Rodgers not expecting to spend in January


Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned fans not to expect a of much activity when the transfer window reopens in January.

Liverpool sold Dirk Kuyt and Craig Bellamy with Andy Carroll loaned to West Ham, leaving the Reds short of backup for top scorer Luis Suarez, with Fabio Borini out injured and youngsters Adam Morgan and Samed Yesil next in line.Rodgers[3]

Having already seen Clint Dempsey slip through his fingers due to a lack funds, Rodgers is not anticipating being able to spend in this window.

He said: “I am not so sure it will be in January to be honest. This year the club wanted to balance the books and see where it was at.”

“There was a big investment in the club and obviously a lot of players went out in the summer and a few came in.”

“We will look to do some business in January to help and support the players here, but that is where we are at as a football club and it is something the owners trust me to grow over time. Eventually we will get there.”

The news will come as a major disapointment to Reds fans.

Swansea City 0 – 0 Liverpool


By jpa90, 25-11-2012, 16:53:08

Brendan Rodgers could only earn a point against his old club in a goalless draw at Liberty Stadium. Liverpool came the closest when Raheem Sterling rattled the bar with a powerful drive and the visitors bossed the majority of the first half. Swansea also had a handful of chances but neither side could produce a goal in a rather scrappy game.

The home side started brightly with a great deal of possession. Stuart Downing had a hard time settling in to the unusual position of left-back and Swansea were keen to take advantage of this. Pepe Reina made a good save from a Wayne Routledge header shortly after Glen Johnson saw his header fly over the bar at the opposite end.

Sterling and Luis Suarez were causing problems for Swansea’s defence and Gerhard Tremmel was called into action to stop a nicely-struck shot from Sterling. Jonathan De Guzman almost gave his side the lead after Steven Gerrard gave away possession in his own half but his effort curled around the wrong side of the post.

Liverpool began to press the home side further up the pitch and were looking the better side midway through the first half. Jose Enrique came close to opening the scoring when a wonderful cross from Johnson found him on the edge of the six-yard box, but the Spaniard missed the target. Sterling picked up a loose ball after a Liverpool corner and released a superb volley whilst under pressure which crashed against the cross-bar, the Reds unlucky not to be 1-0 up.

Seconds later Johnson made a clever run into the 18-yard box and he found Suarez with a neat back-heel. The Uruguayan chipped a ball over the defence and found Jose Enrique who thought he had given the visitors the lead when he tucked the ball past Tremmel, only to see the linesman flag for offside.

Both sides were yet to score at half time with the Reds having the better chances. Liverpool threatened late in the first half but Swansea’s control of the ball in defence was as scrappy as the visitor’s wasteful possession in the final third. Most of the action had occurred down Liverpool’s left wing where Jose Enrique had threatened but Downing had struggled.

The teams exchanged possession early in the second half but neither side could create much in front of goal. Liverpool executed precise passing and decent movement off the ball but could not capitalise on the space that they had worked.

Gerrard attempted a long-range strike with his left foot but again Tremmel was there to collect the ball. Swansea’s defence was solid but Suarez’s acceleration proved too much for them at times, proven when he was allowed to stride into the box and release a low shot. Tremmel made a good save but the Reds were encouraged by their ability to exploit gaps in Swansea’s back line.

De Guzman was linking up well with Angel Rangel on Swansea’s left wing. Routledge forced a corner and Williams reached the cross with his head but saw his effort cleared off the line. Chico was booked for pulling Suarez to the ground and Daniel Agger rose well to meet Gerrard’s resultant free-kick, although the defender could not generate enough power to guide the ball past Tremmel.

Downing’s woes at left-back continued when he miscued a clearance and allowed Nathan Dyer to race past him. Reina met Dyer with a good block and it took both players a while to return to their feet after a heavy collision. Shortly after, Joe Cole replaced Downing who will be disappointed with his performance, albeit in a relatively unfamiliar position.

Michu’s penalty shout was waved away by the referee when he was pulled to the ground after leaping for a header. Sterling and Suarez found themselves with just one defender to beat after countering from a Swansea corner, but Sterling’s return pass was sloppy and it forced the Uruguayan wide. Suarez did well to work an angle but his low shot was hit straight at Tremmel who made a comfortable save.

Joe Allen conceded a free-kick when he pulled Ki to the ground. Hernandez smashed the ball low and hard but Reina got down well to turn it around the post. Jonjo Shelvey almost won it for the Reds with a rasping shot but Tremmel was not to be beaten as he once again met the shot with a good save.

