Gerrard back in the groove

Gerrard missed the last two and a half months of the season after a

groin operation in March but did some work away from the main group

as he continued his rehabilitation. Record signing Carroll

struggled for fitness after arriving in January from Newcastle with

a thigh problem but he was involved with the rest of the squad.

Defender Martin Kelly, whose season was ended by a hamstring in

February, was also involved as was Daniel Agger, who was sidelined

with a knee injury from early April. Also training was Alberto

Aquilani, back at the club after a year out on loan at Juventus.

The Serie A club did not take up their option to sign the Italy

international and although he has returned to Merseyside he is

thought to be one of a number of players manager Kenny Dalglish is

looking to offload to free up space on the wage bill to bring in

more new signings. Also believed to be on that list are Christian

Poulsen and Joe Cole and they too were put through their paces in

the sunshine at Melwood. Vice-captain Jamie Carragher is keen to

pick up where last season left off. “We’ve had longer than usual

off this year and I want to get started now,” he said. “It’s a new

start and there’s a new sense of optimism. It’s going to be great

to have most of the players around from the start of pre-season.

“Our form in the second half of last season was very good and we

need to ensure we prepare well and get off to a decent start this

season. “That will make a big difference. It can be difficult with

the preparations when everyone comes back in dribs and drabs. “It’s

good for the manager to have everyone around and it means after a

decent pre-season we should be ready to start the season. “It will

be great to see all the lads again and I’m sure there will be a few

new faces coming in before the transfer window closes.” New

£16million signing Jordan Henderson was absent as he was given

extended leave having been involved with England Under-21s at the

European Championships last month. However, one new arrival out on

the training ground was coach Steve Keen, appointed to the backroom

staff yesterday, getting up to speed with manager Dalglish and

first team coach Steve Clarke with director of football Damien

Comolli also watching from the sidelines. “I feel really

privileged, proud and honoured to be here and to be part of such a

fantastic club,” Keen told “In my eyes Liverpool

are one of the greatest clubs in the world so I am really quite

humbled to be here. “I was back coaching at West Ham for nine years

and was a player at West Ham for nine years as well, so they have

been a big part of my life but when I got the call from Liverpool I

thought the timing was perfect for me. “To come here and be a part

of what Kenny, Steve Clarke, Damien and the owners are looking to

do in taking the club forward is very exciting. “I know Steve very

well from my West Ham days and learnt a lot from him when he was

assistant manager to Gianfranco Zola. “He’s very meticulous with

his planning, he’s a fantastic coach and a really nice person to

work with. “I want to come in here and to contribute to us winning

trophies for the supporters. “We’ve a lot of work to do between now

and the first match of the season against Sunderland but for me,

this is where I want to be. “I want to be out training and to help

players improve, whether they’re 16, 17 or 18 or whether they’re

33. I want to get the best out of everyone.” Liverpool have also

appointed Andrew Parkinson to become the club’s first operations

director from September 5. Parkinson, currently the general manager

for Bluewater, one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure

destinations, will be responsible for customer services, ticketing,

hospitality and stadium operations.