You’ve got to feel a bit sorry for Roberto Martinez, haven’t you? He flies halfway around the world, takes a couple of weeks of abuse from Liverpool fans, alienates the supporters at his own club and then when it all shakes down, FSG dropped him faster than Chris Moyles finding out he’s got salad in his sandwich. As it is, the Spaniard may well end up at Villa, who are a sort of Liverpool-lite, with all the expectations of a big club but even less cash and talent to enjoy.
The man who usurped Bobby seems to be Brendan Rodgers, in conjunction with Louis van Gaal if the papers have it right, and that may be the first factor in the decision. Bobby is a strong, confident woman as you can tell by his fitted coats, and he may have wanted total control over the club, which would be a bit of a stretch. The alternative is that he was being lined up to work under former Barca director Txiki Begiristain, and Txiki said no, stymieing Martinez as a candidate.
Instead, it’s the Northern Irish manager of Swansea who will take the job, and the money that goes with it, and his appointment has split the fans to start with. Some think he is a bit green, and could struggle at the top level, while others are hailing it as a visionary move. Meanwhile, a third group have become so tired of the speculation that they are still unaware of Rodgers being appointed, having buried their heads in a pile of building sand once destined for the construction of the new stadium.
People have been very complementary about Rodgers this year, not surprisingly given his record with Swansea, but he did have a nasty experience with Reading a few years back where a bad start cost him his job. Given his age, you’d expect him to get at least two of his three contracted years regardless of initial results, but that may have informed his initial feeling that he should stay with Swansea and avoid a seat that could be seen as a poisoned chalice.
Now it is done, and we must wait and see whether the man who made Swansea into the Barcelona of the valleys can turn Liverpool into the Liverpool of the eighties, or even the Barcelona of the North. It’ll be an arduous journey for all involved, but at least the men in charge are finally delivering on their promise to make moves with the future in mind, rather than revisiting the past.