Red News


MARCH                 2010
28 29 30 31



Aquilani out of Euro clash
Alberto Aquilani has been ruled out of Liverpool's Europa League clash with Benfica, manager Rafael Benitez today confirmed.
The Italian international sustained an ankle injury in training this morning and won't be with the Reds' squad which flies to Lisbon later today.
"He will not be available for this game," said Benitez. "He had a problem with his ankle this morning and we have to fix it.
"It doesn't seem too serious but it's the same ankle as before and so we'll have to analyse the situation carefully."
Benitez also confirmed defender Martin Kelly will undergo a knee operation today which will rule him out of action for the rest of the season.
(LFC Official Website)

Dirk wary of Benfica threat
Dirk Kuyt won't be underestimating Benfica.
The Dutchman knows Liverpool face a difficult couple of games in the Europa League after seeing the way Benfica hammered Everton 5-0 and 2-0 earlier
in the season.
"I didn't see the 5-0 because we were playing at the time, but I caught bits and pieces and saw they play very good football. So, we have to show we have lots of quality also," said Kuyt.
"They're a very good side. I believe they got a new manager at the beginning of the season and now they're top of the league in Portugal and can't really lose it.
"But we have to keep focused on ourselves. We know Benfica are a very good side but we know also that we have a lot of quality, so if we believe in ourselves and perform like we can perform, we have a really good chance."
(LFC Online)

Rafa firm on Gerrard role
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has warned Steven Gerrard not to get too comfortable in his favoured central midfield role.
Gerrard reverted back to the middle of the park against Sunderland last weekend and responded with an improved personal display in the 3-0 win.
For a long time critics have been calling on Benitez to deploy Gerrard in what they feel is his best position but the Reds boss insists the team come first.
"I said after the game in the press conference he has been playing on the right, or left," said Benitez.
"I remember discussions with England about Gerrard and Frank Lampard not being able to play in the middle but they can.
"He can play everywhere because he knows what to do in every position."
(Sky Sports)

Boss on Riera latest
Rafael Benitez today insisted speculation over Albert Riera's future hasn't been a distraction as the Reds head into a crucial stage of their campaign.
The Spanish midfielder is reportedly interesting Spartak Moscow, with the Russian club said to be in talks with the 27-year-old.
"He is talking with Spartak and we have to wait and see," said Benitez. "We are working with the players who will normally be involved here."
Asked if the speculation has been a distraction as the Reds prepare for crucial Premier League and Europa League matches, Benitez replied: "No."
(LFC Official Website)

Benfica striker Saviola
dismisses Torres threat

Benfica striker Javier Saviola insists they're not nervous facing Liverpool ace Fernando Torres in the Europa League.
Saviola says Benfica's attack is more than a match for Liverpool's firepower.
He said: "Fernando is one of the best strikers in Europe but the Benfica frontline isn't bad either.
"We're not obsessed with him. It would be stupid to forget players like Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano, Maxi Rodriguez and Dirk Kuyt, who are also dangerous."
Overseas deals boost clubs' coffers
Premier League sides will each benefit by an extra £7.5million per season from the overseas television deals, club chairmen have been told.
It has been known for some time that the Premier League's overall overseas deals for the 2010-13 period will comfortably top £1billion but the benefit to each individual club can now be revealed.
The clubs have been told to expect between £7million and £8million per annum extra to add to the £12million they currently receive annually from overseas TV, sponsorship and licensing money.
That will push the minimum each club can earn in TV cash and prize money alone from a season in the top flight to £40million - and whoever are champions next season can expect to rake in more than £60million and that does not include income from gate receipts, club sponsorship deals or merchandise sales.

Reds linked with Spanish star

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has stepped up the chase for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Javi Martinez, according to The Mirror.
Martinez, 21, has been on Liverpool's radar for the past two seasons but Benitez is putting together his hit-list for next season.
(LFC Online)

Raul linked with Liverpool move
as contract at Real Madrid nears end

Spanish striker Raul is being linked with a move to the Premier League this summer, with Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez reportedly keen to sign him from Real Madrid.
The 32-year-old could be set to end his lifetime association with Real this summer after finding himself on the fringes of the first-team under Manuel Pellegrini.
Reports in the Spanish press say Benitez is keen to sign Raul on a free transfer.

