Monthly Archives: October 2013

Ferdinand sceptical of Sturridge-Suarez partnership

Despite scoring 14 goals between them in Liverpool’s storming start to the Premier League season, the Manchester United defender feels that it is too early to praise them so much

Liverpool pair Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have lots of work to do to become a special strike partnership, according to Rio Ferdinand.

The duo have made a stunning start to the 2013-14 season, scoring a combined total of 14 goals as the Reds have surged to third in the Premier League table.

Of the five games that they have played together, the Suarez and Sturridge partnership – christened the ‘SAS’ by Liverpool fans – have scored 10 times, leading to several pundits describing them as the best strikeforce in the country but the Manchester United defender feels that they must prove themselves over the course of a whole season at least.

Although impressed by their form, the 34-year-old believes that the jury is still out, telling BT Sport: “In this country and in football in general I think we build people up too quickly.

“That’s not to say they’re not a great partnership – they’re proven at the moment. They’re on top of their game and they’re playing very, very well. They’ve scored some great goals.

“But I think you judge partnerships over a period of time. Look at [Dwight] Yorke and [Andy] Cole, [Teddy] Sheringham and [Alan] Shearer.

“These types of partnerships aren’t developed overnight over a course of part of a season, it’s over a period of time. So I think it’s better to give these people time.”

The Suarez and Sturridge partnership will next be tested by Arsenal, with Liverpool travelling to the table-toppers on Saturday.

Suarez was never going to join Arsenal, insists Rodgers

The striker was vocal in his desire to leave during the summer but his boss claims Liverpool never considered a sale to the Gunners or anyone else

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was never going to be allowed to join Arsenal, according to manager Brendan Rodgers.

Suarez publicly stated his desire to leave Anfield during pre-season, with a lack of Champions League football said to be his primary reason, prompting the Gunners bid £40,000,001 million in an attempt to trigger a release clause.

Liverpool held firm, refusing to sell the Uruguayan, and the decision has paid dividends already with Suarez netting six goals in three Premier League appearances since, and Arsenal are his next opponents.

“It was something that was never going to happen. I respect why Arsenal wanted to buy a player of Luis’ quality because he’s one of the leading strikers in the world,” Rodgers told reporters.

“But for us, and the institution that we are, we certainly weren’t going to sell to a rival or a competitor. That’s something we felt very strongly about from the off.

“It’s a great credit to the owners and the leadership of the club that they stood by what my thoughts were as a manager and they backed it all the way.”

The Emirates Stadium fixture is hotly anticipated, with Arsenal and Liverpool – two of three highest scorers in the league – making superb starts to the season.

And Rodgers is looking forward to seeing how his side respond to the challenge of playing against the league leaders..

“It’s two very good teams – Arsenal are an excellent side and score goals. They’ve got some top players,” he said.

“We arrive at the game really confident and with belief off the back of an outstanding performance [against West Brom]. The players forgot about it very quickly [though] and thoughts turned to this game.

“The quality of our training this week has been outstanding. We look to take it into the game but it will be very difficult.”

Rodgers: It will take time to win silverware at Liverpool

Owner John W. Henry recently saw the Boston Red Sox claim their third World Series since purchasing the team, but the Reds boss has urged patience from the club’s supporters

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned supporters it will take time for the club to start refreshing their trophy cabinet.

MLB franchise the Boston Red Sox recently won their third World Series title in 10 seasons, having gone 86 years without success prior to owner John W. Henry’s purchase in 2002.

And with Henry overseeing Liverpool’s dealings and Liverpool looking to reclaim top spot in the Premier League on Saturday, Rodgers is keen to temper expectations.

“Congratulations to the owners of the Boston Red Sox,” the Northern Irishman told reporters. “It is very clear that they are a group who had a plan to get that success.

“It is brilliant for them and another demonstration of an organisation which is proven to be successful and I am aware of the changes they have made in order to bring that success.

“But it takes that little bit longer in this sport. Liverpool is about winning trophies and that expectancy is always here. I believe we are in a good place at the moment, but it will take time.”

Liverpool arguably face the biggest test of their credentials yet when they travel to the Emirates Stadium, and Rodgers believes they have every reason to be confident with the talents of Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez up front.

“Arsenal are a top team and the competition this year is very close,” he continued. But I believe we are in a good moment having started this season as we would have wanted.

“We have started strongly, have put a marker down showing we are going to be consistent and I think we can only get better from here.

“We have a lot of young players who are still developing, and that goes for the front two that everyone is talking about.

“Daniel is 24 and improving all the time and Luis Suarez has shown us an improvement in his footballing ability and his maturity.

“That bodes well for us but we won’t get carried away. They must keep their concentration and continue to work very hard every day on the training field.

“That is what has brought us success over a period, not just this early part of the season but since the turn of the year.”

