Monday, October 31, 2011

Liverpool Ready To Raid German Champions For Top All Round Striker

Liverpool is close to making an official bid for Borussia Dortmund 23 year old Polish International striker Robert Lewandowski according to reports in Germany.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is still looking to strengthen his front line despite spending tens of Millions on strikers in the summer and has apparently identified Lewandowski has just the sort of player he wants and likes.

Liverpool had looked set up front with the purchase of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll but below standard performances from Carroll and a lack of depth up front have convinced Dalglish that he needs more competition and cover up the front.

Lewandowski is not an out and out scorer but more of an all round front man, he makes as many assists as goals and is the perfect man for an out an out striker to feed off.

A fee in the region of £8 Million should be enough to land the Polish International who cost Dortmund £4 Million back in June 2010.

Kenny Dalglish Hails Strength Of Reds Squad

Kenny Dalglish believes the fact Liverpool performed so well at West Brom without skipper Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher underlines the strength of the squad he has built.

The Reds overcame the loss of the experienced duo to beat the Baggies 2-0 thanks to goals from Charlie Adam and Andy Carroll.

Gerrard was sidelined with an ankle infection and Carragher missed out after picking up a calf injury in the midweek win at Stoke City.

However, Dalglish is hopeful they will both be fit for next Saturday’s home league clash with Swansea City.

“We are certainly much better with them in the squad than out of it,” Dalglish said.

“They have done magnificently for this football club and they will continue to do magnificently for us too. They will continue to make a contribution.

“I suppose it is a reflection on the strength of the squad when the two talismanic figures aren’t playing and you still come and put on such a top performance.

“Steven was in my mind for the game but it just flared up. We’ll have a more accurate idea on Monday or Tuesday when we return to training.

“Will he be fit for England? I haven’t got a clue. It’s nothing to do with any injuries before, it’s an infection. I suppose it’s like having an abscess on your mouth.”

Dalglish was delighted with the Reds’ overall performance which featured another stunning display from Luis Suarez, who was instrumental in both goals.

The Uruguay international won the penalty for the opener from Adam and then set up Carroll for the second.

“I said last week I had run out of superlatives about Luis. And I’ve not educated myself in three or four days, so what I said then stands now,” Dalglish said.

“He’s a fantastic footballer and I think for us there were a lot of excellent performances out there. There’s not one player who played for us that could be disappointed with their performance.

“Luis and Andy haven’t played that many games together and I thought they did well. I’m sure everyone in our squad is appreciative of what Luis does, but I’m sure that also applies the other way.

Charlie Adam Delighted With Andy Carroll Contribution Against West Brom

Charlie Adam paid tribute to striker Andy Carroll after Liverpool FC’s record signing grabbed his third goal of the season in the win at West Brom.

The LFC midfielder was hugely impressed with the performance of Carroll, who wrapped up the points with a neat finish just before half-time.

“The big man was unbelievable and the finish for our second goal was terrific,” Adam said.

“Once we got the goal it changed the complexion of the game. I thought we played well in the first half.

“Second half, we never kept the ball as well as we should have and it’s something that we’ll maybe have to get better at.”

Adam, who opened the scoring from the penalty spot, admitted it was a crucial victory for Kenny Dalglish’s side after recent draws against Manchester United and Norwich City.

“We’re disappointed with some of the results we’ve had this year,” he added.

“Last week (against Norwich) we had numerous chances and could have finished it off but that’s what happens when you play in the best league in the world. If you don’t score you can get punished and we did.

“We’ve done that a couple of times this year but against West Brom we deserved to win.”

Andy Carroll Hails His Strike Partnership With Luis Suarez

Andy Carroll believes his double act with Luis Suarez is starting to click as he hailed his Liverpool strike partner as the best in the Premier League.

The Reds’ record signing is targeting an extended run in Kenny Dalglish’s side after netting his third goal of the season in Saturday’s 2-0 victory at West Brom.

Carroll impressed on his first league start for nearly a month but admitted he owed a debt of gratitude to Suarez, who produced another man of the match display alongside him.

“Luis is a great player who works so hard for the team and it’s nice to have him up top with me,” Carroll said.

“Luis drops off, gets the ball into his feet, can dribble with it and slip people in. We just try to stretch defenders and try to make the pitch as big as possible.

“I thought it was a good move for my goal. Luis put me in and I had time to take a touch and slip it past the keeper. It was great to score again – there’s no better feeling really.

“Luis makes it easy playing alongside him. I think we played well together and hopefully that will carry on.

“I couldn’t name a better player in the Premier League than Luis. He’s fantastic to have in the squad. He makes chances and scores goals himself so he’s a great all-round player and he showed that again.”

After scoring in the derby victory at Goodison at the start of October, Carroll found himself on the bench for the league games against Manchester United and Norwich City.

However, the £35million man was recalled by Dalglish for last week’s Carling Cup win at Stoke City and retained his place against the Baggies.

Carroll is desperate to become a permanent fixture in the Liverpool side.

“I’ve been disappointed to be sat on the bench,” he said. “But when you are left out it just makes you work harder the next day in training to get your place back.

