Fail to beat Basel on Tuesday night and Brendan Rodgers’ role at Liverpool may well be under the biggest threat it’s faced yet.
The Northern Irishman almost brought the holy grail that is the Premier League title to Anfield last season, however the exciting brand of football produced on Merseyside just a matter of months ago is now a distant memory.
A few big managerial names have been linked with the post should Rodgers be ‘relieved of his duties’, with the latest coming in the shape of ex-Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas – currently plying his trade with Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia. The divisive Portuguese coach could be a dodgy option, though, and here are FIVE better choices…
Even though Dortmund are languishing in the lower reaches of the Bundesliga, Klopp’s stock is still high. The German chief has been the key cog in BVB’s rise over the course of the past few years, but rumours of a move away from the Westfalenstadion have really gathered momentum of late. A change of scenery could suit Klopp, and Liverpool is seemingly a good fit.
With the Reds set up to play his brand of explosive counter-attacking football, the Dortmund chief could transfer across the style he’s employed of late, which would be spearheaded perfectly by talents such as Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling and, when fit, Daniel Sturridge.
A romantic one for some, Benitez could be the man to come in and solve Liverpool’s issues. Exciting football has never really been the Spaniard’s forte, yet ironing out the errors in the Reds’ defensive game is the major issue at the club right now. ‘Rafa the gaffer’ knows Anfield, knows the fans and is held in high regard by Kopites for his successes during the mid 2000s, and could be welcomed back, even though he’s since had a brief spell with Chelsea.
A somewhat left-field option could be Eddie Howe. At 37, the Bournemouth chief is young in the realms of management, but after his playing career ended early he moved straight into coaching, which means he has experience already.
A brief stint with Burnley ended in disappointment, which eased his passage back to the South Coast, where he has transformed the Dean Court outfit into promotion candidates in the Championship.
It may be early days, but Howe looks destined for a top tier opportunity.
To keep the Swansea connection going, Monk could be a name worth considering. The Liberty Stadium chief was an unfashionable choice upon taking over in South Wales, but after a difficult 2013/14 season, he really seems to be coming into his own as a Premier League manager.
The Swans have maintained their attractive brand of football under Monk, who may be attracted to one of the biggest jobs in English football. With a similar philosophy to Rodgers, the Swansea boss could make a smooth transition, but the egos and status of some of the current Anfield stars may make stamping his authority an issue.
If Liverpool are lacking bottle, then one man to provide the solution could be Simeone. Luring him away from Atletico Madrid – whom he won the La Liga title with last season – may be tricky, yet a decent offer from Merseyside and the promise of funds may sway the feisty Argentine.
There is much more to Simeone than buster, with the South American astute tactically and good in the transfer market. To boot, he may be able to lure a few of his stars from Atleti to Anfield…