Tag Archives: tweaks

Roger Federer says he does not lack ambition despite taking two months off

Don't view my break as a lack of ambition… I still want to win more titles, warns Federer

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

18:46 GMT, 12 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:46 GMT, 12 March 2013

Roger Federer’s back is creaking again and soon he will be taking nearly two months off, but the Wimbledon champion insists that neither of these factors should be seen as his ambition waning for more titles.

Once he is finished at this week’s $10 million BNP Paribas Open Federer will retreat until May for practice and family time, and byhis return he is unlikely to still be world No 2.

Andy Murray, who earlier this morning was due to face Taipei’s Yen Hsun Lu in the third round, is closing and could usurp the great Swiss if he were to significantly outperform him at this first Masters event of the season.

Fully focused: Roger Federer says he does not lack ambition

Fully focused: Roger Federer says he does not lack ambition

Federer concedes that the forthcoming break will not help his ranking in the short term but believes it will make him more dangerous for the summer’s three Grand Slams: 'If you play well then you can manage your schedule, but with the rankings you do need to win the tournaments you actually play. I know when I’m playing well I always have a shot.

'My schedule is not in set in stone, maybe if I lost early here or won the tournament it could change my mindset but I doubt it because what I want to do is practise hard. I’m really eager for that because I haven’t been able to practise as much as I would have liked in the last two years.

Taking a break: Federer is set to take two months off

Taking a break: Federer is set to take two months off

'This year the priority is a big build up then coming back really strong for the Masters events in Madrid and Rome before Roland Garros.'

Federer’s back suffered one of its periodic tweaks during his third round victory over Ivan Dodig, but he feels he will be fine to face compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka today.

Victory in that could give him a much-anticipated clash with Rafael Nadal, but first the Spaniard has to overcome the season’s most improved player in Ernests Gulbis.

The colourful Latvian is very talented but has revelled in being an international playboy for the past three years. Now pledging to at least cut down on the drinking, smoking and carousing he has got himself fitter, and the result has been a 12-match winning streak.

Jamie Redknapp"s weekend watch: Carlos Tevez joins the 100 club

Weekend watch: Tevez joins the 100 club

|

UPDATED:

21:57 GMT, 26 August 2012

Carlos happy and focused

So that's 100 goals for Carlos Tevez in English football . . . and it's been some journey. You are never quite sure how long he will be hanging around, but right now he looks settled at City and his goal on Sunday earned them a point they hardly deserved. Tevez seems focused and happy and said so in a Sky interview. Let's hope it lasts.

Hot shot: Carlos Tevez scores against Liverpool

Hot shot: Carlos Tevez scores against Liverpool

Allen the pass master

I picked out Joe Allen as one of my players to watch because he plays in my old position and I like the habit he has of giving the ball to a team-mate. Yesterday we saw how he slides the ball in to a red shirt. The weight he puts on a pass is delightful and the Liverpool fans will grow to love him. He's their kind of player.

Laudrup lording it

I like what Michael Laudrup is doing
at Swansea. He's showing that a new manager doesn't need to go in with a
bulldozer when joining a new club. He has made subtle changes, a few
tweaks and has applied the old adage: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.
It's a mature approach and the Dane has two wins and a plus-eight goal
difference.

Impressive start: Swansea boss Michael Laudrup

Impressive start: Swansea boss Michael Laudrup

Dyer delight

One of the delights of Swansea's start has been the impressive form of Nathan Dyer. I wonder if he will get an England call-up when the squad is named on Thursday. His intelligent runs off the ball show that he is more than just a speed man. He's a smashing lad too and deserves his recognition. He had too much for West Ham.

Back at home

There
has been a lot written about Marouane Fellaini in Everton's impressive
start, but I want to recognise the role of Steven Pienaar. That was a
delightful goal he scored at Aston Villa and shows the confidence he has
at Everton, where he has freedom to play as their main man after
injuries impacted on his time at Spurs.

Freedom: Everton's Steven Pienaar

Freedom: Everton's Steven Pienaar

Villa chiller

Aston Villa are in for a difficult season. They have been in decline for years and it shows that you need more than a change of manager to have a change in fortune. Who will create and score their goals Since Darren Bent was injured last February, only 10 goals have been scored. Now he's back, they need to give him more ammunition.

Star man: Prince Ince

Ian
Holloway will be a nervous man before the window closes. His main
goalscorer Matt Phillips remains a target, but winger Thomas Ince has a
growing reputation too. Four goals in three games has taken Blackpool
top of the Championship and young Ince was involved in five of their six
against Ipswich. He can play, too.

Tasty: Thomas Ince of Blackpool

Tasty: Blackpool's Tom Ince

Two good deals

I do like the business carried out by Martin O'Neill in recruiting Adam Johnson and Steven Fletcher for Sunderland. They might be two of the smartest deals in the transfer window. O'Neill has always liked a target man (Chris Sutton and John Hartson were excellent at Celtic) and Johnson can walk past defenders.

Jose Enrique urges new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers to follow Spanish formula for success

Enrique urges new Liverpool boss Rodgers to follow the Spanish formula for success

|

UPDATED:

17:42 GMT, 12 July 2012

Defender Jose Enrique believes Liverpool can play the Spain way under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Reds boss has consistently
stressed his style is not to copy other teams but develop a way to win
which suits the players he has while also leaning heavily on possession
football.

New regime: Jose Enrique has enjoyed the ball work

New regime: Jose Enrique has enjoyed the ball work

But Spaniard Enrique, who still harbours ambitions to play for his national side, feels they can emulate the tactics of Vincente del Bosque's two-time European champions and World Cup winners.

'For me it is the best way to play football, like Spain did, that's why they are the best at the moment,' he said.

