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Barnes, King Kenny and Keegan - the Liverpool legends who went into management

Steven Gerrard is set to become the latest former Liverpool star to try his luck as a manager.

The ex-captain has reportedly agreed a three-year deal to take charge of Rangers, after honing his skills as a youth coach at Anfield since January 2017.

The 37-year-old is following a number of distinguished Reds to pitch up in the dugout after retiring from playing. Some have met with plenty of success; others have found life a little more difficult.

Here, we take a look at the managerial exploits of some of the most famous Liverpool greats...


John Toshack

Starting out at the age of 29 with Swansea City, Toshack's lengthy managerial career took him all across Europe - and beyond.

The Welshman had two spells in charge of Real Madrid - where he won LaLiga first time around - and three at Real Sociedad, while also taking in stints in Portugal (Sporting CP), France (Saint-Etienne), Italy (Catania) and Turkey (Besiktas).

Toshack, who formed a little-and-large strike partnership with Kevin Keegan during his playing days at Anfield during the 1970s, was also manager of Wales on two separate occasions. The first lasted just 47 days but the second spanned six years.

Considering he applied to take charge of Cameroon in April, it appears the 69-year-old still has hunger to carry on coaching.


Kevin Keegan

Keegan was tempted back from a life in Spain by Newcastle United, the club where he had finished his playing career.

In less than three years, Keegan took the Magpies from the brink of dropping into the third tier to the upper echelons of the Premier League. Yet his spell at St James' Park failed to yield a trophy, with Newcastle blowing a double-digit lead in 1995-96 as their manager endured a public meltdown on live television.

There was a short and successful reign at Fulham, whom he left to take over the England job. Yet his time with the national team was marked by a failure to get beyond the group stages at Euro 2000, while his tenure ended after a 1-0 loss to Germany in the final game to be played at the old Wembley.

Keegan had better results at Manchester City, leading them to promotion from Division One during a four-year stint. After initially retiring from football management, he once again answered Newcastle's call in 2008. The relationship ended poorly, though, with the club legend resigning over the transfer policy before winning a case for constructive dismissal.


Kenny Dalglish

Already loved by Liverpool fans for his displays on the field, Dalglish stepped up to become the club's player-manager in 1985. The Scot secured the league and FA Cup double in his first season and, after hanging up his boots, he led the Reds to two more league titles before sensationally resigning in February 1991.

He took over at second-tier Blackburn Rovers later the same year. Backed by owner Jack Walker's millions, Dalglish secured immediate promotion and, in their third season in the top flight, clinched Premier League glory.

Yet management has not been so kind to Dalglish since that title triumph. He filled director of football roles at Rovers and Celtic (more on that later), but the decision to follow in Keegan's footsteps proved tough at Newcastle.

While Dalglish did win the League Cup in 2012, and also lost the FA Cup final that same year, his second spell as Liverpool boss was never going to live up to the first. Having finished a disappointing eighth in the league, the Glaswegian was shown the door.


Graeme Souness

Like former team-mate Dalglish, Souness started out as a player-manager. Rangers matched his ambition in the transfer market, allowing the former Sampdoria midfielder to overhaul the squad, and they overtook Celtic to become the dominant force in Scottish football.

Replacing Dalglish at Liverpool was always going to be a tough ask, though. While he did win the FA Cup in 1992, a failure to compete at the top end of the Premier League led to his departure in January 1994.

Souness returned to management over a year later with Galatasaray, where he won the Turkish Cup, before a season at Southampton. Stints abroad with Torino and Benfica followed, but Souness had better success at Blackburn, including guiding them back to the Premier League. 

He left Ewood Park in 2004 to join Newcastle United, where he spent big with little success during his 18-month tenure. Now comfortably settled into a punditry role with Sky Sports, the Scot seems unlikely to give management another go.


John Barnes

Like Gerrard, Liverpool legend Barnes decided to begin life as a manager in Scotland back in 1999, taking over a team who were stuck in the shadows of their neighbours.

Yet the dream partnership of Barnes as head coach and Dalglish as director of football did not last long at Celtic. A shock cup defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle - leading to the famous headline "Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic Are Atrocious" - saw the former sacked and while the latter took the reins, he was gone too at the end of the season.

Barnes' next job came with the Jamaica national team in 2008, though he left that post to take charge at Tranmere Rovers. The move back into club management was a disaster, however, and he was fired after just two wins in 11 league games.


Sami Hyypia

Recruited at the start of Gerard Houllier’s revolution, Hyypia was a cornerstone of the Liverpool defence for the majority of the decade he spent on Merseyside.

After a spell as caretaker manager at Bayer Leverkusen, he combined with Sascha Lewandowski to steer the club to third place at the end of the 2012-13 season. Placed in sole charge, Hyypia failed to see out the following campaign, losing his job in April 2014 after a run of one win in 12 games.

Ambitious Brighton and Hove Albion handed him a three-year contract but the relationship did not last long, as Hyypia was shown the door with the team stuck in the Championship relegation zone after just six months at the helm. 

His last job was at FC Zurich, who he led to the cup final. However, he was sacked before the end of his first season there too, with the 12-time Swiss champions facing the drop.