Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lucas Leiva Enjoying Partnership With Charlie Adam

Liverpool FC’s Lucas Leiva believes his double act with Charlie Adam is starting to click.

The central midfielders were two of Liverpool FC's outstanding performers in Sunday’s dramatic 2-1 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Lucas worked tirelessly to win back possession and Adam played a big part in both of Liverpool’s goals.

They have started 11 of the club’s 12 Premier League games this season alongside each other and the Brazilian is relishing playing with the Scotland international.

“Charlie is an offensive player and I try to give him the licence to go forward and make a key pass,” Lucas said.

“You could see the pass he put on for Glen Johnson for the winning goal.

“When we’re defending he gets back and tries to help me. Charlie is learning a lot about the defensive role.

“There are a lot of new players in the team and it takes a little bit of time to get an understanding but like everyone I’m really happy and enjoying playing with Charlie.

“If we play more games together then we will be even better because the understanding will improve.”

Victory over Chelsea kick-started Liverpool’s push for Champions League qualification after the frustrating home draw with Swansea City.

Lucas says Kenny Dalglish’s side must go into every game with the attitude they showed in the capital – starting with this Sunday’s showdown with leaders Manchester City at Anfield.

“If we approach every single game like we approached the Chelsea game, then we would be in a better position,” Lucas said.

“We were really pleased with the performance, especially in the first half when we did very well. When they came back for the second half they changed the system and we lost the way we played a little bit. But after a few changes and a talk with the manager we settled and looked for the second goal.

“They had the ball a lot at the back, and our strategy was to let the centre-backs have the ball and then press at the right moment.

“When you regain the ball close to or in the opposition’s half, you always have a chance to break and you can find space. That’s what happened when we got the ball off Mikel and scored our first goal.

“If you see Barcelona play, they play the ball out from the back a lot and they can be open if you regain the ball. But the problem is that against Barcelona, you can’t get the ball off them!

“We could do that against Chelsea though, and that was important.

“We had to get the three points because we had dropped points at home.

“Now we need to find a good way of playing at home. We have to improve our record there.

“When we play away, the first thing we do is defend very well and on the counter-attack we are dangerous.

“We have to find out the way to play at home. If we can do that then we can have a very good season.”

Lucas was delighted for Glen Johnson and Maxi Rodriguez who both scored their first league goals of the season at Stamford Bridge.

Johnson missed the first two months of the season due to injury, while Rodriguez had been limited to just 14 minutes of league football prior to Sunday.

“Glen has been suffering with injuries but he has had a few games together now to get fit and his confidence is back,” Lucas said. “We know he’s capable of doing something like that. It was a very important goal. I was really pleased for Maxi as well. After a lot of time out of the team, he showed how important he is and deserved his goal.”

Liverpool Prepare To Battle Russian Side For Barcelona Midfielder

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish is preparing to make a move Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita once the January transfer window opens for business.

According to reports in The Sun, it is believed Liverpool will have to battle mega-rich Russian club Anzhi Makhackala if they are to acquire the services of the Mali international.

During the course of the summer transfer window Kop boss Dalglish brought in a number of midfield players including Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson.

However it is felt that Dalglish and Liverpool's director of football Damien Comolli are both big fans of Keita and are planning to beat Anzhi to his signature by tabling a £5million move for the 31-year-old.

It seems as though the midfielder would also prefer a move to Anfield over Russia after his quotes a couple of weeks ago.

"Liverpool are a great club and it is fantastic to hear they are interested in me but you know how I feel about Barcelona," he said.

"But we are in football and nothing is an absolute, so let's wait until the end of the season.

"I want to play more games and the Premier League is very attractive and exciting for anyone."

Liverpool Trial For 15-year-old Scandinavian Starlet

Liverpool are set to hand 15-year-old Swedish schoolboy Gustav Engvall a trial at the club.

The midfielder confirmed that he's set for the Anfield opportunity pre-Christmas, and is excited to make the trip from Färjestadens GOIF in Swedish 3rd division.

"I'm going over there and will train with them in December," he said on the trial with Liverpool.

"It will be great to see how everything works at a big club and it will be a really good experience whatever happens."

Kenny Dalglish's coaching staff will take the opportunity to run-the-rule over the teenager, with opportunities for competitive action in the Liverpool academy sides at Melwood.

The Reds are no strangers to taking youngsters on trial, with Chinese youngsters Lung Chan, 16, and Chen Nal, 15, spending time on Merseyside as Liverpool look to expand into the growing Asian market.

Engvall's chance at Liverpool is based on talent alone though, and the Swede will be aspiring to follow in the footsteps of Steven Gerrard, Charlie Adam & Co at Anfield.

Charlie Adam Relishing Competition For First-Team Places At Liverpool

Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam has stated that he is relishing the competition for first-team places at Anfield this season.

