Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) have been in ruthless mood in recent times. February’s League Cup win was clearly not enough to assuage their desire for success at Anfield.
Damien Comolli, the club’s director of football, was the first to pay the price with his job and following the end of the Premier League campaign, manager Kenny Dalglish was summoned to America to be told he too was for the sack.
Since then the rumour mill has been churning out links to a myriad of en vogue coaches and Liverpool are believed to have drawn up a long list of candidates with little in common. One of the favourites for the job is Portuguese coach Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea in February.
Villas-Boas built a reputation as European football’s bright young thing at Porto but the success of the Blues since his departure, after a miserable tenure, does not reflect well on him.
The 34-year-old needs the opportunity to develop a long-term project and, with expectations lowered at Liverpool following the club’s worst league finish in 18 years, he could be the man for the job. Villa-Boas is now 4/1 (5.00) with Sportingbet.
Continuing the theme of young managers, 38-year-old Roberto Martinez is known to have been approached with a view to holding talks with FSG.
Martinez is flavour of the month after saving Wigan with seven wins from their last nine games but it is his commitment to passing football that has encouraged bigger clubs of his potential. Martinez is now the 21/20 (2.05) favourite with Sportingbet and, at this rate, the coach will be odds-on before the end of Thursday.
One man who appears to have ruled himself out is Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers. The Northern Irishman rejected the Reds’ approach, claiming he is happy with the Swans.
In betting terms, the bookies believe this could be early days for that particular story - perhaps Rodgers wants clarification he is the No.1 choice before committing to talks with FSG? Rodgers is 8/1 (13.0) with Sportingbet.
If Liverpool elect not to go down the thirty-something route, a return for Rafa Benitez could prove a popular option - the odds of his return have dropped to 18/1 (19.0). But given Liverpool are believed to be considering as many as 12 candidates for the position, this one could be set to run and run so there may be value in those long-shot options.
Fabio Capello at 16/1 (17.0), Frank Rijkaard at 16/1 (17.0) or even Paul Lambert at 33/1 (34.0) - FSG could yet be about to spring a surprise on us all.
Roberto Martinez - 21/20 (2.05)
Andre Villas-Boas - 4/1 (5.00)
Brendan Rodgers - 8/1 (9.0)
Rafa Benitez - 18/1 (19.0)
Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on