SHOCK Klopp replacement? Why ex-Bayern boss Kovac would be an AWFUL hire

Tom Weber
Tom Weber
  • Updated: 16 Apr 2024 15:24 BST
  • 4 min read
Niko Kovac, Liverpool

Niko Kovac is being touted as a 'surprise candidate' to replace Jurgen Klopp.

The former Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern and Monaco coach has been out of a job for a few weeks after getting sacked by Wolfsburg . An atrocious run of results had left one of the biggest spenders in Germany in a relegation battle.

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Under Kovac, Wolfsburg had only managed to win seven Bundesliga games this season, with the Berlin-born Croat eventually replaced by former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl. At this point, it is becoming clear that Kovac is just not a particularly great coach.

READ MORE: Xabi Alonso hints at Liverpool U-turn

Kovac is still, to some extent, living off the acclaim he garnered when he led Eintracht Frankfurt to a shocking DFB-Pokal final win over Bayern Munich in 2018, which subsequently saw him rewarded with the job in Munich.

At Bayern, Kovac won a domestic treble, claiming the Bundesliga, Pokal and Supercup, but he was eventually sacked because of his uninspiring leadership and dull tactics, with Bayern struggling to recapture their 2018/19 dominance in 19/20.

After two more mediocre coaching gigs at Monaco and Wolfsburg, Kovac is a free agent and he is now being linked with the soon-to-be-vacant Liverpool job.

Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the season
© IMAGO - Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the season

Kovac to Liverpool?

The links can be traced back to a Daily Mail report, claiming that Kovac has emerged as a 'surprise name under consideration by Liverpool.' It is claimed that the manager's representatives have been in London to make Premier League clubs aware of his availability.

If we are being cynical, we would dismiss these rumours out of hand because Kovac and Liverpool is an obvious connection to make due to ex-sporting director Jorg Schmadtke. He was the man who brought Kovac to Wolfsburg and, though he left Liverpool in February, may have put in a good word for the 52-year-old.

However, the fact that someone unexpected like Kovac could take the reins at Anfield in the summer has been backed up by journalists Ben Jacobs and David Ornstein. The former has claimed that the Reds could make a surprising coaching choice, while the latter has played down reports that Liverpool are closing in on Sporting CP's Ruben Amorim.

READ MORE: Arsenal's biggest challengers? Liverpool's key advantage in Gyokeres race

Ruben Amorim
© IMAGO - Ruben Amorim

Despite this, it is clear that the hire of Kovac would be a poor decision on the part of Liverpool's new recruitment team led by Michael Edwards and Richard Hughes even if he were to be brought in on a short-term deal to keep things ticking over until Xabi Alonso becomes available next summer.

Since leaving Frankfurt in 2018, Kovac has shown absolutely nothing that would suggest he is fit to lead a club of Liverpool's stature. Besides his bland football, Kovac appears to be the opposite of Jurgen Klopp in the way he forms relationships with players.

Niko Kovac's coaching record

Eintracht Frankfurt91411733
Bayern Munich6545128
AS Monaco74431516
VfL Wolfsburg66231726

One of Kovac's former stars, the eccentric Max Kruse, recently accused the coach of being "an absolute catastrophe in terms of character." He asserted that Kovac has a habit of axing established, outspoken players at his clubs to show that he is the "top dog," citing Alex Meier at Frankfurt, Thomas Muller at Bayern, Wissam Ben Yedder at Monaco and himself at Wolfsburg as examples.

Interestingly, it was Jorg Schmadtke who jumped to Kovac's defence even before the 52-year-old himself got the chance to respond to Kruse. Even if the former German international's accusations were exaggerated, Kovac's track record makes it clear that he would most likely be a disaster at Liverpool.

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