Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gerrard accused of hitting man 'like a boxer'

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard lashed out at a man "with the style and speed of a professional boxer" after losing his cool in a bar brawl, a court heard Tuesday.
The 29-year-old England midfielder is accused of being part of a group that injured businessman Marcus McGee, 34, at the Lounge Inn nightclub in Southport near Liverpool, northwest England, in December last year.
Gerrard was celebrating Liverpool's 5-1 win at Newcastle United at the time. He denies the charge of affray. An initial charge of assault was dropped at a court hearing in March.
The row erupted after Gerrard asked McGee for a card controlling the CD player, saying: "Give me that, lad," the court heard.
"Mr. McGee took offence at his attitude and the expression 'lad' and he refused. Not many people on Merseyside, or indeed anywhere else, would refuse a request from Steven Gerrard but Mr. McGee did," said prosecutor David Turner.
Gerrard was left fuming by the exchange, and six minutes later came back over to Mr. McGee, swearing and squaring up to him "in the sort of hostile confrontation that is often seen between professional footballers."
"Steven Gerrard had clearly lost his cool: he was angry with Marcus McGee," said Turner.
Gerrard's friends came over to help, and one of them, John Doran, pushed McGee away and "could not resist following through with his right elbow into Mr McGee's face", said Turner.
"We say at this stage Gerrard totally lost it.
"Within seconds, Steven Gerrard joined in the attack with a succession of well aimed uppercut punches delivered with the style and speed of a professional boxer rather than a professional footballer."
Turner said the key question was whether Gerrard was acting in self-defence.
"Steven Gerrard is a world class footballer. He has the honour to be captain of Liverpool FC and to play for England. He is a star. He is Liverpool born and bred and here on Merseyside is a hero," he said.
"We do not say that Mr. Gerrard is normally an arrogant man, we don't say that he is a bully.
"What we do say is that that night he just lost his self control and joined in an attack which should never have taken place. He let himself down."
Gerrard is facing trial alone, after five co-defendants admitted affray, and one admitted a lesser charge of threatening behaviour.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Liverpool players arrive in Thailand

After months of frenzied excitement, Liverpool's fanatical supporters in Thailand are finally able to see their Kop idols in the flesh after Rafael Benitez and his squad arrived in Bangkok on Monday for the first leg of their Asian tour.

Following a 10 hour flight from Vienna, the Reds' party touched down in the Thai capital at 3pm local time before travelling to their luxury hotel, at which Benitez, Jamie Carragher and Ryan Babel will appear at a welcome press conference later today. The Reds will be in Thailand for the next three days, with the highlight being a sold out fixture against the national team on Wednesday, before jetting off to Singapore for the second leg of their visit to south east Asia. With the kick-off to the new Barclays Premier League season just four weeks away, the emphasis over the next eight days will be very much on fitness and conditioning of the players, but the club will also be taking the opportunity to engage with local fans and give many of them a once in a lifetime chance to meet their heroes. "It's always difficult deciding where to go on tour because we have so many fans all over the world," said Commercial Director Ian Ayre. "But we feel by choosing Thailand and Singapore we are capturing most of south east Asia and making it possible for fans from other countries to come and see the team. "Both countries are traditional hot-beds of support for Liverpool and I know from speaking to our partners out here how excited everyone has been waiting for us to arrive. "We are very excited to be here and are very much looking forward to our stay."
They will enjoy early morning and evening training sessions away from the glare of the searing midday sun, several commercial events also have been planned as the Reds look to take every possible opportunity to make as many friends as possible in this part of the world. "We are aware of the excitement out here about our arrival and that's great, but it's been important for us in the planning of the tour to find the right balance between the football and commercial sides," added Ayre. "I have worked very closely with Sammy Lee, who has then fed through to Rafa, on the football side and when they chose when they wanted the players to be training we planned the rest of the itinerary from there. Liverpool Football Club is about doing well in its core competitions and with the new season soon to start we know how crucial this period is for Rafa and his staff. "The two games will be great occasions, especially as the promoters of the tour have recreated the Kop end at both stadiums. Tickets for those ends sold out immediately so that just shows you the level of excitement which has been building. "A lot of work has gone into the planning of this tour, but the reward will be when the players run out to packed stadiums in both countries over the next few days." And, mindful of criticism of other clubs in the recent past who have been accused of planning worldwide tours purely for financial reward, Ayre insists Liverpool's aim will be to leave a long-lasting impression on Thailand and Singapore over the next week. "We have a duty to contribute to these football markets and to our supporters over here," he added. "We have in place a strong legacy programme encompassing many different initiatives and which can be broken down into different areas. "For example, we have a knowledge transfer programme at which Rafa will meet coaches from Thailand and Singapore, I will be meeting representatives from the local businesses and the medical team will also be having sessions. "We will be running a kids programme with open training sessions to try and show people what we do and how we do it. "We will also be creating a foundation which we will contribute to and our partners will contribute to. "The important thing is that when our plane lands back in Liverpool there will still be things going on in our name over here which we can continue to support. "Obviously enough is never enough. Fans over here, like those at home, love Liverpool and want as much of it as they can get. We can never be here often enough and when we are here we can never give enough access. We will just do as much as possible and look to make everyone happy."

