Liverpool to appoint Sean O’Driscoll as new assistant manager

‘He’s one of the best coaches I have ever come across. His teams were expressive, technical’

Liverpool are expected to appoint the England Under-19 head coach, Sean O'Driscoll, as their new assistant manager as part of the overhaul of Brendan Rodgers' back-room staff.

O'Driscoll, a former Bournemouth and Doncaster Rovers manager, has emerged as their leading choice to replace Colin Pascoe, who was sacked along with the first-team coach Mike Marsh this month. The 57-year-old's move to Anfield has not been finalised but is set to go through before Liverpool embark on a pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East on 12 July. The team report back for training at Melwood next Monday.

The Liverpool manager has been without a No2 since Pascoe and Marsh, paid the price for last season's disappointments following a review conducted by the club's owner, Fenway Sports Group. It initially appeared Rodgers had been left isolated by their departures, with Pascoe in particular a long-time confidante, but the Northern Irishman is a firm admirer of O'Driscoll and has been instrumental in the approach.

Rodgers paid tribute to O’Driscoll’s qualities as part of a wider critique into the standard of English coaches in October 2013, when he claimed natural talent was being stifled by archaic coaching methods.


“We need to stop blaming the players,” Rodgers said at the time. “The players get the blame in this country. No, it is the coaching. The problem is that the guys who are ’that type’ of coach you never hear of them really. Look at Sean O’Driscoll. He is one of the best coaches I have ever come across. He is working at Bristol City. He has never had a chance in the top flight. His teams were expressive, had movement, they were technical, but he will probably never get a chance at a higher level.”

Liverpool now look set to give O'Driscoll that chance, only nine months after he replaced Noel Blake as head coach of England's Under-19s side.

O’Driscoll, who was capped by the Republic of Ireland as a player but was born in Wolverhampton, spent six years in charge of Bournemouth, five at Doncaster and also had brief spells at Crawley Town, Nottingham Forest and Bristol City before his move to the FA.

Meanwhile Nathaniel Clyne has undergone a medical in Liverpool in his proposed £12.5m transfer from Southampton. The 24-year-old right back was on Merseyside on Monday to finalise the terms of his move from the south coast and is expected to be confirmed as Liverpool's sixth signing of the summer on Wednesday.

Clyne will take Liverpool's spending beyond the £30m mark, with their outlay to increase once an independent tribunal sets a fee for Danny Ings, but that is unlikely to be the end of the club's spending. Christian Benteke remains a strong target for the club ,although they are unwilling to meet the £32.5m release clause in his contract with Aston Villa.

The club have also capitalised on Barcelona's transfer problems by agreeing terms with 16-year-old Dutch winger Bobby Adekanye. The teenager's move to Barcelona from Ajax's academy in 2011 was declared illegal by Fifa and he spent last season on loan at PSV Eindhoven as a result. Both PSV and Ajax were keen to sign the promising youngster on a permanent basis this summer following his release from Barcelona but he is expected to finalise a move to Anfield next week.

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