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Rodgers learning lessons, but still far from rosy

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AS Brendan Rodgers was driving the forty minutes from Melwood to his home last night, basking in a good victory for the Redmen, he must have felt a tinge of satisfaction.

Rodgers has been accused of not learning lessons, and indeed these lessons seem to be taking time to sink in. His transfer decisions criticised, his tactical nous and flexibility questioned and analysed time and time again.

He may have chosen to reflect on how he, Ian Ayre and FSG have managed to rob Inter Milan of what appears to be the crime of the century. £8m for a player having made more of an impact in a handful of games than Oscar at Chelsea in his entire first season, who was signed for nearly three times the fee of Coutinho.

Or he may have chosen to reflect on how on earth he managed to motivate what looked like an average bunch of players in Jose Enrique, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson into players who look worthy of a Liverpool shirt.

He may have thought about the movement of Raheem Sterling who having been rested for what seems an eternity, came on and didn’t look out of place, twisting and turning, making fantastic runs and creating issues for the Villa defence when Liverpool were trying to do something akin to the death by football we hear about ad nauseam; Rodgers management of such a raw talent seeming to pay dividends, his philosophy showing on the pitch.

Or he may be relieved that he’s only four points off where Liverpool finished last season with seven games to go and 21 points still to play for.

He’s also turned around the lack of goals. Liverpool now sit joint top of the goals tally this season, yet 8th on the defensive list; a stat that highlights the issue which has been Liverpool’s via crucis this season, a fact simply not good enough for players of the quality and experience in Liverpool’s back line.

Yet it’s not all rosy for Rodgers…far from it.

It would seem when big strong centre-forwards such as Benteke or Lukaku come to town, Liverpool fall apart and they nearly did again at Villa Park on Sunday; Liverpool doing enough to scrape through what was a gutsy win in the end.

Brendan knows the defence is an issue and he’s already stated it’s an area that will be addressed in the summer. He also knows that part of the system he plays means that the defence are at times exposed depending on how the midfield functions on any given Sunday.
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As Rodgers contemplates his midfield conundrum, he would be justified in looking at the defensive midfielder position. Personally I like Lucas Leiva as a man, but I’m still to be convinced he’s good enough for Liverpool. He’s had one good season and in my view that wave of good feeling towards Lucas is slowly coming to an end. Currently Lucas sits 139th in the Premiership this season for clearances and has contributed one assist so far in the campaign.

Lucas needs to finish this season strong, having been a shadow of the player he was before his injury, Rodgers would be foolish to overlook the need for both competition and competence in the defensive midfield. Lucas is known by many inside Liverpool for his disciple like following of Rodgers’ philosophy and ethic when it comes to football, but as a lover of statistics and match facts Rodgers will be well aware of the issues and risks of not addressing that position in the summer.

Rodgers will know that bringing in players able enough to compete in England won’t be easy either.

Even Nuri Sahin, the former Bundesliga player of the year could not get a look in under Rodgers; the same Sahin shining again for Dortmund, the same Sahin who looked out of place at Liverpool. Maybe it was the physicality and pace of English football; Lewis Holtby for Tottenham hasn’t got a look in lately for Spurs. Holtby let’s not forget was one of the most highly rated players on the market.

With players like Dede, Wanyama, Strootman, Eriksen, Alonso and more all linked to Liverpool, Rodgers would be hard pressed to say he didn’t have the options in the summer. The talent out there is vast as it is packed with quality.

It should be in no doubt, that this summer is huge not only for the manager, but FSG as an ownership. Will they back their boy? Will they compete with the best clubs in Europe for players as Ian Ayre said we can do? Will Rodgers want the right type of player? Will the transfer committee overrule Rodgers and sign players he doesn’t rate as happened with Assaidi?

Either way, there is a lot of work to do in terms of bringing in the quality needed for Liverpool to compete in the Champions League places, there’s a lot of hard fought battles ahead at both boardroom and in player transfer discussions with other clubs and agents. There’s also the no laughing matter of West Ham coming to town this Sunday.

With this season drawing to an exciting close for the European places Rodgers would do well to approach each game like it’s his last at Liverpool. Rodgers needs Liverpool to finish strong, the fans need to go into next season with belief, his team needs confidence and belief that it can compete.

