Young Talents

According to Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino, the England boy Luke Shaw is all set to surpass his world cup trial against world class Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.

In Barclays Premiere League, Saints hosts Liverpool at St.Mary’s was intending to nod off a disappointing defeat at West Ham.  Nevertheless Pochettino is in no doubt that this 18 year old can deal with the in-form man to a possible world cup face off with Roy Hudson’s men competing Uruguay this summer in Brazil. Luke Suarez won his first senior call up for England this week for the friendly match against Denmark next week.

The former Argentina defender Pochettino said that Liverpool play in a scheme where Suarez might appear on the right and he can be facing Luke Shaw in that case. He assumed that they are not talking about individuals but Southampton vs. Liverpool. In case, if Luke Shaw will be called up by his national team side it’s only because he is playing well against any player. This will mean that Luke Shaw is respected and appreciated enough to go off against the likes of Suarez.

Luke has prepared himself mentally and he has grown-up and established a lot. He has great aptitude, mellowness and has support of his family as well as Southampton family. Pochettino considers that only a faultless defensive game will let Southampton the possibility of success against the leading Liverpool. The former Espanyol boss said that they should not allow Liverpool to create any chance to score goal and they should try to keep control against them. Not only in England but also in the world they were facing one of the most superior strikers like Suarez.

Philip, Daniel, Sterling and other players are also quality players who can help his team to win the league.

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LIVERPOOL STRUGGLE

Liverpool have had an indifferent last few weeks, as we have slipped out of the title race following defeats against Manchester City and Chelsea. They have also lost points against Aston Villa in the league, but there have been several positive for Liverpool along the way. The comeback victory against Stoke coupled with the comeback against Villa have made the team mentally strong according to manager Brendan Rodgers. Despite conceding very early against Stoke at the Britannia stadium, Liverpool came back strongly to win the match 5-3.

It was followed with a 2-2 draw against Aston Villa. Liverpool could have gone out of the race for the top four if they had lost this match, but they came back with a sense of urgency that only top teams have displayed in the past. Daniel Sturridge got one back for the home team just before half-time before Steven Gerrard equalised in the second half. As a result of these two matches, Liverpool maintain their advantage in the table over the likes of Tottenham and Everton.

Rodgers says that these results show that Liverpool players have developed a mentality where they want to avoid defeat at all costs. The biggest strength of this mentality will come against Everton in the Merseyside derby. The match will take place next week at Anfield.

“This season has been very important because we’ve been able to do a lot of work on the training field and a lot more work behind the scenes on that mental fitness. I think you’ve seen the benefits of that in the confidence and belief of the players, especially if we’re ever down in games or in difficult moments. We’ve definitely improved in that aspect. Stoke was a great example,” said Rodgers. Liverpool are level on points with Tottenham, but they are fourth due to a better goal difference.

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THE SAS

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge are leading the charge for Liverpool’s attacking department in this season but with the Uruguayan striker having faced a number of problems with the club and not only that but also being a major target of top European clubs for the upcoming transfer window, it will be a tough task for them to secure him for another season.

Brendan Rodgers is already looking for alternatives and one of them is the 25 years old Greek forward Kostas Mitroglou who plays for Olympiacos scoring 14 goals in 10 appearances for the club so far in this season.

Kenny Dalglish believes this is the time for Liverpool to take the Premier League title. They have won 7 out of 11 matches played so far and the only club that is ahead of them is Arsenal who are only 3 points ahead, according to the Scottish manager there is no better time for them to take the league by storm.

Southampton is another club that is surprising England having conceded only 5 goals so far, it’s the club that has received fewer goals in this season.

“They are the two sides that have been the surprise ­packages of the season so far and they appear to be the ones playing with the most freedom,” the Scot wrote in his Daily Mirror column.

“They look fresh and eager and I think they are both being helped by the fact they don’t have to worry about European football this season.

“Of course, you want to be involved in the Champions League and the Europa League, if you can, but sometimes you can use your absence from those competitions to your advantage.

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RODGERS BEATS CRITICS

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has had some critics since taking over the Merseyside club almost 2 years ago. He has been able to get to the club only into the seventh position in the league despite spending a lot of money. Liverpool’s ambition has been to get into the top four once again, but they are quite far off from achieving this ambition. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard reckons that it is primarily due to the fact that Rodgers decided to use youngsters for most of the matches. He has praised the manager for being brave in deciding to use youngsters.

