The Comolli Role

Posted by

By Masimba The Ace

Shankly was first interviewed for the Liverpool job in 1951
“In 1951, when I was the manager of Carlisle United, I got a telephone call from Liverpool and was asked if I’d like to be interviewed for the manager’s job. George Kay had just resigned. I stayed in Southport on the Sunday night and went to meet the Liverpool board the next day… ‘The big snag had cropped up when the Liverpool board had said the manager could put down his team for matches and the directors would scrutinize it and alter it if they wanted to. So I just said, “If I don’t pick the team, what am I manager of?” And that was that.

I was just over thirty-six years old then. I had not long finished playing and I was young and fit and ambitious. Liverpool were in the First Division. They were struggling, but there were a lot of young players knocking about the game. I could have started the job eight years earlier than I did! God Almighty, what I would have done for Liverpool then! But a manager must be a manager. He is in charge of the players and the training staff. He organizes the training and the coaching, lays down the law and picks the team. Without that he is nothing‘”

The words above were said by Bill Shankly himself. He believed that the directors should never meddle with the manager’s business. In 1951 Shankly did not get the job because the Directors had insisted on “doing the manager’s job”. It ended up costing us 8 years without Shankly magic, imagine what could have happened during those 8 years!

According to reports and stories I have read, heard and seen, Comolli will work hand in hand with King Kenny on “football issues”, for example the signing of players. My question is, what does ‘hand in hand’ mean? Does that not undermine King Kenny? Who has the final say at the end of the day, in the event that they disagree? If King Kenny wants a player and Commolli does not want him, what happens? Or if Commolli wants a player who Kenny deems unfit, surplus or who does not fit in King Kenny’s plans. What will then happen, who will win?

I am afraid that Commolli and King Kenny will end up having disagreements on who to sign and who not to sign.

As a person who browses the internet all day for LFC news, I noticed that the media seems to link King Kenny with English players or players already in the EPL. On the other hand the media links Commolli with players from other leagues. This is not always the case, but it has to be 90% true. King Kenny has been said to be interested in Young, Jarvis, Adam, Gary Cahill, Downing, Jones etc. While Commolli has been linked with Matuidi, Payet, Sahin etc. I know that they also have both been linked with the same players, but it seems as if King Kenny is strongly linked to other players whilst Commolli is strongly linked to other players. I also think Comolli is the one who is keen on Marvaeux.

It is apparent FSG firmly believe that Comolli is an important Liverpool asset and they may end up taking his side, in the event that there is a disagreement. I say this because FSG have improved Commolli’s contract before they agreed with King Kenny on his. When Commolli signed his contract, his roles were extended and he was given roles that coincide with the manager’s role before the manager even signed his contract. Hence when FSG discuss King Kenny’s contract with Kenny and his agent, they will not offer all the “managerial roles” to King Kenny. Because they would have given some of them to Commolli! Maybe that is why King Kenny’s contract is taking longer to be signed, because he is not being given full control of the team. Meaning he would be like a La liga coach, not an English league football manager. Now that sucks!!!!!!! Maybe that is the reason why FSG (or Commolli) are keeping track of Villas Boas, because they know he is a young coach who will not mind having Comolli (the meddler) around.

What has Comolli done for Liverpool of late?

Yes yes yes, he signed Carroll and Suarez. That is really great and I am really grateful for that. But Suarez had always indicated that he wanted to come to LFC and anyone handling transfers could have signed him for us, as long as they paid what Ajax wanted. But Comolli took too long to complete this signing. Maybe if we had signed Suarez earlier, a certain traitor could have stayed for longer. Maybe our results could have been different, maybe we would not have lost to WBA and other lower teams. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT COMOLLI LET US DOWN BY TAKING TOO LONG TO SIGN SUAREZ. Because Ajax wanted to sell and Suarez wanted to come to LFC. Commolli was offering 13 million pounds when Ajax made it clear they wanted 22 million.

