FENWAY Sports Group should review Brendan Rodgers’ position at the end of the season. I know some people are going to say give him time, he’s building a young, competitive squad that should be challenging for trophies in the very near future and that we are not a club for changing managers like a revolving door.
But I ask you all this…has he improved us since last season?
I would have to say no! He lacks tactical knowledge in the league, especially since we still haven’t beaten anyone above us in the table, barring Swansea Reserves (the table doesn’t lie) and in Europe.
Brendan didn’t take the Carling Cup or FA Cup seriously. His team selections against Swansea and Oldham cost Liverpool massively. I know people make mistakes, but the thing for me is that the same mistakes are happening and we are not learning from them.
Just look at the defeats against Villa, Stoke, Oldham, West Brom and even the draw against Everton; we couldn’t handle strong physical centre-forwards. How do the team prepare for those types of games in training if we haven’t got that type of player within the squad?
We take big strides forward but then go backwards – being an LFC fan at the moment is like being on a rollercoaster.
It’s all good trying to play passing football within a 4-3-3 setup but when our backs are up against the wall we need to have a different option i.e. 4-4-2 or even 4-2-3-1 to try and mix it up.
The team now lacks metal in midfield and has a weak winning mentality. If we don’t score first and concede, the team buckles under pressure which was evident against Zenit last Thursday night, and last Monday v West Brom.
We need someone who is able to instil a positive and winning mentality not just in domestic games but in Europe, and someone who has done it before – ‘got the t-shirt’, so to speak. You may think I’m mad mentioning Rafa Benitez, but look at the bigger picture. Four years ago we gave Real Madrid a footballing lesson in their own backyard and we were fighting for the Premier League title with Manchester United.
I know people are going to say he took us as far as he could, poor signings etc. but Rafa was our ‘Special One’ – 2 Champions League Finals in 3 years is a great achievement, masterminding victories over Inter Milan home and away, the amazing Chelsea victories in the league and in Europe (don’t forget we were the first team to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in four and a half years, they were 44 games unbeaten at home)…the list is endless.
Yes, some signings were questionable, but he gave us Reina, Xabi Alonso, Garcia, Mascherano and Torres, amongst others who were the spine of a top team. Who knows what would of happened if were able to keep hold of Alonso, Torres and Mascherano. What if Rafa was able to buy Silva or Mata like he wanted? Sorry but Allen (£15m), Borini (£12m) or Adam are not a patch on what we had.
Fast forward to 2013 and we are 26 points off the pace at the top, 9 points off the coveted Champions League place and 3 points behind rivals Everton (who have a game in hand) with 11 games to go. We’re also on the verge of getting knocked out in Europe barring a miracle tomorrow. Clinging onto this season’s competition by their fingernails after the 2-0 defeat to Zenit, and placed seventh in the Premier League, it could be a while before the passports are taken from the top drawer again.
Liverpool failed to retain their heads. The ability to keep the ball extolled so enthusiastically by all at the club was missing once more. Much like the Arsenal game a few weeks ago, the second goal was inevitable following the first. In a league game, giving away two goals is galling; in a two-legged European tie, it can quicken elimination.
How the dogged experience of Dirk Kuyt or Maxi Rodriguez would have been welcomed on a sticky pitch engulfed by an intimidating atmosphere. That the likes of Sterling, Allen and Jordan Henderson will have gained experience of such an evening is one of the only positives to take for Liverpool. Even Kuyt, Maxi, Gerrard and Jamie Carragher had to start somewhere.
We had one of the best midfields in Europe, now we lack the experience and steel to strike fear into the opposition. The midfield 3 was so easily knocked off the ball.
Anfield was once a fortress, now teams aren’t scared; they are buoyed by our home.
Roy Hodgson and King Kenny were dismissed for not taking the club to the next level. I admit under Roy his signings of Poulsen and Konchesky were not Liverpool standard and the football played was so lacklustre we could have been scrapping to stay in the league.
Look at Kenny. He came in half-way through the season after Roy got the chop but he knew what was lacking within the team and helped us finish the season strong. Last year was a poor finish in the league but we reached two cup finals and should have won both of them. He even ensured we had European football for this season by winning the Carling Cup. The fans thought we were on the up.
This season is worse I’m afraid. Look at the evidence from 2009 onwards…is this progress?
SEASON POINTS TALLY
2011: (FSG arrive) 58
2013: On course for 53
Sooner or later Rodgers is going to need to show the qualities of a top class manager but sadly I don’t think he has them. He has never managed a team with such as a glorious history as Liverpool. Just look at his time at Reading and Watford (won only 2 out of 11 games), he has only ever had a 30% win rate as a manager – is this good enough for Liverpool Football Club?
Compare that to Rafa’s win percentage of 56 % as LFC boss think it speaks volumes of just how lucky we were to have him as manager.
When Brendan arrived at Swansea the ground work on how the team was going to play was already in practice by Roberto Martinez and Paulo Sousa – he just helped it along. Even Michael Laudrup has taken Swansea to another level this season. An example of this is us getting played off the park by them in the Carling Cup. Their passing and fluent game play is a joy to watch when they have their full team out.
Of course the players have to take some of the responsibility, but the buck stops with the manager as he picks the players and tells them how to play. Pretty ironic that Warriors slogan is ‘We Come Not to Play’
FSG appointed their own man in Brendan Rodgers but surely discussions need to take place before LFC becomes a truly average club and disappears off the football map. At the end of the day LFC is, and should be, one of football’s greatest institutions.
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