Friday, November 18, 2011

Uruguayan Embassy To Help Luis Suárez Fight FA Charges

Liverpool will have the backing of the Uruguayan football association to help Luis Suárez fight the allegations of racial abuse that have left him open to a long ban and reinforced Kenny Dalglish's view that the authorities are threatening to "walk all over us".

Suárez, who denies the allegations and will plead not guilty, returned from international duty to go straight into talks with Dalglish, Liverpool's manager, about the FA's decision to charge him. Dalglish reiterated that the striker has the club's backing and has been informed that the Uruguayan authorities believe he is innocent. Officials in Montevideo want the help of the Uruguay embassy in London to back Suárez's argument that the words Patrice Evra reported would not be considered offensive in parts of South America.

The semantics will be crucial to the issue, with Dalglish maintaining his view that the player does not deserve to face FA charges of using "abusive and insulting words" including "a reference to the ethnic origin and colour or race" of the Senegal-born Evra.

"I don't think there is any doubt that any player at this football club who finds themselves in a bit of a bad time is always going to be well looked after by the people here," Dalglish said. "That is a given for this club."

The Liverpool manager, repeatedly citing the club's statement that are "fully supportive of Luis", wants the process to be completed "quickly but correctly", and there was a clear sense of a siege mentality building behind the scenes at Anfield.

Dalglish, prickly and keeping his answers deliberately short, has already railed against what he considers to be a string of contentious refereeing decisions against his team and has been incensed by the "disgraceful" scheduling that sees them play a Carling Cup quarter-final against Chelsea on 29 November, only 48 hours after their Premier League game against Manchester City. The Suárez issue has merely compounded Dalglish's view that Liverpool is not getting any help from the authorities.

"Most of the time you don't want to say anything but, if you don't say anything, they'll walk all over you," he said. "They might still walk all over us anyway but you've got to justify yourself, you've got to have an opinion and you've got to make a statement of a belief you've got.

Dalglish - Gerrard On Track

Kenny Dalglish claims Steven Gerrard's rehabilitation is 'progressing brilliantly' but has refused to set a date for his possible return.

The Liverpool skipper has endured an injury-hit 2011/12 campaign, with an ankle infection currently keeping him on the sidelines.

The Reds are reluctant to gamble on his fitness, with one setback having already been suffered this term.

It remains unclear when Liverpool supporters can expect to see their captain back in action, but Dalglish is confident Gerrard will be back sooner rather than later.

"Steven is progressing brilliantly," he told the club's official website.

"There is nothing that's been a disappointment other than he's not been available for selection.

"He'll be available as and when he's over what he's got but everything's going really well. We couldn't ask for more or any greater news from him."

Pressed on whether a timescale could be put on his recovery, Dalglish added: "No. When he's ready."

While the Reds are still waiting on Gerrard, they are set to welcome Jamie Carragher back into the fold for Sunday's trip to Chelsea.

"Carra is training," said Dalglish.

"He's got rid of his calf injury so he's fit and available for selection."

In-form forward Luis Suarez will also be in contention for a starting berth against the Blues having reported back from international duty with Uruguay free of a slight back complaint.

"So far we've had no news of anybody being injured," said Dalglish.

Liverpool Striker Set For Shock Move To Italian Giants

Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt is expected to leave Anfield with Italian giants Inter Milan reportedly interest.

According to reports in Italian publication Mediaset, Inter failed with a move for the Dutch international 18 months ago, but Kuyt has dropped down the pecking order at Liverpool with Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez now ahead of him.

Kop manager Kenny Dalglish has this season been using the 31-year-old more as a squad player, as he has made nine Premier League appearances this term with six starts and three coming off the bench.

Inter Milan are struggling this season in Serie A with eight points from the opening nine games and are just one place off the relegation zone. New boss Claudio Ranieri has set his sights on Kuyt as Inter look to turn there fortunes around.

It is believed Inter are going to make Liverpool and offer of £10million for Kuyt, which the Premiership club may expect given the players age and his value will only go down.

Liverpool Plan Cut-Price Offer For French International Full-Back

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is preparing to make a cut-price deal for Lyon left back Aly Cissokho once the January transfer window opens for business, according to reports in the Daily Mirror.