Rafa keen to keep Torres sweet

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez hopes to keep star striker Fernando Torres happy by going on a winning run until the end of the season to secure
Champions League football.
The Spain international has stressed on a number of occasions he is more concerned with significant investment in the squad to make them Barclays Premier League title challengers than he is with playing in Europe's elite club competition.
However, considering the state of the finances at Anfield, where the £237million debt has yet to be reduced despite a £110million offer for a 40% share from the Rhone Group, Champions League football may be more attainable than the "four or five" signings Torres wants.
Benitez, who already has an idea of his limited summer transfer budget, certainly hopes so.
"All the players we have at the moment are important and Fernando is one of the key players," said the Spaniard.
"If a striker is scoring goals he is a very important player and in trying to keep him happy the first thing we can do is win the games this year and try to be
in the top four."
(Press Association Sport)

Liverpool lose Kelly for season
Liverpool have lost young defender Martin Kelly for the remainder of the season.
The Mirror says Kelly has been ruled out for the season after suffering the same knee injury as Fernando Torres.
Kelly damaged the cartilage in his knee in training on Friday.
The promising right-back will be out for six weeks, which effectively ends
his season.

Vital win admits Agger
Sunday's win was a vital one admits Daniel Agger.
It was imperative that Liverpool beat Sunderland at the weekend if they were to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive admitted
the Danish defender.
"The quick goal helped but it was very pleasing. It was great to see Fernando play so well. If you want to compete in the Premier League, you need players like that," he said.
"We needed a performance like that to help us on the run-in. We played for everyone and we wanted to win to get back up the table and it was a good result.
"A clean sheet always helps and now we have to keep believing. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't but I actually thought after a good first half we dropped a bit in the second.
"We have lost some games but that is in the past now. We have got to look forward and do our best in the last few weeks.
"We definitely played better than we have done for a long time."
(LFC Online)

No Liverpool move for Lee
Bolton Wanderers' Lee Chung-yong will not be joining Liverpool next season, according to the player's agent.
Reports had suggested that Reds boss Rafa Benitez is keen to make a swoop for the talented winger as the club aims to boost their profile in the Far East.
However, Lee's player management agency has denied the speculation and has confirmed the 21 year-old will definitely be at Reebok Stadium for the start of the next campaign.
"I never received the offer from Liverpool, there was absolutely no contact. Speculation about the future is not helpful," said a spokesperson for TI Sports.
"(The link is) in a word, absurd. Liverpool did not have any discussion.
"Next season will be a lot easier (for Lee), but there is still much to learn in terms of player development.
"Lee wants to be a regular at Bolton next season, this is important (for him). It is important that Bolton stay in the Premier League, that is the biggest objective."
The South Korea international has been a revelation for the Trotters since joining them last summer, scoring five goals so far this term.
(Sky Sports)

Liverpool FC can cope
with end-of-season pressure

Even when Liverpool turn on the style and record such a convincing triumph as they did against Sunderland on Sunday, there’s still that element of frustration.
The joy is soon tinged with a bit of regret, based on what might have been.
When you see Liverpool take a team from outside the top bracket apart like that, you know you’re watching the real Liverpool.
The Liverpool that are a top four side, that do go all out on the attack – it’s the way it should be.
(Mark Lawrenson - Daily Post)  
Ngog downs Trotters
Liverpool Reserves moved to within three points of leaders Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier Reserve League North after a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers at the County Ground on Monday evening.
First-team striker David Ngog, on as a half-time substitute, netted with 18 minutes remaining to break the deadlock in a tense contest in Lancashire.
And the Reds' advantage was doubled soon after as Bolton captain Rhys Bennett deflected Gerardo Bruna's free-kick beyond his own goalkeeper.
Zoltan Harsanyi reduced the arrears in stoppage time, but John McMahon's men held out to cut the gap on pacesetters United at the top of the table - and the Reds still have two games in hand.
Liverpool Reserves: Peter Gulacsi, Steven Irwin, Chris Mavinga (Alex Cooper 66), Daniel Ayala, Victor Palsson, Dani Pacheco, Nabil El Zhar (David Ngog 46), David Amoo, Lauri Dalla Valle (Jordy Brouwer 54), Damien Plessis, Gerardo Bruna. Subs: Nikolaj Kohlert, Chris Oldfield.
(LFC Official Website)

