Saturday, June 5, 2010

Eriksson wants dream Liverpool job

The race for the newly vacant Liverpool manager's job is hotting up as Sven-Goran Eriksson threw his hat into the ring and former winger John Barnes gave his backing to Kenny Dalglish - if the Anfield legend wants to reprise his old role.

Meanwhile, media reports claim managing director Christian Purslow and Dalglish, the duo in charge of the search for a replacement for Rafael Benitez, have set their sights on Fulham boss Roy Hodgson as the number one target for the role, with Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill also in the running.

Former England and Manchester City manager Eriksson admitted he is a life-long Liverpool fan and that he wants to manage the club. Eriksson said he was shocked to learn Benitez had left Anfield and said he hopes to be in contention to take over at Liverpool once his short stint in charge of the Ivory Coast comes to an end in South Africa.

Eriksson told the Sun: "I have been a Liverpool fan all of my life. I never mentioned it when I was in charge of England because I didn't think it was fair. I was shocked when I discovered Rafa Benitez had left. Would I want to be the manager of Liverpool? It is every manager's dream to manage Liverpool.''

Eriksson told how he used to watch Liverpool games on TV at home in Sweden and how he also visited Anfield when he was learning his way as a coach.

"My father was also a Liverpool supporter and every Saturday we would watch an English match on television. It was the highlight of the week. Liverpool matches were televised quite regularly and we would cheer them on. They have always been my team and nothing has changed.

"When I was starting out in coaching I was invited to Liverpool to see how they did things. Joe Fagan was the manager at the time. I remember him showing me around Anfield and taking me into their legendary boot room. It was such a privilege and an honour for me to be invited in there. I will never forget that moment. Liverpool will always hold a special place in my heart.

Former Anfield star Barnes believes the club must quickly put their faith in a new manager to ensure stability. He told BBC Radio Five Live: "Whoever comes in should come in now and say 'I'm the manager of Liverpool' - not short term, and you can't really say long term because as a manager you know two years and you're not going to be there. I think Kenny would do a fantastic job, but I've no idea (whether he wants to go back into management).''

With limited funding available, Barnes admits the incoming manager must get the best out of a squad whose lack of depth was exposed in last season's seventh-place finish in the Premier League.

"The new manager has got to be someone who can come in and work with the existing squad,'' he said. "I hope Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres stay because I think they've been our best players.''

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