Since Liverpool parted company with Damien Comolli, the rumours as to who will replace him have been growing. Liverpool’s Tom Werner made it clear they plan to contiue with the current set-up and are therefore looking for someone to take the role on.
The immediate links were to Johan Cruyff but that didn’t look likely from the start. He’s a strong personality who needs everything to be his own way, he recently left the Ajax board after taking them to court for appointing a manager without his permission. The thought of pairing him with an equally determined Dalglish seemed like something which could end in tears, or a hefty prison sentence for one of the men.
Regardless of that, Cruyff probably wouldn’t want the pressure. Seeing Liverpool sack Comolli shows that blame would be put on the position and that’s just not a scenario he needs to enter at this stage of his career. Also, and something that’s been forgotten by many of the press, Cruyff has just started a new job. He recently agreed to be football adviser for Chivas de Guadalajara and is going to help the Mexican club implement the systems which have made Barcelona so successful.
It’s a high profile job, at least in Mexico, so it would be unlikely he could do both roles. Despite his recent Ajax fall out, he’ll probably end up back involved there soon and these arms-length jobs seem to be what the Dutchman wants.
So who with a Barcelona background could Liverpool be realistically linked with? Sky Sports News have linked all of Cruyff, Luis Van Gaal and Txiki Begiristain. The latter seems the most likely and most suitable for what Liverpool want to achieve.
Begiristain was Barcelona’s Director of Football from 2003 until 2010 but left at the same time as President Joan Laporta. He’d worked closely with Laporta and didn’t think he’d be able to build up the same relationship with Sandro Rosell.
At the time he was quoted by Totalbarca.com as saying “It is a good moment to do it, Laporta is the person that has most trusted in me and given me most support and I believe that is the moment to leave. I wanted to finish in a good moment, in which Barca functioned well.”
The Director of Football role he had at Barcelona saw him oversea the rebuilding of the club, a mix of bringing in expensive players and promoting talent from the youth ranks was the way he wanted the club to go, and along with Laporta he appointed Guardiola.
Looking even further forward, if a club had a serious desire to recruit the current Barcelona manager in the future then getting Txiki Begiristain in first would be a wise move. Even without the two pairing up again, his influence on Barcelona suggests he could help other clubs who wanted to go down a similar route.
Although he’s going under the radar as the initial rumours are being formed, Txiki Begiristain could be the most likely option for Liverpool.