Belfast Telegraph

Owen sees sense in Klopp appointment at Liverpool

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen believes a hungry Jurgen Klopp would "be the best fit" to replace Brendan Rodgers at the Anfield helm.

Klopp, formerly in charge of Borussia Dortmund, is favourite to become the new Reds manager after Rodgers was sacked following Sunday's 1-1 Merseyside derby draw - a move welcomed by Owen along with many other ex-players of the Premier League club.

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are moving quickly to secure Rodgers' replacement and have taken steps to sound out Klopp , Press Association Sport understands.

Klopp has long been seen as the ideal fit at Anfield - he is certainly the popular choice of fans - and even though three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti is available, the overwhelming support is for the German.

Owen, who scored 158 goals in 297 appearances for Liverpool in an eight-year spell at the beginning of his career before joining Real Madrid in 2004, told Sportlobster: "If indeed these are the two main men (Carlo Ancelotti and Jurgen Klopp), I would think that Klopp is the better fit for Liverpool at this time.

"I think that a younger and potentially hungrier manager in Jurgen Klopp would be the best fit for Liverpool in their current predicament."

The 35-year-old former England international believes having Klopp in charge would bring some much-needed confidence back to Liverpool which was lost under Rodgers.

He added: "His appointment would certainly excite the Liverpool fans who had become so disillusioned with Rodgers and in this day and age their part in the whole process cannot be over-estimated.

"He would also bring a burning desire to succeed and to take the club from their true position of 'top six' to right back in the mix for winning the title and where finishing top four is a given every season.

"The other big advantage that Klopp has over Ancelotti is that whereas Ancelotti has generally managed at clubs who were already very successful with a squad full of top players, Klopp took over at Borussia Dortmund when they were in a similar position to that which Liverpool find themselves in now."

Regarding Ancelotti's record, Owen said: "Nobody can fault Ancelotti's track record over the years and with a coaching resume that includes Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Paris St Germain and Real Madrid there can be little doubt that he would be a success at Liverpool.

"However, I'm not sure that Liverpool need a safe pair of hands at this time."

Former defender Mark Lawrenson also backed Klopp to take the reigns as he wrote in his BBC Sport column: "Whoever it is will have to buy into the mindset of the American owners - they want success, but their model is to try to get that by signing younger players they can train up and, sometimes, sell on.

"Jurgen Klopp is the favourite to get the job and he would fit the bill.

"At Borussia Dortmund he built a team that were in your face, with good players that he was making better, but he also knew he would have to sell one or even two every year."

Lawrenson added in the Liverpool Echo: "What he did at Borussia Dortmund was special and if he can get Liverpool playing that way, the fans will absolutely love him.

"Now, though, Liverpool are as far away from nailing down a Champions League spot as ever they have been.

"Carlo Ancelotti is also in the running. But Klopp is a much better fit for the FSG model."

Former midfielder Danny Murphy, however, favours the experience of Ancelotti.

"Reading the CVs and what they have done and where they have done it and how many times they have done it, it is a no-brainer really," he told talkSPORT.

"You can't guarantee success with either guy because you are competing with Manchester City, United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

"Ancelotti has done it as a player, he has done it as a coach, and he has done it in different countries. He has done it here already with Chelsea.

"He has won the league here, he has won the (FA) Cup here, so he knows this league. That in itself gives him a head start on Klopp."


From Belfast Telegraph