This season, it seems that Liverpool’s defence has ultimately proved to be their downfall. No Jamie Carragher at the back after his retirement may be a factor as no-one has really taken command. So could anyone help address the situation? Well, maybe an old centre-half of their own in Sami Hyypia.
This isn’t to say Hyypia should come out of retirement, but Brendan Rodgers has been keen to have former players who are respected figures in and around the club. One only needs to look at the academy set-up to see Robbie Fowler, Rob Jones and Steve McManaman mentoring younger players.
But defensively Liverpool have been found wanting this season, and it looks as if it has cost them the league title, even if they are narrowly sitting on top of the Premier League at the time of writing.
Hyypia spent ten seasons at Anfield and played under both Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez. Both managers during their time on Merseyside wanted their defence to be strong and hard to break down with the Finn at the heart of that.
He was a leader at the back and was made captain of the side. He was also good in the air and handy with the ball at his feet.
So far this season Liverpool have shipped 49 goals, which is far too much for any side that wants to compete at the top end of their league year on year. Whilst they possess great cutting edge this season, it’s not something they can rely on in the long-term. There is going to spell when the strike duo of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge may have to be broken up due to one circumstance or the other, one or both of them may get injured - and players of their capability don’t come around all that often.
It’s unclear whether Hyypia would take up such a role as a defensive coach having experienced management in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen.
Hyypia’s side weren’t exactly tight at the back having conceded 36 goals in 28 games, and were heavily exposed in both of their Champions League meetings against Manchester United, but a wider managerial role is always going to be difficult compared to operating in a specialist area.
It could work for both parties. Hyypia would learn even more about being amongst the coaching staff in a high pressure environment whilst Liverpool are bound to benefit from the experience and knowledge the Finn brings to the art of defending.
Whether those inside the club are thinking the same way, or even if it is a possibility remains to be seen. The obvious stumbling block would be if Hyypia thought it was too much of a step backwards for him.