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.
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.