Trans-Atlantic Debate Part 6: Who Should Manage Liverpool, Steven Gerrard or Roberto Di Matteo?

Eric Imhof: Just make Gerrard player-coach and promote the cat to press secretary

I’m supposed to be deciding who I think would be the best coach for Liverpool following the dismissal of Kenny Dalglish this week by the Fenway Sports Group, but honestly it’s getting very hard to give a shit about which stand-in will be the next proxy we meet as the revolving door of coaches spins ‘round this offseason.

Thankfully, it looks like Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers has refused to meet with the FSG, instead opting to stay put with a team he’s helped develop from upstarts to mid-level Premier League darlings. Imagine, a coach given the time to build a culture and allow players to work their way into a system over time. It seems almost anachronistic, which is indicative of how low the corporate sports world has fallen.

But okay, if I have to put forth an argument for someone, then I honestly think Liverpool should just make Steven Gerrard player-coach, since he has the respect of his teammates and is actually from Merseyside (it could be said that he technically began playing for the Reds at age 9).

Besides, when he took a back seat (or sat out due to injury) this season, Liverpool actually played stronger, more attacking football. Without their safety net in the midfield, ‘Pool’s wings and strikers are forced to push up the field and make plays on their own, which leads to more aggressive—and ultimately effective—tactics.

Oh, and the cat could field questions before and after games, since the questions asked are usually just stupid enough to warrant either a non-response or a meow.

Alan Dymock: It’s an Italian job; one for Fabio or Roberto

Some seem to be getting their knickers in a twist over this. FSG have made their beds, and by removing a talisman they will not be spared by a notoriously vocal mass of fans. They must be bold.

Roberto Martinez is in the frame, kind of, but he has had too many poor seasons. A lot of people are gawking in wonderment at his seasons of great escapes; not enough are asking why his Wigan side have to escape in the first place. No the Liverpool job is for someone who can inspire a team to great heights, or who can scream them into shape.

No one in football organize like the Italians. Fabio Capello, despite becoming a pariah as national coach of England, is a winner. He has scooped titles in an impressive career. He has no problem killing soccer for results and Liverpool want glory days again.

However FSG may not want to fork out so much for someone who will instantly divide crowds. So how about this, John W. Henry:


Wait it out. No point in rushing in to an agreement, because all the big performers that Liverpool need to be signing will be at the EUROs. And I’m not even asking you to wait that long. Just wait till Roberto Di Matteo knows his fate.

If Chelsea lose he’ll probably not get the permanent Chelsea job. If he wins, rumors abound, he may still not get it. He has inspired Chelsea (alongside a redoubtable John Terry) and he is a proven Cup coach at least, something Liverpool have pretended they are this season. It is a neat starting point, no?

RdM is ambitious and would at least be afforded a few months after his last few months. Back him up with a bold Director of Football and a master Director of Communications and it could be spun.

Of course so much comes down to who is advising FSG. Martinez and Pep Guardiola have been mentioned as part of the same ‘shortlist’. Such a shortlist must have been written up at the bottom of a barrel of Absinthe…

Around the Web