The qualities Liverpool need to look for in their backroom staff

Paisley Gateway

Former players, former members of the coaching team and an ex-member of a rival club's backroom staff have all been linked with a role at Anfield.

Liverpool are on the lookout for new members of Brendan Rodgers' backroom staff following the departures of assistant manager Colin Pascoe and first-team coach Mike Marsh.

As a result, the rumour mill has been churning. Ex-players, coaches and other familiar faces have all been linked with a role within Rodgers' team.

It seems heads have rolled given the disappointing sixth-place finish secured in 2014/15, and no silverware to show for the side's efforts. Sami Hyypia, Pako Ayesteran and Rene Meulensteen have all been linked with a Reds role by reports such as those in the Telegraph.

While knowing the club is an advantage, Liverpool need someone to both complement the manager's abilities while making up for his blind spots, and also bring an experience of winning to Anfield, so that players can look up to them.

One needs to look at their background. Pako Ayesteran was part of the backroom team during Rafa Benitez's earlier days at Anfield, before parting company in 2007 - during that time the Reds made it to two Champions League finals, famously winning one in Istanbul, and won the FA Cup. During that time, the Reds only finished outside the top four once, and that was during the Istanbul season.

Of course, a lot has to do with Rafa Benitez's tactical acumen and management of the side, but his number two was integral to him during those early years. Since his departure he has tried his hand at management himself - leading Maccabi Tel Aviv to a treble in the season just gone. You can argue about the standard of the league until you're blue in the face, but it only enhances the kind of mentality the Spaniard would bring with him back to Merseyside.

Moving on to ex-players - Sami Hyypia was a former captain of the club, before handing the armband over to Steven Gerrard in 2004 under Gerard Houllier.

He has, of course, had a couple of goes at management with Bayer Leverkusen and Brighton & Hove Albion, though they didn't end in the manner the Finn would have been hoping. He has expressed interest in the role and would give Rodgers some necessary experience when it comes to trying to address the team's defensive frailties.

There is also that figure of a man very much in touch with the modern game, as he only retired in 2011. He is closely linked with a side that had relative success on the field and knows the expectations of the fans.

The name that has been mooted that will raise a few eyebrows is Rene Meulensteen - who developed a terrific reputation as part of the backroom staff at Manchester United during the final years of Sir Alex Ferguson's reign.

He has also had a go as head coach in the Premier League with Fulham - which didn't end well as the side struggled under his stewardship - though they struggled before and after his arrival at Craven Cottage so there is probably more to that than meets the eye. But he has worked with the best, been part of a side that has dominated English football and has seen firsthand what it takes to win consistently.

After such a trying season, Rodgers needs people around him that understand his methods and understand how he wants to play. But he also needs winners in order to take the club back towards a position from which they can challenge again.

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