Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Dalglish Confident Loaned Out Players Will Be Better

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish believes his club will benefit from the loan system after Jonjo Shelvey became the latest player to move away on a temporary basis.

Shelvey, 19, joined Championship side Blackpool last week and put in a sparkling display to help his temporary team to a 5-0 victory on his debut, and Dalglish believes the England youth player will benefit from playing regular football.

"It's helpful to everybody," Dalglish told the club's official's website.

"Jonjo's a very promising player for us, but the difficulty for us is to get him a game.

"He needs games and it's a fantastic opportunity for Jonjo to do that. Blackpool has got a good quality player and it's educational for us because we'll get to see him play.

"It'll also be educational for Jonjo because he's playing at a good level with a good club - and another real bonus for him is he doesn't have to move house.

"It is important for us to use as many opportunities as we can to develop the players - if we can't give them games here, then we've got to look to get them playing somewhere else.

"For Jonjo it's a chance for us to see him, and for him to develop and push harder for a first-team spot here.

"We've put him out because we want him educated and to see him develop, not because we want to see him go. It's purely progress for him.

"The loan system has got various options to it that you can use it for. In Jonjo's case, it is purely for his development and benefit, and also for our benefit."

Other Anfield players currently out on loan include Alberto Aquilani at AC Milan, Joe Cole at Lille, Dani Pacheco at Rayo Vallecano and Peter Gulacsi at Hull, and Dalglish is closely monitoring their progress.

£24m Great Value For Liverpool Striker

Gary McAllister believes Luis Suarez has already proven he was well worth the £24 million Liverpool paid to sign him from Ajax in January.

Suarez has quickly established himself as one of the most feared forwards in the Barclays Premier League thanks to his supreme movement and clinical finishing.

The Uruguayan striker has scored nine times in 22 appearances for the Liverpool, with his latest strike coming in Saturday's Merseyside derby triumph.

And, according to former Liverpool midfielder McAllister, the transfer fee splashed out in order to bring Suarez to Anfield represents quite snip.

"For me, Suarez is a fantastic player," McAllister told talkSPORT. "He's looked great value at £24-25 million."

Fergie Wary Of Anfield Threat

Sir Alex Ferguson admits his Manchester United side cannot let the occasion get to them when they travel to Liverpool later this month.

United will mark their return to Premier League action after the international break with a trip to face the team they deposed as England's most successful club in May, when they clinched a record 19th league title.

The Reds have proved difficult opponents to overcome on home turf in recent seasons, with Dirk Kuyt bagging a hat-trick in last term's corresponding Premier League fixture.

Reigning champions and current leaders United are without a win at Anfield since December 2007, having suffered three consecutive defeats to their fierce rivals on Merseyside.

Manager Ferguson believes the pressure of the occasion has got to his players in the past, something he is keen to avoid when United make the short journey to Anfield on the 15th October.

"We have been poor there of late," said Ferguson. "On a couple of occasions we have been out-fought by them, which is disappointing.

"The atmosphere plays a part. Every time we go there it is as if it's the biggest game of the century."

Kelly Hails Reds Defence

Liverpool defender Martin Kelly believes their hard work on the training pitch paid off as they kept a clean sheet in the win against Everton.

The Reds kept only their second clean sheet of the season at Goodison Park on Saturday with the first shut-out coming in the victory at Arsenal in August.

Kelly revealed the defensive unit and coaching staff have been working hard to rectify the problem and he has targeted more clean sheets over the next few weeks.

"We've been working hard in training as a defensive unit," said Kelly.

"We've been trying to get the right balance between attacking and defending so that when we lose the ball we're not too open.

"We did that well against Everton. We're all made up with the clean sheet and now we want to keep more of them."

McAllister: It Will Take Time For Carroll And Henderson To Click

Gary McAllister believes it will take time for Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson to bed in at Liverpool.

Carroll moved to Anfield in January but has so far just scored four goals in 17 appearances, whilst Henderson has struggled to impress in the Reds' midfield.

But former midfielder McAllister isn’t too worried about the slow start the pair have had on Merseyside and claims the expectations at the club will have been a surprise to them.

“I think Kenny Dalglish will be pleased with how the season has gone so far,” McAllister said. “He’s just getting his new players bedded in.

“Stewart Downing has done particularly well and, of the new singings, he’s done the best.

“It’s going to take time for Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson. The expectations at Liverpool will be a surprise for them.

“They’re young, they’ve just moved away from home for the first time and there’s a lot of pressure on them. They’re good players though.”

Dalglish Admits Midfield Flop Likely To Make Anfield Exit

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has given his thoughts on the loan system that has allowed him to send out a number of fringe players in order to gain experience.

While the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Peter Gulacsi are still considered potential stars of the future, Dalglish has admitted that one player could soon leave on a permanent deal.

Midfielder Alberto Aquilani has once again returned to Italy on a one year loan deal and Dalglish believes that the player could move to Milan at the end of the season.

"For Alberto, it was an opportunity for him to go back home. If he does well, then they [AC Milan] will purchase him," admitted the Scot.

The former Roma star has struggled to make an impression at Anfield and last season was sent to Juventus were he enjoyed a successful spell and was expected to compete for a place in the Liverpool first team.

