WHILE “news flashes” and “breaking news” reports stalked our television screens in the hunt for our new manager FSG’s other pressing matter was to replace the disposed of Sporting Director Damien Comolli with someone who could oversee footballing matters at the club.
A few were linked with the job but the most interesting one was the granite faced Dutch task-master Louis van Gaal.
Up to last week the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich supremo has been tipping himself to be appointed at the club. To potential suitors for the management role, this may have made them think twice whether they wanted to work with a man who is famed for his strict disciplinary methods and head teacher like abruptness. He has handled players, the press and owners he has worked with in the past with a mixture of contempt and arrogance and is notorious for being very blunt with members of the media for asking “stupid” questions.
The pageant style in which our owners have gone about the business of finding the right set up for the club has its pro’s and con’s; it shows that FSG respect us fans by keeping us in the picture of what is happening at our club but it also weakens our pulling power, with targets perhaps put off by not being perceived as their first choices for the job. Managers have large books of contacts within the game and may have been warned of the possible consequences of working with a controlling yet highly experienced Sporting Director with urges to step back into management. A battle of wills would have been inevitable as van Gaal would want to input his knowledge potentially to the detriment of the managers ideas.
When Brendan Rodgers was eventually appointed last week he showed impressive tenacity to the owners eloquently expressing his desire to take the job on his own terms, which meant full control over team affairs:
“When you are at a club of this size and status there’s no one person in charge of everything and that’s no different to any other top manager. They will have a chief scout and heads of recruitment who will identify targets.
Rodgers has put down his marker now, which should earn him instant respect as he is willing to take the responsibility himself, knowing he will live and die by his decisions over the next few years. This has put the long running saga of replacing Damian Comolli to bed making his old role defunct and allowing the manager to bring in his own staff who he knows and trusts rather than looking over his shoulder to see what the director is doing or if he is plotting for his job.
Could this bright young manager create a dynasty at the club? With attractive possession-based football, we will certainly be entertained, but whether it works out or not you can be sure that it will be on his terms.
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