Ian Darke has named one manager who could correspond to Liverpool’s apparent ‘data-driven process’ when it comes to hiring Jurgen Klopp’s successor, expanding on an initial social media post which instigated a large reaction.
On Sunday, the commentator posted on X: “If Liverpool’s search for a new manager is a data-driven process (as we are told), and they are looking for someone consistently achieving way more than resources might suggest, then Atleti’s Diego Simeone has to be in the conversation.”
If Liverpool’s search for a new manager is a data-driven process ( as we are told ), and they are looking for someone consistently achieving way more than resources might suggest , then Atleti’s Diego Simeone has to be in the conversation.
— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) February 4, 2024
A couple of days later, he appeared on ESPN FC when the topic of the Reds’ manager hunt was brought up, and he sought to explain what he’d meant by that initial post.
Darke outlined: “I wasn’t suggesting for a minute – and I’ve taken pelters for this on social media! – that Diego Simeone should be the next manager of Liverpool, not at all, but they keep on telling us it’s a data-driven process measured against resources. They worked out when they hired Klopp, I think it was in 12 or 14 of his 16 seasons he’d overachieved against his resources as a manager.
“If you look at Simeone, Atletico Madrid with Real Madrid and Barcelona to play, he’s got them to two Champions League finals, he’s won the title a couple of times, he’s won the Europa League, he’s operated at the top level for a decade.
“Though you might not like his style and the perception is of an ugly dark arts team, he is a manager who’s achieved a lot.”
Darke is right in stating that Simeone’s results and achievements in charge of Atletico have been excellent, with the 53-year-old being the only manager in the last 20 years to win the LaLiga title ahead of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, doing so twice with Los Rojiblancos.
Objectively his CV certainly stands up to scrutiny, but the Argentine also has a reputation for favouring defensive solidity and a provocative pragmatism which often borders on a scandalous disregard for the spirit of the game.
Another minus point is his conduct on the touchline, with Simeone picking up multiple bans for his over-the-top behaviour, while Liverpool fans wouldn’t have taken kindly to his antics when he petulantly refused to shake Klopp’s hand after a Champions League tie in 2021.
Despite his fine track record with Atletico, we can’t see him being a good fit for the Reds.
You can view Darke’s comments on the 53-year-old below, via ESPN UK on YouTube: