Rafa lauds Reina as deal done
Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina is the best in the Premier
League, according to manager Rafael Benitez, which is why he
is delighted the Spaniard has agreed to a contract extension
The 27-year-old Spain international has committed to a new
deal to ward off interest from a number of Europe's top
clubs. Reina has been Liverpool's player of the season and,
with 12 clean sheets, is in the running for the league's
Golden Glove award with injured Chelsea rival Petr Cech.
"We are really pleased because I remember at the beginning
people said 'for England, in the air, he is not the best',"
"He is the best in England, miles away from the others, and
we are really pleased to keep him here for a long time.
Sometimes the style of goalkeepers is for them to be really
good in the six-yard box, Pepe is really good in the 18-yard
(The Evening Herald)
Liverpool icon Hansen rates
Reina best Red of the season
Liverpool legend Alan Hansen rates Pepe Reina as the club's
Player of the Season.
Hansen reckons Reina's displays could see him crowned
Liverpool's top performer of 2009-10.
"Reina has been brilliant all season and is without a shadow
of a doubt Liverpool's player of the year," the Kop icon
told LFC Weekly.
"The great thing about him is his total and utter
reliability. If you asked me what I'd want in a goalkeeper
playing behind me at Liverpool, that would be what I'm
looking for - total and utter reliability.
"Having a goalkeeper like Reina behind you gives the central
defenders a huge amount of confidence."
Benitez cool on linked duo
Rafael Benitez has played down talks of a move for Simon
Kjaer or Arda Turan despite the pair expressing earlier this
week their desire to move to Anfield
On Thursday, Galatasaray ace Turan conceded that joining
Liverpool would be a dream-come-true - 24 hours after
Palermo defender Kjaer revealed he relished the prospect of
linking up with Daniel Agger.
Speaking at Melwood yesterday, however, Benitez refused to
speculate about potential moves for the duo, insisting that
it is too early to discuss
He said: "There were two or three names [linked] in the
press today but it's too early so we can talk about players
but it is too early so we have to wait."
Torres going extra mile to get fit
Liverpool striker Fernando Torres' determination to remain
fit for the rest of the season has seen him hitting the gym
on his days off.
While most of the squad took manager Rafael Benitez's offer
of spending time away from the club's Melwood training
ground, the Spain international, who played 45 minutes
against France in midweek, turned up for additional work
It is not the first time this season he has done extra gym
sessions in an attempt to get himself up to speed as quickly
However, with just 10 matches remaining in the league, both
Torres and his manager knows how important it is for him to
be firing on all cylinders in the race for the last
Champions League place.
"We still we have some good players around but Fernando is a
key player for us, the same as Steven Gerrard," said
"Fernando can score goals on his own so hopefully he will be
"He was training yesterday - even though we had a day off -
so that means he wants to improve and wants to be physically
well so that is also good news
Sammy: Let's end on a high
Sammy Lee has spoken of the strong determination at Melwood
to ensure 2009-10 ends on a high as Liverpool gear up for
their final 10 Barclays Premier League fixtures of the
The race for a top four finish remains as fiercely contested
as ever, with the Reds just one point behind fourth placed
Tottenham Hotspur as well as Manchester City, who have
played a game less.
Meanwhile, Aston Villa sit three points adrift of Rafael
Benitez's side - though the Midlanders have two matches in
Nonetheless, Lee insists Liverpool's charges are hungry to
secure a successful conclusion to what he describes as an
"There is a massive hunger," the Reds assistant manager told
Liverpoolfc.tv. "The boys are very determined, professional
and focused. We want to get as high as we can (in the
table). We never prepare for failure at this football club.
(LFC Official Website)
Rafa: Reds have no room for error
Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez admits his side cannot afford
any more mistakes in their battle to secure Champions League
football next season.
Having struggled in a goalless draw against Manchester City
the previous week the Reds allowed Blackburn back into the
match last Sunday before Fernando Torres struck the winner
in the 2-1 victory.
This weekend none of their main rivals for a top-four place
are in Premier League action - Tottenham and Aston Villa
have FA Cup quarter-finals.
A victory at Wigan on Monday would take Liverpool back to
fourth, albeit having played one match more than Spurs, two
more than City and three more than Villa.
Those statistics show just how fragile their the grip on
fourth place is - and why Benitez is anxious to avoid any
"Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa will be very
dangerous so we cannot make many mistakes," said the
Johnson poised for Liverpool return
Glen Johnson looks set to feature in Liverpool's Premier
League clash at Wigan on Monday as the England full-back
closes in on full fitness.
Johnson has been sidelined with a knee problem since the end
of December but he is back in training and could be involved
at the DW Stadium.
There is further good news for Liverpool, with Daniel
Agger's knee injury unlikely to keep him out and Sotirios
Kyrgiakos returning after a three-match suspension.
Reds (from): Reina, Johnson, Degen, Agger, Carragher,
Krygiakos, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Aquilani, Benayoun, Riera,
Rodriguez, Ngog, Kuyt, Torres, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing,
Darby, Babel, Kelly.
Turk reveals Reds appeal
Galatasaray ace Arda Turan has revealed he would be
interested in a move
The highly-rated winger has been continually linked with a
switch to Anfield with Reds boss Rafa Benitez believed to be
Turan admits he is keen on a transfer away from Turkish
football with the Merseyside giants his preferred
"Of course I want to play abroad but it is our board's
decision," Turan told uefa.com. "As I always mention,
Liverpool attracts me because of their tradition.
"In Europe, I am a Liverpool supporter, so if I go to play
in Europe, I would like to play for them.
"My dream has always been to play for one of the top
European clubs, but you shouldn't make concrete plans in
your life because sometimes these plans cannot be achieved.
"This is my dream, but for now I'm just working on my
Lucas admits to difficult times
Liverpool's Brazilian midfielder talks about the difficult
time he has had settling in at the club and the improvements
he has made.
“It’s been a very difficult time both for the team and for
me,” said Lucas. “I know a lot of people have been unhappy
with my performances, particularly at the start of the
“The team wasn’t doing well and results were bad. But I’ve
learned a lot more about myself and become a stronger person
and player. It has made me desperate to prove people wrong.
“There have been times when I thought I may have made the
wrong decision but now I am sure that I have made the right
“My game has changed a lot since leaving Brazil. I was able
to attack more at Gremio because I played with two defensive
midfielders, In England you have more responsibility.
“I still think I have some work to do if all the fans are
going to believe in me. I’m happy and I feel I’m improving.
But it isn’t about me, it’s about the club