29 Sept 2015

Liverpool Manager? 'Remarkable' World Cup legend now 12-1 third-favourite to replace Brendan Rodgers

With Brendan Rodgers still under pressure, Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti remain fan-favourites for the Liverpool manager's job, but over the last few days, a surprising new contender has emerged as a threat to Rodgers' future in the Anfield hotseat.

According to several leading UK Bookmaker's today, Jurgen Klinnsman is now one one of the favourites to take over from Rodgers:

* Ladbrokes: 12-1 third-favourite.

* BetVictor: 14-1 fourth-favourite.

* Sky Bet: 20-1 fifth-favourite.

Liverpool have a chequered history with Klinnsman:

* Jan 2008: Tom Hicks confirmed that Liverpool spoke with Klinnsman over the possibility of replacing Rafa Benitez. He explained: "We never reached agreement on an option with Jurgen. We attempted to negotiate an option as an insurance policy if Rafa left for Real Madrid or other clubs, as rumoured".

* Dec 2009: Klinnsman publicly criticised Liverpool's 'quality': "What you miss in Liverpool is the technical pace and the passing. There's no real flow and there's a lack of creativity. They just can't keep up. They lack quality".

* Dec 2009: Enraged by Klinnsman's criticism, Hicks insisted that the German will 'never' manage Liverpool, adding: "I don't know what his motives are."

* Dec 2009: Soon after, Benitez slated Klinnsman for being critical of his team: "I don’t know if there is any hidden agenda in Klinsmann being on Sky twice and us playing each time. Is he after my job? The volume control on my Sky handset is a very good thing, because it meant I was able to switch it right down when he came on".

* Dec 2014: Reports in Italy claimed that Klinnsman and Klopp were FSG two top choices to replace Rodgers.

On one level, it makes sense. As the coach of the USA national team, John Henry and his FSG cronies will surely be aware of Klinnsman, and given the fact the German spends a lot of time in the States, it'd be comparatively easy for FSG reps to sound him out on the sly.

Klinnsman - praised last month by Germany boss Joachim Low for his 'remarkable' progress with the USA national team - is certainly a more enticing candidate than the likes of Gary Monk, and Nigel Pearson (!) and his influence on Germany's transition from average international team to (eventual) World Cup winners cannot be denied.

Indeed, last month, Low hailed Klinnsman for 'laying the foundations' for Germany's success, and explained why he deserves credit for the team's achievements.

"With Jurgen a new era began. He altered things decisively. He put a new manager in place [Low], sports psychologists and American fitness trainers. They were drastic changes, which were incredibly important back then. Without those, they wouldn't have been able to enjoy this kind of success."

Low also outlined Klinnsman's ability to get the job done in the face of adversity:

"He [Klinnsman] is someone, who knows his way, goes straightforward and has the power to implement this way against every opposition, if he is convinced of it. That's something which is reflected in the team too".

Youth development was a key part of the change in Germany's football philosophy, and ant that aligns perfectly with FSG's preference for young, developing players.

I can't see Klinnsman giving up the good life in California to live on Merseyside, though. Year-round sunshine, glamour, and glitz to the misery of English weather, and the comparative dourness of British life?

No chance. Unless, of course, Klinnsman is genuinely bursting for a new, life-altering challenge.

A decent candidate?

Author: Jaimie K


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