Rafa wants Reds
to be attacking force
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has called on his team to
improve their attacking form having tightened things up at
The Reds have kept three clean sheets in their last three
Premier League games but have been far from free-scoring in
front of goal.
Liverpool have only netted 42 goals in 24 games so far this
season - the fewest of any side in the top six - with
Fernando Torres sidelined with injury.
Benitez insists there has been an upturn in his side's
performances of late and hopes the increased confidence at
Anfield will produce a glut of goals.
Aurelio fitness latest
Sammy Lee has revealed that Fabio Aurelio could be in
contention for Saturday's Merseyside derby.The Brazilian has
been out since suffering a calf injury in the clash at Stoke
City just over a fortnight ago but has now returned to
training and could yet be involved against the Blues.
"Fabio is back in training which is good news," Lee told
Liverpoolfc.tv. "Whether he will be ready for Saturday, well
we will have to assess that in the next
"But the positive thing is that we have Nabil, Martin Kelly
and Fabio back in training."
(LFC Official Website)
Milan Jovanovic agrees
pre-contract deal with Liverpool
Liverpool have agreed a pre-contract deal with Milan
Jovanovic after convincing the Standard Liège striker he
will be given the opportunity to impress at Anfield next
Liverpool icon Rush
sings praises of Kyrgiakos
Liverpool icon Ian Rush has praised the impact of summer
The Greece defender has added to the atmosphere at Melwood
and impressed in recent games.
Rush told liverpoolfc.tv: "Sotirios Kyrgiakos was
Liverpool's best player again in the win over Bolton.
"Kevin Davies can be a real handful but the Greek refused to
be bullied and won every header.
"He has come into the side and done a great job. With Daniel
Agger now fit, Rafa Benitez has a big decision to make ahead
of the derby. Kyrgiakos is solid defensively but Agger is
comfortable on the ball and offers you more
Riera: Torres and Reina
wouldn’t leave if Rafa did
Liverpool winger Albert Riera says he and his fellow Spanish
team mates at the club, Fernando Torres and Pepe Reina, are
determined to be successful at Anfield and will remain here
for a long time no matter what happens.
With Rafa Benitez’s future having been questioned this
season, many have speculated that should the Spaniard leave
the club he would be followed by the likes of Torres and
But Riera explained “It is clear how happy Pepe and Fernando
are at the club and I have no doubt they will both be here
for a very long time no matter
“They have both said to me that they want to make history
with Liverpool and I share that ambition. I understand I
haven’t enjoyed quite as big an impact on the club as them
(Torres and Reina) so far but I intend to.
“For me, if the club offered a five, six or seven year
contract right now, I’d sign it with my eyes closed. Where
else is there to go? Being anywhere else would be a step
down. I have everything I need in Liverpool.”
He added “It isn’t in the character of any of us to turn our
backs and run somewhere else when times are tough. All of us
would like to look back on our Liverpool career and say it
was a success.”
(This is Anfield)
Reds close on Jovanovic deal
Sky Sports News understands Liverpool are close to agreeing
a pre-contract deal with Standard Liege striker Milan
MD: Reds in world top four
Liverpool managing director Christian Purslow insists the
Reds are 'one of the big four clubs in the world' as he
targets a top four finish in the Premier League
The Reds have endured a difficult first half of the season,
although Rafa Benitez's side still sit in fifth in the top
Purslow is targeting a top four finish for the club after
pledging the Reds will not sell any of their star players.
But he has acknowledged that the club do not have the
'financial capacity' to match the depth of quality in other
He said: "Liverpool is one of the big four clubs in the
"We pay salaries and transfers at the level of the top four
in this league and that is the sporting level I hope to
"Our problem is that we do not have two first XIs, as other
clubs do. We do not have that financial capacity."
Reds in the hunt for new investors
Liverpool hope to give new life to their plans to build a
60,000-seat stadium by bringing in new investors before the
end of the season.
With plans to move to a new stadium in Stanley Park
currently on hold, the Reds have begun the search for new
funding to bring them back on track.
Managing director Christian Purslow told Spanish sports
daily newspaper AS: "When I arrived we agreed with the
owners that we had to look for new investors.
"There are interested parties and I would like to get it
sorted out before the end of this season. Without investment
there won't be a new stadium."
Rafa inquiring about Kewell
treatment, claims agent
Former Liverpool winger Harry Kewell’s agent Bernie Mandic
says that Rafa Benitez has recently been in touch with
Kewell to inquire about his
Kewell, so long on the sidelines during his career at
Anfield, has rejuvinated his career with Galatasaray in
Turkey after receiving specialist treatment in Australia.
Mandic believes Benitez is eager to learn who the medical
team are behind Kewell’s recovery, so he can work with them
on Fernando Torres, who is becoming increasingly prone to
Mandic believes Liverpool’s medical team are to blame for
Kewell’s lack of form when on Merseyside, resulting in him
being let go by the club in 2008.
He said, “We had Rafa Benítez call him the other night
inquiring who these guys were because Fernando Torres has
got such major problems now. We have also had Jonathan
Woodgate’s physio inquiring about him, because he is
apparently almost unfixable.”
“But look at Liverpool. Why is it that, over so many recent
years, usually around November, lots of their key players
are injured? It is always soft-tissue injuries. How come
other clubs do not have that sort of dilemma? And why do
their players recover quicker? There are logical reasons.”
(This is Anfield)
Carra ignores Rafa rumours
Liverpool star Jamie Carragher insists speculation linking
Rafa Benitez with a move away from Anfield is not unsettling
Benitez's long-term future at Anfield has been the subject
of conjecture in recent weeks with Juventus strongly linked
with a move for the Spaniard.
