Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Why Liverpool Should Break The Bank To Sign Carlos Tevez

A look at the Liverpool’s goals for column, despite spending £57.3m on two strikers, doesn’t make the happiest reading for Liverpool fans. Profligate against Stoke, unable to finish off Manchester United and a draw at home with Norwich means we currently sit ten points behind City and have scored the least goals of clubs in the top six. Tevez scores goals, loads of them, and you can argue until you’re blue in the face that he is too similar to Suarez in style because you’re wrong. Tevez is far more direct than El Pistolero and also scores his fair share of long-range screamers. If we are to have any chance of holding off Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea and even Newcastle in the race for third or fourth then we need to score more. The prospect of Suarez and Tevez playing together makes me moist around the gusset.

Both literally and figuratively, Tevez has the appearance of a wounded animal, and we have seen what he can do when he has a point to prove. He dragged City out of the mire time and time again the season past and, when given a bit of love, is beyond talismanic. His effort is inhumane, his effect on the players around him palpable and, when all is said and done, he is properly world class. Releasing the hound from January onwards would be a masterstroke if we can justify paying the £200k a week to take him on loan. He needs to play well to get a long-term move somewhere, we are still a few players short.

I had hoped, when Bellamy arrived, we would see more of him in tandem with Suarez and less of the tractor. And while Carroll has started to improve, his presence up front dictates a certain style of play. Tevez is technically as good as anyone in the Premier League, he is like Suarez in his ability to pop up everywhere and become the apex of several rapid fire triangular passing movements in quick succession and can play anywhere in a front three.

With all of this in mind, do I think Dalglish will even be looking at him? I’m not sure, I’ll admit to being mighty confused so far as to his transfer policy and, even if I’m still in the ‘it’s Kenny, why worry?’ club, a fellow supporter did whisper to me yesterday ‘what if Benitez had been given this level of financial support’ and I came away feeling a bit weird. But that is a separate article for another time. When Bellamy signed on a free I said that there was no better free signing in the league, with Tevez I feel the same in a loan capacity. There are obviously innumerate hoops to be jumped through for this transfer to happen, namely Mancini’s probable reluctance, but I’d be slightly worried if the board and management team didn’t at least give the idea some consideration.

Reds To Swoop For Huddlestone

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish is lining up a New Year move for Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone, according to reports.

Huddlestone moved to Spurs from Derby back in 2005 when the current director of football at Anfield, Damien Comolli, was working at White Hart Lane.

The Frenchman is ready to try and tempt the 24-year-old away from London and up to Liverpool.

The Reds appear to be blessed in the middle of the park with plenty of options, although Steven Gerrard's ongoing injury situation at Anfield continues to cause concern, so where they would fit Huddlestone in is unclear.

Huddlestone would have to prove his fitness before any move materialized as he is currently ion the sidelines until December after undergoing surgery on his right ankle.

New Injury Setback For Gerrard Could Hamper England Return

Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard could have his hopes of getting back into the England team dashed as a result of his fresh injury concerns, according to the Guardian.

The midfielder missed the Merseyside outfit’s win at West Brom last weekend after infection set in on his ankle following a knock in training last week, hampering his recovery from a previous injury and he has not featured in a game for the Reds since their draw with Manchester United over two weeks ago.

Gerrard is understood to have a cast on his ankle and Liverpool are said to be considering the method of treatment on Tuesday, but the setback is threatening 31-year-old’s hopes of taking part in England’s two upcoming friendlies against Spain and Sweden at Wembley, with manager Fabio Capello set to announce his squad for the games on Sunday.

The Italian is expected to choose a more youthful outfit, but if Gerrard were to be fit for the games he could be given the nod after having not appeared for the Three Lions in a year, with his last showing coming against France at Wembley.

Dalglish Battles Mancini For Experienced Inter Milan Defender

Kenny Dalglish is set to go head-to-head with Roberto Mancini in the battle to sign Inter Milan defender Christian Chivu, according to reports in the Italian media.

The vastly experienced defender is out of contract in the summer and it appears as though the Italian club will not offer him a new deal.

The 31-year-old has been a regular for Inter Milan since moving from Serie A rivals Roma and has played 97 league games in his four year spell with the club.

Chivu has 75 caps for Romania and in his time with Inter Milan has won three league titles, two Coppa Italia's as well as the Champions League in 2010.

Liverpool and Manchester City are both said to be interested in landing the versatile defender and with Chivu being available on a free transfer they may be able to offer substantial wages.

The left-back, who can also operate in the centre of defence, cost Inter £14million back in 2007 but it is believed that he is ready to find a fresh challenge in the Premier League.

Dalglish is not yet happy with his defensive options as the Reds have struggled to keep clean sheets this season. However, Mancini knows the defender well from his time in charge of Inter and could yet attempt to bring Chivu to the Etihad.

Luis Short-Listed For Ballon d'Or

Luis Suarez's sensational first year at Liverpool has seen him emerge as a contender for the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.

The Uruguayan's scintillating form for both club and country has led to countless plaudits over the past 12 months, culminating in his inclusion in a 23-man short-list.

The No.7 has found the net 11 times in 26 matches for the Reds so far, including a stunning brace in the recent Carling Cup triumph at Stoke City.

The striker also notched four goals as he helped his country secure the 2011 Copa America title where he was named player of the tournament.

The former Ajax man's impact at Anfield has been such that it has even left manager Kenny Dalglish searching for the superlatives to describe his influence on his Liverpool side.

Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero and Nani are the other three Barclays Premier League stars on the list, while no fewer than eight Barcelona players are included.

The winners will be revealed at the second FIFA Ballon d'Or gala in Zurich on January 9, 2012.

Academy Duo Award Youngsters

Academy youngsters Adam Morgan and Joe Rafferty paid a special visit to Speke's Goals Centre on Monday.

