Coach Frank Rijkaard’s contract with Galatasaray was terminated yesterday by mutual consent. Rijkaard spent sixteen mostly unhappy months with the Turkish giants, before both parties admitted it was time that they parted their ways. Things came to head after Rijkaard’s side lost their last two games leaving them 8 points adrift of league-leaders Bursapor. Although he has been linked with his former club Ajax, various sources across the net suggest that Rijkaard is seeking employement in the Premiership. Could he be the man to put an end Liverpool’s torrid start to the season and set them back on the path towards top-four glory?
Rijkaard’s pedigree speaks for itself. During his tenure at Barcelona, he picked up two La Liga titles one Champion’s League title and two Super Cup wins in Spain. It’s important to remember that when Rijkaard first got to the Nou Camp in the 2003/04 season, Barcelona were hovering just above the relegation zone. By the season’s end Barcelona found themselves runners up to Rafa’s Valencia. It’s a little curious that despite his success, when he left Barcelona, Rijkaard didn’t find himself courted by any of the big sides. As a result, he moved onto Galatasaray where he was unable to inspire much success.
This is a man with a proven track record in regards to picking up trophies and titles. He’s a man that players would look up to and respect, he’s relatively young, he’s available and seeking employment in the Premiership – but, most important of all to Liverpool fans, he’s not Roy Hodgson.
Some fans may worry that Rijkaard has an overly aggressive attacking philosophy that may not mesh too well with the current Liverpool team. Whilst the 4-3-3 formation worked wonders for Rijkaard at Barcelona, his overreliance on it at Galatasaray saw his team drop points as their players didn’t have the attacking flair necessary to pull it off. Will Rijkaard be able to adapt his attacking philosophy or will Liverpool be able to step up to the plate? Important questions to consider, but, with one or two good signings in the right positions, wont Liverpool fans be salivating at the prospect of having a team with some real attacking flair?
Others may wonder if Rijkaard was only able to compete so well at Barcelona because he was lucky enough to be at the helm of one of the best footballing sides in recent memory. In response to this I would note that it was Rijkaard that transformed Barcelona into the force that it was under his tenure and still is today. He had access to some serious transfer funds at Barcelona and used the money well to build a fantastic team. Rhetorical question: who would you prefer to be spending money during the January transfer window, Roy or Rijkaard?
Given the complications regarding Gus Hiddink’s availability, you have to say that Rijkaard is the best available option currently out there.
If you’re interested and want to hear more feel free to follow me on Twitter.