Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 4th 2014 Contents A53
May 4, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Liverpool manager Brendan
Rodgers has confirmed that
Steven Gerrard will be handed
a contract extension at Anfield
The Liverpool skipper, who
turns 34 later this month, has 12-
months left on his current deal
but the Anfield outfit are set to
extend that by another season.
Gerrard has had an outstanding
campaign for Rodgers and Liv-
erpool, operating in a more defen-
And Rodgers is under no illu-
sions that Gerrard deserves to
have a new deal.
"Steven will be one we look to
get a contract to in the summer,"
Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.
"With a year to go, it s some-
thing we will address.
"I believe Steven will play
beyond 2015. He is a player who
has really shown his qualities this
Bet now on all the weekend s
"Come the summer, he will
still only be 34. Looking towards
the future, I still think he s going
to be a key part of our squad.
"He has dropped into a new
position and played it seamlessly.
His intelligence in the game is
second to none. He is improving
all the time.
"It s one where he has been
brilliant for me as a captain and
as a player this season and I
would like that to continue.
"Most clubs, especially bigger
clubs, recognise now that once a
player gets over a certain age you
have to look at a contract s dura-
"But for me Steven still has so
much to offer and I really want
him beside me here working on
Rodgers says Gerrard will get
over the slip in last week s clash
with Chelsea, which enabled
Demba Ba to open the scoring in
their 2-0 win at Anfield - a result
which put the destination of the
title back into the hands of Man-
"Everyone had empathy for
Steven," Rodgers said.
"The mistake obviously
changed the course of the game
and he was just unfortunate.
"Steven was hurting like we all
were. Steven s quest is not for
himself, it s more about the team
and doing it for the supporters.
"This is a player who has
picked himself up after disap-
pointments many times over his
career here at Liverpool and he
will do it again.
"He has carried this club
throughout his career.
"He s a real good man and I
have just reinforced to Steven this
week what an influential player
he is for our team.
"There is no blame attached
to him because he has been
instrumental in where we are to
this day and he will continue to
be in the coming years.
"Steven has been brilliant on
the training field this week. He
has narrowed his focus like the
team has and now we re looking
to playing Crystal Palace."
Arsene Wenger expects the
transfer market to heat up after
the World Cup but maintains
Arsenal do not need a "massive"
influx of fresh talent.
The Gunners host West Brom on
Sunday looking to cement their
place in the Barclays Premier
League top four ahead of Everton,
who tackle Manchester City on Sat-
urday, in the quest to secure a
Champions League play-off berth.
Wenger, who has yet to formally
agree the offer of a contract exten-
sion, feels the FA Cup finalists can
bridge the gap to sustain their
championship challenge next sea-
son, but as always claims it will not
be just about adding numbers.
"It will be busy, but the main
thing for us will be to keep the sta-
bility because we feel we are close
(to the title), we want to add some-
thing that makes us even stronger,
but number-wise it will not be
massive", said Wenger.
"At the moment I have people
around me who start to look.
"From my experience the World
Cup years have always been very
quiet until the end of the World
Cup, with no players reachable.
"Everybody is focused in the
country on their national team and
there is not a lot happening, people
are away so I believe this year again
you will have to wait until July 15
to start going."
Arsenal will not be looking to let
anyone leave, with the club still
hopeful over the new terms for the
likes of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski
and full-back Bacary Sagna.
German forward Lukas Podolski
has been suggested as one player
possibly set for a summer move
away amid suggestions of him being
frustrated by being utilised on the
left side of attack.
"We have only two players who
are out of contract, all the rest need
our agreement and they have not
got it yet," Wenger said.
The Arsenal manager says Podol-
ski is very much a part of future
"Podolski has been out for four
months (with injury) and it has
taken him a while to get back to
the rhythm of the games again, but
he is a very efficient player with
the number of goals he has scored
and the number of assists," said
"He can play as a second striker
hanging behind, but he is not a guy
who likes contact up front because
he likes to run in behind and get
the ball to feet.
"Once he gets in the box, and he
has a chance to score, he is the one
you want to have the ball because
he is very accurate, very quick, has
a short backlift and is a quick, fan-
"That is why everyone says, Yes
he is a striker , but when he plays
completely up front you don t feel
he enjoys it. He likes to come to
the ball and always come deep.
"He does not agree and certainly
thinks he is a striker, but he is a
striker with somebody else who is
a striker as well and has different
qualities than he has."
Arsenal have historically left it
late to secure a top-four finish, and
this year will see the added pressure
of focus switching to the FA Cup
final against Hull on May 17 and
the quest to end nine years without
"We are always in the heat until
the last minute of the season and
it will be the same this time because
we are in the FA Cup final," Wenger
"The earlier we do the job, the
better it is. Let s hope we can do
it over the weekend.
"However, fourth place doesn t
guarantee that you play in the
Champions League. You first have
to go through the qualifier and that
is always difficult.
"But that is the target at the
moment and we want to do it as
quickly as possible."
Wenger rules out Gunners spree
Brendan Rodgers: Delighted with his skipper Steven Gerrard
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