The Liverpool F.C. managerial candidates

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As much as I don’t want to, we must eventually put Kenny Dalglish’s departure behind us and begin the inevitable search for a new manager. With that in mind, here are the names already being touted as future bosses at Anfield. 


Roberto Martinez
Seems the most likely to get the job, does the Wigan manager. His name’s been thrown around a lot with the vacant Aston Villa post, however he rejected it last season and one would expect him to reject it again if Liverpool came calling. Martinez is held in high regard by everyone at Wigan, none more so than his Chairman Dave Whelan, who suggested you “couldn’t find a better manager than Roberto”. However does he deserve to manage Liverpool? He took Swansea from League One promotion to 8th in the Championship within one season, before departing to Wigan. Since he’s taken over there, they’ve
finished 16th, 16th and 15th. Hardly a huge improvement considering the wraps on the man as a managerial mastermind.

Brendan Rodgers
From a former Swansea boss to a current Swansea boss, Brendan Rodgers has his Welsh side playing some wonderful football. For the squad he’s got, and the limited investments he’s had to improve it, Rodgers has done a great job. Taking over in July 2010, Rodgers led Swansea to promotion in his first season in charge. Once in the big time, Rodgers guided Swansea to an 11th place finish, the highest of the three promoted sides, playing some really nice, attractive football along the way. However he has been urged to remain at Swansea, with many claiming a move to a big side is still too early for him.

Rafa Benitez
Rafa’s name was thrown into the mix as soon as rumours circulated that Dalglish was on his way out. Obviously he knows the club, he knows how to win games and he knows how to get the side into the Champion’s League, but I still query whether appointing Benitez would be a step backwards for the club. By the end of the 2009-10 season, he simply had to go. Liverpool under Benitez were becoming too predictable, and as a result our performances began to slide. For me, if Benitez is appointed I’m not sure it would be a step in the right direction.


Andre Villas Boas
Guided Porto to an unbeaten 2010-11 season, where he won the league title and the Europa League, yet failed dismally at Chelsea. However I understood what he was trying to do at Stamford Bridge. I think he knew more than most that Chelsea’s older players would eventually decline, and attempted to implement fresh, young faces which could one day succeed them. Chelsea appointed a very raw, 33-year-old Villas Boas to bring in a new era at the club, however like Chelsea do, they got frustrated when he couldn’t do it overnight, and sacked him for Roberto Di Matteo. Sure, Chelsea may have done well under Di Matteo, who rejuvenated their older players like John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, but one must ask how long that will remain, and then how long until they realise sacking Villas Boas may have been the wrong choice. In my opinion, Villas Boas wouldn’t be a bad choice as the next Liverpool manager.


Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool’s owners want improvement? Who better than Jurgen Klopp. The German took over Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2008, after their previous manager was sacked for a 13th place finish. In his first season in charge, Klopp brought Dortmund up the table to 6th, then to 5th, before winning the league title in 2010-11. Three seasons and he’d already transformed them from a struggling mid-table side to league champions. This season, Klopp’s Dortmund only got better, winning the league title again before defeating Bayern Munich 5-2 in the German Cup Final. It was Dortmund’s first ever domestic double in their 103 year history, and Klopp was the architect. If I was in charge, Klopp would definitely be the first name on my list.


Didier Deschamps
The Frenchman has a managerial CV full of success. He led Monaco to the Champion’s League Final in 2004, left for Juventus where he brought them back from Serie B with promotion in his first season, before going to Marseille in 2008. In the 2009-10 season he led them to the league title, as well as beginning a three year run of French Cup wins. Deschamps has the ability to manage Liverpool, however I don’t think he’d top the list of candidates just yet.

Whatever the decision, Liverpool’s owners need to act smart and fast. Our entire future could hinge on this summer, therefore the appointment of a manager is essential. However they must not rush their decision. We simply can’t have a repeat of the last few years. We need a manager who is willing to stay long term, and can begin improvements on this great club immediately. Four manager’s in two years is too many for the Liverpool Football Club. Thing’s must change.


