Succession Planning: 5 men who could continue LFC project

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Luis Enrique Barcelona coachRECENTLY Liverpool FC have changed the way the Academy and the first team systems work with each other. With Alex Inglethorpe coming into manage the Under 21 system, Rodolfo Borrell LFC’s Technical Director/Head of Coaching has been tasked to develop all the players in the ‘Liverpool Way’.

All the teams learn to play how the first team play in every sense from tactics, technical direction and personal development. This ensures that when the young ones get the call to join the first team, they know what’s expected of them, playing their game – the way they’ve been taught – which makes the transition easier.

This is something that’s not new to Liverpool, however in a recent fansite interview Frank Mcparland admitted that in the last few regimes, sometimes players have been brought in just not just to fill numbers, but to help the good ones out. Now there’s a firm policy that nobody is brought in, unless A, they’re good enough or B, they show incredible promise.

This does beg the question, what if Rodgers gets his P45? Will a new manager come in and change everything all over again? This would set the Reds back years in development terms and mean another new transitional season.

It’s well known that managers like Mourinho only move with guaranteed big money to spend, Guardiola arguably the same. Therefore those managers are not likely to come to Anfield.

In order to avoid this happening, Liverpool would need to ensure the next manager is suited to the team in terms of playing style. They need to do some succession planning just in case things don’t work out.

This is the approach FSG have followed at the Red Sox, their general managers have been brought in to emulate the so called Moneyball approach. Everyone has to be a believer, everyone a disciple of that mindset; a mindset that’s brought success, even with a few hiccups on the way.

If Liverpool are sensible, they’ll already have a replacement in mind for Rodgers if things don’t work out.

Rodgers isn’t stupid either; Swansea lined up Laudrup well before Rodgers left, and in a recent interview after winning the League Cup, Swansea City Chairman Huw Jenkins admitted that they knew who they’d want to replace Laudrup should a bigger club come calling.

So the question is who should Liverpool have waiting in the wings should next season prove not to yield the fruits of what Rodgers is hoping for?

I should add I’m a believer in what Rodgers wants to do at Liverpool; although the results have not gone the way we want this year, the football has improved. We’ve scored more goals this season than last, our attacking play is at times out of this world, but we’ve got huge issues in midfield/defence, and we’ve not seen the sterile domination in what we thought we were buying when Rodgers came in.
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If it doesn’t all work out as planned then here are my top 5 replacements for Brendan Rodgers:

Michael Laudrup

I’ve been a fan of Laudrup as a player and as a manager. When I heard he was interested in the Premiership last summer, I truly hoped Liverpool would consider him however it was not to be. Laudrup understands the pass and move philosophy and is sharp when it comes to counter attacking play which is something Rodgers has lacked in this season. He is however unproven at the highest level and he would be a gamble, just as Rodgers was.

Sami Hyypia

Although Sami isn’t used to the possession based game, he’s tactically astute, and as a defender could well address our problems in defence. He’s one of my all time favourite Liverpool players, but he’s unlicensed as a coach and would need an astute number two at his side who could implement the pass & move approach

Andre Villas-Boas

Whilst it’s unlikely AVB would be tempted away from Spurs to Liverpool, he has shown man-management capability a little like the special one who was AVB’s master for many years. Yes, Chelsea was a bit of a shocker, but let’s not forget the Chelsea dressing room has been influential in many a sacking over the years. AVB has worked well at Spurs; the true test will be if loses Bale in the summer – how will he replace him?

Rafa Benitez or Jupp Heynckes

For me this is a close tie between Rafa Benitez, and Jupp Heynckes. Both men will be free agents in the summer and in my mind the two are both brilliant managers, but have been inconsistent at best. Both however have lifted the Champions League trophy and know how to bring success to clubs. My main issue with Rafa is his temperament with the British press: he’s not liked in the least and after what happened with Kenny, I wouldn’t want a repeat of that. With Heynckes, he doesn’t play the Liverpool way and he’s more someone who fits the Moyes profile and style of play.

