2906: Roy Hodgson poised to become
          new Liverpool manager

2706: Deschamps out of Reds role running
2606: Kuyt unsure about Liverpool future
2606: Marseille reject Liverpool
          Deschamps approach

2206: Liverpool in race to sign
          Roy Hodgson before England are tempted

1806: Liverpool talk to Pellegrini
          over vacant manager's job

1706: Reina fears Torres and
         Gerrard may quit Liverpool

1706: Hodgson happy with Cottagers
1606: Benitez backs Dalglish
1606: Beardsley backs Dalglish
1306: Fulham chairman Al Fayed confident
          Hodgson will resist Liverpool

1206: What has Roy Hodgson
          achieved in management?

1206: Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool FC
          legacy is secure, regardless of
          his return to manager's office

1106: Barnes: Give it to Roy or Kenny
1106: Should Kenny Dalglish come back to
          Liverpool FC? Be careful what you wish for

1106: Liverpool FC hierarchy fear how
          powerful Kenny Dalglish would become

1006: Dalglish can resurrect
          Liverpool FC says David May


Roy Hodgson
- the new
LFC manager



Roy Hodgson poised to become
new Liverpool manager

BBC Sport Online

Roy Hodgson is set to be appointed Liverpool's new manager by Thursday, BBC Sport understands.

The Reds were granted permission to speak to the 62-year-old two weeks ago by his current club Fulham.

Hodgson has also been linked with the England manager's job following the team's humiliating exit from the World Cup but Liverpool have acted quickly.

The Englishman will replace Rafael Benitez in the Anfield hot seat after the Spaniard left at the start of June.

"Hodgson has always been the number one target of the board at Anfield to replace Benitez," said Ian Dennis, Radio 5 live's senior football reporter.

"After Fulham granted Liverpool permission to speak to Hodgson, it was just a matter of the clubs agreeing a compensation deal for him."

Hodgson has been in charge of Fulham since December 2007 and signed a new 12-month rolling contract in December 2009.

Although he suffered a difficult start to his tenure, winning only nine points from his first 13 league matches, he saved the club from relegation in 2007/8, securing survival on the final day of the campaign.

The following season he steered the club to seventh place in the Premier League - their highest ever finish - and a place in the Europa League.

His achievement in guiding Fulham to the final of that competition, when they beat Juventus and Wolfsburg en route, saw him named last season's manager of the year by the League Manager's Association.

Hodgson has also managed Italian giants Inter Milan, Blackburn and Switzerland, who he guided to the last 16 of the 1994 World Cup.

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill, former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, ex-Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic and former Manchester City manager Mark Hughes have all been linked with the Liverpool post.

Deschamps out of Reds role running


Didier Deschamps and Marseille have ruled the former Chelsea midfielder out of the running to become the next manager of Liverpool.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson had looked most likely to take over before Marseille's title-winning coach Deschamps emerged as a strong contender.

However, the World Cup winner has now rejected any chance of him joining Liverpool, revealing he is "in discussions" about a contract extension with the French club..

He explained, "I am happy at Marseille. I am not there for just one year. A coach must be there for the long haul, and that is my wish."

The French club's president has also dismissed the chances of Deschamps, who also led Monaco to the 2004 Champions League final, taking over at Anfield.

It was reported in L'Equipe that Liverpool chief executive Christian Purslow contacted Marseille and asked to speak to Deschamps - a request which was turned down by Jean-Claude Dassier.

Dassier claimed: "He asked me if I allowed him to meet Didier and Jean-Pierre Bernes (Deschamps' agent).

"I replied that I did not allow any meeting to take place. I have also indicated that there is no way we'll let go of our coach."

Kuyt unsure about
Liverpool future

Irish Examiner

Dirk Kuyt admits he is unsure about his future at Liverpool.

With Rafael Benitez having departed recently and the club yet to unveil his successor, uncertainty reigns at Anfield at the moment.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson had looked most likely to take over before Marseille’s title-winning coach Didier Deschamps emerged as a strong contender.

Kuyt is concentrating on Holland’s ongoing World Cup campaign, with a last-16 clash against Slovakia at the forefront of his mind, but was non-committal about his future on Merseyside.

“I’m just focusing myself on the World Cup,” he said.

“I still have a long-term contract with Liverpool and I’m just focused on the World Cup. What happens at Liverpool, we’ll see.”