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  1. I think AVB was fine at Chelsea, he got them far into the Champions League, still fighting for fourth and FA cup on which Di Matteo stepped in to finish.

    Di Matteo is getting far too much recognition for the situation. Pep, AVB and Rafa are top of my list and in that order!

    Can’t wait until this whole thing is resolved though.

    1. My heart was devastated when I heard John fired Kenny.

      Its of most importance that King Kenny continues working positive for the club, formal or imformal.

      As a club, we are lucky that so many BIG managers are vacant in Europe thes days.

      Obviously PEP Guardiola is my favourite.

    2. I totaly agree, martinez and his ilk are also rans, if we are to go forward we need someone to progress us not a stalemate, even Rafa is a step back, onwards and upwards regards Raylee

  2. Why isn’t Fabio Capello on this list? I would ignore his time with England because honestly that national team beats itself. Don Fabio is a proven winner, especially with Real Madrid. I would definitely give him a call if he is willing to take it.

  3. PEP GUARDIOLA, if you read this – get your Spanish as up from the Tapas table, and move to Liverpool for the next years – we NEED YOU MAN

    VIVA PEP!!

  4. I am sitting here pondering everything you have said but really do not think that any of them are the 100% right person for Liverpool but hand on heart I can’t think of anyone else. Who ever gets the job they have to motivate the players because they seem to be unable to motivate themselves. The players lack the passion and the pride of wearing the RED SHIRT and that is the sad part. So Liverpool as a supporter of over 55 years I urge you, take your time, look into all of them very, very carefully and be 100% sure you have picked the right man. Another thing don’e keep the fans in the darkas that is not fair. We have a right to be kept up to date with proceedings.

  5. martinez and rodgers must be a joke or a smoke screen if not my YANKS OUT banner will be getting a dusting down with BRING BACK THE KING added to it.

  6. Klopp is the man to get. Maybe bring Gotze and Kagwa with him. He would be the best one to get if Pep dosnt want it.

  7. I’d like to put forward the name of Marcelo Bielsa as well. Contract is up in June, plays expansive wonderful football, had some success with Bilbao/Chile and best of all likes to deploy a 3-1-3-3 formation which both looks and sounds batshit mental.

  8. Rafa did not ‘simply need to go’. For goodness sake! For someone who says they love this club, how can you not see that he was and still is a legend of LFC and was forced out by the media after enduring terrible owners, while still producing amazing results with limited funds. He is the most esteemed and most decorated manager of all these on your list and we’d be lucky to have him back. I won’t be spending another $ if the owners believe a flavour-of-the-month or relegation-battle-worn manager are what fits best for Liverpool.

  9. Id take AVB, hes had the pressure of managing teams in both europe and EPL and could be the right man to take liverpool back to those epic euro nights

  10. For me, Jurden Klopp is in my top list. . . he proved verywell with dortmunn, got double winner this year.
    the others are AVB, and Brendan Rodgers

  11. One name not on your list is Fabio Capello. He has an impressive record at club level – 7 Serie A titles with 3 clubs (although the Juve titles were revoked) and 2 La Liga titles. I understand he has stated that he wants to manage in the EPL. In my opinion he has to be on the short list. Admittedly his is older than Dalglish and this may count against him in the eyes of the Americans.

    Of the managers you mention – Klopp would be great, but why would he come to Liverpool? AVB would be a move for the long term, but the owners seem to want immediate results. As for Rafa – it so hard to judge his time at Liverpool, two Champions Leagues finals in three years (which, given the current standing of the club, seems like an impossible dream), but a declining league form in his latter years in charge. How much of that was due to the previous owners, and how much was Rafa’s fault is very hard to say. What is without doubt is his commitment to the club.

    I wouldn’t touch Martinez, Rodgers or Deschamps.

    If I was making the short list (in no particular order) I would interview Rafa, Capello, AVB and Klopp.

