It has been another summer of change at Liverpool, with significant turnover expected in the squad and plenty of changes administratively as well. The former is expected, while the latter--which didn't include an exit for Brendan Rodgers--came in a somewhat surprising manner, as assistant manager Colin Pascoe and first-team coach Mike Marsh left the club. Neither were particularly notable during their time on Liverpool's coaching staff, but their dismissals coupled with Rodgers' survival made for interesting viewing.
The concern for most was that a fairly young and inexperience squad would face further uncertainty as a result, but the club acted quickly in appointing former England U19 boss Sean O'Driscoll as Rodgers' new assistant manager and U16 boss Pepijn Lijnders as first-team development coach, a role created especially for a man who's excelled at bringing along younger players at PSV Eindhoven, Porto, and, in the past year, Liverpool.
What remained was a confirmed first-team coaching role, the one Marsh occupied for each of the last three seasons under Rodgers. Much of the discussion focused on the likelihood that a former player would be brought in, with Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher, Steve McManaman, and Robbie Fowler among those linked with the post. In the end, though, it will be cult hero Gary McAllister rounding out Rodgers' staff ahead of the 2014-2015 season.
McAllister spent two seasons on Merseyside, the first of which came in famous fashion as he helped secure a treble of UEFA Cup, League Cup, and FA Cup trophies. Signed at the age of 35, McAllister is roundly viewed as one of the better signings of the Gerard Houllier era given that he arrived on a free and had a lasting impact on the club and its future, with Steven Gerrard picking out the Scottish midfielder's influence as particularly meaningful.
His first stint in management and coaching came immediately after leaving Liverpool, as he went on to become player-manager at Coventry City before getting sacked in late 2004. A stint as boss at Leeds United followed before taking on coaching roles at Middlesbrough and Aston Villa, with the latter destination providing an opportunity to link up with Houllier once again.
It's been clear that Liverpool's hierarchy has desired a former player among the ranks, and after positive talks were reported earlier in the week for McAllister and Rodgers, it was only a matter of time before his role was made official. His status as a player in Red will continue to be held in high esteem, and hopefully he can provide valuable modeling and mentoring in a Liverpool squad full of young talent waiting to be groomed.