Liverpool Need A Proven Winner (Like Klopp)

Liverpool Need A Proven Winner (Like Klopp)
October 5, 2015 Paul Tomkins

By Paul Tomkins.

My main worry with the appointment of Brendan Rodgers three years ago, and an argument I made until about halfway through the 2013/14 season – when I started to “believe” – was that Liverpool needed a proven winner. It’s a job that comes with a lot of pressure, and while proof of past success is no guarantee it can be replicated, it’s usually a pretty good sign that someone knows what they’re doing.

My understanding in 2012 was that Liverpool were looking for a world-class name to become Director of Football (or a title along those lines), under whom a younger man would work. Whether that was then abandoned as a concept, or fudged when Brendan Rodgers stated in his first press conference that he would not be working under a DoF, the result was that Liverpool had no discernible gravitas. The whole football side of things was more-or-less in the hands of one man, and while he spoke a good game, his CV was thin.

He did a great job of getting a small club to over-perform with Swansea, but as I wrote well before then (in 2010), this type of achievement is something that people like Sam Allardyce, Roy Hodgson and countless others had racked up, and they found life much harder when expectations were higher; their ideas didn’t upscale.

And in fairness to Rodgers, he did a better job than either of those two, and countless other “overpromoted Peters” from within the Premier League (including David Moyes, another I warned would suffer the same fate; a talented manager, but not suited to the highest level of pressure). Indeed, it looked like Rodgers’ ideas could upscale. At least he valued technique, pace and pressing. He had big ideas.

But by the end, it was no longer clear what Rodgers was trying to do, and whether he himself knew – such can be the engulfing fog of pressure when things start going wrong in a high-profile job. His teams no longer seemed to press in unison. They often lacked pace in key areas. And although he had spells where clean sheets were racked up, there was no consistent sense of defensive organisation.

In some ways he may have been lucky to last the summer, but it seemed fair enough that he got a chance to show if last season was a mere blip. It just meant that he had to be doing better than 10th after eight games, in addition to three unremarkable cup games; games that were not necessarily that important in themselves, but which still failed to show any sign of progress.

Rodgers arrived with the aura – the swagger – of a winner, but he hadn’t won anything. My fears were somewhat allayed by the way he spoke – not the cliches and riddles, but the forcefulness of his personality, and the way he carried himself, which projected confidence. I genuinely warmed to him.

But then came Being:Liverpool, and he was exposed as something that people took to be a fraud; Brenton Rodgers, etc., with the management-speak that people found cringeworthy. Here was a young manager in his first major position, getting to know the club and its players, whilst his every move was filmed for a worldwide audience. It did him no favours, just as it would probably have done very few managers any favours. In some ways the programme was a good idea, to help spread interest in the club at a time when global income was vital to stop falling further behind richer rivals, but it left a band of critics with a lingering sense of distrust of the manager.

His early transfer work was fairly disastrous, and on top of not wanting Daniel Sturridge that first summer he tried to swap Jordan Henderson for Clint Dempsey. (I noted yesterday, in my initial reaction piece to his sacking, that his transfer business could have been the main reason he lost his job.)

One flaw I noticed in his appointment from a mid-ranking club (albeit one he lifted to that stature), which I mentioned at the time but didn’t cover yesterday, was the usual zeal to go back and raid his old employers. This is common for managers, and indeed, is so common that it should be part of the thinking when it comes to appointments.

Rafa Benítez had worked with Luis Garcia at Tenerife. Louis van Gaal brought Danny Blind and Memphis Depay from his Holland squad. Arsene Wenger arrived and instantly brought in players he’d worked with in France. But Rodgers wanted Joe Allen (which was fair enough – he’s a talented player), Fabio Borini, Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Williams, two of whom he’d worked with at Chelsea’s youth team before they were offloaded as failures to make the grade. Any one of these players on his own would perhaps be fine; to go after all four rang alarm bells. Whatever he saw in Fabio Borini wasn’t replicated in a red shirt.

And as Rodgers’ coaching was limited to England, he couldn’t bring with him the underpriced gems from another league, in the way that Benítez did with Alonso, Reina and Torres, Wenger did with Vieira and Anelka from France, or Mourinho did with various players from Portugal and Spain.

This is one of my major bugbears with British coaches: they want to be respected and taken seriously, yet so few of them even dare to try life beyond these shores. (Our players are no better; and going to America at 35 doesn’t count.) Simply being foreign doesn’t automatically make a manager better, but it often means a broader range of experiences.

To his credit, Rodgers is fairly well-travelled and speaks Spanish, but his inexperience was always likely to be exposed without the weight of a senior figure working above him. Yet he did not want that help. Perhaps had that arrangement been in place, his tenure would have been over even sooner – who knows? Also, he didn’t appoint a major coaching name, with vast experience to draw from, to sit alongside him on the bench. He chose Colin Pascoe.

The richer the Premier League gets, the less sense it makes to shop here – struggling clubs don’t need the money like they used to. And Liverpool have spent too much of the past five years buying from these shores. Some English players are a necessity, to give the club some kind of identity, but I see no advantage in prior Premier League experience when assessing which buys over the past 10-20 years have proved successful.

I don’t agree with Jamie Carragher’s assertion that Liverpool have become like Spurs, buying young players to sell for a profit – not least because the club’s best buys in the past 10-20 years have almost all been young players, aged 20-23 (it was the same under Bob Paisley), and anyone sold has been because they wanted to go. Liverpool held strong over Luis Suarez in 2013, and did the same with Raheem Sterling, until the price was too good to refuse. Indeed, had some of the more experienced players and older purchases been better, then it might have been easier to hold onto the bigger names.

