Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Agger Urges Reds Belief

Danish defender Daniel Agger insists Liverpool must maintain belief if they are to solve their recent woes in front of goal.

The Reds were again left frustrated by a failure to take their chances in the 1-1 home draw against Blackburn Rovers on Boxing Day.

Rovers keeper Mark Bunn produced a number of top saves to deny the home team - particularly from Andy Carroll's late volley.

Kenny Dalglish's men have now drawn six of their nine Premier League matches at Anfield this season.

But centre-half Agger, who also saw a late header cleared off the line by teenage Blackburn defender Adam Henley, believes Liverpool will get their rewards if they continue to play in the same vein.

"When you don't take your chances, you don't win football games," he told the club's official website.

"Looking at the game against Blackburn, we still created chances so the confidence must still be there.

"It's a worry but what can you do? The only way to solve it is to create more chances.

"I really think for 80% or 90% of the time we are playing well. That's the strange thing as normally when you play well you get a bit more luck.

"But somehow we are missing that final touch. We need to find that. Normally when you try harder you get the luck and that's what we must keep doing."

Liverpool Enter The Race To Sign Prolific Dutch Striker

Liverpool are reportedly showing an interest in Holland international Klaas Jan Huntelaar just days after the prolific forward distanced himself from a move to Manchester United.

The striker had been linked with a possible move to Old Trafford in the January transfer window, but Huntelaar made it clear that he was unaware of any interest from the Premier League champions.

"I know nothing of alleged interest from Manchester United. I will not even speculate, I am concentrating fully on Schalke," revealed Huntelaar.

"I'll let any offers come to me quietly and will then see what happens. This is the attitude I’ve always had. My contract runs until the summer of 2013. If they [Schalke] want to talk, I'll gladly listen.”

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish once again saw his side waste a number of opportunities on Boxing Day as the Reds were held to a 1-1 draw with struggling Blackburn Rovers.

With Luis Suarez facing an eight match ban and Andy Carroll yet to discover his best form for Liverpool, it seems the club could yet dip into the transfer market in January.

Huntelaar has scored 15 goals in 16 league appearances this season and seems to have rediscovered the form that saw him move from Ajax to Real Madrid back in 2009.

Reports have suggested that Schalke would demand as much as £15million for the 28-year-old who would certainly bring a superb record with him to the Premier League.

Huntelaar was prolific during his days in Holland and despite a difficult time in Spain and Italy, is once again back to his clinical best.

Ibrahimovic Could Derail Liverpool Bid For Barca Star

Liverpool's efforts to sign Barcelona midfielder Seydou Keita could be derailed by AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Swedish forward is trying to convince the Mali international - recently named his nation's best sportsman of 2011 - to snub a move to Anfield and the Premier League in favour of a move to his Serie A side.

Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo claims the two players are firm friends and have held multiple conversations about the 31-year-old's future.

Keita is looking to change clubs in January, or at the end of the season, as he looks for a fresh challenge and the opportunity to start more games.

Liverpool has been linked with the former Sevilla man since the summer and their interest could increase following the serious injury Lucas suffered, with Keita a like-for-like replacement.

Liverpool Eye Colombian As Suarez Replacement

Liverpool target Teo Gutierrez has been made available by his club - but only if his £8m valuation is met.

The Racing Club de Avellaneda forward has been attracting the attention of a number of clubs across Europe and the impending eight game ban Luis Suarez is facing has heightened Liverpool's thoughts of adding another striker to their squad.

The 26-year-old has his six goals in 15 appearances in Argentina's top-flight this season and has now reached 15 caps for his native Colombia.

The striker was prolific in his early career in South America and earned a move to Turkish side Trabzonspor in January 2010.

The frontman scored some important goals during his time in Europe, including a hat-trick against Bursaspor in the Turkish Super Cup, but failed to settle and moved to Argentina in February.

Now his form in front of goal has sparked a new wave of interest across the Continent, with a host of clubs ready to take a gamble on the relative unknown.

Racing Club vice-president Rodolfo Molina told Argentinean paper Ole: "There are no formal proposals for Teo Gutierrez, just words but no realities.

"When we receive an actual proposal we will study the numbers hard. The club does not reject the sale, but we will only negotiate on his real value.

Liverpool Midfield Star Wants Permanent Move Next Summer

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole has confirmed that he would like to make his loan move a permanent one at the end of the season after a terrific first half of the year in Ligue 1.

Cole made the move to Lille at the start of the season after falling out of favour with Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish and has found a new lease of life in France.

Cole has been a regular starter under manager Rudi Garcia and has revealed that he would be more than happy to extend his stay at Lille past the end of the season.

"Right now, I'm really happy at Lille," Cole told Sky Sports News. "I'm playing, and I'm playing well, so basically everything's on track. If things continue like this, it would make sense for me to stay at Lille.

