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What are the reasons behind this Liverpool man’s departure?

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Although there has been no announcement on the official site as of yet (at the time of writing) with both the BBC and the Liverpool Echo confirming his departure, I think it is fairly certain that Assistant Manager Sammy Lee has parted company with the club.

A tremendous servant as both a player and coach, Sammy will be sorely missed by the players, with many of them praising the man in interviews since his return to the club in 2008 with Rafa Benitez. The most probable reason for his departure is that is role had been severely diminished by the arrival of Steve Clarke as First Team coach back in January, along with King Kenny in January.

Clarke has been integral to the Reds revival in the second half of last season, as his training sessions and defensive organisation has contributed to both the feel good feeling around the club and the results that went with it. It would be unsurprising if Clarke was given a swift promotion to the role of Assistant Manager as he has been previously at both West Ham and Chelsea.

To go back to Lee though, I don’t think you should underestimate the man’s coaching credentials. I doubt it was any coincidence that Lee was Assistant Manager when the Reds went so close to winning the title in the 2008/09 season and although much of the credit for the campaign should be given to Benitez, the partnership between the manager and assistant is crucial to get right if you are to have a successful season.

Many in the 2007/08 season felt Rafa had lost the plot slightly after losing his assistant Pako Ayestaran and the appointment of Lee at the time seemed to make little difference as the Reds finished 4th in the table. Still, the combination seemed to work well enough after that, and Sammy was said to be well loved by the players.

With Clarke and Dalglish said to be in so close communication about tactics though, something King Kenny has done in the past with the likes of Ray Harford at Blackburn, it was difficult to see where Lee would fit in. He still shouted out orders from the touchline last season, but it was patently clear that all of Dalglish’s conversations in the dugout were with Clarke, rather than Lee.

With all the facts not known, we shouldn’t speculate too much about the timing of his departure, but there are rumours circulating that Sammy will return to the dugout alongside Fat Sam at West Ham. With Neil McDonald already his assistant and Kevin Keen first team coach, this does seem a little unlikely at the moment though.

Whatever the facts of the matter, I wish Sammy good luck for the future; he has never been anything less than a great ambassador for Liverpool Football Club.

Written by David Tully for Live4Liverpool.com. Follow us on twitter @live4Liverpool or like us on Facebook

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