Red News


APRIL                   2010
28 29 30


Babel: It hurts so much
Ryan Babel admits no one spoke in the Liverpool dressing room following a heartbreaking Euro exit at Anfield on Thursday.
The Reds missed out on facing Fulham in the Europa League final after Diego Forlan gave Atletico Madrid the away goal they needed to progress in extra-time.
Babel told down the tunnel: "It hurts a lot because we controlled the game, more or less. We made one mistake and they scored.
"It's frustrating when you know you are so close to a trophy and in the end it's gone. It's very disappointing."
(LFC Official Website)

Liverpool coach Borrell says
academy 'was unacceptable'

Liverpool youth coach Rodolfo Borrell has revealed how surprised he was by the poor quality of the club's academy when he arrived at the club in 2009.
Borrell, who came with Jose Segura from Barcelona, believes it could take another two years before a player breaks through into the first team.
"The reality of what we found here was unacceptable," Borrell told BBC Sport.
"I think we have made a lot of progress over eight months, but we need to improve a lot more to get more players into the first team.
"I think if we keep working hard maybe in two years somebody can appear
in the first team."
(BBC Sport Online)

Reina: Reds need better squad
Jose Reina admits the strength of Liverpool's squad meant a Premier League title challenge was always going to be highly unlikely this season.
Thursday night's away-goals Europa League semi-final exit to Atletico Madrid realistically ended their chances of salvaging anything from
a disappointing campaign.
Securing fourth place and with it Champions League football looks a distant hope with Tottenham, Manchester City and Aston Villa all ahead of them.
And Reina concedes Liverpool are playing for pride in their remaining
two matches.
"We couldn't aim to win the Premier League or a big title yet," said the Spain international.
"So we have to try to have a better squad and try to be a bit closer to the top of the table and be more competitive."

Benitez slams scheduling
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has hit out at the Premier League over their end of season fixture schedule.
The Reds chief feels the matter needs to be addressed, with so much at stake at this stage of the campaign.
His side are due to face title-chasing Chelsea on Sunday just 63 hours after a gruelling Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid, which went to extra-time.
They have been handed a lunchtime kick-off at Anfield while Manchester United, who are also looking to take the Premier League crown, face Sunderland later in the day.
Benitez believes it would have made more sense for both games to take place at the same time, ensuring no unfair advantage is gained.
(Sky Sports)

Liverpool FC suffer more frustration
as season of woe continues

Try telling Steven Gerrard this was only the consolation cup. Try telling Jamie Carragher the Europa League isn’t worth winning.
As Liverpool’s players lay prostrate on the Anfield turf after 120 energy-sapping minutes last night they had to come to terms with the gut-wrenching agony of a European semi-final exit
The competition that was supposed to offer salvation of sorts at the end of a desperate campaign ultimately only provided yet another crushing disappointment.
The Europa League may be the poor relation but it still matters and this hurt. The fact is the likes of Fernando Torres, Javier Mascherano, Dirk Kuyt, Yossi Benayoun and Lucas still have no medals to show for their tireless efforts in red.
Among the current crop only Gerrard, Carragher and Pepe Reina have won silverware with the club. The old adage is that Liverpool only exists to win trophies but one hasn’t been placed on the Anfield sideboard now since 2006.
(James Pearce - Liverpool Echo)

Benitez blames finances for
Liverpool FC's Europa League loss

Rafa Benitez admitted a major rebuilding job is needed at Anfield this summer after Liverpool crashed out of the Europa League at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
The Reds bowed out on away goals after the semi-final with the Spaniards ended 2-2 on aggregate.
It ended the Reds' hopes of silverware this season and they must win their remaining two Premier League games to have any chance of qualifying for
the Champions League.
Benitez believes big changes are needed to ensure this season is only a one-off.
“Two or three of the players have said we need three, four or five more players and I agree with them,” Benitez said.
“The goal we conceded here sums up the season, you could say that.
“It has been one of those seasons where everything has gone against us, though the players could be very proud tonight because they were working so hard."
(Liverpool Echo)

Impotence in attack
is main Anfield ailment

When Liverpool announced Ian Rush was returning to the club this week you half expected a photo-call at Melwood complete with Rafa Benitez and
the obligatory scarf.
With the hosts needing at least two goals to overturn Atletico Madrid, injuries to Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and David Ngog didn’t bode well for those who had already snapped up a hotel room in Hamburg.
Rush was at Anfield last night to see Liverpool’s last chance of silverware this season dwindle.
Perhaps he should have brought his boots.
(David Randles - Liverpool Daily Post)    

Kalou: We have to win at Anfield
Salomon Kalou believes Chelsea "have to win" at Liverpool on Sunday if they are to hold off Manchester United in the Premier League title race.
Kalou, who fired a hat-trick in last weekend's 7-0 drubbing of Stoke, believes his side must be ruthless as the Premier League gears up for a grandstand finish.
"I think we have to win. There's two games to go and there's no other way of going about it," said the Ivory Coast frontman.
Forlan late show sinks Reds
Atletico Madrid ended Liverpool's hopes of Europa League glory with an away goals success after extra-time at Anfield.
Diego Forlan, the goalscorer of Atletico's first-leg lead, came back to haunt the Reds in and will now face Fulham in the Hamburg final.
Liverpool, who saw the tie enter an additional 30 minutes after Alberto Aquilani's 44th minute strike, thought they were on their way to an all-English showpiece against the Cottagers when Yossi Benayoun grabbed a 95th minute lead.
Forlan, the former Manchester United man who was much derided during his time in English football, had the last word however, as he struck in the 102nd minute to put an end to the Merseyside team's involvement in the competition.
(Sky Sports)