Luis Enrique

Enrique may have had a shaky start to management, but his time at Barcelona B with Tito Vilanova and Pep Guardiola was an education like no other. A glittering career with both Real Madrid and Barcelona left him shy of only one noticeable hole in his CV – the Champions League. A young coach, Enrique will in time come good, however potentially needs more experience before taking over any reins like those at Anfield.
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Lifelong LFC fan from Edinburgh, now living in Wales. I fell in love with Liverpool seeing the amazing team of the late 80's. My favorite player is a strong tie between Sammi Hyypia & Xabi Alonso with Dietmar Hamman coming a close third. Senior marketer by day, father and husband by night. A passion for booze, boats and all things good in life. My proudest achievement is somehow convincing my wife to marry me and creating my beautiful daughter.


  • Olsen says:

    Anybody just anybody. Lets give Rogers his p45

  • luizito says:

    hahaha we won’t a replace for rodgers

  • fotheringham says:

    At this stage I don’t really care . Any of those names would be fine. No1 priority has to be the removal of Rodgers

  • karl says:

    Mourinho please . And why not ?
    Rafa or hiddink after that
    Hyypia or laudrup after that
    Rodgers No . He has made us worse. Get rid

  • Johnboy says:

    scrap the tika taka crap now and bring back the old Liverpool pass n move possession football, like what man u play after Fergie copyied our 80s style, we have gone backwards since all the ex reds were pushed out of the club, bring in the likes of Stevie Heighway/Roy Evans to run the academy/reserves, give jobs to the likes of John Barnes/Steve Nichol/Thommo/Aldo/Jan Molby, ex players bring a bit of pride back to the club, if Downing and players like him dont give 100% they will be reminded of it every day in training

    • Tommy says:

      Hell yeah. Spot on mate

    • M. says:

      Only problem is English football has changed massively in last 2 decades. Gone are the days of hoof-ball game. It’s no more one hoof to take the ball to opposition D & then pass & move.

      With money, last 2 decades had brought so many talented & skilled player from out side UK that the old English style is more suitable nowadays for Championship (As Donkey Carroll). Also, the English physical style is challenged else where – it’s only in UK that the Nani Red Card was questioned, I blog/surf a lot in Spanish, French & Italian football writings, hardly any criticism, not even in Barca columns.

      BR’s styles are the way forward, he is not copying spell bound Tiki-Taka, he is mixing it with English direct game & wing plays. What BR is missing is 3/4 quality players for his starting XI. & had incompetent KK (ok, along with DC) not wasted over 80mn on British garbage, we would have been in a far better position. Imagine, at the time when we spent 80mn+ for Carroll, Downing, Henderson & Adam, with the same money, could have bought Lorente, Hulk, Jovetic, Ma’Villa & may be Aly Sissokho.

  • Yawn says:

    Well Rodgers isn’t going anywhere but I understand the thought of having a replacement in mind. The thing is…why replace for a system if the one who implemented the system is still manager? We will get the success we all desire if we stick with Rodgers. Success takes time and we are actually progressing rather quickly considering the massive amount of change that was required to go from a direct “pass and move” style to a possesion based “pass and move” style. If you read much about Shankly you will see that this was a big part of his philosophy. I think Rodgers is the right guy for it and if we stick with him we will be a force to challenge at the top of the league for a long time.

    • M. says:

      Spot on.

      BR is a fantastic Manager to play free flowing football on ideal surfaces. What he needs to improve is his defensive side & ditching out results in wet/under-prepared surface/conditions. An assistant manager/coach, focusing entirely on Defense co-ordination can be very handy for him. I am not sure if he ‘ll join, but we should look to add Sami Hyppia in some capacity to work with BR.

      & he needs 3/4 quality addition for his starting XI.

      • kirbyking says:

        “BR is a fantastic manager” LOL
        That has got to Be the stupidest comment of the year

  • Ian says:

    If we don’t sack Rodgers we will be struggling in 6th or 7th next year too.
    Come on Mr Henry sort it out . Kenny did better and you sacked him. Rodgers is useless nit fit for any top team

  • Silva says:

    Get rafa back . He loves Liverpool. We love him . Get this imposter Rodgers out , it is the worst Liverpool team in decades.

