As fall ends, I find myself reminiscing. This time I thought it would be fun to do something a little different. Instead of looking at a past player or two, I decided to catch up with some of our recent(ish) managers. Although, I suppose at this point Jurgen Klopp is our only recent gaffer.
Rafa Benitez was the first Liverpool manager hired in the 21st century. He’ll always be a legend for Istanbul. However, that wasn’t his only accomplishment at the club. Our Spanish gaffer also put the FA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Community Shield in our trophy case.
His run at Inter Milan was successful winning the treble in Italy. Nevertheless, he became fairly nomadic after that. Runs at Chelsea, Napoli, and Real Madrid were short and uneventful. Jobs after that were less glamorous.
He was relegated with Newcastle only to bring them right back up in their pre-House of Saud days. There was a brief excursion to the Chinese Super League before returning to Merseyside with Everton. As the Toffees’ gaffer, he nearly felt the drop for a second time in 2021-22. He now sits in mid-table obscurity in La Liga at Celta Vigo.
THE PALACE GAFFER
Roy oh Woy. Roy Hodgson, yes THAT Roy Hodgson, didn’t make it through a full campaign at Liverpool. Everybody, himself included, would rather remember him as the Crystal Palace gaffer.
Outside of his time at Selhurst Park, he’s led West Brom, England (!!!), and Watford. He hasn’t won a trophy since he was in Copenhagen in 2001, but he’s built quite a legacy in London.
Hodgson was a steady hand when Palace needed one. They knew they’d never go down with him. That’s not nothing. It’s even more vital for a club that went into administration in 1999 and 2010. When he does finally walk away as the oldest manager in Premier League history, I’ll give him a cheer.
WHEN IN DOUBT, THERE IS ALWAYS CELTIC
I’ve tweaked Brendan Rodgers plenty in this space. But, I was probably one of the last Liverpool fans to be sick of him. He was on thin ice to start the 2015-16 season, but I remember being fine that he was still the gaffer. Giving him one last chance seemed right even if was definitely the Last Chance Saloon.
We all remember how it ended with just one win to show in his final nine matches in charge. He was done. FSG made the call at the right time and used an international break to bring in Jurgen Klopp. The rest is history from there. Rodgers didn’t give a terrible account of himself after his time at Anfield though.
His first tenure at Scottish giant Celtic brought two league titles and three cups. That success propelled him back to England with Leicester City. Rodgers would have a dichotomous run with the Foxes. They were regular top six challengers and won their first-ever FA Cup in 2021. On the flip side, he stayed too long and in typical Rodgers fashion became the stalest gaffer going. His eventual sacking wasn’t enough to save Leicester from relegation. Which Rodgers will they remember?
Regardless, he’s back at Celtic and winning trophies hand over fist but let’s face it, that isn’t the most difficult task given the current state of the Scottish Premiership.
There have been wild ups and downs for Liverpool and its managers in recent decades. I’m glad for the foreseeable future the answer to “Where is he now?” about Jurgen Klopp is still “Liverpool.”