With very little separating the two sides in the second half, the game finished 0-0. Liverpool were frustrated that they didn’t take advantage of their chances in the first half – an all too familiar story for the Reds this season.

The home side had their fair share of chances but will have been happy to take a point away from a game that could have easily gotten away from them in the first half. Both teams are back in action on Wednesday evening when Swansea take on West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool face a tough game against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Kopworld man of the match: Luis Suarez

Liverpool snap up British Olympics psychiatrist


Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have signed up the psychiatrist that helped the likes of Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton claim gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Steve Peters, who will continue in his role at UK Athletics, will spend one day a week with the Liverpool squad at Melwood, with the aim of improving the mental strength and resiliance. The players and staff will be given a choice as to whether or not they meet with Peters though.Liverpool-fans-show-their-006[1]

Peters also works with Bradley Wiggins and the Sky Cycling team and has also worked with Snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan and former Red Craig Bellamy – who credited Peters with helping the Welshman to improve his form through teaching methods that encourage people to be more rational under pressure.

“We have brought in someone who is the top guy in his field, one of the leading guys in the world in what he does,” Rodgers said.

“I see it as a part of the development of the player. The modern game is very much about the psychological aspect of it.”

“I do lots of technical, tactical and physical training and sometimes what gets bypassed is the mental tuning for players, especially in the modern game at the top level.”

Rodgers is also hoping that Peters will help him as a manager.

“Command can be lonely and it is always good to have other people to turn to when you are trying to lead the club forward,” he said. “I have my staff around me and they are outstanding, but it is always nice to have a different set of eyes with different experiences.”

“I have always used neurologists, but I took my time when I arrived here to make sure we could get someone who could really help performance. This guy is of that level. I would stress it is not a psychologist. It is neurology.”

Shelvey pleased to see Lucas back


Jonjo Shelvey has backed Lucas Leiva to have an immediate impact in the first-team once he makes his latest return from injury in the coming weeks.

Lucas was injured early against Manchester City in the first home Premiership game of the season back in August and was replaced by Shelvey in that game.

The Brazilian made a return to action yesterday for the Reds’ U21 side in a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough – with the midfielder seeing an hour of action.Jonjo-Shelvey[1]

“I think he has been a big miss,” Shelvey said.

“In the holding role, his tenacity and willingness to get the ball back and then the way he is able to keep it simple has been missed.”

“I think Joe Allen has done very well in his absence but Lucas is a brilliant player. Over the last few years he has been tremendous. Ever since he came to this club he has been superb.”

“You see what he does in training every day. He’s so determined to get back playing and when he returns he is going to be a great asset to the squad.”

Brendan Rodgers has stated that he hopes to see Lucas back in the first-team mix soon, but he will not be risking him against Swansea in Wales on Sunday afternoon.

Shelvey will certainly hope to be involved after scoring another Europa League goal against Young Boys on Thursday evening.

After beating Wigan 3-0 last Saturday, Shelvey is feeling confident that his side can push on and challenge for a Champions League place this season.

“Swansea pass and move so it will be a good footballing game on a big pitch,” he said. “We’ve got to get in their faces and let them know that we are the team not to be underestimated this time.”

“The other teams’ results always come in when we get off the pitch and you always go and have a look,” he said. “But I don’t think we can pay too much attention to what other teams are doing at this stage because there is still a long way to go in the season.

“But at the end of the season, I think we will be in and around the top four.”

Liverpool 2 – 2 Young Boys


By EddieC, 23-11-2012, 11:15:01

Liverpool had an opportunity to book their place in the last 32 of the Europa League with a game to spare, but failed to capitalise on it – drawing 2-2 with Swiss side Young Boys.

A late equaliser from Elsad Zverotic means the Reds’ hopes of moving into the knockout stage of the tournament will now be decided when they face Italian side Udinese in two weeks’ time.

Liverpool had taken the lead in the 33rd minute when Jonjo Shelvey headed home from close range following good play between Suso and Joe Cole.

Young Boys levelled the tie early in the second half, but Cole regained Liverpool’s advantage – finishing neatly at the Kop end on 72 minutes. But with time running out Liverpool appeared to lose their concentration a little, giving Zverotic the chance to keep his team in the competition with a fearsome drive.

From the word go Young Boys showed they weren’t overawed by the occasion and it was the away side who made the brighter start to the game – carving out two very early chances through Gonzalo Zarate and Raphael Nuzzolo.

Liverpool quickly began to find their stride though and began to produce some crisp football and sharp interchanges, the main architects being Suso, Cole and Shelvey.

