CLOSE TO LEAVING

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel came extremely close to leaving the club last January after falling out of favour with Brendan Rodgers. He rarely featured in the second half of the season, while the arrival of Kolo Toure once again threatened to push him on the sidelines.

The Slovakian defender, though, has been a revelation for Liverpool. He has been a regular first choice centre back for the club even as Rodgers has been changing personnel at the back. He has so far featured in every single match for the club this campaign. Rodgers has stated that the player has not proved him wrong, but he has proved that his judgement was correct.

SUAREZ NETS FOUR

Liverpool claimed their 8th triumph of this season with a brilliant performance from Luis Suarez as he scored 4 goals and provided the assist for the last goal as his team destroyed Everton with a scoreboard that displayed 5-1 when they battled it out against Norwich City.

Suarez became the top goal-scorer of the Premier League as his total tally so far in this season increases to 13 goals with Sergio Aguero coming close behind only 2 goals behind the Uruguayan forward.

After the match concluded, Brendan Rodgers had nothing but praise for his player.

“I haven’t seen many performances like that,” said Rodgers. “Just sheer brilliance, that was.

RUMOURS

There were a lot of rumours surrounding the future of defender Martin Skrtel at Liverpool. He apparently fell out with manager Brendan Rodgers after the January transfer window of last year.

He played very little football in the second half of last campaign and was widely expected to leave the club in the summer. However, he has stayed at Merseyside much too many be surprised. Even though the club signed a number of defenders like Sakho, who will be potential competition for Skrtel, the defender has said that he will now remain at Anfield and fight for his place.

SKRTEL STAYING?

After the arrival of defender Kolo Toure from Manchester city on a free transfer, there has been a lot of speculation about the future of defender Martin Skrtel at the club. The Slovakian defender played very little football in the second half of the season.

It has been heavily rumoured that Skrtel has fallen out with manager Brendan Rodgers, and he is thought to be on his way out of the club. The defender had been linked with a move to Napoli in the last few weeks, but no official offer has materialised so far. A move to Napoli will reunite him with former manager Rafa Benitez, who was responsible for bringing him to Anfield.

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SKRTEL WANTS TO STAY

The future of Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has been under a huge cloud of doubt in recent months. He has fallen out of favour with manager Brendan Rodgers, which saw him be utilised very sparingly in the second half of last season.

Skrtel found it extremely hard to dislodge the 35-year-old Jamie Carragher from the first team despite being much younger than the former Liverpool youth team player. As a result, it has been heavily rumoured that Skrtel would consider a move away from Anfield in order to get regular first-team football ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Skrtel was signed by former manager Rafa Benitez, who has recently taken over at Napoli after his short stint in England with Chelsea. This has increased the suggestions that Skrtel may be reunited with his former manager at Napoli, but his agent has rejected the possibility of that deal becoming a reality. One of the major points that will prevent Skrtel from joining Napoli will be the finances of the Italian club, which are in a state that will not allow them to afford a player like Skrtel.
Despite this, Skrtel's agent has said that there are several offers from other clubs in countries like Germany and Spain, and his client would consider them patiently since there is a lot of time.

"Martin to move away from Liverpool? I specifically say that Skrtel has never said he wants to go away, then it depends on the Liverpool market because everything could change. It's true that the last two seasons were difficult but in football it can happen. Napoli? I think they haven't the financial possibilities to take him. Liverpool has not decided a price because they don't intend to sell the player. Anyway, I don't think that Napoli can afford his wage," said Skrtel's agent.

SKRTEL BACKS STURRIDGE

Liverpool's January acquisition Daniel Sturridge is close to returning to first-team action, which is a good thing for the club according to the defender Martin Skrtel. The England international was signed from Chelsea for around £ 12 million in the summer.

He has already been a major influence on the team, as he has been able to form an incredible partnership with Luis Suarez almost immediately. However, he was recently absent for the match against West Brom due to an injury problem, but he is expected to be back for the match against Swansea during the weekend.

The 2-0 home defeat has made it imperative that Liverpool with a victory against Swansea. Liverpool also managed to lose the Europa league match against Zenit St Petersburg as well. As a result, there is real pressure on the team to get back to winning ways.

The return of Sturridge will be a major boost to the team according to Skrtel. The 23-year-old has already scored just five matches for Liverpool. He has also assisted in numerous goals for the team as well. Skrtel has recalled this fact by saying that the attacking strength of the team improves greatly when Sturridge is in the team. Suarez, Gerrard, and Sturridge are the main attacking threats of the team.

