Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dalglish Dismisses Suarez Comparisons

Kenny Dalglish believes Luis Suarez should be able to carve out a Liverpool legacy of his own, rather than forever be compared to the Anfield king.

With the Scot's famous No.7 shirt now adorned by Suarez, comparisons between the pair were inevitable, but Dalglish wants to allow the Uruguayan the opportunity to be his own man.

Dalglish was quizzed about the similarities between himself and the Reds striker following Liverpool's 2-1 win over Wolves, in which Suarez netted his eighth goal for the Merseyside club.

And the Liverpool boss was quick to relieve the pressure on Suarez to follow in his footsteps.

"I think everyone has their own identity and it undermines the boy if you compare him with anyone else," said Dalglish.

"He is Luis Suarez. He is a fantastic player and it is not fair to compare him with others who have been here before.

"Does he benefit from working with me? I don't know - I don't speak Spanish! I don't know where he gets his ideas from but he is full of them and he certainly knows how to play.

"The fans take to him because he is so genuine and 100 per cent committed. The crowd love players like that. He has his own ideas and he is full of them. He is just a fantastic player."

Enrique Tips Carroll To Shine

Jose Enrique has no doubt Andy Carroll will reproduce the form that made Liverpool buy him for a record-breaking transfer fee.

The 22-year-old joined the Merseyside club for £35million in January from Newcastle, but a combination of injuries and a loss of form have contributed to his indifferent start at Anfield.

In contrast Luis Suarez, who along with Carroll forms the apex of Kenny Dalglish's attack, has been in scintillating form since joining the club.

On Saturday against Wolves the Uruguay international again made the difference with a goal in an impressive all-round display, while the England international saw his header rebound off a post and wasted another opportunity.

Enrique, however, is of the opinion that it's just a matter of time before Carroll is back to his marauding best.

"Everyone knows Luis is one of the best strikers in the world but he is still young and has a lot to learn," said Enrique, who played alongside the striker at Newcastle.

"I think they (Suarez and Carroll) complement each other well. Andy was unlucky not to score. Maybe he tried too many tricks with the chance at the end but I think he will score next time."

Liverpool will make the short trip across Stanley Park on Saturday to face Everton in the first Merseyside derby of the season.

The England international is yet to open his Premier League account this term but a goal against his team's longest and most fierce rivals could catapult him into Liverpool folklore.

"Against Everton would be the perfect game for him to score," added Enrique.

"The derby is a massive game bit it is just three points and we have to get points now if we want a position in the Champions League.

"We have to win these games - especially before the international break."

Kelly Eyes Derby Clash

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly is crossing his fingers he has a chance to impress in the Merseyside derby with Everton.

The Reds tackle their neighbours at Goodison Park on Saturday, although the 21-year-old knows there are no guarantees he will feature.

Kelly played in the 2-2 draw with Everton at Anfield last season, but he missed their 2-0 defeat away to the Toffees.

The talented youngster impressed in Liverpool's weekend win over Wolves and is hoping he has done enough to stay in Kenny Dalglish's side.

Kelly has been hindered by hamstring problems this year, but he insists those issues are in the past as he is now feeling 'fitter than ever'.

"I'm really looking forward to playing in the derby if I'm selected," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"I was on the bench there last season and it was a tough game. They started well and put us under pressure. We'll be looking for the win but it's a derby day and it's always difficult.

"I'm feeling good. The medical staff has worked me a lot this week to keep me on top of the hamstring injury.

"It was about being sensible against Wolves and I thought I did that. I'm made up I've played the last two games and I'm feeling fitter than ever."

Dalglish Baffled By Carroll Fuss

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish cannot understand the "obsession" with Andy Carroll's form as the £35million striker continues to search for his first Premier League goal of the season.

The England international is yet to score in five league appearances so far this season, although he was on target for the Reds in the Carling Cup second-round victory at Exeter.

England manager Fabio Capello again warned Carroll about his lifestyle earlier this month but Dalglish appears frustrated by the continued focus on the former Newcastle man, who he is convinced will prove to be a valuable long-term asset to Liverpool.

Quoted in several national newspapers this morning, Dalglish said: "I don't understand the obsession. There are other players who haven't played either. I think people are obsessed with Andy Carroll.

"He's learning, but I'm an old guy and I'm still learning. I don't understand the paranoia with Andy. People talk about him like they know him. They don't know him. They talk about his lifestyle - what lifestyle? Everybody is obsessed with Andy Carroll.

"We'll always look after him and I'm sure he'll look after us. We've spoken in the past about Andy being one for the future, not just the short term, but it's immediate for everyone.

"Some of them that aren't as fortunate as he is, their future might not be as long as Andy Carroll's."

Lucas Hails Important Reds Win

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has claimed the club's season is 'back on track' following Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Wolves at Anfield.

The Reds took an early lead through Roger Johnson's own goal, and Luis Suarez made it 2-0 for Kenny Dalglish's side relatively early. Steven Fletcher made it a tense second period though, scoring early after half-time.

With Steven Gerrard returning to fitness on Merseyside, the Brazilian is fighting for his starting spot in the Merseysiders' first XI, and will be hoping to be involved as the side look to continue improving.

"It was an important win. It was a heavy defeat at Spurs, so it was important to win in the Carling Cup and get three points in the Barclays Premier League which gives us the chance to be closer to the top four," Lucas told the official Liverpool website.
"We spoke before the game against Brighton. We needed to win, get back on track, go into the next round and come into this game with confidence - and to win too. That is what happened."

Mick McCarthy's side made it a difficult second-half for the Reds, and had chances to equalize as tension mounted at Anfield.

Lucas was happy to claim the important victory in any way possible though, with the most important thing being the three points on the board.

