ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SCORERS
LUIS SUAREZ tops the list along with ROBIN VAN PERSIE.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE TOP SCORERS
LUIS SUAREZ tops the list along with ROBIN VAN PERSIE.
Manager Rodgers dismissed reports linking Manchester City with a £40 million move for the Uruguay international, as have officials at the Etihad Stadium.
He said there would be no “bidding war” for the club’s top scorer, who has eight Premier League goals this season, when the transfer window re-opened in January.
Rodgers sees Suarez as the key figure as he tries to rebuild a lopsided squad on a limited budget, but reports on Thursday morning claimed City manager Roberto Mancini wanted to sign the 25-year-old.
But a senior figure at the Etihad told the Manchester Evening News there was no truth to the reports, while an Anfield source has said “There has been no contact from Manchester City, and it all seems something about nothing.”
And Rodgers underlined those comments, saying Suarez – who only recently signed a new long-term Liverpool deal – was going nowhere.
“There will be no bidding war – Luis Suarez is staying here,” he said. “He’s not for sale. If we lost Luis then we would have no strikers, so I don’t think we can afford to lose anyone.
“He’s certainly not someone we want to sell or move on. He’s been a brilliant player to work with and we want to add to our squad, not take people out of it – especially a world-class player.”
Rodgers accepts that there will be speculation surrounding the future of a player in such good form when Liverpool, with two league wins this season, are struggling for victories.
The Merseysiders are 13th in the Premier League as they prepare to face Wigan at Anfield on Saturday, and Suarez could be forgiven for wondering whether his talents belong a little higher up the food chain.
But Rodgers said: “I don’t have the fear that Luis’s head will get turned. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – great players will always leave great clubs. That is always the case, and always will be the case.
“However, at this moment in time the player is very, very happy. He’s in the form of his life. He’s working so well, and he loves everything about the club.
“We want to build a group around him. We’re in the very early stages of trying to form something here, and Luis is an integral part of that.
“For us, it’s not even a discussion point, really. I can respect that, because of his level, people will want to speculate about that. But that’s all it is – speculation. He’s very happy, and I’m very happy to work with him.”
Rodgers said he would like to see other players chip in with more goals – Suarez’s team-mates have managed only six in the league between them – but argued that it is not unusual for top clubs to rely heavily on individuals.
He added: “You look at Manchester United and Robin van Persie. Barcelona wouldn’t be the same without Lionel Messi’s goals, or Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals.
“Normally, you find that the top players are defined by their goals and games. That’s what he does, Luis. He’s a very, very important member of our team.”
Asked to explain why Suarez has enjoyed so much individual success this season, Rodgers suggested he may have benefited from playing as a lone forward.
He explained: “Some players prefer to play up there in that central role on their own, and I think you find with Luis that he moves freely in that false nine role. But what you need to have then is people moving in off that, into the spaces that he vacates.”
He said Suarez was “improving all the time” and added: “The more goals you score as a striker, the more confident you become.
“He goes into every game knowing that he has a great chance to get on the scoresheet, but he has to credit that to his team-mates as well.
“It’s very much about the team ethos and, over the coming months and years, we’ll look to grow people around him to support him even more.”
Rodolfo Borrell’s young side were boosted by the inclusion of Conor Coady, Adam Morgan and Stephen Sama and the Reds played some superb football at times as they set out to avenge a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Rosenborg on Friday.
And following three successive defeats in the NextGen series, the Reds got the perfect start when Lloyd Jones headed the opening goal from a Kris Peterson left-wing corner.
Liverpool rode their luck after 27 minutes when Sindre Haarberg struck the post with a fine effort from 25 yards out.
Five minutes later Morgan made it 2-0 with a wonderful turn and shot from the edge of the box after superb approach play from Jordon Ibe.
Jakub Sokolik then had a header cleared off the line and Marc Pelosi hit the post after more good work from Ibe.
Rosenborg pulled a goal back after 38 minutes when Martin Lundal let fly with an unstoppable half-volley from 20 yards that flew into the net.
However, Liverpool’s two-goal cushion was soon restored on the stroke of half-time when Morgan got his second and the Reds’ third.
After a lovely one-two with Pelosi, the forward’s initial effort was superbly kept out by Jacob Storevik but the No.9 reacted brilliantly to keep the ball in play and fire past the ‘keeper.
Liverpool continued to play some excellent football in the second half with Coady and Morgan both being denied by some superb saves from Storevik.
Borrell’s charges added a fourth right at the end when substitute Jerome Sinclair fired a superb individual goal.
The result is a lifeline for the youngsters in the NextGen series and with Borussia Dortmund next up at St Helens on November 28, the youngsters will still feel they have a chance.
