Liverpool FC: Managerial History

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Liverpool Football Club have today unveiled Brendan Rodgers as their new manager.

The former Swansea City boss replaces Kenny Dalglish at the helm on Merseyside, and becomes the 19th full-time manager in the 120-year history of the club.

Steeped in history and success, the Reds have enjoyed great success in the past under a number of famous names, and GMF remembers the men who have held the highest post at Anfield over the last century…

William Barclay & John McKenna: 1892-1896

The pair helped Liverpool achieve two Second Division titles – in 1894 and 1896 – and were instrumental in the formation of the club after Everton’s exit from Anfield.

Tom Watson: 1896-1915

During his 19-years at the helm, Watson guided the Reds to their first ever Division One title – in 1901 – and after relegation to the second tier, won back-to-back titles in 1905 and 1906 to move from the second division to the top of English football.

Liverpool also reached their first FA Cup final under Watson, in 1910.

David Ashworth: 1919-1922

Spent only three-and-a-half years in charge, winning the title in 1921-22 and putting the Reds in place to win it again the following year before leaving for former club Oldham.

Matt McQueen: 1923-1928

An ex-director who stepped-up when Ashworth left for Boundary Park, McQueen helped secure the title the following year. However, his tenure was relatively unspectacular after that.

George Patterson: 1928-1936

After arriving in the Tom Watson era, Patterson got his charge at the helm in 1928, but his eight-years were mired in mid-table mediocrity, as the Reds went nowhere fast.

George Kay: 1936-1951

During a spell interrupted by World War II, Kay was able to guide Liverpool to another First Division title in 1947, helped largely by a pre-season tour of America in the summer of ’46.

An FA Cup final in 1950 had potential to be a fitting tribute, but the Reds lost to Arsenal and then Kay resigned the following year with ill health.

Don Welsh: 1951-1956

A disappointing period in charge of the Reds after his arrival from Brighton, with Welsh overseeing a relegation campaign in 1953/54, before an 11th-place finish in Division Two the following year. He was during the next campaign.

Phil Taylor: 1956-1959

The only Liverpool manager not to manage in the top flight, Taylor was unable to gain promotion during his three seasons in charge. Finishing third and fourth was the closest the Reds campaign, and he resigned at the start of the 59/60 video.

Bill Shankly: 1959-1974

The most famous – and arguably the greatest – Liverpool manager of all-time.

Shankly won a second division title in 1962, and then claimed three First Division titles over the next 12 years. He also brought the club to prominence on the European stage, winning the UEFA Cup in 1973.

FA Cup glory was also Liverpool’s at last, winning the trophy in 1965 and 1974.

Bob Paisley: 1974-1983

Following in the footsteps of Shankly would always be difficult, but Paisly achieved great success at Anfield during his nine-year reign in charge.

Six First Division titles followed, as well as three League Cup trophies and another UEFA Cup. It was European Cup success that really left Paisley’s mark though, winning it three times in 1977, 1978 and 1981.

Joe Fagan: 1983-1985

The logical choice to succeed after working his way through the ranks under Shankly and Paisley, a First Division, European Cup and Milk Cup treble followed in 1984. His retirement was overshadowed by the Heysel disaster.

Kenny Dalglish: 1985-1991

A true club legend, ‘King Kenny’ was appointed player-manager in 1985, and let the club to three titles during a six-year reign at Anfield.

The Scot also won two FA Cup titles, and would answer the call when it came once again in 2010.

Graeme Souness: 1991-1994

Unable to match his success on the field with the club, Souness won just one FA Cup trophy as a manager as he guided the Reds into the Premier League era.

He resigned from the managerial post after an embarrassing defeat to Bristol Rovers.

Roy Evans: 1994-1998

Whilst trophies weren’t particularly forthcoming under Evans, the former player brought stability at the top end of the table, and won a League Cup in 1995 for his troubles.

Roy Evans & Gerard Houllier: 1998

The arrival of Houllier was the beginning of the end for Evans, and with the two failing to bring success together, the Bootle-born veteran left his position.

Gerard Houllier: 1998-2004

The French revolution began under Houllier in 1998, and his reign will forever be remembered for an incredible cup treble in 2001.

Liverpool won the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup in quite dramatic fashion, and another League Cup in 2003 to cement the manager’s place as a cup specialist. With health issues affecting his time in the dugout, the board decided it was time for a change the following summer, however.

Rafa Benitez: 2004-2010

Benitez helped take the Reds closest to a Premier League title over the past two decades, but is best remembered for the Champions League final win over AC Milan in 2005. They also reached another final in Europe’s elite competition.

The FA Cup in 2006 was another highlight, along with the signings of the likes of Fernando Torres and Xabi Alonso. He left the club by mutual consent in 2010.

Roy Hodgson: 2010-2011

The current England boss endured a difficult spell in charge at Anfield, with just 31 matches under his belt before the axe fell. He got the job after scooping the LMA Manager of the Year during his spell at Fulham.

Sacked in January, he was replaced by a familiar face.

Kenny Dalglish: 2011-2012

Back at the helm of his beloved club, ‘KD’ signed Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll, as well as selling Torres, in his first month.

After a mid-table finish, Dalglish then won the League Cup the following year, but poor form in the Premier League meant the owners sacked him in the summer.

Brendan Rodgers: 2012-?

Liverpool’s newest boss has some big names to follow. What will the future hold?

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