Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gerrard Issues Rallying Call to Faltering Reds

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has called on his team to raise their game as his club pursue victory in their League Cup campaign and continue to cling on to their fast fading hopes of Champions League qualification. Gerrard's side have struggled in recent games in spite of heavy investment in the squad by manager Kenny Dalglish at the start of the current campaign - and even a recent return to fitness and form of the talismanic Gerrard has not been enough to stop the club sliding to 7th in the Premier League table.  

Liverpool face title favorites and league leaders Manchester City in tonight's League Cup semi final clash - a team they already trail by 19 points in the league - and Gerrard has demanded an improved performance from the whole squad if they are to overcome Mancini's Blues at Anfield this evening. The 3 - 1 defeat at Premier League strugglers Bolton in their last game saw the reds slump to what Dalglish referred to as poorest performance since his return to the helm of the club to which he has contributed so much during a magnificent career, but Gerrard has commanded his club pick themselves up and move on from such a bad result to reach a Wembley Cup Final.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Gary Cahill Completes Chelsea Switch for £7 Million

West London giants Chelsea have finally completed the signing of England centre back Gary Cahill from fellow Premier League side Bolton Wanderers after a protracted transfer negotiation with the player over personal terms. Having completed a medical examination at the weekend, Cahill now joins Chelsea's star studded squad as they look to get their title challenge back on track - and at just 26 may be viewed by the club as a long term replacement for fellow England defender John Terry at Stamford Bridge.

     The transfer fee paid for Cahill is thought to be in the region of £7 million, thereby presenting arguably good value for both Bolton and Chelsea - particularly with the player's contract rapidly expiring at the Reebok stadium and the Lancashire club therefore fearful of losing him for nothing in the summer.
     For Bolton boss Owen Coyle however, losing such a key player in their battle for Premier League survival must surely be a bitter blow, although it is thought that Cahill's transfer fee will be made available to him in order to recruit replacements for his struggling squad during the current January transfer window.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

FA Stand Firm Over Kompany Red Card

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has failed in his attempts to have the 4 match suspension he received following his red card against local rivals Manchester United rescinded. Kompany was given a straight red in the early stages of his team's FA cup 3rd round clash with United for a 2 footed sliding tackle - although replays seemed to show he did win the ball cleanly in the challenge. Following the game's conclusion the challenge divided opinions between players and pundits alike regarding the legitimacy of the decision. However, the FA have backed referee Chris Foy's original decision and as such Kompany must now serve a 4 match suspension with immediate effect.

     This issue is likely to leave City boss Roberto Mancini with a defensive headache for his side's forthcoming clash with Liverpool - with fellow centre back Kolo Toure currently away on international duty with the Ivory Coast and his squad also hit by several injuries. This has led for Mancini to call for further investment in the team - a statement that has drawn strong criticism in many quarters given the vast amount of money he has already spent on players under his tenure at City.