Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kenny Dalglish Encouraged By Liverpool Performance

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is taking heart from the number of chances his side created against Norwich, despite the fact that most of them went unconverted.

The Reds squandered a host of goalscoring opportunities as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the Canaries at Anfield.

It meant Liverpool lost ground on the top four in the Barclays Premier League, but Dalglish is determined to focus on the positives.

"I think we've been brilliant in creating the chances," Dalglish told www.liverpoolfc.tv.

"It's a huge pleasure for us that we're creating that many chances. So we'll look at the positives.

"The finishing side? Obviously we've got to add to it.

"But when you look at the facts and figures and reflect on what they've actually done and what they've actually created, you wouldn't bet against scoring five or six on any given day."

A definite bonus for the Merseyside outfit is the return to fitness of club captain Steven Gerrard, whose start in the Norwich game was his second since making his comeback after a six-month period sidelined by groin problems.

Gerrard has spoken of his appreciation at receiving a visit from the club's owners Fenway Sports Group during his time out of action, and the 31-year-old feels the Americans have done a good job over the year that they have been in control of Liverpool.

"It's been a good 12 months on the pitch and off the pitch," Gerrard told LFC Magazine.

"They've stabilized the club and certainly put the money in. They've backed the manager and (director of football) Damien Comolli. They've been very supportive of the team.

"I thought it was a brilliant touch for them to come and visit me in the hospital when I had my infection.

"I was very low at the time but they called me and made the effort to come and see me. That gave me a huge lift and I was very grateful to them for it."

Gerrard Sets Sights On Trophies

Steven Gerrard admits he would like nothing more than to compete in the UEFA Champions League next season, but insists that a top-four finish will not be Liverpool's sole focus this year.

The Reds captain, who recently returned from a prolonged spell on the sidelines at Anfield, believes that winning some silverware this year is just as important as securing a return to Europe's elite competition.

"Getting back in the top four is a priority, but I wouldn't say it's our only priority," Gerrard told LFC Magazine. "Bringing those European nights back to Anfield is what we all want.

"Some of the best nights of my career have been in the Champions League and I want to experience a few more before I eventually hang up my boots.

"It's difficult to watch it on TV on a Tuesday or Wednesday night knowing we are not involved. Everyone here is striving to get back there and the sooner it happens the better."

As Liverpool prepare for a midweek Carling Cup encounter with Stoke City, Gerrard reiterated the club's desire to improve on all fronts this term, and is targeting progression to the quarter finals.

"At the same time it's about trophies for me and I see the FA Cup and Carling Cup as also being very important," he continued. "Because we are only involved in three competitions we have to focus on all of them.

"There is no European football so you can afford to focus more on the Carling Cup. We haven't done well in any of the cups domestically since 2006.

"It's time we gave the fans a bit of excitement again. They deserve it and there would be nothing better than going to Wembley. That would be fantastic for everyone."

Dalglish Wants Germany Playmaker At Anfield In January

It seems Werder Bremen midfielder Marko Marin has become one of the most wanted players in Europe after it was revealed that Liverpool are the latest club keeping tabs on the diminutive playmaker.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea have already checked on the availability of the German international and now Liverpool have emerged as candidates to sign Marin.

Liverpool were one of the busiest teams in the summer transfer window, but it seems that manager Kenny Dalglish is still not happy with his squad and is ready to spend in the New Year.

Dalglish watched his Liverpool side dominate possession at the weekend against Norwich but fail to convert a number of chances and ended up drawing the game 1-1.

According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool are interested in bringing the 22-year-old to Anfield and may attempt to beat their Premier League rivals to the players signature in January.

Bremen signed Marin from fellow Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach for €8.5million in the summer of 2009 and became an instant hit with the fans for his impressive displays.

Marin has also become a regular for Germany under Joachim Low and has already made 16 appearances for his country, scoring one goal.

Likened to Real Madrid star Mesut Ozil, Liverpool will face plenty of competition for the attacking midfielder and would certainly have to make a substantial offer to Bremen to convince them to part with their star player.

Liverpool & Man United Told €22m Enough To Land Dutch Striker

Liverpool and Manchester United will be on alert after recent comments made by the agent of Ricky van Wolfswinkel with regards to the buy-out clause in his contract.

Various reports have linked the Sporting Lisbon striker with a move to the Premier League despite only arriving in Portugal this summer. His early form for Sporting, where he has scored four goals in six appearances, has reportedly alerted United and Liverpool.

Understandably, Sporting are unwilling to sell van Wolfswinkel, however, his agent Loius Laros has revealed that a €22m buy-out clause does exist in his contract and any club wanting his services will have to match that figure.

"Portuguese talk about an extended contract is premature," said Laros. "The commitment of Van Wolfswinkel runs until 2016, but he does have a clause.

"With a bid of €22m he can leave Sporting.

Enrique - Suarez Is No Diver

Liverpool defender Jose Enrique insists his club team-mate Luis Suarez is not a diver.

The Reds striker endured a frustrating evening against Norwich on Saturday when he came close to scoring on a number of occasions, and was left frustrated when no foul was given after Marc Tierney appeared to bring down the Uruguayan when he was clean through on goal.

Enrique believes Tierney should have been sent off and responded to recent comments from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson that Suarez goes down too easily.

"The truth is that it should have been a red card for their defender because he kicked Luis," Enrique told the Liverpool Echo.

"But I don't think what happened was down to anything that was said last week. Referees sometimes make mistakes like all of us.

"Last week, he (Ferguson) defended his team because we played them. The truth is Luis is a really dangerous player and is a really nice guy. He doesn't dive.