Asked whether he has had contact with departed boss Benitez, Kuyt said: “I haven’t spoken to him. I’ve had a few text messages but they were more like ’good luck for the games’ and ’well done’.”

As for reports linking him with a move to join Benitez at Inter Milan, the forward said: “We have to see what happens. I also have a great time at Liverpool and I still have a two-year contract. My focus is on the World Cup but I’m still happy to play at Liverpool.

“But who knows what happens in the future? We have to see.

“If the possibility is there...we have to see what happens with the new manager at Liverpool.

“Hopefully we’ll get new players but we’ll see what the future is for me.”

Marseille reject Liverpool
Deschamps approach

ESPN Soccernet

Speculation has been rife over who will take charge at Anfield since Rafael Benitez left the club at the beginning of the month, with Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson among the current frontrunners. However, Dassier claims Deschamps is the man Liverpool want.

"It's true, Liverpool's executive director Christian Purslow called me Thursday morning,'' Dassier told L'Equipe. "He speaks French very well, is very polite.

"I was expecting his call because I had heard of Liverpool's interest in Didier. He asked me if I would allow him to meet Didier and (agent) Jean-Pierre Bernes.

"I replied that I would never forbid anyone from meeting whoever. I also kindly indicated to him that there wasn't the slightest chance for him to pinch our coach. Even in his dreams.''

Deschamps' contract runs out at the end of next season and he is yet to pen an extension. However, Dassier is confident of keeping the former France captain.

"With Didier, we have a trusting relationship," he said. "I hope he will commit himself to us for another year. I'm not worried. It's true also that Didier is flattered to see a great European club interested in him.''

Deschamps is regarded as one of Europe's best young managers and has had an impressive start to his career since taking over the reins at Monaco in 2001.

He steered the principality side to the Coupe de la Ligue title just two years after taking his first managerial post and led them to the Champions League final the following season

Deschamps, who won the World Cup and European Championship in an illustrious playing career, then helped Juventus to the Serie B title in his sole season at the Bianconeri.

The 41-year-old took charge at Marseille last summer and led them to their first Ligue 1 title in 18 years.

Liverpool in race to sign
Roy Hodgson before England are tempted

By Andy Hunter - The Guardian

Liverpool hope to agree a deal with Roy Hodgson to become their new manager before England's make-or-break game against Slovenia tomorrow, despite concerns the appointment will prompt Kenny Dalglish to reconsider his future at the club.

Anfield officials had been confident of appointing the Fulham manager as successor to Rafael Benítez by the end of this week, only for the uncertainty over Fabio Capello's position should England fail to qualify from their World Cup group to hasten their approach. Hodgson is considered a strong candidate for the England job should Capello quit.

Mindful of a potential rival for their first choice to replace Benítez, the Liverpool board is now looking to secure an agreement from Hodgson before England's fate in Group C is determined. The 62-year-old is well aware of Liverpool's interest and his likely transfer budget at Anfield but may prefer to delay a decision on his future until after the game in Port Elizabeth.

An added complication for the Liverpool hierarchy, and particularly the managing director, Christian Purslow, is Dalglish's opposition to Hodgson's appointment and his disillusionment with how the process of identifying the new manager has unfolded.

In a statement confirming Benítez's departure this month, Liverpool announced that Dalglish would work alongside Purslow in the search for the club's next manager. Since then, however, Dalglish has made it known that he wants the job due to what he perceives as a lack of better qualified and available candidates.

He is a long-time friend of Hodgson but feels his recommendations to the board have been ignored and that the Fulham manager is not the right man to take Liverpool forward at a critical juncture in their history. The Scot is likely to reconsider his role at Liverpool, which is officially that of a club ambassador with input into the club's youth academy, should Hodgson be installed as manager this week.

Liverpool talk to Pellegrini
over vacant manager's job

By Andy Hunter - The Guardian

Manuel Pellegrini, the former Real Madrid coach, has held talks with Kenny Dalglish over the managerial vacancy at Liverpool despite Roy Hodgson remaining the club's preferred candidate to succeed Rafael Benítez at Anfield.

Pellegrini was dismissed by Real last month for failing to deliver in the Champions League or beat Barcelona to the title, although he did produce a club record 96 points during his one and only season at the Bernabéu.

