AS the dust settles on another weekend of Premier League football, Liverpool again sit back and think ‘how did we not win that?’ Yet another game goes by in which the boys in Red boss, get sucker punched and then drag themselves to a point.
The issues in the team at present are obvious for all to see, in that we are distinctly toothless up top and despite giving the opposition a dam good gumming (behave), we are not getting what we deserve.
In fact I have come up with a medical name for this phenomenon, ‘Suarez Aside, Goal Shyness’ or SAGS for short. Is this the only issue though? I have sensed levels of discontent with some sections of support that run deeper than our SAGS.
Paying homage to a 90’s film classic (maybe classic is pushing it somewhat), I want to present two arguments, a yin and yang if you will, as we approach what is probably the most important month for on the field matters in recent LFC history. I hope this can stimulate debate, allow people to pick a point of view as it were or perhaps present a third argument. Here goes…diddly do diddly do diddly do (Waynes World anyone? I’m 90’s film crazy today, so much so this piece may be Titanic….ahem…sorry!)
Boooo! Rodgers No
Different weekend same story, this Liverpool side is becoming sadly predictable. We keep the ball and keep the ball but offer nothing to show for our dominance. Newcastle score with their first shot of the game, is that the fourth or fifth time this has happened this year? We then struggle to really open them up until about 10 minutes to go and even then we don’t have the composed finishers of our rivals, god (Him or Fowler) help us if Suarez is injured or banned.
We are Liverpool Football Club, and the start to the season is unacceptable, as is our place in the league. FSG gambled with an inexperienced manager and that gamble hasn’t paid off. We have seen our squad trimmed and the reinforcements barely cover in numbers what we have lost, let alone building the squad. Rodgers signings are at best questionable and he has failed to inspire the established stars to leave their rut of under-performance.
January is massive for the club, it is clear the squad is paper thin as a whole and an established goal-scorer is as essential as fish with chips, but after what we have seen to date can Rodgers really be the man? Can he be trusted with such a huge responsibility that January requires? No, changes need to happen now, an established manager needs to be installed to give the opportunity to assess the squad and place a rocket up FSG collective bottoms.
Rafa is the obvious choice, loves the club and has the pedigree, but in recent days there has been the rumour of a declaration from Guardiola that not only is he ready to manage again but he fancies England. He carries not only the pedigree, but delivers the beautiful game as his Barcelona side have shown. Is Rodgers a bad manager? No, but is he ready for such a big job? No. We are Liverpool Football Club, we are a club that the best arrive at to become legend, we are not a club that uses stabilisers on the metaphorical bicycle that is management. So surely this must be a case of thanks, but no thanks Brendan, welcome home Pep.
Whilst it is hard to argue against the paper evidence of our league position or our form there is an element of level-headedness needed in turbulent times like this. In our history is our current situation acceptable? No, but this isn’t the right question. Is it understandable? Unfortunately yes.
A brief history lesson shows us that we essentially came within a Macheda-fluke of a title, but instead of investing Rafa was forced to haggle and wheel-deal, seeing the loss of Alonso, the peeing-off of messrs Torres and Mascherano and the replacements fail spectacularly leading to an unsurprising mid table finish. His sacking (something I was against, yet was much called for, and probably by those now wanting him back), heralded the arrival of Hodgson instead of the fan demanded King.
Now Roy isn’t a bad manager, and of teams of a certain level he can overachieve (do England fall into this? haha) but his tenure saw awful players coming in, awful performances matched by awful results, yet we did get rid of the cowboys and the debt. The King finally came home but was he the owner choice or did they simply bow to fan pressure? Who knows. What we do know is that the King wasn’t given enough time to turn it around. His signings struggled yet I amongst others retained faith in him and was upset and dismayed at his dismissal. The club then welcomed Rodgers.
Now in such a short amount of time we have seen four managers, all with very different takes on the game so the club has lacked any sort of stability. Rodgers is the man FSG chose and backed to a point. There has been an improvement on the pitch in performance and what he has managed to achieve with such a young squad is amazing really and has only lacked the results. Whilst Borini has struggled (let’s not forget it took Rush over a year to score his FIRST) both Allen and Sahin have impressed and with the trust placed in the likes of Suso and Sterling surely Rodgers should be offered time? Would a change in management actually help or simply put us at point zero again?
He was let down by FSG in the summer which should result in financial backing in January, and with a man with a set philosophy and a strong belief in what he is doing then time is needed. The clubs success was built on a base of stability, Shankly rode the rocky road, building the club up and then it was passed down in house, as why fix something that ain’t broke?
Stability is key to thrive in this world. The players have clearly bought into Rodgers philosophy but currently lack the final pieces of the puzzle to turn in-game dominance into goals but this can be addressed and it should be Rodgers to finish his own puzzle.
There you go. I have (hopefully) presented two tangible arguments to the same situation. Personally I am a firm believer in the latter argument, the club needs stability and Rodgers needs support in the transfer window. We are close, we are bossing matches and creating chances but lacking that final aspect that can get us those 3 points on a regular basis. We are frustrated after Sunday, yet Sterling once and Shelvey three times spring to mind for opportunities that should have been converted. The time to worry is when these chances aren’t made. Patience, realism and stability is what’s needed, but hey that’s my opinion…..what is yours?
I’m on twitter @timdibs so come find me, and also PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE open this link and sign up, football pales into insignificance compared to this Lady.