Friday, October 21, 2011

Suarez Has Trophy Ambition

Luis Suarez is confident that, under the stewardship of Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool can add some silverware to the Anfield trophy cabinet this season.

The Reds are without a notable trophy since the 2006 FA Cup final triumph over West Ham - and five years represents an unaccustomed period of time devoid of glory for a club with such a rich history.

However, Liverpool is out to win everything this term, and Dalglish has built a squad capable of challenging on all fronts.

The January arrivals of Suarez and Andy Carroll - followed by seven high-profile summer acquisitions - heralded a renewed sense of optimism on Merseyside, and the Liverpool players have bought into this feeling.

Suarez certainly feels the Reds have the capability of ending the season with a trophy or two - especially with a manager like Dalglish at the helm.

"We're certainly capable of beating anyone," said the 24-year-old. "The team is in good form and feeling very confident, and it's also good the manager can see we have the ambition to pick up trophies.

"But for now, we'll take each match as it comes and hope to pick up some victories in the next few games."

He added: "I think the new arrivals have all been positive additions that have helped the team a lot.

"Although they know they are key players, the main thing is all of the squad knows we are in it together. No one player is bigger than the rest - on the field we are all equal."

Reds Linked With Inkoom

Ghana full-back Samuel Inkoom has claimed Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign him in the January transfer window.

The club are reported to be in negotiations with the 22-year-old who is contracted to Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.

The right-back area has been a problem for the Reds this season, with Glen Johnson suffering from a hamstring injury.

Centre-back Martin Skrtel has been used as a temporary right-back, while young defender Martin Kelly has also deputized in the position.

Inkoom told Ghana radio station Top Radio: "My agent is still locked in talks with my club and a scout of Liverpool and a deal could be concluded very soon.

"Nothing has been decided yet on whether I will join Liverpool on loan or move permanently.

"Liverpool is one of the biggest names in football and so if everything goes well and the Lord allows it, everyone will see where I am going and hopefully, it will be Liverpool, which will be a big step for me."

Inkoom began his career at Ghanaian side Sekondi Hasaacas before playing for Asante Kotoko and Basle.

He has won 25 caps for his country and was part of the squad that reached the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa in 2010.

Kenny Dalglish Criticizes Retired Judge Over Hillsborough Comments

The Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has criticised a retired judge who suggested the families of Hillsborough victims should move on and drop their "conspiracy theories".

Sir Oliver Popplewell, who chaired the public inquiry into the 1985 fire at the Valley Parade stadium, which killed 56 people, called on the Liverpool families to look at the "quiet dignity and great courage" that relatives of the Bradford victims have shown in the years following the tragedy.

Dalglish said he was not aware of Popplewell's comments, and offered a dismissive response. "Who is he? Why should he make someone else's mind up?" said Dalglish, who was in his first stint as manager at the time of the 1989 disaster.

"I don't think he should be interfering. It is not comparable. Each one is equally as important to the people who have been involved in it as the other.

"I don't know who the guy is or what he said but certainly the Hillsborough families have been hugely complimented on their dignity and how they have gone about what they want to achieve.

"If two people have different opinions it doesn't mean either is right or wrong, you do what suits you best. Our families have been fantastically dignified in their approach and also, after 22 years, very patient and the least they deserve are some comfort."

Kenny Issues Suarez Support

Kenny Dalglish today insisted that Luis Suarez has the full support of everyone at Liverpool Football Club following allegations made in the aftermath of last weekend's clash with Manchester United.

Dalglish told reporters at Melwood: "The only thing we'll say, and then that is it put to bed, is that this Football club and everyone at the club is totally and utterly behind Luis Suarez.

"There was an allegation after the game about him diving all over the place and then there was an allegation from Patrice Evra.

"Obviously the two things are quite emotive, but we fully support the wee man in both things and everyone at the club does.

"I think the football club came out at the start of the week and made our position known - and apart from what I've said there, we won't be adding to it.

"We fully look forward to a complete, transparent report from the FA and look forward to co-operating 100% fully with what is done."

Evra Must Find Witness To Back Him Over Suárez Racism Claim

Luis Suárez increasingly looks like he will not face any charges from the Football Association unless Patrice Evra can produce witness statements to support his allegation that he was racially abused during Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Liverpool last weekend.

