24 May 2012

Disaster? 6 reasons why FSG should not appoint Van Gaal as DoF...

Legendary manager Louis Van Gaal is reputedly being sought by FSG to take over from Damien Comolli as Liverpool's Director of Football/Sporting Director. Whilst that sounds like an enticing idea, I believe it would be the wrong decision, and could even be counter-productive in the long run.

Van Gaal is one of the greatest club managers of the last 20 years, and in my view, he would be wasted as a DoF, and in that role, there could be unforeseen complications, especially if he was paired with a much younger, inexperienced manager. For the sake of argument, I'll use Roberto Martinez to illustrate my points:

1. Van Gaal confirmed his desire to return to the dugout in an interview with Talksport's Marcel van der Kraan a few days ago:

"I do want to go back into football. I always said I would. I'm having a sabbatical year because my wife demanded that I slow down a bit. I'm still full of fire, and I want to work with players, and I'm waiting to go back to a club or country as coach"

If he took the DoF job, Van Gall would essentially be a frustrated manager, and I doubt he'd be happy staying in the shadows.

2. Given Van Gaal's wish to return to coaching, he would probably not be able to stop himself interfering in first team affairs. After all, he is a massively successful coach - who would want to waste his experience and know-how? Martinez could be intimidated by Van Gaal encroaching on first team affairs, and this could lead to friction between the two managers.

3. On a similar note, given Martinez's history, it's entirely possible he could be intimidated by Van Gaal's enormous success, and he'd probably be constantly looking over his shoulder.

4. Additionally, who would be the 'go-to' guy for FSG? Van Gaal is a formidable personality, and you don't ignore his views lightly. If FSG consulted Van Gaal more than Martinez on team affairs, it could lead to the Spaniard feeling undermined. How could you have Van Gaal at the club and *not* consult him about practically every football matter?

5. Worst of all, the press would have a field day with a successful manager as DoF at Liverpool, and one question would inevitably (and persistently) be asked by the media: 'How long before Van Gaal takes over from Martinez'. Whenever the club had a few bad results, that question would resurface, which would put increased pressure on the Spaniard. Clearly, this would not a healthy situation for any manager.

6. The likes of Johann Cruyff or Txiki Begiristain would be better options for DoF because there's practically no chance of either man being in a position to take over the manager's job at Liverpool. This is not the case with Van Gaal, and I doubt Martinez would feel comfortable in his job knowing that ready-made, experienced replacement was potentially waiting in the wings to take over.

Making Van Gaal DoF is the worst possible idea IMO, and if he's paired with a comparatively inexperienced manager, it could be a recipe for disaster.

I say just scrap the DoF structure, give Van Gaal the manager's job, and let him be in control of everything. He has the strength of personality and experience to do the job all on his own, and he's proven that time and time again in the past.

This would also be the cheaper option for LFC: why have two or three Directors when you can have one man doing the lot. This is the way English football has worked for years, and the most successful managers have never needed a DoF to 'help' them.

Van Gaal is the man for Liverpool; the question is, are FSG flexible enough to alter their preferred structure?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Have to say this seems a bit pointless. There are a lot of assumptions thrown in here and guesses on LVG's mentality and abilities which no-one has any clue on. What if he is manager an his wife tells him to stop again? What if another dof comes in along side LVG as manager and he doesn't like it? Personally I don't mind either outcome. I'm happy with LVG, Martinez or AVB being manager. They are all decent managers an no one knows how well they would do but I'll support which ever one it is.

  2. The shambolic handling of the recruitment process is all you need to know about FSG. More clueless yanks!

  3. Spot On! Come on FSG get LVG!

  4. Hmautomotive_info6:35 pm, May 24, 2012

    Hi Jamie

    Good Article , with balanced views and very right

  5. Jamie,
    Your analysis is spot on! Van Gaal also has well established contacts that can help him in getting good players and he is more likely to attract talent! In the long term, LFC need a younger manager and FSG are right to think along those lines; however, the club needs to be in a competing position in the Premier League and in Champions League and that requires someone like Van Gaal who can attract the right players and instill discipline in the team right away. FSG could give Van Gaal a 3 or 4 year contract and get a Roberto Di Matteo type understudy as an assistant! 

  6. what has been shambolic about the recruitment process?

  7. Liverpool Director said the Board would go for the Best after sacking Kenny Dalglish. Louis Van Gaal and Martinez would be a perscription for permanent war and eventual breakdown.

    Why has Pep Guardiola been dropped from consideration? Many think he is the best and would be able to work with compatriot Martinez. I have seen no declaration from Guardiola that he rejected consideration for the appointment. With him in charge directing operations I'm sure top players wouldl be drawn to the Reds and he could indulge in a semi-sabbatical from day-to-day management of team affairs knowing Roberto Martinez was capable of carrying out his wishes when absent.

    The arrangement would provide tremendous experience for Roberto and provide the assistance for transfer of powers, eventually.