King Kenny made it clear that he wanted to sign Charlie Adam and our Director of Football Strategy at the time did not do all he could to prise him from Blackpool. He had 50 million on the last day of the transfer window and he did not offer enough money to Blackpool. I guess that is because he was negotiating. Well if he could offer 35 million for Carroll, what was wrong with 12 million for Adam. Tottenham almost signed him that very night, they just could not do it on time. There I blame Comolli.

Before I go any further, I want to clearly state that I do not wish to undermine Damien Comolli in any way. But I just want to point out my opinion on “the Comolli role”. I am very grateful to Comolli for ‘eventually’ signing Suarez and for signing Carroll at lightning speed. On deadline day he had to react fast and effectively after we had sold Torres. And that is exactly what he did, I am quite sure Carroll was King Kenny’s decision, so its thumbs up to Comolli for going along with Kenny. At the end of the day LFC were the winners.

And Shankly…

I am quite sure Bill Shankly would never agree with “the Comolli Role” if it undermined the manager’s role in any way. He would want all the power to be given the real manager not a director. Times have changed though, but we have a culture to protect, our heritage. It is this heritage that led to the success of our beloved LFC. Shankly knew that directors must never meddle with the team, be it on who is played or who is signed. The Directors should support the manager’s decisions and the managers should in turn meet the Director’s targets. That way the club can move forward.



  1. Shit article.

    “Too long to sign Suarez” – Please.

    “a certain traitor could have stayed for longer” – And we wouldn’t have signed Carroll.


  2. Masimba, me again. I beg to differ with you here! You are comparing two era’s that are worlds apart. There is so much money in today’s game that Shanks would probably be disgusted!
    Comolli did well at Spurs and will do well with Liverpool. It is NOT written in stone that he will decide who to buy or sell. I feel that will be concerted effort with everyone concerned giving his say.
    I reckon we will only be able to judge Damien Comolli after next summer’s transfer window and where LFC will find itself this time next year! Judgements before all this happens, are premature.

    1. Too much money that Shanks would ave been disgusted. Are you kidding. That is the manager’s job to adapt and adjust.
      That is similar to what some people were saying in August when Kenny said he wanted the Job. They said he wont understand the modern game.
      But you are right we will judge Comolli after next summer, just roughly 4 months befor the transfer window closes.
      Now its every paper is saying Kenny aint signed yet because of the Comolli role, he wants the final say. I said it first.

  3. what complete and utter nonsense. You couldn’t even spell his bloody name correctly.

  4. Your making assumptions on newspaper clippings when at a time when rumours were rife.

    FYI Ajax actually stated that they wanted £30m for Suarez so Commolli did a very good job to not be held to ransom like City and Chelsea and picked him up for a good fee.

    As for Adams, why would we want to go to £12m when we will go for a third of that his summer, we have 4 ready made midfielders in Gerrard/Miereles/Lucas/Spearing another one in Poulsen and Aquillani still on the books albeit out on loan.

  5. As pointed out, footballing times have changed. One thing unmentioned is Kenny’s adaptability and intelligence, the latter not in doubt.

    Look at the tactics he’s used since January 8. Has Anfield seen three at the back since Roy Evans? About delay in awarding Dalglish charge of the club, has John W. Henry not demonstrated before he’s read extensively on LFC? Secondly, FSG/NESV didn’t rush to sack Hodgson, taking time till Kenny’s appointment. It seems Henry’s team has method to their madness.

    KDs exposure to soccer is not just about tactics. As a keen student of the game, I’m sure he’s looked at trends, of which Comolli’s position is now the norm. Giants like Bayern Munich have thrived with just such a policy.

    Only time can provide clarification. Debate fodder nevertheless.

  6. Ludicrous…pure speculation at this point and into the future..
    The FACTS are you or any of us will never know who they are targeting, whether they agree or noot on matters or who has what preference. Its the Liverpool Way for us now and until news appears on the official site, all anyone can do is try and keep their sanity and be patient.

    Were definitely going in the right direction.
    Whatever they are doing – KEEP DONG IT!!

