So all the speculation was after all true. Gerard Houllier is no longer needed at Liverpool. No matter what anyone says, the man did a lot to help Liverpool, and he deserves a proper farewell. Thank you for all that you've done, and good luck to you whatever you'll do in the future. You'll definitely be sorely missed.
I was against him leaving, and wanted him to stay for (at least) another season, but such talk is of no use now. The question is, who is going to fill his shoes? Three likely candidates have been put forward: Benitez, current coach of Valencia, Martin O'Neill, current coach of Celtic, and Curbishley of Charlton. I've also heard an absurd rumour of it being Ranieri if Chelsea fir him.
First, let us dismiss the ridiculous. I doubt that they are going to hire Ranieri, and if they are thinking about it, then DON'T. Although I like the personality of the guy, I do not rate him that highly as a coach that will be good for liverpool. The main problem Liverpool has had over the last two seasons is settling on a certain formation. We've tinkered with everything, from playing Risse in defence to midfield, and rotating our defence between Traore, Finnan, Henchoz, Carragher, and Hypia. Let's not talk about the midfield and strikers either. The last thing we need is someone whose nickname is "The Tinkerman", and who never settles on any particular formation.
How about the other three? I personally would prefer Benitez. Unlike the other two, he has proven himself worthy both on a European scale and a domestic scale, and at a proper league at that, unlike O'Neill (no disrespect intended to the Scottish, but comeon, they're better off having two matches a year between Celtic and Rangers to determine the champion instead of a whole league.) Curbishley seems to me like getting caught in the hype too much. I can't recall him doing much other than achieving a decent table position for Charlton.
I admit, it's harder to choose between O'Neill and Benitez. Both are quite good, but if Benitez does actually want to sign, he seems just too damn good to give up. Plus, he might be able to make foreign players take a second glance to signing for Liverpool. Apparently he's also Michael Owen's number one choice. I'm just wondering what kind of attracting power does Martin O'Neill have. Both so far, have denied any link, and O'Neill actually has gone out bidding for players. So I guess although they have the highest probability out of any managers for the job, the probability is not that high either.
Whatever the board does, they have to pick someone someone good, and pick someone fast. Other teams have already started snapping up players, and we're yet to line up a manager. Right now it's looking like a lonely walk in Anfield.