Part 5: Partnering of the Ways.
By TTT Subscriber Anthony Stanley.
There have been myriad words written about the beginning of the Gerard Houllier regime at Anfield, and in particular about the dynamics of his relationship with Roy Evans and how the partnership could work. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to claim that it was an experiment doomed to failure and that it saved the Liverpool board from making a harsh and painful decision – to dispense with the services of one of their most loyal and well-liked servants.
Following the recent success of the hitherto unknown Arsene Wenger at Arsenal – a club cast in a similar mould to Liverpool Football Club – it was natural that Peter Robinson and the newly arriving Rick Parry (the latter of whom was a confirmed embracer of modernity and had been one of the driving architects of the Premier League) would finally look to the continent to try and get the club back on track. Though the Evans’ years had witnessed some sparkling football, the lingering spectres of ill-discipline and a soft underbelly would perhaps need a more authoritarian figure to exorcise them. Moreover, perhaps the fact that sports science, players’ diets and analytics were becoming more and more central on the continent might give Liverpool an advantage in a game that was becoming deadly competitive as the financial rewards continued to spiral. At the very least, it is reasonable to surmise that an outside figure – a break with tradition – might be able to excise the lingering malignancy that was dressing room bad habits.
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