Rafa wants Pako to stay

Rafael Benitez could be set to lose on of his coaches at the end of the season as Paco Herrera looks to head back home to Spain at the end of his contract in the summer. According to the Liverpool Echo, Herrera never brought his family over to England when he arrived a little under two years ago and now wants to get back to them.

Not to be confused with Pako (with a ‘k’) Ayesteran, Rafa’s assistant manager, Paco (with a ‘c’) helps look after the reserves. In fact he has been instrumental in bringing new young talent to the club. Paco was hired as scout originally, and he’s used his scouting skills to help find the likes of Jack Hobbs, Paul Anderson and Antonio Barragan. As a result Liverpool’s reserve side is more of a super-charged youth team than a place for overpaid unwanted former first teamers to sit out their contracts. Some of those youngsters have joined with members of the Academy’s under-18 side to compete in the FA Youth Cup, a competition they are strongly tipped to win and are already in the semi-finals of.

Benitez wants to try and work out some kind of solution that sees Paco remain at Anfield after his contract ends. Rafa said: “We are talking about Paco’s future because he is an important person for us and he’s doing a very good job. It’s a possibility he will stay, but it’s also possible he will return to Spain because his family is there. We are thinking about a possible solution.”

One option considered for Herrera is to keep him as chief scout which could allow him to scout the continent from a Spanish base. Rafa’s determination to keep Herrera at the club shows that the reports we predicted linking Rafa with a move back to Real are miles away from any truth. Rafa knew he was going to be asked about the Real job as soon as the President resigned, and was ready to answer the inevitable questions: “I have a clear idea whenever anyone in Spain talks about this. I am focused on three competitions with my club, Liverpool. I want to win every game. I hear information from Spain, but my priority is the next game against Charlton, the Champions League and the FA Cup.”

Rafa was at Anfield last night to see three of his team help England to a 2-1 win over Uruguay. Peter Crouch scored with his head to give England the equaliser, Jamie Carragher performed very well as expected at left-back after being brought on due to an injury. England boss Sven Goran Eriksson was pleased with Crouch’s work, and although not saying he would definitely be off to Germany he certainly gave him encouragement: “That’s Peter Crouch. He’s different. I will not promise him a World Cup place, but it will difficult to leave him out.” The same has to be said for Jamie Carragher – his performance at left back proving just how valuable a squad player he would be for England, although a poor performance from Rio Ferdinand last night could even open the door to Carragher playing in his best role for England this summer. However, this is England of course and a lot depends on what the reporters of London decide they’d like to see.