During Liverpool’s 131 years, there has been a plethora of managers, good and bad, who have come through the club. Many of these managers have been past players and have done very well. However not all of them have have enjoyed success and silverware. Below is a table showing all of Liverpool’s managers dating all the way back to 1892, when Liverpool FC was founded.
List of Liverpool FC Managers
|Managers||Time in Charge||Games Managed||Win %|
|Jürgen Klopp||2015 to Present||433||60%|
|Brendan Rodgers||2012 to 2015||166||51%|
|Kenny Dalglish||2011 to 2012||74||47%|
|Roy Hodgson||2010 to 2011||31||42%|
|Rafael Benitez||2004 to 2010||350||55%|
|Gerard Houllier||1998 to 2004||307||52%|
|Roy Evans, Gerrard Houllier||1998 to 1998||18||39%|
|Roy Evans||1994 to 1998||226||52%|
|Graeme Souness||1991 to 1994||157||42%|
|Kenny Dalglish||1985 to 1991||307||61%|
|Joe Fagan||1983 to 1985||131||54%|
|Bob Paisley||1974 to 1983||535||58%|
|Bill Shankly||1959 to 1974||783||52%|
|Phil Taylor||1956 to 1959||150||51%|
|Don Welsh||1951 to 1956||232||35%|
|George Kay||1936 to 1951||357||40%|
|George Patterson||1928 to 1936||366||37%|
|Matt McQueen||1923 to 1928||229||41%|
|David Ashworth||1919 to 1923||139||50%|
|Tom Watson||1896 to 1915||742||44%|
|William Edward Barclay, John McKenna||1892 to 1896||127||60%|
Liverpool’s Most Successful Managers
There are many ways to describe a successful manager in football. Some people look at how many games a manager has won (compared to how many they’ve lost!), while others will look at their collection of trophies. Either way, it is clear that a manager’s success is determined by multiple factors.
Bill Shankly: Longest Serving Manager
Over the years Liverpool have had some very long-serving managers with three of them reaching over 500 games for the club. However, the manager who managed the club for the most games was Bill Shankly. Shankly managed the club between 1st December, 1959 and 12th July, 1974. Spending an impressive 15 years at the club, the Liverpool legend managed 783 games, winning 407 of them and losing only 178 games.
When Shankly arrived at the club the Reds were in Division Two after being relegated five years earlier in the 1953/54 season. It took Shankly just three full seasons to get Liverpool back to the First Division where they have stayed ever since. After winning the Division Two title and getting promoted in the 1961/62 season, Shankly did not take long to make his mark in the top flight. After an eighth-place finish in his first season in the top tier of English football, Shankly went on to lead his team to a title in his second season in the First Division. In the 1963/64 season, Liverpool won their first Championship title since the 1946/47 season and proved they were a team to be taken seriously.
After his early success at the club, Bill Shankly went on to lead Liverpool to many more trophies, including an FA Cup win the very next season after winning his first title. Overall, Shankly led the Reds to three league titles, one FA Cup, three Community Shields, and one European Cup.
Bob Paisley: Trophies Galore
For Liverpool, the manager with the most trophies is Bob Paisley who won an astonishing 20 trophies while in charge of Liverpool FC. While Paisley was the manager of the Reds he led the club to six Division One titles, six Community Shields, three EFL Cups, three European Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, and finally one UEFA Cup. This means that of the trophies he could possibly win, he only missed out on three of them: the FA Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup (a forerunner of the Club World Cup).
Bob Paisley is regarded by many fans as the most successful manager Liverpool has ever had due to his long nine years in charge and the number of trophies he won as a manager. He technically won more than two trophies every season for Liverpool on average. Something that no Liverpool manager has been able to do since.
Jürgen Klopp: Time for Greatness
Liverpool’s current manager, Jürgen Klopp, is already a fan favourite, and for good reason. Since Liverpool’s dominance in the 1980s, they have since struggled to rediscover that same form again and have been through many managers trying to find it. In October 2015, manager Brendan Rogers stepped down as manager of Liverpool FC and surprised many fans by doing so. Because of this, Liverpool had to find a manager to lead them for the rest of the season and the future. The manager hired was former Borussia Dortmund boss Jürgen Klopp. Since his arrival on 8th October, 2015, Klopp has dramatically reformed Liverpool and reestablished them as one of the most formidable teams in the world.
So far, after 433 games in charge, Klopp has managed to win 260 of them, leading Liverpool to a league title in 2020 in the process – their first since 1990. So far Klopp has led Liverpool to seven trophies, including the Champions League, the Super Cup, the Club World Cup, the FA Cup, the EFL Cup, the Community Shield and, of course, the Premier League title. A large majority of fans regard him as one of Liverpool’s greatest managers and believe if he can keep winning trophies with the club he may even go down as the greatest in LFC history.
Other fans look at success as how many games a manager won compared to how many they played while they were in charge – in other words, their win rate. If that is the case then it comes down to a very close three-horse race between past managers: William Edward Barclay and John McKenna (co-managers), Kenny Dalglish, and current manager, Jürgen Klopp.
William Barclay & John McKenna vs Jürgen Klopp
Many people never really look at William Barclay and John McKenna in this conversation, as they were not managing at the same level as Dalglish and Klopp and it was too early in Liverpool’s life for anyone to remember it these days. However, as co-managers, the pair still maintained a win percentage of around 60%, which is no mean feat. At the time of writing (the end of the 2022/23 season), Klopp currently has the same percentage with 60% but can still improve upon this as he is the current Liverpool manager.
Many fans feel it is inevitable that he will eventually take over the number one spot from the current leader on that metric, Kenny Dalglish. Dalglish has had two spells in charge of the club with his first being the more successful with an excellent 61% win rate. Dalglish was in charge between 1985 and 1991 when he was a player-manager for the club. He led the team to the league title and FA Cup (the domestic double) in his first season in charge.
Dalglish won a total of nine trophies during his six-year reign at the club. Dalglish managed 307 games while at the club, winning 187 of them which allowed him to achieve his impressive win rate. It is not surprising that because of his success as both a player and a manager, King Kenny has gone down as an all-time legend for Liverpool.