture and it was very much appreciated," Dalglish said.

"It was a good bit of common sense by Stuart Pearce. With it being a friendly he was going to look at a few other players so rather than keep Jordan with the squad he released him back to us.

"It's important clubs and international managers work together - it's all about building bridges.

"It was an intelligent decision and we thank him for that.

"Jordan did very well for the under-21s and we've been delighted with him as well."

Meanwhile, Dalglish is waiting to discover if Charlie Adam will be fit for action this weekend after picking up a knock playing for Scotland in their 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic.

"Charlie is back with us and we will just have to wait and see how he responds to treatment," he added. "It's too early to know about the weekend yet.

Terry Sets Example To Carroll

England captain John Terry believes Andy Carroll can learn from his mistakes after manager Fabio Capello questioned the Liverpool striker's lifestyle choices.

Capello stated on Monday that Carroll must drink less than the average person if he is to fulfil his potential and become an important figure for club and country.

But Terry does not feel that will be a problem and has cited his own career as a template for Carroll to follow.

The Chelsea defender admits to getting things wrong when he was starting out but thinks there is plenty of time for Carroll, 22, to become a great player.

"He's a young player who's at a very good club with a really good future," said Terry ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales on Tuesday.

"He has still got to enjoy his time away from football. I'm sure he will.

"He's a really good pro on the pitch and good around the camp. I've made my mistakes, maybe drunk a little bit too much when I was younger and gone out a little bit too much.

"But, having gone through that, at 26 or 27 you maybe look back and are glad you did it then because you don't want to do it now."