8 May 2012

Poisoned chalice? LFC flop follows in the footsteps of Rafa Benitez...

In a press conference this morning, Valencia President Manuel Llorente confirmed that former Liverpool coach Mauricio Pellegrino will replace Unai Emery as the manager of Valencia this summer.

The 40-year-old Argentinean has agreed a two-year deal with Valencia, where he made 138 appearances as a player, winning two league titles and the UEFA Cup under Rafa Benitez.

Benitez brought Pellegrino to Anfield in January 2005, but his performances turned out to be (surprisingly) shaky:

* Liverpool failed to win 9 of the 13 games in which he featured.

* The club conceded an average of a goal a game.

* Only 3 clean sheets in 13 games.

According to Benitez, Pellegrino was brought in to take 'special training session' and to work with defence, probably to assist with the implementation of the Spaniard's zonal marking policy. However, Pellegrino's presence didn't stop the club leaking goals , and didn't improve the club's atrocious league form that year, which ultimately led to a 5th place finish in the league.

The Argentinean returned to Anfield in 2008 as first-team coach under Benitez, and in his first season in the management set-up, Liverpool finished second in the league, which seems to suggest he had a positive impact.

Liverpool finished 7th in Pellegrino's second season as a coach, and he left the club with Benitez in June 2010, and then followed the Spaniard to Inter Milan.

After Markus Babbel and Sami Hyypia, Pellegrino is the third former Liverpool defender to move into management in the last couple of years, though he'll be hoping to emulate Hyypia (unbeaten in 6 games since taking over) rather than Babbel (only 3 wins in 13 games)

Football management can be a poisoned chalice at the best of times, and whatever happens, one thing is guaranteed: Pellegrino will find it impossible to match Benitez's achievements at the Mestella.

You never know though - Pellegrino must have learned a lot working with Benitez, and I'm sure he'll be asking his old boss for tips along the way.

Best of luck, Mauricio!

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. LFC should go for Unai Emery as their new manager. Emery worked wonders with Valencia selling their best players each year, guiding the club to third in three consecutive seasons and an automatic CL spot. 

  2. I wonder what is the point of this article. 

  3. One more sniping comment from you and you're banned. If you don't like this site, leave.

  4. I'd suggest it works both ways, if you can't take a dig, don't write on the internet.

  5. To be fair, its JK's house and he can kick guests out if he likes, for whatever reason. Such is the benefit of having your own website.

  6. jamie so answer the question,whats the point of calling him a flop

  7. I don't think that he is sniping though it sounds like it maybe he is just asking u a question bluntly not saying i agree just pointing out the way i c it

  8. Absolutely agree.  They sold David Silva , David Villa and Juan Mata and still are playing great .
    Emery is the Key , give him 20M and he will make every penny count .

  9. Well, I just wonder why people use the exaggerated terms that they do. In sport, and football is a great example of this, no one is just a player or person, the media seems to address individuals either as aces, stars or flops. Why?

  10. I like the way jamie puts together his researches!!! Scattered information pulled together nicely with an IMO.

    Thanks Jamie appreciated

  11. Football management can definitely be a poisoned challce at times depending on the state of affairs at a Club when a manager turns up.....

    None more so than with us....though bi think Chelsea also seem to have the same problem tbh.

    When Mourunho left Chelsea he left the Club divided, he had many supporters who were not happy, like wise with rafa for us....

    Difference being IMO that rafa's legacy has been a very negative one in respect of us moving on because i think players like Reina and Judas etc actually decided to unsettle the tenure of first Roy Hodgson and then Kenny Dalglish.

    People keep saying how strange and weird etc it is that we can play so well one game and then completely captiulate the next, last night against Chelsea was a classic example of that.....

    Whether you believe like i do that a certain sabotage has been at play or not, you have to admit that something ain't right about our form and lack of consistency......

    At first we blamed it the brits or CHAD as they were labelled....but last night once again they showed that they can all play to a decent standard, linking up well and scoring enough goals to sink Chelsea top4 hopes.....

    Then we blamed it on Kenny, because afterall he is the manager, but time and time again this season he also has shown that the style of football he can get us playing is quite up there in terms of pass and movement and attacking prowess etc....its not like we havn't been creating chances....the woodwork has been battered this season...

    So, something isn't right, and hasn't been right IMO since rafa left....the managers role at our Club entails drinking from this poisoned challice....Kenny might well become the next victim to fall by the wayside....but whether we keep him or not we have to IMO make some big changes to rid ourselves of this managerial curse....

    Either that or we succomb to it....by giving players like Reina etc what they want which is a reinstated rafa....but that would be like bowing to a kidnapper who has taken something you love and demanded your soul in return.....it would be rewarding those players who have not put it in for Roy and Kenny etc by giving them what they want...????

    This managerial situation at the Club is finely poised and this summer i think we see some very pissed off Liverpool fans because of certain changes that im pretty sure FSG are considering....

    One things for sure, ALL is not well at LFC, last nights game could have been Kennys last at Anfield.....clearly he was quite emotional....and with Gerrard frozen out of the side, sat on the sidelines looking like he had a world of troubles on his mind, i would say that changes are afoot, personally im bracing myself for the worst case scenariio which is a return of rafa, that would most certainly signal that the Club is clueless cowardly shortsighted and tbh very weak, i would have to boycott such a move as i can't help but think that it is rafa who has been behind our miseries and woes this season and last.......

  12. Why is Rafa the reason behind KD's failure, poor results?  KD is old school and would not change anything further more its going to be more misery.  Coaching involves using the best out of resources you have and bringing in good talent to cover the gaps, not to destroy it and blame 'LUCK' that pathetic.
    The point JK wanted to make is that no one is safe in the coaching/managerial position, you have to explain fully your results, backing up your decision to buy or not to, because the owners have invested their money for a return, its got to be good or you get fired!  

  13. Twisted stats to suit an obsessive agenda, bordering on the line of psychotic, repressive homosexuality the most likely case.