The likes of Raheem Sterling have become prominent players in the Liverpool squad after coming through the academy. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher remain as the established first-team players to have come from the academy and they made their progression almost two decades ago. Unlike in the past few seasons, Liverpool have made a great start to the league campaign and are currently second in the table. Gerrard believes that they can finally qualify for the top four after missing out on the Champions league for the last five seasons. The club was last seen in this competition back in 2009.

Apart from Sterling, 20-year-old Wisdom is also a part of the Liverpool squad.

“Managers are only ever eight to 10 games away from the sack, so to take risks on unknown young players is difficult. There’s no two ways about it, it’s a lot more difficult to break through nowadays because of the standard of players and because there is a lot more foreigners about. Brendan Rodgers has been fantastic at this club because he’s been brave and he’s given young players a chance,” Gerrard told BBC Breakfast. Liverpool are just two points below table leaders Arsenal after taking four wins from the six matches.

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REINA SET FOR NAPOLI

Liverpool are extremely close to losing goalkeeper Pepe Reina for the season after the Spaniard is set to move to Napoli on a season-long loan deal. The arrival of Simon Mignolet from Sunderland for around £ 9 million has put the future of Reina at Anfield under a major doubt. Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that they had no other option but to look at bringing in Mignolet to the club. Reina has been linked with a move to Barcelona ever since Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes revealed his intentions to leave the club.

Rodgers has said that Liverpool started searching for a replacement to Reina in the anticipation that they would soon received a bid from Barcelona, but that has not materialised yet. This put Liverpool in a tough situation because Mignolet seemed a great fit for the club, and it was hard to not sign him given his age and qualities. Once brought into the club, Mignolet and Reina were going to be fighting for the same position. Since the 2014 World Cup was only 12 months away, Reina needed to play regularly in order to make it into the Spain squad.

Rodgers has said that the only option at this moment was a loan deal, which has reunited Reina with his former manager Rafa Benitez.

“It was obviously a difficult decision. From last season I was led to believe that we were going to get an offer for Pepe that would probably see him leave the club. As events transpired, that move (for Reina) didn’t happen and it left us with two very good goalkeepers. Both would have been fighting for the No.1 position. An opportunity arose for Pepe and it was one we felt as a football club was best for him to take,” said Rodgers.

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GERRARD RULED OUT

The captain of Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, will miss the last two games of his team in order to go through a shoulder surgery.

Earlier, the plan was that Gerrard would play till the end of the season and then, would go through the surgery. But, while, playing in the match against Everton, he looked in a lot of trouble and considering how important he is for the team, the Liverpool management doesn’t want to take any risk. So, they have asked their skipper to go through the surgery earlier.

Gerrard has been in the starting XI of Liverpool in all the 36 matches that they have played in the ongoing Premier League.

The last couple of games are not that important for Liverpool. They are likely to finish at the 7th position in the table.

Also, after this surgery, Gerrard will take almost a couple of months to get back to full fitness. So, if he goes through surgery now, it’s certain that he will be able to come back for Liverpool’s pre season tours.

On the other hand, if he goes through the operation at the end of the season, he will probably have to miss the pre season tours and he will go into the Premier League without enough match practice which will not be ideal.

So, keeping all these things in mind, the Liverpool management has taken this decision.

The Reds had done the same thing with the Welsh midfielder Joe Allen as well. Allen also had a shoulder problem, perhaps more severe than Gerrard, and, the Liverpool management asked him to go through the surgery in March this year so that he could get fit for the pre season tours.

After this surgery, Gerrard will not be able to play for England in the friendly matches against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

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FANS SHOULD RESPECT COLE

The England midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that the fans should show a lot of respect to the defender Ashley Cole, who will be making his 100th appearance for the national team when England take on Brazil in the friendly match. This friendly match is being organised as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of the English FA. It will be taking place at the new Wembley stadium. It is one of the highly anticipated friendly matches in the calendar year. Ashley Cole, who has played for Arsenal and Chelsea, will be making his 100th appearance when he starts this match.

In doing so, he will become only the seventh player to have achieved this landmark. The Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard achieved this landmark only a few months ago. He has said that Cole is by far the best defender he has played with at both club and international level. Cole has been an England regular over the last 12 years, and Gerrard has recalled who he has been able to keep top players like Ronaldinho and Ronaldo quiet. Despite having won numerous trophies during this period, Cole is not especially popular among the fans. Despite this, Gerrard has said that fans should show respect to the player, who has been an instrumental part of the national team over the years.

