Liverpool’s last action in the European premiere competition – Champions League – came several years ago. They are on course to missing out on this competition once again this season, as they face an unlikely competition to finish in the top four. Despite this, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he is of the opinion that the lack of Champions League football will not affect the transfer dealings of the club in the summer. His comments come at a time when the star striker Luis Suarez admitted that he may consider leaving Liverpool if he receives an offer from a club in the Champions League.
Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat against Southampton just ahead of the international break has spoiled the mood at Anfield. This defeat almost confirms that Liverpool will not be able to finish in the top four. Yet, Rodgers is hoping that the team has a strong finish to the campaign. He has asked his players to put the Southampton defeat on the back of the mind and focus on the remaining matches of the season. A strong finish is an absolute priority if Liverpool are to start the new season in a positive manner according to Rodgers.
Liverpool will be travelling to Villa Park to face Aston Villa, who are on a good run of form.
“It is very important the season doesn’t peter out and it can’t do. We are at a stage of the season when we don’t have a trophy to play for as such but we have to fight. Of course we always want to be challenging for trophies but if that is not the case you represent the shirt and the city and every game is vital. It is very important we finish the season well as that can provide a really good platform for us for next season,” said Rodgers.
After the shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of Wigan in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, the Everton manager David Moyes has said that he would like to take the blame for the defeat. Everton managed to consider all the three goals in the space of around 5 minutes. In a very rare incident, David Moyes was actually booed by the Everton fans. Moyes has been refusing to sign a new contract with Everton, while there has been section of fans thinking that he has taken the club as far as he could. Moyes has been at the club for more than 10 years now.
However, he is yet to win silverware with Everton, although he has come close on numerous occasions in the form of FA Cup finals. He recently said that he was putting off the talks about his future until the summer. This has raised questions about the Everton fans if Moyes is interested in continuing at Goodison Park. The Scot has been linked with several clubs over the last few years including Manchester United. Moyes has said that everything about Everton on the day was extremely bad, as they made too many mistakes in several areas of the pitch. Even though Wigan scored in a 5 min spell, the opposition were completely dominant throughout the match.
“What can be said is people will always draw comparisons. But anybody who watched that game will know it had nothing to do with that. It was just a poor performance by myself and the Everton team. It wasn’t anything to do with anything else. I actually got a feeling that the supporters realised it was just a bad day. We just didn’t play well. It wasn’t as if it was something tactically we did,” said Moyes after the match.
Following England’s draw with Poland on Wednesday, it will be no surprise to read that most newspapers are concentrating on that piece of sports news. However, there are still several reports about Liverpool loitering around, with a couple focussing on transfer rumours.
Many people will take to this column every day and notice that there seems to always be a piece on Wilfried Zaha. Thursday is no different, with the Daily Mail running a story that claims the Reds will have to fork out an incredible £20m to land the Crystal Palace forward. While there’s no doubt that Palace hold the upper hand considering the interest from Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City, one has to think that such a valuation is slightly optimistic and they’ll struggle to net half of that fee when the player eventually moves on.
Away from transfers, the Sun are reporting that Brendan Rodgers is sweating on the fitness of Pepe Reina. Reina is thought to have tweaked his hamstring whilst representing Spain this week and he will be put through his paces by the medical staff to see how bad the injury is. Following the news about Fabio Borini’s injury today, supporters will be hoping that Reina is not affected by the same outcome.
In a slightly different report, the Mirror are running quotes from Nurin Sahin. The midfielder has claimed that the Reds must give Rodgers time to stamp his authority on the team and hopes that he will become as successful as his former manager at Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp. Klopp also endured a poor start to his tenure and following the struggles in the opening couple of months, Sahin remains positive that the club can build on this start and eventually turn their season around.
The final rumour is associated with Benfica forward Rodrigo. Caught Offside are reporting that Rodgers is considering a January transfer move for the 21-year-old, with the club severely low on striking options following Borini’s injury.