Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Suarez Keeps Reds Defence Alive

Daniel Agger has revealed how striker Luis Suarez gives the Liverpool defenders a workout in training.

The Uruguayan international has been a revelation in the Barclays Premier League after moving to Anfield in January, and has particularly impressed this term with seven goals in all competitions.

The 24-year-old's all-action style has made him an instant hit with the club's loyal fans, and Danish international defender Agger isn't surprised by the forward's performances given his efforts between matches.

"I think his performances speak for themselves. Everybody can see that he is a class player. He is so different. I cannot find any other striker that looks like him or plays like him," he told the LFC magazine.

"Everybody can see that he is a class player. He is so different. I cannot find any other striker that looks like him or plays like him.

"It's not because he does any fancy things or anything like that, he just gets the ball in front of goal and creates the chances for himself. Sometimes the way he gets the ball and the way he gets in on goal - you don't believe it.

"But all credit to him and if he can continue like that, he is definitely going to be one of the world's best."

The 26-year-old centre back admits he doesn't envy other defenders who have to come up against the former Ajax hitman in competitive situations, with Suarez's tenacity one of his most endearing features to Reds followers on Merseyside.

It's also something which the players love to see, with Agger admitting that it provides the whole team with a boost during matches.

"He does it every day in training, so we know how hard he is to play against. People can see every Saturday afternoon that defenders are struggling to keep him at bay," he continued.

"It gives everybody in our team a boost to know we have someone like that in attack. To achieve something, I think you need players like that in your team."

Liverpool In Shock Approach For Prolific Barcelona Striker

Sensational reports from Spain have emerged today suggesting that David Villa has become unsettled at Barcelona and is looking for an exit from the Nou Camp.

What is more, radio station Cadena Ser has revealed that both Liverpool and Chelsea have approached the Catalan giants about their prolific frontman, whose phenomenal international scoring record – 50 goals in 80 appearances – speaks for itself.

It is thought that Villa’s unrest has come from Pep Guardiola’s commitment to deploying him on the flanks in order to accommodate Lionel Messi.

Though the 29 year-old has adapted to the role well, scoring 30 goals in 69 games across all competitions, he would prefer the central role that he has enjoyed both at his previous club Valencia, before leaving the Mestalla in the summer of 2009 for €40 million, and with Spain.

Having seen his side stutter to a 0-0 draw against Swansea at the weekend, a match characterized by Liverpool’s inability to put together many penetrative attacks, Kenny Dalglish will have pondered a move for a high-profile goalscorer.

In January last year, the Scottish manager proved that he is not shy of splashing the cash in order to bolster his attacking options, bringing in both Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez into his squad at a combined weight of around £60 million.

An astronomical fee in the same region would be needed to prise Villa away from La Liga but the instinct he would certainly bring to Anfield may make such a coup worthwhile.

Dalglish Hails 'Fantastic' Defender As Among The Best In England

Kenny Dalglish has hailed centre-back Daniel Agger's return to the Liverpool team and believes the Dane is up with there with the very best defenders in the Premier League.

Agger has impressed since returning to the Reds line-up after his injury lay-off and has helped the team to back-to-back clean sheets.

And Dalglish is convinced Agger has all the attributes to make him one of the best players in the league and is confident his injury problems are behind him.

"Daniel's a fantastic player but it wasn't just down to Daniel that we've had two clean sheets," said Dalglish.

"He's a fantastic player and he's probably as good as anyone else in his position in the Barclays Premier League.

"He's comfortable in possession and he's a very good defender as well.

"He's a top defender, a top player. He played left-back for us at Stoke as well and did very well.

"It's great to have him back and I hope his fitness remains as it is for a long time."

Three In A Row For In-Form Luis

Luis Suarez today spoke of his delight after being named the Standard Chartered Player of the Month for an unprecedented third time in succession.

The Uruguay striker scooped October's accolade after tallying an incredible 70 per cent of your vote in a poll on this website.