I don’t know why 20-23 year olds make for the best buys, but my guess is that they are old enough to be ready, but not as yet worn down by injuries or jaded by success. Perhaps they are less nervous – the fearlessness of youth – and more adaptable, too. Perhaps crucially, the transfer fees they have to justify are usually lower, because they are yet to have “done it all” (and this is where they differ from managers, who aren’t relying on athletic skills).

Torres, Alonso, Henderson, Suarez, Coutinho, Sturridge, Reina, Agger, Lucas, Mascherano, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Ings, Can – all are in that age bracket (whilst Sterling was just 15, and the successful youth graduates like Gerrard and Carragher were eased into the team in their teens). Just three from that list are English; just three had prior Premier League experience. And of those, Daniel Sturridge was about as non-English as you can get in terms of technique.

None arrived for an outlandish fee. (Indeed, the most expensive younger players the Reds have bought in the Premier League era, once TPI inflation is applied – Carroll, Heskey and Cissé, all at fees ranging from £40m-£50m in 2015 money – were perhaps weighed down by an unhelpfully large price tag, although none was quite good enough to consistently overcome that pressure.)

Sakho, Moreno, Ings and Can are all still improving, and aren’t at the level of the others, but they definitely look amongst Liverpool’s better players right now – whereas overpriced players like Lovren and Lallana – “finished article” purchases past their mid-20s – have been pushed to the fringes.

Getting players young, and having them grow into your club, seems vital. The trouble is hanging onto them, of course – and that’s got harder since 2010, when Manchester City effectively reduced the available Champions League spaces for other clubs from four to three, at a time when Liverpool fell away under the gross mismanagement of Gillett and Hicks; just as it got harder when Chelsea’s spending guaranteed them a place from 2003 onwards (although maybe it’s now their turn to have a wobble).

That’s why Lucas became emblematic to me. You have to have some players who know the club, and who have grown up in these surroundings; and why I was so surprised that he was out of Rodgers’ plans up to the point Henderson got injured, and almost out the door. As he so frequently did, Rodgers did a u-turn, and it was the right decision; but the vice-captain’s armband was given straight to James Milner, who had just joined the club. Milner should have been left with his own form to focus on, as he settled into the club.

The other trouble, as I’ve stressed many times, is that if you have too many young players you will be lacking in experience; and most of the best sides average an age somewhere between 25 and 30; with the average age of Premier League champions 26.5. So it’s a difficult balance to strike, when most of the new arrivals are young. And it’s been made harder by the phasing out of Carragher and Gerrard, and the sale of Suarez, now at his peak.

Rodgers arrived at Liverpool when the club was already in its Champions League exile, and while this was not his fault – indeed, it made life harder – this presented another problem: he didn’t have the gravitas to attract the best players, even when the Reds did eventually qualify.

Of course, not that he was the sole problem: Liverpool, as a location, is not glamorous to cosmopolitan players, and the club didn’t have a recent history of being regulars in the competition. But had Rodgers himself had more pulling power, it might have helped with the 2014 recruitment, at a time when the club could offer Europe’s elite competition.

The big names who played for Rodgers seemed to respond to him, but most were already at the club (Suarez, Gerrard, Sterling, Henderson) or foist upon him by the committee (Sturridge, Coutinho). Once Carragher retired, Suarez left, and Gerrard emigrated, there was an even greater lack of gravitas associated with the club. It says a lot that Rodgers was having to get Gerrard to text big-name players in attempts to tap them up, presumably because they wouldn’t have heard of him, or been sufficiently impressed; yet we all know the story of Rafa Benítez calling Fernando Torres, and Torres’ desire to play for his compatriot. It’s a fact of life that players want to play for the best managers, albeit perhaps further down the list of must-haves than getting £300k-a-week.

Liverpool still has its legendary name, built on an incredible history, but no one joins a club for what it did before they were born – at least not if they have better alternatives that offer a higher standard of football and bigger wages. No one wants to play for Nottingham Forest because of what happened between 1978 and 1980, or Newcastle because of the Fairs Cup in 1969.

That history keeps Anfield as one of the most meaningful stadiums in the world, but it’s no longer one of the biggest, nor the best; and its atmosphere – such a help when things are going well, as was the case just 18 months ago – becomes a hindrance during struggles. Things might improve with the new Main Stand, but will that just mean another 10,000 quiet or grumbling souls? You can’t keep changing the manager to pep up the Kop, but once the boos start ringing out then it’s no longer a helpful atmosphere.

Right now, its historic reputation is what gives the club a chance, because it has been financially outmuscled, and as the focus in England shifts south, nudged into an unfashionable area when it comes to football, when, like the north-east, it used to be a genuine hotbed. Liverpool has its name, but little else. The club has what I feel to be a good young squad, but no major players, and until yesterday had a manager who wasn’t well-known beyond these shores (I believe a survey last season in France showed that people there thought Kenny Dalglish was still the Reds’ manager).

Rodgers chose to do things his way, and in a way I respect that. However, without a Director of Football he was always going to be the person with whom the buck stopped; there was no one more experienced to help out, or even to take the fall if it came to that. He arrived with no major experience on his coaching staff, and when he had the chance to replace them this summer, he went with good solid coaches, but again, little gravitas, and zero proof of top-level success in their coaching or managerial CVs. The initial impression was that they added nothing.

Everything seemed surprisingly insular; Rodgers’ desire to further the causes of British players and British coaches is admirable, but not something the Reds’ rivals were too bothered about while pulling further ahead. In some ways it made Liverpool different to those other clubs, but it didn’t prove a helpful distinction.


