Luis Suarez

Transfer rumours

In recent weeks, we have been involved in many transfer stories and I am going to look at some of them and the likelihood of it happening.

Possibly one of the biggest names linked with Liverpool is one of Barcelona’s Brazilians Dani Alves. Dani Alves has had little news on his contract, which, expires at the end of the season, and he is still yet to be approached by the club. For me this is an unlikely transfer in consideration of all the clubs. Liverpool have employed a youth policy that is taken very seriously, so the chances of them signing a 31 year old are not very high. Also Barcelona are unlikely to leave it too much longer before offering a new contract that will probably be a one year extension. Possibly the biggest factor Dani Alves’ close friend who he plays with for club and country will have a role to play in getting him to stay.

Another potential transfer that has been spoken about recently is Miralem Pjanic. AS Roma have already said they will not part easily with the much coveted midfielder because he has been so impressive since his move in 2011. According to reports, coming from Italy Pjanic would be prepared to make the move to England providing the club could agree the transfer fee. Liverpool is believed to be leading the race now with speculation that a bid of £37 million is on the table. Having heard the reports and understanding Liverpool’s need to sign a player of significance in absence of Steven Gerrard this is a likely transfer.

For the final part of my transfer round up, the out of form, Radamel Falcao has been highly linked with the reds having turned us down last summer. This is coming on the back of his lack of games at United where he has struggled for goals. Last summer we almost signed him with United coming in last minute to lure him away. This is a transfer that I would very much like to see happen, because of what he would add to the team in goals and experience. This year we have lacked that clinical lead striker that we had last year in Luis Suarez but with the creativity in the team we could spark a resurgence to goal scoring normality for the Columbian next year.

That has been my transfer round up which, I hope you all have enjoyed. The next post will be about players and positions where I feel the club could do with strengthening and building on.

Luis Suarez turning it round at Barcelona

With the vast majority of us Liverpool fans being in complete and utter shock when he decided to move having only just signed a new contract Luis Suarez swiftly departed to one of his dream teams in Spain to kick off his career again. Having once again been naughty biting another player on this occasion Cheillini the Juventus and Italy centre back we as fans were preparing to yet again wait for the return of our talisman this season. In a surprise £75 million bid Barcelona lured him away knowing full well he would not be available for much of the season, showing their intent in signing him top help the club progress in the absence of Alexis Sanchez.

Having got Suarez back fit and free of suspension he was thrown straight into the team failing to score in his first seven games for the club. This then lead people to question whether or not Barcelona’s risk had been worth while all along and had they just wasted such a significant transfer fee. During this period Suarez was showing his metal through assists finding Messi and Neymar on several occasions, proving he had that creative spark but lacked the end product at the time. Since then he has been on a mission for the side scoring in the Champions League more recently against Manchester City twice at the Etihad.

It is only fit that we talk about this great player in advance of the All star charity match taking place at Anfield in the coming weeks. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have selected there squads and the first forward Stevie chose was obviously the Barcelona star who has now scored 1 in every 2 games this season. This change in form has coincided with the Catalans rise to the top of the table knocking their biggest rivals off of the summit.

West Ham United vs Liverpool Preview

West Ham as the home team have a lot to prove because one of their main problems last year was there ability to win at home. For a side that has investors, executives and managing directors all wanting them to push on this season Sam Allardyce has a tough task to turn them around. West Ham this year have shown improvement in terms of build up play as they are now less reluctant to knock the ball 50 or 60 yards up the pitch but, instead play nice neat passes around the midfield.

For some reason whether it be time to settle or chemistry the Liverpool players have not followed the mould they set last year getting off to quick starts and blowing teams away early on. Perhaps this is the aftermath of Luis Suarez’ departure that left a massive gap on and off the pitch with his enthusiasm and class. It does take time to adapt to the premier league so the new players will be given this year to settle in and perform. With Liverpool featuring in the Champions League it is imperative that the league form doesn’t slide because of this and a top 4 position is achievable. This is an excellent opportunity to put in a good performance for the fans as the last two games have left fans disappointed and wanting more.

