Liverpool FC News: DAVID NGOG is ready to knuckle down and show his thumping strike against Arsenal can be a sign of things to come.
Liverpool’s young French forward got the Reds’ first Premier League goal of the campaign on Sunday when smashing a terrific drive past Manuel Almunia in the 1-1 draw with Arsenal.
Much of the time since the game finished, though, has been spent with people dissecting Almunia’s apparent fallibilities, simply because Ngog was able to beat him at the near post.
That, however, does Ngog a disservice.
When Fernando Torres scored a similar goal against Manchester United last season, the only thing on the agenda was the quality of the strike – and that, in truth, should be the case now.
Yet, for a number of reasons, Ngog does not enjoy the same backing in the stands as Torres and that means his critics are sceptical about whether he will really be able to forge a successful career at Anfield.
But Ngog has faith in his ability and even though there was speculation about him moving away this summer, the Parisian is determined to stick around and show strikes of the quality against Arsenal can become the norm.
“I am happy at Liverpool,” said Ngog. “You don’t know how things change but now I am focused on the club and I’m trying to do my best for Liverpool.
“ I am a striker and I want to score a lot of goals for Liverpool.
“I worked hard for this and so it’s good when it comes off. When Javier (Mascherano) passed the ball to me in the box I couldn’t see so many solutions around me, so I just took a shot and that was that.”
There was nothing flash about the way Ngog – who has scored four of Liverpool’s five goals this season and was brought down for the penalty that led to the other – explained that moment but, then again, that is just him.
Shy and reserved, all Ngog wants to do is carry on trying to improve and he could not wish to have a better teacher to learn from; a fully-fit Torres might keep him out of the starting line-up but he is also a fantastic mentor.
“He really helps us,” said Ngog. “Fernando is a key player and it’s good for our future. It was a boost. When big players like him and Stevie say they are staying it’s a good thing for Liverpool. We are a big club and we need big players.”
“The (Premier League) has started and though it is tough, this is what we want. We want to be involved in big games. We have confidence now and hopefully we will win the next game.”
The next game to which Ngog refers comes at the City of Manchester Stadium next Monday night when Liverpool go head-to-head with a side with designs on becoming Premier League champions.
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and his assistant David Platt were interested observers at Anfield on Sunday but Ngog feels Liverpool can make light of Joe Cole’s suspension and build on their efforts against Arsenal – thanks to their new manager.
“Yes, it was a good point because when we went down to 10 men we realised it was going to be difficult to get a point but we were happy to get it,” he said.
“I don’t know if Joe deserved the red card. He just wanted to do well.
“So far it’s been really good (under Roy Hodgson).
“He talks really closely with the players. He has a lot of experience and this will help us to be at a top level. He has managed for a long time and he’s good for the club.”