  7. To be fair the worst case scenario is that KK and Comolli have a breakdown in their relationship over players and their pulling in different directions. It seems that this may have happened at Tottenham but I admit that I’m not sure of the full story in that case?

    However I’s like to think that they are both mature enough to be able to use each others strengths to work together for the good of Liverpool..

    Kenny seems to have a knack for spotting hidden talent and then with his man management skills bringing out the best in that player..

    Whilst Comolli certainly has unearthed some great talent with his more statistical approach to choosing players. I’m especially excited that they mention that they look at how many games the player is able to play without injury.. Nothing worse than an injured player sucking up the wage bill..

    So far FSG seem to have done a really good job, and I know some Red Sox fans who love what they have done with their team..

    Nothing is certain but I’m optimistic this approach could work..

  8. who the f**k are you,,,Get lost from EOTK,,,,,,,,i wonder who gave you the authority to ruin my day????

  9. I was under the impression that Comolli and Kenny drew a list of players they agreed on and presented the names to the chairman to decide. I read that a few months ago somewhere anyway. I’ll reserve judgement until after the first season with KK and Comolli working together.

  10. well i accept that this article is provoking. I am not saying Comolli (with one m will fail), but im sure Shankly would not be at peace with having Commoli around.
    Do you think Kenny has not signed a long term contract they cant agree on the length of the contract.
    But yeah, times ave changed. We may ave to live aving Comolli around.
    But what is it that Comolli can do that Kenny cant do.

  11. A bit unfair to Comolli and very speculative. Taking too long to sign Suarez? I personally would have been upset if the first day we signed Suarez for 22m. That is what City does. It isn’t shrewd business. Negotiating is a must even if it is fruitless in the end. Assuming Carroll was Kenny’s signing? If you are going to say he is the man in charge of transfers, you can’t pick and choose which ones.

    While Comolli likely does have a lot of control about who is brought to the table, I just can’t see the club signing someone that the manager is adamant he doesn’t want. Ultimately, I think we will end up with some very good signings and I do think this specialized position makes sense in this day and age. Comolli’s main job is to bring in great young talent. If he doesn’t, his job and reputation will be in jeopardy.

  12. Masimba. You ask. ‘What is it that Comolli (one M) can do that Kenny cannot do?’
    The answer is simple. Spend his time scouting potential talent, playing with statistics, wheeling and dealing, ecc, ecc, ecc!
    Kenny is an old fashioned manager, and that is what has turned this season around. His passion, his feelings with players, he fatherly encouragement, his appreciation for young talent.
    Yes young talent, something which he and Comolli have in common: bring young talent and make them flourish on your turf!
    The article is certainly provocative, but I have the impression you got this one wrong friend! Provocation claims, in this case, is the right excuse in an effort to justify a wrong impression, a ridiculous comparison, and a premature judgement.

    1. Okay, okay okay. I will accept that its still too early to judge. Thats why im not judging him. Im just being trying to scrutinise him. But i realise that i have upset some people and for that im sorry.

      But well this is an Opinion article. So its my opinion.

  13. Look, FSG follows a reasonably successful American style of team management. In many english cases managers come and go quickly, and if they have total control they shift out players because they aren’t ‘their’ type of player. When you have someone else picking a team then finding the right managers or coaches to work with that team you get better consistency and can more easily build for the future. I am not saying it’s right or wrong, but that is the model FSG has set up.

  14. Charlie Adam more than 12 million pounds… do you even watch football masimba ? ?

    If thats the case and you think charlie adam is worth 12 million pounds then Van de Vaart must of been a steal for 8 million pounds … come on get real mate and stop wishing bad players upon the club.

    1. i watch every Lfc game. At times i even watch the same game 4 times.
      I have to admit i am highly biased towards Lfc that i aint even watching the Champion league until we are back in it.
      I watched our two games versus Blackpool. Charlie was great. I also watched Blackpool vs ManUre 2-3. Charlie was great too. Though he seems to have slumped a bit.
      But i dont think he is shit

  15. i apologise if i have upset people. That was not what i was trying to achieve. I was trying to offer a different point of view.
    Anyway, i will reserve some of the things i could ave said.
    @tonio. I am quite sure Kenny wont be that bad if he was to handle transfers alone.

