Premier League will use goal-line technology

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Technology takes another step into the world of football as the Premier League will be the first domestic league to use goal-line technology during its matches.


Owned by Sony, British based Hawk-Eye is the company that will bring the technology to the league.

The new electronic system will transmit a signal to the referee via a watch when the ball crosses the line.hawk-eye-soccer[1]


Since Frank Lampard’s World Cup goal was disallowed in 2010 the argument has raged on and now that the technology is available for use, the 2013/14 campaign of the Premier League will see it in place for the first time.

Although approved for domestic play, European matches will not have the technology as UEFA president Michel Platini has been and is still an outspoken dissenter of goal line technology.

Saturday, August 17 will see the start of the 2013/14 Premier League season and a new era of football.


Downing determined to keep “performing well”

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Stewart Downing says he only needs to take a look at the Liverpool bench to push himself on to continue “performing well” in a red shirt.

The England winger was told that he would be sold in January before going on to become a regular on the right for Brendan Rodgers’ side.

He told the official Liverpool FC magazine: “All I need to do is look at the bench to remind myself that I have to keep performing well.

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“There is real competition for places, especially since Daniel (Sturridge) and (Philippe) Coutinho arrived in January. You have lads like Raheem (Sterling) waiting for a chance too. It means if you’re not playing well you’ll be hauled off.

“I’m sure the manager will also be looking to add to the squad in the summer.


“He’s told me I’m part of his long-term plans, which was great to hear. Now I have to ensure that continues to be the case.”

“Some lads hit it off straight away at a new club, others don’t. In my case it took longer than I obviously wanted.

“I’m glad it’s clicked now and I have the chance to continue playing for a big club. I’ve always believed I could do well here.

“I’ve done that over the last few months and want to continue doing so for the remainder of the season and the years to come.”

Downing has come under fierce criticism from Liverpool fans and was quick to show them what he thought of that by holding his finger to his lips to shush the Kop after scoring his first Premiership goal against Fulham earlier this season.

Downing has so far managed three goals and three assists in the league after managing none of either in his first season.

Rodgers not concerned by Rafa talk

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Brendan Rodgers has said that he is not concerned by comments attributed to Rafa Benitez about a return to Liverpool for the Spaniard.

The current Chelsea manager was asked about his position as Interim Manager at Stamford Bridge and where he thought his future would take him. He said he could see himself returning to Liverpool one day as his family still reside there. But was he being clever and simply saying that he would return to Liverpool to live rather than to manage the club? Did he take advantage of ambiguity? Brendan Rodgers isn’t concerned either way.

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“I haven’t seen the statements but I’ve heard plenty of people talk about it,” Rodgers said.

“Rafa had a successful time here in the period he was here and I think he will join a list of probably many managers throughout the world who would love to manage a great club – especially having been here before.

“Obviously that opportunity was there in the summer if the owners wanted to go down that route as Rafa was unemployed and not working.


“But they felt it best to go in a different direction and develop the club in a different way.

“And from that the board, players, myself and the club have all become one in looking to move forward and build success for the future.

“It is understandable any manager wanting to manage the club because it is truly a world-class football club.

“It is not a hindrance to me. Before I came here I had seen comments about Rafa wanting to be manager and I’ve seen comments while I’ve been here.

“But it doesn’t affect me in my work or my job. My relationship is very strong with the players, we work very closely together on improving our football.

“We are very stable in terms of our board and the manager connection and we have some of the best fans in the world.

“It is a pleasure for me to be here at a truly remarkable club that many managers would want to manage, not just Rafael Benitez.”

Rafa says he will return to Liverpool

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During an interview with Spanish daily Marca, Rafa Benitez spoke of his lack of future at Chelsea and what he plans to do after his interim period ends.

“Do I have a chance of staying here? I take it game by game, no more than that,” Benítez told Marca.

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“My idea is to keep coaching a competitive team. Why not in England? We have to wait and see. I will return to Liverpool one day almost certainly, I just don’t know when, my daughters and wife are still living there.”