Reds announce new appointment
Liverpool FC today announced the appointment of leading Australian sports physician Peter Brukner as Head of Sports Medicine and Sports Science.
Dr Brukner, who is the current Socceroos Australian football team doctor, will take up the full time position after this year's World Cup in South Africa.
Managing Director Christian Purslow said: "Dr Brukner is recognised across the globe as one of the leading figures in this field. He will play a vital, strategic, role in adding a new dimension to our Sports Medicine and Sports Science services."
Dr Brukner is the founding partner of Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre in Melbourne, the largest sports medicine clinic in Australia.
He was instrumental in the development and recognition of sports medicine as a specialty in Australia, which culminated in the recent announcement of specialty status by the Minister for Health.
Formerly an Australian Football League (AFL) Club Doctor with Melbourne and Collingwood, Dr Brukner looked after various Australian national teams including swimming, athletics and hockey.
He has been Australian team doctor at Olympic and Commonwealth Games as well as numerous World Championships. He is the co-author of the best selling sports medicine text book, Clinical Sports Medicine.
"The appointment is an indication of the high regard in which Australian sports medicine is held throughout the world," said Dr Brukner, who will spend the next month at Liverpool observing the set up, before returning to Melbourne in May to help prepare the Socceroos for the World Cup.
"The prospect of working at one of the world's great sporting clubs is very exciting and once the World Cup is over I will be devoting all my energies to improving the performance of the team."
(LFC Official Website)

Torres wins Kuyt praise

Dirk Kuyt believes Premier League life is easier for Liverpool with Fernando Torres fit and firing.
Torres scored a goal in each half during Sunday's 3-0 win against Sunderland to help keep alive the Reds' hopes of finishing in the top four.
Kuty told BBC Radio Merseyside: "He's scoring some great goals and playing really well.
"That's what we like to see from him and that's very important and makes football for this team a lot easier."
(BBC Sport Online)

Benitez hits back at critics
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has hit back at the continued criticism aimed at him mostly by ex-players who are now pundits.
Plenty of former Reds stars have secured work in the media and Benitez has had to listen to them giving their opinion on what has been a disappointing season.
However, he felt the need to respond to the comments of former Liverpool captain Jamie Redknapp after the 2-1 defeat at Manchester United.
"I was surprised to see some comments by some experts talking about how they could see Alonso playing in the 4-1 win against United - he didn't play," said the Liverpool manager, referring to the fact the Spain midfielder was injured.
"This expert said he (Gerrard) cannot play on the left but he is playing with the national team on the left.
"He was playing here on the right and scoring 23 goals so Gerrard can play everywhere. It depends on the team.
"I told him before the Sunderland game he was playing in the middle and he was happy. He can help the team and that is the main thing."
(Football 365)

Carra to become our new League number ten
Jamie Carragher, the reds' current longest serving player, is set to move up one place for the number of League games played for the club to become our all-time #10, assuming he turns out at Birmingham City on Easter Sunday. He is already ranked at joint #8 in all competitions.
This will be his 430th Premiership game for Liverpool - nearly seventy outings ahead of his nearest current challenger, skipper Steven Gerrard. He has bagged just four goals in these League matches.
It will only take another four Premiership outings before the 32-year old Bootle lad can move up another place in this list, alongside Alan Hansen. However, he would then still be more than 200 League games behind Ian Callaghan, who is likely to forever remain the Liverpool player who tops the appearance charts.
Current Top 10 League appearances:
1. Ian Callaghan (640)
2. Billy Liddell (492)
3. Emlyn Hughes (474)
4. Ray Clemence (470)
5. Ian Rush (469)
6. Tommy Smith (467)
7. Phil Neal (455)
8. Bruce Grobbelaar (440)
9. Alan Hansen (434)
10. Elisha Scott (430)