The 25-year-old has been a regular feature in Kenny Dalglish's starting XI so far this term, following his summer transfer from Blackpool.

Whilst Adam believes his switch to Merseyside was a 'reward' for his performances at Bloomfield Road last season, the Scottish international is not taking his place for granted, with fellow midfielder Steven Gerrard still to make his return to full fitness.

Adam told Liverpoolfc.tv: “There are top international players in every position here.

"It means you know you have a battle just to get your place. As a footballer that's what you want, big challenges and hopefully I can keep challenging for a place.

"When you get a chance to come to a club like this it's the reward for all the years of hard work you've put in. Then when you get here you can't rest on your laurels. I don't want to just be here. I want to continue working hard, stay in the team and perform as well as I can."

Lucas Issues Reds Challenge

Liverpool midfielder Lucas admits they need to raise their game against the Premier League's lesser lights if they are to challenge for a top-four finish.

The Reds proved once again they are a match for the top sides in the Premier League with their impressive 2-1 win over Chelsea on Sunday.

However, they have struggled in games they have been expected to win, dropping eight points out of a possible 18 at Anfield following draws against Sunderland, Norwich and Swansea City.
Brazilian midfielder Lucas has now called on his team-mates to improve their home form and treat every game like they are playing one of the top teams.

"If we approach every single game like we approached the Chelsea game, then we would be in a better position," said Lucas.

"We had to get the three points here because we'd dropped those points at home. Now we need to find a good way of playing at home, we have to improve our record there and if we do that then our position will definitely get better.

"When you're playing against teams that aren't maybe considered among the top clubs, then you always need to be on the attack and score goals.

"We have to find the balance and the right time to do that. When we play away, the first thing we do is defend very well and on the counter-attack we are dangerous.

"We have to find out the way to play at home, if we can do that then we can have a very good season."

Glen Targets Home Comforts

Glen Johnson believes it is just a matter of time before Liverpool start to build up a winning momentum again at Anfield – and is hoping the Reds can click back into gear on home turf starting in Sunday's clash with Manchester City.

Kenny Dalglish's side have drawn their last three games at Anfield but after the superb victory at Stamford Bridge, confidence is high going into the game with Roberto Mancini's Barclays Premier League leaders.

The right-back insists a return to winning ways on home soil is just around the corner.

"Normally a team's best form is at home, but as long as we can start picking up a few more points at home and doing what we are doing away then we won't be too far away," said Johnson.

"We haven't been playing badly at home.

"We've created some fantastic chances and if we'd taken one of them in a few games then we'd have nine or 10 more points and it would make it a whole new ball game.

"We can take a lot of confidence from the result and performance against Chelsea and we are aiming for the top four - that's what we are fighting for."

Lille Chief Hints At Permanent Cole Move

Lille president Michel Seydoux has suggested the reigning Ligue 1 champions may look to turn Joe Cole's loan move from Liverpool into a permanent switch at the end of the season.

Cole, 30, has impressed since swapping Anfield for the Stade Lille-Metropole on a season-long loan, enjoying a new lease of life when it appeared his career had stagnated.

The midfielder, who has 56 England caps to his name, has previously spoken of his desire to stay in France and Seydoux has hinted that Lille would consider signing him on a full-time basis.

"It is not a certainty that he will leave us again at the end his contract," Seydoux said to RTL. "If he has a certain good feeling with Lille and we can make him an interesting offer ... This is something that we will look into."

Meanwhile, Seydoux admitted that Lille will likely struggle to hold on to highly-rated Belgium winger Eden Hazard unless they can replicate last season's success this time around.

"There is a real chance that he will stay at Lille if we have a good season and he still sees challenges here," Seydoux said. "If we don't do well, it's probable that he will leave the club after this season as there's plenty of interest.

"Will €50 million be enough? Nobody is irreplaceable and there are solutions for that kind of money."

Liverpool FC To Open Second Boot Room Cafe With Global Expansion Planned

Liverpool FC will open a second Boot Room Sports Cafe a year after the first opened in Anfield, with global expansion on the menu.

The new cafe will open next month in Ellesmere Port’s Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet Village, which will seat 230 people and have the same look as the existing Sports Cafe, with Liverpool FC memorabilia, private booths, TV screens and a children’s area.

Club managing director Ian Ayre said: “The Boot Room Sports Cafe at Anfield has been a huge success and we are very excited about opening a second high-quality restaurant that LFC fans and Cheshire Oaks visitors can enjoy.

“Cheshire Oaks provides an excellent location, being the UK’s largest outlet centre and the new restaurant will initially create around 50 jobs.”

He added: “This is the first step in us expanding the franchise outside Liverpool, and we are already in discussions with a variety of people interested in International Liverpool FC Boot Room Franchises around the world.”