    We are still the greatest team in the World. Pepe seems to be staying. Some reports says we ave 50mil to spend in the summer. So things are good. Im still happy.

  16. What a shit post. Full of un-edicated opinions. How has signing saurez at the end of january effected us getting beat by WBA, you do realise that was almost 2 months after we signed him and he played??? Also, you say you wanted more from him…in what way? Hes been there for one transfer window and im pretty sure i speak for most fans when i say we have done decent business signing carrol and saurez. And we didnt get held to ransom for adam…another good move. give the guy a chance!! Our new owners have said transfers will be done by comittee, so if one party doesnt fancy a player they move on. Cant blame the owners for wanting to make sure they are getting value for money. This type of post is exactly the type of thing we dont need, once things start to look bright, we have our own fans looking to pick holes and try and highlight problems where there aren’t any.

  17. at that tym most people looked down upon Spearing. Most also ridiculed Lucas. Up to now, no one wants to see Poulsen play a Lfc shirt. We are likely to cash in on Aquaman (he never really got a chance).
    I think Kenny will sign Adam in the summer. Especially if we dont retain Aquilani.
    I am concerned about this ‘Comolli Role’

  18. Masimba, sometimes it’s better to do a bit of research before just aimlessly writing a viewpoint which has no substance.
    On many occasions Comolli has stated that the manager has the final say on transfers.. Case in point

    He said the same thing about Hodgson when he was in charge (thank god Woy never got the opportunity). Commoli’s role is there to assist the manager and provide his input on signings… Finally to compare his role with how it would fit into Shanks thinking is ridiculous.. Football has changed, look at how many international players there are in our game, do you think Shanks would know every one and be able to manage and conduct these dealings by himself..

    Yes this is your opinion, but it has no substance…

  19. at that tym most people looked down upon
    Spearing. Most also ridiculed Lucas. Up to now,
    no one wants to see Poulsen in a Lfc shirt. We
    are likely to cash in on Aquaman (he never really
    got a chance).
    I think Kenny will sign Adam in the summer.
    Especially if we dont retain Aquilani.
    I am concerned about this ‘Comolli Role’

  20. As the king said on his 1st day back….”WE ALL HAVE TO BE SINGING FROM THE SAME HYMN SHEET” when are we going to stop trying to self – destruct!!!!!!!!! We’ll never win the league until we get behind the team unequivicaly!!! YNWA….

  21. Get off masimbas back. I totally inderstand wher your coming from. I also thought suarez deal took too long and we over paid for carrol

  22. Masbimba
    I liked that you tried to bring in Shankly even though the eras are different. Maybe you should not have been so specualtive. Look at writing and a piece of research. You are right about the press lonking Comolli links with foreign players and Kenny with local but the parts;
    ‘Maybe that is why King Kenny’s contract is taking longer to be signed, because he is not being given full control of the team.’
    ‘It sucks’
    doesn´t help the article which should be a bit more gorunded to prove your ideas.

    It has never been clear as to what role of Comolli is but the press made too much of the Harry Redknap situation when Comolli left Spurs. KK is not as stubborn as Redknapp but is shrewd and uses the best assets he can get. If he knows Comolli is good for the club then he won´t say either a good or bad word at the moment until he is manager and by that time Kenny will be sure he can do the job he wants for the best interests of the club.
    Remember Sir Kenny is no one´s fall guy of chump. That is why he is the King. Have more faith in KK. If it was anyone else then I may have felt the same way you wrote.
    Writing means you are a fan and all those who write here support each other even though we might get a pissy sometimes.

  23. He signed Suarez so you can’t say he did it too late. The transfers were actually executed. Harry Redknapp took too long to sign Suarez, that’s why he doesn’t play for Tottenham. A week prior to the deadline Ajax were demanding 30 million pounds for him. Should we just have jumped at that and played the sucker? No. We negotiated and got an acceptable price for him. Carroll was overpaid for, but that happens at the 11th hour. I was pleased to get anyone that late, and we got a solid striker with buckets of potential to get even better. I his one chance to do something for Liverpool, Comolli got it just right. Why are you doubting him now?