It’s a very confident claim from a manager who didn’t appear to even be considered by FSG last Summer when Kenny Dalglish was dismissed by the American owners.

Benitez has always stated a desire to return to Anfield, but he hasn’t been so confident in his proclamations before.

Liverpool 0 – 0 West Ham

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The minutes silence in remembrance of Hillsborough was impeccably observed directly before the game.  Steven Gerrard wrote in the march programme “When it ends, us players have a job to do – winning a football match. As always, we’ll be giving it our all to get three points in what’s sure to be a difficult 90 minutes against West Ham. However, the 96 won’t be far from our thoughts.”

As expected the reds named an unchanged line-up despite playing at home so once again Sturridge missed out and was on the bench.  The game started in a scrappy fashion with Suarez losing the ball on a number of occasions while Countinho looking lively and nearly got but was marginally offside in the fourth minute.  He had a good shot saved in the 6th minute with good link up play with Henderson, as Liverpool started to pass the ball round with purpose.Liverpool had a lot of the ball but were struggling getting past what seemed like a back 6 at times and Westhamlooked solid in defence and seemed happy for Liverpool to have the ball in their half.  After 20 minutes Downing came off and was replaced by Sturridge, Downing was clearly impacted by the injury as moments earlier he had managed to forget to take the ball when running by himself, let’s hope he isn’t out for too long.

BBC Sport’s Frank Keogh at Anfield: “Liverpool fan near me at Anfield says Stewart Downing was taken off 25 minutes late against West Ham. Game is 24 minutes old.”

Westham had been quiet but on the 30th minute Mohammed Diame muscles past two defenders, dummies another and rides a challenge before shooting over from just outside the 8 yard box, excellent play apart from the finish.  Liverpool were nearly made to play for losing concentration as Lucas misplaces a quick free kick on the edge of his own box, forcing Carra into lunging with the ball breaking to Cole but Agger hurls himself to block the shot.  A flurry of corners with Sturridge causing mayhem ends before another can be taken and a pretty poor first half comes to an end.

The second half starts brightly with Daniel Agger aiming a pile driver towards the goal deflecting off Collins, Suarez wants a penalty indicating its hit his arm but replays show it glances off his shoulder.  Another Liverpool break sees Suarez, with the ball on the left hand side of area, fire in a cross the ball cannons back to Gerrard who side foots a shot but Collins is on the line to clear.  Only moments later and Suarez drops his shoulder on the left hand side of the box and goes past Tomkins with ease, he then cheekily toe pokes a shot which flashes past the far post.  In the 62nd minute Taylor replaces Nolan, Collison on for Vaz Te.

The ball is in the back of the net in the 65th minute with Sturridge deflecting a shot into the net but the flag is offside and replays show the decision in the correct one.  Only 5 minutes later and Gerrard surges into the area and turns back on himself with James Tomkins appearing to take him out.  The referee Anthony Taylor disregards the spot-kick appeals but replays show he did get the ball but he also gets a lot of the man as well.  Shortly afterwards Henderson is replaced by Assaidi.

Fast approaching the final 10 minutes and Sturridge combines well with Gerrard and creates some room for a shot but it’s too close to Jussi Jaaskelainen.  A few minutes later and Agger sends in another strike which takes a slight deflection and flashes past the far post.  James Tomkins is injured in a collision with Saurez and is taken off the field to be replaced with Emanuel Pogatz.  Westham have a chance and it needs Lucas Leiva  to knee of the line after Jack Collinson powers a header towards goal.  Saurez pokes another effort towards goal but Westham are time wasting and the game fizzles out to end in a 0-0 draw.

Total shots:
Liverpool: 20
Westham: 11

Shots on target
Liverpool: 8
Westham: 1

Possession:
Liverpool: 65.1
Westham: 34.9

Sterling set for spell out injured

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that winger Raheem Sterling could be out of action for a “few weeks” with a thigh injury.

The 18-year-old was a regular in the side in the first half of the season, but he has seen his opportunities more limited since the turn of the year, featuring regularly for the under-21 side.

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The teenage star has been tipped for a bright future and made his England debut earlier this season.