The FA is planning to send a delegate to Manchester to interview Evra, now that he is back in the country following the Champions League tie against Otelul Galati.

However, the case may rest on whether any of Evra's team-mates can corroborate his accusation that Suárez repeatedly racially abused him. The Uruguayan has vehemently denied the allegation, with the support of his club, and the FA needs to determine whether it is simply one man's word against another's. If that is the case, there may be nowhere further for the investigation to go.

The FA can also study television pictures but it would be highly unusual if it were to bring in lip-readers, and the inquiry will instead focus initially on what precisely the Senegal-born Frenchman claims was said, and whether his allegations can be backed up.

Evra had claimed on French TV that it happened "at least 10 times", but his case is undermined by the fact he did not bring the allegation to the attention of the referee, Andre Marriner, during the match.

The first Marriner knew of it was afterwards when Evra, accompanied by Sir Alex Ferguson, went to the referee's room to ask him to include it in his match report. Marriner then told the Liverpool manager, Kenny Dalglish, who spoke to Suárez and established that the Uruguayan denied the allegation.

Liverpool's belief is that if the case cannot be proved the FA should consider taking action against Evra on the grounds that it was a malicious allegation. This is unlikely to happen, however, unless there is categorical evidence that Suárez did not do what Evra claims.

A more likely outcome is that the case will be dropped if there are no other United players to support Evra's story. If that is the case, the FA may not even interview Suárez, having already been made aware from the Liverpool end that the allegation is denied. The FA is particularly sensitive to the rivalry between the clubs and eager not to be seen to be making any rash judgments.

However, anti-racism campaign groups such as Kick It Out believe Evra should have approached the referee during the game. Kick It Out launched its three-week 'One Game, One Community' action program last weekend, and the row between Evra and Suárez came on the same day that both players wore T-shirts to promote the campaign.

Lucas - More To Come From Reds

Lucas believes Liverpool will continue to improve over the course of the season as new players settle in and others are welcomed back from injury.

The Reds have made a solid start to the new campaign and are currently fifth in the Premier League after playing out a 1-1 draw with fierce rivals Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday.

Steven Gerrard returned to the starting XI against the Red Devils following a lengthy lay-off, while the likes of Glen Johnson and Daniel Agger are also pushing for recalls after getting back to fitness.

Competition for places has been increased by the arrival of several new faces over the summer, and Lucas has backed the Reds to mount a strong challenge this term.

"I think there is more to come," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"There are a lot of new players that came in over the summer and it always takes time to settle and build an understanding between the players."

Lucas will miss Saturday's clash with Norwich after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season, but he is confident Liverpool will return to winning ways after the draw against United.

"Unfortunately I will be out of the game because I am suspended, but I will be cheering the players on," he said.

"I think we deserved to win against Manchester United. We played really well and now we have to take the positives into the next game, hopefully get the three points and be closer to the top four.

"I think there is a lot to come and hopefully it will be a successful season for us.

"We are disappointed with the result because we wanted to win but you could see that we had a few players coming back from injury."

Eccleston Signing Completed

Rochdale have completed the signing of striker Nathan Eccleston on a month's loan from Premier League club Liverpool.

The 20-year-old will go straight into Steve Eyre's squad for the weekend clash at Exeter.

Eyre told the club's official website: "I'm very grateful to Liverpool for their co-operation.

"He's a very good man, he's a got a lot of fire in his belly, a lot of talent and he loves to score a goal."

Eccleston has made seven first-team appearances for Liverpool, making his debut in October 2009, and has had loans spells at Huddersfield and Charlton, where he stayed for the second half of last season

Amoo Extends Bury Loan

Bury manager Richie Barker has extended the loan deal of Liverpool striker David Amoo until the New Year.

Amoo joined the Shakers on an initial month-long deal in September and it was due to expire after Saturday's game against Bournemouth.

However, the 20-year-old has agreed to prolong his time at Gigg Lane and will stick with the League One club until 2nd January.

The forward has scored once in four appearances for Bury after spending spells on loan at MK Dons and Hull City last season.

He has made one senior appearance for Liverpool, which came in a Europa League qualifier against FK Rabotnicki in July 2010.