Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bellamy: Reds Will Get Stronger

Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy admits Liverpool have "slipped up" of late, but expects them to get "stronger and stronger" as the season progresses.

Three successive home draws, including being held by Norwich and Swansea, have seen Kenny Dalglish's side drop off the pace at the top of the Premier League table.

But Wales striker Bellamy insists there are no real issues at the club - and nothing to worry about.

"We have slipped up a little bit in recent weeks, and this is no disrespect to Swansea, but if we have an ambition to finish in the top four, we have to win those types of games," he told the Daily Mirror.

"But we do have the players here to reach the top four and get in the Champions League again. I feel this team will get stronger and stronger as the year goes on.

"Despite the results at home, there is a great atmosphere around the place, it's very relaxed, but always with the view to getting into the Champions League next season.

"I've really enjoyed being back at Liverpool, I've enjoyed working with a quality group of players.

"Training is very intense, but very enjoyable, and there is a feeling we will improve.

"Rafa Benitez's team was very good too and very efficient. But I do feel this team - with Kenny's stamp on it - isn't too far off Rafa's."

Staunton Backs Dalglish Over Liverpool Fixture Pile-Up

Steve Staunton has backed Kenny Dalglish’s criticism of Liverpool’s upcoming schedule.

The Reds face Manchester City in an important Premier League fixture at the end of the month, followed by Chelsea in the League Cup quarter-finals just 48 hours later.

Dalglish claimed on Thursday: “It is disgraceful in this day and age that players are being asked to play a league game and then a quarter-final just 48 hours later.

“The one thing I will say to our fans is to think carefully before buying tickets for the League Cup game.

"We do not want them spending their money and then we decide there is no other option but to use only young players in the tie."

Many believe the Liverpool boss will devalue the League Cup by playing a weakened side but ex-Anfield favourite Staunton has backed his former manager.

“Kenny Dalglish takes every game seriously, even a five-a-side, let alone a Carling Cup quarter-final,” he told Keys and Gray.

“He’s trying to put the point across that it’s a disgrace. It’s the League Cup, why does it have to be 48 hours after an important league game?

“The league is the priority for every team in the country but I’m sure Kenny Dalglish would love to get some silverware and I’m sure he targeted the Carling Cup ,as well as the FA Cup. They [the Football League] could give them an extra day.”

Liverpool Closing In On Basel Youngster Nicholas Hunziker

Liverpool are close to signing Nicholas Hunziker from Basel ahead of some of Europe’s top sides, according to The Mirror.

Hunziker is a 15-year old midfielder and came to the attention of Liverpool after scoring a hat-trick for the Swiss youth side on his debut.

Liverpool scout Frank McParland has been to check on the youngster on numerous occasions and it is thought he has persuaded manager Kenny Dalglish to move for the Basel player before he is snapped up by another club.

Hunziker would be able to move to Anfield for a minimal fee, and the Reds are keen to tie down a deal for the player who has had scouts flocking from all over Europe to check on his talent.

Dalglish has been keen to build a youthful side at Liverpool after bringing through Martin Kelly, John Flanagan and Conor Coady to the first-team, and is now looking around the continent to bring the best talent to the club.

It is thought that Hunziker would jump at the chance to move to Liverpool with the club making progress under the stewardship of club legend Dalglish in his second spell as manager.

Luis Happy After Copying Romario

Luis Suarez declared himself 'very happy' after scoring all four goals in a 4-0 win over Chile to help Uruguay stay top of the South American World Cup qualifying group.

Our No.7 became the first player to fire four in a CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier since Brazil's Romario in October 2000.

He hit two in three minutes just before the break, including a stunning low drill with his left foot from 25 yards.

Two more followed after half-time before Suarez went home with the match ball.

He then posted on Facebook: "What a great game! Very happy with the win and the four goals.

"This is a very important step for the classification. Thanks to my teammates and everyone for the support they always give me! Hugs to all!"

Suarez scored four goals several times for former club Ajax but had never done so for his country.

Elsewhere, Daniel Agger played 90 minutes as Denmark beat Sweden 2-0, and Dirk Kuyt also went the distance in Holland's goalless draw with Switzerland.

On Thursday Lucas featured as a substitute in Brazil's 2-0 friendly win over Gabon.

Jordan Henderson Wants Team GB Olympic Captaincy

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson says he wants to captain Team GB at the Olympic Games after manager Stuart Pearce handed him the armband for the England Under-21s.

Henderson made a big money move from Sunderland to Liverpool during this summer and is so far yet to produce his best form for his new club, but has received a welcome boost from Pearce, who will also manage the British Olympic side.

