One journalist has suggested that Liverpool’s appointment of Jorg Schmadtke was made with ‘a degree of convenience’ and that he isn’t viewed as a ‘reliable, long-term solution’.
The 59-year-old was chosen as Julian Ward’s replacement for the sporting director role at Anfield at the start of the summer, overseeing a hectic transfer window with numerous incomings and outgoings.
It was claimed that he initially took the job on a three-month basis, although the German has recently dismissed that understanding and insisted that he and the club ‘agreed on a year of co-operation’.
Amid some uncertainty over Schmadtke’s future at Liverpool, Neil Jones outlined that the appointment has never seemed like a long-term arrangement.
Speaking exclusively to Empire of the Kop’s Substack, the journalist said: “I don’t get the impression that Jorg Schmadtke is viewed as the reliable, long-term solution for Liverpool moving forward. Otherwise, he would have been on a three or four-year control.
“I don’t think it was necessarily all Liverpool, as there was an element of doubt on Schmadtke’s side. Don’t forget that he had retired from football in February, so he was clearly planning for life after football and then this came up. There was a degree of convenience about the arrangement.”
Jones added: “I think you would have expected Liverpool to appoint someone more high-profile or longer-term in that role once Julian Ward departed. Let’s be fair – he gave Liverpool plenty of notice that he was leaving and they had plenty of time to line someone up.
“The fact they ended up with Schmadtke suggests either they weren’t able to get the person they wanted or that they didn’t like the candidates out there at that time.
“Whether that changes or Liverpool are able to get someone in who needed to work a notice period remains to be seen, but by January you’re already thinking about whether Liverpool can do that tweaking that they need to start doing.”
If it’s the case that Liverpool viewed Schmadtke’s appointment as something of a marriage of convenience to merely hold the fort rather than being an undisputed first choice, that’s rather concerning.
The sporting director role at any football club is one of the most important assignments, and it’s far from ideal to be giving somebody the job simply because they’re available to fill the void.
Perhaps the Anfield hierarchy weren’t completely sold on the German and didn’t want to commit to a long-term arrangement if they had doubts over him, or as Jones suggests, maybe the 59-year-old wasn’t fully sure himself and needed some time to consider the offer before ultimately accepting it.
To give Schmadtke his due, he’s succeeded with what many would’ve considered his primary remit this summer – to oversee a revamp of Liverpool’s midfield, with four new signings brought in on his watch, two of whom (Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai) have made an immediate impression.
It may worry some that there were no defensive recruits during the recent transfer window, but if the German is kept in the job for at least the remainder of this season, that could be the main item on the agenda for January.
Having seen Ward leave the sporting director role after only one year before Schmadtke’s appointment, hopefully LFC can soon agree upon a candidate who’ll be in it for the longer haul so that they’ll benefit from greater continuity. Whether that’s the incumbent holder or a brand new face remains to be seen.