The Chilean's agent last night denied reports that the 56-year-old met Dalglish at Heathrow airport but Pellegrini was in England yesterday and did meet the Liverpool legend who is overseeing the search for Benítez's replacement alongside the managing director, Christian Purslow.

Dalglish has told the Liverpool board that he would like the job in the absence of any superior candidates.

Negotiations with Pellegrini, who worked with the Liverpool goalkeeperJosé Reina during a successful five-year spell in charge of Villarreal, reveal that Anfield officials are working through a short-list of candidates to succeed Benítez, although it is understood Hodgson remains top of that list.

The Fulham manager has yet to receive an official approach from Liverpool and last night reaffirmed his contentment at Craven Cottage from South Africa, where he is commentating for the BBC.

Asked about Liverpool's interest, Hodgson said: "I'm happy at Fulham. It is all speculation and I can't enlighten you. I don't know any more than you do." An official move for Hodgson from Liverpool is anticipated next week, however.

Reina fears Torres and
Gerrard may quit Liverpool

By Daniel Taylor in Durban - guardian.co.uk

Pepe Reina broke off from the Spanish inquisition into their improbable defeat to Switzerland to express his concerns that Liverpool could regress even further if Rafael Benítez's departure as manager is followed by either Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard leaving Anfield.

While Reina has committed himself to the club, signing a six-year contract in April, the goalkeeper is acutely aware that when he begins next season at Liverpool there are no guarantees Gerrard or Torres will be there.

The two most important players at Anfield are both giving serious consideration to their future because of the problems afflicting the club, most notably the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett and the lack of transfer funds to improve a squad that may need major restoration work if they are to improve significantly next season.

Liverpool finished seventh last season, 23 points behind the champions, Chelsea. With no manager in line to replace Benítez and no sense that a takeover is close, Reina's fear is that Torres and Gerrard may also sever their ties with the club.

"Of course there is concern about Fernando and Stevie," he said. "Not just them, but others, too. Any team would count on Stevie and Fernando as big names and, for us, it's the same. Without them, it would be really tough to be up there at the top next season."

Those concerns have been compounded by the news that Yossi Benayoun, one of Liverpool's more creative players, is on the verge of moving to Chelsea while Javier Mascherano could conceivably link up again with Benítez at Internazionale.

Torres has been prominently linked with Chelsea and Manchester City, both of whom have resurrected their interest since Benítez left Anfield, whereas Gerrard is reputedly among José Mourinho's targets at Real Madrid and has resisted the opportunity to distance himself from all the talk of a possible move, saying he will not talk about his future until after the World Cup.

Torres has spoken of Liverpool needing to be powerful movers in the transfer market this summer and Reina believes it is crucial that the club's ownership issues are settled quickly. "Fingers crossed, once we sort out the situation with the manager and the owners, which we hope is soon, hopefully we can focus on building a squad for the future," he said.

"We are all on the same boat and we want to redecorate the ship. We want to be a lot stronger, more consistent and create and build a proper squad to be contenders for the title once again."

Reina, like Torres, had a strong working relationship with Benítez, but Iker Casillas's understudy as Spain's goalkeeper said he had come to terms with recent events.

"I've had time to think about it and I guess it's one of those things. Football is football, it happens, and I always say the same thing – Liverpool will remain forever; which is the most important thing."

Hodgson happy with Cottagers

Sky Sports

Roy Hodgson has reiterated his desire to bring about an end to speculation linking him with Liverpool.

The Fulham boss has seen his stock rise considerably over recent seasons, with his exploits at Craven Cottage drawing widespread acclaim.

The plaudits are always most welcome, but the experienced coach now finds himself at the centre of a distracting managerial debate.

Reports continue to suggest that he could be on his way to Anfield this summer, with Liverpool looking to replace Rafa Benitez.

The Reds are believed to have identified Hodgson as a possible candidate for the post and are planning to make contact in the near future.

Fulham would understandably be reluctant to see their highly-rated manager leave, but accept that success inevitably leads to gossip.

Hodgson claims that is all the Liverpool talk is at present and has once again stated that he is more than happy with life on the banks of the Thames.

"I'm Fulham manager. I'm perfectly happy at Fulham." He said.

"To be honest, there's a lot of speculation but I can't enlighten you."

