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Steven Gerrard: Signs are good for new season

Steven Gerrard: Signs are good for new season

Jul 19 2007

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post

Steven Gerrard

CONFIDENT Steven Gerrard has warned title favourites Manchester United and Chelsea that new-look Liverpool will be “all over” them this season.

Supporters were given a first glimpse of Rafael Benitez’s Anfield revolution on Tuesday night when Fernando Torres, Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun all made their bows during the 3-2 friendly win over Werder Bremen.

The trio are at the heart of a summer spending spree that has exceeded £40m as Benitez aims to close the 21-point gap on champions United. And Gerrard reckons Liverpool are in a much better position to launch a genuine title challenge over the next 10 months.

“I’ve watched what the other teams are doing in the market and they’re all strengthening,” said the Anfield skipper. “But all those teams will be looking at us and thinking we are going to be all over them this season.

“I’m not going to start making any unnecessary predictions about what’s going to happen this season, and the last thing any of us need to do is build hopes up too much.

“But without doubt, if we all perform to our level each week, we have the players to push United and Chelsea all the way.

“We are looking in great shape, not only going into this season but for the next few years. I thought going away for the summer that we were three or four players away from where we need to be. "We are in a great place to challenge United and Chelsea and I hope if we get things right from the beginning we can beat them to the big prizes this year." Gerrard says the fact Liverpool have, unlike recent years, done much of their major transfer business long before the start of the season will allow them to begin strongly. "Previous years have shown how important it is to sort everything out early, because it’s not easy for new players if they’re arriving just before the deadline," he added. "It makes it harder to settle. It’s important we get off to a good start and that’s going to be a lot easier if we have everyone here as soon as possible. "I’ve liked the way we’ve done business this summer. We’ve got the likes of Voronin, Torres, Babel and Benayoun coming in to do the business then players like Leiva, Leta and Nikolay Mihaylov who add depth and put pressure on the established players." And Gerrard has reiterated his belief that Torres can prove a major success in the Premier League. "When we sign a striker I look at the defensive pairings of United and Chelsea and ask if we’ve signed a player who is going to cause them all sorts of problems," said the skipper. "I did it with Torres and ended up with a smile on my face because I don’t think anyone will enjoy playing against him." Gerrard also dismissed any notion of a hangover from last season’s Champions League final defeat against AC Milan and insists Liverpool are raring to challenge for silverware on all four fronts. "We go into it brimming with confidence," he said. "Someone asked if Athens might knock us out of our stride this year, coping with the disappointment and that, but it’s not going to happen. "It’s gone, that defeat is for historians and Milan fans. It means nothing to us, even though it broke our hearts at the time. "It’s all about Moscow , the Premier League title, the FA Cup and the League Cup - and we start the season with our eyes on them all."


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