Rodgers needed to win something to become a winner; to become a global phenomenon. In 2014 he almost achieved that. Everything came together brilliantly – and I will not have history rewritten to downplay his role in it, for it was a quite brilliant team to watch – but instead of being the man that gave us the one thing we all crave, and gave us it in style, he fell agonisingly short. He made us deliriously happy, for a while, and football was fun again. But it didn’t last.

Proven winners have to start winning somewhere. But Liverpool is perhaps not the club for such experiments; not at this juncture, anyway. It doesn’t matter to me how old the next boss is is, but I would say that it needs to be someone who has coached and won things at an elite level, and who can bring a point of difference to the club within the Premier League. It needs to be someone who can help attract the best possible players from around the world, even if the very elite talent will remain beyond reach. Jurgen Klopp fits that bill, as does Carlo Ancelotti.

It’s time to bring in someone who knows how to handle life at a big club, and who can project an aura of success – something that Rodgers could only do for so long before people stopped believing him.

The new boss can be a good man-manager, but let’s not obsess over it, as many good man-managers end up pissing off their players anyway (Gerrard, Sterling, Agger, Downing and others took some harsh parting-shots at Rodgers), and they can also be taken advantage of. You don’t want to lurch towards a disciplinarian headcase who’ll be pinning everyone up against the wall and head-butting the goalkeeper, but I really don’t care if the manager is the players’ friend, or whether or not they can still text each other after they’ve parted ways. I can’t think of anything I care about less.

Perhaps most importantly of all, he needs to be someone who can bring a sense of belief, for however long that ultimately lasts, in a cynical, want-it-now age. Whether or not he achieves success, it’s important to believe that he might.

Comments (301)

  1. Kloppaldo 7 years ago

    @ViktorFagerLFC: Rodgers was the driving force behind signing the likes of Borini, Allen, Lallana, Lovren, Lambert, Ings, Milner and Benteke. (James Pearce)

    @ViktorFagerLFC: Rest of the committee key for the likes of Sturridge, Coutinho, Sakho, Can, Moreno, Alberto, Aspas, Markovic, Origi & Firmino (James Pearce)

    • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

      1-0 to the committee then! 😉

      • Denis 7 years ago

        9-4 to the Committee by my count.  Comprehensive!

      • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

        No, not giving the committee Aspas, Alberto and Markovic! 6 1/2 – 4 1/2 for me! 😉

      • Denis 7 years ago

        Hmm, why not, Chris?  I have no information or anything either way, but I assumed those three were Committee signing – young, foreign (not British), signed from foreign teams (not PL), not PL experience (no PL experience.  On all those grounds, they fit exactly in with being committee signings, and go against BR’s mooted preference of British players with PL experience, signed from PL clubs.

        Is there evidence / press / rumour to the contrary?  Just curious.


        Anyhow – any which way you look at it, the record of Committee vs BR signings is firmly in the Committee’s favour.

      • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

        Hmm, why not, Chris?  I have no information or anything either way, but I assumed those three were Committee signing – young, foreign (not British), signed from foreign teams (not PL), not PL experience (no PL experience.  On all those grounds, they fit exactly in with being committee signings, and go against BR’s mooted preference of British players with PL experience, signed from PL clubs.

        Is there evidence / press / rumour to the contrary?  Just curious.

        You misundertsand me Denis. I wasn’t suggesting that they weren’t committee signings, just that they shouldn’t count towards thde committee’s total of good signings as they weren’t! So the overall ‘result’ was closer than your 9-4! But still a committee victory! 😉

      • Denis 7 years ago

        OK, I get you.  Still, if any of those three go on to make a good career for themselves (and from Jeff’s account, Markovic has started to light up the league in Turkey, while Aspas just scored 2 against Barcelona (!!!)) then you’d say (a) they are good players, just misused at Liverpool, in which case they should still go into the credit column for the Committee, and (b) they were misused at Liverpool, which would (in that eventuality) be another black mark against Rodgers….

      • Jeff 7 years ago

        Aspas, Alberto, and Markovic have shown themselves to be better players after they left Liverpool than they showed at Liverpool. Simply put, they resembled the players they were before they came to Liverpool. At the same time, in only a few matches Balotelli has shown himself to be a better player this season than he showed at Liverpool. 

        Now I can list a seemingly endless list of reasons why this has happened that do not reflect badly upon Liverpool. This being said, I have asked and asked and seemingly asked again why Liverpool did not employ these players the way they were both before they came to Liverpool and have been since they left Liverpool. If they came to Liverpool and were used the same ways they were both before and after they left Liverpool, fine, but, since they were not used this way, no one can really say they failed in Liverpool. 

        Everyone in this world has hobby horses. I am one of those people who lived in Turin 30 odd years ago for what was a football season and regulary went to Juve matches were players such as Gentile and Tardelli were featured. Anyone who says that English football team is more physical that this Juve team in plain wrong. On yes, I remember the Leeds teams of the 60s and the Nottingham teams with Kenny Burns and they were not nearly as nasty as this Juve team. Second, if one looks at the careers of Silva and Aguero in England, one has to say that Alberto and Aspas had the stature to play in England. 

    • Kloppelotti 7 years ago

      The table below is based on Paul’s excellent article comparing Brendan Rodgers (BR) and Transfer Committee (TC) signings.

      James Pearce’s list is similar to Paul’s with the exception of Ings credited BR rather than TC. There are no mention of Balotelli, Clyne, Mignolet, Ilori and a few others on JP’s list.

      In a fairly subjective manner – though taking performance, transfer fees (in/out = what can be recouped) and age/potential into consideration – I have added a score ranging from +3 to -3 for all transfers. I have scored all new signings and players acquired through loan deals with a neutral zero.