    PS I wouldn’t have sacked Kenny in the first place – two cup finals isn’t a bad return in the first full year in charge. Fourth place was always going to be difficult, particularly with so many clubs performing above their usual level (Spurs, Newcastle, Man City). Why give a manager so much $$ to spend and then not give him the chance to properly realise his vision?

  12. Andrew, my concern with AVB is he has very poor man management skills – he isolated players like Alex and Anelka in very bad fashion, and completely lost the dressing room within a few months of being there. Not for me, no.

    1. I think it’s other way round Rob. Throughout his career Anelka had been a trouble maker & till his 30s, most managers accepted him for the player he had been. In Chelsea player power was bigger than the new, young Manager. AVB came with a certain project & the declining senior bunch was not in his plan; which the Lampards, Terrys & Drogbas could realized & together hunted the young Manager. Had it been someone proven like Cappello, Morinho or Sir Alex, all those would have been kicked out like Anelka & rightly so.

      Morinho is the most dominating & egoistic Manager, but the players love him, respect him, similar is the case with Cappello, Heartzsfield or Sir Alex. I don’t think AVB ‘ll have any issue here at LFC – lost of the players are young & haven’t achieved anything yet. AVB with SG, supported by the owners can build a great young squad within 2 years. The more I have studied on AVB, am convinced that man management ‘ll never be an issue with him, if the other party is cooperative.

      But yes, Klopp is my first man, just ahead of Rafa & AVB sandwiched in between.

  13. Rafa is the man for the jOb. He’s available. Experienced. Will give the squad a kick up the backside. Can attract better calibre players. Master tactician. No compensation to pay as unemployed. Avb just made enemies in his squad. Poor tactics and play was awful. Could be good but if he sticks to what he did at Chelsea, then no. Juergen klopp is by far the best candidate but there’s no way he would walk out on that project at Dortmund , would he? Pep is completely unproven outside barca. Most managers would do well with that squad!

    1. Exactly, Managing Barca is totally different from what the new man in charge ‘ll do here.

  14. Isnt The Special One unhappy at Madrid? Didn’t I read he wants a move back to England????

    1. Im sorry, Mourinho’s staying at Madrid. Champions league crown is our ultimate target next season. He said as much so. The kind of pressure at Madrid he endured is normal,happens to evrybody there, legend or no legend, and it was just a knee jerk emotional reaction. He’s actually happy at Madrid.

  15. We should appoint Jose Mourinho as all players including the current”stars” need a kick up their backside.

  16. I fear that any prospective new manager will turn down the job as they will know that unless they achieve top 4 status in their first season they will be sacked.
    If we assume that United & City will be in the top 4, then we would be competing with Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Newcastle and maybe Sunderland or some other rank outsider for only 2 places. It’s a tall order for a new manager who may not know the Premier league, may not know the Liverpool players and may even struggle to speak English.
    Yet this is what FSG have demanded of any new manager by sacking Dalglish, I think the only candidate who can achieve that aim is Rafael Benitez. It is most certainly not Martinez, Rodgers, AVB or any other rookie manager, they would all wilt under the pressure and expectations.

  17. Brendan Rogers maybe .. Look at how swansea play football . It’s look’s like Kenny’s way and maybe he will be fit for us ..

  18. Who is asking for Martinez (even if i like him), Klopp (1+1 doesn’t mean anything), Villas Boas (Drogba and Lampard on the bench…) will regret the appointment of one of those, Capello is in talks with Chelsea so, Rafa or Pep, two winners, they’ve personality and they can attract big names, if we’ll appoint the others no top players will come and they don’t have the charisma to take this team to the top…

    however i have bad feelings about the manager issue, i don’t think they’ll appoint Rafa or Pep, but probably Martinez or Villas Boas, god save us…

