LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 16: (FILE PHOTO) Liverpool Manager Kenny Dalglish shouts instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield on January 16, 2011 in Liverpool, England. The 61-year-old former Liverpool player and manager has left his post after a second spell in charge. (Photo by Alex Livesey /Getty Images)
Like any proper Everton site, we enjoy making fun of Liverpool. They sound funny, smell funny, and lose a lot more than their budget would seem to indicate. Did we mention they finished below us this year too? That said, like a blind squirrel the club is occasionally able to find a nut once in awhile. With the apparent appointment of former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers to the former throne of King Kenny, the club has managed to do something few other clubs do.
Normally a managerial search takes about 2-3 days maximum, and it seems like a clubs often schedule back to back press conferences; One to announce the sacking, and the next one to introduce the new manager. If you step back and think about, this may be one of the stupidest ideas ever. An owner is hiring someone who is essentially in charge of the clubs entire football operation. Everything from transfer policy to tactics falls under the manager’s purview. Sure at some clubs there is a Director of Football or some similar title that runs the transfer policy, but the manager still has enormous power.
Hiring this quickly would be like a major company hiring a new CEO within a week. For one there is no way to truly get to know the man, and secondly you can’t talk to enough candidates to really find the best man for the job.
Football clubs may as well just pick a name out of a hat if they hire a manager quickly, and taking time allows owners to discuss the position with candidates who have very differing styles of play. This can help the owners even if they don’t hire certain managers because they get different views of what the problems are at their club. Many sports owners in the U.S. say they like to talk to a variety of candidates because it either gives them a new direction to look in, or helps reinforce their ideas about the problems with their team.
Actually, most clubs have gone about their business of finding a new manager in a fairly measured way. Both Chelsea and Aston Villa have had relatively long searches, and it is particularly interesting to see Mr. Abromavich taking his time rather than pointing at the shiny new manager and proclaiming his love for that man despite the appearance of a poor fit.
While Liverpool did things right, it is way too early to deem this hiring a success. If the owners give Rodgers the time and space to mold the squad then things should work out well. If Rodgers also learns from AVB and his short stint at Chelsea, Liverpool should be able to find some short-term success without sacrificing the idea of bringing in younger players and transitioning to a style of play that Rodgers favors. That said, I hope he fails spectacularly. It is just so much more fun that way.
Regardless of how the move turns out, I hope Everton will be willing to take their time when David Moyes decides to move down to the red side of Manchester in a few years. If they don’t, it could be a return to the dark days of the EPL for the club, and no one wants that.