      Paul’s list: TC (8) vs BR (-7)

      JP’s list: TC (8) vs BR (-4)

      A fairly comprehensive win to TC though with 12/19 players rated the average score of 0.67 points is not improving the team as much as we would like. The only players to score +3 (Sturridge and Coutinho) are also the only real successful purchases. I have scored Can at +2 due to his undoubtful potential and a fee just under £10M. All the other players purchased have a score of +1 or less.


          BR/TC/OTHER     SEASON £M £M    
      1 Borini BR 2012/13 11.2 10.0 -1 -1
      2 Allen BR 2012/13 15.0 LFC 1 1
      3 Sahin BR 2012/13 NOT INCL. RETURNED 0  
      4 Toure BR 2013/14 0.0 LFC 0  
      5 Lovren BR 2014/15 20.0 LFC -3 -3
      6 Lallana BR 2014/15 25.0 LFC 0 0
      7 Lambert BR 2014/15 4.5 3.0 -1 -1
      8 Balotelli BR 2014/15 16.0 LOAN -3  
      9 Benteke BR 2015/16 32.5 LFC 0 0
      10 Milner BR 2015/16 0.0 LFC 0 0
      11 Clyne BR 2015/16 12.0 LFC 0  
              136.2 13.0 -7 -4
      12 Assaidi TC 2012/13 3.0 4.7 0  
      13 Yesil TC 2012/13 1.0 LOAN 0  
      14 Coutinho TC 2012/13 8.5 LFC 3 3
      15 Sturridge TC 2012/13 12.0 LFC 3 3
      16 Mignolet TC 2013/14 10.0 LFC 1  
      17 Aspas TC 2013/14 7.7 4.4 -2 -2
      18 Alberto TC 2013/14 8.5 LOAN 0 0
      19 Sakho TC 2013/14 15.0 LFC 1 1
      20 Ilori TC 2013/14 7.0 LOAN -1  
      21 Moses TC 2013/14 NOT INCL. RETURNED 0  
      22 Cissokho TC 2013/14 NOT INCL. RETURNED 0  
      23 Can (BR) TC 2014/15 9.75 LFC 2 2
      24 Markovic TC 2014/15 20.0 LOAN 0 0
      25 Moreno TC 2014/15 12.0 LFC 1 1
      26 Manquillo TC 2014/15 NOT INCL. RETURNED 0  
      27 Origi TC 2015/16 9.8 LFC 0 0
      28 Bogdan TC 2015/16 0.0 LFC 0  
      29 Firmino TC 2015/16 29.0 LFC 0 0
      30 Ings TC 2015/16 6.0 LFC 0  
              159.25 9.1 8 8
      31 Gomez SOD 2015/16 6.0 LFC 0 0
        TOTAL     £301.5M £22.1M    


      • OT 7 years ago

        Thanks for that chart

        To me at least, it is impressive in showing what FSG is about in terms of not losing on transfer fees on players who are moved on.

        Combined, all the players who have been moved have recouped just about what was paid for them.  … and if Borini had been willing to move a year earlier, then the total would be at a slight surplus.

        Of those whom remain,  it seems to me to be much the same – with two glaring exceptions: Lovren and Lallana.  Pretty much anyone else can be shipped out by the new boss and most if not all of their fee recouped.

        Much better situation than when BR came in, whomever gets the credit or in the case of Lallana and Lovren – the blame.


  2. Surely the function of the committee members is to do the leg-work for the manager and advise him?  Scout; assess; approach; check character; sort out contract requirements; set out the alternative options.  It’s when they have authority to block or impose on the manager (block Williams and impose Firminho, if true) that I have a problem. So does Klopp, apparently. Yes, they apparently blocked Dempsey and imposed Sturridge but maybe Brendan would have either gone sooner or achieved more if he was held to account for his own judgment. Committee members should be the manager’s advisors, not his equals.

  3. ACSGP 7 years ago

    Firstly, I’d like to say I’ll be very happy with Klopp.

    But if he is to be the messiah (actually Moses) to take us to the promised land of the title and another CL trophy, can he compete at the top, or is he merely an upgrade on Brendan?

    Assuming that we play a CL final against Bayern, the same way the NBA does with a best of 7 play-off. Both have their preferred way of playing. Both know that they need to negate the other team (and this assumes that both teams have players on par). Would Klopp be able to out-think Pep in such a 7 game series? Alternatively, is he going to make us so good that we don’t have to worry about the opposition (much like Barca under Pep or AC under Saachi)? 

    Don’t have an answer, except to suggest that Klopp is not there yet, but is likely to get there. 

  4. Kloppaldo 7 years ago

    @ViktorFagerLFC: Jürgen Klopp quotes galore. About his team, his tactics and his methods – #LFC –

  5. Parsonsred 7 years ago

    Does anybody else have a feeling, a hunch that this Klopp deal is going pear shaped. It has  the feel a lot of previous Liverpool dealings e.g Willan for one. .The story is fed that we are very interested and in a short time it will be a done deal. Then odd doubts are expressed, we are told that he would have gone to Bayern except they wouldn’t  play ball till Christmas. We are then reassured that all is well, the BBC Look North have just talked about the deal is ours but the say that it will take to Friday before it is announced. They just slip in that Ancelloti is till in the frame.

    If the pattern is repeated we will jog along then suddenly we will be told the deal is dead probably because of the transfer committe. Then a rush for Ancelloti.

    Hope I am wrong but we have a lot of previous.

    • ccm 7 years ago

      I hate to agree, but thats what I think too. Just seems to good to be true. I like a bet and have laid him at 1.09 on betfair. 

