Liverpool should appoint former Chelsea boss to succeed Klopp: Grobbelaar

Former goalkeeper confident Conor Bradley can be first teamer

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar was speaking in association with Carlsberg 0.0 ©INPHO/James Crombie (©INPHO/James Crombie/©INPHO/James Crombie)

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar has suggested the Reds should appoint one-time Chelsea boss Graham Potter as successor to Jurgen Klopp in the summer.

The man who made more than 600 appearances for the Reds was known for his eccentricity on the pitch and he went in a different direction than pointing at Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso or Brighton manager Roberto de Zerbi.

“For me, I’d say Graham Potter. What he did at Brighton, he had to mould young players, get them into the first team, manage that type of environment.

“He’d be very fitting to come to Liverpool because we’ve got some great youngsters and he could use them and carry on the legacy that Klopp has left.”

Graham Potter was not afforded time at Chelsea
Graham Potter was not afforded time at Chelsea (Martin Rickett/PA)

Potter had a torrid time when he went to Chelsea from Brighton, ending up with the sack last April, but Grobbelaar said Anfield would be a more comfortable environment for the 48-year-old:

“Chelsea is another entity, it’s a different dynamic. We [Liverpool] are a family side, we value everybody in Liverpool Football Club – when you’re brought in you are part of the family. It’s very different at other clubs.

“If he comes in to work with these kids I think he’d be welcomed royally.”

Virgil van Dijk says Liverpool’s hierarchy have big job to replace Jurgen Klopp

‘Brucie G’ did not discount former Reds midfielder Alonso, who has his side atop the Bundesliga, saying: “Xabi Alonso has done a marvellous job there in Germany. I know that he’s going to be inundated with telephone calls asking him if he is the next one.”

However, he did rule out one man who has won Champions Leagues with Real Madrid: “You look at all the managers around, people are throwing names into the hat, like Zinedine Zidane. Zidane managed a team that was always there, he never developed any players.”

Jurgen Klopp embraces Conor Bradley
Jurgen Klopp embraces Conor Bradley (Bradley Collyer/PA)

One of the young players who has caught the eye for Liverpool is Northern Ireland international Conor Bradley, named ‘man of the match’ in Sunday’s 5-2 FA Cup win over Norwich City.

Grobbelaar is confident that the Aghyaran lad can play in the same team as established right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the latter going into midfield – as evidenced against the Canaries:

“We showcased it – Trent came into midfield and we left Conor Bradley on the right. Actually they inter-changed quite quickly in roles – Trent would fill in on the right side and Conor would go up in the right wing-back position.

“I don’t think there’s a problem with young Bradley, I think he’s a fantastic young player. He hasn’t done anything wrong; the only blemish he had was in the Fulham [League Cup semi-final] game when they boy went round him for their goal. He’s done very, very well.”

Jurgen Klopp expects same attitude from Liverpool players after shock exit news

Grobbelaar is not concerned that Klopp’s announcement of his departure at the end of this season will have an adverse effect on the Liverpool players, regarding managerial chance as part of football:

“Bob Paisley signed me – and then he left. Our next manager was Joe Fagan, then he left because of what happened in Heysel.

“King Kenny [Dalglish] took over and when he told us it was going, it was a blow. Ronnie Moran took over for two games and then Graeme Souness came in.

“It hurts when you’re a player when it happens, but you have to go out on the pitch and do your very best for them.”

Indeed the 66-year-old argued that the timing of Klopp’s statement allows the players to respond in a positive manner:

“He’s told us in the middle of the season that he’s going at the end of the season so let’s go out and show what character they’ve got as players. If they are going to be staying it’ll be because they’re part of Liverpool Football Club.

“Managers come and go, players come and go, but the club will always be there. Nobody is bigger than the club.

“I think it will motivate them tremendously well for the rest of the season… We’ve got half a season and we’re still in all the cups so we’ve got a lot to play for.

“Let’s go out with a big bang, make sure that this season we play every single game. We’ve done it before [in 2021-22] but we missed out on two trophies. We can do it and pick up two more trophies than we did before.”

* Grobbelaar was speaking in association with Carlsberg 0.0 ahead of this week’s meeting of Liverpool and Chelsea, the fixture that has produced the most 0-0 draws in Premier League history.