The home side looked set to take the lead on 26 minutes when a deft flick from Shelvey put Jordan Henderson clean through on goal. Henderson looked set to score, but his shot was tipped around the bottom left-hand post by Marco Wolfli.

The Kop didn’t have to wait much longer for an opening goal though, with the breakthrough coming on 33 minutes. Cole played a lovely one-two with Suso that left him clear in the box. The former England international did well to chip the ball over the Young Boys keeper, and Jonjo Shelvey headed into an empty net.

Another great chance fell to the Reds on 42 minutes when Suso shot just wide from range, but Liverpool had to settle for a one goal lead going into the break.

Young Boys were not slow in reminding Liverpool that a one goal lead is never enough after the restart – Zverotic and Alex Farnerud both going close with long range efforts in the opening five minutes of the second half.

Liverpool didn’t heed the warning and the Swiss side fired themselves level on 52 minutes. Farnerud aimed a diagonal ball towards Raul Bobadilla, and the Argentinian fired a ferocious left footed half-volley straight into the top corner.

With the result in the balance Liverpool once again looked to their top scorer, Luis Suarez coming on to replace Suso shortly after the equaliser.

It didn’t take long for the Reds to get their noses back in front, and Joe Cole slotted home from Gerrard’s pass on 72 minutes with a confidence that has been missing from his game in previous outings.

Back in the lead, Liverpool pushed on in  search of a third goal that would kill the game off. An admirable attitude to have, but they commited too many men forward, leaving gaps at the back.

The Reds paid the price for their lack of defensive discipline, and Zverotic smashed home a left-footed shot in the dying minutes of the game to ensure that Europa League Group A won’t be decided until matchday six.

Rafa Benitez – unfinished business?


Tonight, as I write, it has just been announced that Rafael Benitez is to take over as Chelsea manager.

This will both worry and disappoint many Liverpool fans who still revere him and look upon his reign as a golden era for LFC.

The thought of him taking the reins at one of our most bitter rivals rankles somewhat, especially given the fractious, hostile relationship the two clubs have.

It is possible that a move to Stamford Bridge could cause irreparable damage to the special relationship that Benitez has with our club and its fans. There are many fans that hope that one day, Benitez will return to Liverpool, to continue what some consider to be unfinished business.article-2310891-195AE62E000005DC-663_634x350[1]

Being Liverpool manager seemed to be Benitez’s calling, and evidently he regarded it as more than just his job. He cultivated an extraordinary bond with the city, and an enduring mutual affection between him and the fans that somehow transcended football. It is unpalatable to imagine this bond being fractured but taking over at Chelsea may test even his biggest advocate’s loyalty.

That said, I don’t blame Benitez for taking over at Stamford Bridge – he is a top class manager and free agent after all – and deserves to manage at the highest level. And then there’s the money – I would defy anyone not to accept such a lucrative job offer were they in his shoes. The fact that Chelsea have had 9 managers in as many years should serve as a warning that the relationship between manager and owner at Chelsea is a fragile one, with Roman Abramovich ever impatient and anxious to see immediate returns on his investments. He is nothing if not ruthless.

This is of course, not of any concern to Liverpool fans. The frequency with which Chelsea dispose of their managers helps rather than hinders their rivals, and as such we should greet the news of Roberto Di Matteo’s sacking with glee.

But Rafa Benitez? Our Rafa Benitez?!

He just seems way too much of a class act to be associated with them. It is already evident that there is much opposition to his appointment from the Chelsea fans – their ingratitude makes my blood boil. It comes as no surprise to me that they are devoid of class and common sense and are oblivious to the fact that Benitez’s record is outstanding and achieved with a fraction of the resources that have been available to them in recent years.

I’ve heard voices of dissent from Liverpool fans too, outraged at Benitez’s “betrayal” of Liverpool.
But what was he to do? He was sacked by the club he loved, then when it seemed that he may get a second chance he was overlooked in the summer in favour of Brendan Rodgers. That is pretty shoddy treatment in my book.

It’s not a betrayal of us, if anything he was betrayed by Liverpool. We moved on, and so must Rafa. We really can’t justify complaining about that he’s accepted another job, even if it is at Chelsea.

I know I am not alone in feeling that we should never have got rid of Rafa. He loved Liverpool, he fought for Liverpool, even when woefully short of allies. He stood up to Hicks and Gillette, recognising their corrosive effect on the club and doing his upmost to resist it. He endured boardroom warfare, and being undermined and ridiculed by the owners but was determined to fight on.

