Who next for LFC? Premier League experience not enough

Whilst some fans may not be happy about the decision to sack Dalglish, most should be able to at least understand why the owners have taken the decision.

We have underperformed in the league not only across the season but more worryingly have performed to the level of a relegation team in 2012. Without millions to spend in the summer what magic ingredient would have meant a change in the new season that would have met expectations?

Despite what some ex-Liverpool players have been saying on the radio today about the Carling Cup win being totally disregarded as an achievement by the owners, it’s clear that the club are desperate to win trophies but they are not prepared to accept a performance across 38 games which puts us on a par with Fulham. Had we finished 5th or 6th and narrowly lost out on the Champions League, that combined with 2 cup finals would certainly have been viewed differently, particularly with a good end to the season.

What they have a very tough decision now to take is who will follow Dalglish into the manager’s position. It is a crucially important step in Liverpool’s development and there does not seem to be a realistic outstanding candidate.

What I have tried to do is consider 3 things that should be considered in any appointment.

1)      Premier League Experience

The English league plays a different style to any other in the world. In order to be successful you have to have an awareness of this and be able to employ the right tactics to achieve success. These are likely to be different tactics each week than those in Spain, Italy or Holland. This is therefore a significant advantage for any candidate.

2)      Success at club level

Manager’s need to bring success to a club.  A proven track record obviously demonstrates that a manager knows what he is doing. International management without the day to day training, man management and transfer dealings is totally different and a realistic candidate for a club of Liverpool’s stature must be able to demonstrate an ability to do this successfully.

3)      Reputation/Ability to attract players

For some teams, depending on their position this may not be such an important factor. Arguably, Liverpool as a club should be able to attract players based on the history and success of the club. However, we are not currently able to compete with others on opportunities (i.e. title success and champions league football). Therefore a new manager must be able to provide belief that this will come and that players would want to play for his team for what he is likely to achieve

Assuming these are all rated on equal importance (out of 10) I have considered some of the most talked about candidates for the job and it is quite evident where some of the deficiencies lie. {The odds are current Sky Bet odds as at 17th May)

Andre Villas Boas 6-4 Fav (P.L, Experience – 3, Success – 7, Reputation- 6) Total – 16

Out of contract and therefore available but his short time in England wasn’t exactly a roaring success. He did fantastically well in Portugal but apparently tore apart the dressing room morale at Chelsea in only a few months. The fact that Abramovic sacked him shouldn’t make any difference (he sacked Ancelotti after all) but is he really the future? I doubt it, and another big risk based on very little evidence to support his case.

Roberto Martinez  4-1 (P.L, Experience – 7, Success – 5, Reputation- 4) Total – 16

Okay so he’s kept Wigan in the Premier League against the odds and plays relatively attacking football. However, he has had some absolutely horrendous results including club record defeats so there are some question marks over his tactics. He seems a very pleasant and articulate manager but is he really ready to make that transition to a club like Liverpool? It seems too big a risk to me.

Rafa Benitez 7-1 (P.L, Experience – 8, Success – 8, Reputation- 7) Total – 23

A large number of fans would love it but a sizeable minority wouldn’t. Should we take another step into the past? He’s got a lot of Premier League experience, success at more than one club and has the reputation in the footballing world to attract top players as he has proved in the past. You can’t argue with him being considered and just on the 3 categories covered, he beats Martinez hands down. Will the owners consider his faults from his previous time at the club (Alonso, Ayesteran) and/or has he learnt from them?

Brendan Rodgers 7-1 (P.L, Experience – 4, Success – 5, Reputation- 3) Total – 12

The ratings should say it all. Surely one season in the Premier League with no other notable successes should be enough to convince our owners that he is far from ready for a club like Liverpool.

Fabio Capello 10-1 (P.L, Experience – 1, Success – 10, Reputation- 9) Total – 20

Like Rafa his CV will earn him some consideration and also like Rafa he is available without paying another club compensation. At 65 though and without having had to endure the daily pressures of club management for 5 years I wouldn’t have thought you should be putting too much money on this Italian.

