Harsh, simple and outspoken, the defensive master Liverpool could approach

Liverpool may already be plotting an approach for a key individual next summer and it’s not a player.

Liverpool’s deep and successful history means that when one of the club’s former favourite players speaks up, people currently at the club tend to listen.

Liverpool could be facing an opportunity to utilise one of the best defensive analytical minds in the game after former captain Alan Hansen’s decision to retire from his work with the BBC after the World Cup next summer.

The former Kop favourite says it was always his plan to step out of work connected with the great game when he got the age of 55-years-old, which he would have exceeded by four years when he does retire, but Liverpool could well dangle a carrot in his direction.

“I’ve been in football for 41 years and I’m going out right at the top, just as I did at Liverpool. The plan was always that I would retire at 55. I kept going, but I finally decided to retire during Euro 2012,” said the Scot.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Liverpool’s coaching setup at the moment but it’s not impossible the club could work with Hansen in a consultancy role in relation to the current back four.

Hansen’s harsh criticism and simple words on Match of the Day have made him respected, and in some cases despised, as one of football’s great defensive analysts.

Brendan Rodgers has been very keen to acknowledge the history and roots of the club ever since he took over at Anfield as manager and he has a great ability to think outside the box about how he can help his team.

This is a very crucial period for Liverpool and by the time Hansen steps away from his work with the BBC, we should have a much better idea about the combination of defenders Rodgers intends to use across his back four.

However, challenges will still come thick and fast because the number of players competing for defensive positions means there are likely to be departures next summer, which means more new arrivals.

Where Hansen would come in useful as a defensive consultant for Liverpool is his analysis of the problems he sees within the back four and the various complications which arise from playing certain combinations of defenders together.

Rodgers and the club would more than welcome his no nonsense style of advice if they request it because it allows the club to rectify problems quickly.

Liverpool will already have coaches and analysts working with statisticians to try and get to the root of any problems in the back four but Hansen was an old school defender who did things quickly and simply.

You can have all of the best thought out tactical systems in the world but sometimes the basics of defending are the most effective and if Liverpool approached Hansen to work in some sort of role he would ensure that those values are always maintained regardless of which defenders are playing across the back four.

He seems pretty black and white in his decision but whether he can resist the chance to work with the club he loves so much again we won’t know until Liverpool take that plunge.

What do you think? Is it worth the club approaching him?

image: © neate photos

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