The Reds' travelling party in full: Reina, Arbeloa, Johnson, Dossena, Insua, Agger, Skrtel, Carragher, Mascherano, Lucas, Alonso, Riera, Benayoun, Kuyt, Torres, Voronin, Babel, Ngog, El Zhar, Cavalieri, Gulacsi, Degen, Spearing, Plessis, Nemeth, San Jose, Pacheco, Kelly.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Xabi Alonso: I want to quit Liverpool FC

XABI ALONSO has told Rafa Benitez he wants to quit Anfield for Real Madrid.
But Liverpool will not grant his wish unless the Spanish giants come up with a fee in the region of £35m.
Alonso has stopped short of putting in an official written transfer request but he has made it clear to Benitez that his future lies
in La Liga rather than the Premier League.
The 27-year-old is due to join up with his Liverpool team-mates on Sunday after extended leave following his involvement in the Confederations Cup in South Africa, but Alonso and his agent Inaki Ibanez are hopeful that a deal can be thrashed out with Real before then.
But with Madrid reluctant to spend more than £27m for the Spanish international and Benitez adamant he will not allow Alonso to leave for that kind of figure, a compromise is some way off.
Alonso could try to force the issue by handing in an official transfer request but the midfielder believes he deserves to have his future sorted out without taking such formal measures after five years of service at the Reds.
Real’s public pursuit of Alonso is now becoming incessant with recently appointed manager Manuel Pellegrini the latest Bernabeu official to speak of the Liverpool man.
Pellegrini said: “He’s an important player as he has shown with the Spanish team.
“It’s no mystery that Real Madrid are interested in his services, but it will not be easy.”
Alonso still has three years of his Anfield contract remaining and Benitez knows there are precious few midfielders around of his quality and would have to re-shape his side if the Spanish international leaves.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gerrard signs on new 4 year contract

Steven Gerrard last night signed a new four-year deal with Liverpool, which will keep him at Anfield until he is 33.
The new deal is worth around £30million to the player, reports today's Guardian.
Steven Gerrard has taken another step towards ending his career as a one-club man after last night putting pen to paper on a new four-year contract with Liverpool.The deal, which ties the Huyton-born captain to Anfield until the age of 33 and will cost the club around £30m, was initially announced by Liverpool in April but formally concluded only upon Gerrard's return to pre-season training at Melwood yesterday.The midfielder had left the contract on hold during Liverpool's pursuit of Manchester United for the Premier League title last season, then departed for World Cup duty with England and a holiday before officially committing himself to Anfield until 2013. There were also minor contractual details to be resolved despite the club's announcement of an agreement in April.Gerrard still had two years remaining on a contract worth £120,000 a week and his new deal, believed to have increased his wage to £140,000 a week, may ensure he completes his professional playing career solely as an employee of Liverpool. The 29-year-old recently announced this contract is likely to be his last.The England international follows Yossi Benayoun in signing a new contract with Liverpool this week, while the manager, Rafael Benítez, Fernando Torres, Dirk Kuyt and Daniel Agger have all committed their long-term futures to Anfield in recent months.

LIVERPOOL have made their first major signing of the off-season by landing full-back Glen Johnson

The Portsmouth right-back snubbed a return to Chelsea to wrap up a switch to Anfield. Johnson's arrival is a relief to Reds fans, who have seen boss Rafa Benitez struggle in the transfer market with his limited funds. A club statement read: "Liverpool FC confirmed .. an agreement with Portsmouth Football Club and with Glen Johnson for the transfer of the player to Anfield." Johnson's sale marks a major profit for Pompey, who signed the defender for just $8 millin from Chelsea two years ago. Since then, he has emerged as a serious contender for the right-back berth for England heading into next summer's World Cup finals. Benitez is eager to boost his backline ahead of the forthcoming season and the signing could mark the end of Alvaro Arbeloa's time at Anfield. The Spanish international has been linked with big-spending Real Madrid, while Barcelona are lining up a move for Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano.

Glen Johnson met up with his Anfield teammates for the first time on Wednesday - and we were there to snap some exclusive pictures at Melwood. The England defender will be officially paraded as a Liverpool player on today, when he will give his first interviews since swapping Fratton Park for Anfield last month. But before his unveiling as Rafael Benitez's first summer signing, our new right back was getting used to his new surroundings at the club's training complex.

Liverpool have signed another full-back.

Rafael Benitez has signed Chris Mavinga from Paris Saint Germain. The 18 year old was signed for a nominal fee as he was not on a full contract at PSG. Liverpool beat off competition from Arsenal to sign the defender.

The 18 year old defender (can play at full back and centre back) has signed from Paris Saint Germain for an undisclosed fee. As ever, he's being portrayed as one of those brightest ever prospect types.

Considering that he's just turned 18 years old, I imagine he'll be going straight to Melwood. But I wonder if he will be fast tracked to the first team in similar fashion to Ngog. Hope we get an early glimpse of him in pre-season

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Liverpool Euro Third Kit 09/10

Pls refer to below latest Liverpool Euro Third Kit for season 2009/2010. Any comments?