Sturridge: Chelsea never gave me a chance

The England international is flourishing at Liverpool and insists he was never given the opportunity to shine at Stamford Bridge

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has accused Chelsea of never giving him a chance to demonstrate the form that has seen him top the Premier League scoring charts this season.

The 24-year-old netted just 13 times in 63 games during a frustrating three-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge but has notched 18 goals in 23 appearances since joining the Reds in January.

The former Manchester City youngster insists his prolific return is merely a result of being played in his favoured position up front, having spent much of his time in London out on the wing.

“When I went to Bolton [on loan], I was able to show what I can do because I was playing as a centre-forward,” he told talkSPORT.

“At Chelsea, I never got the chance to do that, and I’ve got that opportunity here [at Liverpool]. I’m just playing the position that I enjoy playing in.

“My faith in God, my self-belief and the hard work I put in on the training field; they’ve all helped me become the player I am now.

“But I’d say the biggest difference is I’m back to my natural thoughts and I’ve got no clouded vision when I’m on the field. That’s probably the main thing that has changed.”

The England international was also keen to give manager Brendan Rodgers credit for helping him to rediscover his goalscoring touch since his £12 million move to Anfield.

When whether Rodgers was an important factor in his decision to join Liverpool, Sturridge replied: “It was, yeah, because I knew about him from when I was at Chelsea.

“The players who were there spoke highly of him. He had tried to get me on loan when he was at Swansea, so I knew he rated me. He knows how I work.

“He knows what I need. I needed to be believed in, to play as a centre-forward at a club. I didn’t get that at Chelsea, and Brendan gave me the opportunity to do that here.

“We work well together, and it’s great to be part of his philosophy. He gets the most out of his players, and makes us want to win for him. He’s just very good at man-management as well as the tactics and team stuff.”

Coutinho in Liverpool squad to face Arsenal, says Rodgers

The Brazilian playmaker has been out for six weeks after undergoing surgery, but he is in line to face the Gunners in the top-of-the-table clash

Philippe Coutinho is fit and ready to return to the Liverpool fold for their top-of-the-table clash at Arsenal on Saturday.

The Brazilian playmaker has been out of action for around six weeks after undergoing surgery on a shoulder injury he picked up in the 2-2 draw at Swansea City in September.

Coutinho returned to training ahead of Liverpool’s 4-1 defeat of West Brom last weekend and Brendan Rodgers has revealed the 21-year-old is available for the game against Premier League leaders Arsenal.

However, the trip to the Emirates Stadium is likely to come too soon for left-back Jose Enrique, who continues to struggle with a knee problem.

“Jose will be a question mark for the weekend, but Coutinho looks great,” Rodgers told reporters.

“He’s been given the all clear by the specialist to come in. He’s been training for the last few weeks, so he’ll be back into the squad.”

JD’s Betting Blog: Ballon d’Or odds and weekend tips

After the shortlist was announced this week, JD takes a look at the odds for the Ballon d’Or and believes Franck Ribery could scoop the coveted prize in January

It has been a very busy week in the world of football with a midweek programme in Spain and Italy. There has also been Capital One cup action in England.

Chelsea were perhaps most eye catching team in midweek during their disposal of Arsenal 2-0 and displaying impressive squad depth in the process.

They look a solid 3/1 (4.0) selection to win the competition. Chelsea as a club have a strong winning mentality and this allied with their squad’s depth and quality make them an attractive bet.

Ballon d’Or nominees announced

The Ballon d’Or nominees were announced this week and there has been a very significant move for Franck Ribery to win this prestigous prize.  

He was 20/1 (21.0) at one stage but a stream of money for him has seen him cut into odds on favouritism with some bookmakers.  

He is now Evens (2.0) with Lionel Messi at 8/5 (2.60). The football world is set to recognise the great achievement of Bayern Munich’s historic treble winning team by awarding World Coach of the Year to Jupp Heynckes and Ribery must feel he has a great chance to win Ballon d’Or to make it a double of awards for the Bavarian side.

This weekend’s tips

Looking ahead to the weekend, Arsenal look a very decent price to overcome Liverpool in London. The Gunners have been in wonderful league form since March and appeal at 5/4 (2.25) .

Liverpool like to gain control in midfield and get into a passing rhythm and win games.

Arsenal have the numbers and quality in midfield to take the initiative and prevent their visitors from taking control.

The Gunners were a similar price when hosting Borussia Dortmund recently in the Champions League and Liverpool are not as accomplished as the German team.

In the Bundesliga, free scoring Hamburg can overcome Borussia Monchengladbach at 13/10 (2.30) who dont travel well.

Bert van Marwijk is the new coach of Hamburg and he will bring order to a talented group.They have scored 13 goals in four matches and should out score Monchengladbach who have lost 9/12 away matches.



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