  8. Benitez or LVG for manager as these are the only two capable of getting us back in the champions league and winning things again! No to Martinez, AVB or Rodgers as they are not experienced enough or ready to take such a big jump from the teams they are currently at to a team like liverpool and AVB has already proved he is not capable of managing in the prem.

  9. Honestly I don't care who the next coach is. As much as I loved the sentimental feelings when Dalglish came back to manage over the past year and a half, it was a good and logical decision to part ways. What I do hope is that whoever comes in will hold the players more accountable for their performance and actions on/off the pitch this season. 

    It was a very sad sight to see Dalglish defend (or give runouts despite poor performance) his players throughout the year when the feeling did not seem mutual.

  10. your really asking?

  11. Please don't get offended but probably you are too young to know about LVG and even Google or Youtube can really help you out.
    LVG is no-BS, in your face guy and he will probably want autonomy to set up everything from the kids level to the top.
    Since he had success with youth policy that makes him reasonable candidate. 
    Also Pep's football philosophy, or better implementation, has shifted from Cruyff's toward LVG's ways. What you could see in the last year and a half is modernised Ajax of early 90's.

  12. Good point Tom, but its sad that the issue JK put down well, will get us to the same state as Chelsea, Martinez and Van Gaal will never work, the two are way too different to work together. Do they offer Van gaal the job as Manager, which I would feel safer with, than a chap who has had to fight relegation all the way. I am just the same as most our supporters who are having a hard time trying to comprehend what the hell these owners are trying to do.

  13. I think we're finished, just red wigan confirmed martinez is talking with the owners in miami and he obviously will accept the job, this is terrible, to sack a legend like dalglish and appoint martinez the relegation fight king, this is humiliation, feel for all the fans especially for them who go to games home and away, they will have to live in a very difficult life from now on, if martinez is coming 

  14. Magento Development Company8:20 pm, May 24, 2012

    Nice article...

  15. Jamie, this is a new low.  This is not even tabloid-football material.  Simply put here are the meaning of two words:

    Reason: A cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event. 

    Conjecture: An opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

    I am saying that what you gave was six conjectures, not reasons, to be polite.

  16. Are Smoking Haze or Cheese

  17. Fully Agree, I'd take LVG as manager billy no problem, would certainly bring the Discipline back, as kenny's support for the players HE bought was ridiculous, when there was very clear evidence before our own eye's to say that Henderson was shite and Downing the same.

    LVG could still attract big players and as we all know he is very well respected in world Football

  18. Totally agreed JK,   SCRAP IT COMPLETELY  LFC never used to have a DOF and it has been Defo proved at LFC with Comolli that it doesnt work.

    But what a Brilliant Manager for the Reds, he Defo wouldn't walk round holding the players hand like kenny did saying how the players should be proud for there efforts when it was clear as daylight the Cat of Nine Tales in front of the KOP was required

  19. That's exactly how I felt, which is why I liked the thought of Raffa coming back for experience, and discipline, However LVG is a whole new ball game, his CV is incredible, and as a few people say his borderline psychopath reactions to players who go missing in games is just what we want to hear, which would take care of your last paragraph.

    Genius Idea, and I pray it comes true, We need to start a campaign.


  21. I'd like to think that Van Gaal could chaperone a younger manager and help him get a firm grasp of the reigns, whilst establishing a quality progression of youth but JK is right to point out that he'd probably end up agitating if he were DoF instead of manager and he would be like the sword of Damacles hanging over the younger man's head.

    Van Gaal is the man for me. Hope FSG don't get too caught up on the idea of a younger manager.

  22. Yes I am really asking...the only thing that is FACT is what FSG/Liverpool have said the rest is pure media speculation. Are we interested in Capello, etc etc etc. Who knows...pure media speculation. The only facts are we have/are speaking to Martinez and that Rogers was approached. That it. Hardly shambolic I would say. 

  23. I saw Skrtel when he first joined Liverpool with his wife in Tesco in Woolton (buying dog food) if you think he is scary his Mrs looks like Morticia from the Addams Family.
    Not sure who the dog food was for. Its a good place to spot Liverpool players, have seen Sami Hyppia buying Chicken tonight and he told me he is a good cook, Litmanen (that other Finn not sure if that how you spell it) using the cash machine and Pongolle and Djibil Cisse chatting up the checkout girls inviting them to a BBQ.

  24. according to the latest Radio City bulletin, tight wad Dave Whelan exploiter of slave labour at the JJB says Martinez would want total control no Director of Football and would turn it down if one was appointed with him.

  25. Above I said I had seen no statement from Pep Guardiola that he was not interested in the Liverpool job. He must be reading your website Jamie for hey presto this morning he has announced he is in fact open to offers!

    John Henry said at the outset that PG was number one on his list so give him an offer he cannot refuse Mr Henry. You will see very few complaints from Liverpool's fans.

  26. Beasting the birds eh, your right about marty's bird though Billy, just googled her up, she is bigger than him, bit of a cross between Gina Lollobrigida and Kyriakos