Why eight Liverpool managers had to depart since they last won the English league in 1990

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks dejected during his team's English Premier League match against Everton at Goodison Park on Oct 4, 2015.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks dejected during his team's English Premier League match against Everton at Goodison Park on Oct 4, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

Brendan Rodgers became the latest manager casualty at Liverpool, as he was given the sack on Sunday after a prolonged spell of dire football and poor results.

He is far from the first Reds manager to leave Anfield in less-than-happy circumstances. In fact, since Liverpool last won the English top-flight division title in 1990, eight managers have departed without being able to lift the Reds back to the heights of domestic triumph. What caused their departures?

1. Kenny Dalglish (1985-1991)


Former Liverpool manager and player Kenny Dalglish watches the team play against Carlisle City during the third round of the Capital One Cup at Anfield on Sept 23, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

The last manager to lift the league title with Liverpool, Dalglish is considered an Anfield legend with considerable success both as player (six league titles, one FA Cup) and manager (three league titles, two FA Cups). However, the tragic Hillsborough disaster in 1989 took a toll on his health, and he resigned in February 1991 citing burn-out.

2. Graeme Souness (1991 - 1994)

A brilliant captain for Liverpool in the 1980s, Souness' managerial tenure was a disaster - his three full seasons saw the Reds finish no higher than sixth in the league. An abrasive character, he fell out with former players, and alienated staff members with his wholesale changes to tactics and training. A lone FA Cup win in 1992 was all he could muster.

3. Roy Evans (1994 - 1998)


Former Liverpool football manager Roy Evans speaking in 2003. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

While Souness was disciplinarian, Evans was easy-going and friendly with the players, and knew the club well as he was a long-time coaching staff of the Reds. He assembled an exciting team with youngsters like Robbie Fowler, Jamie Redknapp, Steve McManaman and Michael Owen coming up from the academy. However, he could not fix a weak defence as Liverpool finished no higher than third place during his tenure.

4. Gerard Houllier (1998 - 2004)


Then Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier speaking at the Marina Mandarin Hotel on July 15, 2001. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

There were doubts when Liverpool hired their first continental manager, as the Frenchman took a joint-managerial role with Evans at first. That did not work out and Evans resigned, leaving Houllier to take sole charge. Houllier took a couple of seasons to revamp and modernise the Reds' coaching set-up, and it paid dividends in the 2000-01 season when they won three Cup titles. Yet, arguably it all went wrong after he had a heart-bypass surgery in October 2001, and his subsequent seasons were marked by poor signings and one-dimensional defensive football. Amid incessant criticism, Houllier stepped down.

5. Rafael Benitez (2004 - 2010)


Real Madrid coach Rafael Benitez looks on prior to the Spanish league football match against Atletico Madrid  at the Vicente Calderon stadium on Oct 4, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Arguably the most tactically-astute manager Liverpool have had since 1990, the Spaniard began his tenure with by far his biggest success - clinching the club's fifth European Cup triumph in 2005. Another FA Cup win follow the next season, but then his rocky patch coincided with the arrival of the American owners Bill Hicks and George Gillett. As the boardroom squabbled over money, Benitez struggled to run his squad to his liking even as Liverpool finished second in the 2008/09 season. Eventually the power struggle cost him his job in 2010.

6. Roy Hodgson (2010 - 2011)


England manager Roy Hodgson speaking during a press conference at Wembley Stadium on Oct 1, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

A ill-fated appointment by the American owners, who were themselves mired in debts and takeover bids. Hodgson failed to endear himself to Reds fans as well as players with his defensive tactics, and poor results dogged his short tenure. When John W. Henry became the new owner, Hodgson was duly removed.

7. Kenny Dalglish (2011 - 2012)

The club legend was persuaded to come back for a second managerial spell, primarily to steady the ship after a turbulent boardroom tussle. He did better than that, guiding the Reds to a League Cup triumph - their first trophy in six years. Despite the success, he was told to make way for a younger manager with the club eager to for long-term rebuilding.

8. Brendan Rodgers (2012 - 2015)

Only 39 when he took charge of the Reds, Rodgers was hailed as one of the best young managers in the English Premier League - tactically sound and able to get the best out of young talents. Those traits were in full bloom in the 2013-14 season when he guided the Reds to second spot, only losing out to Manchester City on the final day of the season. Yet as key players left the club in successive seasons, Rodgers was saddled with an uphill task of winning as as he was rebuilding. Ultimately, the losses piled up far too frequently and he was told to go on Sunday.