Moreover, he restored Liverpool’s pride, dragged us from mediocrity back into European greats, whilst bringing us closer to winning the league than any manager in 20 years. With Valencia he succeeded in the monumental task of breaking Real Madrid and Barcelona’s stranglehold on La Liga and he did it with limited resources – and this is no mean feat. I am at a loss as to how anyone could dismiss him as being a poor manager.

For me, any Liverpool manager from now on will be compared unfavourably to Benitez, it is difficult to avoid this juxtaposition. The best way I can describe it is like breaking up with the love of your life, then feeling that no one who comes along afterwards, however wonderful, will ever compare.

I would not expect any better from large sections of the media but I am perplexed the hostile attitude of some Liverpool fans towards Benitez.

Incidentally, I feel it prudent to point out that my affection for Benitez does not mean that I am anti Brendan Rodgers and I certainly don’t advocate getting rid of him. He’s a good young manager who needs time and the backing of the fans and it’s the very least we should afford him. Fans who suggest otherwise are deluded and irrational and it quite frankly embarrasses me that we have such small minded idiots in our midst.

But I digress.

Whenever I reflect on the Benitez era, I am immersed in nostalgia. It pains me to think that it was only 4 or 5 years ago that we were bossing Champions League matches in Milan, Madrid and Barcelona. What I wouldn’t do for that right now.

For me, it was unmitigated folly to sack Benitez, so although I have nothing against Brendan Rodgers per se , it’s difficult to embrace him as a manager when he was preceded by such a esteemed manager, whose achievements were so outstanding.

I loved the way he didn’t care one jot what the press thought of him, which was just as well because by and large they were myopic, xenophobic and intolerant of him and his methods. I’ve written in the past about the xenophobia that surrounds Luis Suarez and how he is treated differently by the press than his peers and I feel that Benitez was subjected to similar treatment which was entirely unfair.

They didn’t understand him, they didn’t want to. They chose to completely ignore his record as a manager, ever going so far as trying to re write history in their desperation to denigrate and belittle him and his achievements.

They castigated him for “rotating” players. They demonised him for zonal marking and criticised his meticulousness, his lack of ‘warmth’, his reluctance to praise the players, he couldn’t do anything right -you name the stick, they beat him with it.

They mistook (or deliberately misread) his calm, unflappable demeanour for arrogance. But he didn’t care, and we loved him for it.

Some people have no appreciation for the fact that he worked wonders with a largely unsatisfactory team he inherited from Gerard Houllier. Some sections of the media bizarrely had a profound, perplexing distaste for a manager whose 6 year reign heeded silverware aplenty and it is baffling and infuriating that his triumph in Istanbul was belittled as a fluke.

We beat Fabio Capello’s Juventus, Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea and Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan for crying out loud. Can this be done without managerial knowledge or skill? Or tactical aptitude? I think not.

Even the astounding accomplishment of winning the Champions League aside, (which was achieved with such mediocre players as Traore, Smicer and Biscan) we went on to reach another final in Athens in 2007 and a semi final in 2008 – hardly a ‘fluke’.

I’m not so naive to believe that my opinions won’t be met with vehement opposition by some, nor am I blind to Benitez’s flaws. He had them, in abundance some might say. Prior to his sacking, there were poor results aplenty, justified criticism of his style, methods, team selection and transfer activity, and the added complication of his pivotal role in the behind the scenes unrest.

But I do wonder whether the press’ perpetual negativity towards Benitez seeped into the psyche of some of our fans who continue to criticise Benitez and would not have him back at Liverpool if he were the only manager in the world.

But sacking him was absurd. After all his success, would it really have been so difficult to afford him more time? Would we be in such as bad position as we are now if he was still at the helm? I very much doubt it.

The fact of the matter is that no one in their right mind would not swap our current mediocrity for the exalted Benitez days.

Those of you who deride Benitez, and are critical of him and his tenure will no doubt find rich pickings in this piece. It always puzzles me how people can be so disrespectful and vitriolic towards him – I reflect on his tenure with immense pride and a longing for the days that we were a force in Europe and real contestants in the league. Rafa Benitez gave me some of my very best memories as a Liverpool fan and for that I will always be grateful.

Maybe I am being over sentimental, but LFC and Rafa shared a mutual affection, and the reverberations of his hasty removal from his post will be felt for years.

He polarized opinion and still does, but for me he is inimitable.

YNWA Rafa and I hope you do well, but not too well now you’re at Chelsea.

