Red News


MARCH                 2010
7 8 9



Roberto not shedding tears for Rafa
Roberto Martinez does not feel too much sympathy for Rafa Benitez as he believes there are "too many managers worried at the moment".
Wigan secured only their second victory against 'big four' opposition with a 1-0 win over Liverpool at the DW Stadium.
Martinez was not too concerned for his fellow Spaniard, saying: "Rafa doesn't need my sympathy because he is too talented to be worried.
"I think there are too many managers worried at the moment for me to sympathise with anyone."

Whelan: Liverpool have no heart
Wigan chairman Dave Whelan claims Liverpool are currently "in a mess", and insists the supporters at Anfield deserve better.
Rafael Benitez's men were beaten 1-0 by the Latics in a lacklustre display at the stadium which bears Whelan's initials.
The Reds lie sixth in the table, a point behind fourth-placed Tottenham, and have now played more games than all of their rivals for the final Champions League qualifying spot.
And Whelan feels the club's American owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, are out of touch with the traditions of Anfield.
He told Sky Sports News: "The big sympathy I have is for the Liverpool supporters because they are a fantastic lot.
"Liverpool are in a mess. The owners, being American, I don't think they feel what we (British club owners) feel.
"I'm really, really sorry for their supporters. We went to Anfield earlier in the season and there's absolutely no atmosphere and no heart at all at present.
"The supporters feel that and I think the players are starting to feel it."

Yossi misses training
Yossi Benayoun is a doubt for the trip to Lille after sustaining an ankle injury in the 1-0 defeat to Wigan on Monday.
The Israel international missed training today and Rafa Benitez must now decide whether to include him in the party which will travel to France for Thursday's Europa League last 16 clash.
Meanwhile, Daniel Agger should make the trip after recovering from a sickness bug which ruled him out of Wigan.
Benitez told "We had some problems with Agger. He was sick and lost some weight. We had to be careful with him but he's training now so hopefully will be okay.
"Benayoun had a problem with his ankle. We have to see - we have one more day. He wasn't training today so we have to decide."
One plus for Benitez on Monday night was the return as a substitute of
Glen Johnson.
The gaffer added: "It was the only positive. To have another body and another player. He can be an important player for us for the rest of the season.
"It was clear he still hasn't got the match fitness but at least he showed his quality. He was going forward and it's a different option in the side."
(LFC Official Website)

Babel: Down but not out
Ryan Babel admits Liverpool were left bitterly disappointed by Monday's 1-0 defeat at Wigan Athletic – but the Dutchman insists the Reds' top four prospects shouldn't be written off.
Babel acknowledges Liverpool's frustration at the reversal, but the forward, who was a second-half substitute at the DW Stadium, is confident the Reds can embark on another morale-boosting run as the season enters its latter stages.
"I think we made it difficult for ourselves," he said. "In the first half especially, there was space to play football but we failed to do it.
"Then they scored and it was difficult because they were staying behind the ball. In any away game it is hard to score two goals.
"We definitely still have faith we can get fourth place. It will be harder and it's important to get three points in every game, as it was before Wigan. That's why it is so disappointing to have lost."
(LFC Official Website)

Gerrard could be in hot water
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard could face an FA investigation after he appeared to flash a V-sign at referee Andre Marriner during his side's 1-0 defeat at Wigan.
The England midfielder was booked in the 81st minute of the Barclays Premier League clash at the DW Stadium following a robust challenge from behind on James McCarthy, and replays of the incident suggested Gerrard had gestured towards Marriner as well as mouthing an obscenity at the official.
Marriner did not notice the gesture but the FA may decide that Gerrard, who captained England in their 3-1 friendly victory over Egypt last week, has
a case to answer.
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, speaking after the game, insisted he had not seen the incident.
"I don't know, I was too far away," he said.
(Sporting Life)

