After yesterday’s defeat to Crystal Palace this is clear. How can this be fixed? The answer of course, is a matter of opinion but with each game, each poor performance, with each poor team selection, with each press conference I think Brendan Rodgers is providing the answer.
It’s becoming obvious that last season for Rodgers, was little more than a matter of being in the right place at the right time. A flash in the pan. The team has no confidence, no direction and as a result is falling down the league quicker than the proverbial whore’s draws! Yesterday’s performance was for about 75 of the 90 minutes, completely and utterly woeful. It confirmed just how far out of his depth Rodgers is right now.
In his post-match interview with the BBC Rodgers complained that “…we failed to manage the game at one nil…” A fair assessment. One he made after the same fixture last season that many would argue – myself included – cost the team the league. Also fair is that he has to “take responsibility”. Liverpool started with seven players that he has brought into the club. His responsibility is to target players who he feels CAN manage a game. The fact he’s brought them in would indicate that he feels they can. The fact that they clearly can’t indicates he’s made a serious error of judgement. Repeatedly.
The LFC File hinted over the last couple of days that the club’s owners may be looking to Jurgen Klopp to take over and this would make sense. I believe the situation Rodgers finds himself in, challenging in four competitions and not having the coaching time points to another significant shortcoming akin to his transfer dealings. His inexperience. In Klopp Liverpool would have a manager who has that experience. Who can manage a club that doesn’t have the resources of say, Chelsea, Bayern Munich or Manchester United. He also ability in another area in which Rodgers is apparently overrated.
At Dortmund they have demonstrated a genuine ability to identify, recruit and develop young players through their Nachwachs-Akademie (Youth Academy, basically). A system that can be implemented at Liverpool. Kevin Großkreutz, Marcel Schmelzer, Mario Götze and not to mention Reds target Marco Reus have all come through the BVB Academy. For me, Rodgers got lucky with Sterling. He has obviously missed not a trick but at least three others. Namely Andre Wisdom (21), Jordan Ibe (18) and Jordan Rossiter (17). Only the latter has featured for Liverpool this season. One appearance, one goal and then left on the bench. Great! Wisdom on loan at West Bromwich Albion and Ibe plying his trade with Championship side Derby County. Not great development. Especially when one considers Rodgers has spent around £40m on players for their positions that in the main haven’t performed. All three of those lads need to play and more importantly, play for Liverpool. I don’t believe there’s enough courage to push them forward. Derby County, with all due respect to them are no preparation for playing for LFC in my opinion.
It is indeed a sorry state of affairs at Liverpool right now. As much as I’ve supported Rodgers up to now, it’ll take a monumental effort for him to turn things round. Personally the loaning out of players the club needs and throwing huge sums away on players like Lazar Marković have changed my view. This is a stance I’ve maintained since the summer. Frankly, if the team is going to recruit another striker the Ex-Swansea man should be made to sell first but I don’t see this happening.
The manager is making the classic, classic fatal mistakes. Sticking with out of form players such as Dejan Lovren, Mario Balotelli and Steven Gerrard to name but three. Whilst Emre Can, Mamadou Sakho – a player whom I do not believe is injured – and Alberto Moreno all capable and hungry players are being chopped and changed without acceptable reason.
Now is the time for Rodgers to show what he’s made off. One Sir Alex Ferguson was in a very similar position early on in his Manchester United tenure. Everybody including the Scot himself new if he’d lost that game, in the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest he’d be gone. They won 2-1 and the rest as they say, is history. Thing is, I don’t see any more parallels between Ferguson and Rodgers.
I believe Rodgers will be given time. There is an element of luck which has been missing and the team are still in two cups. Those three things are his greatest allies right now. His biggest ally, the fan base, is currently in the fence. Results will dictate which side that falls on.
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