“We have a big squad, players come and go every week. It was a different XI at West Brom compared to the previous week and the week before that. Everyone is fighting hard in training for a place.

“I’ve been working hard every day to get my fitness up and to try to get a place in the team and I think I earned it.

“I thought I played well against Stoke and again on Saturday – to get a goal made it even better. We will have to see what happens next weekend. I want to get my name in the starting XI every week.”

Liverpool slipped back to sixth place following Spurs’ win over QPR yesterday but they are only one point adrift of third-placed Chelsea.

The Reds have now gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions and Carroll believes the fact Saturday’s win was achieved without either Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher highlighted the depth in Dalglish’s squad.

“It was a good game to be involved and I thought all the lads played well,” Carroll said.

“We showed what we can do. We passed it around well and deserved the three points.

“It was tough not having Stevie or Carra in the squad. They are great players and we need them in the team once they’ve got over their little niggles.

“But we have fantastic players that can come in. The game showed we’ve got lads who can step in when needed and do a job.”

Daniel Agger Targets Extended Run In Liverpool Side

Daniel Agger is hoping to keep his place in the Liverpool side after an injury-hit spell at Anfield.

The Dane, who has suffered from a number of injuries since joining the Reds from Brondby in 2006, has featured regularly for Kenny Dalglish’s side this season and made his 100th Premier League appearance in Saturday’s 2-0 win against West Brom.

"It's special to play 100 league games for Liverpool and it has been a long time coming because of the unlucky injuries I have had," Agger told the club's official website.

"Hopefully now I can have an injury free run and I hope now to keep on going and play another 100 games for this club.

"I am enjoying my football now. I feel I have been unlucky with injuries and hopefully I can get some good luck now because it means a lot to me to play for this club."

Agger also revealed his delight at keeping a clean sheet against West Brom at The Hawthorns, adding: "It was so important for us to keep a clean sheet and that is always good for us defenders and great for the whole team as well.

"I thought we played well and deserved the three points. We are happy and we have to continue this form and keep winning games.

"I think we can take a lot from this result and we now look ahead to the next game against Swansea at home and try and get another three points."

Clarke Hails Liverpool’s £20m Starlet

Liverpool No2 Steve Clarke believes Jordan Henderson is proving why they spent big-money to sign him from Sunderland.

The England U21 star has started to settle at Anfield since his surprising £20m switch in the summer. The England ace set up Luis Suarez’s winner during last weeks Carling Cup win over Stoke with a delightful pass over the top of the defence, and Clarke feels that Henderson is starting to prove his worth:

“It’s always been the case in football that the goalscorer gets the headlines but sometimes the assist is just as good,” the first-team coach told “For all Luis did the hard work himself for the first goal, it was a fantastic first-time ball in from Jordan for the second goal.

“A pass like that catches the defence unaware. If Jordan takes a touch the defenders have time to adjust and maybe we don’t get the goal.

“That’s why the club’s made the investment in Jordan – he’s one for the future but he’s one for now as well. He’s got great qualities, he loves working at his game, he wants to get better all the time and for a young player that’s a fantastic attribute. You saw on Wednesday that he has the quality to turn games.

“He’s got great energy on the pitch, he likes to get forward. His contribution is there to be seen.”

Scharner Critical Of Suarez Over Diving

West Brom midfielder Paul Scharner has lambasted Luis Suarez for the "nice dive" that earned the penalty to set Liverpool on the way to a 2-0 victory at the Hawthorns.

Suarez was adjudged to have been fouled by Jerome Thomas inside the area after just nine minutes of Saturday's Premier League clash and Charlie Adam stepped up to score from the spot.

However, after the match, West Brom manager Roy Hodgson questioned the decision of match referee Lee Mason to award the penalty and Scharner has now added his voice to the latest diving row to engulf the Uruguay striker.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has constantly defended Suarez from such allegations since the player arrived at Anfield but the accusations continue.

Asked for his verdict on Suarez's performance, Scharner said: "It was a nice dive for the penalty and that got Liverpool well started for the game. It put us under pressure and we weren't good enough to respond.

"He (Suarez) is very good at winning penalties. He's one of the best on the planet, in fact. I had a good view of it. If that's a penalty, then you will find 1,500 penalties are given in every match.

"I know it was the assistant who flagged for it and maybe he had a better view than the referee. But there was a general feeling amongst all the players that it was a soft penalty.''

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Scharner's claims, there was no disputing the quality of Suarez's general performance in his side's 2-1 win.

Huge Blow For Dalglish As Gerrard Faces Another Month Out

Having only recently overcome a worrying groin problem, Steven Gerrard could now be sidelined for at least a month after being diagnosed with an infection in a cut on his ankle.

According to a report this morning in The Sun, the Reds’ club captain will find out how long he will need to recover from the complaint today.

If the worst case scenario is realized, he could miss the whole of November, ruling him out of crucial league matches against Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as England’s two home friendly fixtures with Spain and Sweden.

Now 31 years old, Gerrard is into the latter half of his career and many pundits have expressed doubts over his ability to continue at the top level for too long.

Speaking of his recent injury turmoil, the 89-cap England man said: “There were times when I was as low as I ever have been.

“I think it is only natural that you have doubts and different things cross your mind from time to time.”