Another inept display
just raises more questions

Never mind the new pitch, Liverpool laid out the red carpet for Wigan Athletic
last night.
An utterly woeful performance from Rafael Benitez’s side saw them slip to defeat at the DW Stadium and suffer a devastating blow to their hopes of Champions League qualification.
Knowing victory would move them back into fourth place, Liverpool were architects of their own downfall as Hugo Rodallega’s 35th-minute strike was enough to deepen the gloom at Anfield.
That it was Wigan’s first-ever victory over Liverpool at the 12th attempt said everything about a truly shockingly inept display that raises serious questions about the rest of the campaign and beyond.
Liverpool clearly don’t like Mondays, having not won on the first day of the working week since 2001 – a sequence of nine games.
And they never convinced that statistic would be altered here, Roberto Martinez increasing the pressure on his Spanish compatriot by masterminding
a famous
(Ian Doyle - Liverpool Daily Post)
Benitez questions attitude
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez was disappointed with his team's attitude after their defeat to Wigan Athletic.
The Reds were beaten 1-0 at the DW Stadium in a Premier League tie that could prove influential in the race for a top-four finish come the end of the season.
"We have to be really disappointed, after a defeat you always cannot be happy," he told Sky Sports.
"In the first-half we didn't do anything, (we were) giving the ball away, not winning any first or second balls.
"It's difficult to explain. The second-half a much better attitude but it
wasn't enough."
(Sky Sports)

Hugo hits Reds' top-four challenge
Hugo Rodallega's eighth Premier League goal of the season put a huge dent in Liverpool's top-four hopes as Wigan won 1-0 at the DW Stadium.
The Colombia international volleyed home Emmerson Boyce's 35th-minute cross after Dirk Kuyt had needlessly given away possession close to his own
penalty area.
Liverpool showed little of the quality required for a place in the Champions League once Fernando Torres had hit a post in the eighth minute and the Latics were well worth their victory.
It was Wigan's first Premier League win over Liverpool and only their second over one of the so-called 'big four' - the other coming at home to Chelsea earlier
this season.
That ended a run of seven league matches without a victory and lifted them four points clear of the relegation zone.
And while it was only sixth-placed Liverpool's second defeat in 11 games it could have done irreparable damage to their chances of finishing fourth as they have now played more games than all of their rivals.
Rafael Benitez's side's problems are clear to see as this was the sixth time in their last eight away league matches they have failed to score.

Torres and Kyrgiakos start against Wigan

Fernando Torres and Sotirios Kyrgiakos start against Wigan Athletic tonight
at the DW Stadium.
Pepe Reina is in goal with Javier Mascherano at right-back along side Jamie Carragher, Sotirios Kyrgiakos and Emiliano Insua.
Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard start in midfield with Dirk Kuyt behind Fernando Torres, who has support from Maxi Rodriguez and Yossi Benayoun who
are on the wings.
Glen Johnson is on the bench after recovering from an injury while Ryan Babel, David Ngog and Albert Riera are also named as substitutes.
Diego Cavalieri, Daniel Agger and Alberto Aquilani complete the bench.
Starting XI: Reina, Mascherano, Carragher, Kyrgiakos, Insua, Lucas, Gerrard, Rodriguez, Kuyt, Benayoun, Torres.
Subs: Cavalieri, Johnson, Agger, Babel, Ngog, Aquilani, Riera.
(LFC Globe)

Martinez backs Reds
Roberto Martinez has backed Liverpool to finish fourth.
The Wigan boss believes the Reds' experience and world class players will give them the edge in the battle for the final Champions League
qualifying spot.
"They have got great experience in trying to achieve the aim they are looking for and, whoever is going to have that composure and calmness in the next 10 or 11 games, which they have got, it's going to make a big difference," said Martinez.
"Looking at the Liverpool squad and the other squads around them, that position is theirs to lose.
"Looking at the quality of their individuals, you are talking about world-class players, and the experience and know-how of those players, playing together for a long time, and the knowledge of their manager - I think it is for Liverpool to lose, the fourth spot."
(LFC Online)

Benitez praises Wigan's Martinez
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez believes his Wigan counterpart Roberto Martinez is using the right tactics as the Latics battle to avoid relegation.
The Reds head to the DW Stadium looking for a victory which will lift them back into the coveted fourth place in the Premier League.
In contrast Wigan are struggling towards the foot of the table but Martinez is determined his side should play their way out of trouble.
After the recent debate about over-physical styles - in which Benitez criticised Blackburn and Arsene Wenger attacked Stoke - the Liverpool manager thinks his compatriot has struck the right balance.
"Martinez is doing a good job. They try to play football but they have strong players too so we have to respect them," he said.
Benitez added: "In football you have to win and playing nice football is not always possible. But being too physical is not always possible so to find the balance is the key."