"It was a tough game and we had plenty of chances but only took two," he added.

"It is hard when you concede a goal early in the second half. We tried to control the game and I think we managed well.

"I think sometimes we are a bit unlucky; we twice hit the post and there were a couple of saves by the 'keeper but that means we are creating chances. If we can score more goals it will be good but it was an important win."

Liverpool FC Are Heading For Stoke In The Carling Cup

Liverpool faces another away day in the Carling Cup after being drawn against Stoke City in the last 16.

The Reds’ reward for their 2-1 win at Brighton is a tie at the Britannia Stadium to be played in the week commencing October 24.

Kenny Dalglish’s men will be looking to avenge the 1-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Potters in the Premier League earlier this month.

Liverpool has lost two and drawn two of their four visits to the Britannia since Tony Pulis’ side were promoted to the top flight.

However, the last time the clubs met in the League Cup in November 2000 the Reds hammered them 8-0.

Stoke earned their place in the fourth round after beating Tottenham on penalties.

The Boss Loves Visiting Us

In our latest column from the club's Academy, Frank McParland offers his thoughts on the NextGen Series so far and reveals which two Reds legends have visited Kirkby recently.

It's been a frustrating couple of weeks for us with regards to the NextGen Series double header against Wolfsburg.

I felt we played poorly in the first game at Anfield and were somewhat fortunate to get a point thanks to a late own goal.

However, we produced a fine display in the away fixture last Wednesday and didn't deserve to go down to a 2-0 loss.

It's one of those strange situations that can arise in football from time to time. You can pull out all of the stops and come away with nothing and yet, on another day, you will be well below the standard you are capable of and manage to get something out of the game.

The defeat in Germany was particularly hard to take as I don't think the hosts could have argued had we gone in at the interval leading by three or four. That's not an exaggeration either. If you haven't seen the highlights on LFC TV, then you should check it out as we had a whole raft of clear-cut opportunities.

Wolfsburg rode their luck and in the second half they came out and struck two quickfire goals that really knocked the stuffing out of our lads. To our credit, we kept probing away and we could even have sneaked a point had we managed to convert some of our late chances.

It's all part of the learning curve for the kids. I've said in the past that playing against different cultures and styles is important to their development and they will still take positives from this tournament.

The travelling and the way we have approached it is almost gearing them up for what a European campaign would be like in the first-team. They've faced the physical approach of the Norwegians, the well-organized Germans and the flair players of the Portuguese outfit. They have also come up against referees of different nationalities so on the whole it's a great experience for them.

We now turn our attention to our penultimate Group 2 game with Molde this Thursday. We are well aware that qualification for the knockout stage is going to be Sporting plus one of the other three teams.

We've just got to go with the old adage of taking it one game at a time. We can't underestimate Molde. We need to do our job well in that game. If we do that we give ourselves a chance.

NextGen Series aside, things have been ticking along nicely for the Academy as a whole.

The league season is underway for all age groups and there have been some entertaining games already.

A couple of weeks ago, Kenny Dalglish was down here to watch some of the younger teams in action. That was the day after the first-team's unfortunate 1-0 loss at Stoke. It was fantastic to see him there as he could have decided to give it a miss after the frustrations at the Britannia.

But the boss still loves coming to the Academy and having him visit from time to time gives us all a big lift.

We also had Ian Rush here last Monday. He ran an indoor session with the U15 and U16 strikers and gave them tips on how to improve their finishing. It's not bad being able to call upon the club's record goalscorer in all competitions, is it?

I'm sure those lads will have taken every word he said on board and it'll be a day they remember for the rest of their lives. Hopefully we'll see the benefit of it out on the pitch in the months and years ahead.

Stadium Decision Extension Given By City Council

Liverpool have been handed an extension by the city council to make a decision regarding their new stadium, according to The Daily Mail.

A decision over whether the club wishes to build a new ground at Stanley Park, or redevelop parts of Anfield was expected at the end of the month.

However, Liverpool have been given extra time to make a decision, that if the club move, with cost in the region of £400 million.

Liverpool have invested £100 million on their playing squad in the past nine months, but further investment may have to be halted fit he club decide to leave their current home.

Liverpool already have planning permission for the Stanley Park site, however, the history connected with Anfield means the club are keen to investigate how they can develop their existing home.

Reds Head For New York

Liverpool Football Club is today heading for New York to showcase the Tactics 4 Families initiative after the project was shortlisted for a prestigious Beyond Sport award.

The program has been nominated for the Sport Team of the Year accolade and as a result, Tactics 4 Families project manager Mark Chester will give a presentation at the world famous Yankee Stadium on Tuesday as part of the Beyond Sport United summit.

The audience members at the conference will each have $50 to donate to the project they're most impressed by following the presentations. Each scheme can benefit from up to a maximum of $10,000.

Reds Community Department manager Bill Bygroves will also be involved in a panel discussion about taking community work overseas, as Liverpool have done to great success over the years.

"It's fantastic for the Tactics 4 Families program," Chester said. "It's confirmation that we're doing the right thing.

"It's a pioneering project and it's great to get that recognized by an organization that is as prestigious as Beyond Sport.

"Just to be shortlisted is a great achievement."

Beyond Sport is the charitable arm of the Benchmark Sports business, who run annual award ceremonies consisting of a wide-range of categories.

Its aim is to promote, support and develop the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.

Sports clubs can apply for their individual community projects to be considered - and after LFC entered Tactics 4 Families, the initiative was shortlisted by a team of judges alongside Manchester City's 'Enterprise City' scheme, as well as programs from the Philadelphia Eagles and the Memphis Grizzlies.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Cape Town in December.