So there I was thinking that with the league over, that there would be a bit of time between my last and next post about Liverpool. That kind of changes when Kenny got the sack. Over the last couple of days I’ve been on Twitter and seen a number of fans posting about this, be it anger at the sacking of Kenny, views over who should be next, or just general views about where the club is going.
Regardless of where the club does go in the future, the only thing certain at the moment is that somebody has to be chosen to be the face of Liverpool as manager. With Steve Clark tendering his resignation (which I assume was accepted) out of loyalty to Kenny, which is fair enough, that means that there is no obvious quick choice as caretaker manager.
I’ve already made a post about what the next step might be for Liverpool, with a brief view on some of the names touted, so I won’t go into that at this stage. However, I do have a question that I would like to have Liverpool fans answer. That questions is just how soon do they want this to be resolved.
With this being the summer, and one where the European Championships will be happening, it is already time to start talking to some of the potential future players for Liverpool. The European Championships maybe helps us out a little because a number of players will be busy with international squads and therefore they may not be interested in talking to potential new clubs. However, some of our rivals are already talking to players, and some of those players may well be our potential targets.
Some fans on Twitter have already complained about the short list being 12 men strong (or weak depending on your opinion of the said managers). One of those, Rodgers, has already turned us down, which I think was the right choice for him, as he’s still at that delicate stage in his managerial career where it could go either way. At Swansea he gets a chance to show it was not all just luck, but short of a complete and utter disaster (I’m looking at you here Derby), he will no doubt be one for the future. If he comes to Liverpool, with massive expectations (whether rightly or wrongly), you can guarantee every error will be scrutinised by the media, a media always willing to attack any weakness to sell their rags.
Talking to the rest of those managers, and giving everybody a fair chance would no doubt take time. Some of those may well be happy to talk right now, others may well be wanting a holiday with their families, and there may be others (Pep Guardiola) that if pushed too early for a response may well just tell Liverpool where to stick it. I personally think Pep Guardiola may be unlikely because his reason for leaving Barcelona was that he wanted to go on a sabbatical. It seems unlikely that somebody wanting a break from management would jump into the Liverpool hot-seat although I would love to have his particular brand of football at our club.
However, although it does take time, that is going to be the only way to really make sure that the right man is chosen for the job. At this moment the only one that has really confirmed he has talked to Liverpool is Martinez. I assume that Rafa probably already has been talked to, and obviously enquiries were made about Rodgers.
As mentioned above, the fact that this is a European Championship year may help the owners out here, as I would expect the vast majority of transfers to happen after that has concluded. However, it does also take time for any new manager to come in, really have a look at what he has at the club, and fully decide where he wants to go from there. He may also have a particular group of people he wants with him, and that might take additional time to sort out. If it take 2 or 3 weeks to bring in the new man, and that man then takes a week or so to sort out a strategy, and then bear in mind that players and clubs would need to be talked to, we could be a month behind somebody else. That’s something that we maybe cannot afford, given that we cannot promise Champions League football.
There is an unlikely option of hiring a replacement for Comolli and have that person maybe start creating a shortlist for problem positions, or maybe even starting preliminary talks with some players that have shown interest. Let them know that they’re still in our thoughts/plans and that once the right man has been picked they would be in touch. I don’t think this is every likely to happen, nor do I think it is a particularly good idea, but I thought I’d add the option nonetheless. My problem with this is two fold. The first is that the new manager may not want to work with a Director of Football, or they may their own choice for that position. The second is that some players may find it somewhat offensive. “We do still think we want you, although the new manager might just think you’re not good enough. However, please put your plans on hold until we sort out ours.”
I personally think Liverpool as a club would benefit from a longer process that has the right man come in. Sure that may result in some of our targets being taken by others but this is one transfer window, and ideally the new man would be in charge for many years to come. I’m not saying that by taking longer we will get the man the fans want, but a proper process will at least hopefully weed out the managers that may not have the right philosophy, or may well just not have the right mentality for it.
I’d like to think that even with a delay, other teams having a head start, and without Champions League football, that we would still be able to bring in the “right” player for Liverpool. I would rather have a player that wants to play for Liverpool, and wants to be part of the grander project, than to have a player that will join the first team that talks to him, and ends up leaving again next season because some other team talked to him. Sure we have a number of things going against us, but if a player is only willing to join a team with Champions League football, what happens say the following season when that team fails to make it to the Champions League, will he want out? Taking the time let’s players know that this was well thought out by the owners, and that they are looking to build for the future. That attracts, in my opinion, the right sort of player, and not just some “star” that moves to pastures green every couple of season.
Anyway, it just takes a second… vote on it, if just for my amusement.