David Moyes would have been a great manager for Liverpool, but only if he had landed the job in 2002 before he went to Everton cutting short Gerrard Houllier’s reign. He probably would still be our manager in the Fergie and Wenger mode. Today the prospect is almost preposterous, but then in football you never know!
People have raised eyebrows at Liverpool being apparently snubbed by the likes of Brendan Rodgers (official), Frank De Boer (official), Didier Deschamps (generic) and Jurgen Klopp (generic). The ‘official’ refers to official approaches while the generic refer to the two managers being asked questions about their future and their reply was that they were not willing to move. But these four all have a job at present and are in the midst of a project of which they form an integral part.
We need to concentrate primarily on the jobless (now how humble does that sound?). AVB, Benitez, Capello, Van Gaal and Laudrup are not exactly queuing up for UB40 (do they still call it that?) but they are all waiting for the ‘right project’ to come along. Guardiola is taking a sabbatical, Mourinho would want a sugar-daddy ala Abramovich, Moratti, Perez or Mansour to finance all his desires whiles Roberto Martinez is hoping for all the candidates to pull out so that he may land the job of his dreams!
My gut is telling me that the probably Fenway will be swayed by the youth, enterprise and person-with-a-point-to-prove and go for Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas aka AVB! Why Villas-Boas? Because the 34 year old is not as bad as his experience with Chelsea seems to portray. In the 2010/2011 season he was in charge at Porto and won domestic league and cup, as well as the Europa League in his first and only season. Abramovich covered him in gold to get him to London but a dressing room revolt by Chelsea’s old guard forced the Russian to send him packing, and throw the money spent and the three year project that had been planned down the drain (not that it made any holes in Abra’s pocket).
His record at Porto was astonishing, playing a total of 51 games, winning 45, drawing 4 and losing only 2 giving him an 88.24% winning ratio. That record, taking the player’s mutiny in consideration, was not that shabby at Chelsea where in 40 games played, he won 19, drew 11 and lost 10! That is a 47.5% winning percentage (which incidentally did not improve when Di Matteo took over) and when you consider that the Reds had a 45% winning rate in the PL this season….!
AVB advocates an exciting game, based on a high defensive line, short passing and preferring a flexible 4-2-3-1 game plan. The problem at Chelsea was that the old guard saw the 4-3-3 setting more adapted to their style of play so there was definitely a technical dispute in the dressing room. People like Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Malouda, Kalou and Essien were not co-operative and even thought Abramovich had initially sponsored the idea of rejuvenating his squad, the players won the duel and AVB was shown the door in earnest.
You might have noticed I mentioned that Villas-Boas had ‘agreed’ a three-year plan. The question is, if AVB is appointed manager would Fenway be supportive over a three-year period needed to hone the team, the individual players and the system to perfection? One may say this time was not afforded to Kenny but my take on his sacking was more focused on the failed player’s signings than purely on results, even though admittedly the Premier League finish was very poor.
Remember, AVB does have a point to prove, was mentored by the Special One, he is young and he knows today’s game and is progressive in the way he looks at it. Could be the man we are looking for!