From the outside, at least, Liverpool Football Club is in a holding pattern, a theoretical construct that may or may not field a "squad" to compete in various English and European footballing "competitions" in the coming season and that at present exists primarily as a vehicle for endless whisper, rumour, and speculation. For now at least, nothing but talk of who the new manager might or will or could be exists, with every other news and speculation pushed to the side. And a week after Fenway Sports Group parted ways with Kenny Dalglish, nobody actually knows a whole lot more than when news of the need for a new manager broke.
We know a few things: We know that Ajax's Frank de Boer is definitely out of the picture, as is Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp and Swansea's Brendan Rodgers. We know that Pep Guardiola isn't ending his hiatus before it's even started. And we know that Wigan owner Dave Whelan likes to talk. Beyond that, though, we don't actually know much for certain.
We know that the club has contacted Fabio Capello—or we know they haven't because he doesn't fit FSG's framework. We know that Roberto Martinez is flying to Boston and is John Henry's preferred candidate—or we know that even Martinez himself doesn't believe he's a legitimate contender for the job. And we certainly know the club isn't considering Rafa Benitez—at least unless their initial targets don't pan out, or unless the manager they really want and may have already offered the job turns them down, or unless they actually are considering him since there's nobody outside the club to leak information on the ex-coach as in the other cases.
For all that there have been complaints about the manner of Kenny Dalglish's dismissal, the club has at least so far in the search for a new manager managed to do what so many always say they want. Namely, they've kept things quiet, with anything we do know—or think we know—leaked from places over which Liverpool and FSG have no control. And that is a terrible thing because now none of us quite know what the club's doing, planning to do, or definitely not doing. Which is exactly what everybody always said they wanted.
Still, we all do know a few things—or we think we do—and you're all smart, beautiful, talented people whose opinions we value1. And also everybody else seems to be doing it because there's literally nothing else to talk about when it comes to Liverpool Football Club but nobody outside FSG headquarters in Boston aside from Ian Ayre actually knows what's going on. In any case, it's time for a poll, and with it your chance to tell us who you think would be the best man to lead Liverpool to league and European glory. Or at least back into the top four.
The names included comprise those who have been linked multiple times—or perhaps only baselessly speculated about multiple times—over the past week and haven't taken themselves out of the running, though if the person you're convinced would be the perfect fit isn't on the list you can always let us know in the comment section.
1Of course we're not trying to flatter you—we think far too much of you to think you would ever fall for that sort of thing.