By Ghanshyam Shenoy (@ghanshyam1989)
Now that Jürgen Klopp is only an announcement away from being the next manager of Liverpool Football club, the Anfield hierarchy both on Merseyside and in Boston must ensure that they develop an environment in which the German shows us his true colours.
The most basic need at this moment is to create this environment, is the Director of Football. Ever since Brendan Rodgers vetoed this position on his appointment, fans and pundits alike are involved in heated debates, arguing its merits and demerits while comparing it to the other structures mainly our very own ‘The committee.’
Whatever might be the success rate or failure rate of the said committee, one thing was sure that Brendan was already a manager in Britain, knew about the inner workings at a British club and at least on paper was familiar with the environment prevailing. But comparing German clubs to British clubs; both having different cultures, structures and environments, the least we can do is take all that responsibility away from Klopp.
Klopp himself was working with the Director of Football at Dortmund and was an open supporter of that model, as are most German clubs and European clubs. Liverpool tried it with Damien Comolli with limited success and then decided to ditch it. Spurs also are not very supportive of that even though they have one. So, evidence suggests that there are no many takers for this model in England.
But, it should change at Liverpool; we cannot afford Klopp to be another one of them managers who tried and failed. We need him to succeed and do at least better than what Rafa Benitez did and certainly better than what Rodgers did. Our whole stature as a top club depends on Klopp now. I disagree with Carra when he said we are another Spurs. We aren’t there yet. We still have a massive following, reputed around the world together with one of the most famous iconic stadiums in world football. But, Klopp fails and we will be another Spurs for sure. Social media will ensure that.
So, to ensure Klopp doesn’t fail we need to appoint a director of football, a person with a football background, knows both sides of the fence meaning he will be comfortable with both the German and the hierarchy, has sound knowledge about Liverpool Football club, at the same time not encroaching the managers space nor his player plans.
And, for me we have a readymade person who, when you think of it will be the perfect person for this job. Didi Hamann. According to reports Klopp is talking to our Scouse German about Liverpool and Didi is also speaking to our board about Klopp. In short, Didi is acting like how the director of Football is acting already.
He knows the club inside out, respects the traditions and the culture at Liverpool football club and has a sound knowledge about football even though he has not succeeded fully as a manager himself. But, like Michael Zorc at Dortmund who made 450-odd appearances at the Westfalenstadion, Didi Hamann made nearly 200 appearances for Liverpool alone. He and Klopp will develop a nice chemistry between themselves because of their already existing relationship which will enable Klopp to take us higher, very higher.
The Board needs to get their act together now more than ever. Even though we have improved lots commercially and the non-football side of our operations, there is a clear lack of clarity about the football operations side at our club. Having said that, I think the owners know that we need to act fast, now more than ever and hence, Rodgers was let go because managers like Klopp or Ancelotti are not going to be out of work for very long.
We need to pounce on them with both hands to first appoint them, and then make sure that they make a difference to our team, our fanbase and our club as a whole and appointing Didi Hamann as the Director of football will take us on that direction. Anything else and the Liverbird on our crest will eventually start looking like a cockerel.