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Raul Meireles


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Really liked his performance on Sunday thought he stood out against the dross of the rest of the team


I will be bold and say I LIKE him - hope he does well here and adds some dynamism to the team. He seems like a nice guy and is keen to fit in with us :hmm:


From the offal


Raul Meireles today revealed how his first taste of Anfield left him in awe - and now he can't wait to run out in front of the Kop as a Liverpool player.


The Portuguese midfielder made his Reds debut as a second-half substitute at Birmingham City on Sunday following his transfer from FC Porto last month and is in contention to feature in Thursday's Europa League encounter with Steaua Bucharest.


Meireles harvested a wealth of Champions League experience while at Porto, but he endured a disappointing night on his first visit to Anfield in November 2007 - though it did leave a lasting impression.


He explained to Liverpoolfc.tv: "I played at Anfield with Porto and I lost 4-1 - but I remember the supporters were great. Everybody in Portugal says the Liverpool fans are the best supporters in England.


"I have also played at Chelsea and Manchester United, but I can say the Liverpool fans are the best. Of course, I am excited about playing at Anfield as a Liverpool player.


"I feel very good (to have played at Birmingham), but I was not happy at the end because it wasn't a victory. But the Premier League is fantastic.


"I am looking forward to playing with Gerrard and Torres. Stevie, for me, is one of the best midfielders in the world and Torres is a fantastic striker. I am excited about playing with them."


Meireles's transfer to Liverpool means the dynamic midfielder will play his football outside of Portugal's second-largest city for the first time in his career having turned out for Boavista and Porto.


He admits it was a difficult decision to uproot from his hometown, but the lure of representing the Reds was too difficult to resist - and he is confident he and his family will have no problem adjusting to their new surroundings.


"When I knew the coach wanted me, I could only say yes because Liverpool are a big club and I am excited to play here," said Meireles.


"It was difficult to leave Porto because they are my team.


"Like Gerrard and Carragher, I had only played in my city, for Boavista and FC Porto. But now it is a new adventure for me and I am happy and excited.


"The players here have helped me to understand the coach because my English is not the best. Lucas, Maxi, Pacheco and Aurelio have helped me most because they speak Portuguese.


"I like the city. I've found a house for myself, my wife and my daughter and the city centre is beautiful.


"It reminds me of my town, Porto. People like music here, which I also enjoy and I like the Beatles. I think I am going to be happy in this city.


"My wife is very happy too and my daughter studied at a British school in Porto. I think she understands the language a little bit, so I don't think she will have problems starting school here.


"My wife has been learning about the history of Liverpool since we came here and I have been reading about the story of the club on the internet - but I want to learn the whole history."


Upon arriving at Anfield, Meireles took possession of the No.4 jersey - despite favouring the No.16 shirt for country, while wearing three for Porto last term.


However, there was significance behind the 27-year-old's decision.


He revealed: "I knew the number No.4 once belonged to Sami Hyypia and the supporters liked him because he was a great player for Liverpool. So I have to be great with this number - and I will try to do what I have to do to be great.


"I want to win (trophies) because in Porto I won a lot and I have many titles. But I want to win titles at Liverpool - and we have a chance because we have the players."


Meireles was deployed in a role just off Fernando Torres when he was introduced into the action at St Andrews on Sunday - but he believes he is capable of operating in any of the three central positions in midfield.


"I like the three positions in midfield and I feel comfortable," he said. "As a player I am a team worker, not a star or an individual player.


"My message (to the fans) is I will work a lot to win titles at this club. All the supporters want to win trophies and I want to help this team - and this team can help me."

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Know it was only Steaua, but was very, very impressed by Mereiles last night and hugely encouraged by what his introduction on a regular basis might mean for the team. 'Box to box' is definitely right.


He looked a balanced midfielder; worked hard yet didn't seem to tire at all, but looked technically extremely good as well. His touch, distribution were class and a key point was he did everything so much quicker and more positively than we've seen from that position recently.


There were numerous times his movement really stood out for me, and I was really encouraged by the prospect of him replacing Lucas or Poulsen and what that will do for us as a team. I watched him receive the ball in the centre of midfield, pass it then take off forwards, just head straight into opposition territory and look up to try to recieve the ball in an attacking area. He would have been moving into Gerrard's territory a lot had he been playing in the hole, and I can see those two hitting it off really well with give and go's through the middle.


Ironically I was desperate to seee Mereiles get subbed after about an hour, because it would have meant he'd have been contending for a start on Sunday. As it is we're almost certain to be treated to another Lucas and Poulsen show which is depressing, because this guy for me has exactly the right attributes to help turn our game around in a positive way. He looks like he can provide the link between the holding midfielder, the wings and the player in the hole and help us move the ball much, much faster from front to back.


I reckon Portuguese players are the most technically gifted in the world; its funny having watched him for Porto and Portugal his technical abililty didn't stand out because they are all so good with the ball, but it stood out a mile last night. Wheras he looked more of a worker with Porto he looked like more of a technical player in our midfield. We really should have tried to sign Lucho as well when he went to Marseilles (was that the same year Xabi went?) those two would just absolutely run the show from the centre of midfield.

Edited by Leo No.8
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He looked a balanced midfielder ... and a key point was he did everything so much quicker and more positively

These are the key points for me..


he looked balanced - he didn't sit but when he was need to help protect the back he was there - he didn't rampage forward all game but when he was needed to lend a hand in the final third he was available.. his movement was intelligent..


in regards to moving it quicker - it's not difficult.. seeing it happen should be second nature but as it doesn't happen that often when you do see it you rave over it! :D ..with Meireles playing it quicker like this, and with Joe Cole, Gerrard, Maxi (who i really like) and Torres it will give us a totally different dimension going forward.. that is what i'd like to see as well - i can understand caution against the Mancs, Arsenal and Chelsea but anyone else we should be going out looking to get those 5 on the ball as much as possible and really going at teams..

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He's got to be one of the first names on the teamsheet surely ?


Looking at the other options deffo


Everytime Lucas and Poulsen will start together a little bit of me will die inside.


To think we had Alonso and Mascherano and to look at what we have now. It sickens me, it really does. We really did have the best midfield in the world 2008. Lucas and Poulsen as a pairing probably are not even in the top 10 midfields in the PL. I can't get my head around it all.

I would have Alonso back over any other CM in the world. I can't bring myself to watch Real, it just annoys me watching how much a beautiful footballer he is.

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Know it was only Steaua, but was very, very impressed by Mereiles last night and hugely encouraged by what his introduction on a regular basis might mean for the team.

I thought it was a mixed bag of a debut, to be honest. He started brightly and then allowed the game to pass him by a fair bit. He looks to have great technique though and hopefully for there is much more to come from him.

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