Steven Gerrard Eyes Liverpool Manager Role, but Is History on His Side?

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterSeptember 6, 2013

Steven Gerrard Eyes Liverpool Manager Role, but Is History on His Side?

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    Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has set the wheels in motion on his becoming a future Anfield manager.

    The Reds midfielder has set his heart on being named Liverpool boss one day, as he told TwentyFour7 magazine (as reported by Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph), and will embark on his coaching badges over the coming year in a bid to ensure his dream comes true.

    The 33-year-old is rightly making plans for life beyond football with his playing career heading towards its final flourishes.

    The England international is regarded as a hero among the Anfield supporters, with his career high being the 2005 Champions League comeback win against AC Milan in Istanbul.

    However, if Gerrard does follow through on his dream of becoming Reds' boss, he will be following a path upon which many have fallen and felt the curse of the fans' favourite tarnishing their reputations as managers.

    For every Kenny Dalglish and Stan Cullis in the English game, there is a Graeme Souness, Osvaldo Ardiles and Bryan Gunn.

    Here, we look at some players who have returned as managers to the clubs where they made their names during their playing days.

Kenny Dalglish

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    There is little doubt that Kenny Dalglish will always retain a place in the hearts of Liverpool supporters for his time as a player and his first stint as manager.

    The Scotland international arrived at Anfield as a big-name striker to replace Kevin Keegan in 1977 and helped the club win the European Cup for a second successive season with his winner against Bruges in the final at Wembley.

    His playing career at the Merseyside club was subsequently littered with trophies before he succeeded Joe Fagan as Liverpool player-manager after the tragic 1985 European Cup final defeat to Juventus at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

    Dalglish claimed the league and cup double in his first season in charge of the team and then built one of the best teams seen at Anfield with the arrivals of players such as John Barnes and Peter Beardsley.

    The former striker dramatically quit his position in 1991 after the epic 4-4 FA Cup draw with Everton, as Louise Taylor of The Guardian remembered in 2011.

    Dalglish returned to the Liverpool manager's hot seat to replace the sacked Roy Hodgson in 2011, but the game had moved on from his previous spell, and his second stint in charge ended with his dismissal at the end of the 2011-12 Premier League season.

Graeme Souness

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    Graeme Souness signed for Liverpool at the same time as Dalglish and Alan Hansen, providing then-Anfield boss Bob Paisley with a trinity of Scottish signings to provide a formidable spine to his team.

    Souness had made his name as a fearsome midfield goalscorer at Middlesbrough before joining the Reds, and his success on the field was heightened at Liverpool where trophy followed trophy before his move to Sampdoria in 1984.

    The former Scotland international appeared to be the natural heir to Dalglish in 1991 after rewarding Glasgow Rangers for giving him his first managerial job with a cupboard full of silverware at Ibrox.

    The call from Liverpool in 1991 was too strong to resist, and Souness succeeded Dalglish in April 1991.

    But where Dalglish had followed the template of success and tradition at Anfield, Souness ripped up the mythology in a bid to create his own dynasty at the club.

    Notably, Souness was in charge of the team when the historic "Boot Room," which Bill Shankly had created as an informal meeting place for the club's coaching staff, was dismantled in favour of a new press room.

    Souness admittedly inherited an ageing Liverpool squad, but he could not recreate the previous successes of the club, and only the 1992 FA Cup was won during his tenure.

    However, the Scot infuriated Liverpool supporters still reeling from the Hillsborough disaster when he gave The Sun newspaper an exclusive interview after heart surgery in 1992. Fans had refused to buy the paper after its coverage of the tragedy in Sheffield in which 96 fans died three years earlier.

    And a home FA Cup defeat to third-tier Bristol City in 1994 sealed Souness' fate as Liverpool manager.

Howard Kendall

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    In 1981, Everton weren't just a sleeping giant, they were comatose. Only a 1977 League Cup final appearance had stood out since the 1970 league championship triumph.

    To add insult to injury, neighbours Liverpool were sweeping all before them in domestic and European football.

    When Gordon Lee left Goodison Park at the end of the 1980-81 season, Everton turned to former club captain Howard Kendall to restore their fortunes.

    Kendall had been part of the fabled Everton midfield trinity of 1970 alongside Alan Ball and Colin Harvey and had been making a name for himself in management with Blackburn Rovers, who he guided to promotion to the old Second Division in his first season before just missing out on the top flight on goal difference the following year.

    After an indifferent opening two seasons at Goodison Park, Kendall guided the team to the 1984 League Cup final where it was beaten in a replay by Liverpool. But he then led the team out at Wembley again two months later when it defeated Watford to win the FA Cup.

    The following season was simply magnificent for Everton as Kendall captured the league title and the European Cup Winners' Cup before narrowly missing out on the domestic double with defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup final.

    Kendall would lead Everton to the league title again in 1987 before leaving the club for Athletic Club Bilbao.

    However, Kendall would return to Goodison Park as manager on two further occasions, the last of which almost resulted in relegation.

Osvaldo Ardiles

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    After Argentina won the 1978 World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur produced a stunning transfer with the capture of Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricky Villa from the South American national team.

    In the era before the Premier League, international arrivals were few and far between for English clubs, and the signing of the Argentinians became national news in the United Kingdom.

    Villa would leave his mark on White Hart Lane with his mesmeric FA Cup winner against Manchester City in 1981, but it was Ardiles who became the darling of the terraces at the North London club.

    Ardiles would help Tottenham lift the FA Cup in 1981 but missed out on the 1982 final success after he linked up with the Argentina squad early ahead of the World Cup finals in Spain.

    The outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 saw Ardiles loaned to Paris Saint-Germain for the 1982-83 season, but he returned to Spurs the following year to help the club lift the UEFA Cup.

    Ardiles enjoyed success with Swindon and West Brom as a manager with his new-look "diamond" formation, although a spell at Newcastle was less fruitful.

    When the South American was appointed Tottenham boss in 1993, it appeared to be a perfect match.

    But after spending big on players such as Jurgen Klinsmann, Ilie Dumitrescu and Gheorghe Popescu in 1994, Spurs were languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League, and Ardiles was sacked in October of the same year.

Bryan Gunn

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    Former goalkeeper Bryan Gunn should always be a Norwich City hero to the supporters for his playing career but certainly not for his management ability.

    Gunn had been an understudy to Aberdeen legend Jim Leighton when the Dons were dominating the Scottish game under Sir Alex Ferguson in the early 1980s.

    But it was his transfer to Carrow Road in 1986 which ensured he would become a No. 1 in his own right.

    Gunn was part of the Canaries team which defeated Bayern Munich during the 1993 UEFA Cup and reached the FA Cup semifinals in 1989 where they were beaten by Everton at Villa Park.

    Gunn suffered a dislocated ankle during the 1994-95 season when the club was seventh in the Premier League table, but the club won just one of its subsequent 17 league games without the goalkeeper and was relegated.

    The Scot returned to Norwich in a number of backroom roles, including sponsorship, player recruitment and coaching positions, when he retired from playing at Hibernian.

    When Glenn Roeder was sacked by Norwich in January 2009, Gunn was asked to take temporary charge of the team and led them to a 4-0 win over Barnsley, prompting the momentum for him to become manager on a permanent basis.

    Gunn was named manager until the end of the season but could not prevent Norwich being demoted from the championship.

    The Scot was reappointed for the next season as he attempted to get Norwich out of the third tier of English football.

    Norwich played host to Colchester United and their manager Paul Lambert on the opening day of the season and were promptly crushed 7-1.

    Gunn was swiftly relieved of his position, and Norwich turned to Lambert, who guided the team to successive promotions.