Gerard Houllier’s failure to end a barren run of now 14 years since Liverpool last won the championship has ultimately cost him his job at Anfield.
Houllier enjoyed some success at Anfield, which included the winning of five trophies in a heady six-month spell in 2001, but two seasons of under-achievement have forced the club to seek a change of direction.
Here, the Press Association looks at the managers who have tried to bring the title back to Liverpool since the last winner, Kenny Dalglish, resigned in 1991.
GRAEME SOUNESS – Souness arrived from Rangers and wanted to change everything yesterday. He had his own health problems, signed players of dubious quality and lasted three years.
He was considered out of step with the club’s traditions and his reign was fractious. It was during this period that United and Arsenal overtook Liverpool.
Commercially Liverpool took their eyes off the ball, and the mayhem of Souness’ period left them chasing rather than leading. Ian Rush complained about the fierce training routines, and harmony was sadly lacking at the club.
Souness’ first season saw them finish sixth, their worst finish since 1965.
Even Blackburn were ahead of them, under Dalglish’s command. In 1994, after treading on too many toes, Souness resigned.
Honours: FA Cup (1992)
ROY EVANS – Evans was hailed as the last of the ‘boot-room boys’ on his appointment as Liverpool looked for a return to the old ways. He lasted four years, winning only the League Cup.
He had made his playing debut in 1970 under Shankly, knew the requirements of loyalty, work ethic and passion for the cause at Anfield, but found modern-day players were on a different wavelength.
He bought trouble in Stan Collymore, and found more with the sometimes wayward lives off the pitch of several more of his young charges.
For four years, Liverpool never finished outside the top four under Evans, but were never really good enough to stop the Manchester United-Arsenal bandwagon.
Those two signed better players, maintained a European challenge and made more money to fund their dreams.
Liverpool, with fans who still believed in their divine right to success, floundered.
Honours: League Cup (1995)
GERARD HOULLIER – Houllier arrived to work with Evans as joint boss in the summer of 1998, finally taking over on his own in the November. Their partnership lasted 18 games before Evans resigned with Liverpool having won only four of 12 league games.
Houllier ripped apart the squad branded the ‘Spice Boys’ and installed a new level of discipline.
Paul Ince, Steve McManaman, Robbie Fowler, Jason McAteer, David James and Phil Babb all departed. In came a new breed of hungry, willing foreigners.
For much of Houllier’s time at Anfield, the improvements were obvious and trophies were won – but not the one everyone wanted, the league title.
After getting the club into the runners-up spot in 2001-02, Houllier looked to be on the verge of greatness.
But that dream has faded over the past two seasons with the club this year finishing 30 points behind champions Arsenal.
Houllier made some astute signings, but also some poor ones. His squad was not good enough to keep pace with the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United.
Honours: FA Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), UEFA Cup (2001), European Super Cup (2001), Charity Shield (2001).