      Its win win for me. Lose a few quid and get a fanstatsic Manager in, so I wont care… or if we dont get him, win a right few quid to soften the blow 🙂 

    • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

      You’re certainly one for seeing the bright side aren’t you Parsonsred? 😉

  6. Disseldo 7 years ago

    Interesting comments.  What are proven winners?  

    Do good European managers translate into better performances in the EPL?  History indicates a number have done so.  

    Some analysis suggests managers have little to do with the success or otherwise of clubs. 

    From the below admittedly small sample of coaches, transfermarkt stats indicate not many managers have earned more than 2,00 points per game (ppg) on a consistent basis across countries and outside the top 2-3 teams.

    There is a strong correlation between top clubs and good results. Go figure. If you want to be a top coach, coach top clubs. Easy.

    It would be interesting to compare clubs that have frequent changes in manager with those that don’t (harder in the EPL).

    Perhaps it would be better to research which coaches, in the absence of a sugar daddy, have taken their club up into the top three and kept them there consistently.  I don’t have the information for that.

    In the interim, my vote is for the Italian Maestro. Runs on the board.

    Ronald Koeman has coached in Holland, Portugal, Spain and the EPL.  He appears to have done well with mid-range clubs (except perhaps Alkmaar) and betters 2,00 ppg at top clubs. I would argue he has outperformed at Southhampton (better than Rodgers at Swansea) and is surely in line for bigger clubs.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM  Southampton FC 14/15 (Jul 1, 2014)  expected 30.06.2017 Manager 57 1,65  Feyenoord 11/12 (Jul 25, 2011)  13/14 (Jun 30, 2014)  Manager 118 1,93  AZ Alkmaar 09/10 (Jul 1, 2009)  09/10 (Dec 5, 2009)  Manager 23 1,48  Valencia CF 07/08 (Nov 5, 2007)  07/08 (Apr 21, 2008)  Manager 34 1,24  PSV Eindhoven 06/07 (Jul 1, 2006)  07/08 (Oct 31, 2007)  Manager 56 2,02  Benfica 05/06 (Jun 8, 2005)  05/06 (May 8, 2006)  Manager 45 1,89  AFC Ajax 01/02 (Dec 3, 2001)  04/05 (Feb 25, 2005)  Manager 151 2,07  Vitesse 99/00 (Jan 1, 2000)  01/02 (Dec 2, 2001)  Manager 70 1,77

    Rafa, while having coached many top clubs, has been very consistent in Spain, England and Italy.  Appears to usually get the best out of his teams (Inter?).

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Real Madrid 15/16 (Jun 3, 2015)  expected 30.06.2018 Manager 9 2,33
     SSC Napoli 12/13 (May 27, 2013)  14/15 (Jun 1, 2015)  Manager 112 1,87
     Chelsea FC 12/13 (Nov 21, 2012)  12/13 (May 26, 2013)  Interim coach 48 1,96
     Inter 10/11 (Jun 10, 2010)  10/11 (Dec 23, 2010)  Manager 25 1,68
     Liverpool 04/05 (Jul 1, 2004)  09/10 (Jun 3, 2010)  Manager 345 1,88
     Valencia CF 01/02 (Jul 1, 2001)  03/04 (Jun 30, 2004)  Manager 155 1,89
     CD Tenerife 00/01 (Jul 1, 2000)  00/01 (Jun 30, 2001)  Manager 42 1,76

    Van Gaal has consistently achieved good results at generally top level clubs in Holland, Spain, Germany and now England. It will be interesting to see if can continue the progress he has made with MUFC.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Manchester Utd. 14/15 (Jul 16, 2014)  expected 30.06.2017 Manager 57 1,89
     Netherlands 12/13 (Aug 1, 2012)  14/15 (Jul 15, 2014)  Manager 29 2,21
     Bayern Munich  09/10 (Jul 1, 2009)  10/11 (Apr 10, 2011)  Manager 96 2,03
     AZ Alkmaar 05/06 (Jul 1, 2005)  08/09 (Jun 30, 2009)  Manager 171 1,92
     FC Barcelona 02/03 (Jul 1, 2002)  02/03 (Jan 28, 2003)  Manager 29 1,83
     Netherlands U20 00/01 (Jun 5, 2001)  01/02 (Jul 2, 2001)  Manager 5 1,40
     Netherlands 00/01 (Jul 7, 2000)  01/02 (Nov 30, 2001)  Manager 14 2,00
     FC Barcelona 97/98 (Jul 1, 1997)  99/00 (May 20, 2000)  Manager 132 1,82
     AFC Ajax 91/92 (Sep 28, 1991)  96/97 (Jun 30, 1997)  Manager 281 2,22

    Brendan does not have the record to put up against the proven managers.  Yet.  Would be interesting to see him coach in Europe.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Liverpool 11/12 (Jun 1, 2012)  15/16 (Oct 4, 2015)  Manager 166 1,77
     Swansea 10/11 (Jul 1, 2010)  11/12 (May 31, 2012)  Manager 96 1,55
     Reading 09/10 (Jul 1, 2009)  09/10 (Dec 16, 2009)  Manager 23 1,04
     Watford 08/09 (Nov 24, 2008)  08/09 (Jun 30, 2009)  Manager 31 1,45

    Frank De Boer has coached one (top) club only, with decent results.  PSV flogged them last season though.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     AFC Ajax 10/11 (Dec 6, 2010)  expected 30.06.2017 Manager 232 2,00

    One to put the stats into perspective.  Avram has done very well with top clubs, much less so with (then) weaker clubs.  Meaning?

