Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool: 5 Candidates More Worthy of the Job

Nathan JudahCorrespondent IMay 31, 2012

Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool: 5 Candidates More Worthy of the Job

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    Liverpool made the 100 percent correct decision to terminate Kenny Dalglish's contract after another extremely disappointing season at Anfield.

    Brendan Rodgers is the next man given the task to bring back the glory days and make Liverpool genuine title contenders again.

    For many, Rodgers is a refreshing—if not slightly surprising—appointment by the Fenway Sports Group.

    He has done a fantastic job at Swansea, and it's nice to see a non-superstar manager take such a high-profile job.

    However, it remains to be seen if the 39-year-old's new challenge will be one step too far in his relatively young managerial career to date.

    Here are five candidates Liverpool should have hired instead, if available.

Fabio Capello

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    Currently unemployed and available, Fabio Capello should have been courted more strongly for the Liverpool job. He reportedly preferred to stay in London and gamble on the Chelsea job being available, but while it's no guarantee, a stronger push likely would have gotten the job done, as Rodgers was reportedly not interested at first either.

    Though Capello walked away from England amidst the John Terry controversy, the 65-year-old produced a solid European Championship qualification campaign and looked set to make a big impact in Ukraine.

    Not everybody's cup of tea, the brash Italian certainly rubbed some people the wrong way with his single-mindedness and lack of fluent English—but you can't argue with his results as coach.

    A Champions League winner when in charge of Milan, he has been successful wherever he has gone. Seven Serie A titles, four Italian Super Cups, a world Super Cup and two La Liga titles—to mention but a few.

    You can't just overlook that record for someone who is a free agent and willing to coach again in England.

Tony Mowbray

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    This might be a bit of a curveball for some, but Tony Mowbray would have been a magnificent appointment by Liverpool.

    The current Middlesbrough manager has an excellent track record and is no stranger to the Premier League after his successful time with West Brom.

    He has a familiar background to that of Rodgers, but more experienced at dealing with big players on a day to day basis.

    Just missed out on the playoffs with Boro this year, but that only tells half the story. With the squad he inherited after the mess Gordon Strachan left, anything above 14th was more than acceptable, so to finish 7th was a pretty special achievement.

    Compensation would have been a lot cheaper than what they will eventually pay Swansea and in my opinion, an all-round better appointment. 

Andre Villas-Boas

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    We all know what happened to Villas-Boas at Chelsea. As reported by the BBC, some of the defeats were "his fault."

    But one bad tenure doesn't make you a bad manager overnight. In fact, a lot of what the 34-year-old tried to execute at Chelsea looked very promising.

    He was let down severely by senior players, both in their performances on the pitch and their attitude off it.

    Nevertheless, you cannot argue with what came after the watershed and I'm sure every Chelsea fan now agrees with the sacking—they're probably building a statue of Roberto di Matteo outside Stamford Bridge as we speak.

    Villas-Boas is still one of the brightest young managers in the game and delivered a Europa Cup to Porto against all the odds—a competition that Liverpool are again involved in next season. Villas-Boas was at one point considered a front-runner for the Liverpool job, but the club's interest reportedly waned before they reportedly ruled him out last week.

    Don't be surprised if he performs wonders at his next club—unfortunately, it won't be at Anfield.

Pep Guardiola

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    Probably the hottest commodity in the world right now, Guardiola's stock as a manager is as high as Lionel Messi's is as a player.

    Shocked the universe when announcing his resignation in the wake of the Chelsea defeat, the Spaniard announced (via he needed to take a long break from football and recharge his batteries—possibly on a beach far, far away.

    He might still do that. However, there have been plenty of rumours of England clubs having interest in the ex-Barcelona man (according to the London Evening Standard).

    He would not come cheap, but at the same time there would be no compensation to pay, making a potential appointment a lot more enticing.

    You would need extra pages to write out his honours list as head coach, but let's just say for someone so young, it's astonishing.

    Yes, he was in charge of arguably the best team ever to have been assembled on the same pitch, but he was the one who made that happen.

    If you ask Liverpool fans to choose between Pep Guardiola and Brendan Rodgers, what do you think their answer would be? Unfortunately, it seems as though Liverpool couldn't convince Guardiola to make the leap.

Harry Redknapp

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    It's definitely been an eventful season for Mr. Redknapp.

    His side were big favourites for Champions League football, then he avoided jail time after being acquitted of fraud (via Sky News).

    After the resignation of Fabio Capello, he was the overwhelming favourite for the England job only to be completely snubbed by the FA.

    And to top it all off, Spurs are back in the Europa League after an extremely disappointing end to the season that saw them overtaken by archrivals Arsenal.

    A potential year that promised so much has resulted in the same situation he was in last season—fighting off potential suitors for Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, while trying to improve a squad without the guarantee of Champions League football.

    That might prove a difficult task this time around, and if the Englishman does indeed lose one or both of his big names, it's safe to say he won't be at White Hart Lane for too much longer.

    Redknapp would definitely be the people's choice, and an approach to Daniel Levy would have been very interesting. There was even a rumour (via the London Evening Standard) last week that Liverpool were indeed interested in Redknapp.

    You can't argue with his track record, and one thing is for sure—he has a talismanic gift when it comes to winning trophies and overachieving.

    Just ask Southampton, Portsmouth and, of course, Spurs. Liverpool could have missed a trick by not going all-out for Harry.

    Good luck, Mr. Rodgers.

    Editor's note: This article has been updated to better reflect that Liverpool did reportedly have interest in and/or approach some of the candidates on this list.