The duo dropped by to hand out certificates to 60 local children who had taken part in Liverpool FC's half-term soccer camp at the centre.

LFC Community Coach Dave McParland said: "We have had the facilities off Goals Soccer Centre for free which is fantastic and we'd like to say a big 'thank you' to them.

"We have had over 60 children from local schools come down for a week between 10am until 3pm and it has been a great experience for them."

Striker Morgan added: "The facilities at Goals Soccer Centre are absolutely fantastic and it was great to meet the kids and put something back into the community.

"Before I came to Liverpool we didn't have facilities like this and I was playing Sunday League football, so the kids can only benefit from something as good as the one in Speke."

During the camp, the kids were also given talks about vital social issues and the importance of working together as a team.

Club Chaplain and Community Manager Bill Bygroves said: "I think this is vitally important in all sorts of ways.

"Not only does it keep the children fit and healthy it is a great way for the club to engage with its community and to partner with the Goals centre.

"They had a wonderful time and learnt some new skills and important social messages.

"We gave them a little cameo of our Truth for Youth messages we take into schools which are very important telling them about racism, bullying, knife crime and the importance of being a good person."

Morgan Strikes As Reds Sink Bolton

Liverpool Reserves produced another exhilarating display of attacking football to overwhelm Bolton 3-1 on Tuesday afternoon.

Second-half goals from Suso, Adam Morgan and Raheem Sterling did the damage as the young Reds made it two wins on the spin in the Barclays Premier Reserve League North.

Michael O'Halloran grabbed a late consolation for the visitors but it did little to take the gloss off an accomplished showing.

It means Rodolfo Borrell's team have now taken six points from their first four league matches and will go into next Monday's trip to Blackburn in high spirits.

Ahead of a sun-drenched encounter in Kirkby, the Spaniard had called upon his side to approach Bolton with the same hunger and desire that had seen them convincingly put Chelsea to the sword.

The former Barcelona coach was without Hungarian starlet Krisztian Adorjan who was away on international duty but was buoyed by the inclusion of first-team squad members, Jon Flanagan and Danny Wilson.

The visitors came into the contest on the back of five defeats in their first seven league games and the Reds looked to take advantage of their low confidence early on.

Indeed, it could have been 1-0 inside 90 seconds when Morgan let fly from distance, but his shot arrowed inches past the upright.

Less than a minute later they were at it again but Sterling's tap-in was ruled out for offside after Morgan was brought down attempting to round Jay Lynch in the Wanderers goal.

The No.9, who had passed his driving test just hours earlier, looked eager to make it a day of double celebration and almost finished off a neat move soon after when he fired Sterling's cutback into the side netting.

Having survived the quick-fire peppering of their goal, Bolton started to grow in confidence and Topi Obadeyi was unlucky to see his stinging effort flash just wide of the far post.

Jack Sampson then wasted a glorious chance to put the away team ahead before Morgan repeated the trick when he somehow contrived to steer Suso's pass off target on 25 minutes.

Next, the Spaniard jinked his way towards the edge of the box and lined up a low shot that was easily claimed by Lynch.

It had developed into an even contest and Bolton came close yet again when Josh Vela failed to connect with a left-wing cross. The Reds could only half-clear their lines and Martin Hansen was relieved to see O'Halloran's piledriver crash into his near post side netting.

On 44 minutes Borrell's team almost snatched the interval advantage when Sterling exchanged a delightful one-two with Suso, but the winger could only stab wide when faced by the advancing Lynch.

A goal was the only thing missing from a vibrant Liverpool display but any concerns it was going to turn into an afternoon of frustration were ended within four minutes of the restart.

A free-kick was awarded on the right-side of the area, allowing Suso to step up and curl a deflected shot beyond Lynch and into the far corner of the net.

It gave Liverpool the confidence-boost they needed and after weathering a short period of Bolton pressure they doubled their lead on 62 minutes.

Conor Coady found Michael Ngoo in space, who in turn picked out the run of Morgan. The young striker was determined to get his goal and this time made no mistake with a cool, low finish from the right-hand side of the area.

To their credit, Bolton responded and Wilson was forced to make a tremendous last-ditch block to deny Vela after Obadeyi had got in behind the Reds rearguard.

The visitors' desire to reduce the arrears inevitably left gaps at the back and 19 minutes from time it was three.

This time Morgan turned provider, steering a sublime ball in behind the defence for Sterling to race through and tuck home at the second attempt.

At this point it looked like Liverpool would continue to add to the scoresheet but it was Bolton who were celebrating next as O'Halloran tucked home from close range following a neat counter attack down the left.

With time running out both teams came close to adding to their respective tallies, but it wasn't to be, on an afternoon when the reserves once again illustrated their huge potential.

Jamie Carragher Opens New Football Pitches In Netherton

Liverpool FC star Jamie Carragher officially opened the country’s newest community outdoor football pitches.

The Reds defender joined players from Bootle Bucks and Netherton Rangers junior sides to unveil the venue in Glovers Lane, Netherton.

The redeveloped site, run by Sefton council, has four five-a-side and two seven-a-side pitches.

They are located next to Netherton Activity Centre.

Bootle-born Carragher said: “These facilities are vitally important to Netherton and Bootle and we are very proud of them.

“I remember playing at the NAC as a kid and it is a lot better now with these excellent pitches.

“It is a tough time economically so it is great for parents to bring their children here – it will keep their children fit and give them lots of enjoyment.”

The pitches cost around £700,000 and were designed with latest 3G technology, consisting of long rubber infill and synthetic grass.

The entire rebuilt NAC site cost £6.2m and it includes a leisure centre, fitness rooms, library, a sensory facility for disabled visitors and a large IT suite.