Benitez backs Dalglish

By James Riach - Sky Sports

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has backed club legend Kenny Dalglish to take the reins at Anfield.

Benitez was presented as new coach of Inter Milan on Tuesday after he left Liverpool earlier in the month.

The 50-year-old Spaniard endured a torrid campaign with the Premier League side last season, but left the club on good terms having guided them to UEFA Champions League glory in 2005.

Liverpool are now in the hunt for a new manager, and the names in the frame include Fulham's Roy Hodgson, Aston Villa's Martin O'Neill and Dutch tactician Frank Rijkaard.

But Benitez is backing Dalglish, who is currently involved with the youth academy and is a club ambassador, to be the next man at the helm.

"I think Liverpool should look at Kenny Dalglish," he said.

"He is the man for the job. The owners should listen to the fans because they are unhappy.

"No one knows the club better than Dalglish and he would be perfect there.

"He wants the job and in my opinion he should get it."

Beardsley backs Dalglish


Liverpool legend Peter Beardsley is confident Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres will stay with the club if Kenny Dalglish is re-appointed as manager.

The two players' futures with the Merseyside outfit are uncertain after a hugely disappointing 2009/10 season at Anfield and boss Rafael Benitez's departure by mutual consent earlier this month.

Dalglish - who is widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest ever player and enjoyed a successful spell in charge from 1985 to 1991 - is believed to be interested in succeeding Benitez, and Beardsley feels the Scot's return to the helm would be enough to persuade Gerrard and Torres to stay.

'I'm not saying he would be a massive success straight away because there are a lot of problems at Liverpool,' Beardsley said.

'They are not Kenny's problems but they need to be resolved - the Steven Gerrard issue, the Fernando Torres issue - and I think you would have more chance of keeping those players if you had a hero like Kenny in charge of the team.

'You look at Torres and he probably came to Liverpool on the strength of watching Dalglish as a player, and Gerrard grew up watching that team.

'So I would think you'd have no problem keeping both of them if Kenny Dalglish was your manager.'

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is another name being strongly linked with the post, but Beardsley - who played for Liverpool between 1987 and 1991 - has no doubts that Dalglish is the man for the job.

'Roy Hodgson is obviously a great manager and has proved that with Fulham and all over the world, but I wouldn't look further than Kenny,' said Beardsley.

'I played for four years under Kenny and won the league twice and the FA Cup. He gave me his number seven shirt and to wear it for Liverpool was special.

'We were not able to play in Europe in those days, so what he did in my time at the club, and winning the double before I even arrived, was sensational.

'I can't speak for the people of Liverpool but I know the fans would love him and when I look at him, his football knowledge and his football mentality, he loves the game.

'What he means to Liverpool is sensational and I would have no qualms about giving him the job.'

Fulham chairman Al Fayed confident
Hodgson will resist Liverpool


Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has no concerns over Liverpool's pursuit of manager Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool are on the brink of making an official approach for the Fulham boss.

But Al Fayed said: “I don’t think he’ll leave me. I’m sure he’ll have lots of approaches from other clubs, but I give him anything he wants to reach results and we have a very good relationship.”

Despite increasing speculation that Hodgson is Liverpool’s No.1 target, no official approach has yet been made.

A senior Fulham source told the Sunday Mirror: “Roy’s his own man and if an approach was forthcoming I’m sure he will sit down and evaluate the situation. He is very private and keeps his own counsel, so you can never second guess what he’s going to do.

“However, the indications are it would take something extraordinary to convince him to leave Fulham and I’m not sure given all the documented financial problems at Liverpool he’d see that as ideal move.

“Roy has an incredibly good relationship with the owner as well.

“Given that he is pressing ahead with player recruitment for the new season, I’m not sure that is an indication he is planning to leave.”

What has Roy Hodgson
achieved in management?

By James Pearce - Liverpool Echo

Roy Hodgson’s managerial career spans nearly 35 years and involves stints at no fewer than 12 top flight European clubs and three international jobs.

The 62-year-old has won the Swedish and Danish league titles, reached two European finals and taken Switzerland to their first World Cup finals in 28 years.

Hodgson is a highly respected figure in the global football community and has enhanced his reputation since he took over at Fulham in December 2007.

When he arrived the Cottagers were slumped in the relegation zone but he transformed their fortunes and they stayed up on the final day.

