September 20

Rodgers bench warning for Balotelli

first_img The Italy international has scored just twice in 15 appearances since his £16million summer move from AC Milan but has yet to find the net in the Premier League. With the injured Daniel Sturridge not set to return from a thigh injury for a few weeks, Raheem Sterling has been pressed into action as a central forward and although Balotelli is available again after a ban for posting a racist and anti-semitic image on social media, the best he can hope for is a place on the bench at Burnley on Boxing Day. Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli returns from suspension with a warning he may have to get used to life on the bench at Anfield. “It is something he will have to (get used to),” said Rodgers “If the team needs him from the bench then it is something he will need to become adjusted to – that is the same for every single player, not just him. “When called upon, whether starting or off the bench, you ask your players to be ready.” Performances this season have shown Balotelli is not comfortable in the lone striker role, and he does not possess the pace and intensity which Sterling and Sturridge both have when it comes to pressurising opponents on the ball. That is something which has been one of the positives in their last three performances and was evident throughout their run to second place in the league last season. “We’ve seen it isn’t really his game,” added Rodgers. “Working with Mario, we see he is someone who is better in and around the box so that level of intensity and pressing isn’t part of his game. “But you try to get the best out of the players you have and the qualities you have. That is something we will focus on. “The most important thing is Mario is available after his ban. It adds another player to our squad and another player who is available, especially with (the suspended) Fabio Borini unavailable.” A forward line of Sterling, Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho harried the life out of Arsenal in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Anfield, and Rodgers believes his recent switch to 3-4-3 has helped restore something which has been lacking all season. “We are at our best when our game is aggressive,” he said. “We have had to adapt in terms of how we have played because of the personnel and it has taken the period after the Crystal Palace game (when they lost four in a row in November) when we needed to steady the ship with some solid performances. “I have always known longer-term it wouldn’t take us where we wanted to go and certainly it wouldn’t have taken us to nearly winning the league, so it was trying to find a solution in terms of regaining that intensity and tempo. “That real aggressive pressure at the top end of the field is key for us, it gives us the platform to dominate the ball. “We haven’t stumbled across a system, a lot of hours have gone into looking how we maximise the players we have and in the last three games in terms of performances we have been much closer and hopefully it will continue in that vein.” Press Associationlast_img read more

December 25


first_imgST Eunan’s College gaelic footballers have set up an all-Donegal final for this year’s MacLarnon Cup.The Letterkenny lads put on a masterful display in Garvaghey, Co Tyrone, tonight to ease past Belfast’s St Malachy’s College in the semi-final of the tournament.It sets up a mouth-watering final clash with Colaisti Inis Eoghain who won their semi-final last week. St Eunan’s dominated right through the game, winning 4-10 to 0-05 with goals from David Tyrell, Niall O’Donnell, Dara McDaid and Rory Carr.Fifteen-year-old corner forward O’Donnell was our man of the match, with a superb display from McDaid. HISTORY MAKERS AS ST EUNAN’S COLLEGE SET UP ALL-DONEGAL MacLARNON CUP FINAL was last modified: February 26th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:MacLarnon CupSaint Eunan’s CollegeSt Malachy’s College Belfastlast_img read more