Liverpool: Where are Jurgen Klopp's rivals for the manager job now?

Jurgen Klopp signing for Liverpool truly was the best thing that ever could have happened to the club.

Ask any Red and they will surely agree. If not, well, just end the conversation right there because they clearly aren’t a Liverpool fan and must be lying.

The German, who in his introduction to the UK media famously branded himself ‘The Normal One’, quickly cultivated a feeling that something special was happening on Merseyside.

The results might not have shown it straight away, clearly there was still a long process ahead, but Liverpool fans knew that they were on the right path with Klopp at the helm.

And they were right. Six and a half years on, the new-look Liverpool is once again a European powerhouse. A dynasty, if you like, one that is set to continue until at least 2026 after Klopp put pen to paper on an extended deal that tied his future to Anfield for a further two years.

But things could have been all so different. Tracing our steps back to October 2015, Liverpool had four other potential candidates that they were reportedly considering should Klopp turn the offer down and who knows what direction Liverpool would have gone in should any have took the reigns.

Let’s take a look at who they were and what exactly has happened to them since.

The four candidates

Ronald Koeman

Liverpool had already been cherry-picking all of the Saints’ best players for the previous couple of years, so why not nick the manager as well? Logical thinking, but fans of the Reds will be happy they steered clear of the Dutchman in this case.

When Koeman did leave St.Mary’s he ended up on Merseyside, only managing arch-rivals Everton instead. He enjoyed a solid first season at the club, but a disastrous 2017/2018 campaign saw him get the boot.

Koeman then took charge of his national team for a spell, before landing his dream job at Barcelona. It’s fair to say things couldn’t have gone much worse for him at Camp Nou and it’s bound to be a while before he shakes that black mark off his resume.

He is currently set to lead the Netherlands into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Koeman is losing faith at Barcelona
Koeman is losing faith at Barcelona

Walter Mazzarri

Mazzarri had recently been relieved of his duties at Inter, but had enjoyed a brilliant spell with Napoli prior to taking the job in Milan.

After the Italian’s agent revealed to the press that he was taking English lessons the rumour mill was swirling about a potential move to Anfield.

Fortunately, for Liverpool fans at least, Mazzarri was not deemed a suitable candidate and had to wait until the season after for his move to the Premier League, which he got via Watford.

Mazzarri would last just one season at Vicarage road before getting sacked, after which he then went on to Torino and then Cagliari, where he still manages to this day.

LA SPEZIA, ITALY – MARCH 12: Walter Mazzarri manager of Cagliari Calcio looks on during the Serie A match between Spezia Calcio and Cagliari Calcio at Stadio Alberto Picco on March 12, 2022 in La Spezia, Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Frank de Boer

De Boer seemed like a very realistic option at the time. The Dutchman had enjoyed great success with Ajax and he was hot property on the managerial marketplace.

Although, that wasn’t the case for long. After being passed up for the Anfield job, his spell with Inter was a disaster and his one with Crystal Palace even worse – getting sacked after 77 days and just five games.

Phew.

Former Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer
Former Crystal Palace manager Frank de Boer

Carlo Ancelotti

Out of all of them, the appointment of this man probably would have brought the most success. Ancelotti was taking a break after managing Real Madrid and was a popular option amongst Kopites at the time.

Not that many would change how things worked out…

Ancelotti ended up taking a more prolonged break to help in his recovery from spinal surgery before going on to take charge of Bayern Munich, Everton and then eventually returning to Madrid.

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Ancelotti is one of the most decorated managers in world football.

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