Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Liverpool Duo Stewart Downing & Andy Carroll In England Squad

On Sunday, Manager Fabio Capello named his squad for England’s final Euro 2012 qualifier in Montenegro and it includes two Liverpool players. Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll will lead the Anfield contingent ahead of Friday’s game, the FA reports.

The 22 year-old striker Carroll has appeared three times for England and scored one goal. He is contention to start for his country alongside Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney.

Downing is looking to add to his 24 caps and could start on the left side of Capello’s midfield.

He is in good form for Liverpool since joining the club in the summer from Aston Villa. He has appeared in eight games and provides a genuine threat to opposing fullbacks.

Midfielder Steve Gerrard was sensibly omitted by Capello. The Liverpool captain only recently returned to action after a six-month layoff to cure a persistent groin problem. He has played a part of only three games and has yet to appear in the starting 11 for the club.

Liverpool's other England international, Glen Johnson, is out due to a hamstring strain.

Carroll Thanks Reds For Support

Merseyside derby hero Andy Carroll dedicated his Goodison Park strike to everyone who has stood by him during his short time at Liverpool.

The £35million striker scored the crucial opening goal against city rivals Everton on Saturday, his first in the Premier League since April.

The former Newcastle forward has only scored four times in total in all competitions since his big money move in January

However, he hopes his derby strike can kick-start his season and wanted to thank those who have backed him over the past few months.

"The goal is for everyone really, Kenny, the others lads and the fans. Everyone who has stood by me," the 22-year-old told the Liverpool Daily Post.

"It is a great feeling but it doesn't really matter who scores the goals as long we get the three points and I thought it was great we did it here.

"The dressing room was just buzzing afterwards. Everyone was over the moon. This is by far the highlight of my time here, easily.

"Scoring against Everton and beating them at their place is special but you have got to keep it going.

"We've got Man United next game and I've got to make sure that I keep doing well week in and week out now."

Stewart Downing Backs Andy Carroll To Get More Goals

Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has hailed team-mate Andy Carroll and backed the striker to go from strength to strength following his first Premier League goal of the season.

Downing moved to Anfield in the summer in a £20 million move from Aston Villa and has made a good impression, and believes that Carroll will get a lot of confidence from his opening goal in the Merseyside derby.

"Andy's off the mark now and we're all delighted for him," Downing told the club's official website.

"Even without scoring, he's been doing really well for us.

"But getting a goal is a real bonus and for it to happen in the derby is extra special for him.

"He deserved it for his all-round play and it was a great finish.

"Andy is a quality striker and I'm sure he'll build on this. It was such an important goal as this was a big win for us.

"Obviously coming here [to Goodison] and winning means a lot to the fans but the main thing for us was getting the three points."

Everton Pledge Firm Action

Everton have vowed to take 'firm and far-reaching action' against anyone who is found to have thrown objects at Liverpool players during Saturday's Merseyside derby.

Objects - including what appeared to be at least one coin and a number of plastic bottles - were seen being hurled at the likes of Luis Suarez and Craig Bellamy at Goodison Park over the weekend.

The Football Association may take action but must first receive referee Martin Atkinson's version of events in his official match report.

Everton are working closely with Merseyside Police to examine video footage from the match, in which the Toffees had Jack Rodwell controversially sent off and conceded second-half goals to Andy Carroll and Suarez to lose 2-0.

"We are fully aware of the incidents which occurred during Saturday's derby game," club director of communications Ian Ross told Everton's official website.

"We are currently working with Merseyside Police on collating and analyzing all available CCTV footage of the incidents.

"If we can identify any supporter who threw anything - and we mean anything - on to the pitch on Saturday we will take immediate firm and far-reaching action.

"This behaviour is totally unacceptable and will be rightly condemned by all right-thinking Evertonians - and that is 99.9% of our fan base."

Liverpool Join Manchester United In Chase For Dortmund Star

Liverpool is ready to battle Manchester United, AC Milan and Juventus in their attempts to sign Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa.

Kagawa, 22, is rated one of the best young midfielders in the Bundesliga and has alerted several big clubs across Europe.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is keen to add some fresh faces to his squad in January and reports in Germany suggest he has sent scouts to watch the Japanese international in action.

