Rodgers admits Carrol mistake

3 September 2012 11:29

Brendan Rodgers has admitted he expected to recruit a replacement for Andy Carroll after allowing the striker to leave Liverpool.

Liverpool now have just two established forwards in Luis Suarez and the newly signed Fabio Borini, after Carroll was allowed to join West Ham United on a season-long loan.

Rodgers has seen his team pick up just one point from their first three matches of the English Premier League season, with the latest reverse a 2-0 loss at home to Arsenal on Sunday.

Asked by reporters if Carroll would have left had it been known a replacement would not be secured before the transfer window shut, Rodgers replied: “No.”

Clint Dempsey had been heavily linked with a move to Anfield, but Liverpool failed to agree a deal with Fulham and he instead joined Tottenham Hotspur.

“I was very confident I had a deal sewn up but it has gone and I can’t do anything about it,” Rodgers said.

“There’s no point me crying about it or wishing we had or hadn’t done this or that.”

Rodgers was coy when asked about the possibility of signing former player and free agent Michael Owen, saying only that he would look at any opportunity to strengthen the squad.

“Hopefully, in January and the next window, we will make the transitions to get a group that can compete,” he said.

“That was always my intention at the beginning of the season. I wanted to build a squad that could be competitive.”

Klinsmann details Dempsey worries

3 September 2012 11:07

United States coach Juergen Klinsmann says Clint Dempsey was concerned over his future before moving from Fulham to Tottenham.

Dempsey, 29, secured his switch to White Hart Lane in the final hours of the transfer window after his proposed move to Liverpool ended due to the Anfield club’s unwillingness to match their seven million-pound valuation.

The attacking midfielder ultimately secured a deadline day switch to Spurs, something Klinsmann said was a relief for the player.

“We are happy that this whole thing was finalised, that he got the move to a real international club that is always competing in the top four or six of the Premier League,” Klinsmann said.

“I personally, I’m excited because I played for Tottenham many, many years ago. It gives me a chance to watch one of his games in one of my old places.”

“It is really important now that Clint can put this behind him. It was not all the time really pretty what happened the last couple weeks there.

“Obviously he dragged that with him over the whole summer. Already coming into our May-June camp (it) was always in the back of his mind. He was concerned about it, which is normal.”

Klinsmann has called Dempsey into his 24-man squad which will face Jamaica twice in the space of four days in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The first match is on September 7 in Kingston, Jamaica.

With Dempsey having not playing in a Premier League game this season, the USA coach said he will assess the forward before making his selection.

“We’ll evaluate him. We’ll sit down with him,” Klinsmann said.

“We’ll discuss his state of mind and also obviously we’ll test his fitness level right away when he comes in to see where he’s at in order to help him. If he’s lagging behind then we’ll know exactly where he’s at and we can help him to catch up as quickly as possible.”

But with Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley missing out through injury, Klinsmann has revealed Dempsey could be handed a start: “We’re absolutely open to throw him in the water right away.

“It really depends on where he’s at, if he’s in a very good physical level,” Klinsmann said.

“He worked out with the fitness coach of Fulham on the side. They did one-on-one work, which is often more effective than team training.”

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Gala plotting Toure swoop

3 September 2012 10:50

Manchester City centre-back Kolo Toure has emerged as a transfer target for Turkish side Galatasaray, according to manager Fatih Terim.

Despite the English Premier League transfer window closing on August 31, clubs in Turkey have until midnight on the September 5 to conclude all late deals.

Galatasaray’s interest in the defender was sparked when stalwart Tomas Ujfalusi was ruled out for up to four months after collapsing during training, and Terim feels Toure’s former Arsenal team-mate Emmanuel Eboue, who plies his trade at Turk Telekom Arena, might be able to help them in their pursuit of the 31-year-old.

“We have to bring someone (in). Obviously a defender,” Terim told reporters.

“We’re interested in Kolo Toure from Manchester City. We can ask help from Eboue if we need.

“We have to complete this transfer until UEFA Champions League list deadline.”

The Premier League champions’ business on transfer deadline day suggests Toure could be surplus to requirements, with Roberto Mancini having moved for defenders Maicon and Matija Nastasic.

Vilanova praises debutant Song

3 September 2012 10:44

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has praised Alex Song in the wake of the Cameroon international’s La Liga debut against Valencia on Sunday.

The former Arsenal midfielder featured from the start in Barca’s 1-0 win over Valencia, and Vilanova was impressed with Song’s performance.

“Song did a great job. He’s only had a few days of training with us. He picks things up quickly. He’s an intelligent player,” Vilanova said.

“He’s talented on the ball, and he associates well with his team-mates on the pitch. He passed his first test at Camp Nou with flying colours.”

The Barca coach went on to discuss Pedro’s start to the 2012/13 campaign, and had positive words for the fleet-footed attacker too.

“He’s had a great start to the season,” Vilanova said.

“He’s a player who always has chances to score, beyond everything that he brings to the team. He works a lot of defence and he wins back a lot of balls.”

Barcelona sit top of La Liga with a maximum of nine points from their first three games.

Marotta regrets Brkic red card

3 September 2012 10:36

Giuseppe Marotta feels the harsh dismissal of Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic on Sunday decided the match in Juventus’ favour.

The reigning champions cruised to a comfortable 4-1 victory after their opponents were reduced to 10 men, but Juve director Marotta would have preferred to bag the three points against a full-strength Udinese.

“The goalkeeper’s red card was a big factor in the game and I honestly think it was a harsh decision,” Marotta told the Juventus website.

“We came to the Friuli for a win. However, winning against 10 men is no great joy. We would have preferred to beat them on equal terms. We’re pleased to have won but would have preferred to do it against a full team.

“In the next meetings we’ll have to start a dialogue with the refereeing body with a view to changing this rule or getting referees to change their approach, because this damages the game as a spectacle.”

Following the international break, Juve are back in action on away to Genoa on September 16.