In 2008/09 he guided Fulham to seventh place in the Premier League – their highest ever finish – and last season they reached the first major European final in their history. A remarkable run saw them knockout holders Shakhtar, Juventus and Hamburg on their way to the Europa League final where they lost 2-1 to Atletico Madrid. However, in the league they only won once away and ended up 12th.

Hodgson was voted the LMA Manager of the Year and won widespread praise for his achievements on a limited budget.

The Croydon-born boss’ journey to the top flight began with an undistinguished playing career in non-league football.

After moving into coaching, he landed his first job aged 28 at Swedish outfit Halmstads in 1976. Tipped for relegation, Hodgson led them to the title in his first season and repeated the trick in 1979.

“My greatest achievement would have to be that water into wine job,” he said.

In 1980 he returned to England to become assistant manager at Bristol City and two years later he took over at the helm. However, with the club in financial trouble he struggled to make an impact and in 1983 went back to Sweden. After a spell at Orebro he moved to Malmo where he enjoyed five trophy-filled years. They won two Swedish Cups and finished top of the league five years in a row, although the play-off system meant he was only credited with two titles.

Keen to broaden his horizons, he moved to Switzerland to manage Neuchatel Xamax in 1990 and two years later took over as boss of the national team. The Swiss were beaten just once on their way to qualifying for their first World Cup since 1966 and reached the last 16 before losing to Spain.

Hodgson also led them to Euro ‘96, but quit before the tournament to take over at Inter Milan where the highlight was leading them to the 1997 UEFA Cup final where they lost on penalties to Schalke.

Hodgson finally got a crack at the Premier League when Blackburn came calling. But after a solid start at Blackburn it went swiftly downhill. Poor buys, injuries and dressing room unrest contributed to Rovers being bottom and in December 1998 Hodgson was sacked.

A brief second stint at Inter as caretaker boss followed in 1999 before returning to Switzerland to manage Grasshopper. Hodgson moved on to Denmark and in 2001 won the title with Copenhagen before Udinese offered him a return to Serie A but he was fired after just six months.

Spells with the United Arab Emirates and Norwegian outfit Viking followed before he took the Finland job in 2005. They failed to qualify for Euro 2008 but he had done enough to convince Fulham to take a chance on him.

Kenny Dalglish's Liverpool FC
legacy is secure, regardless of
his return to manager's office

Comment by James Pearce - Liverpool Echo

The King may not be back on his throne just yet – and may even face an uphill battle to reclaim it. But the clamour on the Kop for his coronation is growing by the day.

A week ago Kenny Dalglish was the man tasked with helping pinpoint Rafa Benitez’s successor.

Fast forward seven days and he apparently finds himself in a two-horse race for the Anfield hot-seat with Fulham’s Roy Hodgson. The kingmaker has turned serious contender.

There has been no public word from the Kop legend himself but no one should be in any doubt just how much he wants a second crack at the job he cherishes above any other.

His former players have been queuing up all week to wax lyrical about why he is the right man at the right time for a club wracked by instability and uncertainty. And just to ram home the point his son Paul, the ex-Reds reserves frontman, passionately pleaded his father’s case.

“I think my dad is the best person to do the job, I know how much he wants it,” he said.

“He’s a born winner. He’s an inspiration to everyone connected to Liverpool. No-one can inspire the whole club in these difficult times like my father.”

Of course not everyone is convinced about Dalglish’s fairytale return and many of the doubts expressed are understandable.

Dalglish is the greatest player ever to wear a Reds shirt. A man who cemented his legendary status on the Kop during six years as boss between 1985 and 1991 when he won three league titles and two FA Cups.

He’s admired, respected and loved in equal measure and some are concerned that by coming back he would risk damaging all that. And also that by agreeing to work under Tom Hicks and George Gillett, he would somehow be tarnished.

In the absence of a crystal ball, there are no guarantees. Who knows, the second coming could end in tears but it’s clearly a risk Dalglish is willing to take.

And if Kenny Dalglish himself is prepared to sacrifice his reputation, to put his neck on the line for the club he loves, then surely that should be good enough for anyone?

This is a man who doesn’t need the money and doesn’t crave the spotlight. He would be making the leap from directors’ box to the dugout because of his growing concern for what’s happening at Anfield, seeking a chance to repay fans desparately in need of a lift for their unswerving support.