The Reds team: Fulton, Sama, Maguire, Jones, Sokolik, Coady, Ibe (Sinclair 85), Lussey (Trickett-Smith 89), Morgan, Pelosi (Baio 80), Peterson.
Captain Steven Gerrard is set to become the sixth player to reach the milestone of 100 caps for England in Wednesday’s friendly against Sweden and feels he still has a lot more fuel left in his international tank.
The 32-year-old midfielder has had to cope with a few more injuries in recent times but is confident he can keep making a telling contribution for his country.
“My journey has been full of ups and downs and I feel there are a few chapters to write. I don’t feel my England career is coming to an end,” Gerrard told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’m slightly nervous, very excited and can’t wait for the game to start. I try to be the driving force, get assists and goals and lead by example.”
There were doubts over Gerrard’s fitness when he received a knock in Sunday’s Premier League game at Chelsea but a scan gave the Liverpool skipper the all-clear.
Goalkeeper Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Bobby Charlton (106) and Billy Wright (105) have also reached a century of England appearances, with Beckham the most-capped outfield player.
“David’s a hero of mine and it is not important if I beat his record, it is just about qualifying for the next major tournament,” Gerrard said of his former team mate who has not played for his country since 2009.
Roy Hodgson explained that Gerrard’s captaincy had been a highlight since he took over as manager in May.
“I’ve been exceptionally pleased with his leadership qualities, giving younger lads a wise, calming, comforting word,” said Hodgson who also briefly worked with Gerrard at Liverpool in 2010-11.
Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes the midfielder is no ordinary performer.
“He feels more like an international player rather than a normal English player,” said Ibrahimovic.
“English players have big hearts, they are always fighting and are very aggressive but for me Gerrard feels more international. He has more skills than the normal player.
“He must be a very good person to have as a team mate. He always gives 200 percent,” added Ibrahimovic.
Lucas Leiva is making good progress in his recovery from a thigh injury.
lucas has been back training today,
i feel good it is great to be back, hopefully it wont be long before i fight my way
back into the first team says lucas.
The Brazil midfielder has been sidelined since picking up the problem in the early stages of the Reds’ first home Barclays Premier League game of the season against Manchester City on August 26.
While Lucas is still some way away from a first-team return, Rodgers has confirmed he remains on schedule.
“Lucas has been out on the field in the last week or so which is great,” said the boss.
“He’s not doing multi-directional movements yet but he’s doing a lot of straight-line running and endurance work.
“I’m anticipating maybe another three weeks but his professionalism is great and he’ll get back probably sooner than is anticipated.”
Jamie Carragher believes Luis Suarez is the best player in the Barclays Premier League.
The Uruguayan nodded his eighth league goal of the season against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge after Carragher delivered a quality assist by flicking Suso’s corner towards the far post.
It was another crucial Suarez strike for the Reds and a goal that took him to joint top of the Premier League scoring charts alongside Manchester United’s Robin van Persie.
“I’ve said for 12 months now that he’s the best player in the Premier League,” Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.
“And that is because he’s maybe not playing alongside the kind of players that, for example, the Chelsea players can play alongside.
“He’s one of the best players in world football and we are delighted to have him. He does things in a game that we see him doing in training on a daily basis.
“There’s always that question, I think being asked unfairly, of whether he scores enough goals, but he’s the joint top scorer in the league at the moment. And that’s in a team that hasn’t won that many league games this season, don’t forget.
“People say that we are dependent on Suarez, but listen. Look at Lionel Messi at Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Don’t get me wrong, Manchester United have had a lot of goalscorers from different positions.
“But every team will have a standout player, and Luis is one of them, not just in the Premier League but in the world.”
A draw at the Bridge means Brendan Rodgers’ side are now unbeaten in six league games – the last time they lost was against Manchester United at Anfield in September.
But while Carragher reflected on a hard-fought draw against Roberto Di Matteo’s men with some satisfaction, the veteran centre-back insisted the Reds must start picking up three points in each game they play, especially at Anfield.
“We need to start getting wins,” he admitted. “We might look at the Chelsea draw as a good result, but it’s not as good if we only draw our game at home against Wigan next weekend.
“Drawing games isn’t enough. The Chelsea result can be seen as a good one on its own, but we need to capitalise on the games after it by getting three points.
“It’s better to win one and lose one than draw twice. You get more points. Wins are vitally important for us now, especially at home.
“The home form has been a problem for some time. It’s not just been Brendan Rodgers’ problem, it’s had to improve over the last few years. We’ve all been talking about it between ourselves and what we can do to improve things, and it has to.
