Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: ‘Petrified’ Xabi Alonso, Ruben Amorim advised over replacing Klopp with ‘poisoned chalice’ jibe

Jurgen Klopp with the Carabao Cup trophy and, inset, potential Liverpool successors Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim

Jurgen Klopp with the Carabao Cup trophy and, inset, potential Liverpool successors Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim

Top Liverpool managerial candidates Xabi Alonso and Ruben Amorim have been warned over taking on the top job at Anfield and why succeeding the hugely-successful Jurgen Klopp will prove a ‘poisoned chalice’ to whoever his successor proves to be.

The German will bow out at Anfield at the end of the season after dropping the bombshell announcement that, after close to nine years in the job, he’s run out of steam and needs a rest from the game. After success in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Chelsea, Klopp has now won seven major honours with Liverpool and will go down as one of their greatest ever managers.

Quite who replaces him in the Anfield dug-out remains arguably the most-important decision faced by their owners FSG during their 14-year stint at the helm.

And while they undoubtedly got that call right when choosing for Klopp to succeed Brendan Rogers back in October 2015, whom they go for next will be of paramount importance.


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To that end, contenders for the hot seat are, at least not in short supply, with Alonso – currently enjoying a brilliant season with Bayer Leverkusen, who are on track to win the Bundesliga title for the first time in their 119-year history – very much at the forefront of those talks on Klopp’s successor.

However, TEAMtalk exclusively revealed that Alonso has serious and multiple doubts on taking on the Liverpool job and is not against the idea of rejecting the offer and in a bid to stay at Leverkusen for now.

We also exclusively broke the news that, as a result, the Reds are making strong plans instead to step up their quest to appoint the man second on that wanted list in Sporting coach Amorim.

Xabi Alonso, Ruben Amorim advised against taking Liverpool job

However, whichever manager FSG chose to approach, the potential candidate has been told that, stepping into Klopp’s shoes could ultimately prove too big a task to fill.

Discussing the heir to Klopp in the wake of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final success, pundit Karen Cairney told Sky Sports: “He has everything!

“He has the fans, he’s got the city, he’s got the community, he’s got the players… He has everything and I would be petrified about following that. It would put me off, being totally honest.”

When challenged by presenter Mark Chapman that whoever follows him cannot try and be ‘Klopp Mk II’ and simply needs to be their own man, former Reds striker Daniel Sturridge added: “The new man has to be themselves. ‘You have to be you’, if you like. No-one can be like Klopp and has to be their true, authentic self.

“It’s up to them if they want to be somebody who can engage with the fans; Klopp’s been absolutely magnificent in that regard.

“But the next manager who comes in, they’re going to want to put their style of play down there.. We’ve got managers we see speculation around, Amorim at Sporting Libson and Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen and you’ve got [Roberto] De Zerbi… there’s all these coaches out there that I’m sure have the credentials.

“Liverpool themselves will be doing a mass review and deciding for themselves who is out there and who can we get to come in and do it.

“But it’s going to be a difficult job. We know that because this manager has been very special for this football club.”

Next Liverpool manager: Chance to succeed Klopp is a ‘poisoned chalice’

More worrying, it’s suggested that the new man who succeeds Klopp will always suffer by comparisons to what the German achieved.

And with the prospect of him departing Anfield with as many as four trophies in the bag this season, the next man faces a near-impossible task as a result.

Jamie Redknapp added when discussing Klopp: “He’s just a one-off. You can’t go in and pretend to be like him.”

Interjecting, Cairney added: “That’s the problem though. Whoever comes in will find themselves compared to Klopp. That’s why the job, for me, is a bit of a poisoned chalice right now.”

Sturridge added: “I don’t think managers are out there thinking ‘ooo, I don’t want to be Liverpool coach. This is a job that a lot of managers would LOVE to have because this is a magnificent football club. The fans, the club, the history, the success they’ve had both in recent years and in previous years. It’s the perfect job and club for any manager who wants to further their career. But of course, it’s the timing of it…

“Jurgen has won a trophy this year, there. might even be two or three more coming too… so whoever comes in are going to have that same expectation too.”

Klopp has a 61.1 win percentage record having won 289 of his 473 matches in charge.

Alonso has only coached Leverkusen in 70 games, but has won 46 of those, giving him a win percentage of 65.71%.

But best of the lot is Amorim, who has won 136 of 196 matches with Sporting CP, giving him an impressive 69.39%.

READ MORE ~ Liverpool manager search: Ruben Amorim breaks silence with candid response on Anfield link