And what if it did pay off? It would be one of football’s greatest stories.

Another claim is that Dalglish has been out of the game too long. It’s a decade since he last managed in the top flight. The argument is that the game has moved on and Dalglish has been left behind; that Liverpool supporters are living in the past.

But in truth how much has really changed? Players are richer, the stakes are higher and some clubs are now playthings of billionaires. But the qualities needed for success as a boss surely remain the same?

Nobody can question Dalglish’s knowledge of the game and he won’t have lost that ability to motivate. The passion and desire is still there.

Others argue Dalglish may not be able to handle the pressure of life as a Premier League boss these days. They point out it all got too much for him in February 1991 when he resigned and walked away.

But that ignores the unbearable stress Dalglish had been faced with over the preceding years. He had bravely led the club through two major tragedies and when he quit, he was still dealing with the emotional toil of Hillsborough and the aftermath.

Over the past decade Dalglish has had many chances to get back into the game but nothing could tempt him. It was only when Liverpool came calling last year that he leapt at the opportunity to work as an ambassador for the club and help youngsters at the Academy.

Now another opening has arisen and having looked around at the competition Dalglish, who has huge personal respect and affection for Roy Hodgson, has nonetheless rightly concluded his credentials stand up to allcomers in comparison. And he simply wants the best for Liverpool.

Even if only on a short-term deal until the club’s sale is completed, Dalglish would be the ideal man to provide unity and restore morale;

the man best placed to calm fears of a player exodus and convince the likes of Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay put.

He knows how the club ticks and what’s needed to lead Liverpool through these tough times.

Without doubt it would be an emotional appointment but that doesn’t mean it would be the wrong one. Liverpool fans deserve the best and club needs reinvigorating.

Dalglish is the man to do it.

Barnes: Give it to Roy or Kenny


John Barnes has backed Kenny Dalglish or Roy Hodgson to succeed Rafa Benitez, insisting whoever gets the job will enjoy a "win-win situation".

Benitez parted company with the Reds by mutual consent last week and speculation continues over the contenders to step into his shoes at Anfield.

After guiding Liverpool to a remarkable Champions League triumph in 2005, success slowly dried up while relations with the club's American owners soured, culminating in his recent departure and subsequent appointment by Inter Milan.

A lowly seventh-placed finish in the Premier League last season was the lowest of his tenure and Barnes believes the next man in will benefit from the bar being set so low.

The former league and FA Cup winner said: "Whoever comes in will finish better than seventh, regardless of whether there is money to spend.

"To be honest, I would like there not to be money to spend because if there is, it means you have sold Gerrard or Torres. So under those circumstances, I'd rather have no money!

"A manager coming in has to be prepared to work in those circumstances, knowing that Liverpool will finish higher than seventh. So it's a positive thing.

"Even with no money to spend, if you finish fourth you have done better than last year. The same if you finish fifth or sixth, you have still done better.

"It's a win-win situation. I hope Liverpool fans don't expect a manager coming in saying 'we're going to finish first or second' and I don't think they will."

As for the names in the frame, Barnes insists he has no strong opinion. However, he believes both former boss Dalglish and Fulham boss Hodgson are well qualified.

"Is it going to be Kenny Dalglish or Roy Hodgson? Who knows?" he said.

"Both would do a great job, there are lots of good managers and whoever it is will have to be a proven manager so they won't get the decision wrong.

"If Kenny wants it, why not Kenny? If it's Roy Hodgson I'm sure he'll do a good job as well."

As for Benitez, Barnes added: "It does not surprise me that Rafa Benitez has gone to Inter, because he is a good manager.

"He's proven that and his stature has not gone down, in my opinion. You don't become a bad manager overnight. But obviously it didn't work out in the last year so he left."

Should Kenny Dalglish come back to
Liverpool FC? Be careful what you wish for

Comment by David Prentice - Liverpool Echo

It was the saddest sporting spectacle of my entire youth. The greatest sportsman who ever strode this planet, my all-time sporting hero, a 20th century icon, slumped in the corner of a Nassau boxing ring while a tinny cow bell – the bungling promoters had forgotten to provide a proper timekeeper’s instrument – signalled the end of the most remarkable boxing career in history.

Muhammad Ali, of course, was the victim.

