Friday, October 28, 2011

Clarke Hails Impossible Shot

Steve Clarke believes it would have been impossible for any goalkeeper to save what he describes as a 'very special goal' from Luis Suarez on Wednesday night.

The Uruguay international fired both goals as the Reds progressed to the Carling Cup quarter-finals with a 2-1 win over Stoke City.

But it was Suarez's first - involving a nutmeg on Ryan Shotton and a sensational curl beyond Thomas Sorensen - that drew looks of awe from all four stands in the Britannia Stadium.

"We had a great angle from the bench because we were sitting right behind the flight of the ball," first-team coach Clarke told

"As soon as he did the nutmeg on the defender and curled it, you could tell it was always going to end up in the back of the net. Most of us were up celebrating.

"The actual shot, the way it curled away, made it impossible for the goalkeeper to get a touch on it. The little bit of skill was fantastic and the shot was even better."

Liverpool have gone through a period notable for missed chances lately - and Clarke hopes Suarez's antics will be the start of a more fruitful phase.

"The way it's been recently for us, it was going to take either a very lucky goal or a very special goal to turn the luck for us. Wednesday night was a very special goal," he said.

"If you go through a spell where the goals are not going in, all you can do in training is re-emphasize to the players to relax on the shot, take their time, pick their spot. A training situation and a match situation are totally different because you can't replicate the pressure of a match situation in training."."

Henderson: One Game At A Time

Jordan Henderson wants to focus on beating West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday rather than worrying about who Liverpool will meet in the Carling Cup quarter-finals.

Kenny Dalglish's men secured a spot in the last eight after coming back from a goal down to beat Stoke City 2-1 on Wednesday night.

After three away ties in the competition so far this season, the Reds will be hoping for a home tie in Saturday's draw, but Henderson is keen to take it one game at a time.

"We are not bothered who we get, and we'll wait for the draw and see what it gives us," Henderson told the club's official website. "We just want to go as far as we can in the competition.

"We now have an important game at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and that is our next concern getting the three points."

The Reds achieved their first win at the Britannia Stadium for over ten years after striker Luis Suarez scored two goals to finish off Stoke.

Henderson added: "I thought we started the game very well and created a lot of chances.

"Even when we went 1-0 down we didn't give up and we always knew we could come back strongly, and we are over the moon with the win.

"The first goal was just fantastic and a bit of brilliance from Luis, but we are used to that because we see it all of the time. The finish was brilliant again from Luis. I just managed to knock the ball back in the box and he did the rest."

Liverpool Alerted To Wantaway Munich Striker

Liverpool has been alerted to Bayern Munich striker Ivica Olic, who has voiced his dissatisfaction at being left on the sidelines.

The Croatian, who had been linked with a surprise move to Liverpool over the summer has re-emerged as a target, after revealing to his desire to leave the club if he remains on the substitute's bench.

Olic, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, has found himself fourth choice striker, behind Mario Gomez, Nils Petersen and Thomas Muller.

Speaking after Bayern's 6-0 victory over Ingolstadt, in which he was used as a second half substitute, Olic said: "With each workout I feel a little bit better.

"But I was disappointed that I could not play from the beginning. In the end I was happy to come on for a half hour.

"I always hope that I will play. I was injured a long time, maybe I need to have more patience. Nevertheless, I feel well and I've always said that I would not be happy if I did not play. And I will say it again now.

"When I see that I am no longer being given playing time, then I have to think about a change.

"I've always said that I will not be happy if I'm sitting on the bench during the winter of my career. If I cannot play here, then I will try to elsewhere."

Liverpool currently have four strikers on their books, but with Dirk Kuyt often used as a midfielder and Andy Carroll misfiring, Olic would find more first team opportunities at Anfield than the Allianz Arena.

Zamora Dreaming Of Liverpool Move

Cristian Zamora is hoping to follow in the footsteps of Javier Hernandez and make a major impact in the Barclays Premier League.

However, the Chivas teenager isn't interested in joining 'the little pea' at Manchester United, with two of the Red Devils' rivals on the player's radar.

"I hope to go down that same path, because I have the ambition to play at a big club in Europe. I think I'm going in the right direction, because four months ago I was in the lower ranks of the club and now I'm gaining ground," said the youngster.

"Maybe in the future I'll realize the dream of playing for Liverpool and being an opponent for Chicharito in England."

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has spent big on bringing young players to Anfield, with Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson two high-profile examples.

The Reds are also looking to expand their global marketability by bringing players from all over the world to Merseyside, and Zamora could fit the bill from Central America to Liverpool.

Liverpool Alerted By Coveted Croatian Starlet's Transfer Admission

Lyon are ready to part with defender Dejan Lovren for the right price, according to the player's representative.

The 22-year-old has been tracked by a number of European giants, including Inter Milan and AC Milan.