  • simon says:

    Any of those guys would be a massive improvement on Rodgers who has disappointed throughout.
    I would like Hyypia

  • TaintlessRed says:

    I thought we should’ve gone for Laudrup previously (when we went for Hodgson). Had excellent success with no budget in Spain. FSG had no clue of the Spanish league, and so didn’t look at anyone outside UK. Heynckes is retiring. Enrique has been very poor so far and wouldn’t want him. Sami won’t leave yet, he still needs a few more years experience anyway to learn.

    I’d break the bank for Mourinho. I’d be happy with Hiddink, or if Mou goes to PSG I’d happily take Ancelloti. I just want an experienced, proven top manager.

  • wesker says:

    If FSG had any brains they would be sorting out a replacement right now behind closed doors. BR has been a waste of time .it’s time to stop messing around and get a real manager in.

  • Voland says:

    I have my doubts as to whether Rodgers is the right long-term solution for Liverpool, however he is taking the club in the right direction. Rafa is the only manager on this list who could come in and have an instant impact due to his tactical astuteness and past knowledge of the club. Heynckes worked well for Bayern for the same reasons, however at his age and without EPL experience he is surely not a credible candidate for LFC. Laudrup could be the right man but it could also go sour – this is after all a manager who admits that he does not like to put football above other good things in life. How that would would go down at Shankly’s club is pretty clear to me – which is also why a manager like Rafa Benitez, who breathes and drinks football, was (and is) such a great match for Liverpool. AVB is a good manager – and has proven himself on the big stage to an extent that Rodgers has not. However, AVB has not been able to develop an aura of invincibility at Chelsea or Tottenham, which is also the main failing of Rodgers at Liverpool. If Rodgers were to go – which seems an unlikely scenario at this stage- the only viable candidate for Liverpool might well be the great Rafa Benitez …

  • liverbaby says:

    Mourinho is out there . He is free agent . He wants to return to England .he needs a big club to manage. He has stated his admiration and respect for Liverpools fans and history many times.

    We should move heaven and earth to at least try to get him. One thing is for sure it’s that Rodgers is not up to the job

  • Stew says:

    A.B.R anyone but rodgers .. simple as

  • redrum says:

    I agree with most people – Rodgers is not up to it . Way out of his depth and doesn’t have a hope of improving things

    Mourinho first choice . Laudrup second … but anyone would be an improvement

  • Chan says:

    It would have to be either Sami or Rafa as both men knew what it is to be associated with Liverpool FC. This is something that neither BR or FSG for that matter would understand.

    The BR brigade as usual got overly exited just because we won a few games on the trot, forgetting BR’s record of over confidence and tactical ineptitude. And right like clock work a team like South’ton, relegation battler at that shows BR what tactics is all about and their manager did not need 180 page dossiers to brag about that.

    I had been accused to only comment when we lose a game. Like many fans who love LFC but doubts BR, i made no apologies for that. Under BR we tend to take 1 step forward and 2 steps backward, something that his band of apologist would have plenty of excuses for.

    BR’s tactical stupidy against S’ton and other games we lost are well documented, so no need for me to go through again. Many had accused Rafa of being defensive blah, blah but tend to forget that unlike KD or BR he had very limited resources. When given some, we all saw what happen in 08/09.

    Rafa’s tactics? Just one word, Istanbul.

    Clearly many of the names mentioned in this article are way better than BR, even Laudrup won a title in his first eason in the BPL.

    How many titles had BR had ?

  • Mark Henry says:

    Rafa Benitez, or a good young manager no has mentioned is Diego Simone.

  • Jigo says:

    I don’t think we need any replacement or whatsoever… We are rebuilding and we need to put our heads together and down. Honestly I didn’t expect Rodgers to perform miracles with the status of the club when He came in. His summer signings weren’t the best. But all can testify about this January signings,,, if the Club can use the same medium in this coming Summer, I would have to say ” I am expecting big”… Rodgers is the man no doubt…

  • Rob says:

    Rodgers should be given a chance, remember how awful rafas last season was!!!!!!

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