As is often the case in the aftermath of a club’s sale, Roy Hodgson has found his already precarious position as Liverpool manager under greater threat following the takeover of American businessman John Henry’s NESV. Henry came to the club with Hodgson already under pressure, and can’t have been impressed having witnessed Liverpool’s dire performance in their 2-0 loss in the recent Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Topping the list of prospective replacements is former Chelsea and Newcastle manager Ruud Gullit.
Gullit signed for Chelsea in 1995, taking over from Glenn Hoddle as manager the following year: his first managerial role. He won the FA Cup in his first season there, coming sixth in the league. However, the following year, he was sacked despite a promising start, following a reported dispute with the board. An unsuccessful stint with Newcastle followed, before moving on to Feyenoord, and then LA Galaxy; he has been out of management since the summer of 2008.
Stumbling blocks for Liverpool come in the form of Gullit’s current role as an ambassador for Holland and Belgium’s joint bid for the World Cup in 2018 or 2022, as well as an interest in the rapidly-growing UAE Pro League (where former Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro currently plays for Al Ahli). Of the Holland/Belgium bid, Gullit stated:
“We had the feeling that normally always the big countries had the possibility to organise this. In 2000 it [the European Championships] was a success and we thought to ourselves, why not do this for the World Cup?”
Gullit has claimed that he is waiting for the “right offer” to come in before he returns to management: it remains to be seen whether or not he’d consider Liverpool to be such an opportunity.
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