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They Say This Week

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This will be me grading Charlie Adam
This will be me grading Charlie Adam

The story is that FSG will make a decision on their manager by Friday. Apparently, it's come down to Roberto Martinez and a suddenly available and interested when he wasn't before Brendan Rodgers. One has to guess that Pep Guardiola isn't interested, and Andre Villas-Boas either wants a bigger opportunity or one where he gets to call all the shots. FSG's plan appears to be to limit the manager's role in transfers and squad shaping. More on that in a bit.

We've been over Martinez's credentials ad nauseum. Rodgers comes from a very similar path, building on the foundation that Martinez himself laid at Swansea. But Rodgers has a couple misses on the resume as well. He didn't do a lot with Watford, and lasted all of a few months at Reading when he took over for Steve Coppell. Rodgers got Swansea promoted in his first crack, but it's not like they ran away with the CHampionship. They got through via the playoffs, which is still an achievement to be sure.

Obviously, we were all blown away by Swansea's adaptation to the Premier League, and their style is of course something we'd love to see Liverpool be able to take and advance to a new level. Is Rodgers that man? We have no idea. And that's what so frustrating about this, and where Liverpool are now. We are left to guess at what candidates can do, because no one proven is going to walk through that door. And it's the second time in two years we get to have that pleasure. We have to estimate and hope and wonder if this guy or that guy has what it takes. When Rafa and Houllier were hired, at least their credentials were there for all to see, and in Rafa's case at the highest levels. Now? we dream of having such a luxury.

Louis Van Gaal is still rumored to be brought in as a sporting director/Director of Football type role, and I don't see how that doesn't end uncomfortably. Van Gaal is a strong personality, i.e a raging asshole (but a successful raging asshole) and one wonders how long he could hold out with a younger manager before wanting to just do it himself. On the flip side, how many managers want to work in England where they don't have full control over transfers? Don't these always end in a destructive power struggle? And do any of these candidates view Liverpool as an end-point or merely another stop on the path to an even bigger job? If Di Matteo struggles out of the gate at Chelsea, or Mancini goes balls-up in the Champions League again and again, or Ferguson or Wenger retire, would Rodgers or Martinez use any success at Liverpool to go to those places and have total say? We don't know.

In a summer that sees Hazard going to Chelsea, Kagawa heading to Old Trafford, possible Llorente to Arsenal, it's wholly frustrating and disappointing that Liverpool are still at this stage.