'With the manager we play with the ball a lot and we are really happy with him.

'I'm really impressed. I know how he likes to play because we played against Swansea last year and I've seen them many times.

'He has only had a week with us but the training has been great, it is all with the ball, what more do you want

'It's really hard, but it's very good. We have good players here to play in this way, and I think this season we can impress.'

On his ambitions of making his international debut for his country Enrique told liverpoolfc.com: 'I know it's really hard now because Jordi Alba played in the Euros and did very well and he has just signed for Barcelona.

'I'm still working to be there in the future. If I can be there, of course it would be a dream, but my job is here to play for Liverpool and there are still many things to do here.'

Euro kings: Jose Enrique believes Liverpool can play the Spain way

Euro kings: Jose Enrique believes Liverpool can play the Spain way

Rodgers has insisted that with a clear strategy in place there need not be radical changes made at Anfield other than a couple of tweaks to the squad.

'It is very important, from the very first day, people know where they are going – they need to have a clear vision,' he said.

'We will put in place a model and system which will hopefully allow us to go forward for many years.

'I live in the real world and it is important you have that sense of the present.

'But as someone who knows what direction we are looking to head that gives me a positive slant because I know where we want to end up.

'The problem is if you don't know where you are going. Of course there will be ups and downs along the way but the unity in the group will be important.'

Rodgers believes his experience at Swansea told him all he needed to know about his methods.

'I arrived and they had scored 40 goals the season before – the third lowest in all four leagues,' he said.

'With a slight structural change, a move offensive game and the introduction of three or four players it totally changed the face of how we played.

'We started on a journey over the next couple of years where we were deemed to be one of the best footballing sides in Europe.

'It is the players you have and hopefully the players you bring in that make the difference.

'It is not this big radical change, it is sometimes an adaptation of what they have done, working on their mind to give them confidence and belief that whatever arena they go to anywhere in the world they can win the game.'

Brendan Rodgers says he"s close to first Liverpool signing

Rodgers closing in on first Liverpool signing but warns he doesn't have war chest

|

UPDATED:

14:30 GMT, 9 July 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits does not have a 'wheelbarrow load' of money to spend in the transfer window but is closing in on his first signing.

However, he has stressed any new arrival will have to have the right character as well as technical ability.

Rodgers, who opted out of the chase for new Spurs midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson as he refused to pay over the odds for the player, said an 'exciting' deal could be completed in the next few days.

Doing some DIY: Brendan Rodgers with the original 'This Is Anfield' sign after it was remounted at Anfield

Doing some DIY: Brendan Rodgers with the original 'This Is Anfield' sign after it was remounted at Anfield

'We don't have a wheelbarrow load of money, there is not the money flying about people think there is,' said the Northern Irishman.

'There certainly won't be as many [signings] as is being labelled out there.

'There have been a whole raft of players being linked and only a few are real targets for us.

'The reality is we have only made three or four enquiries about players and hopefully can close out one deal this week which will be a real exciting one for the club, one the supporters will absolutely love.

'We want to work with the great players we have here and make three or four tweaks in relation to the squad that can help the group.

In the hotseat: Rodgers overseeing one of his first training sessions

In the hotseat: Rodgers overseeing one of his first training sessions

'We want to be competitive in every game and challenging at the top end.”

Rodgers stamped his authority on the job early on when he refused to meet the wage demands of Sigurdsson.

A deal had been agreed with former club Swansea, where Rodgers had worked with the player for the second half of last season, but when Anfield became an option for the Iceland midfielder the financial side changed.

The Reds boss said he was only willing to may the market value and as a result the 22-year-old moved to Tottenham.

That has put down a marker for any new potential signings as Rodgers knows exactly what type of player he wants.

'This is a club which is a way of life, it is not just a club where you turn up for two hours' training and then go away,' added the 39-year-old at a press conference to publicise the club's pre-season tour to the United States for matches against FC Toronto, Roma and – coincidentally – Sigurdsson's new club Tottenham.

Time to get fit: The Liverpool players are put through their paces

Time to get fit: The Liverpool players are put through their paces

'You have to be prepared to come into the culture and philosophy of the club and if you don't then it's not a problem but this is not the right fit for you.

'I want players that are hungry to succeed and want to match the ambitions of how we want to move forward and the reality of that is there are very few players who can match that.

'I don't just want to identify a player and then let them come in at whatever cost.

'One of the things which distorts the reality of football is money.
'I don't see the sense of a player coming in if we have to pay over the odds for him.

'There are many good players out there but not many who have the courage and bravery to play the way we want to.'

Ball work: Lucas Laver trains at Mellwood

Ball work: Lucas Laver trains at Mellwood

Rodgers is still assessing the strength of his squad, made more difficult as some players involved in the European Championships have yet to return, before deciding who stays and who goes.

Striker Andy Carroll has been linked with AC Milan but the Liverpool manager insists there has been no approach.

'He is a very good young player and he will be linked with clubs with them because he is such a good player,' said Rodgers.

'It is something I have spoken to him about [while he is still] on his holidays so he knows exactly where he stands.

'I haven't had anything from AC Milan at all.'

Familiar face: Joe Cole is back training with the Liverpool team

Familiar face: Joe Cole is back training with the Liverpool team

Midfielder Alberto Aquilani, who was on loan at Milan last season having had a temporary spell at Juventus the campaign before, has returned to Merseyside with his future also unclear.

'I've had a good chat with Alberto the other day,' said Rodgers.

'It hasn't really worked out for him as of yet but he has the qualities in terms of technical and tactical ability to play.

'But what's going to be important for every player is that they have the steel and mindset to play.

'It will be very important and that's something I'll find out over the course of pre-season about all the players.'