Monthly Archives: April 2013

Enrique hoping to emulate Carragher’s Liverpool success

The 27-year-old has revealed that one of the reasons he decided to join the club from Newcastle was because of the veteran defender, who is set to retire at the end of the season

Jose Enrique is hoping to emulate Jamie Carragher’s success and longevity at Liverpool and believes his fellow defender is the ideal role model for his team-mates.

Carragher, who is set to retire at the end of the season to pursue a career as a football pundit, has been with the Anfield outfit for his entire career, making his debut in 1996.

And Enrique has revealed that both Carragher and fellow Reds veteran Steven Gerrard played a huge part in his decision to join the club from Newcastle back in 2011.

He told LFC TV: “One of the reasons I came here was Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and now Luis Suarez.

“These are players that have amazing history at the club and I want to try to be like them in the future here.

“You have to respect the past he [Carragher] has here – he’s a player that has played 700 games.

“It’s not lucky, he deserves it. He has been an amazing player for Liverpool for many years and he’s an example for any player here.”

With his second season at the club coming to a close, the 27-year-old is delighted with life at Anfield, adding: “It was one of the best decisions in my life, in terms of football.

“Of course, I already played for a good club at Newcastle, but you can’t compare one club with the other in terms of history.

“It was really quick; I knew there was interest from before the summer. When they started talking to Newcastle about how much I was going to go for, it was one or two days to sort it out. I told them I wanted to come here.

“I’m really happy with my decision to be here; it’s my second season and I’m playing a lot, like last year. I’m improving a lot as a player and a person as well.”

Derby victory key to Liverpool finishing above Everton, says Lucas

Despite beating Newcastle 6-0, the Reds midfielder feels there are still areas they could improve and is keen for them to beat the Toffees on Sunday and finish in the top six

Lucas Leiva is hoping that Liverpool can win their remaining three matches, starting against Everton on Sunday, to secure a top-six finish in the Premier League.

The Reds currently trail local rivals Everton by five points but can close gap between the two sides to just two points with a victory when the pair face each other at Anfield.

And Lucas is keen for Liverpool to finish the season on a positive note after an indifferent first season under Brendan Rodgers.

He told reporters: “We still have a chance of catching Everton and that’s our target. We know we have to win if we want to finish a position higher than we are now.

“Merseyside derbies are always special to play in. The atmosphere will be amazing at Anfield and it’s the kind of game you really look forward to playing in.

“We will go into the derby with a lot of confidence. Hopefully we can get another win and try to finish the season on a bit of a high.

“It’s been a difficult season for us but we have to keep going. We still have three games remaining and the chance to get nine more points. The manner of our victory against Newcastle United showed the character of everyone.”

The Reds beat the Magpies 6-0 on Saturday and, despite the emphatic scoreline, Lucas believes there are still areas where they can improve.

He added: “We showed on Saturday that we are a team. We approached the game in the right way and played with a lot of confidence and intensity.

“After going 4-0 up in the second half, we just controlled the game. I remember when we beat Newcastle 5-1 at St James’ Park a few years ago and this was even better.

“But even though we won 6-0 there are still areas that we can improve upon. We need to keep working and keep believing.”

Premier League Team of the Week: Hat-trick hero Benteke stars

The Aston Villa striker helped give his side an enormous boost in their battle to avoid the drop with a superb performance against Sunderland, while Liverpool also feature heavily

He had to wait until Monday night to do it but Christian Benteke stole the Premier League show this weekend with a hat-trick as Aston Villa thumped Sunderland 6-1.

The Belgian was at his brilliant best as he inspired the Villans to an emphatic win that gave their survival hopes a massive boost as they moved five points clear of the drop zone with just three games left to play.

Partnering Benteke in attack is Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge, who was in the goals too as the Reds also hit six against Newcastle, to end what manager Brendan Rodgers called a “difficult week” on a high.

Liverpool team-mate Phillippe Coutinho was the inspiration for Rodgers’ men at St James’ Park and he takes his place in our TOTW with fellow Red Jordan Henderson.

Joining the Anfield duo in midfield are Chelsea’s Eden Hazard – who was at his flamboyant best as the Blues beat Swansea to move third in the table – and Tom Huddlestone, who impressed as Tottenham grabbed a point at Wigan.

In defence, Cesar Azpilicueta and Jose Enrique appear as our full-backs while Phil Jagielka and Daniel Agger make up the central-defensive partnership, with the entire back four keeping clean sheets at the weekend.

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer completes the line-up after making important stops from Marouane Fellaini, Steven Pienaar and Ross Barkley as Martin Jol’s men lost narrowly at Everton.

Rodgers warns Liverpool against placing high expectations on Coutinho

The Reds’ manager believes too often young players suffer from the burden of expectation, but praises the Brazilian’s impressive display in Saturday’s 6-0 away win at Newcastle

Brendan Rodgers insists Liverpool should not put pressure on young attacker Philippe Coutinho following his excellent performance in the Reds’ 6-0 away win over Newcastle on Saturday.