On paper Liverpool do look the better side, spent the money, brought the players in however with recent lacklustre performances who is to say West Hame won’t hold out and win at home. Realistically I can only see this game ending in a draw with both teams hoping to truly kickoff for this year.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa Preview

Liverpool has gotten off to a reasonable start gaining 6 points out of 9 which considering the quality of opposition is pretty good going. The minor blip against City which showed some defensive frailties was easily resolved in the changing rooms afterwards where Rodgers discussed the importance of concentration at all times. Against Tottenham, Liverpool picked up where they left off last season picking them apart bit by bit leading to numerous opportunities for Mario Balotelli to open the scoring on his debut. Liverpool usually finds Aston Villa to be tricky customers some may say Liverpool’s bogey team who seem to highlight flaws within the side.

Aston Villa has still to feel their first loss of the season, which will fill them with confidence going into the game away at Anfield. So far this season Fabian Delph has looked the bright spark in a Paul Lambert side that tend to struggle for goals and his performances have awarded him the chance he received against Norway to make his first international appearance for England. The impressive Ron Vlaar will not have to concern himself with the illusive Luis Suarez, which will take a lot of pressure off his shoulders.

For me Liverpool have too much firepower not to win Villa comfortable but as previous results have suggested you can never really put it past them.

Should he stay or Should he go

After the events that took place during the Italy, Uruguay group stage match in this year’s world cup there has been some serious doubt about the future of Luis Suarez at Liverpool next season. After all, of the controversy since his arrival at Anfield Luis Suarez has only just managed to get Liverpool supporters back on side after what has been nothing less than a world class performance from start to finish last season.

The issues are not with his footballing ability for which he is one of the best players in the world at the moment but, with his stupid shenanigans that see him suspended for large periods of time. Luis Suarez has been banned in the last 4 years for 34 games without ever picking up a red card which, is a staggering fact showing how bad his antics can be. Firstly, Liverpool supported him through the racism case, then there was the bite on Ivanovic and now Cheillini is it time we said goodbye?

Barcelona and other large clubs in Europe are not helping Liverpool decide by beginning talks with them when the verdict is still out on whether as a club we want him to stay or not. Liverpool has done the right thing in putting a price on his head if any team wants to see him leave Anfield. £80 million is an extraordinary amount to pay for a player but it would not be the first or the last when you look at Real Madrid’s willingness to throw their cash about.

Despite all of the wrong doings and headline writing he does Liverpool would sorely miss our best player. Luis Suarez is not just a name on the team sheet he is our talisman, playmaker everything goes through him, which says a lot when you have a player like Steven Gerrard in your team. Luis Suarez was the first Liverpool player to score 30 or more in the Barclays premier league a feat that meant he surpassed Robbie Fowler’s club record of 28 in a season.

If you were to take away, all of the Suarez’s goals and assists, then the club will have finished beneath Manchester United seeing us finish in 9th showing how important one player can be. The old saying one man does not make you a team is starting to dissolve because the year before Robin Van Persie won the league for United, which would be difficult to dispute.

So Liverpool have two choices, support Suarez completely and trust this will never happen again and see that he continues to score goals at the tremendous rate he does or sell him and replace him with as close a replacement we can which might mean bidding for Sanchez or Falcao who are equally potent.

The final Act

The final act of the season is for me to round up and evaluate  if the season was a success or a failure. Ideally I would like to have been saying the wait is over we are finally part of the elite group of teams who have won the Barclays Premier League but as most would expect it has been another let down.Start of the season if you told me we would finish fourth then I would have no issues with that and be talking about how this is a platform for next year. The lucrative prize of Champions League football forcing us to build and improve on this season, however if you told me we would be challenging for the title and just miss out on winning I would be annoyed but pleased at the great improvement from the team. Now when I am asked how I feel it is a mix up of anguish, confusion and disarray, how can a team so dominant for the most part of the season come undone in just two games: chelsea and Crystal Palace.