Carragher insists the players do not pay much attention to
all the rumours and claims it is part and parcel of playing
for a big club.
"Liverpool has always had speculation about managers,
players, players coming, players going and it's the same as
managers," Carragher told Sky Sports News.
"That's part of being part of a big club, you always have
that type of thing.
"People always want to talk about the club whether it is
positively or negatively and if you play for Liverpool you
have got to get used to that as part of the job."
Carragher insists Benitez has the backing of the whole squad
and he has called on his team-mates to stick together as
they look to secure a top-four finish.
Asked if Benitez had the support of the dressing room,
Carragher said: "Of course. It has been a difficult season
for everyone really on and off the pitch.
"The only way we can change that between now and the end of
the season is by rallying together, getting together and
focusing on what's important - which is the club - and on
the pitch getting the results we need to try and get in the
top four and also having a good run in the Europa League.
"So at the moment now I think it is about everyone sticking
Why Rafa Benitez won’t
leave Liverpool FC for Juventus
There has been so much speculation over the past week, but I
can’t see Rafa Benitez quitting Liverpool to take over at
To be honest, it just wouldn’t make any sense. Juventus is a
club close to my heart and as far as I’m concerned they are
the best club in Italy.
But if Benitez left to go there he wouldn’t be going to a
better club or one with more money to spend on signings.
In fact Juventus are in a worse financial situation than
They are only fifth in Serie A and aren’t challenging for
I’d be very disappointed if he went there and I just can’t
see it happening.
(Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo)
Rafael Benitez owes
the Liverpool FC fans
The supporters at Liverpool have been great with Rafael
Benitez – at a lot of other clubs he would no longer have a
They are a patient bunch at Anfield and in times of trouble
they go to the manager and say ‘how can we help?’
So in light of some of his comments which emerged at the
weekend about the interest from Juventus, Benitez has got to
If he decides to go to Italy then he must realise he will be
managing a game of chess; the game is played at walking pace
at times over there.
Although he says it was flattering to have Juve interested
in him, would he rather manage there after being in charge
of Liverpool in the Premier League? I would have thought
(Mark Lawrenson - Liverpool Daily
Duo return as Reds triumph
Martin Kelly and Nabil El Zhar both made successful
comebacks from injury as Liverpool Reserves booked their
place in the semi-final of the Lancashire Senior Cup
following a 2-0 win at Bolton on Monday night.
The duo enjoyed 45 minutes apiece as goals from David Amoo
and Damien Plessis saw John McMahon's men bolster their bid
for a clean sweep of trophies with another assured display.
It was Kelly's first appearance since recovering from the
injury he sustained in the first-team's 2-1 defeat against
Lyon back in October, and he gave an accomplished showing
before being replaced by El Zhar at the interval.
Liverpool Reserves: Gulacsi, Kelly (El Zhar 46), Mavinga
(Threlfall 87), Ayala, Darby, Spearing, Plessis, Irwin,
Kacaniklic (Brouwer 74), Pacheco, Amoo. Subs: Oldfield,
(LFC Official Website)
Striker extends loan
Nathan Eccleston has had his loan spell with Huddersfield
Town extended until the end of the season.
The striker, who scored on his debut for the Terriers during
Saturday's 1-0 win at Yeovil Town, will stay with Lee
Clark's side until May 8, 2010.
The former Academy starlet, who recently put pen to paper on
a new deal with the Reds, made the move to Melwood full-time
during the summer and made his first team debut for the club
He made his bow against Arsenal in the Carling Cup before he
appeared against Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.
(LFC Official Website)
Cottagers bag Reds starlet
Fulham have completed the signing of Liverpool youngster
Christopher Buchtmann on an 18-month contract.
As revealed earlier on transfer deadline day by
skysports.com the Cottagers struck a cut-price deal for the
former Borussia Dortmund defender.
The left-back has now signed a contract that will keep him
with the Craven Cottage outfit until the end of the 2010/11
The teenager, who can operate anywhere on the left-hand side
of the field, was named as one of Uefa's top 10 stars of the
future in May 2009.
Fulham have confirmed that Buchtmann, who helped Germany win
the Uefa Under-17 European Championship last year, is the
club's final piece of business on transfer deadline day.
Duo extend loan deals
Two of Liverpool's promising young goalkeepers have extended
Dean Bouzanis will now remain at League Two side Accrington
Stanley up to and including May 30.
Meanwhile, David Martin is staying at League One high-flyers
Leeds United until February 10.
(LFC Official Website)
Reina: Reds gaining confidence
Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina admits the Reds players have
been hurt by the club's poor performances so far this
But the Spain international said a sense of pride had forced
the squad to face up to their problems and he believed their
recent good run showed what could be done when they worked
The Reds, who suffered early exits from the Champions League
and FA Cup, are currently 13 points behind Premier League
However, a six-match unbeaten run in which they have
conceded just one goal has lifted Liverpool to within a
point of fourth-placed Tottenham and rekindled hopes of
Champions League qualification next season.
It has also eased some of the pressure on the
under-achieving players and manager Rafael Benitez.
"It is about pride. We knew we were not in the right
situation," said Reina, who is currently in negotiations
over a new long-term contract at Anfield.
Cahill stokes derby fires
Tim Cahill believes Liverpool could be feeling threatened by
Everton after next weekend's Merseyside derby.
The Toffees' victory at Wigan on Saturday stretched an
unbeaten run to nine games and continued their ascent of the
Ninth-placed Everton endured a torrid start to the season
but are now only nine points behind Liverpool, who sit
fifth, with a game in hand.
Cahill therefore thinks Rafa Benitez's side could become
increasingly nervous in their fight for European football
with the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa
if Everton leave Anfield with three points.