There has been complete silence from upper management at Liverpool since season's end, with no summary of the season-ending review with Brendan Rodgers, no comment from the manager about any of the three new signings, and, despite widespread rumors about potential candidates to replace Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh, who were dismissed from their roles as assistant manager and first-team coach, respectively, no word on replacements. A number of names of have been linked with those posts, including the likes of Sami Hyypia and Pako Ayesteran, but there haven't been any announcements as to who will come in.
While those names aren't necessarily ruled out, it looks as though one of the first appointments in a coaching capacity could be current U16 boss Pepijn Lijnders, who, according to reports on Saturday, is set to take Marsh's spot as first-team coach. Lijnders only arrived in Liverpool last year after stints at Porto and PSV Eindhoven, taking over the U16s after Michael Beale was promoted to U21 boss as Alex Inglethorpe took over as Academy Director.
His is not a position most on the outside will know much about, but a few months back he wrote a guest column for the official website that was well-received, including a few paragraphs about his philosophy in attack:
Our style is to attack, with and without the ball. We realise that the game is played with one ball, our ball, and we steal it back wherever on the pitch and we use it to attack the opponent. It doesn't matter who we play against, we will press them high and aggressively and we will attack and attack them again. You can make a top team or top players look bad by pressing them intensely and aggressively. This, in combination with the Scouse mentality, makes for a very effective path to success.
We are responsible for creating a new generation, a generation who can create chance after chance at a high level, a generation who can break down defensive walls. Nobody knows what the future of football will look like; the only thing I'm sure of is that the defensive organisation of teams will be even better. They will protect the middle zone of the pitch better and defend their area better. We need to create players who can ruin this defensive organisation.
So probably not that defensive coach everyone other than Rodgers has been waiting for, but certainly a man with a distinct philosophy and a proven record across three of the continent's more highly regarded academies. A coach not too dissimilar to Rodgers, at least on paper, and while questions might be asked about lack of experience in top-flight football--particularly in light of reports circulating that FSG felt the manager needed older heads around him if he was going to remain in charge--it could be a move that pays off in the short- and long-term for the club across levels.
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