Kagawa has a contract with Borussia Dortmund until June 2013 and Liverpool will have to spend at least £18m if they want to sign the talented star.

But they face stiff competition as both AC Milan and Juventus are also hoping to clinch his signature in January.

Manchester United has also been keen on Kagawa in the past but it appears they have cooled their interest, which could let Liverpool in.

England Defender Reveals Liverpool Advances

Leighton Baines has revealed that Liverpool hatched a plan to snatch him away from Everton during the summer transfer window.

The England full back, linked with Manchester City among others, has quickly turned into one of the Toffees' star turns with his dazzling crosses and runs from the left-back position.

But Baines says that despite the interest from Liverpool, there was only one place he wanted to play his football.

"I was made aware of it, but as far as I am concerned, it was never an option," he said.

"When you're from Liverpool, it's either Liverpool or Everton, one and not the other.

"For me, it wouldn't have got beyond the story stage. You are one and you stick with that - you don't do both.

"If you're brought up in the area and know what it means to everyone, you understand it more. Once you know the people and you're a part of it, it's not something you do.

"My family is still split," said the defender. "There has been no crossover to Everton from the Reds in my family since I joined the club. They still want Liverpool to win.

The Everton defender also says that interest from Bayern Munich was also strong, and Baines admits playing at the highest level is something that appeals.

"It wouldn't be ideal leaving this league, but I do have ambitions to get to the Champions League level and hopefully the tide will turn at some point and enable us to do that here," he said.

"It would mean a lot to do it here. It has been a while since Everton were at that level and it looks a tougher task, given the money other teams are spending.

"I do have those ambitions to play at that level. Sir Alex Ferguson said this week that the Champions League is bigger than anything and it is. It is the pinnacle and everyone would like to get there. I will just get my head down and keep doing what I am doing."

Adam Advice Helps Reds Starlet

Jonjo Shelvey has thanks Liverpool teammate Charlie Adam for his advice after impressing on loan debut for Blackpool.

The England youth international described his first appearance for the Tangerines as 'perfect' after scoring from distance with a free kick in a 5-0 romp against Bristol City.

Ian Holloway has reportedly been tracking the teenager for some time, and Shelvey admits the short-term move came about after conversations with Scottish international Adam, who was Blackpool captain for their Npower Championship promotion and subsequent relegation last term.

"I had been to see Kenny Dalglish and asked if I could go on loan to get some games. I had read things in the paper and seen that Blackpool was interested, as well as a few other clubs," said the playmaker.

"But I wanted to come here because it is local to Liverpool and has great fans. I spoke to Charlie Adam about it and he told me to come to the club.

"Charlie told me how passionate the supporters are and I witnessed that on Saturday - it was pretty thrilling to play in front of them. I am already looking forward to the next home match against Doncaster because I can't wait to play in front of them again."

Holloway is understandably delighted to have the former Charlton Athletic starlet at his disposal, and is predicting big things for the player in the future, not just at Bloomfield Road.

"Jonjo has been a star in the making for a long time, and sometimes when you go to a club of the size of Liverpool, where you are playing for a huge amount of money, it takes you a while to settle," said the manager.

"He is frustrated he isn't playing, so let's give him some games. I was confident enough to put him straight in because I have been waiting for him."

Reds Launch New Partnership

Liverpool FC's history is littered with winning combinations - and now they are hoping to help conquer the academic world with another unique partnership.

The Reds have struck up an affiliation with Laureate Online Education - the online partner of the University of Liverpool - to help promote the institute's web-based degrees.

The collaboration will see Laureate use LFC channels in order to offer fans an accessible and affordable opportunity to study and gain a degree level qualification.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool FC's Managing Director, said: "This partnership brings together two of the city of Liverpool's great institutions, with a combined history spanning over 200 years.

"We are honoured to have such a world class educational institution on Liverpool FC's doorstep, and are honoured to be working in partnership with Laureate."

Over 6,500 students worldwide are currently studying one of the University of Liverpool's 100 per cent online postgraduate degrees in: Management, Information Technology, Law, Health, Psychology and Education.