After 166 games, three full seasons, one LMA Manager of the Year award and a transfer spend of £291.5million, Brendan Rodgers’ spell as Liverpool boss came to an end last night following a 1-1 draw with Everton.
The timing of his departure caught many off guard but it’s been coming for some time and was allegedly irrespective of the result of the Merseyside derby.
Indeed, the northern Irishman’s tactics and transfer record have been relentlessly scrutinised since the Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League title in 2014, whilst the underwhelming start to the current campaign, with the Anfield outfit in 10th place, did him few favours.
Now entering the international break, the Liverpool hierarchy have given themselves two weeks to try and find a successor – although allegedly plan to announce one as soon as possible – which leaves Football Fancast attempting to answer the burning question of who could fill Rodgers’ shoes.
Rather than us trying to figure it out, we’ve listed FIVE for Liverpool fans to choose from. Which of these would you like to see in the Anfield hot seat for Liverpool’s next Premier League fixture? Let us know by commenting below!
Every list article of this variety should include a wildcard suggestion and mine is Alan Pardew.
Crystal Palace’s transformation has been phenomenal since the 54 year-old took the reins in January, propelling them from 18th to 4th in the Premier League table. In the process, the Eagles have won 19 games out of a possible 31 – giving Pardew a win rate of 61%.
Counter-intuitively, his chaotic spell as Newcastle boss also testifies to potential success at Anfield. Have you ever seen a Premier League manager guarantee top flight survival whilst under such devastating financial constraints and such sustained pressure to quit from the fan base? It’s a real statement of Pardew’s defiance and determination.
It’s why Sir Alex Ferguson has tipped the former West Ham and Charlton Athletic boss for greatness and many view him as the strongest candidate to succeed Roy Hodgson in the England hot seat.
But you can’t imagine the Liverpool fan base being too happy about Pardew taking the Anfield throne with so many coveted names being bandied about, as we’ll come onto in a moment.
Likewise, many will question the temperament and professionalism of a manager who received a seven-game ban for ‘headbutting’ Hull City’s David Meyler in March 2014.
Former Barcelona defender and Netherlands international Frank De Boer has always been a popular figure within the beautiful game and has certainly proved his managerial credentials at Ajax, winning four consecutive Eredivisie titles despite being forced to sell his key players every summer – something Brendan Rodgers failed to adequately overcome at Liverpool.
The Amsterdam Arena gig is by no means the most taxing; Ajax are the most successful club in the Dutch top flight and probably always will be.
But the attractive football they’ve played under the 45 year-old’s leadership, combined with the consistency in which he’s provided results and their occasional scalps in Europe – beating the likes of AC Milan, Manchester United (over one leg), Manchester City and Barcelona – suggests De Boer is a top manager in the making.
His hugely successful playing career adds further clout and that experience in Europe will be important to a Liverpool outfit who failed to make the most of Europa League participation under Brendan Rodgers.
De Boer has never played or managed in the Premier League before, however, and in terms of quality of player, Liverpool is a significant step up from Ajax.
Walter Mazzarri achieved great things during his four years as Napoli manager, taking the club from 6th in his debut season to 2nd by the time he left in summer 2013 – paving the way for Rafa Benitez’s appointment.
Much of that was due to the scintillating goal tallies of Edinson Cavani, who bagged 104 goals in three seasons. But Mazzarri deserves huge credit for the striker’s relentless development, having never scored more than 15 times in a season before being signed by the Italian for just €17million in summer 2010.
Likewise, Mazzarri employed a brand of electric-paced attacking football that would be successful in any league, not only ensuring full value from Cavani’s athleticism but also Ezequiel Lavezzi’s work-rate an Marek Hamsik’s technical quality. Some might even dare compare it to Liverpool’s forward play from their 2013/14 runner-up campaign.
If there’s one obvious concern, however, it’s the 54 year-old’s lack of silverware; for all of Napoli’s incredible displays and improvements in the league, he only ever won the Coppa Italia. Similarly, Mazzarri’s spell as Inter Milan boss was far less successful, getting the boot just twelve league fixtures into his second season at the San Siro.
Carlo Ancelotti is not only the most decorated manager on this list but also one of the most decorated throughout the beautiful game’s modern era.
Indeed, the former Italy international has claimed a record three Champions League titles, as well as domestic honours in Serie A, the Premier League and Ligue 1 and UEFA’s Manager of the Year award back in 2003.
He’s donned the hot seat at PSG, Real Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and most importantly Chelsea, providing the Premier League-winning experience the other suggestions on this list all lack.
A notoriously amicable and likeable fellow, Ancelotti’s calm demeanour could be exactly what Liverpool need right now – following two summers of huge player overhauls and Brendan Rodgers’ departure.
But the 56 year-old is a Champions League specialist, seemingly at his best when working with elite players at a highly tactical level. Whether Liverpool can appeal to him without world-class stars and involvement in Europe’s top tournament remains to be seen.
The obvious and stand-out choice in the eyes of many, Jurgen Klopp’s trophy cabinet may be a few feet smaller than Ancelotti’s but it’s the German’s larger-than-life personality most in England have warmed too.
That’s not to say the former striker-come-defender’s achievements can’t speak for themselves. Borussia Dortmund where lingering in mid-table and flirting with financial ruin when he took over in 2008; five years later they’d won back-to-back Bundesliga titles and reached a Champions League final for the first time since 1997.
Klopp generated that success through employing an industrious yet creative philosophy and repeatedly astute investment in young players, such as Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Ilkay Gundogan – all of whom are considered to be amongst European football’s best in their respective positions.
That’s the kind of exciting football the Liverpool fans crave and the consistency of development required to make Liverpool’s recruitment strategy a successful one. Likewise, Klopp is very much a long-term manager, spending seven years at Westfalenstadion and with former club Mainz, which is what Liverpool need right now.
That being said, Klopp’s never worked outside of the Bundesliga before and the disastrous end to his Dortmund career, finishing up in seventh place last season, is a genuine cause for concern.