"I think in the games Daniel has started, he has shown his skills, his quality and his strengths. He's proved he can help the team and so I hope he will be back in the side for Swansea. With him our attacking strength is much higher. You can see that in the games he's played so far. He links with Luis Suarez and with Steven Gerrard and he is a real danger for every defender he faces. He will help us to get the three points," said Skrtel.

PERFECT TIMING

The Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has said that he scored his eighth Liverpool goal at just the perfect time. Martin Skrtel has not been prolific for Liverpool during his six years at the club since arriving in 2006.

He has scored only seven goals during his time at Anfield, but he recently opened the scoring in the match against Fulham. It was only his eighth Liverpool goal, but it was far more significant according to the defender. The opening goal helped the club settle in the match, which laid the foundation for a 4-0 victory over the London club.

As a result of this victory, Liverpool have reignited their race for the fourth position in the table, while it looked like the club would have had to concede the fourth position after the 3-1 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in the previous match. This comfortable victory has also given Liverpool tremendous amount of confidence going into the Christmas period according to Skrtel. Skrtel has also said that this was the best goal of his Liverpool career and it could not have come at a much better time.

The Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is yet to get criticism from the fans and the owners, but if results do not improve, then he is likely to get a lot of pressure.
“It was the first time I’ve scored a goal like that. The first goal is always important because most of the teams coming to Anfield want to defend and stay back, then try to counter-attack. We got it today and the game was going easily – that was the key. In a lot of games we have played well and created chances, but couldn’t take them. I’m glad we scored more than one today," said Skrtel. Liverpool move into the eighth position as a result of the victory.

SKRTEL LIKES DEFENDING

The Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has said that he would rather stop Fernando Torres from scoring rather than score himself. The Slovakian defender has always been one of the main goal threats for the international team from corner kicks.

However, he has managed just six goals since moving to the club in 2006. He is not worried about the bad record he has in front of goal, but is looking to stop the Chelsea striker Fernando Torres from scoring when the two teams meet each other this weekend. Liverpool will be travelling to Stamford Bridge looking to continue the good run of form that they have had against Chelsea in recent seasons.

The team has been beaten only two occasions in the last 11 meetings between the two teams. Chelsea come on the back of two disappointing matches against Manchester United and Swansea, which was seen them surrender a four-point advantage at the top of the table. They are now in the second position as a result of the draw against Chelsea and they will be keen to return to winning ways. Torres has not been setting the world on fire, but he has scored seven goals this season. As a result, Skrtel thinks that he is a major threat whether he scores or not.

“We have to look after him because even if he isn’t scoring he is still dangerous. I haven’t seen Chelsea play too many times this season but from what I’ve heard his performances are better than last season. Would I prefer to score or stop Fernando scoring? Definitely stop him because as a defender the main job on the pitch is to stop the striker scoring and try to keep a clean sheet,” said Skrtel ahead of the match. Liverpool are in desperate need of three points at the moment.

RODGERS DEFENDS SKRTEL

The manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers, has defended the centre back Martin Skrtel and said that he shouldn’t be criticized much for his mistake in the match against Manchester City.

Every player makes mistakes on the field. Unfortunately, it was the mistake which helped the opposing team to score a goal. But, whatever happened is history now and the team should look forward to the further matches.

Liverpool was ahead by 2-1 in the match against Manchester City till the 80th minute. Brendan Rodgers’ team was cruising towards a victory, but, suddenly, Skrtel did something which changed the whole complexion of the game. He passed the ball to the goalkeeper Pepe Reina, but, the City striker Carlos Tevez, didn’t let the ball reach Reina and deflected Skrtel’s pass into the goal post with a terrific shot.

The scores got levelled with Tevez’s goal. Neither of the two teams managed to score another goal in the remaining time and the match ended in a draw. As per Rodgers, it was disappointing that the team wasn’t able to get all the three points, but, there is no point blaming Skrtel for that pass.

Rather than criticizing Skrtel, people should praise Tevez who was quite quick to latch on that opportunity.
Skrtel played brilliantly against Liverpool except that mistake in the 80th minute. He scored the first goal for Liverpool in the 34th minute of the match with a brilliant header.

However, Yaya Toure brought City back into the match by scoring the leveller in the 63rd minute. Just after a few minutes, Liverpool earned a free kick and Luis Suarez easily converted that free kick into a goal to take Liverpool ahead in the match again. But, due to Skrtel’s mistake and Tevez’s brilliance, City was able to equalize the scores in the 80th minute and didn’t let Liverpool win the match. Liverpool will play its next match against Hearts.

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