“If the crowd take a moment to think about what he has given in an England shirt over the last 12 years, it’s been phenomenal. He has been probably the most consistent player I’ve played with during my time. It’s going to be Ashley’s night if he’s picked and the players are certainly going to show him a hell of a lot of support. Let’s hope the fans do as well. He deserves to be a 100-cap player, there’s no two ways about that,” said Gerrard.

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BEST TO COME

The Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has said that he is getting close to his best after a few weeks of indifferent form. Despite coming into the twilight of his career, Gerrard is still regarded as the heartbeat of the Liverpool team in many ways. He was at his best goal scoring form a few years ago, but a number of injuries have taken the edge of his game in recent years. However, he seems to be slowly getting back to his best after an indifferent start to the new season. The Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers praised the midfielder at the start of the season, but he has so far scored less than five goals.

Gerrard has admitted that his performances have not been at the best this season, but it has been a mixed one because he has been able to have the experience of playing more than 600 matches for Liverpool and 100 matches for the national team. Liverpool are currently enjoying their best spell in the season and have managed to win four out of the last five matches. This has helped them get up to the eighth position in the table only a few points below the top four positions. They will be facing Manchester United during the weekend.

“I’ve had mixed experiences this season. I’ve passed some unbelievable landmarks for club and country, getting to the 600 games mark and winning my 100th cap for England. But with the slow start we made and being where we have in the league it’s been a bit mixed for me. There’s my form as well. I’ve played well in some games but I’ve been disappointed with myself in others and I’m not happy with my goal tally at the moment,” said the midfielder, who has made 21 appearances in all competitions.

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RODGERS PRAISES STEVIE G

The Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has praised the leadership qualities of the captain Steven Gerrard by saying that he is truly phenomenal. The 32-year-old Liverpool midfielder is regarded as one of the best players in the world, but he is coming to the twilight of his career. He has rescued Liverpool on numerous occasions in the past, but he has not been so influential this season for the team. He has managed just one league goal so far this campaign. It came in the 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United earlier in the season.

Even though he has had very little impact on the game in terms of goals, Brendan Rogers has said that he has been massively influential on the pitch due to his extraordinary leadership qualities. Liverpool recently lost the match against Tottenham 2-1, which once again raised a lot of questions about the ability of the team to at least challenge for top four positions. Even though the Liverpool defender Carragher recently said that there was still an opportunity for the team to qualify for the Champions League, it slowly seems to be slipping away from the hands of the Merseyside club, who won the competition back in 2005.

“I don’t want to focus too much on him, other than that he’s been brilliant since I arrived here. His inspiration and leadership within the team has been phenomenal. He might not have got the goals he would have wanted this season, but you can see how effective he’s been and the quality of his game. Against Spurs, his range of passing, his commitment and his drive into the box was superb,” said the Liverpool manager after the Tottenham match. Rogers has said that there is a chance that Joe Cole and Lucas Leiva will be back for the Southampton match.

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DIOUF SLAMS GERRARD

The striker of Leeds United, El Hadji Diouf, has said that Steven Gerrard is an egotistical man and the senior players of Liverpool don’t like him at all.

Diouf is a former Liverpool player. He had signed for Liverpool in 2002 and then, took a transfer in 2004. His tenure at Liverpool wasn’t successful at all and the Senegalese striker was able to score only 3 goals in 80 matches that he played for The Reds.

The current captain of Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, had criticized Diouf in his autobiography which was published in 2006. Gerrard wrote, “Diouf was not my favourite player for sure. I didn’t like his approach towards the game. He was not friendly in nature and generally liked to be alone.”

“On the field also, his approach was pretty casual. I never saw him giving his 100% for the team. He was not attached to Liverpool by heart.”

When asked about those remarks of Steven Gerrard, Diouf said, “Everybody in this world is free to put forward his opinion. What Gerrard said was only his opinion. I don’t care about those remarks.”

“The Brazilian legend Pele has included me in his list of top 100 players of the century. Gerrard has not got a place in that list. If my approach had not been right towards the game, such a legend would never have included me in his list.”

“I have never met a person as egotistical as Gerrard. There are a number of players in the Liverpool squad who don’t like Gerrard at all. I don’t want to take the name of those players publicly.”

“Frankly speaking, I don’t care much about what other people are saying about me. I just want to focus on my game and contribute for my team.”

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