Lucas said in an interview lately that belief is an issue for the Redmen, even when Rafa was there he said the lad’s found it difficult to believe they could win the league. Jan Molby replied that belief at times was the difference being achieving titles and winning nothing.

As Rodgers approaches these final seven games, one thing is for certain, there’s still some hope left in Liverpool just now – it’s his job to keep that hope alive.

Follow me on Twitter @JohnRitchie84
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Lifelong LFC fan from Edinburgh, now living in Wales. I fell in love with Liverpool seeing the amazing team of the late 80's. My favorite player is a strong tie between Sammi Hyypia & Xabi Alonso with Dietmar Hamman coming a close third. Senior marketer by day, father and husband by night. A passion for booze, boats and all things good in life. My proudest achievement is somehow convincing my wife to marry me and creating my beautiful daughter.

59 comments
  • fotheringham says:

    Nonsense . My 5 year old learns faster than Rodgers .

    If Allen was fit yesterday . He would have played as usual and the excellent hendo would have been sub

    And with Allen overrun in midfield .ee would have lost.

    Rodgers is clueless . And beating a very very poor villa team is nothing to go on about

    And while you drivel on about how he has improved downing and Henderson . Why not try for once being balanced….and pointing out how he has turned excellent players like Skrtel , Agger ,Lucas and Johnson into poor performers

    ..but you wouldn’t do that ….cos you are totally biased

    • Fj says:

      Stay on the MU fan sites will you please troll.

    • wes says:

      fotheringham, please shut your ignorant mouth. if you cant see we (liverpool) are improving then you must be watching a different game on match day. the only one really playing bad is skrtel who cant adapt from his hoof it style to a passing game. otherwise most of the guys are turning it around. allen will be great for liverpool. you were probably on lucas and hendo’s case when they were playing for their first seasons. so just give it time and support the team.BR is making a great team look at his new signings, he knows what he is doing. if you dont want to get behind the team, go support the toffes

      • bob says:

        I thing you must be a bluenose to talk that much rubbish

        yes look at his signings – Allen borini assaidi sahin – rodgers is totally inept

        there is no progress ,it’s just biased uneducated kids like you imagine there is

      • Vickers says:

        You go support someone else you little blert. You are mad and stupid

      • Tommy says:

        Wes ? Are you 6 years old ? Try going to watch the matches instead of the highlights on tv. You don’t know much

    • Matt says:

      Judging by that comment fotheringham it wouldn’t be a surprise that your five year old is smarter than you.

    • Liam says:

      Well said fotheringam

    • daboy says:

      If your 5 yr old brother learns faster than Rodgers then he must be at least 50 times smarter than you.

  • Olsen says:

    Rogers does NOT learn . He is our worst manager ever. Simply clueless

    • wes says:

      i would rather come 4th than get league cup. you must be blind or very stupid if you cant see us improving all the time. so shut it please

      • bob says:

        news flash Wes !!!!!!

        we aren’t going to finish 4th or 5th

        you must be very stupid . try thinking before commenting please

    • John Ritchie says:

      Did you watch us when we were 19th under Hodgson?

  • jermain Jackson says:

    Best part of this article is the final realisiation that Lucas is not good enough for Liverpool and has to a replaced i will welcome that day

  • jermain Jackson says:

    Best part of this article is the final realisiation that Lucas is not good enough for Liverpool and has to betreplaced i will welcome that day

  • gazlfc says:

    He is doing better than kenny so shut ye pie holes

    • redrum says:

      Silly kids ! Don’t you know anything ?.

      Remember last year ? Wembley ?? 3 times ? A trophy ?

      Beating Chelsea 3 times. Man u. And all the top sides ???
      Remember any of that ??

      Kop on kid

      • wes says:

        how much did we spend?
        how many goals did we score?
        where did we end up in the league?

        so do you really think last season was better?

        • bob says:

          yes . last season was way better.

          whats liverpool all about ? getting to finals and winning trophies or struggling to finish 6th ?

