Red News


FEBRUARY            2010
7 8 9



Benitez quiet on takeover talk
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has refused to speculate on potential new investment, but remains keen for an injection of money at Anfield.
Newspaper reports on Tuesday morning suggested that India's wealthiest man, Mukesh Ambani, was preparing an offer for a controlling stake in the Reds.
But a spokesperson for the tycoon has dismissed the conjecture and, after masterminding a 10-man win in the Merseyside derby at the weekend, Benitez does not want to speculate over the implications.
However, the Spaniard, who is said to be unsettled by the financial problems of Liverpool co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, still wants transfer funds and the finances to build a proposed new stadium in Stanley Park.
Benitez told Sky Sports News ahead of Wednesday's crucial trip Arsenal in the Premier League: "We see a lot of rumours in the press, but we have to concentrate on football.
(Sky Sports)

Rafa concedes Chamakh defeat
Rafael Benitez believes Liverpool's chances of signing Bordeaux forward Marouane Chamakh in the summer are now dead.
The 26-year-old is available on a free transfer as his contract with the French champions expires at the end of the season.
Benitez had hoped to lure the Morocco international to Anfield and only last month the Reds appeared to be leading the race for his signature.
But Chamakh has since expressed an interest in joining their Premier League rivals Arsenal while reportedly hitting out at Liverpool for being "fussy" over contract negotiations.
Benitez has now conceded defeat in his bid to secure Chamakh's services and is angry that talks broke down.
"I think that we will not sign him - but I will not say [any more]," said
the Liverpool boss.
(Sky Sports)

Gerrard: We've answered our critics
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes he and his team-mates have answered their critics after they were written off earlier this season.
Seven defeats in the first four months of the campaign - five more than last year when they finished second to Manchester United - left the club floundering a long way off the pace in the Premier League.
"Every single player in the squad has rolled his sleeves up and everyone is fighting for the same thing."
A victory at Arsenal on Wednesday - where they have not won in the league for a decade - would put Liverpool within two points of their third-placed opponents.
And Gerrard believes they would not let that slip.
"I'm sure Arsenal will be a bit of a wounded animal on Wednesday," he added.

Sick Aquilani misses Gunners date
Italian midfielder Alberto Aquilani will miss Liverpool's trip to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night because of illness.
Aquilani has been vomiting and manager Rafael Benitez said he was too weak to feature in north London.
Centre-back Sotirios Kyrgiakos starts a three-match suspension after being sent off in Saturday's fiery Merseyside derby and is also sidelined for forthcoming games against Manchester City and Blackburn.
He is likely to be replaced by Martin Skrtel, who was dropped to the bench at the weekend to allow for the return of Daniel Agger after a month out injured.
Liverpool's only other absentees are striker Fernando Torres (knee), Yossi Benayoun (rib) and Glen Johnson (knee), all of whom are still some way off
full fitness.
Reds (from): Reina, Skrtel, Agger, Carragher, Insua, Gerrard, Lucas, Rodriguez, Riera, Ngog, Kuyt, Cavalieri, Pacheco, Spearing, Darby, Babel, Aurelio, Degen.

Rafa pleased with Lucas
Rafael Benitez is happy with the performances of Lucas Levia.
The boss believes his Brazilian midfielder is winning fans over this season with his determination to succeed.
"Lucas is a very good player. His teammates know it and now the fans are starting to realise it too," said Benitez.
"If you analyse the history of the club you will find players that have perhaps had bad times.
"But Lucas is the kind of player that has character. The fans realise that this is what they want to see from their players."
(LFC Online)

Molby: A good time to face Arsenal
Jan Molby believes Liverpool can stake a big claim for a top-four finish when they take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Gunners have lost their last two games to title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea, and the legendary midfielder feels Rafael Benitez's side can get a positive result in London.
"I think they can go to Arsenal full of confidence," said Molby,
"The results Liverpool have had mean they can feel they have a good chance against any team, but I think it is a good time to play Arsenal. I think Arsenal are doubting themselves at the moment after their own recent run."
(LFC Official Website)

Agger eyes repeat of derby spirit
Daniel Agger believes Liverpool will need to show the same kind of attitude displayed in Saturday's Merseyside derby victory at Arsenal.
The Reds travel to London on Wednesday looking for their first Premier League win at the home of the Gunners since February 2000.
They have every incentive to push for victory as it would lift them to within two points of their third-placed opponents.
Agger believes the determination exemplified in the 1-0 win over Everton at Anfield, when the side played the best part of an hour with 10 men after Sotirios Kyrgiakos' dismissal, will help to break their disappointing run on Arsenal territory.
"We just have to go for the three points in each game," said the Denmark international, who is likely to start back-to-back games for the first time since the end of December because of Kyrgiakos' three-match suspension.
"We need to have a good result against Arsenal, that is the most important game right now.
"Arsenal are a good team but every game in this league is tough so we need to go in with the same attitude as against Everton.
"Everyone in the team knows we have the right attitude."