    Why this article was given the OK by EOTK I don’t know. This has to be the most pessimistic and cynical thing I’ve seen since the transfer window. Fewer guest writers please.

  24. Get off his back he’s just making a point and to be honest it was a better post than a lot of the crap that’s posted on this.

    The Suarez deal did go through very late but I suppose the club didnt expect Torres to go to Chelsea so you cant really blame them for that, they still got it done inside the window and that was the aim I’d imagine.

    The Carrol deal was over the odds and personally I think we would of been better off waiting until the summer and taking our pick of players instead of paying over the price to an owner who was always going to sell if the money was right.

    Again though Im not sure how that was Commolis fault Im sure FSG said theres £35m there to spend on a striker take your pick and Carrol was there choice.

    We’ve signed two cracking players exactly what we were looking for, young success hungry players. We had a bid for Micah Richards someone who has a massive future ahead of him also and also a bid for at the time probably the best CM in the club.

    2 minds are better than one, Commoli identifys them and Kenny decides if he wants them. I dont see why there has to be a clash of interests.

  25. how can you lot say that the Suarez deal took too long, look at what was happening, for crying out loud Torres wanted to leave, Chelski had made a bid and a lot of things were going on.. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Suarez wanted some clarification that he wasn’t coming here to simply replace Torres and that he expected great things of Liverpool… Most likely they realized that Suarez was in and then focused on getting a replacement for Torres and tried to pull off a bunch of other deals.. i.e. Adam, etc. etc.. Let’s see what happens in the Summer and have some faith in the club.. YNWA

  26. I think, in short, Kenny summed it up himself recently when he said that the LFC way is to do things behind doors. Which is exactly what is going on. So anything else is just speculation and so I see no gain from doom-mongering over Comolli’s role because simply, we don’t know. But it seems like LFC is in much safer hands now than it has been for some time, so probably not much to gain from preaching doom on a webpage closely monitored by many LFC fans.

  27. Awful, awful article.
    Torres was going no matter what, he could have changed his mind when Suarez came and he didnt.

    The reason the transfer took so long is because Ajax wanted £35million.

    Clearly an awful negotiator…

  28. This article totally lacks basis. You seem to be dwelling a lot on the transfer rumours posted on the internet , King Kenny has already stated that all matters regarding transfers will be done the liverpool way and that is behind close doors and further Liverpool are better off without Torres. We have to new signings who will be bigger than Torres in a very short while.

  29. Masimba the Ace,you don’t need to pop up wiv articles that would unsettle or upset the fans,we all know how the owners tends to do their business carefully and cautiously,the owners spoke of their discontent over the full authority the previous manager had in Rafael Benitez citing one of the reasons for failed and flopped transfers I couldn’t agree more with this.The owners further reiterated transfer dealings would be done in consensus about players that would come and go perharps avoiding overpriced fees on players I couldn’t agree more with this.Comoli did say Kenny would have final say on transfers I think Comoli’s role is to support Sir Kenny spotting out young talents deciding together if it is in the best interest of the club and see if’s or nots.Sir Kenny spoke highly of Comoli and Comoli reciprocated these two personalities have utmost respect for each other and fans shouldn’t try to come in between them just like the journalist does..we fans should be bracing up for happy times coming our way rather someone in Masimba trying to unsettle us.

    1. Like i said bro, im sorry for upsetting you. I did not mean to upset any Redman. I just wanted to be use a different set of glasses to view some of these matters. I am developing as a writer. I was hoping for a better reception though.
      Anyway, lets move on. We got the magpies tomorrow. We ave to get those 3 points.
      Hail King Kenny, Hail Sir Kenny.

  30. truth hurt and sometimes people like to lie to themself just to forget the truth!!!me too i doupt camolli role in lfc!!and if i was u i would not be sorry its just your opinion and its a free contry!!!

Comments are closed