This season should really be a celebration of the great achievement from everyone involved with the club, starting with the ground staff, the media teams, training staff, Brendan, players and most importantly the Reds faithfull who turn out every game to see it all unfold. recent years have been an uphill struggle for everyone invloved in the club wondering when we will hit the big time again and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This season nobody could argue we have been the side that has been the most exciting, inventive and exhilirating to watch and for that we have Brendan to thank. Brendan’s understanding of players freedom to move within a set structure has allowed us to play adventurous football that will undoubtedly go down in Liverpool folk law with vivid memories of possible a premier league classic Liverpool 3 – 2 Manchester City.

As always we do need to recognise the protagonists of the plot, to begin with captain fantastic has found his place in the team which benefits all parties Defenders needing cover, strikers needing service and the energetic box to box players like Jordan Henderson. This year Stevie has chipped in with a fair share of goals scoring over 10 in the premier league joining the SAS on the list of high scorers. We couldn’t go without mentioning Martin Skrtel who has been tremendous all season with his last ditch challenges reading of the game and his presence in the box on corners. A particular young man named Raheem Sterling could not go without a mention for his dynamic running of games either; as part of a three man attack or as the point of the diamond ensuring that our doubts of young English talent is put to rest. Two men who have been superb all season Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez have easily engraved themselves into kop history of greta strike partnerships joining keegan and toshack, Rush and Dalglish. This has been an especially potent season for them both, Daniel Sturridge has been a bright light for English forwards showing that power and pace does still exist beating Wayne Rooney to being the highest scoring british player in the league. Inevitable he wouldnt have benefitted the team as much if he did not feature alongside the allustrious Luis Suarez who against all odds stopped at Anfield to become the leagues most dangerous man equalling Cristiano Ronaldo for goals seeing them both share the spoils for the european golden boot.

Lastly, a great deal of appreciation should be shown to Brendan Rodgers who has turned this team around into a champions league side who can only see things going forward. For a final note to quote myself at the end of every season “Next years our year”

One Game at a Time

It has been on all of our minds what does Liverpool need to do to take the clubs first ever premier league title ending the drought of 24 years without a league title.  Interview afetr interview with Liverpool players and manager alike have all said they are taking one game at a time a cliche in world football. Often we hear managers and players saying this as an excuse not to loom forward as not too put pressure on themselves relieving it from those competing against them.

This mantra has seen Liverpool regain the top spot in the premier league where they rightfully deserve to be since the turn of the year being undeafted in the league. In that time they have faced many a good team namely; Arsenal, Southampton, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs winning them all convincingly but before and after each game the mantra remained one game at a time which is becoming quite the footballing philosophy around Anfield. What this mantra means for the players; they really have one thing to look forward to not “oh we have Spurs next week” but ” we are paying Sunderland today and our main priority is the 3 points here today” this philosophy has seen the side look a lot more convincing against the smaller league side and most importantly the recently promoted sides that in previous years we have struggled greatly against. Liverpool have dispatched the majority of the smaller sides a part from the obvious hiccup against Hull City (a newlty promoted side).

Looking at only the immediate future and focussing on the next game has ensured that anything else going on outside of the club is not a distraction like the dubious claims of Jose Mourinho. Without the distractions of last years incident involving Luis’ and his ban we have remained quite quiet in terms of on and off field antics meaning there has been no particular emphasis on our players. Surprisingly the media have left Liverpool to their own devise this season without the usual speculation of our best players leaving and ownership changes. The stability of the side and club could stem from the calmness of the backroom staff who work with the players everday on and off the pitch ensuring happiness in all aspects of their life. Raheem Sterling is one who springs to mind when talking of a calming factor, as he has thanked and praised Rodgers for his help settling hiom into the side this season allowing him to express himself more freely.

Fear Factor

This season has seen Liverpool break yet another record which for us shows exactly the fire power at Brendan Rodgers’ disposal. In 11 games this season we have scored 4 or more goals a record previously held by manchester United who had 10 to their name. What signigicance does this record have and what does it mean? Liverpool are a force to be reckoned with, with a array of attacking talents who all seem to be on very fine form. Luis suarez being our marquee striker already hitting 29 goals in the premier legaue with six games remaining, who is accompanied by the second top goal scorer in the league Daniel Sturridge who has 20 goals complimenting those of his partner. Between the two they have 49 goals and are bidding to be the most lethal strike force in the premiership with a record of 55 goals still to be beaten. Obviously the strikers usually the take the head lines but with such young creative sparks assisting at every opportunity its no wonder why. Phillipe Coutinho has been an absolute class act this year helping out in all areas of the field dribbling from out wide and breeching enemy lines with delicate through balls. Raheem Sterling has been one of the best young players in the premier league this season gaining yet another man of the match against a rather lack luster Spurs side who faced ANOTHER drumming from the red men.