  19. Ok are half the posters on here having an absolute laugh !!! Jurgen Klopp wouldn’t come within an arses roar of Anfield right now….that’s not knocking Liverpool, but in fairness his Borussia Dortmund side have just done the double in Germany….a very young side at that, and look likely to dominate for some time to come. Then I see Pep’s name mentioned, seriously, does anyone believe Pep Guardiola will end up managing a side outside the Champions League. And then Mourinho….is this bloody Fantasy Football. The best managers we can look at right now are like this…Rafa, AVB, Rodgers, Lambert and Martinez…!!! Pure and simple…Unless FSG are willing to offer an absolute shed load of cash to someone those are the best we are going to get right now…!!! We need a Rafalution…And people claiming we were becoming too predictable and as a result or performances started to slide understood jack about the situation. Rafa was given no transfer funds for his last two seasons in charge…That’s nothing, nada, zilch..jack diddley squat…that’s why performances started to slide, alongside injuries….no other reason. Bring back Rafa, he got us to be the No 1. ranked side in Europe with the worst owners ever, imagine what he could do with some decent backing.

  20. Mourinho is not leaving Madrid for Liverpool. No chance, he wants a third Champions League. It would be minimum before he could even get close to doing that with the Reds. Pep would nice, but also far fetched since he seems pretty convinced that he wants his year off. Klopp won’t leave because he gets another crack at the Champions League.

    I would welcome a return of Rafa but it’s tough because of the declining league form and how he handled Inter. I still think Capello would be a solid choice despite the age. He has managed football teams in the modern age unlike King Kenny who hadn’t managed since 2000 until last year. Roberto Martinez might be good, has a good style but has never really had the resources at Wigan to do anything.

    Either, LFC really needs to sit down and think about this. They cannot rush to conclusions if this is to be a decision for the long term.

  21. I’d only want Rafa back if he’s made up with Paco Ayesteran and brought him with him. Otherwise, no thanks.

  22. I personally think Klopp would be the ideal choice if we could get him

    Excellent article on why the decision on the next Liverpool manager is probably the most crucial in the club’s history at:

    For what it’s worth, Martinez is not the right man

    1. Roy Hodgson had plenty of ‘premier league experience’, and look where that got us. Rafa had none, and won the Champions League & came second in the PL.

      Managers don’t need ‘premier league experience’, they just need experience.

  23. Klopp would be first on your list, ahead of Rafa? Even with no Premier League experience whatsoever?

  24. Over the last 3 days, I have read hundreds of such analysis, but must say that, within possibility – this one is closer than most.

    First of all, I don’t think Martinez, Rogers or Lambert can manage a club like LFC. Finishing 16th/15th or promotion from Championship or playing for 40 points in a season is totally different that what we are looking for. I think, all three are very good in exacting best out of mediocre players, but not sure if another 100mn is given, are they capable to find the best talents & handle them. Actually, it’s much easier to manage small clubs with limited budget. Besides, I am not sure if any young world class talent ‘ll join LFC under these men.

    As you rightly mentioned Klopp, AVB, Rafa & Deschamps are also in my top 4 list. I don’t think it ‘ll be a wise decision to appoint almost 67 years old Cappello now & somehow, don’t feel Guardiola ‘ll be that successful in EPL, for that matter, outside Barca.

    I don’t think Klopp ‘ll come to LFC, besides he has absolutely no experience, be as a player or Manager in EPL. If Klopp agrees to come here (with few of his Dortmund young players), nothing can be better; but then why should he come?

    I have every bit of confidence in Rafa or Deschamps, but my top pick ‘ll be AVB. He learned the tricks from two of the very best & within a short span of time; showed what he can do. You put perfectly why he was sacked at Stamford Bridge & being sacked at Chelsea is not any disgrace (He is among the illustrious company of Morinho, Scolari & Ancelloti).

    Also, I think he is available & would like to have another bite at the EPL cherry. We need a young, aspirated, hungry & astute tactician like him.

  25. Bring back Kenny or Rafa, FACT.
    Martinez or Rodgers? What a Joke.
    If You think that a relegation battle graduate He’s fit for LFC, You’ll see my big “Bring Back Rafa & Kenny” banter. For God sake.

