Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 9°C Sunday 9 May 2021

Will Brendan Rodgers and Manuel Pellegrini survive their end-of-season reviews?

Spectre of Ancelotti and Klopp looms large over failing Premier League managers.

Image: Frank Augstein

BRENDAN RODGERS AND Manuel Pellegrini will arrive at their end-of-season reviews in the next week unsure whether they will walk out of those meetings still in a job.

That is the precarious life of a Premier League manager under pressure and both men are under scrutiny after failing to match their achievements 12 months ago.

Rodgers could pay the price for Liverpool’s sixth-placed finish this season and his future ultimately rests in the hands of Mike Gordon, the president of owners Fenway Sports Group.

The Reds’ season went horribly wrong and Rodgers himself broached the subject of his potential sacking after the humiliating 6-1 defeat to Stoke City on the final day of the campaign. “If the owners want me to go, then I go,” he said.

Likewise, Pellegrini will be asked to explain to Manchester City’s Abu Dhabi owners why his side produced such a tame title defence and again looked so far behind Europe’s elite in the Champions League following their last-16 elimination.

For both men, their futures could well hinge on the availability of alternatives that tie in with the club’s ambitions and could be considered genuine upgrades.

There are two obvious options in that category in Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti, who have left Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively to join the managerial merry-go-round.

While both men are out of a job, they will both be linked with every potential vacancy at the biggest clubs across Europe. West Ham have tried for both, too.

The relief for Rodgers and Pellegrini will come from the reports that Klopp intends to take a six-month break while Ancelotti plans a year-long sabbatical because he needs surgery.

Klopp, in particular, is a wanted man and would fit in perfectly to Liverpool’s philosophy of employing a talented, young coach who can improve players and work in a financially prudent environment.

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

The 47-year-old is able to boast on his CV two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final appearance to show he get back up the hype; compared with Rodgers who is yet to win a trophy as a manager.

Klopp would also be ideal for City, but their key decision makers Ferran Soriano, the chief executive, and Txiki Begiristain, the director of football, appear obsessed with re-uniting with their former Barcelona colleague Pep Guardiola when his Bayern Munich contract expires next year.

City’s recovery towards the end of the season, when they won their final six matches, means owner Sheikh Mansour is likely to stick with Pellegrini for one more season before making a move for Guardiola.

It all means we are unlikely to see the same sweeping managerial changes of the last couple of years, certainly towards the top of the Premier League table. A year ago, Louis Van Gaal, Mauricio Pochettino and Ronald Koeman started new jobs, while in 2013 Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho and David Moyes were all hired.

West Ham and Newcastle are both looking for new managers, though, after Sam Allardyce was told his contract would not be renewed at Upton Park and John Carver finished his period as interim manager by just keeping his side in the top flight.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Ham United v Stoke City - Upton Park Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Hammers thought they had struck a deal for Rafael Benitez before the former Liverpool manager informed them that he was set to take over at Real Madrid.

Ambitious approaches for Klopp and Ancelotti failed, and with a lack of obvious big-name options the club’s owners will now take their time to consider alternatives. The likes of Slaven Bilic and Michael Laudrup will be considered while Rodgers will jump to the top of West Ham’s list if the axe falls on Merseyside.

Newcastle, for their part, have also been linked with Laudrup as well as Remi Garde and Steve McCLaren but it would take a brave man to work under owner Mike Ashley and inherit a squad that almost suffered an embarrassing relegation.

- Greg Stobart

 Spurs complete deal for Cologne defender

Tim Sherwood confirms Benteke has a buy-out clause in his contract

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next: