Martinez in Miami – with John Henry

EIGHT days after flying Kenny Dalglish to Boston to sack him John W Henry has flown Roberto Martinez to Miami to, presumably, offer him the Liverpool manager’s job.

On a day that saw Liverpool officially confirm previously leaked appointments for Jen Chang (corporate relations and communications director) and Billy Hogan (chief commercial officer) Henry looks to have settled for the Wigan Athletic manager as the man to turn a squad that has finished between sixth and eighth over the past three seasons into one that get into the top three and earn a guaranteed Champions League place. Martinez’s job this season was to avoid the bottom three, something he did achieve after his side had spent most of the season in that relegation zone.

Henry and Martinez in Miami

Henry and Martinez in Miami today (Pic by @nihar247)

Briefings to journalists over the past week have included claims that the club were going to be looking at a shortlist of up to twelve names and that Pep Guardiola would be on that list.

To also have Brendan Rodgers on the list (Swansea confirmed Liverpool’s approach) suggests someone doing the briefing thinks Liverpool supporters were born yesterday and don’t remember a similar charade play out ahead of the announcement that Roy Hodgson would be Liverpool boss in 2010.

Interest in André Villas-Boas doesn’t seem to have been serious and calls from some supporters for FSG to at least speak to Rafa Benitez have fallen on deaf ears.

Martinez was pictured with Henry earlier today outside a shop in Miami with a Mickey Mouse toy in the window next to another store trying to offload bargains at a 70% discount. Although there were some claims, or perhaps hopes, that the picture was a fake, those hopes were soon dashed when another picture emerged. This one, apparently showing the original photograph being taken, featured the couple from a different angle. Wigan chairman Dave Whelan had claimed earlier in the day that Martinez was in Miami, “presumably” meeting Liverpool’s principal owner.

The report (on Bloomberg) that broke the Billy Hogan story also said Ian Ayre was now responsible for transfers and contract negotiations. Other reports say Liverpool will be announcing the appointment of a Sporting Director and a Technical Director in coming days or weeks. There is a feeling in some circles that Ayre’s days in the Reds boardroom are numbered at a club that is no longer too concerned about breaking contracts.

Henry and Martinez being snapped in Miami

Henry and Martinez getting snapped in Miami (pic via @nihar247)

Although the levels of confidence amongst supporters don’t quite reach the depths of that felt ahead of Roy Hodgson’s appointment two years ago the news is certainly not catching the imagination of many fans. Whoever does get the job will get support from supporters but without results from the off that support will not be sustained. However it won’t necessarily be the manager getting it in the neck if things aren’t working out as the season goes on.

FSG and the club are continuing to fob supporters off with vague claims of “progress” on the stadium front. Ian Ayre has admitted that, essentially, cups don’t really have an important place in Liverpool’s plans for the future yet the club are expected to stick with the same ticketing arrangements and pricing in place last season for cup matches, when those matches were actually taken seriously. Sacking Kenny Dalglish for not getting into the top four is understandable – but less so if the follow-up plan doesn’t show serious ambition to achieve that top four finish.

This is a big summer for FSG and Liverpool. Get it right and it’ll be a proud milestone in the club’s history. Get it wrong and it may see the return of a difficult relationship between supporters and owners. Fingers crossed it’s the former.


  • matt hopkins

    Martinez, a 26% win rate!! Relegation battle every season, is this really the man for liverpool? Surely its too much too ask of him?? I support whoever comes in, but hope for the best man for the job!! #YNWA #JF96!!!!

  • James Danby

    Well its only one pic but perhaps it tells us all that Martinez the man who has kept a very poor team playing some good football and against all odds in the premiership again, has the ideas that FSG want us to follow he has taken lowly swansea with some tremendous displays to the championship then taking the wigan job proving his skill as a manager with a talent for the miraculous so why are we so negative yes our history is phenonanel yes we are 5 time european champions yes all opf this is true but unfortunatley we just have not performed anywhere close to well enough in the league for three seasons King Kenny was my childhood hero i still have my screen saver as Kenny with tears in his eyes after the man city cup semi even removing a pic of my son to have that pic as pride of place on my phone because in that moment the King was overcome with joy pride and emotion but that aside this season as a whole was not what any fan wanted our biggest game the fa cup we didnt show up for fifty five mins our league form just wasnt good enough to many poor draws and disappointing losses and worse than all of that was that those blue shites finished above us, so i ask i beg that whoever FSG employ we back em sing our hearts out and unlike woy we stick with the manager whoever it eventually may be YNWA

  • Simon

    Looking at what’s been going on, I personally cannot yet see the rational behind why a manager who for the last 3-4-5 seasons has remained in the bottom half of the PL, zero European experience and someone whom the majority of vocal Liverpool supporters really cannot understand why when the last Spanish manager won many accolades along with trophies. .. So why cannot the owners look at Benetez?

  • Steve

    A bit unfair there Jim. Every time Martinez builds a half decent team at Wigan, the best players are sold off. I might be wrong but I think he brought Valencia to the UK, then had to sell him to the Mancs. Valencia was the player of the year in 2011 for the Manc fans and players. So he knows a good footballer when he sees one. Unlike RH.
    And his teams, when allowed, play good football. Unlike RH. At least FSG are going for young Spanish manager with potential and not the usual line up of no-marks like Bruce, Allardyce, O’Neill at al. Give the guy a bit of slack. No doubt we’ll still be arguing about this one when were both consigned to the Venmore Residential Home.