The fear factor is starting to get into Anfield visitors heads already putting them a yard behind the Liverpool players on the pitch. The vast majority of teams are now going to the home of the reds expecting a loss which is compliment to how Brendan Rodgers sets out his side. There are various things the other team fear about Liverpool this year but it’s mainly because of a certain Luis Suarez. With teams focussed on cutting him out of the game, other players have been able to step up and score goals taking the limelight from him which has helped him get more involvment in games. A very underrated part of Liverpool’s team, has been the importance of Steven Gerrard’s role setting up attacks. Gerrard is always in a pocket just ahead of the two centre backs which is a similar role to what he oplays for England which then allow him to pick up the ball and string play together. The passing range he has available is amazing, short, long range, outside of the foot you name it he can do it. A particular example of his ability to pass was his assist for Daniel Sturridge’s goal against Fulham at the Cottage.

Liverpool vs Sunderland Preview

Tonight Liverpool will be facing Sunderland at Anfield after a series of trips away from home for the reds which has seen them go on an unbeaten streak which has coincided with Daniel Sturridge’s rich vain of form and Luis Suarez’s return to his goal scoring ways after 5 games without a goal which is a drought for him.

Sunderland will be going to Anfield with a weakened side with the loss of Fabio Borini who is on loan from Liverpool which is unfortunate as he has been a good source of goals for the black cats who are in struggling times fighting it out towards the bottom of the table.  Sunderland have had a difficult season with the loss of a manager who bought eleven new players who still seem not to have settled in the league yet, especially considering it takes a season or two to aclimatise to the pace of play in the premier league.

The game will be an intriguing encounter bearing in mind that both sides have their own motives for winning the game. Liverpool will want to extend their unbeaten run which will help them in the title challenge with a game in hand closing within one point of the league leaders if they get a win. Despite Liverpool’s intentions to win the league Sunderland will be looking to the spoil the party and wheel away with a point which will take them one step closer to securing their premier league status.

My prediction is a 4-0 home win for the reds putting them within a point of Chelsea at the top.

Are Liverpool Real Title Contenders?

The question on many football supporters and pundits lips are can Liverpool really sustain a real title challenge with the remaining games they have to play.  With the continuous denial of the 3 main contenders managers it is becoming a very frustrating time as a Football follower to make any real sense of the interviews that particular managers give. According to Jose who is as ever playing mind games with everyone Chelsea are not the favourites for the title despite the extensive wealth of title-winning experience in the team. Jose has on numerous situations shifted the attention of the media towards the other blues in the title race. Manchester City currently have 3 games in hand and have a much superior goal difference in comparison to Chelsea but also face a less so tolerable time when you look at the fixture list with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool still to play. Despite the games in hand Jose will still be a lot happier than City boss Pellegrini as he currently has the points on the board which only puts more pressure on the City players who are not strangers to such pressure winning their first ever Premier league title on the final day with a final flourish from Aguero.

In and amongst all of the back and forth claims between the two financial heavyweights of the league, Liverpool have been the dark horse going under the radar winning games and beating their total goals scored in a season already with 7 games still left to play. Liverpool on 17 occasions this season have scored 3 or more in 20 of their wins which is a ridiculous amount of goals for a team who last year didn’t lack creativity but the final part of the game hitting the back of the net. The obvious difference being this season that Liverpool have got the prolific strike force of Sturridge and Suarez who between them currently have 47 goals which has significantly contributed to the team. The two front men for Liverpool can go out and win games themselves which is a considerable difference between them City and Chelsea’s forwards they are consistently scoring and winning games for the side without needing the aid of goals from other areas of the field,

Are Liverpool real title contenders, I would say so but the pivotal games coming up like Spurs, City and Chelsea will probably decide who the champions are.