Capello: Don't be like Gerrard!
Fabio Capello aimed a sideswipe at Steven Gerrard’s lack of discipline when giving advice to Fiorentina’s Riccardo Montolivo.
The Liverpool midfielder was recently charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray after an alleged nightclub brawl.
Gerrard has often been held up as a positive example for young Italian players to follow, while Montolivo has singled him out as an idol.
“Let’s hope he doesn’t want to imitate Gerrard in every way, especially with regards to recent behaviour,” said England manager Capello on firenzeviola.it.
It is still unclear whether Capello will exclude Gerrard from internationals until the legal situation is sorted out, but Liverpool have rushed to defend their star player.
Capello was speaking to Montolivo when he visited Fiorentina’s winter training camp in Marbella yesterday afternoon.
“I was happy to be here and I always have fun chatting with [Cesare] Prandelli about football. Fiorentina are a great squad.
“I won’t talk about tactics because it doesn’t seem appropriate for me to do so, but I can only say that what I saw here was really very interesting.”
Capello also had a special word for Adrian Mutu, who had worked with the Coach when they were both at Juventus.
“He is doing extremely well and represents a crucial figure for this team.”
Content Benitez not planning on transfer action
January 6, 2009
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez believes he can win the Premier League title with the players he has got.
It has become clear that the Anfield chief is highly unlikely to delve into the transfer market this month, with very little prospect of any of his first-team squad stars leaving the club.
There is a very obvious desire at the club not to rock the boat at any level with Liverpool top of the table and aiming for their first title in 19 years.
Sources at the club confirm that Benitez has made no move to re-sign Emile Heskey, despite constant speculation that the England international was on his way back to Merseyside.
And Liverpool have Fernando Torres, Martin Skrtel, Fabio Aurelio and Alvaro Arbeloa all back from injury to boost the side in the final 18 league games of the season.
Benitez said: ''We finished 2008 very well, we played with style and have scored a lot of goals. I am very pleased and happy with the situation and hope it will be the same in the new year.
''We have other players apart from Torres coming back from injury. There is Skrtel, Aurelio and Arbeloa all fit now. It will be like signing three new players.
''We do not need to go into the transfer market, we are certainly not desperate to do so.
''If we find we need something we will try, but it is always hard in this window and very expensive.
''But we are in a good position and I am happy to use the players we have now plus the ones returning from injury.''
The only departure is likely to be out-of-favour Jermaine Pennant, whose contract expires at the end of the season. And if a deal cannot be secured, Benitez will send the winger out on loan.
Benitez will rebuff any attempts by AC Milan to sign defender Daniel Agger, while Andreas Dossena, who would have been a possible departure, is now needed as back-up for Aurelio at left-back.
That is because Liverpool will lose impressive Argentinian youngster Emiliano Insua until February 8 due to the South American Under-20 Championships.
Insua has made a big impact in recent weeks, and the international call-up could not have come at a worse time for him.
He has recently broken into Benitez's first team and done well in four successive matches. But his enforced international departure has been offset by the return from injury of Aurelio.
One player, 17-year-old striker Marvin Pourie, is leaving the club in a £50,000 switch to Schalke. Pourie joined Liverpool's academy 18 months ago from Borussia Dortmund but has not made the breakthrough expected.
With things going well on the pitch, the club's controversial American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett have opted for a low profile to maintain the club's concentration on their title bid.
The widely-touted six-month extension to their £350m of loans has also been confirmed.
That move was always expected, with the club more than capable of meeting the interest payments. And the last thing Liverpool need now, after their experiences of last season, is a high-profile battle for control of the club.
The Americans will have to repay the £350m or sell up in the summer, and by then they hope for an easing of the credit crunch which will encourage potential buyers.
If Liverpool are champions, that will further help their cause.
Champions League qualification for next season should also by then have been assured. With a 10-point lead over fifth-placed Arsenal at present, it is a decent bet that Liverpool will finish in the top four again, and maintain the flow of UEFA cash into the Anfield coffers.
The date of Liverpool's FA Cup fourth-round home tie with Everton has been set for Sunday, January 24 - kick off 4pm - with the league visit to Wigan the following week moved from Tuesday to Wednesday, January 28.
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