Kyrgiakos: Rafa's the best
Kyrgiakos has played a key role in Liverpool's current six-match unbeaten run as, of the five games he has featured in, four have ended with clean sheets.
The Greek international is looking one of the bargain buys of the season after his £1.5million arrival from AEK Athens and he attributed his success to Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez.
"Rafa Benitez is the best manager I have played for," said the 30-year-old, whose suspension means he also misses matches at Manchester City and home
to Blackburn.
"He has won the Champions League for this club and I enjoy working for him.
"I have learned a lot from playing for Rafa and we want to play well in every game for him and this club."

Gunners can kill anyone,
claims bullish Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott maintains when Arsenal get it right, they can “kill” any of their rivals for the Premier League title – but accepts the Gunners cannot afford any
more off days.
Arsene Wenger’s young side once again came up short when it really mattered as Chelsea returned to the top of the table following a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge, with Didier Drogba scoring both goals.
Afterwards, Wenger congratulated Chelsea on their efficiency, while also taking a sly dig by claiming “we didn’t get a demonstration of football” from Carlo Ancelotti’s men.
The Blues are now nine points ahead of the third-placed Gunners, who had been comprehensively beaten by Manchester United in front of their own fans the previous weekend.
Walcott, making a rare start following a campaign blighted by injury setbacks, believes a clinical edge is all that is missing between the teams at the top – and maintained Arsenal can get it right when Liverpool come to Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
“We dominated the game, but Chelsea took their chances and you have got to be decisive,” Walcott said.
“We need to learn from that and then push on for the Liverpool game, because if we keep the ball like we did against Chelsea, but create more chances, we can kill anyone.”
(Liverpool Echo)

Liverpool FC thriving in
pursuit of third-placed Arsenal

Big tests are coming thick and fast but the demands are bringing the best out of Liverpool – can the same be said about Arsenal?
It would be wrong to get carried away on the back of a comfortable win in the Merseyside derby extended our unbeaten run to seven but, suddenly, there is a slight chance that third place – never mind fourth – is up for grabs again.
Much, of course, depends on the outcome of tomorrow night’s tussle at the Emirates Stadium and, despite losing to Manchester United and Chelsea in their last two games, Arsenal will start favourites.
(Ian Rush - Liverpool Echo)

Ambani Reds bid denied
India's wealthiest man Mukesh Ambani denied reports that he is in the running to buy a controlling stake in Premier League giants Liverpool.
"There is no truth to the report. We deny it completely," Reliance spokeswoman Sudeep Purkayastha stated.
(Sky Sports)

Liverpool FC pay the penalty as
they crash out of FA Youth Cup

There will be no fourth FA Youth Cup final appearance in five years as Liverpool Youth crashed out in the fifth round of the competition against Watford at Anfield last night.
A debatable penalty in the first half – fired home by Piero Mingoia – gave Watford a 1-0 victory over Rodolfo Borrell’s youngsters.
Liverpool will be hugely disappointed as they never really got into any attacking rhythm until late on. And they rarely provided the ammunition for the likes of last season’s top scorer Lauri Dalla Valle and Tom Ince to show their finishing ability.
It is Watford who take on Chelsea in the quarter-finals as Liverpool are left to rue their lacklustre display.
(Liverpool Daily Post)
Gerrard looks to keep up momentum
Steven Gerrard has urged Liverpool to build on the victory over Everton and secure a top-four Premier League finish.
The Reds have shown greater consistency in recent weeks and produced another battling display to see off their Merseyside rivals at Anfield on Saturday.
Liverpool's day became even better when Manchester City lost to Hull City later in the afternoon and then Tottenham played out a goalless draw with Aston Villa.
Rafa Benitez's men now occupy for the final UEFA Champions League spot but Gerrard does not want complacency to creep in.
"We know there is a long way to go and we want to make sure we are in the top four at the end of the season," he stated.
"It's performances like this that will get you in there. We have got to try and keep this run going, as we can't afford any slip-ups."
(Sporting Life)