Rafa firm over Aquilani
Rafa Benitez insists that Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani will be picked when he thinks it is right.
The Liverpool boss splashed out £20million on the Italian international, who was heralded as the big-name replacement for Xabi Alonso after he was sold
to Real Madrid.
Aquilani, though, has played less than 10 games for the Reds, mainly due to injury, but now fully fit he is still not holding down a regular first-team berth.
"When you have been injured for a while, it's not easy for a player," said Benitez.
"Then when you are available and the team isn't doing well, it makes it even
more difficult.
"You have to decide if you can afford to give him two or three games when you know he's maybe not at the level he could be, so you could end up losing some
of them.
"Alberto isn't stupid. He knows the priority now has to be the team and what's best for that. All he can do is keep training and making sure he is ready when we need him."
Benitez dismissed claims that Aquilani did not play in the recent game at Wolves because of their pitch.
"When I didn't play him at Wolves, it wasn't to do with the state of their pitch,"
he continued.
"It was because of the kind of game and because others were available, which meant we could manage in a different way. So whether I play him at Wigan or not isn't a decision that will be determined by the pitch.
"But we have had a conversation about things and he knows the situation. Alberto is a very good professional, who was a big name in Italy, and he wants to show his quality here.
"When you're like that but cannot play for three or four months and then you're available but can't play because the team is maybe doing really well or has problems, it's a difficult situation for any professional."
(Sky Sports)
Big Sam hits back in Rafa row
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has hit back at Rafa Benitez in a war of words following Liverpool's recent victory over Rovers.
The Reds manager was caustic in his assessment of Rovers' performance after Liverpool struggled to a 2-1 win at Anfield last weekend.
But Allardyce, who has never seen eye to eye with Benitez since the Reds tactician came to England in 2004, believes the Spaniard personally criticised him to deflect attention away from his own team.
Allardyce told The Mail on Sunday: "Blackburn's performance was the best any of my teams have played there.
"Benitez knows his team played poorly and were lucky to get a win so he deflected any criticism by personally criticising me.
"That covered the true facts that we had better opportunities than them and came extremely close to beating what is supposed to be an outstanding Liverpool team.
"Being able to wind up a manager is satisfying, even if it doesn't quite work your way in terms of results."
He continued: "It just galls him that we make things difficult for him when he plays against my teams.
"There's no love lost between us.
"The truth is Liverpool are having to dig out results when they are not playing well.
"They didn't particularly earn the win last week but they dug it out.
"My reputation has been a perception for some time rather than a reality.
"It's a great shame for the Blackburn players because it's not their fault the manager is tagged by a so-called long-ball style.
"It's just not factual."
(Sky Sports)

Carragher would leave Reds
Jamie Carragher has revealed that he would be prepared to walk away from Liverpool if he is not offered a new contract.
Carragher has spent his entire professional career at Anfield and made his 600th appearance for the club earlier this season.
He remains happy with the Reds and the most loyal of servants, but there will only be one year remaining on his present deal when the current campaign finishes.
Negotiations have yet to begin about a renewal, although that could change in the summer as Liverpool are keen to let Carragher focus on playing before looking at his future.
But the 32-year-old has previously admitted that the time might come when he drops out of the starting XI and would have to start considering his options.
And Carragher insists he would not hesitate to join another club if Liverpool decide they no longer want him.
"The club will give me a new contract if they want to," he told the Sunday Times.
"If not it doesn't matter, I'll still play my best and if I have to move then I'll move, no problem. It wouldn't bother me."
Carragher has a history of making bold decisions, having retired from international football after growing frustrated with his lack of opportunities.
He continued: "I made the England decision quickly and didn't dwell on it, and I'm not scared of making big decisions.
"It's a club thing. It's down to them. I'll keep playing and see where it takes me."
(Sky Sports)

Benitez admits Carragher
contract talks stalled

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez admits new contract talks with Jamie Carragher
have stalled.
After initial talks between Carragher and Liverpool about extending his 14-year career at the club, the 32-year-old is keen to discover first whether he can retain his place in Benitez’s line-up next season.
Benitez said: “There is no news about Carragher. We have spoken to him and he was very clear that at this ­moment he just wants to concentrate on doing his job.
“When you are considering contracts for players who are over 30 it is not the same as when you are talking to players who are 25. With Carra we have to see. He is fit and he is doing well and we will see. We don’t have a club rule about players over 30, but it does depend on the individual.
“I think Jamie prefers the situation as it is. The information I have is that he is comfortable with how things are and that he wants to wait.”

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