There’s seems to be a growing trend lately of managers and players announcing to the world press (all no doubt, holding its collective breath) that they have recently turned down a move to Liverpool. It’s a trend I can’t quite get my head around. What is the point? Why do they do it? And who benefits from these ‘revelations’?
Just a couple of days ago, we awoke to reports that Didier Deschamps – the former Monaco and Juventus manager, now at Marseilles – had apparently turned down an approach from Liverpool prior to the signing of Roy Hodgson as manager. The former World Cup winner is quoted in the press as saying:
“I was very proud a club like Liverpool were interested in me. But the timing was not good. I was engaged with Marseille, the players and the fans, and I could not leave them two days before the restart for pre-season.”
All well and good, but what was the purpose of releasing this to the press almost 3 months after the offer was made? Apparently, the ‘timing was not good’ for Didier and his fans and players but it would appear that he didn’t stop for a second to consider that the timing was hardly perfect for a club in such disarray as Liverpool are at the moment, and that we can gain nothing from these kind of quotes. Especially with the present manager (who, it now seems, was actually only our 3rd or 4th choice) under so much pressure after an awful start to the current season.
Deschamps isn’t the only manager or player to make such a claim though. If we go back a few years to 2008 we could find Jurgen Klinsmann making claims on signing up as the new Bayern Munich coach, that he had held meetings with representatives of Liverpool’s loveable owners near his California home, behind then coach Rafa Benitez’s back. All this proved to do was destabilise a situation that was, at that time, on the verge of meltdown. Hicks and Gillett were later forced to admit to these ‘secret’ (there are no genuine secrets were the British press are concerned) talks with the former Germany manager, and claimed that
“We attempted to negotiate an option as an insurance policy to have him (Klinsmann) become manager if Rafael left for Real Madrid.”
Against all odds, Benitez managed to retain his job and even went as far as negotiating a new contract with more control over his club.
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