Rabu, 02 Februari 2011

Premier League - Early Doors: Liverpool's new golden boy

Wed, 02 Feb 07:47:00 2011

Luis Suarez is set for his Liverpool debut tonight, but the Uruguayan is certainly no baby-faced golden boy in the Fernando Torres mould.
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Last night Chelsea were denied the use of Fernando Torres and David Luiz as the paperwork on their deadline day moves was yet to be fully done. As we all know, football is a sport famous for its rigorous adherence to red tape and procedure, so it's important everything is done properly.
By Early Doors's hasty calculations - given the fees and lengths of contracts involved - Torres and Luiz missing the trip to Sunderland cost Chelsea somewhere in the region of £140,000. In any event, they won 4-2, so no harm done.
Still, we finally get to see the first of the four priciest deadline day signings in action this evening when Luis Suarez makes his Liverpool debut against Stoke. The Uruguayan is the first of the quartet of players who between them accounted for well over half of the total January transfer spending
Andy Carroll may be Liverpool's new bad-boy-in-chief, but Suarez is certainly no baby-faced golden boy in the Torres mould either.
The 24-year-old is chiefly famous for three things: scoring 111 goals in 159 games for Ajax, getting a seven-match ban for biting an opponent and his goal-line heroism/atrocity during the World Cup quarter-final against Ghana.
He has certainly proven himself to be a strong-minded individual, not predisposed to dishing out apologies. After he sunk his teeth into PSV Eindhoven's Otman Bakkal he said "No, I do not regret what happened. I always keep calm but I didn’t. I’m a little tired," while his infamous reaction to his handball which denied Ghana a place in the last four in South Africa he amazing response was: "The Hand of God now belongs to me. Mine is the real Hand Of God. I made the best save of the tournament."
Makes you wonder if he has ever said sorry for anything in his entire life. ED for one can't wait for his pre-match comments in the build-up to Liverpool's trip to Sunderland on March 20, when Gyan will be one of three Ghanaians he could be up against on Wearside.
So what better place for Suarez to start his career in English football than against Stoke? Not only will he have Andy Wilkinson to try and bite chunks out of as the Potters' left-back does his best to kick lumps out of him, he'll also have plenty of Rory Delap long throws to try and reach with his hands.
Strikers who have smashed in the goals in the Eredivisie have had mixed results upon their moves to the Premier League. For every Ruud van Nistelrooy or Dirk Kuyt (71 goals in 101 league games for Feyenoord, lest we forget) there has been an Afonso Alves or Mateja Kezman, but Suarez is the real deal.
He will certainly get the chance to prove as much in the next few weeks. With Carroll set to be sidelined for at least another month (or about £750,000 worth of matches), and following the sale of Torres and Ryan Babel, Suarez will have David N'Gog as a strike partner for the immediate future.
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A new striker and defender have now rocked up at Stamford Bridge and, as it turns out, Chelsea didn't have to buy a new attacking midfielder. They already had Nicolas Anelka in their ranks.
The French striker played in a deeper role behind Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou in the win at Sunderland, and he pulled more strings back there than Geppetto after downing two cans of Red Bull.
After the match, Carlo Ancelotti gave a hint of how he would accommodate Torres in the future: "I know very well that he is not a goalkeeper, he is not a defender, he is not a midfielder - he is a striker and he will play as a striker.
"He doesn't have a problem to play with Drogba or with another striker. Maybe we will have to play with two strikers together, but that's not a problem. It doesn't change a lot.
"Maybe with a diamond in midfield, our shape doesn't change too much."
With that in mind, is Anelka auditioning for a new role? He's certainly proved adaptable during his time at Chelsea, playing so often out wide in support of Drogba. 
The arrival Torres has the potential to form the world's most devastating front pairing, but it could also herald a new phase in Anelka's career.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I was quite surprised. I went home at 4pm and I went to the pictures to watch The King's Speech. When I came out, I nearly had a stutter as well." - Steve Bruce reveals what he did on transfer deadline day.
DENIAL OF THE DAY: "I was next to Fabregas at half-time and I can't see why David Moyes is furious with him. Fabregas didn't speak to the referee at half-time, I did." - Arsene Wenger refutes Moyes's claims that Cesc Fabregas's haranguing of the referee at half-time in the 2-1 win over Everton should have earned him a red card. Is this the first example of Wenger not hearing something instead of not seeing it?
FOREIGN VIEW: "The Squadra Azzurra reflects the crisis in Italian football. It is no coincidence that the Bundesliga has overtaken Serie A in the five-year rankings for the European cups. You just have to look at the infrastructure. Look at the stadia, the equality in the league and the level of the teams. German football is simply better right now." - Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff lays into Italian football ahead of next week's friendly between the nations in Dortmund. An Azzurri win, anyone? 
COMING UP: We've got team news, video previews and live coverage of six more Premier League games to come this evening. Birmingham City v Manchester City, Bolton Wanderers v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Blackpool v West Ham United, Blackburn Rovers v Tottenham Hotspur, Fulham v Newcastle United and Liverpool v Stoke City will all get the live text commentary treatment, as do Rangers v Hearts in the SPL, Palermo v Juventus in Serie A and Almeria v Barcelona and Real Madrid v Sevilla in the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Not only that, but Jim White and Spanish correspondent Andy mitten will be filing their latest blogs, and we'll be bringing you a special round-up of all the best and worst transfer activity from the other major leagues in Europe.

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