Reds strikers working hard for future

There’s been a slight rumour floating around the club this week that Liverpool are set to make a move for Craig Bellamy in the summer. As unlikely as it seems – the player’s reputation seems a complete contrast to what Liverpool fans would expect from their team’s stars – it does bring a reminder to the existing strikers that their days may be numbered.

Robbie Fowler is trying his hardest to earn a new contract, but it’s not just his performances on the pitch that Rafael Benítez will be looking at before making an offer. Rafa also wants to be sure of Fowler’s fitness, and the player knows all about it. Benítez says there’s no rush to make a decision: “I have been talking with Robbie and I am happy with him. We are not in a hurry and he knows why. We have two clear options, for Robbie to stay or look for another team. We need to decide but he knows our idea and is continuing to work as hard as he can on his fitness. It is not a problem between him and us.”

Rafa says there’s no problem with Robbie’s playing abilities, it’s his fitness more than anything else that is under scrutiny: “He knows that we need to decide in maybe three weeks or a month, and he needs to continue to work hard but we know he is a good finisher and a good player. But we need to know how he will play next season and what level his physical condition will allow him to play at.”

Djibril Cisse and Fernando Morientes have both been under some pressure
this season from those wondering why they haven’t reproduced the form
they’ve shown on the continent before arriving at Anfield. Both have
long-term deals at the club though and unless some decent offers come
in don’t look likely to be leaving. That won’t stop the speculation
though, and both players need to work hard for the remainder of the

One player not linked with a move away is Peter Crouch. Signed for
£7million last summer the England international has earned himself a
place firmly in the hearts of the Reds fans. This doesn’t mean he’s
going to relax though – he says it’s important that he keeps improving:
“You’ve got to keep progressing at a club like Liverpool, no matter how
well you may think you’ve done in the past. You don’t stay at a club
like this unless you try to improve and continue to work on your game,
and that’s what I’ll be doing. That’s the same for all players and I’m
certainly not going to sit back. I’ve got to keep on my toes and push
on and do as well as I can. I want to crack on from here.”

When Crouch arrived at Anfield Liverpool were European Champions, a
title they will lose in May when the new winners lift the trophy in
Paris. The FA Cup is still an option for this season, if Liverpool can
overcome Chelsea in the semi-final, but Crouch wants more next season.
With it being his second season he feels he’ll have much more to prove
to the club: “In many ways I see next season as an even bigger one for
me. I want to do more. I want to be here for a long as possible. This
is a great club and the place where I want to play my football. When
you’re at Liverpool, you’ve got to keep your standards high. We’ve
players here who’ve achieved that over many years, such as Sami Hyypia,
Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard and John Arne Riise. They’re lads
who’ve been performing week in, week out over many years. They’ve set a
benchmark and they’re players I look up to.”

The easy way to criticise Crouch is to have a go at his goal-scoring
record. This is an important aspect of his game but not the only one.
He’s not going to single that out as the only thing he needs to
progress with: “All aspects of my game can be worked on. The manager
never asks us to look at one thing in particular, but is always looking
or us to improve. From my own point of view, I hope I can make
everything about my play better.”