“Young Raheem Sterling is probably our only question mark,” Rodgers said in a press conference. “He’s had an ongoing issue with his thigh, so we’re just assessing that and whether he needs to come out for a few weeks to protect that.”

Rodgers’ side currently sit seventh in the table and are five points behind fifth place in the race for European football.

Rodgers refuses to discuss Carroll future

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Brendan Rodgers has said that now is not the time for discussing Andy Carroll’s future.

Rodgers told Fox: “We’ve monitored it very closely. We’ve had representatives from Liverpool at most of the games.

“It’s obviously been a difficult season for Andy because his initial idea was he wanted to go out and play every week, but unfortunately for him he’s picked up some injuries since he’s been away.

“But he scored two very good goals at the weekend and he’ll be looking to finish the season on a high and achieve the objectives he wanted to before he went out.”

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“It’s nothing to discuss now. It’s something we’ll speak about at the end of the season.”

Rodgers allowed Carroll to join West Ham on a year long loan in August after using the striker sparingly in his opening games as Liverpool boss.

The former Newcastle frontman, who cost the club £35m in January 2011, has not been prolific while at West Ham but has been receiving positive reviews from Hammers boss Sam Allardyce. The former Bolton manager has stated recently that he would prefer to keep Carroll at Upton Park beyond the Summer.

Carroll has struggled to find the net regularly this season, but did manage two well taken strikes against West Brom to take his tally to five goals for the London side.

Rodgers dismisses Reina exit talk

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With Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes making noises about moving on from the Nou Camp, much speculation has been going around that the Spanish side could see their former player as a viable replacement for his compatriot.

But Brendan Rodgers has spoken out and stated his desire to keep Reina at Anfield next season after a recent upturn in form.

“I think a lot of the stuff this year has just been based on the speculation that Valdes is going,” said the Liverpool manager.

“I am counting on him for next season, yes. He’s never been unsettled and our relationship is very strong.”

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“Pepe and I speak a lot. He’s a good man and I’ve real respect for him.”

Reina has been heavily linked with Arsenal in the last few years and is again being mooted for a move to the Emirates with Arsene Wenger rumoured to be lining up a new shot-stopper.

The Spaniard has been at Liverpool since 2006 when he joined from Villarreal after an excellent spelling with the Yellow Submarines having joined them from boyhood club Barcelona.

A return to Camp Nou could be very hard for the keeper to resist with their status as the top club in Europe continuing to be accepted by most despite their failure to keep their European crown last season. They drew 2-2 in France with Paris Saint Germain last night and looks odds on to move forward into the semi finals. They are also comfortably clear in La Liga and look certain to take back their domestic crown from bitter rivals Real Madrid.

Liverpool to tour Thailand again

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The club have announced that the squad will visit Thailand as part of the pre-season tour this summer.

One game will be played at Bangkok’s Rajamangala National Stadium on Sunday, July 28. The opposition is yet to be announced for this though.

The club last visited Thailand four years ago and will be bringing staff from the Liverpool Foundation to carry out work in the community during the visit.article-2302707-190A9F1F000005DC-814_634x412[1]

“The players who went on the last tour to Thailand are really excited about going back.” Brendan Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com

“I’ve heard a lot about the passion and dedication of the fans in Thailand and we plan to bring them some great football.”

Ian Ayre, Managing Director, added: “We first went to Thailand in 2001 and this will be our fourth visit to the country, which we feel demonstrates our commitment to our fans in Thailand.”

“Since our last visit, we have created strategic partnerships to maintain the Club’s presence in the region.”

Ticket details will be announced soon.

Gerrard admits inconsistency key to failed top four challenge

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Steven Gerrard has admitted that some inconsistent performances have been the reason for a lack of a challenge for the top four spots from the club this season.gerrard595pa[1]

“We know what our problem is and it’s inconsistency. In the majority of games we’ve played well enough to be higher than where we are in the league.

“But when you look at performances like Southampton, Villa at home, West Brom away, Arsenal at home, there’s a handful of games where this team hasn’t turned up. That’s the reason why we are sitting where we are in the table.”