Friday, November 04, 2011

Dalglish Urges His Side To Respect The Threat Of Swansea

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has warned his team they must not take newly promoted Swansea City lightly when the clubs clash on Saturday.

The Scot believes the Reds have squandered too many points against sides promoted from the Championship in recent years and hopes to avoid a repeat against the Welsh team.

Dalglish told reporters: "It's a game that we're going to have to be very patient in. The supporters have to understand that sometimes there is a bit of disrespect for teams who have been promoted.

"Swansea might have spells of possession in the game, which we've got to accept. We've rued the games against some promoted teams over the last few years. Swansea are one of the promoted teams but they're a decent side and they've got a good collection of points."

Dalglish is full of admiration for how Brendan Rodgers' side have played this year in the Premier League, but will not be doing them any favours come the weekend.

"I wouldn't say struggled is the right word," Dalglish said. "I would just say they've had a difficult draw of games. They certainly never struggled in the first 20-25 minutes at Eastlands. We've got the utmost respect for them and their principles are similar to ours.

"I don't know Brendan Rodgers as a person, I only know what he's done in football, but he's certainly set up a decent team there.

"I don't think it does you any good to change your principles, you have to change the whole team if you change your principles. That was the way they got their reward last year in promotion - why should they change? Good luck to them.

"It's a great achievement what they've done so far but let's hope their bad run away from home continues."

Bellamy Eyes Swans Statement

Craig Bellamy has called on Liverpool to demonstrate their top-four credentials by securing victory over Swansea City this weekend and extending their unbeaten run to eight matches in the process.

The Swans will journey to Anfield on Saturday having enjoyed an encouraging start to life in the top flight after securing promotion from the Championship last term.

However, Bellamy is eager for the Reds to return to winning ways on home soil following the 1-1 draw with Swansea's fellow Barclays Premier League new boys Norwich City a fortnight ago.

"It is important to keep the unbeaten run going, but with no disrespect to Swansea, if we have ambitions of finishing in the top four then we have to win these type of games," he told

"We slipped up against Norwich, but on overall chances created and how we went about it, on any other given day we would have won quite comfortably.

"Credit to Norwich, they kept going because we didn't kill them off. If we can create the same number of chances against Swansea, then I feel we will that game.

"We have to look at it as trying to get three points because they are a promoted team and if we want to get into the top four, these are the games we have to try and win."

Swansea will come to Anfield sitting in 10th position in the table having enjoyed an enterprising start to the campaign.

"I'm not surprised because of the way they play and are as a football club," said Bellamy. "The Premier League suits them.

"They will play football at all costs - and they have done. They've tried to keep that idea and that momentum going. I think they will be very comfortable in the league this year.

"They're a good team and we'll have to be at the top of our game on Saturday. If we're not and we sit off, they'll pass it around us and it'll be a very uncomfortable afternoon."

Liverpool are currently in the midst of a seven-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

It was a sequence Bellamy himself kick-started when he opened the scoring during a Carling Cup tie at Brighton in September.

The striker admits it was a landmark moment on a personal level as it was his first goal for the Reds since securing a return to Anfield on transfer deadline day.

He said: "It was a big moment. It was Brighton and seven minutes in, and then I was lucky enough to follow it up in my next start with another goal at home to Norwich.

"We should have been a couple of goals up by that time, but to get a goal in front of the Kop is always an extra bonus."

Bellamy's first spell at Anfield yielded nine goals - including one in a historic 2-1 Champions League victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Having signed from Blackburn Rovers in 2006, the Welsh international spent just a season at Liverpool before departing for West Ham United the following summer.

The 32-year-old admits he thought the chance to ever don the red jersey again had passed him by - but was left thrilled when Kenny Dalglish moved to snap him up from Manchester City earlier this summer.

In doing so, Bellamy fulfilled a lifelong goal - to play for the King of the Kop.

He said: "It was always an ambition to work with Kenny. Did I feel I was going to get this opportunity again? Probably not - but then Kenny would say the same as well. These things can happen in football.

"When he returned in charge in January, I got to see his team and it was so refreshing watching Liverpool.

