This is what Liverpool need more of:
Players begging to stay.
Okay, okay, so Kuyt's not exactly begging to stay, but he is committing himself to the cause and removing all doubt about whether or not he wants to be at Liverpool next season. From the Independent:
"Of course I want to stay. Liverpool is a great club with a great history. Unfortunately in my four years I haven't won anything but hopefully in the future, I will still have that chance. We will have to see what happens but hopefully the manager wants me to stay.
"I spoke to people at the club and I know he wants to speak with me. But it is very difficult at the moment because we are so busy and focus on what lies ahead."
We could spend plenty of time talking about how nice it is that a player who's in the World Cup final proclaims that he's staying with Liverpool, or how nice it would be if another player in the final would do the same, or if two World Cup captains also asserted they'd stay.
But instead we'll just focus on Kuyt, who, if the world is a just place, will be rewarded for such loyalty. I can't imagine many scenarios that lead to Roy Hodgson saying "thanks, but no thanks" after the World Cup that Kuyt has had, or after the contributions Kuyt has made since joining Liverpool in 2006. Granted, he hasn't always been the most aesthetically pleasing squad member, and on occasion he's been downright bad, but he seems to be in the Pepe Reina mold---overseas player who takes to the club and the city, and wants to make Liverpool his club. Simple solution during a not-so simple time in the club's history.
The likelihood of his presence again leads to talk of tactics, which is a fruitless and sadistic discussion to have this early in the preseason. I do think that, again drawing on his displays under Rafa Benitez and at the World Cup, Hodgson is well aware of Kuyt's adaptability, and he's probably been deafened by the avalanche of praise for Kuyt's workrate and willingness to run through a brick wall. And as cliche as that has become, it's exactly what Liverpool need right now.
Liverpool's only other remaining World Cup representative is also present in an otherwise slow news day---we've been aware that Fernando Torres hasn't had the time of his life on the pitch in South Africa, and after being left out of the starting eleven against Germany, there's more doubt about his place in the squad ahead of Sunday's final against the Dutch.
And it's not just uncertainty for the man himself---Vincente del Bosque hasn't made up his mind yet:
"I don't know if he will be in the line-up. It was a difficult choice. Torres has been helping us all along. His work is important even if it is not noticed. He is good at occupying the centre-backs. I didn't talk to him before I announced the line-up against Germany, but he is a very important part of the team. He is one of the key members of the squad and a lovely guy."
At least Torres can take solace in being lovely, which is something we've known all along.
A lot depends on how del Bosque wants to attack the Dutch---David Villa wasn't overly impressive against Germany, and I think much of that falls to exactly what del Bosque mentions. Even when he's not pouring them in, Torres has been able to create time and space for his strike partner. Not the sexiest of attributes, but certainly one that's plenty useful in a match that's likely to be tight.
Regardless of the Liverpool ties, Sunday's match has all the makings of a classic. Let's hope it plays out as such before we're cast off into the great unknown and Liverpool's 2010-2011 season.