However, Dalglish managed to sign a number of central midfielders over the summer and Aquilani was once again sent out on-loan. However, this time it seems the AC Milan is more likely to want to sign the player at the end of the season.

Aldridge: Gerrard Must Start Against Manchester United

Liverpool FC was making hard work of the Merseyside derby – and then Kenny Dalglish introduced the substitutes. We did not look like we were going to break Everton down and we missed a great opportunity when Dirk Kuyt’s penalty was saved by Tim Howard at the end of the first half. With 10 men, Everton just sat back and we were struggling but it was game long marred by the wrongful decision to send off Jack Rodwell.

Everton were on top at that point, there’s no doubt about that, but it was building into a decent derby and ready to ignite. Liverpool got a bit of luck because of negligent refereeing but it was that slice of good fortune we were due. After the Reds were on the end of baffling decisions at Stoke City and on the opening day when Phil Dowd failed to send Sunderland’s Kieron Richardson off, we were promised that everything would even itself out over the course of the season.

Maybe Saturday lunchtime’s dismissal of Rodwell was that in motion and we gladly took it when it came our way. Liverpool were crying out for the introduction of Steven Gerrard and Craig Bellamy from the start of the second half. We needed something different because a lot of the Liverpool players were below par and the manager could have brought Gerrard and Bellamy into the mix earlier than he did. As it turned out, his timing was spot on and Bellamy has been a breath of fresh air and it’s great to have Gerrard back.

Steven is nearly fully fit now and will hopefully get a couple of games behind closed doors in the next week or so, to continue to build his levels up. Him not being called up to the England squad for their Euro 2012 qualifier is great news for us and it would have been absolute nonsense if they had asked him to be part of the squad.

He’s only had a 13-minute and 15-minute run-outs since coming back from his groin injury so getting some games up at Melwood, away from the cameras, will be of real benefit for Steven ahead of Manchester United coming to Anfield a week on Saturday – Gerrard has got to start that game because he knows what is required in that match more than most.

When he came on against Everton, Gerrard was like the conductor. He was almost playing within himself but he calmed everything down and gave Liverpool some direction. He was getting on the ball all the time and switching the play. Gerrard was one of the main reasons Liverpool finally utilized their one-man advantage; his captaincy and experience won the game.

Liverpool Schedule Mid-Season Friendly Against Rangers

Taking a page out of Major League Soccer’s book by scheduling a mid-season “prestige friendly” to fill the downtime between games and put a few extra quid in the pocket, Liverpool have announced that they will travel to Glasgow to take on Rangers in a mid-week clash on Tuesday, October 18th. For those who haven’t memorized this season’s schedule, that would put the game three days after Manchester United’s visit to Anfield on October 15th, with newcomers Norwich City set for the following Saturday. Needless to say, for many there’s only one question in light of the news: Why?

There have of course been Liverpool links to both of Glasgow’s duelling behemoths over the years, even if for many the Liverpool-Celtic connection would seem the more natural. Kenny Dalglish himself grew up a fan of Rangers, but with his boyhood club uninterested in signing the youngster he instead was snapped up by rival Celtic, leading to a frantic tearing down of the Rangers posters in his room when Celtic assistant manager Sean Fallon came to the Dalglish’s home to talk to the player and his parents about joining the club.

There’s also an obvious link in that Charlie Adam and Danny Wilson both came up through Rangers’ academy, and fitness permitting one would have to assume both will start. Perhaps, too, there’s another promising prospect nearing the end of his development and the club sees agreeing to the upcoming friendly as part of securing a transfer.

Additionally, one might speculate that with Rangers struggling financially in recent years and Liverpool missing out on European play for the first time in a decade, this is little more than a quick cash grab. It might be an easy assumption to make, but a one-off friendly hardly seems likely to be a make or break proposition financially—especially for the visiting side. From Liverpool’s point of view, too, whatever they might get out of such a fixture financially will pale in comparison to the reward for getting back into Europe, a prospect that could take a significant blow if an important player manages to pick up a long-term injury in such a prestigious midseason distraction.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t ways the two clubs couldn’t have made such an unusual set up work. If, for example, they had looked at the international break currently in progress and arranged the match for the coming Saturday, it could have made a great deal of sense: A bit of football to focus on for those uninterested in the internationals—which also now are mainly split between Friday and Tuesday, leaving a weekend largely devoid of action—and a run-out for reserves and players who hadn’t been selected by their national sides.

However, a midweek game in Glasgow, immediately following United and with a trip to Stoke the next Wednesday in the League Cup before facing off against Roy Hodgson’s West Bromwich Albion on the weekend, all conspiring to saddle the club with five games in just over two weeks, doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense for Liverpool any way one comes at it. Even assuming that Kenny Dalglish will give most of the minutes to reserves who could use some quality match action, on the surface it still seems an event with far more potential for negatives than positives.

Regardless of what the fans think of it, though, it is of course now coming. With that in mind, here’s to Jay Spearing and Danny Wilson getting a good ninety minutes of action. And to Steven Gerrard and his groin doing nothing more strenuous than waving to the crowd once or twice.