Swansea City’s Brendan Rodgers now appears set to become the new Liverpool manager, and alongside Wigan Athletic’s Roberto Martinez, he has been the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Anfield legend Kenny Dalglish. Whether Rodgers is appointed into the role or not, the whole process has become so drawn out that I think there will be a huge collective sigh of relief once the debacle is resolved.
This managerial appointment is arguably a crucial one for Liverpool. After the disappointment of new England manager Roy Hodgson’s short stint in charge, followed by the poor league showing last season under Dalglish, despite reaching two cup finals, has left the club sitting quite a way behind other Champions League suitors. All of this of course has been played out in front of a backdrop of off-field drama which has possibly seen the close link with supporters the club has been famous for previously begin to erode.
Supporters appear to be becoming increasingly frustrated with how the club manages key issues, be it the redevelopment of Anfield or the relocation to Stanley Park, the Suarez issue and now the relieving of Kenny Dalglish from his managerial responsibility and the chasing of a series of new managers all under the public gaze.
Amidst this though, for me, is quite an interesting story. From the phone-ins I’ve listened to and the blogs I’ve read, it would appear the consensus don’t consider Messrs Rodgers or Martinez suitable candidates for the Anfield vacancy, mainly due to their current club’s stature and reference to the need for an experienced ‘World Class’ solution.
I’ve made reference previously that I think Liverpool supporters may need to begin to realign their immediate expectations. Liverpool FC remains an excellent brand with international notoriety, yet I cannot envisage there being a clamour of managers, in the bracket one might associate with ‘World Class’, queuing up outside John W. Henry’s office.
I would add to this that the appointment of an internationally renowned manager does not necessarily guarantee success… Luiz Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas at Chelsea are testament to that and there are many other examples of expensive failures. With this in mind, and with both Martinez and Rodgers advocates of the style of football that Liverpool supporters crave, I fail to see the danger in approaching and appointing either one of, in my opinion, two of the most promising young managers in the Premier League.
Both Martinez and Rodgers appear to be ambitious without being conceited; both have developed exciting young squads at minimal cost yet have increased in value, both appear to be much more adept at handling public relations than what supporter’s had to endure last season, and again, most importantly, both like their sides to play attractive attacking football.
I think there is a misnomer around the need to appoint an experienced manager. Surely a young ambitious manager with new ideas is a better, and more prudent appointment?
The most successful manager in British football, Sir Alex Ferguson, could hardly have been classed as an international ‘heavyweight’ when appointed manager of Manchester Utd in November 1986. Arsene Wenger was dubbed Arsene ‘Who?’ when plucked from Japanese football and then you could easily make reference to Liverpool’s city rivals’ Everton who appointed and showed faith in Preston North End’s David Moyes when highlighting that sometimes it pays dividends to not be so predictable when looking to appoint a figurehead to lead the club into the future.
I think both would be an excellent and refreshing appointment, although it would appear that Rodgers may be the man given the opportunity; however, it has been shown before, his success will largely be dependant on whether the Liverpool supporters give him a chance and give him time.