Liverpool's Suarez celebrates scoring a goal against Norwich during their English Premier League soccer match at Anfield in Liverpool

Luis Suarez signs new long-term deal at Liverpool


The news Liverpool fans have been dreaming of has finally arrived, as star striker Luis Suarez has committed his long-term future to Liverpool Football Club.

Talk about an early Christmas present…

Suarez, 26, has been in sensational form since returning to action earlier this season and has scored 17 goals in 11 Premier League games so far in 2013-14. On Friday, Liverpool released a statement on their website confirming their leading light will now shine brightly for many years to come at Anfield.

This is what Liverpool’s Uruguayan star had to say about his new deal with the Reds.

“I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term,” Suarez said. “We have some great players and the team is growing and improving all the time. I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible.”

Many believed that Suarez would leave Anfield after a sumptuous campaign thus far, as he missed the opening six games after his 10-game ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic carried over to the start of this season. However Suarez has returned in blistering form — two goals against Spurs, West Ham and Fulham, four against Norwich and a hat trick against West Brom has seen him score 14 times in his last eight PL games — to keep Liverpool’s strong start going and a win over Cardiff on Saturday will see the Reds go top of the table, ahead of Arsenal and Chelsea’s clash on Monday.

(MORE: Latest Premier League Standings)

Suarez angered many of Liverpool’s fans over the summer when he stated he wanted to leave the club, but approaches from Arsenal, amongst others, were turned down as Suarez has now made a massive U-turn and decided to commit himself to Liverpool.

“Without doubt the backing I have received from the Liverpool fans has influenced my decision,” Suarez said. “I am so proud to represent them and go out to do my best for them every time I pull on the shirt.”

It’s safe to say Liverpool’s push for not only a place in the top four this season but challenging for the title, has been handed a timely boost ahead of the festive period as the Premier League’s leading scorer has re-upped for several seasons.

With Suarez leading the way, anything is possible. And the diminutive forward who is among the worlds best strikers right now, will be sticking around at Liverpool for the foreseeable future and harass opposition defenses at Anfield for many years to come.

That will be music to the ears of Liverpool’s millions of fans across the planet.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

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Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.