"To watch Kenny come back and the football that's been played, for me it is exciting to be around - and that is something I'd expect from Liverpool Football Club."

He added: "It's been really good and I have enjoyed it. Training has been great. I'm lucky enough to have worked with Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen before at West Ham, and to be involved with them again is great.

"Training is intense, but it is always with a view to the opposition who we're going to play.

"Every day you come in and there is something different. There is a great atmosphere at the place - very relaxed but really with a goal of Champions League football. We have the players to do it and I feel this team will get stronger through the year as well."

No Old Pals' Act For Clarke

Steve Clarke has revealed why he is looking forward to welcoming an old friend to Anfield when Swansea City come to town - but is hoping the only thing Brendan Rodgers heads back to Wales with on Saturday evening is a handshake.

The Liverpool first-team coach is close friends with the Swans gaffer having struck up a friendship during their days working at youth-team level.

Clarke then recommended Rodgers to former club Chelsea when he was promoted to the role of Jose Mourinho's assistant at Stamford Bridge in 2004.

The Scot explained to "I know Brendan well. We came across each other what seems like a really long time ago when I was managing the youth team at Chelsea and Brendan was youth-team manager at Reading. We had some good matches and got to know each other through that.

"When Mourinho went to Chelsea, I moved up to work with Jose and recommended that Brendan could be one of the candidates to come in and take the job with the youth team.

"Fortunately for everybody, Brendan got the job and did a great job for Chelsea."

He added: "We stay in contact regularly. I probably speak to Brendan a couple of times a month - obviously not this week because we've got different agendas at the weekend. I haven't seen him for a while, so I'm looking forward to seeing him after the game.

"He's done a terrific job at Swansea. I hope they have a big reversal this weekend, but after that I wish them all the best."

Dalglish Convinced Liverpool Squad Can Cope Without Key Duo

Kenny Dalglish is convinced his Liverpool squad can cope with the absence of key men Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher as they are much better equipped compared to last season.

Gerrard and Carragher, the local heroes who have been the backbone of the Liverpool team for 12 years, have always been indispensable members of the squad with the club's success very much dependent on their availability.

However, with the backing of new owners, Dalglish has spent heavily on new players including midfielders Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing and defender Sebastian Coates,

And Dalglish believes the squad can now cope with the absence of captain Gerrard and vice-captain Carragher.

"We would much rather have both of them available, but if they aren't then we can't walk about with self-pity," said the Scot. "We have to brush ourselves down and get on with it.

"The response from the players has been fantastic, and it was a great achievement for the boys to get a result at West Brom last Saturday without them. I think that's a reflection of how strong the squad is now compared to maybe how it was at the end of last season.

"I don't think at the end of last season we'd have coped as well without Carra and Stevie as we have now. We won't be complacent in any way, shape or form. The sooner they are back then the better we will be."

However, Dalglish has insisted that the veteran duo remain crucial parts of the team.

"I don't think anybody can dispute the role they have played in forming part of the history of this club," he said. "They have both played massive roles and will continue to be a huge part of this football club.

"Talismanic figures like them are always difficult to replace, but that's part and parcel of this club - people move on, they get old and you have to replace them and try and take it forward.

"It happens to everybody. It's how you respond to it that's the important thing. But it's also important for us to be respectful and appreciate what they've done.

"It's not an obituary for either of them, they both have a bit more to offer here."

Dalglish Linked With Sensational Move For Tevez

Manchester City's controversial striker Carlos Tevez has emerged as a shock target for Liverpool who are hoping to land the player on a short term loan deal.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has seen his side criticised in recent weeks for failing to find the target despite carving out numerous opportunities.

The Reds beat West Brom 2-0 at the weekend but it could have been more had the side taken their chances, while a 1-1 draw with Norwich at Anfield further highlighted Liverpool's lack of composure in front of goal.

This has led to numerous media outlets suggesting that Liverpool could now attempt to land Tevez, with reports suggesting that the forwards agent Kia Joorabchian had already held informal talks with a Liverpool representative.

City are hoping to be able to loan out the striker while they wait for him to be sold with West Ham and Corinthians both sounding out the Premier League leaders about possible loan deals.