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Ghana 14/15 (Dec 1, 2014)  expected 31.12.2016 Manager 9 2,00
     FK Partizan 11/12 (Jan 13, 2012)  11/12 (May 18, 2012)  Manager 16 2,19
     West Ham 09/10 (Jun 3, 2010)  10/11 (May 16, 2011)  Manager 47 1,21
     Portsmouth FC 09/10 (Nov 26, 2009)  09/10 (May 20, 2010)  Manager 33 1,12
     Chelsea FC 07/08 (Sep 20, 2007)  07/08 (May 24, 2008)  Manager 54 2,22
     Israel 01/02 (May 1, 2002)  05/06 (Oct 25, 2005)  Manager 20 1,40

    Ancelotti has coached top clubs in Italy, England, France and Spain with much success.  Appears capable of success even when taking on teams midway through the season.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Real Madrid 13/14 (Jun 26, 2013)  14/15 (May 25, 2015)  Manager 119 2,36
     Paris SG 11/12 (Dec 30, 2011)  12/13 (Jun 24, 2013)  Manager 77 2,14
     Chelsea FC 09/10 (Jul 1, 2009)  10/11 (May 22, 2011)  Manager 109 2,03
     AC Milan 01/02 (Nov 7, 2001)  08/09 (May 31, 2009)  Manager 420 1,94
     Juventus 98/99 (Feb 7, 1999)  00/01 (Jun 30, 2001)  Manager 96 2,01
     AC Parma 96/97 (Jul 1, 1996)  97/98 (Jun 30, 1998)  Manager 75 1,73

    Klopp has coached long periods with two German clubs and had some notable successes.  He does not appear to be in the top bracket however.  Yet.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Bor. Dortmund 08/09 (Jul 1, 2008)  14/15 (Jun 30, 2015)  Manager 318 1,90
     1.FSV Mainz 05 00/01 (Feb 28, 2001)  07/08 (Jun 30, 2008)  Manager 268 1,50

    Mourinho has coached top clubs in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain with much success.  He has been controversial, however, and three years appears to be his limit.

    Club Appointed In charge until Function Matches PPM
     Chelsea FC 12/13 (Jun 3, 2013)  expected 30.06.2019 Manager 123 2,03
     Real Madrid 09/10 (May 28, 2010)  12/13 (Jun 2, 2013)  Manager 178 2,30
     Inter 08/09 (Jun 2, 2008)  09/10 (May 28, 2010)  Manager 108 2,12
     Chelsea FC 04/05 (Jul 1, 2004)  07/08 (Sep 20, 2007)  Manager 182 2,22
     FC Porto 01/02 (Jan 5, 2002)  03/04 (Jun 30, 2004)  Manager 37 2,00

    Hope the table format works 🙂

    • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

      Van Gaal has consistently achieved good results at generally top level clubs in Holland, Spain, Germany and now England. It will be interesting to see if can continue the progress he has made with MUFC.

      It will be even more interesting if he can’t!

      Not to mention massively enjoyable! 😉

      • Disseldo 7 years ago

        I couldn’t agree more.  I actually think he is walking a fine line between good and very good, as he has only cracked the 2,00 ppg domestically with two top teams in their divisions in Bayern Munich and Ajax. 

  7. Kloppaldo 7 years ago

    And it begins:

    @MailSport: Coutinho ‘happy’ to leave Liverpool for Barcelona… and the campaign in Spain has begun

    • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

      To be fair, what player on Earth would say otherwise? If Barca want you, you go. Period.

      • ACSGP 7 years ago

        Carra, Stevie, Robbie.

      • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

        It’s unlikely they’d have wanted Carra! Not sure the other 2 wouldn’t have been tempted though.

    • Jeff 7 years ago

      The drum beat to bring Coutinho to Barcelona started when Suarez went to Barcelona. It increased when former Brazilians who played for Barcelona said he would be perfect in Barcelona. Oh yes, Iniesta is reaching the age when Barcelona need to think about replacing him. I am not a betting man but I would put a small wager on Barcelona making a bid for Coutinho this upcoming summer. If I was Liverpool, I would go to Coutinho today or in the near future and give him a much improved contract which hopefully will lead him to want to stay in Liverpool and while I acknowledge this might not work, it would hopefully drive up the price Barcelona will have to pay for him.

    • rafaisthebosphorus 7 years ago


      For £60M he can go, just like the rest of them

      We are a selling club to Barca, Real, Beyern and the like, that won’t change. What needs to change is how we re-invest.

      • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

        What needs to change is how we re-invest.

        Exactly that.

      • ccm 7 years ago

        Maybe we’ve already signed his replacement in Firmino? They both want to play the same position after all and it will give him the time he needs to settle before PC leaves?

        I think it looks inevitable now. The way he has played this season tells alot as well.

      • Jeff 7 years ago

        ccm if you ever saw Firmino play for Hoffenheim you would quickly conclude that Firmino is a very different player than Coutinho. Simply put, he combined brilliantly on the left with Volland to provide a first class foundation to attack opponents. On yes, Kevin Volland is another of those German players who I would welcome in Liverpool. Second, he was the perfect foil for Modeste who is very similar to Benteke but not as good. My point is that he is a forward or someone who plays just off the forward and Coutinho is an attacking midfielder. Personally, when he was bought, I thought he was bought as a replacement for Sterling and bought to provide service for Benteke who was widely reported coming to Liverpool. 

        To me the interesting question about Firmino is the same one I had about Markovic. How could anyone who had seen him play before he came to Liverpool understand how Rodger used him in Liverpool.? To me he was just another misused player as I have ranted about too darn many times. 

      • ccm 7 years ago

        Fair enough Jeff, I havent seen enough of him to be sure where his best position is yet. Makes sense what you are saying though.

