City want Crouch – but Rafa’s says hands off
Man City owner Thaksin Shinawatra – who tried to buy Liverpool before taking over at Eastlands – says manager Sven Goran Erikkson is an admirer of Peter Crouch and hinted they would be interested in signing the England striker in the January transfer window. Shinawatra said:
“Sven is looking for one striker and one or two midfielders. Sven does like Peter Crouch, very much. But he has yet to decide (if he will make an offer).”
But Rafa Benitez denied any reports linking Crouch away from Anfield, saying:
“We do not want to sell Peter. So there could be rumours in the press but we are really happy with him.”
“The players in a top side know sometimes they will not play every game but you can see how important Peter Crouch is for us.”
“The other day he was a key player with Harry Kewell [against Porto] and we do not want to do any movement.”
“Always you know Peter in every training session is a very good professional. He is always ready if he must play and if he is not playing he is working hard to be ready for the next time.”
Rafa’s happy and going nowhere
“I won’t say which team was interested but it’s clear I want to stay here where I am really happy.”
“The supporters were magnificent the other day, and the players and staff. My idea is to keep working hard, as before, and to win trophies for my club.”
Parry denies Hicks rumours
Chief executive Rick Parry has been silent throughout the Benitez-Hicks saga but he finally spoke out on Friday — to deny reports Tom Hicks was ready to sell his stake in the club after 9 months. Parry told the official site “I have seen the story, and as far as I am aware it is complete rubbish.” Interesting stuff from Coco himself – who looked less than happy during Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Porto.
Riise eager to return against Bolton
Left back John Arne Riise has been left out of the Reds’ last two fixtures but he is keen for a return to action against Bolton on Sunday. He also spoke how he loves giving everything for the club and coming off the pitch battered and bruised – which has often happened in previous Liverpool – Bolton meetings in recent years;
“I look forward to it because it’s part of my game. I don’t like the games where you don’t do anything. I like going off the pitch feeling pain and being tired because you’ve made a lot of tackles.
“That’s what football is about. It’s a great feeling to come away from a game knowing you have fought and won. Bolton will be this kind of game.
“We have to use their weaknesses against them and be aware, but you have to play your own game and not change too much. Yes, they’re physical and strong and we have to match them, but we also have to use our quality on the ball. We are a better team with the ball.”
The Norweigan added of his personal form of late;
“I know some fans have been a little bit frustrated with me, that’s the way it goes. I have to turn that round, hopefully starting on Sunday.
“The fans know I try to give 110 percent when I go on the pitch, even if it doesn’t always look like it. I have given them joy before and hopefully I can do it again.”