The 21-year old was made captain of Pearce’s England Under-21 team, leading to suggestions that Henderson could be given the same role at the Olympic Games in 2012.

“I’m happy with the way things have gone,” Henderson said in an article in The Mirror.

“I went to Liverpool and I’m improving, there are great players I can learn from and I love playing for England ­Under-21s.

“I tend not to think about the captaincy too much – I’m still a player for the team and I need to focus on my job – but I try to lead by example.”

Henderson is unlikely to be involved in England’s Euro 2012 campaign and admits he already has one eye on the Olympics next summer.

“Everyone would love to play in the Olympic team.

“Anyone who is picked will be grateful. It should be British players, not just English players, but that’s not up to me.”

Aurelio Eager To Force His Way Into Liverpool FC Team

Fabio Aurelio is on a mission to force his way back into Kenny Dalglish’s plans.

The Brazilian left-back hasn’t featured for Liverpool so far this season due to his injury problems and the excellent form of new recruit Jose Enrique.

Aurelio, who has only made the Reds’ matchday squad on one occasion, was an unused substitute for last month’s Carling Cup tie at Stoke City.

“I feel strong but when you don’t have many minutes on the pitch then match fitness is not the same,” he said.

“I’ve been available more or less since the Man United game. I’ve been training and waiting for the opportunity to have minutes on the pitch.

“When you’re at a big club you have to be ready to take the opportunity.

“It’s in Kenny’s hands whether he decides if he wants to use me or not but my desire is to always be available.”

Injuries have restricted the 32-year-old to 131 appearances since joining Liverpool in 2006 but the defender says his faith has helped keep his spirits up during some dark days.

“It’s not easy to stay positive as I have a history of injuries and lots of problems,” Aurelio added.

“With time you get a bit frustrated as well. Sometimes it puts you down a little bit.

“Being a Christian helps me a lot to go through it and the support of my family has been very important for me.

“Every time I come back I feel like I’m able to do it again, which encourages me to keep fighting and keep looking for what I want, which is to keep playing matches and enjoying football.”

Reds Coach Keen On Kenny

Kevin Keen is relishing his role as Liverpool first-team coach, and explained why he felt a tinge of nerves when coming face-to-face with Kenny Dalglish for the very first time.

The Reds boss' illustrious reputation in world football left the former West Ham United man - who has been working at Anfield for four months now - feeling a little apprehensive, but Keen reveals how he was pleasantly surprised after their initial Melwood meeting.

"It's been brilliant working with Kenny," he told "You come in with this idea of Kenny being this hero.

"I grew up in the '70s when Liverpool really, really took on the world and were the best club side in world football. Kenny was the star of that team.

"So you come in with these ideas of him being a superstar, but in fact he's just a gentleman. A really, really good man who desperately wants Liverpool to do well."

Keen says that the fact he, Dalglish, and fellow first-team coach Steve Clarke all share the same philosophies about how football should be played, has made for a harmonious atmosphere around the training ground.

"This is my 10th year coaching, and my philosophy has always been that training has got to be fun and enjoyable," he continued. "I always enjoyed certain types of training more than others, and I think the fun element is a massive part of training every day, week in week out.

"Even though the game has become more professional, everything is on the telly and everything has got to be spot on, I still think the fun and enjoyment element has got to be there. I think Kenny is very important in that role.

"He is a fantastic leader of Liverpool Football Club, a really good manager. All of those little aspects in terms of man-management, making sure you have a little bit of fun when the time is right, Kenny is fantastic at that."

Academy Duo Go Back To School

Two Academy youngsters paid a special visit to Four Oaks Primary School earlier this week to help Liverpool Football Club deliver their 'Truth 4 Youth' message.

Matty McGiveron and Craig Roddan dropped by to host a special assembly at the Liverpool school and deliver anti-racism, anti-bullying and positive community messages to pupils in years 3 to 6.

After an enjoyable sing-a-long with community department manager Bill Bygroves got the afternoon off to a lively start, the children were given a Truth 4 Youth workbook to complete.

McGiveron and Roddan were then interviewed by the Four Oaks year 6 councilors which will feature in the school's newsletter to parents.

"The Truth 4 Youth assemblies hit home key messages that Liverpool Football Club endorses to pupils within our city," said LFC's Kickz officer Forbes Duff.

"All of the issues highlighted in the school assemblies are relevant to young people growing up in today's society and hopefully they will carry these messages throughout the school life and into adulthood.

"The support and encouragement given by Matty and Craig to the pupils was fantastic as they encouraged the pupils to take on board the messages and study hard in school."