    • Beez 7 years ago

      Probably not a popular view amongst Liverpool fans, but I’d say Sterling is a far worse loss than Coutinho would be (not that I want him to go of course!).

      • DavidW 7 years ago

        Maybe a heretical viewpoint but I agree with this.

        I find Coutinho a very frustrating player. He has skill by the bucket load, but his decision making is still a bit suspect, he tries to do too much by himself,  He also needs to score more for a number 10, and his shooting is just way off – to the point where you have to ask if the worldies he does score a bit flukey. I would also question his mentality – when its not going his way, he buckles, wilts and dissapears.

        He might be a superstar, but I don’t think he will do it in the premier league.  We should take the money and run.

    • Jeff 7 years ago

      I watched the Everton match on the technical view on NBC in North America. I will acknowledge that some may well not like watching matches this way because at times it is hard to follow the action but at the same time you can watch movement on the pitch. If you had a chance to see Phil Coutinho or some others such as Alberto Moreno bringing the ball forward and looking for someone who was trying to make themselves available for the ball, you would be searching and searching and finding no one making themselves available. To me the problem with Coutinho is that Liverpool need players such as Firmino who actually know how to move with the ball in the last third of the pitch. This means to me that at times Coutinho is put in situations where he can either lose the ball to defenders or he can shoot. 

      I have written time and time again that Liverpool have no shown no ability to attack defenses and this is a problem when you have players such as Coutinho who know how to attack defenses and no one around them who is on the same page. 

      • Mik D 7 years ago

        Fully agree. If a team mate can find space, Coutinho can find the pass. If he has no options, to some he might appear like he is dithering or over doing it. Finding space is one of the most fundamental aspects of football.

        Coutinho would look pretty impressive in that Barca side and he is also adding a bit more of a goal threat to his game. I think I saw he was now on £70k / wk which is not going to keep him with us for long.

        I hope Klopp recalls the glorious little dink Coutinho did teeing up Sturridge in the 4:0 pre-season friendly against Dortmund last summer (seems a long time ago now).

      • fourcandles 7 years ago

        Have to agree with this, Jeff. I watched Arsenal vs MU and they tore the Devils apart with constant clever movement off the ball, using all sorts of angles and timing, but mostly trying to get in the box. The selection of pass vs shoot also seemed to be spot on with little elaboration. It was simple, effective and lovely to watch. 

      • Roller. 7 years ago

        But Forks, Klopp is Kraut Rock, not some fancy orchestra. 🙂

      • fourcandles 7 years ago

        I want some rock opera, like Bohemian Rhapsody, real artistry but crazy and fun!

      • Roller. 7 years ago

        Rammstein it will be.

    • Kloppaldo 7 years ago

      I predicted Phil would be at Barca in summer 2016 from about 18 months ago.

      As Jeff says above, I’d be sitting down with Phil (probably after Klopp or Anc have seen him play and decided he’s quality, if they don’t already) and giving him a contract in parity with Studge and Milner.

      He signed a new deal in December(?) for reportedly £70k/week, which vastly undervalues him when you consider Firmino is on about £100k, same with Benteke, Milner around £140k and Studge at £150k.

      I presume we’d look to offer him around £120-150k but with an iron clad release clause of ~£60m. (Also puts him in a good position to go to Barca saying “I already earn £130k, better it”).

      In general, the higher the weekly wage, the higher we set the release clause. And it’s not like he isn’t worth the money (in wage or transfer fee) either. 

      Plus, as Rafa says above, it needs to be reinvested extremely wisely. 

      I don’t mind ‘wasting’ money on a player who has definite quality but doesn’t work out for whatever reason (Tomkins Law), but I hate over paying for the likes of Lallana who isn’t a £25m player, or buying a player on a punt like Aspas and Assaidi. 

    • Jeff 7 years ago

      Everyone should always remember that when Philippe Coutinho was 14 and 15 all the football experts in Brazil and all the great Brazilian footballers said that Coutinho would be the best Brazilian footballer of his generation. Unfortunately for him, he went to Inter and was totally and completely misused but when he was loaned out to Espanyol anyone who saw him play could see that he was a lad with tremendous talent. Liverpool got him because Inter needed the money and FSG paid the fee in full. Everyone in Milan says that this was one of the all time dumb moves in football. What Phil Coutinho needed was a chance to play and he got it in Liverpool. 

      This reality raises a very interesting question. How many players who have genuine talent never get a chance to show it if they are at one of the so called big clubs? This leads to the question how many lads who show that they have talent move to the so called big clubs and suddenly find that their careers are stalled? If you do not believe in this reality, I will give you Philippe Coutinho. 

      I do not pretend to be a football scout but I can name players at all the big clubs or players who have left big clubs recently that have shown that they are real talents. Some may remember that instead of bringing in Balotelli I argued that the money would have been better spent on Morata who went to Juve for actually less money. If Coutinho does leave, I hope Liverpool get a proverbial kings ransom for him and use the money wisely. More particularly, if Klopp does become the manager as seems likely, I would like to see Max Meyer but if he is not available I am fairly confident that Liverpool could turn their attention to Simon Kurt of Bayarn who really has no prospect of regular first team football and is clearly a talent. 

      As Liverpool stole Coutinho, they could steal players if Liverpool actually had someone who knew how to evaluate talent and was willing to take a chance to lads who either never got a chance or moved to a so called big club and never played. 

      • Kloppaldo 7 years ago

        We’ve argued the same points in the past that’d we’d be looking at underused players at bigger clubs.

        Morata was one. Illaramendi. Jese. Pedro. Shaqiri. etc. I’m sure there are loads more.

