The Managerial Merry-go-round

Share Speculation regarding the future of Premiership managers has never been far from back pages. The highest profile target this season has been the Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez and this week the speculation has intensified after some recent poor results. Liverpool is a club which don’t sack managers. Gerard Houllier was the last and only Liverpool manager to be sacked since before Bill Shankly. Liverpool is now facing the difficult decision of making it two managers in six years.....

This is nothing compared to the likes of other Premiership Clubs over the last 10 years such as Manchester City, Newcastle United or Leeds United who all love sacking a manager! At one time Leeds United was supposedly paying for 4 managers, O’Leary, Reid, Venables and Blackwell, with only Blackwell actually working for the club.

So the decision to remove the manager who was the chief architect (albeit a lucky one) in one of the clubs most memorable nights, “The Magic of Istanbul”, will not be taken lightly. However, in the current financial world, winning league games and qualifying for the Champions League is paramount to the future of the club. So will a decision be made now or in the summer? And who would take the reigns of beleaguered clubs?

For Liverpool, possible replacements being banded around are Kenny Dalglish, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klinsmann, Frank Rijkaard, Marco Van Basten, Guus Hiddink, Martin O’Neill, Roy Hodgson and even the current England manager, Fabio Capello.

Now one of the major problems Liverpool fans have always faced when trying to defend the position is “Who would replace him?”, this is both a financial problem since Benitez signed his new contract and a “who is available” problem and these are intertwined because as we know in life, money talks. If you are thinking about placing a bet on who is going to be the next Liverpool football manager what are your options?

Currently the smart betting money is on a return of ‘The King’, no Elvis is not back in the building, King Kenny Dalglish a man who won over 20 trophies as a player and manager. After ill-fated stints at Newcastle and Celtic, Kenny has taken up the role of club ambassador at Liverpool in April. Moving the Liverpool legend back into the dug out might be the simplest and possibly the cheapest option hence the short odds quoted (2-1 or 11/14 depending on who you listen to).

However, is looking at the past the right way to go forwards? Let’s have a look at the other managerial suspects being banded around on the online betting sites:

Jose Mourinho is an accomplished manager both in Europe and in the Premiership. This knowledge of how to win the Premiership (the one title all Liverpool fans want) would be highly sort after and could truly catapult Liverpool back into the glory days. However, he succeeded in the Premiership largely due to a blank cheque owner Roman Abromovich when he was at Chelsea. This is the possibly the most compelling reason why Jose won’t be turning out in L4 as well as the bitter rivalry that ensued between Liverpool and Chelsea in the past. If you ask a Liverpool fan “do they want Mourniho?” they will probably tell you to keep walking. Although he is a serious favourite on most betting sites, the realistic chance of it happening is probably slim due to proper fans like Christian Pulsow (CEO) on the board. He is expected to leave Inter in the summer so he is available and therefore a cheaper option than buying someone out of a contract.

Guus Hiddink has been linked with pretty much every big club across Europe since leaving his post as the Russian manager. His ability to turn around a team in “crisis” was proven at Chelsea last season. However, his links to the Chelsea owner may interfere with a move back to the Premiership. Although at 9/2 he is still looking strong. He could still end up at Juventus.

Martin O’Neill has been linked to Liverpool before. The desire for a smart straight talking manager similar to the legends of old would be a welcome break to the current regime. However, his lack of experience in Europe as a manager and his ability to play attractive football will count against him. Liverpool would also need to convince him that leaving Aston Villa, a stable club he has helped build with the owner Randy Lerner, is a good idea.

I suppose the most surprising addition to race for the Liverpool hot seat is Klinsmann, especially after his outburst whilst being a pundit on Sky Sports after a Champions League game.

Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten could be possibilities but their lack of experience in the English leagues could count against them. Both were exceptionally gifted players and could make a massive difference to Liverpool’s attacking options but at 8/1 and 10/1 they probably aren’t worth a punt.

Arguably the most successful, especially when taking into account the assets available is English manager, Roy Hodgson, who has over 20 years experience. He is one of the best English managers out there at the moment but at the age of 62, that could be an issue if Liverpool is looking to create a dynasty similar to that of the Shankly era. Hodgson is only on a rolling year by year contract at Fulham which could allow Liverpool to tempt him away for a last swansong at the highest level.

After looking at the possible candidates for the next Liverpool manager you may find the best betting odds available online. This will give you the opportunity to view all the football betting sites and pick the most suitable bet for your budget.
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Bryan Nicholson is the pioneer of the progressive form and course fit ratings for golf betting, with the associated progressive form model and course fit profiling model. Bryan is the author of the annual course fit profiling manual and #1 golf betting book Angles & Edges.

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