The last rites to his charismatic career had just been read by an ordinary scuffler called Trevor Berbick. And the world seemed a less magical place.

But it isn’t just boxers who don’t know when to bow out, although that profession is greater than any other for self-delusion.

Football folk are more than capable of becoming the right people at the wrong time.

Kevin Keegan was once a Geordie Messiah. But after his second coming he was labelled just a naughty boy.

Fabio Capello won four Serie A titles in five seasons, routed Barcelona 4-0 in a Champions League final and enjoyed a 58-game unbeaten run in charge of AC Milan.

After a spell in Madrid he went back there and finished 10th.

Even the most successful manager in Everton’s history couldn't resist a third bite of the apple, but came worryingly close to becoming only the third manager to take Everton down.

Now we have a campaign gathering pace to return Kenny Dalglish to his Anfield throne.

I have to hold my hand up and admit some culpability here.

Last Friday, 24 hours after Rafael Benitez was mutually consented, I suggested Kenny and Sammy Lee was the only game in town to steer Liverpool through murky waters.

I haven’t changed my mind. I haven’t had a Damascene conversion.

I still think Kenny and Sammy would be the safest pair of hands to guide Liverpool through the turbulent waters of a takeover.

But short term. In an interim capacity. Until the American owners have stopped darkening the doorstep of L4.

But Kenny Dalglish back as full-time Liverpool manager? Ten years after he last managed a football club? Exposed in an age of the instant idiot where message-boards, phone texters and tweeters pass instant judgement on football managers on a hourly basis?

That leaves me uneasy.

Dalglish’s legacy as the greatest footballer ever to pull on a Liverpool shirt is safe, secure, unchallengeable.

His position as a triple-title winning manager who created the most thrilling, free-flowing, electrifying Liverpool team in living memory is also safe.

But those memories can be tarnished.

Dalglish last enjoyed an active role in top flight football more than a decade ago.

There’s an entire generation of Liverpool fans now who know of him only from video tape and misty-eyed reminscences from dads.

Without first-hand knowledge of what this remarkable man achieved, those fans would have no compunction at issuing knee-jerk reactions to a third round FA Cup exit to Championship opposition.

Some sporting icons do come back.

If we’d listened to Sir Steven Redgrave’s appeal in 1996 to “shoot me if anyone sees me anywhere near a boat” we’d have been denied his historic fifth Olympic gold.

If George Foreman had carried on selling grill pans we’d never have seen a 45-year-old winning a version of the world boxing title.

And if George Best hadn’t returned with his old pal Rodney for an Indian summer in West London the only thing Fulham would have been remembered for in the 1970s was Tommy Trinder’s hat.

But the odds are stacked against King Kenny.

The club doesn't have the financial muscle any more to lure players like Barnes and Beardsley.

The boardroom is clearly still riven by internal politics.

And of the club’s triumvirate of world class players – one is clearly hell-bent on following Benitez to Milan, while Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are far from committing their futures to the club.

Two-and-a-half years ago Dalglish said: “We are the ones who carry out the dream. The dream that the supporters will never achieve because they can’t play. So they live through us.”

Those dreams are rich, colourful, life enhancing.

Do we want to see them shattered by the cold, harsh reality of modern football?

Kenny Dalglish wants the job and is an overwhelming favourite amongst Liverpool fans to reclaim his managerial crown.

The emotional pull is clear. He would bring dignity, a sense of order, a link with the club’s glorious past.

But sometimes in life we should be very careful what we wish for.

Ali was a king who was carried out on a dustcart – I’d hate to see King Kenny go the same way.

Liverpool FC hierarchy fear how
powerful Kenny Dalglish would become

Comment by Ben Thornley - Daily Post

Kenny Dalglish is the only candidate on Liverpool FC’s managerial short list that could persuade Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay.

It’s one of the many pressing reasons why the Anfield legend should be installed as boss – but, sadly, also why he won’t be.

Not when the decision is being made by a banker (Christian Purslow) and a Chelsea fan (Martin Broughton) on behalf of American owners that have piled an unsustainable level of debt onto Liverpool.

Debt reduction not trophy gathering has long been the priority at Anfield.

And that is reflected in the emergence of Roy Hodgson as the board’s number one choice to replace Rafa Benitez.

They want a man who knows that under normal circumstances he wouldn’t get the chance to sit in one of the game’s most prized hotseats.

