Monthly Archives: April 2013

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.”

Suarez booed at PFA awards

The 26-year-old forward’s name was met with jeers on two occasions at the annual Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year awards on Sunday night

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was booed on two occasions at the annual PFA Player of the Year awards in central London on Sunday.
The awards ceremony, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in Mayfair, was attended by fellow professionals and guests who jeered the star following his recent behaviour.

The controversial Uruguayan’s name was firstly booed upon the announcement that he had been selected in the team of the year, before being heckled a second time when his name was read out on the shortlist for Player of the Year.

Gareth Bale was declared the winner with Suarez finishing in second place and the Reds striker was the only member of the Liverpool squad to feature in the team of the year.

Suarez has scored 23 goals for the Reds in the league this campaign but has seen his season draw to a premature end following a ten-match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.

It follows a previous eight-match ban received last season when Suarez racially abused Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra.

The PFA had been under pressure to remove Suarez from the awards shortlists following his actions at Anfield on April 21, but they refused and opted to keep the 26-year-old in contention.

De Gea, Bale & Suarez named in PFA Team of the Year

Four Manchester United stars are included, while Arsenal are the only team in the top six who have not had a player included in the side

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, Tottenham midfielder Gareth Bale and Liverpool striker Luis Suarez have all been named in the PFA’s Team of the Year.

The 22-year-old Spaniard, who is in his second season with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, has been selected in goal, while in defence Ferdinand is joined by Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta, Tottenham centre-back Jan Vertonghen and Everton’s Leighton Baines.

Chelsea have two players included in midfield with Juan Mata and Eden Hazard. Manchester United’s Michael Carrick and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale are also named.

In attack, Robin van Persie, who leads the Premier League scoring chart with 25 goals this season is named, while Liverpool’s Luis Suarez is included.

Carroll to tell Liverpool he wants to fight for his Anfield future

The England striker is set to deal a blow to West Ham’s chances of completing a £10 million summer move for the on-loan Reds striker, who wants to prove himself on Merseyside

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart

Andy Carroll will tell Liverpool he wants to fight for his future at the club next season, dealing a blow to West Ham’s chances of completing a permanent move for the striker.

COMEBACK CARROLL?

 2012-13 SEASON STATS
GAMES PLAYED
GOALS
ASSISTS
GAMES WON
WIN PERCENTAGE
22
6
2
8
36.3%

The Hammers are keen to seal a permanent deal worth around £10 million for the on-loan 24-year-old, who has scored six goals in his last 10 appearances for the club.

West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has opened early talks with Liverpool over a transfer that would force the Reds to accept a £25m loss on the player they brought from Newcastle for £35m in 2011.

But sources close to Carroll say the England international hopes to return to Merseyside next season and force his way in to manager Brendan Rodger’s plans during pre-season.

Carroll has three years left on his £80,000-a-week contract at Anfield and does not expect to sign permanently for West Ham, despite enjoying his time in east London under Sam Allardyce.

“Andy has enjoyed it at West Ham and he’s in good form – but he’s never hidden the fact that he wants to be a success at Liverpool,” said a source close to the player.

Last summer, West Ham negotiated the option for a permanent transfer at the end of the season believed to be worth £17m, but the Londoners want a cheaper deal.

Newcastle have also been strongly linked with their former forward but Carroll’s transfer fee and wages are considered far too expensive for the north east club.

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Sturridge and Coutinho revel in leading roles for Liverpool

The talented duo were in supreme form in the absence of Luis Suarez as they masterminded a 6-0 rout of Newcastle to stretch the Reds’ unbeaten run in the league to five games

COMMENT
By Charlie Scott

Liverpool adjusted to life without Luis Suarez admirably at St James’ Park on Saturday as they thrashed a below-par Newcastle side 6-0. Their biggest league win of the year was a thing of clinical beauty.

Daniel Sturridge – so often ridiculed for his selfishness and poor decision-making – was scintillating, while Philippe Coutinho’s impact on the game was such that at times he seemed to be playing with a different ball from the other 21 men on the pitch.

The Brazilian was the undeniable star as Brendan Rodgers’ side dismantled a Magpies team who have now lost four of their last six league matches. The most important thing, however, was that they did it without Suarez.

Thousands of words have been written analysing the Uruguayan’s misdemeanours, while the FA’s decision to hand him a 10-match ban led many to question what impact his absence would have on the Merseyside club.

The length of that ban means that he misses the remainder of this season and the first six games of the next campaign but any fears that Liverpool’s form might plummet as a result were certainly quelled by the pairing of Sturridge and Coutinho on Saturday.

The Anglo-Brazilian partnership thrived at St James’ Park, albeit against a Newcastle team distinctly lacking in both form and confidence.

Rodgers eulogised about both of their performances after the game, which saw Sturridge score twice and Coutinho slice open Newcastle’s defence again and again with his diverse range of passing.

“I think Sturridge can be one of the best strikers in Europe in a few years. He was phenomenal today,” the Reds boss told reporters after the game.

The former Chelsea striker not only showed his finishing ability but also his willingness to make intelligent runs off the ball to create space for his team-mates and to bring them into play with neat lays-off and well-chosen passes.

When asked about the impact of his young South American playmaker Rodgers was equally complimentary. “Coutinho can play in a couple of positions. He’s a master technician,” the Northern Irishman enthused. “He might be small in stature but you can see his strength. The weight of his passing is incredible.”

Two Coutinho moments in particular stood out. The first was a superb pass with the outside of his right boot that set Sturridge away and allowed him to tee up Jordan Henderson to make it 2-0. The second was when he tussled with Hatem Ben Arfa to win possession on the left wing, then dribbled to the edge of the Newcastle box and scooped a delicious pass through a gap between Steven Taylor and Mathieu Debuchy to Sturridge, who added a third for the visitors.

The game saw both players produce arguably their finest displays in a Liverpool shirt to date and, with Suarez serving the first of his 10-match ban, the timing could not have been better.

However, it is important to acknowledge that, although Liverpool, and their January signings in particular, were very good, Newcastle were also very bad. The Magpies have the most porous defence in the division, having conceded 66 goals in 35 games. Even 20th-placed Reading have been more miserly.

While Pardew and his team now find themselves embroiled in a battle to avoid being drawn into the relegation zone, Liverpool are in a strange position in the sense that, with just three games left to play, they are five points behind Everton in fifth and six points ahead of West Brom in seventh.

The Merseyside derby next time out gives them an opportunity to further narrow the gap and move closer to surpassing their local rivals, yet even that – while giving them bragging rights – would not alter their position in terms of European qualification.

This takes the pressure off and it also gives Rodgers a run of games to encourage Coutinho and Sturridge to forge a relationship without relying on Suarez. The understanding built now must last at least until August.

The young attacking duo have the weight of expectation on their shoulders but, if their showing on Saturday is anything to go by, they should thrive on it.

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