Friday, July 13, 2012

Rodgers In Reds Admission

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned the club's fans there is no quick-fix at Anfield, describing the challenge as 'immense'.

Rodgers was brought into Liverpool to replace club icon Kenny Dalglish after the Reds finished a disappointing eighth in the Premier League.

Dalglish did win the Carling Cup last season and reached the FA Cup final, but failed to deliver a top four finish and a sought-after return to the UEFA Champions League.

Rodgers is confident Liverpool can recapture former glories, but insists he needs time to transform the club's fortunes.

"We have to recognize the challenge is immense, let's be under no illusion," said Rodgers.

"But I certainly think that a club of our status and value to the football world can go again.

"It's going to take time. And whether it will be in my time, I'm not so sure. But I'm going to fight for my life to try to get this model of play that, hopefully, can change the history of the club.

"This is a club where trophies are what it has been about for many years. But, for me, running alongside that it's about putting in place a model to see the club grow. That is equally important. To build a group that challenges."

Liverpool Linked With Swoop For Schalke And Germany Midfielders

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers could be turning his attention to Germany in the bid to add some strength to his squad after he was linked with Schalke pair Lewis Holtby and Julian Draxler.

Rodgers has admitted that he is working hard to bring new faces to the club and it seems the two German internationals could be the players that he wants to sign in the coming weeks. has reported that while Draxler will be difficult to tear away from Schalke, Holtby could be an easier target as he has just one year remaining on his contract and his links with Liverpool.

Holtby might play for Germany but the 21-year-old's father is from Liverpool and he was actually raised as a Everton fan.

Draxler, 18, has a contract until 2016 and is the youngest player ever to represent the German side in the Bundesliga after making his way through the youth academy.

He scored five goals last season while mainly being used on the left of midfield, while Holtby made a tootle of 41 appearances in all competitions and scored nine goals.

Liverpool had been linked heavily with Joe Allen of Swansea but the club have refused to let him leave and Holtby could well be an alternative.

Laudrup Rejects Allen Talk

Michael Laudrup has made it clear that he would not welcome interest in any of Swansea's best players and he is determined to keep Joe Allen.

Midfielder Allen has been linked with a move to Liverpool even though Brendan Rodgers has agreed not to raid his former club.

And Laudrup has now cooled speculation suggesting the Wales international could be on his way out the Liberty Stadium exit door, insisting that he remains very much a key figure in the club's plans for the future.

"I want Joe to stay here because he is very important for the team. As far as I know, we have heard nothing from Liverpool," said the new Swans boss.

"If it is more than just rumours then I'm sure the chairman will talk to me about it."

Laudrup accepts that such transfer talk is an inevitable consequence when players catch the eye, but he hopes to be able to keep his squad intact.

"It is normal to have interest when people are doing well," he explained.

"Swansea did well in their first season in the Premier League and some of the players were not well known at the highest level before.

"Of course we want to keep our most important players and I would not welcome any interest in our best players. But it is part of the game."

Allen is one of three Swansea players, along with Neil Taylor and Scott Sinclair, who has been selected for the Great Britain Olympic squad, which Laudrup admits could cause a problem.

He told Swans Player: "They are not there for pre-season, then there are international games, so if they go all the way to the end they could present themselves here on August 16, only 48 hours before the first game.

"That's not very good for us but it's fantastic for Swansea to have three players going to the Olympics."

Swansea began pre-season training this week, with new signings Jose Manuel Flores and Jonathan de Guzman joining their team-mates.

Laudrup is hoping to add another couple of players before the transfer window shuts at the end of next month and also admitted there are likely to be some departures.

"I don't want to mention any names but I think we need a couple of players still," said Laudrup.

"I wanted to come here and give everybody a chance. In the first few weeks we'll watch everybody and then later on we'll have to make some decisions. There will be some positions where we will have maybe too many players."

Liverpool Offered Dempsey But Fulham Want Carroll On Loan Deal

Fulham are hoping that they will be able to beat the likes of AC Milan and West Ham to a loan deal for Andy Carroll by offering Liverpool Clint Dempsey as part of any deal.

Liverpool has been linked with the goal-scoring midfielder for some time and it seems Fulham could attempt to use this to try and secure the services of England striker Carroll.

Ever since Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said he would consider loaning the forward out there has been a number of rumours linking Carroll with a whole host of clubs.

However, the Daily Mirror, believes that Fulham are confident in their proposal as they know that Liverpool would be interested in signing Dempsey.

The 29-year-old scored 23 goals in all competitions last season and was the top scoring midfielder in the Premier League, even managing to grab the only goal in a 1-0 win over Liverpool last December.

Liverpool is waiting for Carroll to return from his holiday in Brazil then it will become much clearer what the future holds for the England international.

Dempsey is keen to test himself at a bigger club and much will depend on whether Rodgers feels he can cope without Carroll in attack next season.

