Pepe Reina has moved to defend Fernando Torres’ goalscoring record this season, arguing that the inadequate service from his floundering teammates is the reason for the paucity of his goals tally. Speaking to The Guardian he said, “All strikers are about goals. They want to score them and they want to score winners like Fernando did against Blackburn.”
Delighting in the winner his compatriot scored against Blackburn, he insinuated that Torres had been unfairly singled out amongst others as the reason for Liverpool’s poor start to the season. His confidence in the Spaniard remains undiminished however, and Reina expects a swift return to the Torres who has spent the past three seasons terrorising Premier League defences: “I think he can build up to what he was like of old,” he confidently predicted.
Hodgson: We can’t play much better.
Having gone nearly two months without a victory at Anfield, Sunday’s defeat of Blackburn was met with a mixture of relief and delight. Amidst all of this – and just as he has reacted rationally to each disappointment this season so far – Roy Hodgson called for calm. “I don’t think we can play a lot better than we did against Blackburn,” he praised his team in the Daily Telegraph. “If people expect us to really play a lot better football than we did for 70 minutes at the start of the Blackburn game they are going to be asking a lot.”
The benchmark for the rest of the season set, all that is now expected of Hodgson’s troops is to replicate that performance to extricate themselves from the danger they presently find themselves in.
‘Pool in for Young.
Liverpool’s Official Website reports that media speculation that Ashley Young is in Roy Hodgson’s sights with cash generated by the club’s new owners. A £30 million budget is set to be handed to him in January in order to increase the depth and quality of what looks at the moment to be a thin squad. Young is believed to be valued by Aston Villa at £14 million – a price tag which would not put Hodgson off from making a bid. The potential sticking point ironically comes in the name of a former Liverpool manager. Gerrard Houllier has been impressed by the winger’s form since taking over at Villa and hopes to hang on to his asset.