Sunday, 30 May 2010

Kopstuff 30/5/10 - Reds Ready for South Africa / Carra 'Top Four Priority'

Sunday 30th May.

Which current players and ex-Reds will be on the plane to South Africa? Has Mourinho moved his attentions to Lampard?

The first World Cup games are less than a fortnight away, and several current and former Liverpool players will be hoping to impress against Japan today. Fabio Capello states that he already has twenty of his final twenty-three man squad in mind, and today’s run out hands players their last chance to cement their place. Only Glen Johnson (returning from his groin injury) and ex-Reds keeper David James will start the game, but Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard may see second half action. Former Reds Stephen Warnock, Peter Crouch and Emile Heskey will also be desperate to prove their worth and secure a ticket to South Africa, although for Villa defender Warnock, the game may have come a few days too soon.

Rumour: Our first rumour is not explicitly Liverpool related, but today has been an unusually quiet Sunday in the world of Anfield gossip. Several papers, including the News of the World, are running stories about Jose Mourinho’s expected summer dealings at Real Madrid, with the former Inter man expected to be handed a bank-busting transfer budget. The majority of the tabloids focus on his desire to capture his former Chelsea charge Frank Lampard, a deal which would surely cast further doubt on any proposed move for Steven Gerrard. It has been long suggested that the two are incompatible in the national side, and it would seem unlikely that Mourinho would look to add both players to his squad, especially with the wealth of talent that Madrid already has in the central midfield area. Any move for the Blues midfielder would be dismissed outright by the London club, but the player himself may want to rejoin his former boss, in the knowledge that he has won all he can with Chelsea. Adios, Lumplard!

News: Jamie Carragher took a break from England training to comment on the Reds title chances next season. Carra was not getting carried away in his interview in The People (I’d forgotten that paper existed), maintaining that a top-four finish ‘is the priority’. Liverpool fans may be disappointed, with all the talk last season being of the Premiership crown, but as the defender points out, the Anfield club are being priced out of the transfer market. Liverpool may not have the distraction of the Champions League next season, but money worries may necessitate a decent run in the Europa League. Ironically enough, this could add more games to next season, stretching an already tight squad and harming our chances of breaking back into the top four, never-mind winning that elusive first Premiership trophy.

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