03 January 2011

The Replacement Managers

Now that it's clear that Roy Hodgson's job at Anfield is on a knife-edge, I'd like to look at the positives. The potentially golden sky at the end of this severe shit-storm. While Dalglish's name pops up in the stands as a potential replacement every other match or so, it's quite obvious to everyone that Dalglish won't be the permanent, long-term replacement that the club need to bring it forward. A caretaker role is more likely but whether Dalglish would agree to something like that in the first place, remains to be seen.

So, who are the worthy candidates? In no particular order:

1. Didier Deschamps (42)
The captain of France's World Cup triumph in 1998 has also had an equally impressive managerial career. He was head coach at Monaco when the club made its first Champions League final appearance in 2004. A few years later, Deschamps returned to a troubled Juventus in Serie B and led them back to Serie A on the first attempt. Was back in France by May 2009 and managed Marseilles to its first Ligue 1 title in 18 years. Was also in the shortlist of candidates to replace Rafa Benitez earlier this season but declined because of present commitments with Marseilles (and probably the fact that Hicks and Gillett were still around at that stage).

The Good: See all of the above especially Marseilles' long wait for the title. Similarities?
The Bad: Seemed to have lost all his managerial jobs because of clashes with management. It would be interesting to look into these further before deciding on anything.

2. Michael Laudrup (46)
Danish legend and arguably one of the best playmakers to play the game. Would be a popular appointment with Liverpool's strong fanbase in the Nordics. Laudrup appears to prefer the 4-2-3-1 formation which would make the transition for Liverpool's current crop of players easier as the personnel available have been accustomed to this formation under the former manager. Should also be able to connect more easily with the clubs bigger players due to his own experience as a player.

The Good: An impressive footballing pedigree
The Bad: Unproven at the bigger club level

3. Andre Villas Boas (33)
The youngest and therefore, the most inexperienced of the candidates here. The former member of Jose Mourinho's backroom at Porto, Chelsea and Inter decided to go it alone when he agreed to take the role of manager of Portuguese side Académica. Boas turned things around at the club (the club did not have a single win to its name that season, at the time of his appointment) and brought the club to a respectable mid-table finish. He must've impressed the bosses at Porto so much that he was appointed manager at the club the following season where he went on to beat the club's previous unbeaten run record. A record held by a one, Jose Mourinho during his time there. Porto are currently eight points clear at the top of Liga ZON Sagres and remain unbeaten as they enter the knock-out stages of the Champions League.

The Good: A very young manager with bags of potential based on his short history. Seen by many as a Mourinho Ver 2.0 but I'd rather have Boas Ver 1.0 if we were to get him.
The Bad: A very young manager who might not be able to deal with the harsh environment at Anfield. Success in Europe this season or even getting close to that of Mourinho's during his time in Porto might change a few more minds.

4. Jürgen Klopp (43)
As opposed to both Deschamps and Laudrup, Klopp had a relatively subdued career as a professional footballer but as a manager, Klopp has been as impressive as Boas. Klopp took the job at Borussia Dortmund last season and transformed it from relegation-battle scrappers to challenging at the top end of the Bundesliga, barely missing out on a Champions League spot. But, if that was impressive, Klopp took Dortmund up another notch this season where the club currently tops the Bundesliga, ten points clear of its nearest rival. And, if the results over the past season aren't convincing enough, Klopp's brand of attacking, free-flowing football has also endeared him to many of the footballing faithful around the world. If a cure is needed from the dire route-one football of the current regime then the German candidate might have a few answers.

The Good: Attack, Attack, Attack! appears to be Klopp's motto in football. It would be interesting to see whether the man has a Plan B. There will certainly be a good few chances to prove this in Europe this season.
The Bad: As with Boas, Klopp hasn't been around long enough.

5. Owen Coyle (44)
The British answer to all the continental options above (plus five candidates sounds better than four). The Scottish-born, former Republic of Ireland international has impressed many this season by taking a Bolton side that was still suffering from Sam Allardyce's touch to an attractive footballing side using pretty much the same personnel as left behind by the previous manager as well as getting results. Bolton currently are in seventh spot in the Premiership, two spots above Liverpool.

The Good: His appointment would certainly keep the more xenophobic members of the British media at bay but if that was the only reason to offer him the job, we all know how badly that turned out the last time the club went down that route.
The Bad: Same as Michael Laudrup although getting a few big club scalps this season or a good Cup run would help argue his case.

Any other suggestions?

Didier Deschamps pic by Pepito
Michael Laudrup pic by Alex Politov
Jurgen Klopp pic by Sir James


azwazis said...

I'd welcome Rafa back to LFC...

Roy...Feck OFf!!

Chip said...

Yeah, I'd take Rafa back in a heartbeat but I'm assuming FSG won't be too convinced with him at the moment.

Anonymous said...

hie..new to your blog..and enjoy every bit of your entry..neway, if rafa is not on the shortlist,A.V Boas or D.Deschamps would be a good pick..

Chip said...

Hi wogle...glad you like the entry. Personally, if I was forced to pick one of the 5 mentioned here, I'd go with Deschamps. I like what Villas Boas has achieved at Porto but I haven't seen enough just yet.

On the other hand, Ralf Rangnick appears to be interested in Liverpool. He's a bit older than any of the others mentioned here but his CV and style definitely looks interesting. Any thoughts on that one?

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