Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Steven Beacom: Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers the man for Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers turned down the opportunity of an interview for the Liverpool job

Liverpool’s search for a new manager has become a total embarrassment to the proud name of the football club.

Every day it seems to get worse with a new name thrown into a pile which includes people who should only be allowed inside Anfield while on a stadium tour.

Just about every manager bar Sir Alex Ferguson has been mentioned as a possible successor to Kenny Dalglish, who was shunted off the scene a season too early.

It has begged the question from just about every Kopite: Do these American owners have a clue what they are doing?

Answering their own question, most fans would say no.

That’s why official supporter groups have been writing to John H Henry demanding to know what direction the club is taking.

Road to nowhere, perhaps.

The ruthless way Henry and the Fenway Sports Group (FSG) dealt with the legendary Dalglish was bad enough, but the scattergun approach in finding a replacement has turned into a joke that only those with no love of Liverpool are laughing at.

They have had a long list and are now working their way to a shortlist. It’s all taking time that would be better spent with a new boss already in place working on plans for what will be a massive season for the Reds.

They can either catch up with the Champions League teams above them or fall even further behind Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea — the latter is unthinkable.

FSG’s plan is to have an experienced figurehead in place as the Director of Football or Sporting Director with a young, vibrant boss working in tandem alongside him.

Former Barcelona coach Txiki Begiristain was earmarked for the ‘upstairs’ role. Now ex-Barca and Holland boss Louis van Gaal is also in the running for it.

Two fine footballing men but ultimately it will be the manager who will decide if Liverpool can go forward or back. And that from the list of candidates has to be 39-year-old Carnlough man Brendan Rodgers.

You may say ‘but he has already turned it down’.

Not exactly.

Last week Rodgers said no to Liverpool, but what too many don’t get is that he said no to being offered the chance to be interviewed about the job feeling it would be wrong to be seen chasing another post while he was already in one — at Swansea City.

See, there is honour in football.

Rodgers, whose Swansea side defeated and drew with the Reds in the season just gone, has not turned down the chance to manage Liverpool.

If he was offered the job, and felt the owners were going to give him the tools required to re-build the squad and confidence in the ranks, I believe he would happily become the new Liverpool boss.

And the club could do with him as he would instantly bring composure, creativity and a much needed touch of class to the club.

Rodgers also has the personality and just as important a genuine sense of Liverpool’s history to get doubting supporters onside in a way that other contenders such as Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and failed Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas could not.

FSG ought to offer the best young manager in Britain the job of getting Liverpool back on track and do it soon before this embarrassing episode escalates further or someone else snaps him up.

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