"In footballing terms, things are going really well, especially given the fact that I didn't play much for Liverpool last season. I've started off well here and I'm going to keep getting better and better."

The former Chelsea man has made 15 league appearances for Lille, scoring three goals and also forming a superb partnership with star midfielder Eden Hazard.

Lille currently sit just four points behind big spending league leaders Paris Saint Germain and will hope to once again push for the league title and a place in the Champions League.

Enrique Insists He Deserves A Chance To Prove His Worth For Spain

Liverpool's Jose Enrique insists he should be given a chance to prove his worth in the Spanish national team ahead of next summer’s European Championships.

The left-back has impressed at Anfield since joining from Newcastle United in the summer, but as of yet has failed to feature for his country above under-21 level.

The 25-year-old is eager to receive the recognition of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque, and believes that playing for an established club such as Liverpool should aid his goal of gaining a Euro 2012 call-up.

"I think I deserve a chance," he told Marca.

"I think that just for the fact that I've managed to play for a team like Liverpool, they should be thinking of me.”

Valencia full-back Jordi Alba is currently first choice for the position, and Enrique was quick to note that the 22-year-old '"is doing a very good job" for the national side.

Bolton Eye Liverpool Starlets

Bolton Wanderers are hoping to swoop on Liverpool duo Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan on-loan in the January transfer window.

Manager Owen Coyle is desperate for new recruits to salvage his team’s season after two wins all season has left his side second bottom.

Winger Sterling, 17, is one of the most highly-rated teenagers in England and Coyle insists he can help the teenager’s development in the same way he has done for Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge.

The England U-17 international is yet to make his first-team debut and following the Reds summer recruitment drive is unlikely to feature this season.

Defender Flanagan, 18, has made nine appearances for the Reds so far but as Glen Johnson and Martin Kelly are now fit his chances of any action is greatly reduced.

Coyle is in need of a right-back with major doubts arising over Paul Robinson and the injury to Tyrone Mears.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish may be willing to let the youngsters go on-loan to give them first-team experience but this may change by the new year depending on injury and form of his current regulars.

However, Coyle insists defender Gary Cahill will not be leaving the Reebok Stadium for Anfield this summer.

The 25-year-old has attracted strong interest from Liverpool and Arsenal but neither club has submitted a formal bid for him.

The England international has only one-year left on his contract but has a release clause in his deal that allows him to leave for £17 million.

But Coyle states he and the player are only concentrating on the new season despite more rumours linking Cahill with a move to Anfield.

“This (Liverpool) story is without a shred of foundation,” Coyle said. ”It is irresponsible. To just reel words off is in poor taste.

“Nothing surprises you in football but people should have more knowledge of the background for anything before they write it.

“It doesn’t faze me. I am not raging about it. I am just making a point."

The Society Of Black Lawyers Accuses Liverpool & Chelsea Of Condoning Racism

The Society of Black Lawyers (SBL) has condemned both Liverpool and Chelsea for appearing to excuse the alleged racism of Luis Suarez and John Terry.

Peter Herbert OBE and co-chair of the organization said, “To our knowledge, neither club has bothered to conduct its own independent investigation or hold a disciplinary hearing."

“If such serious allegations of racism had been made in the workplace, any reasonable employer would consider itself to be under a strict duty to conduct a full, detailed and impartial investigation into the allegations, and not simply to state that they stand behind the denials of the player concerned."

The organization wants the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to handle the Suarez case as a racist incident, as they have done with Terry, and believe there should be no difference in the treatment of both players.

Chelsea released a statement expressing its utmost support for John Terry after he was charged with a racially aggravated public order offense in connection with the alleged remarks aimed at QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

Liverpool has also jumped to the defense of its Uruguayan striker who was given an eight-match ban and 40,000 pounds fine by the FA after being found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.

The SBL is planning to make a formal complaint to the CPS about the racist and offensive language used by Suarez, and is hoping to convince the CPS to launch a full investigation.

The organization is also hoping the CPS will prosecute the former Ajax man if the result of the investigation gives a reasonable chance of conviction according to the public interest test.

The SBL believes both clubs should have treated the incidents as gross misconduct instead of simply denying the allegations.

"The punitive effects of racism are felt by thousands of people in Britain each day. The response of the Football Association (FA) and the CPS must be robust to protect others from the humiliation, pain and suffering that this type of hate crime inflicts," Herbert said.

He added, "There is no reason why Suarez should not face criminal charges. When individual football clubs and fellow players – both black and white – endorse this kind of behavior, they themselves become part of the problem because they stand in the way of the total eradication of racism from the sport.

“Their denial and appeasement reflects an abdication of their role as responsible players or employers.”