The next six weeks


There have been signs over the past few weeks that things are gradually coming together for this Liverpool team.  Players are beginning to get to grips with the tactics and style of play, and Rodgers is making changes which seem to be coming off.  One of the things which annoyed many of us after the United game was there was talk in the press of ‘relegation’ – something not seen at this club since 1954.

They argued that 2pts from 5 games could at least see Liverpool finish outside the top 10.

Of course this was ludicrous as you had to take into account three of those games were against Champions League teams.  We were a stray backpass away from beating Man City and referee’s decision or two, close to beating Man Utd too.  What we were waiting for was the fixture schedule to sort itself out and we would have a period of time with some easier games.jose-enrique-620-225591014-3004148[1]

That time could be now.

Over the next 6 weeks Liverpool has the likes of Southampton, Aston Villa, Fulham, Stoke, QPR and Sunderland to play, all of whom could conceivably be more realistic ‘bottom-half’ sides.  The only ‘tough’ game is likely to be at White Hart Lane, against a Tottenham side who have their own troubles to contend with.  Having said that, visiting Swansea on Sunday is likely to be another test but the form we are currently in, you could argue we are in the best shape we have been to take them on since Swansea came up at the beginning of last season.

I’ve looked at the fixtures coming up and you could forgive me for struggling to find a potential defeat in there, but I think getting 1pt from the Swansea and Tottenham trips is probably realistic.  I can honestly see us winning all our home games against Southampton, Aston Villa, Fulham and Sunderland.  We should also win at QPR too, but could draw at Stoke and West Ham.

Where would that leave us come the turn of the year?  Well, we could certainly be level on points with Everton.  Their next 6 weeks look a complete nightmare.

Arsenal, Man City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Newcastle lay ahead for the blues between now and the New Year.  There is no doubt, Everton’s home form is good and so Tottenham could certainly be considered a home win there, but I’m not sure they have enough to do the same to Arsenal or Chelsea.  Trips to Man City and Newcastle could well end in defeat, and I certainly think they’ll do well to grabs draws at Stoke and West Ham.

Looking at two other clubs in the top eight, I have tried to look at where they could be by beginning of January.

West Brom are in good form, although mainly at home.  Their home games coming up are against Stoke, West Ham, Norwich and Fulham and you can honestly see them winning all of them, although Stoke and West Ham are the kind of teams to be able to get something from those games.  They travel to both Arsenal and Man Utd and so are unlikely to get anything from those games, and the same could happen at Swansea.  You can see them getting at least a point from a trip to Sunderland, yet I could see them struggle to beat QPR away from home.

Tottenham are the other team I looked at.  They’re in poor form at the moment with 3 straight defeats, although with 2 of them against Man City and Arsenal, Spurs fans could use the same argument as I have about our early season form.

The next 2 games are at home for Spurs, West Ham and Liverpool. The Hammers are doing ok and not easy to beat but have not won at White Hart Lane in their last 11 attempts, scoring just once in that time.  With these two matches I have made the assumption Spurs will get 4pts, although they could win or draw either game.

A trip to Goodison Park should end in defeat, and they could conceivably lose at Fulham too although they’ve only lost once in the league at Craven Cottage in their last 6 visits.  So I have assumed they get a point at Fulham and also at Villa.  I can see both Swansea and Stoke coming away with a point each from their trips to ‘The Lane’ and so their only other wins may well come against Sunderland and Reading.

In conclusion, here is where the teams may well be after 2nd January 2013.

5th   West Brom   38
6th   Tottenham   37
7th   Liverpool   33
8th   Everton   33

Well, I think the top 4 at the end of the year will be as many would expect.  Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.  This then leaves West Brom and Tottenham closely chasing a Europa League place, with the two Merseyside clubs still needing to make up ground.

But a lot can happen over the next three months.  Liverpool may well spend big on a striker, Tottenham could well be under new management and West Brom could suffer from injuries, a small squad, bad luck or all three.

But Liverpool could again have a tough 4 week period in January when they have to travel to Old Trafford, The Emirates and The Etihad Stadiums.  After travelling to City they then entertain West Brom at Anfield,in a game which could be crucial if they are to progress to a European place.

What Liverpool can look forward to from the fixture schedule is that their run-in during March and April is not particularly tough but Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton await them amongst their final 5 matches.

Still a long way to go.

Sterling questioned over assault


Raheem Sterling has been questioned by police over an alleged assault on a woman.

The Liverpool Echo reports that the 17-year-old reported to a Merseyside police station to answer questions under caution.