  26. It’s got to be AVB as Klopp would cost too much to release from his contract. AVB ticks all the boxes. He’s brought major league success to a major european club, he’s young and more importantly he is hungry. Not sure him and Steve Clarke (who’s resignation has been refused by the club) would be a good match though.

    But AVB would an excellent long term signing.

  27. “If I was in charge, Klopp would definitely be the first name on my list.”

    He would be the only name on my list. I’ve watched Dortmund play around 25 of their games this season, and even though they didn’t do well in the Champions League (way too many injuries, etc), he is a tactical mastermind. The way they outclassed a full-strength Bayern Munich in the German Cup final is something I will remember for a very long time.

    Oh, and you know Gotze and Kagawa? He shaped the first, and bought the second for £250k. Yes. £250.000. That was the transfer fee. Yeah.

  28. We should pls appoint rafael benitez cause he has got the mindset of the epl and experience of the champions league as well pls i dont think rodgers,martinez,lambert,deschamps will fit the job.if i were to make my shortlist:klopp,pep,rijkard pls cause they are all good.pls dont expect to see mourinho cause his expense will be too much.YNWA

  29. King Kenny has our full respect n forever be part of the Kop big family.
    We must get manager with higher pedigree and title experience in Europe. Pls go for Deschamps or Guardiola.

  30. Brendan rogers has turned us down, the managerial merry go round is affecting our ability to get someone.

  31. Anyone who thinks Liverpool where anything but overachievers under Rafa Benitez aren’t that intelligent. He achieved far more with players who aren’t as good as we have now because he was tactically brilliant. K.Kenny wasn’t seen as being tactically brilliant or a manager for the long term and thats why he got the sack. He’s the emotional sentimental choice and FSG know it. I’m super sad to see him go too but these are tough times. And these are HUGE decisions! Its no time to people please. Bring back Rafa or someone else that is more tactically astute like Rafa or even Martinez and lets build for the future. Liverpool must get back in the CL. We are not a mid table team and 8th place and a shit record at Anfield and a barely won Carling Cup (and barely lost FA Cup) just aren’t good enough. I really think FSG know what they are doing despite popular opinion. YNWA!

  32. It will take a lot of guts for any manager to take up the role at Liverpool.
    Ian Ayre has already said they are looking for a top 4 finish but the club owners are willing to give the manager time if there are signs of progress.

    So what is progress? 5th position or winning any cups or maybe winning the Europa cup?

    All this is subjective and it will be up to the owners to decide what is progress….

    I don’t want to pick a manager as most of the managers here are really good managers but I prefer that we don’t choose Martinez.

    My take would have been to give Kenny another year and get Pep for the following season after his sabatical.

    Just hope Liverpool Manager does not become a poisoned chalice to the managers who are out there.


  33. Mark my words, going back for yet another past manager will not work. Benitez would already divide opinion before a ball is kicked. For me it has to be Capello, Van Gaal or Rijkaard. These managers have won titles and CL. Pep & Jose will not come for differing reasons.

  34. I want Jurgen Kloop for manager, he put Dortmund to play wonderful football.

    Please bring Kloop to Liverpool FC

  35. No one seems to mention Frank Rijkaard on the many lists of managerial candidates, why is that?

    As managers go he is still young (49) and has experience at the highest level, he is not a manager that is used to mediocrity or relegation dog fights.

    The reason why he should be #1 on the list? Barcelona. Everyone will agree that Barcelona hold the blue print of how the game should be played, slick pass and move football and constent pressure on the opposing team when not in possesion. Everyone wants Pep Guardiola as manager, but people forget that Pep inherited the core of the current team from Rijkaard. Rijkaard laid the foundations which has made Barca the best team in the world. If Pep hadn’t inherited the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Puyol, Alves, et al, would Pep be as successful as he is now? I think not.

    So, if you haven’t already guessed my #1 choice to succeed KK and take LFC into the future is Frank Rijkaard.

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