"Some of the Manchester United players (go down like they) dive into the swimming pool. They defend their team, we defend our team - that's normal.

"When you lose two points at home, no-one is positive but Luis did really well. He had a lot of chances and was just unlucky."

On the 1-1 draw with Norwich, Enrique added: "It was frustrating. We created a lot of chances and deserved the three points.

"In the first half we played really well but in the second half they played better than us.

"It is bad luck when you try, try and try but do not score the goals. We have to be more like we were in the first half.

"We respect Norwich and they played well, but against a team like that we have to win if we want to be in the Champions League. We have lost a lot of points like that this season.

"At home we have to win. I hope in the future we will not look back and need these points."

Dalglish's Anti-Technical Tactics Revealed

1980s Liverpool star Gary Gillespie has revealed that when Kenny Dalglish managed the Reds the first time around, the legend learnt that football shouldn’t be over complicated.

Gillespie was part of the multiple-trophy winning side of 1988/89, and the former defender said that while Dalglish was player/manager at Anfield, he preferred a simpler format of coaching.

"When I say this to people they’re amazed: In 8 years at Liverpool, the days we were actually coached I can count on one hand. We were just told to go out and play,” he said.

"At times, the game becomes a little bit too technical and...I think formations sometimes go out the window. Ultimately, with good players in the side...that know the game, and know exactly what they’re doing...they'll find their positions."

"You’ve got to have a structure to work with, but too much is made of it. Within that structure you’ve got to have license, and think since Kenny’s come in, he’s given them a bit more license to express themselves".

Dalglish has been manager at Liverpool again since January, and the club is hoping to make a return to the top four and challenge for top European honours.

While Liverpool suffered a disappointing draw against Norwich on the weekend, the side is currently sixth in the Barclays Premier League table and has enjoyed a much better start to this season than last.

Borrell: Bring On Chelsea

Rodolfo Borrell has set his sights on a first Barclays Premier Reserve League North victory of the season as his Liverpool youngsters prepare to host big-spending Chelsea on Wednesday afternoon.

The Reds' second-string have played just two domestic games so far this term due to their involvement in the NextGen Series tournament.

The Spaniard's fledgling team have come out of both contests empty-handed but he remains confident that facing such a high standard of opposition will eventually pay big dividends for the club's future.

Borrell told Liverpoolfc.tv: "Everyone knows that Chelsea have spent massive money on youngsters over the past few years. That means they are able to bring through players who are competitive but also of a high quality.

"They have used some big name players in their reserves already this season and last week Romelu Lukaku was involved.

"So we know they are a good side and it will be a very good experience for our young team. I think it will be a good contest and we are looking forward to it."

He continued: "It's important to get our first league win. I have always said that winning is important and helps with the development too.

"This season is more of a learning curve for us though, and similar to my first one here where we had young players facing older, more physical opponents.

"They say that if you are good enough, you are old enough - but this is when you have youngsters who are surrounded by players with experience. We do not have that experience in our squad and playing against older sides is really difficult over 90 minutes.

"Each week we must look to progress that little bit more and build on what we are learning. We have belief in our youngsters and know they will develop over the course of this season."

Chelsea aside, Borrell's U19 side remain in the hunt for qualification to the knockout stage of the NextGen Series following Wolfsburg's goalless draw with Group 2 leaders Sporting Lisbon last week.

The tournament has provided Liverpool with a very different challenge to that posed by the domestic league and the former Barcelona man is convinced his charges will benefit from both competitions.

Borrell said: "The difference is very big between the NextGen Series and the domestic league. In Europe you are getting international experience and facing other mentalities but you are also playing against sides of a similar age.

"In the English league we play with an U19 team against some teams who have players who are up to 30-years-old.

"This is how it is in our country and I think there are positives of playing in both competitions for us."

He added: "I think our season has been tough so far, like I predicted in pre-season. It would have been easy to play weaker sides in pre-season and get some wins, but it would not have been the reality when it all started competitively.

"I wanted to have a tough calendar of fixtures right from the very start and I expect that to be the same right the way through the campaign.

"We might struggle in terms of results early on but slowly and surely we will overcome this."

LFC Spread The Word In India

Two intrepid members of the Liverpool FC Foundation will soon be departing for India to send out a very important message to young girls in the city of Mumbai.

Rebecca Hughes and Jade Adekoya will be spreading the word about the Goals 4 Girls project which is an initiative aimed at raising awareness about important social issues, and increasing female participation in football and other sports.

Departing on November 8th, the team will be working with other members of the Liverpool FC Foundation to help improve the lives of the local girls in Mumbai.

LFC Foundation coach Rebecca Hughes said: "Jade and I have been involved in the Goals 4 Girls project from the beginning, it has been about two years now. We are really excited and looking forward to the trip, because it is a very important initiative.

"We have a number of important messages specifically aimed at girls and young women. We want to share and learn from them about important social issues like bullying, drug abuse and image consciousness, and we tell our own stories to give it a personal touch."

Jade Adekoya added: "We will also be doing disability awareness in India which involves blind football and deaf football. We will also be coached in netball by Standard Chartered coaches."

Rishi Jain, Social Inclusion Officer for Liverpool FC, will be joining the girls on their trip and is expecting the Reds to have a big impact in India.

He said: "We are going to link the Goals 4 Girls project with the Standard Chartered Goal program in India.

"It is absolutely brilliant for Liverpool FC to be involved in this, and we are all really looking forward to this trip. The support we get as a department from Standard Chartered is fantastic.

"It's great to be able to go to India and work with girls from different backgrounds and it's going to be a real privilege for everyone involved."