16 Nov 2012

'He's fighting for his place!' - Rodgers hints at bad news for 'excellent' LFC star...

Liverpool face Wigan Athletic at Anfield this weekend in another crunch Premier League game, and Reds fans will be hoping for a victory after a run of three successive league draws. The good news is that Reds injury victims are on the way back, which is a welcome boost for the whole club, but it looks like Brad Jones could be heading back to bench duty.

In his pre-Wigan press conference today, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Pepe Reina will be available for the Wigan game on Saturday:

"Pepe has been back in training. He was very close to last weekend [at Chelsea]. He made a great commitment to show he's fighting for his place here in the group.

"He was called into the Spanish squad, but stayed here to ensure he was fit and strong - and he's been training all week. He'll be available for the weekend."

When asked about who would start in goal against Wigan, Rodgers didn't answer the question directly, but stated that although Brad Jones had been 'excellent' over the last few, Reina was still the club's 'number one goalkeeper', which suggests he may bring the Spaniard back into the starting line-up soon.

Liverpool legend Steve Nicol is adamant that Jones should keep his place ahead of Reina. He told ESPN:

"I would absolutely play Brad Jones. I think he deserves to play; he’s been solid, and he’s made some good saves, and none of the goals he’s let in have been down to him. When Reina was playing, a lot of the goals were down to him. I wouldn’t touch the goalkeeping situation at all".

I totally agree with this. Jones has done extremely well so far, and there's no need to change things. All goalkeepers concede goals, and it's unrealistic to expect him to keep a clean sheet every game; the good thing is that - unlike Reina - the Aussie 'keeper has not made error after error leading to opposition goals.

Rodgers also confirmed that Lucas Leiva is only a 'couple of weeks away' from a first team return. He said:

"Lucas Leiva will come back into training, which is great news. He has worked tirelessly in his rehabilitation, so he comes back out onto the field in a good moment. He won't be ready to play for the weekend, but certainly over the next couple of weeks he'll be very close."

On the subject of Jonjo Shelvey, Rodgers added:

"Jonjo will be back into training today, so he'll be fine [for the weekend].

Shelvey's return is also good news, and in my view, he should come straight back into the team at the expense of Nuri Sahin, who has made minimal impact over the last few games.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Steve Nicols comments are 100% contradictory to what he said last week about Jones. Last week he called for Jones to be replaced.

  2. I think at least the goal we conceded after a poor punch by Jones is down to him, so Nicol is, in my opinion, wrong when he states that none of the goals conceded is down to Jones. Also Reina's distribution is better than Jones'.

  3. Absolutely agree that Jones should keep his place, he hasn't made any mistakes and his form in last few games has been excellent. He was the biggest reason we got anything from that Chelsea otherwise we would have been hammered.
    Great to see Lucas back, we desperately need him back to his best.

  4. then you must have read news from another steve nicol,coz that comment above is from last week,from he real nicol

  5. I do not understand what you mean.
    The comment from Nicol via espn was reported on this site prior to the Chelsea game.
    The comment from Nicol via espn has been reported on this site prior to the Wigan game
    Comment last week Jones should be dropped
    Comment this week Jones should keep his place.

  6. Agree Jones should keep his place .
    Like to see back 3 Skrtel, Coates, Agger.
    Midfield still a huge problem .
    Allen, Sahin, Shelvey, Suso ,
    not much improvement on last
    season , far too liteweight .
    Shelvey is either not fit or is
    a lazy git . No excuses tomorrow
    3 pts is a must . Plz Brendan no
    Carragher .

  7. Why no carra? He was phenomenal against chelsea and put in one of the best performances in b long time. Also i doubt Agger will play because if has a groin injury so rodgers won't risk him with his previous injury record. Skrtel could also be a doubt if he is still ill.
    i would stick with the system buck has been playing before the chelsea game but maybe Allen could be sacrificed, if hasn't had his best games the last few and maybe watching from the bench for one or two games will prevent another Charlie Adam.

    Back onto topic of the keeper though and as much as i admire pepe, Jones has been fantastic and has really made a claim for pepe to watch his starting place.

    Also auto-spell is a pain in the rump so apologies for any spelling mistakes.

  8. sell pepe to arsenal and buy lloris from spurs,period

  9. That one was down to him, but there are so many down to Reina- so far it's a lose-lose situation... But I think we should give Pepe last chance, we know he can be great, though we didn't see it for a while...

  10. Right. Jones is pretty inexperienced for his age, but has done quite good so for this season. At times his inexperience can be seen. Reina is badly off form for quite a while now. I've been wondering for about two years now what his problem could be. First I thought he wasn't happy at Anfield anymore, but he surely would have asked for a transfer if that was true. Maybe he has lapses in concentration, maybe he is too self-confident. We'll probably never know, but can only hope that he regains the fine form he has shown in the past. As or now, well, Jones should keep his spot on merit. He didn't do much wrong.

  11. I think he is happy here-heard him mentioning Liverpool on spains' celebration(?!?)... Maybe this injury came in right time-now he is not sure about his spot in the starting 11 and will try harder...

  12. Reina gets fit and gets his spot straight back that's really telling him he has been rubbish this season.
    Jones has done well enough to at least keep Reina on the sidelines for a couple more games.
    It really is up to Rodgers to show Reina the pressure is on.

  13. Simple rule. "If not broken, why fix it"?

  14. I would have kept Jones in the side, but I understand Rodgers thinking; Reina was a world class goalkeeper in the not so distant past and long term, getting him confident again would be more beneficial than perservering with Jones (who I don't think is the answer long term). Cech had a big drop in form a few seasons ago but now he is nearly at the level he was at in 2005.

    Also, it is rare to find a goalkeeper who is strong enough to play in the Prem and, at the same time, good with his feet.

  15. jones has been shit on by his rodgers just like andy carroll. sorry mate but this fella coates is a waist of 6 million hes 21 and so slow he should be at his quickest at this age . but he has no pace . should try and recoup the money spent on him