Masch on right, Dirk starts
Dirk Kuyt has been passed fit to start tonight's Europa League semi-final return against Atletico Madrid.
Meanwhile, Javier Mascherano starts at right-back and Glen Johnson on the left in what is a really attacking XI selected by Rafael Benitez.
The team in full: Reina, Mascherano, Johnson, Carragher, Agger, Lucas, Gerrard, Aquilani, Babel, Benayoun, Kuyt.
Subs: Cavalieri, Kyrgiakos, Pacheco, Degen, El Zhar, Ayala, Ngog.
(LFC Official Website)

Flores demands positive Atletico

Quique Sanchez Flores has urged Atletico Madrid to be positive against Liverpool in their Europa League semi-final second leg at Anfield.
Anfield has witnessed many memorable European nights over the years and Flores is aware Madrid's 1-0 lead will count for little if the home side get off to a good start on Thursday night.
"We have to maintain the same intensity and concentration that we showed in the first leg," Flores said.
"It is important we keep possession of the ball, try to assert ourselves
and be positive.
"What I don't want is us to play a waiting game to see how Liverpool turn out."

Benitez in the dark
over Anfield future

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez aims to lead his side into the third European final of his Anfield reign on Thursday night admitting he has been given no assurances about his future at the club.
"All my focus is on the next game, that's the future for me, but no one from the club has spoken to me about mine."
(Sporting Life)

Liverpool and Carlsberg set sights
on lucrative Chinese market

Carlsberg will appear on the shirts of Liverpool FC at Anfield for the final time this weekend when the Reds take on Chelsea, and use the opportunity of the biggest game of the Premier League weekend to target the Chinese market.
Liverpool's sponsor will display its logo on the famous red shirts worn by Steven Gerrard and his teammates in Chinese. "Carslberg officials came up with the idea as a way of interacting with the club's huge support in Asia and as acknowledgement of Liverpool being the only UK city to be exhibiting at the World Expo in Shanghai later this year," reports the Liverpool Daily Post.
"Chinese messages will be displayed on the perimeter advertising boardings during the match and a Chinese competition winner will present a trophy to the 'Man of the Match' in the Carlsberg Lounge after the final whistle,"
the newspaper adds.
(SportsPro Media)
Reds wait on strike pair
Strikers Dirk Kuyt and David Ngog are major doubts for Liverpool's Europa League semi-final second leg at home to Atletico Madrid.
Kuyt sustained a calf injury in Sunday's 4-0 win at Burnley while Ngog has a hamstring strain which has developed as a result of a back problem which forced him off in the first leg in Madrid last week.
It means Ryan Babel is likely to be asked to play in the lone striker role.
Midfielder Maxi Rodriguez is ineligible, having already played in Europe for Atletico, so that could mean Steven Gerrard is asked to play on the right with Alberto Aquilani given a chance in the hole behind the striker.
Liverpool (from): Reina, Johnson, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Agger, Lucas, Mascherano, Gerrard, Aquilani, Babel, Benayoun, Ngog, Kuyt, Cavalieri, Degen, El Zhar, Pacheco, Ayala, Plessis.

Rafa committed to Reds
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez insists he is committed to the club and is frustrated at rumours over his future.
Benitez's position at Anfield has been the subject of intense speculation in recent weeks with Italian giants Juventus strongly linked with a move for his services.
The Spaniard, who is preparing for Thursday's Europa clash with Atletico Madrid, is annoyed with the constant speculation over his Liverpool future and claims the signing of Charlton youngster Jonjo Shelvey proves his long-term planning
for the club.
(Sky Sports)

Reds tie up £1.7m Shelvey switch
Liverpool have sealed the signing of Charlton star Jonjo Shelvey for an initial fee of £1.7million - with the deal being completed on May 10.
The England Under-17 international has passed a medical and agreed personal terms at Anfield.
Reds managing director Christian Purslow told the club's official website: "Jonjo is an exciting young England international. His signing is part of our long-term strategic recruitment plan and we all look forward to welcoming him to Melwood (training ground)."
The fee also contains a number of potential add-ons, relating to domestic and international appearances.

Babel hoping to become
European hero for Liverpool FC

Ryan Babel tells Liverpool reporter DOMINIC KING of how confidence in the Liverpool camp is building ahead of their semi-final second leg clash
with Atletico Madrid
“It is clear that this season has not been the best and maybe that is why we haven’t scored as many goals away from home as we should have done. The important thing, is to believe in a better future.
“It’s true that I had some ups and downs. But I have had good talks with the staff and the manager. I’ve tried to work as hard as possible. I know what they want from me and I am getting some confidence back. Hopefully I can show
a little bit more.”
(Liverpool Echo) 

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