Jurgen Klopp 20-1 P.L. Experience – 0, Success – 8, Reputation – 7) – 17

On a par in terms of my ratings system with Martinez but for very different reasons. An excellent record in Germany he has twice overcome Bayern Munich with much lower resources, something we surely need. There’s no reason why he couldn’t make the transition to the Premier League but again it’s a risk. It would mean he’d be giving up Champions League football with Dortmund to come to Liverpool. It depends whether he would relish the challenge enough.

Paul Lambert 25-1 (P.L, Experience – 4, Success – 5, Reputation- 3) Total – 12

See comments on Rodgers. The exact same thing applies here

Jose Mourinho 33-1 (P.L, Experience – 8, Success – 10, Reputation- 10) Total – 28

Obviously wouldn’t be the most popular choice amongst Liverpool fans but I would put money on the fact that we’d finish higher than 8th with him in charge. The chances of swapping the almost bottomless pit of money in Madrid for the comparative poverty on Merseyside? Unlikely but you have to agree that if they could somehow persuade him, how could you say it was a bad choice. He might even tweak Fergie’s ear if we’re lucky.

Pep Guardiola 20-1 (P.L, Experience – 0, Success – 10, Reputation- 10) Total – 20

Probably the most sought after manager in world football after his Barcelona team have become one of the best sides we’ve ever seen.  He may be tempted by the challenge of the Liverpool job but enough to go back on his commitment to have a year out of the game? Doubtful and therefore unlikely we will get him just yet and when he’s ready to return to the game he may prefer a club like Arsenal, Man Utd or one of the top Italian sides where the task of turning them into a title winning side isn’t such a big ask. We should at least be talking to him though.

There are many other candidates being considered but some too ridiculous to mention. My aim here was to highlight the fact that when you consider the merits of managers available, some of the favourites would be ludicrous choices. The names mentioned from the current Premier League managers are far too high risk to consider seriously.

Mourinho  and Guardiola would surely be anyone’s first choice, Failing that how could you choose Martinez or Rodgers over Benitez or Klopp or even Villas-Boas.

Over to you Mr Henry.

7 comments on
Who next for LFC? Premier League experience not enough

  1. Love how you rate Martinez on power AVB, does everyone forget that Wigan were in the relegation places for most of the season? Suddenly he wins a couple of games and everyone thinks he’s good enough for Liverpool. Rodgers would even be better! Good article otherwise.  José with AVB as his assistant, would be expensive but worth it!

  2. Dalglish did everything he could to keep hold of Torres, but the player – who had already sulked his way through a season – demanded to go. Saying it was his ‘famous first move’ just makes you sound like an ignorant dick.

  3. rafa … with all the constraints one can never ignore the fact he did better …. just see where roy took the same team too …. relagation zone?  and what was the king kenny’s famous first move …  selling torres…  take a leaf from  the spurs .. they hung on to modric and they ARE in the CL [chelsea can effect otherwise, though] … but selling ur iconic player to bring in young blood [sad talents at that too] has given us 8th !!! blaming the woodwork is a good passtime …

    and not knowing to play ur best 11 cost AVB his job and us a place below everton [why cant we get moyes instead!!!!!!!!!!!!!]  .. maxi and kuyt will vouch for that …  and we lost to some teams who got relagated will add to the injury …

    in short… kenny was all wrong from the begining … the fact we were in the pits when he took over concealed all his oversights till may be the middle of this season …

    then again there is kenny’s famous signings … least said the better … comelli or not …

    •  King Kenny’s famous first move……selling torres.  Are you for real? Even idiot knows torres wanted out.  Which alien planet are you from? Moronn………..TRAWL BACK TO YOUR FU……..ING HOLE!!!

  4. AVB for me. He was hired to be part hatchet man, part manager at chelsea, overseeing a major restructure and while I don’t doubt he could have handled the dressing room egos better, he was on a hiding to nothing with so many entrenched stars. Liverpool is a different proposition. At Chelsea he needed to rip things up before he could rebuild. At Liverpool things are already torn to pieces, now we need someone to start putting it all back together. I also believe he’s suspect defensively, which would need to be addressed (Carra as defensive coach perhaps as his days as a player are numbered).

    But, given teh strenghths and weaknesses of all the other candidates, and weighing up the likelihood of their interest in the LFC post (Pep? Klopp? can’t see it) , AVB is probably our best bet.  

  5. It would be interested to se which managers think that they are suitable for the post. Might tell us a lot about what they perceive the ambitions of the club are

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