The French international is versatile and can operate in the midfield as well as in the full back position.

It is believed Premier League rivals Newcastle United are also interested in Cissokho, but the player would rather have a move to Anfield.

Recently Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas admitted the club will need to look for "some solutions", in order to balance the books.

This has alerted Liverpool who is willing to test the waters and is preparing to table an offer of £6million for Cissokho in the New Year.

Both Dalglish and Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli a huge admirers of the 24-year-old and Comolli has good links with the Ligue 1 club which could also go in the Reds favour.

Reds Win Race For Whizzkid

Liverpool have secured the signing of MK Don's highly-rated teenager Seyi Ojo.

The 14-year-old, who was also believed to have attracted the interest of Chelsea, has been snapped up by the Reds' academy.

Ojo earned two England caps at Under-16 level during their recent Victory Shield campaign, and his deal has been given the seal of approval by Dons chairman Peter Winkelman.

"This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Seyi and his parents which has proved far too difficult to turn down," he told the club's official website.

"There has been a lot of interest and speculation regarding Seyi which he coped with admirably.

"We are extremely proud to have Seyi in our record books as our first schoolboy to receive an international cap.

"Everyone at the club would like to wish Seyi the best luck in his future and we all look forward to the day he runs out at Anfield."

Gerrard Haunted By Failure

Steven Gerrard admits he is haunted by the fact he has never been able to win the Premier League.

The 31-year-old has tasted just about every success you can as a player with Liverpool winning the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, FA Cup and Carling Cup.

But the title medal remains nothing more than a dream at this point, and Gerrard admits that troubles him.

"It's something I think about almost every day," he said. "I always think about the dream of winning it - or the disappointment if I was never to win it.

"Of course, it would be hugely disappointing if it didn't happen. To have played at Liverpool for what will, hopefully, be 14 or 15 years by the time I finish and not win it would be hugely disappointing.

"It would be an awful shame. But it won't be for a lack of trying.

"With the squad we have now, if we can keep improving and progressing and adding to it in the next few years, I think we'll have a really good chance of becoming champions.

"But I've played in an era where there have been three, four or five top teams in the league.

"When Liverpool dominated, they were so good they often turned it into a one-horse race right from the start of the season.

"In my time, we've been fighting with Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, and now Manchester City and Spurs. They have all been, or are, fantastic teams. It's a really difficult competition to win, but we'll always keep fighting."

Gerrard, who is recovering from an ankle infection, insists that he has not given up on his title dream and he still feels Liverpool can make a challenge again.

"It was great to see so many players come in," he said.

"It wasn't just during the summer either. There was also Luis (Suarez) and Andy (Carroll), who still feel like new signings because they came halfway through last season.

"Since then, we've added Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson, Craig Bellamy, Stewart Downing and Sebastian Coates. The majority of them are strong British lads, who know the league well. They've also got quality.

"The squad is looking stronger - probably the strongest we've had for a long time. Now it's all about delivering.

Torres Defends Decision To Leave Liverpool

Fernando Torres insists Liverpool fans are unaware of the real reasons behind his transfer to Chelsea.

Torres moved from Anfield to Stamford Bridge last January in a move which angered Reds supporters, who vented their disapproval on the Spaniard when the clubs met just days later. But Torres claims there are reasons behind his transfer that have yet to be made public, and also hailed the influence of former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on his career.

"Liverpool's fans have stuck with the story the club gave and they don't know the real story," he told Marca. "I don't feel bitter towards them, they will always be special for me.

"I owe so much to Rafa Benitez, no one understood me like him. He's a great coach. His teams go out with just one thing in mind: compete. Even with a smaller budget his teams can compete with the best."

Chelsea and Liverpool meet this Sunday and Torres knows his side can ill-afford a further setback in the Premier League. Torres' new employers sit just three points clear of his former club ahead of the Stamford Bridge showdown.

"Against Liverpool we can't allow ourselves to drop more points. It will be special. Liverpool is a team in transition and you can't do that overnight. You need time. They've made an effort economically and, like any project, it needs time to bed in," said Torres.