Tevez is also keen to keep playing and put himself in the shop window as he knows that he will struggle to ever play again under Roberto Mancini.

Dalglish managed to convince Mancini to part with striker Craig Bellamy over the summer and is reportedly contemplating bringing Tevez to Anfield.

Liverpool already have Bellamy, Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll available to play up front, but should the Reds be able to land Tevez on a short term loan deal then they would snap up the opportunity to have such a prolific striker at the club.

Liverpool In Pole Position To Sign Swedish Wonderkid

According to reports on, Liverpool are in pole position to sign exciting Swedish teenager William Sheriff.

The 15-year-old AIK Solna player has been hailed as a future star by the club and it is thought scouts from around Europe have flocked to Stockholm to watch him in action.

Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan are also both thought to be interested, but Liverpool is the player's preferred move should he leave AIK.

It has been claimed that Sheriff had the chance to sign for Liverpool in the past, but opted to sign for AIK from local club Gefle IF in August to remain in Sweden.

However, the Reds have reportedly been keeping a close eye on the young midfielder's progress and have firmed up their interest due to the interest of the Milan clubs.

The Sierra-Leonne born Sherif is progressing well at AIK and the club fear they will lose him sooner rather than later.

And Liverpool are reportedly ready to pounce and are expected to make an approach in January.

Kenny Happy With Development

Manager Kenny Dalglish believes the evolving partnerships in his Liverpool squad will prove key to the club's chances of long-term success.

With seven new arrivals in the summer and January signings Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll having hardly played alongside each other in the latter stages of last season it has taken a while for things to knit together at Anfield.

The striking duo are starting to develop an understanding but by far the most successful link-up this season has been the one down the left between Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing, both summer signings.

Charlie Adam has also slotted in alongside Lucas Leiva in central midfield to go some way to counter the absence of injured captain Steven Gerrard, who has only made two Premier League starts this season.

Dalglish said: "The squad is the most important thing, then it becomes the team then the partnerships between people on the pitch and their understanding and getting to know each other.

"They get to know the idiosyncrasies of each individual player and their team-mates; for Jose and Stewart I don't think it is any different from any other pairing on the pitch.

"The more they play and train together the better their understanding will be.

"There have been a few new players coming in so it might take them a little bit of time to understand it but I think some of the football they have played up to now has been fantastic for them.

"Stewart fills in if Jose goes forward but that is only part of their relationship and it is the same all over the pitch, there are relationships to be bedded in.

"To their credit they have done it a lot quicker than a lot of people would have expected."

Such has been the form of Enrique, who made his debut in the opening match of the season just 24 hours after moving from Newcastle, he has played every minute of all 10 Premier League matches so far.

That has had his name mentioned for a potential first international call-up for Spain.

Dalglish believes the 25-year-old is more than capable of playing at that level - although he admits there are a few barriers to be overcome.

"He got thrown in at the deep end against Sunderland because Fabio (Aurelio) got injured and he slotted in straight away - maybe that was a blessing in disguise for him being thrown in as soon as he did as he didn't have much time to think about it," said the Scot.

"He has certainly played very well for us but I think he has to concentrate on getting a game for us first and then he can worry about Spain.

"If he gets called for I don't think there is any level in the game that he couldn't play well at."

Reina's Reds Faith Restored

Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina admits the stability brought by Fenway Sports Group restored his faith in the club.

Reina revealed in his autobiography that he considered leaving Anfield for Arsenal in the summer of 2010 only for former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to block the transfer fearing it would send out the wrong message to any potential buyers.

In the end, the decision over the future of the Reds was taken out of the American pair's hands when it was sold to FSG amid increasing financial concerns.

Reina admits writing about those difficult times under the former owners was not easy, but the Spaniard believes the future is bright under their new owners and Kenny Dalglish.

"All the stuff about the club being threatened with administration - those were the most difficult bits," Reina said at the launch of Pepe: My Autobiography.

"It was a pretty tough moment for everyone, not just me.

"Everyone at Melwood, Anfield and around Liverpool were not very happy with the club, team and the performances.

"They were tough moments but once again I knew a club like Liverpool was not going to be sitting waiting for it to go into administration and fortunately we found good owners and the stability came back."