However, he remained actively involved in football, taking up a position as club ambassador in 2009 in addition to a role at the Reds' Academy.
"Kenny might not have been a manager for a long time but he certainly hadn't been out of the game," McManaman told liverpoolfc.tv.
"I spoke to him before he got the job in January and his knowledge of football around Europe was fantastic. He was the logical choice for me - other candidates were not good enough or big enough to manage Liverpool Football Club.
"It's a huge club and it needs a huge manager. Kenny is the right man and despite all the advances in technology and sports science, there's still room for an old school manager.
"Kenny got the team playing. It was great to see and I really hope it's the start of a new era. People talk about cycles and Liverpool are on the way back up.
"It's hard to say what's realistic next season as there's a lot of business to be done before the action starts. But with another three or four new faces Liverpool should certainly be challenging for the top four."