“You can’t expect to go away from home and win every game. No team can do that. So the home form is imperative.
“No matter whether you are at the top, middle or bottom of the league, you need good home form.”
Winning this award is one of the greatest things you can achieve as a Danish footballer,” said Denmark captain Daniel Agger after being named his country’s player of the year.
Denmark captain Daniel Agger claimed his country’s player of the year award at a ceremony in Copenhagen, while Brøndby IF’s Theresa Nielsen picked up the women’s prize.
Liverpool FC defender Agger, pipped William Kvist, Niki Zimling and Nicklas Bendtner to the award and underlined his delight at scooping the honour. “Winning this award is one of the greatest things you can achieve as a Danish footballer,” said Agger, 27. “I’m really committed to spending all my time involved in football.
“I have to admit that there were times when I doubted that I would ever stand here. I have been down and out with injuries, but awards like this make me want to keep going. It is my attitude that means I am standing in this position.”
At the same ceremony, Brøndby right-back Nielsen failed to hold back the tears as she claimed her award. “It has been a simply fantastic year for me,” said the 26-year-old. “We won the double with Brøndby, we are going to the European Championship with the national team and now this.”
A YOUNG Liverpool side slid to defeat in Russia as Lacina Traore’s goal gave Anzhi Makhachkala a 1-0 win in Moscow.
Traore struck on the stroke of half-time, leaving Group A wide open with two rounds of matches to be played.
Having left a host of star names back on Merseyside, Rodgers named a somewhat experimental side, making nine changes from the team which had drawn with Newcastle in the Premier League on Sunday.
Brad Jones and Andre Wisdom were the only survivors, as Rodgers handed a senior competitive debut to Conor Coady in midfield, with teenager Adam Morgan leading the line in attack. A third Academy graduate, Jon Flanagan, also started, in a side skippered by Jamie Carragher.
And the youngsters began well, passing the ball confidently and retaining good shape.
It took 23 minutes for the first real opening to be fashioned, with Morgan playing in Jordan Henderson with a neat reverse pass. The England U21 captain, however, opted to look for a square pass rather than a shot on goal, allowing Joao Carlos to intercept.
At the other end, Jones was forced to make a fine save to deny Samuel Eto’o ten minutes before half time, after Yuro Zhirkov had robbed Wisdom down the left, but the home side were rarely able to place any sustained pressure on their more callow visitors.
Joe Cole glanced Stewart Downing’s free kick wide as the half drew to a close, while Wisdom’s brilliant cross narrowly evaded the lurking Morgan.
But in first-half stoppage time, Anzhi found a way through. Mbark Boussoufa fired a pass into the feet of Lacina Traore, who flicked the ball over Sebastian Coates with his first touch and then expertly lifted past the advancing Jones with his second from just outside the penalty area.
After the break Morgan drilled an effort into the sidenetting from an acute angle, and then was snuffed out by Joao Carlos as he looked to take Flanagan’s pass in his stride. Jones, meanwhile, comfortably fielded Eto’o’s curling effort, whilst Traore drilled a 25-yard effort wide after nutmegging Henderson on the hour mark.
Rodgers made a double change on 61 minutes, replacing Coady and Morgan with Suso and Dani Pacheco, but the visitors struggled to create any clear-cut chances, despite plenty of possession.
Jones kept out Traore’s point-blank header, before Suso’s 30-yard strike was spilled by Vladimir Gabulov, who recovered in time to deny Cole’s follow up.
That was Cole’s last act, as he was replaced by Oussama Assaidi immediately. Traore then missed a golden chance to wrap up the game, racing clear on to Jucilei’s through ball, but sliding his effort wide.
It turned out not to be a costly miss, as Anzhi, despite Liverpool’s best efforts, were able to see out the closing stages, with Henderson shanking the best chance well off target in the final minute. Liverpool face Young Boys of Bern at Anfield in their next Group A game, before finishing with a trip to Udinese.
ANZHI MAKHACHKALA: Gabulov, Samba, Joao Carlos, Tagirbekov, Logashov (Lakhiyalov 90), Boussoufa, Jucilei, Zhirkov, Ahmedov (Gonzalez 30), Eto’o, Traore (Smolov 80)
Substitutes: Pomazan, Gadzhibekov, Agalarov, Burmistrov
Goals: Traore (45)
LIVERPOOL: Jones, Wisdom, Coates, Carragher, Flanagan, Coady (Suso 61), Henderson, Downing, Shelvey, Cole (Assaidi 77), Morgan (Pacheco 61)
Substitutes: Gulacsi, Sama, Wilson, Robinson
Cards: Flanagan, Shelvey
Referee: David Borbalan