Liverpool Target Not For Sale, Insists Agent

Liverpool target Jose Callejon is not for sale this summer, according to the winger’s representative.

The 25-year-old joined Real Madrid from Espanyol last summer, but managed just five league starts for the Spanish champions.

New Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had been tipped to make a move for him as he seeks to bolster his attacking options, but Callejon’s agent Manuel Garcia Quilon believes Real Madrid would be unwilling to sanction his departure this summer.

“There are several teams interested in signing him,” Quilon told Spanish news agency EFE.

“Real Madrid does not want to sell and have declared him non-transferrable. He is not going to leave the club this summer.”

Liverpool Star Set For South American Exit

Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez is attempting to engineer his exit from the club, according to reports in Argentina.

Rodriguez, who joined Liverpool from Atletico Madrid in January 2010, is reportedly keen to leave Anfield this summer, with former club Newell’s Old Boys and River Plate keen to take him back to his homeland.

The Argentina international, who has one year left on his existing deal on Merseyside, has previously expressed his desire to return to Newell’s, and Argentinian newspaper Ole claims Rodriguez will ask senior figures at Liverpool to rescind his contract a year early in order to facilitate a move back home.

Rodriguez, 31, managed just ten Premier League starts last season and could be allowed to leave as new boss Brendan Rodgers shapes his squad before the start of the new season.

Pardew Remains Coy On The Prospect Of A Loan Deal For Carroll

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew says he is still an admirer of Andy Carroll but refused to say whether or not he would approach Liverpool over a possible loan deal.

The Magpies sold the England international to Liverpool in January 2011 for £35 million, after the Newcastle board felt the offer was too good to refuse.

However, despite a promising end to last season, Carroll has failed to live up to expectations in large and Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted he may consider loaning the striker out to gain experience.

"There is a lot of talk about players when new managers go in and their situations get all cloudy," Pardew told Sky Sports News.

"I don't think that's completely resolved, one way or the other. I wouldn't really like to comment.

"He did an absolutely terrific job here. I have always supported him while he has been at Liverpool when other people weren't. I thought he got a bit of a raw deal, if I'm honest.

"I think he's going to be a great player, but where he treads the boards, so to speak, we will have to wait and see."

Pardew also shrugged off rumours concerning Demba Ba, who has a buy-out clause in his contract which could be activated up until the end of July.

"The situation with Demba has been the same since he arrived at the football club," said Pardew.

"He has a contract to Newcastle United, he is loved here and he had a brilliant, especially the first half of last season.

"After the African Nations, I think it didn't go perhaps as well for Demba as it could have. That's something we'll look at because we want him to be at his very, very best.

"We're planning for him to have another great season for us."

Rodgers' Red Vision

Brendan Rodgers is one of the more interesting managerial appointments in recent years. He has no extended record of success and his reputation is largely based on one excellent season at Swansea, persuading Liverpool to entrust him with heavy hopes that have claimed many talented managers down the years.

As with any manager, the answer to whether he will fail or succeed lies within the players he has at his disposal. Will they fit with his 'philosophy'? Will they buy into his ideas? Will he rip things up and start again? When asked about Andy Carroll and where he might fit into his Liverpool side on Monday, Rodgers said: "Time will tell for him and all the players whether they are in my plans, but my job is to assess that and then take it from there."

So how closely does the current Liverpool squad fit with how Rodgers will aim to play? Assuming he will adopt a similar style to the rough 4-3-3 he played at Swansea, which players should start to worry?


Pepe Reina may not have had a particularly good campaign (by his standards) last season, but talk of Liverpool still considering a move for Hugo Lloris is odd for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Liverpool has finite resources and they have more pressing problems than in goal, but it's also strange because Reina is exactly the sort of keeper that Rodgers might like. A good ball-player, Reina will buy in to Rodgers' insistence that his goalkeeper plays the ball out of his area, rather than aimlessly booting it towards the front man. With Alex Doni and Brad Jones still providing back-up, Rodgers should not need to invest in another stopper.


Again, one might think that this is an area where Rodgers will be relatively happy. Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique are quick and able to begin attacks from deep, Daniel Agger is a fine ball-playing centre-back and Martin Skrtel is one of the best central defenders in the Premier League. Indeed, keeping hold of that four might be a more pressing issue than adding to them. Another centre-back might be required as cover, with Jamie Carragher coming to the end of his career and not enough seen of Sebastian Coates to create a realistic impression of him in England. There's also no natural fill-in for Jose Enrique (unless Rodgers has real faith in Jack Robinson) - with Johnson generally the go-to reserve in that position - but one suspects Rodgers will be reasonably satisfied with his back line.