Funds raised for Dalglish appeal
More than £200,000 was raised for the Marina Dalglish Appeal at a charity ball on Saturday evening.
In excess of 600 guests - including Jamie Carragher and Kop icons Alan Hansen and Jan Molby - attended the annual event in the grounds of Knowsley Hall, where an auction helped gather funds for the appeal.
Marina, wife of Reds legend Kenny Dalglish, said: "It was an absolutely fantastic night, and Kenny and I are absolutely thrilled with how much we've raised."
(LFC Official Website)

Mascherano: Liverpool FC and Everton FC
made life difficult for the ref during the derby

Javier Mascherano believes both Liverpool and Everton players made life tough for derby referee Martin Atkinson.
The official was kept busy at Anfield on Saturday as the most volatile fixture in Premier League history produced two more red cards.
The dismissals of Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Steven Pienaar means there have now been 19 red cards in 36 Premier League derby showdowns.
"It was a very hard job for the referee because the players did not help him,"
he said.
"It was a hard game with a lot of tackles but this is the way it is in derby matches, they don’t want to lose and we don’t want to lose. Sometimes you can see some hard tackles because of this.
"Soto (Kyrgiakos) said to us that he went for the ball, maybe he went in the wrong way but he went for the ball."
The red card for Kyrgiakos saw Mascherano pressed into service as a makeshift right-back.
And the Argentine said: "Last season I played right-back against Sunderland. This time, it would have been difficult for the manager to make a sub at that time so maybe he preferred to move me into right-back and I tried to do my best.
"The way that we won made it even better. To be a man down for so long and to have to play with 10 men for almost 60 minutes was really difficult but the result shows how hard we worked.
"The most important thing is that the team continued to work hard and because of this we were able to win with 10 players.
"Maybe it wasn’t our best performance but the only thing that mattered was the win. Now we have to keep going."
(Liverpool Echo)

Why Dirk Kuyt’s never
fishing for compliments

When he was a child Dirk Kuyt had his heart set on following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a fisherman. How thankful Liverpool are that the Dutchman turned his back on North Sea trawlers and focused his energy on netting goals rather than cod.
Outside of Anfield, Kuyt is often unfairly derided. When things aren’t going well he’s an easy target.
After all he’s not blessed with great pace, there is no box of tricks and at times his first touch is so heavy his second is a tackle.
However, what he lacks in those departments he makes up for with his selfless dedication to the cause.
Rafa Benitez’s admiration for one of his most trusted lieutenants is well documented.
After all when he brought him to Anfield for £9million from Feyenoord in 2006 it was the end of a two-year chase for his signature.
Kuyt stands for everything the Spaniard looks for in a player. Of course there is natural talent but, crucially, it’s coupled with intelligence and a work ethic which ensures he strains every sinew for the cause.
(James Pearce - Liverpool Echo)

No love lost between
Liverpool and Everton

You can choose your friends but not your neighbours, although if money’s no object you can live wherever you want.
Unfortunately for both Everton and Liverpool it’s a little bit tight at present and so thoughts of moving into that dream home have been put on the back-burner.
True to form, the 213th Merseyside derby provided the usual
neighbourly disputes.
Two red cards, seven yellows, a black eye and a trip to the hospital.
Love thy neighbour? Not a chance.
It hasn’t become the most volatile fixture in Premier League history for nothing.
(David Randles - Liverpool Daily Post) 
Skrtel on Juventus radar
According to the News of the World, Juventus have singled out Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel as the man to stiffen up their defence next season.

Carragher: Clean sheets win games
Jamie Carragher reckons Liverpool are getting back to their defensive best after claiming a sixth clean sheet in seven games on Saturday.
"It is not just three points, it has a massive impact and everyone is buzzing," said the 32-year-old.
"But that can change if the result doesn't go our way at Arsenal.
"If you keep clean sheets you are going to win games."
That may be easier said than done against Arsenal as none of the last 11 matches between the two have finished goalless, producing an astonishing total of 46 goals.

Kuyt proud
Dirk Kuyt is proud of his half-century of goals.
Kuyt admitted it was a proud personal moment to score his 50th goal for the club and it being a derby winner made it even sweeter.
"It's a great feeling and I'm really happy to have scored 50 goals for the club, especially in a game like this," he said.
"But I don't think it mattered who scored, just that we got the win."
(LFC Online) 

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