The pressure was on Brendan Rodgers in the build-up to yesterday’s game at Crystal Palace, so the loss at Selhurst Park was an unwelcome one to put it lightly! Not long after the final whistle had made the 3-1 defeat a reality, the Northern Irishman was already fielding questions about his future, with the summer’s £100m spend having only garnered a bottom half spot after 12 games.
Anfield is a notoriously tough place to be when things are going badly, and the rumour mill is already churning out candidates to step into the dugout should Rodgers receive the chop – which seemed unthinkable earlier this year when the Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League title. But who could take on the role? Here are FIVE potential options…
Just hours after the Palace loss yesterday came news that Liverpool are already considering Klopp as Rodgers’ replacement. It may well have been a quick press reaction to drum up reactions and views, but the appointment could make some sense should the Reds actually pursue it. After a few years of looking like a lifelong Dortmund coach, Klopp is now fluttering his eyelashes and aiming pouting lips at the Premier League with his yellow-clad men struggling in the Bundesliga, which has, naturally, been met with interested glances.
BVB are known for their brand of ‘transition football’ – winning the ball through pressing and launching rapid counter-attacks – which could be a style suited to the English game. Furthermore Dortmund and Liverpool share many similarities in terms of size and structure, meaning it could be a smooth process for Klopp to swap for the Kop…
Now this one would be a stunner! Martinez was one of the candidates assessed when Rodgers was given the job, and it’s fair to say that the Spaniard’s stock has risen further since he swapped Wigan for Everton. Luring Martinez across Stanley Park from the Toffees would be a major task, but one that’s not entirely impossible given that he could earn more money and work with, arguably, a stronger set of players at Anfield.
Martinez also suits Liverpool, with his brand of fluid attacking football not dissimilar to that of Rodgers – who was also schooled at Swansea.
A popular choice may be ‘Rafa the gaffer’, who has already been linking himself with the job by declaring his love for Merseyside. Benitez coached the Reds through 2004 to 2010, and despite a poor end to his reign fans still hold fond memories of him due to the 2005 Champions League triumph and the FA Cup win the following year.
A move back to England at some point has long been on the boss’ agenda – his spell at Chelsea was marred by controversy – and he is likely to be in the mix should Rodgers be given the boot.
Just a joke! Let’s move on quickly…
Jamie Carragher yesterday slammed Liverpool for a lack of bottle and desire, and if there’s one manager out there to bring ‘cajones’ to any team he manages, it’s Simeone. Although passion and determination are seen as the Argentine’s major characteristics, he clearly has a bit of managerial ability to back it all up, with his Atletico Madrid side having clinched the La Liga title last term and been within minutes of coupling it with the Champions League trophy.
Managing at the Vicente Calderon at the moment is a decent gig for Simeone, but Liverpool could make him an offer that may be hard to refuse.
Many Dutch legends have stepped into management, and Frank de Boer looks to be the latest one with genuine promise. Since taking over at Ajax in 2010 – where he inherited a messy situation following the exit of Martin Jol – the former Oranje star has claimed FOUR Eredivisie titles and built a side littered with talent and promise, despite being forced to sell big names on an almost yearly basis.
Spurs flirted with De Boer over the summer, but the manager himself was not that keen on the White Hart Lane job. Yet he may find it more difficult to reject advances from Liverpool.