Where is the new manager of Liverpool going to come from?
By Guest Writer Peter Jacobs.
Liverpool’s history is stooped in domestic and European glory, the poignant memories of the past are seen through rose tinted glasses and the list of trophies are too long to mention. It is the combination of the success at both levels which will make the next manager of Liverpool even more intriguing.
As the Anfield door shuts firmly behind Rafael Benitez, managing director Christian Purslow and club ambassador Kenny Dalglish are drawing up a list of candidates to take up the reins at Liverpool FC, but what are the options?
Numerous coaches from across Europe are being mentioned, glamorous names such as Louis Van Gaal and Gus Hiddink will excite the fans with their total football attitudes but it’s the domestic stalwart managers which may have the biggest chance to land one of the biggest managerial jobs in football. There seems to be three routes to explore for Purslow and Dalglish, firstly is the European star name. Jose Mourinho’s departure from Inter Milan to Real Madrid may well have started a managerial circus, but with Gus Hiddink’s agent claiming a move to Merseyside is ‘impossible’, it is a chance for another big name to step up.
A manager from the continent will help keep Liverpool in the headlines internationally and may aid in attracting the top players but the worry for the board is that Liverpool need some stability and there are doubts about whether coaches such as Sven Goren Erikson or Jurgen Klinsmann can bring that. The huge list of names which are linked to the vacancy highlights just how a big a job the Liverpool manger is, even after a disappointing seventh place last season and a troublesome board. The respect a manager such as Van Gaal would demand could be exactly what the players and fans need but his lack of knowledge about the English Premiership could be his downfall.
This now switches attention back to these shores. The gritty, economical option of Fulham’s Roy Hodgson or Birmingham’s Alex McLeish may not set the hearts racing of some fans but the list of positives at this type of appointment outweighs the negatives.
Throw in Martin O’Neill and Mark Hughes to the mix and the list of candidates from Britain is strong. All have experience of working with a tight budget, which is reported to be the case this summer as American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks are only offering the next manager a kitty of £5 million. When exploring the CV’s of Hodgson and McLeish, it becomes apparent that these men know what it takes to control a big football name.
Hodgson has coached Inter Milan twice and internationally with Finland, also after an inspirational Europa League run with Fulham this season even former Reds manager Gerard Houllier is backing the 62 year-old Englishman for the job.
‘I would be delighted if he could coach Liverpool, because he deserves it.
‘He is used to coaching stars, as well, because he was coach at Inter Milan.’ Houllier said.
Scotsman McLeish has also got experience of managing at the top level by leading Glasgow Rangers to two Scottish Premier Leagues and Scotland to one of their most famous wins, a 1-0 victory over France in Paris. He has taken Birmingham, a yo-yo club, to ninth place last season their highest place in 50 years. His credentials are very impressive and he would surely love the chance to take a underachieving side back to the top of the English league.
O’Neill seems to be tied down at Aston Villa whilst former Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton player Mark Hughes will not be a fans favourite after being sacked by Manchester City in December last year.
The final option and possibly fans favourite, would be the return to the Liverpool culture of the past by recruiting internally and there is no bigger name in the Anfield corridors then ‘King Kenny’ himself. Dalglish hasn’t managed since he left Celtic in 2000 but his pedigree as a coach is unquestionable. He won the Premiership with Blackburn and lifted nine trophies with Liverpool including three first division titles and two F.A cups during a six-year spell as manager between 1985 to 1991.
Dalglish seems to bleed Liverpool red and with it being uncertain times with reported player unrest and the club being up for sale, he could be the man to steady the ship and would only have the good of the club at the top of his priorities.
All three options have benefits and flaws, but a club like Liverpool with such a prestigious past must now take it’s time to ensure the right man is appointed. The next coach will be walking into a club which currently is the seventh best team in England, but there is an opportunity for a manager to become a cult hero on the kop and with new owners apparently coming in ‘by the end of the calendar year’ it still makes the Liverpool job a mouth watering chance for any optimistic coach.
Let us know which option you think Liverpool should take?
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