There’s something comforting about appointing a former player as a manager, especially if they have legendary status. They will get the club and of course the fans will have patience with them. So surely every club should appoint their former players as managers, right?
Probably not, is the answer to that one. Admittedly you might get someone like Pep Guardiola who goes on to be a generational level coach, but it’s more likely they will end up ruining their reputation at the club and things will end on a sour note.
MORE: “Don’t want his style near Liverpool”: These fans react to the prospect of Steven Gerrard replacing Klopp
Chelsea and Man United have both taken a punt recently on former players and it’s not proven to be a resounding success in either case. Solskjaer has managed to bring some positive feeling back to Old Trafford and Lampard is trying to introduce the young players. The problem is they both look like they are going to struggle to make the Champions League next year already.
You also get the feeling both will get more time than they really should if things continue to go wrong.
Liverpool are going through one of their best periods in recent history with a relentless attacking style beating most teams and fans enjoying some great football under Klopp. The issue with the German is he doesn’t tend to stay at one club for too long and it even started to go wrong at Dortmund after while.
When he does go, the solution seems obvious. The issue is, recent events suggest that Steven Gerrard would not be a good choice as the eventual replacement.
Sure, he’s done a decent job at Rangers and has legendary status in Liverpool but that doesn’t mean he should be trusted to manage the club. You could even argue that he is a symbol of the mediocre years in Liverpool where they rarely challenged for the league. They’ve come so far since he stopped playing for the club.
The problem with Gerrard is he doesn’t have the same tactical awareness as Klopp and would be massively found out on the bigger stage. Liverpool currently have a style and merely tweak it depending on the opposition. Gerrard has shown he tries to get too clever and was completely out-coached today by Neil Lennon – not exactly known for his tactical acumen.
The other issue is the former Liverpool captain would probably get too much time to try and fix things if they started to go wrong. Nobody wants to be remembered for hiring and then sacking a club legend so he would get every chance possible before getting the boot.
Obviously Liverpool fans will not want Klopp to leave any time soon but when he does, the cautionary tales of Solskjaer and Lampard should be heeded when Liverpool start to look for a replacement.