Torres shows Liverpool FC fans
a glimpse of what might have been

Even the Sunderland fans applauded when Fernando Torres was substituted.
Perhaps it was with relief as much as respect.
With his 19th and 20th goals of the season, Torres displayed once again exactly what Liverpool have lacked in his absence throughout a campaign that has desperately needed his majestic influence.
They say Manchester United are not the same team without Wayne Rooney.
That may be true but at least they have the odd multi-million pound replacement to come in and deputise.
Sadly, Liverpool don’t.
While Robbie Keane has never been replaced, it is too much to ask David Ngog to stand in for Torres on his own.
Now, with seven goals in Torres’ last four games, this is the kind of form that can help fire Liverpool back into the Champions League.
(David Randles - Liverpool Echo)  
Glen: Dressing room believes
Glen Johnson hailed the 'togetherness and belief' within the dressing room following a comfortable 3-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday.
The full-back chipped in with the second goal while Fernando Torres took his tally for the season to 20 with a memorable double.
Johnson said: "The belief is there - if it wasn't it'd be pointless playing. The lads are sticking close together with the staff, everyone's pulling together. I think we can do it."
(LFC Official Website)

Benitez delighted
with impressive Liverpool

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez felt the hard work his side had been putting in over the last few weeks paid dividends in the 3-0 win over Sunderland at Anfield.
"Always you try to do your best and play a bit better," he said.
"But today we started with a really high tempo, passing the ball well and scoring an early goal always helps," he said.
"With the same tactics we scored more goals than anyone in the Premier League last year and more goals in anyone in England two years ago.
"It is a question sometimes of accuracy, pass completion or just a little
bit of luck."

Torres: Reds are full of confidence
Fernando Torres claims Liverpool have hit form at the right time following the 3-0 win over Sunderland as they chase a Champions League spot.
Torres scored twice in Liverpool's 3-0 win over Sunderland at Anfield to put them within four points of fourth-placed Tottenham.
The Spain striker told Sky Sports: "You can see the team is different to the first part of the season, now we have confidence and we know we can beat anyone.
(Sky Sports)

Bruce: We were outplayed
Steve Bruce conceded his Sunderland side were very much second best after watching them fall to a 3-0 loss to Liverpool.
Bruce admits his players could not get even close to Liverpool's top performers, with Jose Reina largely a bystander in the home goal.
While in no doubt Liverpool were excellent on the day, Bruce also believes his players underperformed throughout.
Bruce told Sky Sports: "Sometimes you are well and truly beaten and in the first half in particular Torres and Steven Gerrard gave a masterclass and sometimes you just have to say 'well done'.
(Sky Sports)

Torres stars in Reds rout
Liverpool underlined their intent not to hand over fourth place without a fight as they played some wonderfully expansive football in beating Sunderland 3-0
at Anfield.
Fernando Torres was the star as a pair of stunning goals sandwiched an effort from Glen Johnson to move Liverpool to within four points of Tottenham.
The defensive shackles that have afflicted Liverpool so often this season were banished from the off as an attack-minded line-up tore about a Sunderland outfit which has enjoyed a mini-renaissance of late, but was badly out of sorts on Merseyside.
(Sky Sports)

Babel starts
Ryan Babel returns for Liverpool against Sunderland this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard drops to central midfield alongside Javier Mascherano.
The Reds team v Sunderland: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Mascherano, Gerrard, Kuyt, Babel, Rodriguez, Torres. Subs: Cavalieri, El Zhar, Ngog, Benayoun, Lucas, Aquilani, Kyrgiakos.
(LFC Official Website)

Benitez meets with Rhone
Group about £100M investment

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has met with representatives of the Rhone Group.
The Sunday Telegraph says Benitez has also briefed senior players, including Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, about a future beyond the current boardroom stalemate.
The New York-based fund management firm want to invest £100 million – to be put towards the club’s £237 million debt – for a stake of around 40 per cent, as well as putting in a further £25million to be spent on transfers. Talks with the Spaniard were constructive and positive.

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