        The other strategy I’ve heard Juve employ is that they scour the leagues (not just the top 5 leagues) and look for players under 23 who have played a lot of games. Let the numbers do your scouting. If you are a 21 yr old for example and have played 30+ games for PSV in a season, there’s a strong possibility that you are at least a decent player at the age to improve. 

        Obviously ‘proper’ scouting will need to be done, but it’s a good filter. 

      • Martin McL 7 years ago

        The other strategy I’ve heard Juve employ is that they scour the leagues (not just the top 5 leagues) and look for players under 23 who have played a lot of games. Let the numbers do your scouting. If you are a 21 yr old for example and have played 30+ games for PSV in a season, there’s a strong possibility that you are at least a decent player at the age to improve. 

        The Lee Mooney approach you mean!

      • Jeff 7 years ago

        Kloppaldo I have lost count of the number of times I have posted something along the lines I made and along the lines you made. To me it is just plain sensible and why on earth a club that wants to build with young and under valued players have not gone down this road is to me a mystery. 

        I might add that if you do go down this road, you need to actually use the players properly in Liverpool. On this point, from the time Sahin came to Liverpool to the present with Firmino this has not happened. 

        As you point out, Juve are a model of hoiw to do business sensibly and prosper. This is why I have often posted that if I was FSG that I would hire Guiseppe Marotta because he is the man who has done what you and I advocate and done it successfully. 

      • DuncanM23 7 years ago

        While I agree that the only efficient way to spend money is to buy players under the age of 23, it’s not that straightforward. The difficulty is that buying players who have played a lot at a young age is that if they arrive and don’t get into the first team, it’s hard for them to continue on their upward trajectory. It’s OK to introduce one or two players into a team if the rest of the team are strong and they are winning, but if the rest of the team are flawed, it’s really hard. Last year we tried to get Ibe, Can, Markovic, Moreno, Manquilo (and Sterling, though we often forget how young he is) significant time, and we struggled because when they were inconsistent, the team couldn’t compensate (hell, at times they had to compensate for their elders and supposed betters).

        This year, we have Moreno, Can, Ibe, Origi and Gomez (plus the academy kids). One or 2 are going to struggle to get gametime and will be sold or out on loan next year without getting a real shot. Developing more than one or two kids at a time is really difficult – there’s a reason why successful clubs have an average age >25. 

        It’s one reason for considering Frank De Boer – that he’s been winning leagues with a team with an average age around 23.  That’s actually pretty impressive – if he could do that at LFC it would be incredible.
        Edit to add – how does the German league develop it’s youngsters from the U21 level to the senior level? English football has a massive problem with this – if Klopp has an inside track on improving that, we can really go places!

  8. riktherude 7 years ago

    Just a technical question or two:

    1) Can Markovic be recalled if the new manger likes the look of him?

    2) Is this the last of Gary Mac? His management cameo was even shorter! (I feel it’s kind of unfair to the assisstants just because the new manager has his own people)

  9. stormblessed 7 years ago

    I dont see why they cant stay. Why not keep the old new staff and have klopps assistants from dortmund. I doubt their wages would add up to much more than a Ings. The more forward thinking coaches the merrier, plus im pretty sure they all add differnt things. A coaching comittee maybe

    • Chris Rowland 7 years ago

      I dunno, do we really need another organisation with far too many management staff? 😉

  10. Beez 7 years ago

    @5liveSport: BREAKING:


    The BBC understands that Jurgen Klopp will be announced as the new Liverpool manager tomorrow.

    • Martin McL 7 years ago

      Still can’t quite believe it’s happening to be honest. We’ve went from interviewing Martinez and Rodgers to Klopp.

      Klopp, 2 times Bundesliga winner, twice finished second in the Bundesliga, CL finalist – next manager of Liverpool.

      Last time we had a foreign two time league winner it worked out pretty well!

      • Blackfox26 7 years ago

        I know! It is amazing! I’m so happy I could kiss Paul’s bald head! ;-D

        This can only be taken as a positive step in the right direction for FSG. There was a TAW piece commenting on how they seem to be listening to the right people now. May that long continue. 

      • Author
        Paul Tomkins 7 years ago

        And all achieved with a club that was mid-table and in financial ruin when he took over.

        It won’t be as easy here, but he’s inspired me. I may even let people I’ve never met kiss my bald head! 😉

      • mortiman 7 years ago

        It’s crazy really. The up side of Klopp is just immense. I never thought we would be able to get him, but it all seems meant to be. I cant find a better fit than Klopp to manage us. It’s like he “understands” Liverpool from reading everything about him. “He united the club”, said a Dortmund fan. We need that!

        And hopefully we can tap into that German player marked. There are some real gems there.

    • Author

      I was told this earlier today and emailed Chris and Daniel to tell them. Then I went to post it on here, and got sidetracked. Doh!

      Not sure if it’s legit, but the same person has been DMing me stuff on Twitter all week and been correct. Now that the BBC are saying it I feel more confident.

      Talk is of him wanting to bring two assistants, when LFC wanted one – but two was quickly agreed, probably wisely to not scupper it! No idea who the other coaches will be. 

      I’d love Sami to be part of the team, if it needs to be an ex-LFC player, but it obviously needs to be someone who fits with Klopp’s methods.

      • ccm 7 years ago

        Of the obvious German connections I hope it’s not Didi. Top, top man, but more interested in punting and boozing. I thought Markus Babbel might be a good option? 

        Edit: Although I have to be honest, I don’t really see the point of picking somebody just because they used to play for us. Seems a bit passé.

  11. Tony Mckenna (Macattack) 7 years ago

    Piers Morgan`s Tweet was priceless: lamented drooling envy that we…LFC…of all Clubs… are going to get Klopp!!!


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