Echo and the polled men, Fernando and Stevie’s holding cards, Dirk’s delight and Dan’s depression

The Liverpool Echo website is currently running a poll on who should be our new manager.

At the time of writing the most popular “candidate”, with 31% of the vote, is Guus Hindink. Then it’s Kenny on 21% followed by Martin O’Neill with a surprisingly low 6%. Ironically the second highest vote at 28% comes under the category “none – Rafa Benitez should have stayed” !

Polls are subject to mischievous abuse and no doubt if they could, many Everton or Mancs fans would be voting for Simon Cowell, Paris Hilton, Robert Mugabe or, worse still, Steve Staunton! However, it is still a rough, “ballpark” indication of where the climate of opinion lies. Interestingly Roy Hodgson, who has been widely touted as a favourite to succeed, is only on 3% which, even allowing for gerrymandering, is not an encouraging sign for the powers that be at Anfield should they be thinking of appointing him? Mohamed Al Fayed, the nations most well known, (and only?) Egyptian shopkeeper (or has he just sold it?) and owner of Fulham Football club is confident that Hodgson will stay at Craven Cottage

“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.”

It would be interesting to see the revised results of the Echo poll with the ”Rafa should have stayed” section taken out. That way everyone would at least have a slightly clearer picture over what remains a confusing and uncertain issue? Will the powers that be take any notice of what the fans want? If the club can’t be sold quickly then I suspect it will be a case of “nice to have” verses “who will come” verses “financial expediency”?

Meanwhile in South Africa Fernando Torres, complete with new haircut, has been talking about the impact of Steven Gerrard and our season in general ahead of his countries first match of the tournament against The Swiss tomorrow. The approach is a familiar one.

“The club means a lot to us and the fans mean a lot to us. We didn’t want to give them the kind of season we did. Trust me when I say that nobody is hurting more at the minute than Stevie. He is ‘Mr Liverpool’ and he sees the Liverpool fans as his family. Last season really hurt him. He is a player who plays on passions and emotions. But Liverpool’s poor season can be England’s gain.”

An interesting comment but I think if any Liverpool fan had a choice between their club winning say the Championship or England doing well in the World Cup it would be a foregone conclusion! Torres can talk all he wants but the burning question on every ones lips, and it also applies to the likes of Gerrard and Mascherano, is “are you going to be at Liverpool next season?” Torres, for all his nice words about Gerrard, the club and his fans choose his words carefully when asked about his future.

“I have nothing but respect for Rafa and he has taught me a lot, but I can’t think about the situation now. I am not sure who the Liverpool manager will be but I need to stay focused on Spain.”

Similar words to Gerrard as both players seem intent on using the tournament as a shield or delaying tactic to deciding their domestic future? I’ve often wondered if Rafa’s departure would spark and exodus of players especially as Champions League football hasn’t been achieved however, I guess most will wait and see what transpires. I have some sympathy for Torres and Gerrard, it is too much to expect anything to happen while the World Cup is on especially when things are uncertain at their club? Thankfully however, one player is certain about his future. Daniel Agger. On Rafa’s departure he said

“He is a good manager, he knows his stuff and he knows what football is about. When I return from my summer holiday I’ll see what is new. But his exit has no bearing on my future. I’m committed to Liverpool.”

Me? I will be very, but pleasantly, surprised if we see Torres, Gerrard and Mascherano lining up alongside the Dane in a red shirt for the opening game of next season.

Which again brings me to the World Cup and Daniel Agger who, along with Dirk Kuyt, took his tournament bow today as the Dutch faced The Danes. And who says that Liverpool FC are not at the cutting edge of international football! Both players were involved in the goals. Dirk Kuyt, with a superbly taken one yard tap in, will be more pleased than Agger who nudged Poulsen’s header into the net sadly for him it was his own! After his part in the error Poulsen looked like he was smiling, imagine the press Rob Green would have got had he done the same thing! By the way Morten Olsen, Denmark’s coach, looks like Phil Collins in a white wig! Seriously, have a good look next game.

Meanwhile Italy struggled and could only hold a dogged Paraguay. The South American’s goal was the result of some uncharacteristically poor defending from the Italians. Where is Andrea Dossena when you need him?

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