A police spokeswoman said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that a 17-year-old male from the Woolton area was interviewed under caution, following a report of an assault on Friday 2 November.Raheem Sterling

“A 27-year-old woman received slight injuries during the incident in the Liverpool 8 area. At this time, the investigation is ongoing and no formal action has been taken.”

Sterling has been in fine form for the Reds this season, and his performances resulted in the winger making his England debut last week against Sweden.

At the time of writing there has been no comment from the club or the player.

Morgan should get his chance


“Take a look at this kid here, he listens, learns and works his socks off, and he will get his rewards.” Those were the words of Brendan Rodgers about Adam Morgan during his disciplinary with Raheem Sterling on the clubs pre-season tour of North America.

Despite the manager’s praise, Rodgers has only allocated Morgan two Europa League games this season and chose to go with Samed Yesil for the Capital One Cup defeat to his former club Swansea at Anfield. Due to the long term injury of Fabio Borini and failure of signing a striker in the summer transfer window following Andy Carroll’s loan move to West Ham, a lot has (well I say a lot), all has depended on Luis Suarez to score the goals needed to keep the Reds on track until January. Only Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard, Nuri Sahin and Jose Enrique have been the other goal scorers for us in the Premier League this season. For a team that needs to be fighting for a European place come May, that is not enough and needs more firepower.article-2043546-0D34260D000005DC-939_468x286[1]

I know the manager has stated on several occasions that he will be strengthening the squad in the January transfer window after talks with the clubs American Owners and we still have Fabio Borini to return from injury, however for all Borini’s effort, he is not going to be a clinical goal scorer for us unless he vastly improves on the first impression he gave before he suffered his injury on international duty. He seems to be our new Dirk Kuyt, who will work his socks off, track back, create chances and chip in with the odd goal now and again.

There is no chance of Andy Carroll returning from West Ham either as Rodgers has made it clear the 6ft 5in centre forward will never be part of his plans. I like Carroll and a big fan of his however, due to the manager’s style of play; I understand were he is coming from.

No one knows quite how much FSG will allow Rodgers to spend during January and I can’t see it being much unless fringe players are moved on to generate more funds. Therefore, although I would buy another striker, I would like to see Adam Morgan given an opportunity.

I rate Morgan really highly, (much higher than other young forwards such as Michael Ngoo and Samed Yesil) and was very impressed with his most recent performance against Anzi in the Europa League. He showed passion, chased everything down, had chances himself and looked to create opportunities for the team. Morgan has an impressive goal to game ratio at youth level and at reserve team level and I would like to see him given the chance to stake his claim as part of Rodgers’ long term plans.

Some kopites have told me that he reminds them too much of Neil Mellor, who was excellent working his way up but never quite made an impression at 1st team level. However, that point could be argued as in 2005 during Rafa Benitez’ debut campaign, Mellor made a famous contribution with his winner against Arsenal and crucial goal against Olympiakos which seen us progress through to the Knockout Stage of the Champions League.

There is proof of strikers breaking their way through at Liverpool after a certain Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen were once given the chance to impress and both went onto be Liverpool Legends. I am not saying Morgan will be as good as them two but I hope Rodgers is true to his word and gives Morgan his reward for working hard as he could go on to have a good career at the club he supported as a boy.

By all means, sign another striker but make sure academy graduates like Morgan are given a chance to succeed and help us score more goals to move up the table. It could just save us from another expensive gamble in the transfer market.

Martinez accuses Suarez of stamp


Wigan Athletic boss Roberto Martinez accused Luis Suarez of a stamp in today’s game at Anfield.

The Spaniard has claimed that the in-form striker stamped on midfielder David Jones in the 63rd minute of the match Suarez struck twice in.



“He was very fortunate because there was a stamp on David Jones that the referee didn’t see,” Martinez said.

“That wasn’t the sign of a top player. He was fortunate today. He was lucky.”

“I have not mentioned it to the referee,” Martinez added.

“The things that may happen on a football pitch should be judged by the referee. Those are the incidents that happen. It wasn’t a nasty game, a bad game.

“But when you see the replay it is a clear stamp.

“It could have been a red card if the referee had seen it. But I am not one to look back.”

Martinez has not been afraid to speak out this season after questioning a very generous penalty given against his side at Old Trafford earlier this season after what looked a clear dive by Danny Welbeck.

Suarez has been labelled a diver several times this season, charged with using racist language a year ago and now he is being accused of violent conduct – all this while shooting the top of the Premiership goalscoring charts.