Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dalglish Wants Rewards

Kenny Dalglish believes Liverpool deserve to be in a better position in the Premier League but recognizes his squad must continue to do their talking on the pitch.

The Reds boss has for the first time since his return in January 2011 started to find himself the subject of criticism after six draws at Anfield so far this season.

Boxing Day's 1-1 result against a Blackburn club which is in disarray increased the pressure on Dalglish, who has always stood up for his squad by repeating they are still settling after a summer overhaul.

But had Liverpool taken the 12 points they have dropped at home, they would be hot on the heels of league leaders Manchester City and Manchester United.

Ahead of Friday's visit of Newcastle, Dalglish knows wins have to be earned, however, he also thinks his side have been short-changed after dominating games but scoring just 21 goals in 18 league games.

"We want to move on and everybody wants the reward for the fantastic play they have produced," he told a press conference.

"We need to improve the goals for column so we'll continue to pursue that goal and I'm sure next year they will be better for the experience they have had this year.

"I think we deserve to be higher up the table than we are but you've got to earn that right and not talk about it - but to be fair they have done a lot of talking on the pitch for us.

"As long as we are in there somewhere, continue to do the right things and give ourselves a chance (come the end of the season) then we'll be happy with that."

Liverpool will be without controversial star striker Luis Suarez against Newcastle after the Uruguayan was banned for one match and fined £20,000 following a Football Association improper conduct charge regarding his behaviour against Fulham on 5th December.

Dalglish Delivers Carroll Defence

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has again defended Andy Carroll after accusing the media of targeting the most expensive British footballer in history.

Ahead of a reunion with former club Newcastle on Friday, the record-breaking £35million striker has endured a torrid 12 months in 2011 after moving to Anfield last January.

Carroll has struggled for fitness, has scored just five goals and has dropped out of England contention since joining Liverpool, while reports continue to surround his social life.

Dalglish was in September angered by Fabio Capello after the England boss suggested the misfiring 22-year-old needed to cut down on his drinking and late nights.

And the subject remains a sore spot for Liverpool's manager, who has now implied reports regarding Carroll's social life are fabricated.

"I think you yourselves have a bigger problem with Andy Carroll than anybody else," a prickly Dalglish told his pre-Newcastle press conference, which was broadcast on Sky Sports News.

"Every week there is questions. This time it is understandable, I suppose, because he is playing against Newcastle United, if he is to start.

"But I don't understand the rest of the stuff. I think somebody has got some imagination about the lifestyle that big Andy leads compared to the one that we know he leads.

"So, really, he is unfortunate that he attracts a bit of attention to himself from yourselves.

"But, for us, he has come here and gone about his work very well on and off the pitch and is adjusting to life at a new club with new philosophies and a new way of playing."

Former Newcastle boss Dalglish has come under some pressure after Liverpool were held to a sixth draw of the season at Anfield on Boxing Day following a 1-1 result against rock-bottom Blackburn.

Pardew - Carroll Will Be A Star

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has backed Andy Carroll to eventually live up to his record-breaking price tag.

Pardew reluctantly sold the 22-year-old to the Reds, who host the Magpies on Friday evening, on the final day of the last January transfer window when owner Mike Ashley decided a bid of £35million was simply too good to refuse.

The transfer came as a huge blow to the manager, who had seen the Gateshead-born frontman take to Premier League football with a commendable relish under predecessor Chris Hughton and provide the spearhead for Newcastle on their return to the top flight.

Almost 12 months on, Carroll's lack of form and that of the man he replaced at Anfield, Chelsea's Fernando Torres, is the subject of an intense debate with the combined £85million which was paid for them looking ever more expensive.

However, Pardew, like Liverpool counterpart Kenny Dalglish, remains convinced Carroll will prove his worth sooner rather than later.

He said: "He hasn't really had a run in that Liverpool side and like all strikers, he probably needs a run.

"He's a great lad and a great player. I like Andy.

"It was disappointing to see him left out of the England squad the last time because I think he can be an England player and England's No.9.

"He is going through a period of transition at a new club, finding his feet and finding out that they play slightly differently to how we did here, but he will find his way."

One-match Ban For Suarez

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been handed a one-match suspension, fined £20,000 and warned as to his future conduct after admitting to an improper conduct charge for his behaviour at Fulham.

The club has also been fined £20,000 for failing to control their players in the same match.

Uruguay international Suarez was pictured apparently making a one-figured gesture towards Fulham's fans following Liverpool's1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage on 5th December.