However, following Liverpool's interest in the summer, the player's agent Nikky Vuksan says an offer would be evaluated if one came the player's way.

"I know that many European clubs, including a few Italian and Spanish teams, have made enquiries about the player but so far none of them has made concrete steps or submitted bids," Vuksan said.

"Lyon is going through a difficult time from a financial point, but we're also talking about renewal.

"I think that if we were to get a good offer, then the club would evaluate it.

When asked if the interest from the Milan duo was genuine, Vuksan added: "It would be an honour for us, but at the moment we are only talking about hypothesis."

Liverpool's summer search for a defender resulted in them signing Sebastian Coates.

However, Liverpool's problems at the back, with Daniel Agger's injury problems a constant concern and Jamie Carragher's career coming to an end, the club may again look to youth in the transfer window.

The signing of Coates, as well as that of Jordan Henderson has signalled a new direction for the club, and if their interest in Lovren shows Liverpool is ready to continue that policy.

Liverpool Want England To Be Careful With Steven Gerrard

Liverpool will seek assurances from the Football Association that Steven Gerrard’s workload will be carefully managed in England’s home friendlies against Spain and Sweden next month.

Gerrard only returned to first-team action at Anfield earlier this month after being sidelined since March with a groin injury.

The midfielder, who is expected to win his 90th cap against world champions Spain, was rested by Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish for the midweek Carling Cup victory against Stoke City due to concerns over the 31-year-old’s ability to complete three games in the space of a week so soon after his return to fitness.

The Liverpool captain is set to be restored to the team against West Brom this weekend, but having adopted a specialized training program at Anfield since his recovery from groin surgery, the club is keen to avoid his routine being disrupted while away with England.

Liverpool have no issues with Gerrard being selected for the friendly games and the player himself is keen to re-establish himself in Capello’s team after being restricted by injury to just five caps since the 2010 World Cup.

Gerrard is also determined to close in on the milestone of 100 international caps, but Liverpool are keen to avoid the player completing 90 minutes against both Spain and Sweden later this month.

The midfielder’s handling by England has been a source of contention for Liverpool in the past.

The club’s head of fitness, Darren Burgess, criticized England’s handling of Gerrard via Twitter after the player limped out of the 2-1 defeat against France last November.

Burgess tweeted: ‘Unbelievable from all associated with England and English FA with regard to Steven Gerrard’s injury. Completely ignored agreement and past history.’

Relations have improved since then, however. Capello did not select Gerrard in his squad for the recent Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro after Dalglish called on the Italian to be ‘intelligent’ with the midfielder’s fitness following his return from injury.

Liverpool Starlet Ready To Leave Anfield For Loan Deal

Liverpool’s teenage starlet Stephen Sama is ready to leave Liverpool on a temporary loan deal, with Preston North End manager Phil Brown reportedly keen on acquiring his services.

According to The Mirror, Sama has put in a series of impressive performances for the Liverpool reserve side that have been enough to put him on the radar of Brown. The Preston boss now hopes to bring Sama into his side as they make a push for promotion from League One.

Sama signed for Liverpool as a 16-year-old from Borussia Dortmund back in 2009, with the club impressed by his athletic build and physical presence. Sama’s physicality made him ideally suited to the English Premier League, and he progressed quickly to make himself a key player for the Academy.

Notching up 32 matches for the Liverpool Academy as a starter in each one, Sama found himself rewarded with a new contract that will keep him at Anfield until June 2014.

After making his first team debut on 1 August 2011 during a 3-3 friendly draw with Valarenga, Sama solidified his status as a player with real potential and a future at Anfield.

Standing at 6ft 2in, Brown now believes the Cameroonian-born German can deal with the physical demands of lower league football, despite being just 18-year-old.

Sama would join a number of other Liverpool players out on loan, including Alberto Aquilani, Joe Cole, Daniel Pacheco, Stephen Darby, Marin Hansen and Peter Gulacsi.

Chinese Starlets: The Verdict

Academy director of recruitment Stuart Webber believes Liverpool's two Chinese trialists could yet have a future at the club.

Long Chen, 16, and Chen Xiao Mao, 14, have now returned to their homeland following a successful stint in Kirkby.

There are no current plans to make their Liverpool dream a reality, but Webber is keen to commence a long-term program that could help assist with their development.

Webber told "Both boys have done really well. They've probably done better than we thought if we are being totally honest about it.

"They've taken to the training with great enthusiasm but unfortunately, because they are so young, we can't actually sign them at this moment in time.

"What we want to do is set up a program whereby we bring them over again after Christmas; then again next summer as well as in October next year.

"We've seen how they have adapted to this environment and got to know their level of ability. They've both done well and the next step will be us coming up with a proper plan so we can support them.

"We'll see where that takes us over the next year or two. Youth football needs to have a more long-term outlook and hopefully we can come up with a plan that sees us all achieve something out of this."