Jose Enrique was named as runner-up, collecting 13 per cent of the vote, while Andy Carroll came third with four per cent.

Suarez made five appearances for Liverpool during October as Kenny Dalglish's men went unbeaten.

The No.7 also helped himself to three goals, including a strike on his Merseyside derby debut against Everton at Goodison Park and a Carling Cup double at Stoke.

Upon being presented with the award at Melwood, Suarez told "It's a bit of a surprise because to win it three months running makes me almost feel a bit embarrassed, but as long as people realize I'm just doing my job and I'm working hard for the team then that's great.

"I think if we had managed to pick up a couple more victories in those games we deserved to - the home games against Manchester United and Norwich - we'd obviously be a little bit higher up the league.

"The important thing is the team has been playing well and, for the most part, getting the right results - but we still know we can do that little bit better."

He added: "Obviously for a player it is very nice to pick up this sort of award - it's an extra source of motivation. The important thing is the dressing room is happy and that no matter who wins these awards, things are going well for the whole squad."

Suarez's Stoke brace took his tally to seven for the season so far.

The 24-year-old's first at the Britannia came via a sublime solo effort - but was it the best goal of his Liverpool career so far?

He said: "I've scored some good goals, but for now I think that one at Stoke is right up there because of how the game was going at the time, it was a nutmeg and we were playing away in a difficult game. All that makes it one of the best of my career so far."

Liverpool Midfielder Emerges As Bayern Munich Target

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva has reportedly become a transfer target for Bayern Munich.

Bayern head coach Jupp Heynches is thought to be drawing up a list of potential recruits for both the winter transfer window and the end of the season, and according to, Lucas is high on that wishlist.

The Bundesliga heavyweights are aware of the Brazilian midfielder's importance to the Liverpool side, but are reportedly prepared to offer €15m in an attempt to make the Reds negotiate.

The 24-year-old was signed by former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez from Gremio in 2007 and he arrived in England with a promising reputation.

Despite taking a couple of seasons to adapt to the Premier League, Lucas has established himself as a crucial part of the Liverpool midfield.

It is unclear whether Lucas would be interested in a move to Bayern, but with Liverpool out of the Champions League and the club adrift in the title race, he could be tempted by the thought of moving o the Allianz-Arena.

Suarez Seeking An Apology From Evra

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has risked punishment from the Football Association by publicly declaring he wants an apology from Manchester United defender Patrice Evra if he is cleared over recent racial abuse claims.

Suarez took the unusual step of breaking his silence on the issue by speaking to the media in his home country about Evra's accusation, despite the governing body stating that no party should yet comment on the alleged incident. The FA is currently investigating a complaint, denied by Suarez, that Evra was racially abused by the Uruguayan during the Premier League game at Anfield in October.

"The FA will have to clarify things with [Evra]," Suarez said. "There is no evidence I said anything racist to him. I said nothing of the sort. There were two parts of the discussion, one in Spanish, one in English. I did not insult him. It was just a way of expressing myself. I called him something his team-mates at Manchester call him, and even they were surprised by his reaction.

"These things happen in football, in the heat of the moment. They leave someone looking bad. Now we have to see how the matter is decided and then, for him as much as me, we will have things clear. And wherever the fault lies, we are going to have to say sorry."

Mike Marsh Excited By Signing Of Marc Pelosi

Liverpool Under-18s coach Mike Marsh has welcomed the signing of talented American teenager Marc Pelosi.

The highly-rated 17-year-old midfielder has completed his move to the club’s Kirkby Academy from California outfit DeAnza Force.

Pelosi took his bow for the Reds in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Crewe in the Premier Academy League and was an unused substitute for the reserves at Blackburn Rovers on Monday night.

Marsh is looking forward to working with the USA youth international who impressed the Reds’ scouts.

“Marc is a good lad who has conducted himself really well since he’s been here,” Marsh said.

“He had trained with us a couple of times but last Saturday was the first time he could play as his papers had just come through. He played 45 minutes for us at Crewe and did really well.

