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Gerrard on Dalglish, Approaching Wolves, and Other Notes

Lupus constellation

So, remember how Ryan Babel plays for Hoffenheim now? Turns out it's not an entirely done deal just yet, with friends claiming he's in Italy talking to Juventus, the Hoffenheim director of football saying they are yet to agree to terms, and Dutch media reporting that his agent claims Ajax is still an option. He'll end up in Germany if personal terms between the team and player can be agreed, so that remains his most likely destination, but despite Liverpool claiming the sale was complete it isn't 100% done just yet and all sorts of wacky things could happen.

This time, though, no matter what wackiness does unfold, it seems fairly certain his helicopter will be setting down somewhere other than back in Liverpool. And that it'll probably be in Hoffenheim. Maybe...

* Meanwhile, apparently there's a match against Wolves to worry about come Saturday, even if one way or another Ryan Babel isn't likely to take part in it. In any case, while nobody's going to get punished by an edition of Tea and Crumpets... in the lead up this week, those wondering what Wolves supporters are thinking with their chance to do the double over LFC coming up can head to The Liver Bird blog for a Q&A session with a few fans of an unfortunate shade of orange. Best players, worst players, Mick "One in the Hole" McCarthy, the long-term future for a fallen founder of the football league, and hints at a fondness for Roy Hodgson that make me even more eager for this to be the match where Liverpool really clicks into gear and pulps an opponent. It's all there. Except for references to Phil Brown.

* Elsewhere, suspended captain Steven Gerrard has spoken of his hope to see Dalglish become the permanent manager at the end of the season:

I want to do everything in my power to ensure that he stays here for a long time, beyond the initial six months. I won't lie, when Kenny rang to say he was coming back it was a big lift.

I'd love nothing better when the end of the season comes than for us to be on the back of a good run of results that ensures he gets the job full-time. That's my short-term plan, to give everything I've got and all my energy to try to make that happen...

He's the perfect manager and also person to bring it all together. It's time to re-group and for us all to be pulling in the right direction because this season certainly hasn't been good enough.

Well, that certainly sounds a nice sentiment, and if Liverpool's done well enough for Dalglish to become permanent manager I suspect we'll all be rather pleased for a whole number of reasons. Still, would it be too snarky of me to point out that if Gerrard wants to help the cause he might want to avoid too many more tackles that are, let's say, easily open to the variable interpretations of varyingly competent referees? Or that if things go badly for Dalglish any future manager might see Gerrard's vocal support as the kiss of death after what happened to the last Liverpool manager whose corner he was in? Right, carry on.

* Speaking of Kenny Dalglish, he recently talked about a handful of youngsters who had impressed him in the short time he's been back in charge:

Martin Kelly has done really well for us and he is in the team on merit. Last week we had Jay Spearing and Daniel Pacheco who did really well for the reserves. They both needed games and they both showed a really good attitude and commitment. Dani scored one and made the other and Jay did really well in the middle of the pitch. He then played on Sunday and can be really proud of his performance. Danny Wilson has looked excellent in training and Jonjo Shelvey has come on off the bench and done well.

While his fondness for Kelly and Shelvey has been readily apparent, mentioning Pacheco and Wilson could signal there's a decent chance we'll soon see a pair of players who have themselves hardly seen the pitch so far this season. So, something to look forward to, perhaps. Or fear. Since I don't want to tell you what to think*.

In the meantime, while we continue to mourn the immanent loss of Liverpool's digital all-star...

*Just kidding. Of course I want to tell you what to think.

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