  • adam

    Maybe fans could … I don’t know, calm the f^%& down, shut up and wait to actually see what happens? This drives me nuts. The group that want to try and force FSG to “talk to Rafa”? Or the Spirit Of Shankley claiming that the whole procedure somehow isn’t transparent for them? What the hell has gotten into everyone? It’s just not up to us. It never has been and it never will be. Kenny wasn’t appointed because he was a fan favourite, no manager ever will be. And every single one of us doesn’t have the first damn clue what the club’s actually strategy would be, what meetings went on behind the scene, what the owners are ACTUALLY talking about. Look … I know that’s probably want SOS wanted to be told: what the plan was going to be, but it’s just not appropriate. We’re like spoiled children who can’t handle the simple fact that our club is going to through a tough spell. It’s like Liverpool supporters must be getting shit from the bitters at the pub so they’re getting all worked up and thinking they have to do something. It’s pathetic and THAT is what, in my mind at least, is giving this club a bad image. What the owners are doing seems perfectly fine to me. They’re looking at options. What on earth would they otherwise do? How else would this process even work?

    • jim

      bingo – agree 100%. people need to just relax – the Euros will surely create a lag between when things NEED to get done, and then they actually DO get resolved, so no need for panic.

  • Jbran

    Who’s advising these people??
    Jose Mourinho??
    Why else would they disregard Rafa??

  • juan


    I had hoped all of this martinez bad dream stuff would disappear.

    Since when has staving off relegation been enough to get you the liverpool job.

    This has all the same uneasy feelings of when roy was appointed at a time when there was a more suitable available candidate waiting in the wings.

    The fans must get fully behind whoever is appointed but i fear the same reaction all over again if Martinez doesnt get off to a flying start.

    I may get slated for this comment and its tough to digest but im brutally honest it really has started to feel like mediocrity at this club is starting to become an acceptable norm.

    • Josh Jarni

      No mate. I am on your side with this one. If we appoint him then I will have the same level of respect for him as I did of Roy Hodgson, and that will be very little. Martinez will be for an extremely tough ride, and could well be hounded out in 6 months if results dont go our way. As I understand if appointed, Martinez will not have 100% control of all team affairs nor will he be involved in transfers. He will literally coach the players & help motivate them on the pitch. Working with the potential Sporting Director (if its Van Gaal) will be difficult due to his aggressive temper.

  • Skips

    Ok … We can dream of Jeannie but REALITY needs to set in. We are 8th in the league, we got into the Euro cup via a ‘nice day out in the sun’ cup that we JUST won over a Championship team. Things are different, very different. People need to take a deep breath and think this through. Martinez is no fool, he plays good football with a squad (btw they beat us at Anfield) That is of lower quality than LFC SO let’s give the guy a chance if he is the guy. Let’s give FSG some time as well. We are in sh*t creek with a small paddle and even though I love KK he did NOT deliver end of….I love the romantics but time for reality..our stock is low and we need to rebuild. I think this is a minimum 3 year project so let’s treat it like that and if we overachieve then great but let’s just realise we are not the Liverpool of the 80’s or any other time. H&G screwed it up and FSG are fixing it but ROME was not built in a day. Be cool, believe and NWA. Stop the bitching it is SO in LIVERPOOL…..

  • Kingsley oputeh

    So so disappointed liverpool does’nt have the confidence to talk to championship winning managers anymore. How did we get here??

  • barrypool72

    Well i think ALL the lpool fan’s should calm down,i know i have.Is Martinez my 1st choice,hell no but if he is appointed i will back him 100% end of.As lpool fan’s that is what we ALL should be doing.In the past lpool fan’s have always backed their player’s&manager’s no matter what.So let’s stop crying,get on with it&back the new boss NO MATTER WHAT….YNWA!!!!

  • LFC not RafaFC

    As long as Rafa isn’t in the mix I am happy. Won a trophy with Houlliers team then won another because of SG. Apart from that he has nothing to show. Thanks for the very few memories Rafa. Enjoy Villa!!!!!!!!

  • He’s actually a manager I would really like to see at Anfield. A real man-manager, likes to play attractive football and speaks very well to the media. I think he’s the kind of young blood we need to invigorate the Liverpool dressing room. At the end of the day, every young manager needs a chance; like Guardiola, Klopp, DeBoer, Villas-Boas. If he comes in, he’ll get my full support and I hope he’ll get the support of every other fan out there.

  • AnfieldBred

    Quite obviously NOT John Henry in that photo. FSG are keeping everything under wraps and everybody is guessing especially the journos – Like he’s going to keep things secret by going for a walk with Martinez ! The only person talking is Dave Whelan and he knows very little. Perhaps he’s talking things up, eying the compo ?.
    I seriously doubt anybody has been offered the job yet.

  • Joe

    Sorry guys but this Rafa obsession has to stop now. He won’t be back at this club again period. You should have given Kenny your full support instead of edging for Rafa’s return & you might not be facing these concerns now.

    • Who edged for Rafa’s return and didn’t give Kenny their full support Joe? Certainly not me.

      • Joe


        From what I’ve heard on the last few TAW podcasts you could hardly say that Kenny had the support that he deserved. I’m not including you in this, but that younger generation of fans have been very unfair on him. While the results weren’t there, the football was attacking, progressive, & in the most very enjoyable to watch & I have no doubt that next season would have been successful for Kenny . I keep hearing the terms “tactical”, “technical”& modern Football” being bandied about about by gobshits, whose further insult is to pretend that they understand all this nonsense, while someone like Kenny, with all his achievements in the game & with the help of Steve Clarke somehow don’t understand it. It’s very insulting to say the least. Some of the stuff I’ve seen on “so called Fans” forums
        would make you ashamed to be associated with these people, & then to cap it all off they’ll sing off with YNWA.
        The damage is done now, so a least let them get behind Roberto if it’s going to be him. He wears nice suits & is polite to the media so that should keep certain people happy, let’s just hope he has more balls than we might think.

  • AnfieldBred

    I repeat it’s not JH in the picture !!!!!!!