The ruling, announced by the Football Association, comes at a sensitive time for the Reds, who have made clear their anger over an eight-game suspension handed to the striker for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra.

The FA confirmed Suarez's punishment on their official website on Wednesday.

A statement read: "Liverpool player Luis Suarez will begin a one-match suspension with immediate effect after he admitted an FA charge of improper conduct in relation to the same game.

"Suarez was also fined £20,000 and warned as to his future conduct following a gesture he made towards the Fulham fans at the end of the fixture."

The suspension means Suarez will be absent for the Reds' game at home to Newcastle on Friday.

Liverpool, whose players and manager, Kenny Dalglish, wore Suarez T-shirts in the warm-up of their match against Wigan, look certain to appeal the eight-game ban for the Evra incident once they have assessed the commission's detailed report.

Meanwhile, the club has been fined £20,000 and warned as to their future conduct for "failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion" during the same match.

The encounter saw Reds midfielder Jay Spearing sent off, an incident that led to a handful of Liverpool players remonstrating with referee Kevin Friend.

Liverpool admitted the charge of failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion but contested the financial penalty.

The FA added: "The club admitted the charge, which was in relation to the dismissal of Jay Spearing, but did not accept the standard £20,000 penalty for the offence. However, at an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today [Wednesday 28 December] the fine was imposed."

Liverpool Rookie To Remain At Bury For Rest Of The Season

Liverpool rookie David Amoo will sign an extension to his loan deal at Bury this week and stay there for the rest of the season.

The youngster has impressed during his spell at Gigg Lane and has made nine appearances since joining back in September.

Bury manager Richie Barker asked Liverpool if Amoo could remain at the club for the rest of the season and they have agreed to let the 20-year-old winger stay where he is, with an announcement expected shortly.

Liverpool Target Says He Wants To Stay In Italy

Liverpool has been handed a transfer blow after long-time target Stevan Jovetic pledged his immediate future to Fiorentina.

The 22-year-old Montenegrin forward has been a key player for the Italian side this term after missing the whole of last season through injury.

Liverpool has monitored Jovetic in the past but he says he wants to stay in Italy.

He said: "I'm happy and I was convinced that I would return stronger than I was before. The fans love me here and I'm content."

Dalglish Urged To Make Argentine Bid

Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain would be an ideal January signing for Liverpool, according to former Anfield star John Barnes.

The Reds have been tipped to reinforce their goalscoring department during the transfer window, having found the net only 18 times in as many league outings so far this season.

Higuain would certainly provide Kenny Dalglish with a serious threat in front goal, with the Argentine forward having registered 18 strikes in 30 appearances for club and country this term.

The 24-year-old is, however, not a guaranteed starter for Real, and has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

And Barnes believes Higuain would be the perfect acquisition to bolster a Liverpool strikeforce, which already includes the likes of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

“Goal scoring has been the problem all year,” Barnes told talkSPORT.

“They’ve been creating enough chances but they really haven’t got an out and out goal scorer.

“Luis Suarez is a fantastic player, he scores goals, he comes short, he goes wide but what they are missing is a real penalty box player.

“They have to get a classic centre-forward, a number nine, who’s going to be a six-yard box player and they need to get one of really proven quality, someone like Gonzalo Higuain.

“He’s not playing at Real Madrid, if you get the ball in the box he can score, he can play outside the box and he’s the kind of player that Liverpool should be going for.”

Hansen Hails Transfer Policy

Alan Hansen believes Liverpool's transfer policy in the past year has helped them enjoy a much more fruitful 2011 and will see them kick on again next year.

Like everyone else with Reds connections Hansen has been delighted with the progress the club has made since Kenny Dalglish returned to manage the club in January.

Part of that success has been down to the players the club has been targeting in the transfer market.

"Critical to the improvement has been Liverpool's transfer policy which has seen several young players with huge potential brought in, predominantly from other Premier League club," said Hansen in LFC magazine this week.

"There is no way that we, or any other club for that matter, can compete with Manchester City as far as transfer fees go.

"That leaves Liverpool with a question to answer. Do you sign what's left of the bigger named established players, or do you try and build a new team around youth?

"Liverpool has done the latter and that policy of buying younger players will, I believe, ultimately reap rewards and dividends, hopefully sooner rather than later."

The Reds haven't just bought for the future though. Some players have made an immediate impact.

"Luis Suarez is a prime example of a player who has been an instant hit," continued the Scot.

"His performances, almost every single time he plays, have been sensational. He's got such quick feet that every time he gets the ball the anticipation levels amongst Liverpool fans rise. He's been fantastic to watch in 2011."