Someone to steady the ship for a season or two while the club is sold, who won’t quibble when his two outstanding players are sold for a combined fee of over £100m – even though he’s unlikely to receive even half of that to reinvest.

Of course, the rest won’t go on reducing debt, we’ll be assured. Just like the fees for Xabi Alonso and Robbie Keane.

Hodgson – whose only title triumphs arrived in Scandinavia – is certainly the man for that job.

The Londoner is a fine coach who has excelled at Craven Cottage. But Liverpool will just be a chance to add another big name on his CV to go alongside Inter Milan, where he performed a similar role to the one he will be asked to undertake at Anfield.

His appointment, though, will be viewed by most as a significant reduction in ambition at Liverpool.

Not least by the Reds’ star players who will flee through the Anfield exit doors.

But it’s not in the interests of the owners to keep Gerrard and Torres – despite their presence in the Reds’ squad making the club more attractive to buyers.

Liverpool lost a club-record £50m last year as they went £351m into the red.

That was with Champions League revenue and Benitez trading at a profit last summer. As well as being an awful competition, the Europa League also offers little financial reward.

With Tom Hicks’ outrageous £800m valuation stalling the sale of Liverpool it’s unlikely the club will change hands any time soon, meaning the blundering Americans will have to find a solution to their rapidly growing debt.

Now that Benitez is out of the way, there’s no-one to stop them asset stripping – by the time they’ve left, they will probably have ripped out and sold on Anfield’s lead piping, lighting and heating system.

No-one that is except Dalglish – the only living man to have won top-flight English titles at two different clubs – and the Liverpool board probably fear how powerful he would become if made manager for a second time.

King Kenny is the only man in the Anfield hierarchy who has the club’s best interests at heart. If he feels he is the best man to take charge, who are the board to disagree?

Naming Liverpool’s greatest ever player as Benitez’s successor would give the club the lift it needs after a wretched season. He’s the overwhelming popular choice, with a poll on the excellent Reds website, the www.theLiverpoolway.co.uk, showing 93% of supporters preferring him to Hodgson.

More importantly, though, it would reassure fans and players that they mean business and are not happy just to drift further into mid-table.

Perhaps the game has moved on since Dalglish’s last managerial role at Newcastle, as some doubters have claimed.

But it is still a sport played by two teams of 11 men – despite some coaches, not least Benitez, making it unnecessarily complicated.

Forget Pro-Zone stats, blood tests and zonal marking, what really matters is the ability to read the game – as Harry Redknapp proved at Spurs this season.

And no amount of time out of the sport will dull a football brain as brilliant as Dalglish’s.

Dalglish can resurrect
Liverpool FC says David May

Liverpool Daily Post

David May feels his former boss Kenny Dalglish will give Liverpool FC fans something to get excited about if he takes over at Anfield for the second time.

The Reds have confirmed Dalglish, who is widely regarded as Liverpool's greatest ever player and enjoyed a successful spell in charge from 1985 to 1991, is to assist managing director Christian Purslow in the search for a successor to Rafael Benitez. However, the 59-year-old - currently an Academy ambassador - has been hotly tipped to take the post himself on a short-term basis.

May played under Dalglish in the early 1990s after the Scot left Liverpool for Blackburn and told Press Association Sport: "He will come in and liven things up."

May continued: "I remember him coming to Blackburn and the training sessions were bright. They were short and sharp and he got the lads buzzing again.

"I think that is what needs to happen at Liverpool. Under Benitez they have been playing very boring football, but with Kenny I think they will give the fans something they deserve, which is attacking football."

Liverpool finished a disappointing seventh in the Barclays Premier League last season and have not won the English top flight since Dalglish delivered the title in 1990.

If he takes charge again it will inevitably rekindle memories of former glories amongst the Anfield faithful, but May feels Dalglish's affinity with the club will be most vital in helping to find a more permanent manager who can take Liverpool forward in the years to come.

Asked if he thought Dalglish was the man to revive the club's fortunes, May said: "I think he could be short-term, but then I think Kenny will look more long-term.

"He is more of an ambassador now for Liverpool and he is going to make the right decision in terms of who actually comes in and takes over.

"With his knowledge of the game and knowledge of Liverpool - what Liverpool is all about and what they need - I'm sure he will make the right decision."

Thor Zakariassen ©