“Marc will be between the two groups – the under-18s and the reserves – so we will have to wait and see what happens.

“But he’s clearly got talent and is a left-footed centre midfielder who can also play anywhere on the left side.

“He’s been captain of his country and has a lot of potential. If he keeps progressing I’m sure he’ll do well.”

Pelosi, who was born in Germany, skippered USA Under-17s as this summer’s FIFA World Cup tournament in Mexico. He has scored eight goals in 28 appearances at under-17 level.

From Sunnyvale in California, Pelosi had initially planned to study at UCLA in Los Angeles after leaving high school.

However, Liverpool offered the youngster a deal and he opted to make the switch across the Atlantic.

When he initially became aware of the Reds’ interest earlier this year, Pelosi said: “I have been told the Barcelona coach said that ‘If you don’t go to Barcelona, the second best place to develop is at Liverpool’. It’s a great, top notch organization.

“It’s a great feeling knowing that the work I have put in the last few years has paid huge dividends.”

Reds Academy director Frank McParland added: “We’re determined to identify the best talent globally and I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring Marc in.”

Reds Coaches Arrive In Mumbai

Coaches from Liverpool Football Club this morning touched down in Mumbai ahead of the start of the latest LFC-Standard Chartered Football Clinic and GOAL exchange program.

The clinic, which kicks off in India's most densely populated city on Thursday, is the fourth such venture Liverpool have participated in since Standard Chartered became the club's main sponsor with over 500 poor or disadvantaged children receiving expert coaching in Nairobi, East London and Seoul since last August.

The travelling party from Merseyside, including four coaches from LFC's award-winning Community Department and two young female volunteers from the Goals 4 Girls initiative, will be complimented on Friday by the arrival of Reds legend turned Club Ambassador Ian Rush, who has been ever present at all the clinics so far.

As well as the traditional two-day football clinic, the club will also be coaching the 40 best children to emerge from a football talent search entitled 'Go Forward' that was launched a few months ago in conjunction with Standard Chartered as well as participating in a unique cultural exchange program between LFC's two Goals For Girls representatives and similar aged girls from the bank's own GOALS project in Mumbai.

"I think this visit will be quite different to the other football clinics we've done with Standard Chartered before," explained Mark Bygroves, who is in charge of the coaching element of the trip in Mumbai. "This is a city none of us have ever visited before and we feel very privileged to be able to help out in our own small way by offering lots of children an opportunity to receive the sort of coaching that is not readily available to them here in Mumbai."

Launched in September, 'Go Forward' was an initiative targeted towards nurturing the football talent of state school children from severely financially challenged backgrounds in Mumbai and giving them the chance to win not just four months of expert coaching tuition but also, for the exceptional few, the possibility of being spotted by a national I-League or Barclays Premier League club.

From over 2,500 children who initially enrolled - many of whom don't have any sporting facilities in the municipal school they attend - only 32 boys and eight girls remain and it's these children who will be put through their paces by Liverpool's coaches this week.

While the 40 Go Forward children will be all out to impress the Liverpool staff, for 18-year-old Rebecca Hughes (above, right) from Old Swan and 18-year-old Jade Adekoya from Belle Vale, the two Goals For Girls volunteers who have been handed this once in a lifetime, all expenses paid opportunity to visit Mumbai with LFC and Standard Chartered, there's a mixture of excitement and nervousness.

"We've been so excited about this trip since the moment we were told we'd been picked to come but having heard so much about how poor large parts of Mumbai are, it could be quite upsetting," admitted Rebecca, who left college in May, as she travelled from the airport to the city centre hotel where the Liverpool party will be based until Sunday. "Hopefully this visit can do some good and we can't wait to meet the girls from the GOALS project and find out how similar what they do here in Mumbai is to what we do back in Liverpool. I know their project's driven by netball rather than football but it will still be interesting to see if the social messages they deliver to the kids are the same as ours."