In the second half of the season at least, Rodgers' Swansea played with two deep-lying midfielders and Gylfi Sigurdsson ahead of them. The anchoring pair at Liverpool will surely be (fitness permitting) Steven Gerrard and Lucas, but the spot ahead of those two is a little more uncertain. The occupant needs to be a combination of an attacking goalscorer, while retaining the work ethic/discipline to form a three-man midfield when required.

It's hardly a surprise that Rodgers was so keen to get Sigurdsson himself, because there's no natural fit in the current Liverpool squad for this spot. Gerrard showed last season and for England that he's better used in a more withdrawn role these days, Jordan Henderson isn't dynamic enough, the 'running' aspect rules out Charlie Adam, Jonjo Shelvey is still too raw and Joe Cole is too...flighty. Arguably, Alberto Aquilani is probably the best fit in theory, but Aquilani's entire Liverpool career so far has been 'in theory'. Rodgers could probably just about muddle through with what he has, but ideally he requires an addition in this spot. Bologna's Gaston Ramirez is one candidate, and while Clint Dempsey has been mentioned a number of times, might his current Fulham teammate Moussa Dembele be a better fit?


This is where things get really interesting. Rodgers prefers his centre-forward to be strong and mobile, with his wide men quick and direct, and in truth there are no reliable current members of the squad who fit those descriptions. Luis Suarez could fill the central role quite well, but is a scoring rate of (roughly) one in three good enough? Scoring was Liverpool's problem last season, so to put Suarez in the middle would either rely on a massive improvement in his accuracy or place plenty of pressure on the rest of the team to provide goals. The interest in Fabio Borini seems real, but again his scoring rate (nine in 24 Serie A games last season) isn't brilliant. There's a clause in Demba Ba's contract that says he can leave for £7million (but only before the end of July), a move that would make a certain amount of sense. Rodgers talked coyly of possibly sending Carroll out on loan, but even if he doesn't fit with the new philosophy, this would be curious - if nothing else the big Geordie provides a thundering Plan B.

In terms of the wide positions, Liverpool have a few options, but almost all of them are more comfortable on the left. Stewart Downing, Craig Bellamy and Cole could all feasibly play on that flank (although there are obvious questions about Bellamy's durability), as could Suarez, but candidates for the other side are a little more thin on the ground. Maxi Rodriguez's future is unclear, so Rodgers will almost certainly be in the market for another wide man. The links to Scott Sinclair make sense (he can play on both wings), while Daniel Sturridge and Junior Hoilett are both viable options - though both will have other offers.

Enrique Excited By New Era

Jose Enrique has outlined his desire to lift more trophies with Liverpool this season and his ambitions of earning a spot in Spain's all-conquering national team.

The left-back watched on as his country lifted a third consecutive major international tournament during the summer and is now back at Anfield and craving further domestic glory.

"Last year I won a title (Carling Cup) and it was amazing with the fans here, I enjoyed it a lot. This season I hope we can win something again and try to play for the Champions League," the defender told

"We were away for seven weeks on holiday, but we are back again and it's important to be ready for next season."

The former Newcastle full-back has been highly impressed with new manager Brendan Rodgers since returning for pre-season training and is thoroughly enjoying the sessions under the Northern Irishman.

"I am really happy," Enrique enthused. "For me it is the best way to play football, like Spain did, that's why they are the best at the moment.

"With the manager we play with the ball a lot and we are really happy with him.

"I'm really impressed. I know how he likes to play because we played against Swansea last year and I've seen them many times.

"He has only had a week with us but the training has been great. He is talking to both the young and experienced players the same, and I love that because it is really important to have the same treatment for both.

"The training is all with the ball, what more do you want? It's really hard, but it's very good. We have good players here to play in this way, and I think this season we can impress."

Garuda Indonesia Signs With LFC

Garuda Indonesia and Liverpool Football Club have today announced a three year partnership that will see one of Asia's most rapidly growing brands become the Global Official Airline for Liverpool FC.

As one of the world's leading football brands, the partnership provides Garuda with access to LFC's global brand awareness and international fan base which will enable the airline further opportunities to grow its business throughout the world.

Ian Ayre, Liverpool FC managing director, said: "This is a fantastic partnership for both parties. Liverpool Football Club has a huge international following and we are looking forward to working with Garuda Indonesia across many markets in order to capitalize on their rapid growth.

"It is an honour for us to be associated with a brand that has become a leading player in global aviation, and in particular, a brand that has its base in a region where we enjoy such a passionate fan base. Indonesia is an ambitious country with a rapidly growing economy which the Club has great affiliation with and where we hope to hold next year's pre-season tour."

Emirsyah Satar, President & CEO Garuda Indonesia, added: "As part of our continued efforts to build Garuda Indonesia into one of the global players in airline industry, this partnership provides us with great exposure in international markets. The global scale that LFC brings will support the initiative to increase exposure while LFC's huge fan base all over the world enables us to introduce Garuda Indonesia and Indonesia in general to the world."