Who will be the new Liverpool boss? Martinez, Benitez, AVB?
The big name candidates to take over at Anfield after Kenny Dalglish was sacked by Liverpool
SOME OF the biggest names in football management are vying to take over at Anfield after the owners of Liverpool sacked Kenny Dalglish, following a season in which the Reds finished eighth with their lowest ever Premier League points tally.
Dalglish did secure European football by winning the Carling Cup, although Liverpool needed penalties to overcome Championship side Cardiff in the final. And by dismissing the iconic Dalglish, the club's ambitious and unsentimental owners, Fenway Sports Group, have made it clear that they expect success.
So who will be tasked with bringing the good times back to Anfield?
A year ago the young Portuguese was the hottest thing in management having guided Porto to a European and domestic treble in his first season in charge. Then Chelsea came calling and Villas-Boas upped sticks and moved to west London, where he endured a miserable eight months under Roman Abramovich before being fired. He was linked to Liverpool before Dalglish was appointed in 2011. But the BBC says his opportunity has passed. "Intermediaries acting for the club have spoken with Andre Villas-Boas, but he is unlikely to get the job," it claims.
The former reds boss remains hugely popular among Liverpool fans, and guided the Reds to Champions League glory and second place in the Premier League during his reign. But after their experience with Dalglish the club's new owner John W Henry may think twice about looking to the past, and the club have apparently not contacted him over a possible return.
The big early favourite to take over. The likeable Spaniard has been at Wigan for three years and has kept the club in the Premier League despite limited resources. Goal.com reports that FSG made contact with Martinez last week although Wigan have denied this. According to The Independent: "The 38-year-old does appear to meet the criteria of FSG in many ways, having introduced a footballing ethos which runs through all levels at the club." He is certainly the most likely candidate from the Premier League, although Brendan Rodgers of Swansea, Paul Lambert of Norwich and Newcastle's Alan Pardew have also been mentioned.
Whenever a big job comes up then the Special One is linked to it, and although he was once public enemy number one on Merseyside when his rivalry with Benitez was in full swing it seems the Kop may now be amenable to the idea of Mourinho at Anfield. Earlier this year a poll on US sports site Bleacher Report found almost 90 per cent of fans (albeit in the States) thought the Special One would be a good fit for Liverpool. They may also be American, but FSG are likely to side the 10 per cent. Plus, Mourinho may think he has unfinished business in Madrid.
The former Barcelona manager is certainly a more likely bet than the man who succeeded him at the Camp Nou, Pep Guardiola. He was linked to the club when Benitez left in 2010 but on that occasion the unfortunate Roy Hodgson took over. His career has not been spectacular since he quit Barcelona in 2009. He was later sacked by Galatasaray and is currently in charge of Saudi Arabia who have failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. However, the odds on him taking over were slashed after Dalglish got his marching orders and he appears to be a bigger favourite than other European managers including Joachim Low and Jurgen Klopp.