The Brazilian playmaker moved to Anfield in January for a fee of £8.5 million from Inter Milan and has since become a regular in the first team, scoring two goals in his nine starts.

Rodgers, however, is determined to avert pressure and expectation away from his young star, though conceded that Coutinho had made a brilliant start to life in the Premier League.

“We build up players in the country and put them on a pedestal and then quickly nail them down,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.

“He’s had an outstanding performance and people can see why we brought him in. He’s 20 years of age and fits the culture of what we’re trying to do here.

“He’s technically strong and he’s a very humble boy. He works hard, you can see the effort in his game, the pressure, the intensity, so he fits in really well, but there’s a long way to go.

“If you look at the stats you’ll see I haven’t eased him in gently. He’s played nearly every game.”

Coutinho was central to his side’s attacking threat at St James’ Park in the absence of Luis Suarez, setting up Daniel Sturridge for Liverpool’s third goal with a particularly impressive through-ball.

Rodgers continued: “It was a wonderful demonstration of what we’re trying to do here. Offensively, we passed the ball very well first and foremost and we scored six goals, but the balance in our game was good too.

“There was organisation, educated pressure on the ball and when the chances came we were ruthless. It was an outstanding performance.

“To go there and beat Newcastle 6-0 when you know the home team really needs the victory, I think it tells you more about our performance. The players were outstanding.”

Betting Special: Suarez could be set for summer departure

The 26-year-old Uruguayan striker’s future at Liverpool appears to be uncertain and Willie Duncan believes that the former Ajax man may opt to leave Anfield this summer

Liverpool proved that they can perform without Luis Suarez as the Reds romped to a hugely impressive 6-0 victory over Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Saturday and speculation regarding the future of the Uruguayan striker continues to mount.

The Reds will be without the striker for the final three matches of this campaign and Suarez will also sit out of the opening six matches of next season following his 10-match ban for biting Branislav Ivanovic and
Paddy Power has opened a market on whether, following this latest indiscretion, the 26-year-old forward will ever play for Liverpool again.

The Irish firm go just 8/15 (1.53) that Suarez resumes his Liverpool career next term while the same firm offer 11/8 (2.38) that the match against Chelsea at Anfield proves to be his final appearance for the Merseyside club.

Should the controversial Uruguayan move on in the summer, Paddy Power go 5/2 (3.50) that Champions League finalists Bayern Munich add the striker to their impressive squad.

Suarez’s agent is Pere Guardiola, younger brother of Pep, who will take over the reins at the Allianz Arena from Jupp Heynckes this summer, and the family connection may prove pivotal should the former Barcelona manager wish to bring the striker to Bayern.

Paddy Power go 9/2 (5.50) that Suarez remains in England by moving to Manchester City. The prospect of such a move would certainly be enhanced should weekend speculation linking Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers to the hotseat at Etihad Stadium prove to be true.

However, given that Suarez is reported to be unhappy at what he perceives as unfair treatment from the FA, a move to another English club would surely carry little appeal for the 26-year-old striker.

If Suarez does depart English football, a move to Spain is a possibility offering 6/1 (7.0) that the striker’s next permanent move is to Real Madrid while the same firm go 7/1 (8.0) that the Uruguayan moves to Barcelona.

Big-spending Paris Saint-Germain are also rated as a 7/1 (8.0) chance to snap up Suarez, who could form an explosive partnership with Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic should he sign for the French outfit, while a move to Serie A champions Juventus is chalked up as a 12/1 (13.0) shot .

With Suarez’s future uncertain, a move to Bayern Munich appeals at a juicy 5/2 (3.50) but the 11/8 (2.38) quote from the same firm for Suarez to depart Anfield before serving his suspension is a solid selection and should be snapped up accordingly by punters.

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Liverpool in Anfield naming rights talks

Qatari based firm Ooredoo have been linked with a big-money sponsorship deal with the Reds that could see the stadium renamed as part of the agreement

Qatari telecom firm Ooredoo have been linked with a multi-million pound sponsorship deal with Liverpool which could result in the renaming of Anfield.
Liverpool’s current sponsors Standard Chartered have 18 months remaining on their £20 million contract with the Merseyside outfit, and are in talks with Liverpool chiefs to extend the deal.

A period of exclusivity had been agreed with Standard Chartered to broker new deals although Ooredoo have now claimed they have received a tender from Liverpool and they are keen to become associated with the Premier League.

Regarding the potential deal, a spokesman for Ooredoo told Al Jazeera: “The goal was to sponsor a big English club with a huge history. Our search included Arsenal & Manchester United but the former two have long sponsorship deals and the same applies to Manchester City so Liverpool is the only club available right now.

“We want to sponsor the club in full. We want to sponsor the stadium (possibly rename it) as well as the club’s kits. Our goal is to reach the Asian markets where the Premier League has an enormous fan base.

“We received the tender from the club a few days ago and we are currently in the process of due diligence and we are studying each aspect of the study. It is a dual interest, Liverpool needs the money to compete with the European heavyweights and we want to expand our brand to reach new markets via football.”