          • anthony says:

            Your’re a first class idiot! yes struggling to finish 6th compared to last season struggling to finish 8th is better. And seriously,shut up about winning the carling cup we needed a) penalties and b) them to miss for us to win. And who was this mighty team who took dalglishes all conquering title winning team – sarcasm, to penalties ah yes the champions league winning cardiff again sarcasm . Next point since january liverpool have been the 3rd best team in the league-rewind to january last year we were bottom 3 also it takes a while to get used to a new style of play. 3rd point having ago at rodgers signings……ok lets start dalglish 20mil downing – true value 6mil hendersen true value 10mil cost 20mil carroll cost 35mil – worth 10mil max coates 7mil-i think value 4mil enrique 5mil -value8 mil suarez 23mil now worth 65mil. Onto rodgers assaidi 3mil -worth 3mil good player whenever played. allen 15mil value 7mil borini 12mil value 4mil coutinho 8mil value 25mil going by chelsea’s purchase of oscar at 25mil coutinho has the same impact in 200mins as oscar does in 25 games sturridge 12mil value 12mil hard to fully judge yet could be a 20mil plus player if he continues like he has so far.

      • Matt says:

        Yes beating a championship side on penalties to win the milk cup is really something to gloat about.

      • daboy says:

        Mickey mouse cup you mean and losing to nearly all the clubs around the relegation zone yeah Kenny was nothin but a failure get on with ya life.

  • gazlfc says:

    We want the league he is here for the long haul get with it or turn blue

    • bob says:

      the man who has never won a trophy in his life. who was fired by reading because he is useless .you think that man will win us e league ???

      this isn’t a fairytale lad . wake up and try reality sometime

    • Tommy says:

      Rodgers win the league ? Ha ha ha . Funny.

  • gazlfc says:

    I say again go and be a blue then

    • bob says:

      liverpool doesn’t need silly little kids like you pretending to be fans. liverpool is about winning. with your attitude you are a loser all day

      • anthony says:

        Also who the !#$! do you think you are,calling people who have a different opinion to you silly little kids you fat tit.

  • David Tobin says:

    Rodgers is not learning. He is not improving the side.

    Yes .we are getting good at putting the poor sides away , with one of the world’s best in Suarez that’s to be expected

    But against the good teams , Rodger fails. He id tactically naive and can’t organise a defence to save his life

    No. Rodgers should be let go at end of season

  • Makx says:

    We r improving ok, jst wait nd c bt if u tink we r nt then u r a schmuck nd should go somewhere else. Hav u eva seen sometin beautiful witout a bad beginning? YNWA

    • Vickers says:

      Lol . We aren’t improving. If u think we are your a schmuck and should go somewhere else

      • Makx says:

        We r building a team dat wil continue winning nt d team dat wil win nd neva win again. Go ask man city hw it feels Schmuck. Support ur club thru thick nd thin ok bt r u really a redman cos u sound like blue schmuck¤

      • anthony says:

        Don’t ever tell someone who you don’t agree with to go support someone else you cheeky !#$#

  • David Tobin says:

    No improvement here boys . U must be fans of a different club . Rodgers is not the man for us

    • Morgan says:

      For what its worth I think Dalglish should have been given more time, but having sacked him (defo as result of Suarez/Evra situation btw) I can’t deny the football for me is better. And tbh even though the owners have trimmed the budget and run light of a top 4 squad this season, I think the club (club mind u) is fast moving in the right direction and I think the first team squad is on the road to getting fixed. I’m no fan of foreign ownership – but PL football is the most sought after in the world and it takes BIG money to compete now. I believe the Americans are learning the game fast (and if we’re honest with ourselves we know they can’t be total mugs). Cards on the table from me, I think this 20m budget is a ‘levyesk’ bluff, I also think I lfc will net spend near double that this summer and that if they don’t they will leave; because these guy’s business modle to make money is inexorably linked with CL football without it the house of cards falls in. I also think they know that if they get it right they are sitting on a potential gold mine owning one of only 8 true globally supported clubs in world football which (if they get back to CL winning ways could be hawked for a lot more than they paid for it to the right Arab). Of course it repulses me that they want to sell and make loads of money off lfc but to do that they need sustainable CL football (and that’s good enough for me). I don’t know where we will finish next season but i do think we’ll half the points gap between this seasons pl champions and next seasons pl winners, playing some nice stuff along the way. In my book that is progress

      • Liam says:

        Blind faith.and no reason for it. If it was rafa or mourinho or hiddink then yea .maybe.
        But not this irish championship manager who spends 33m on total ce@p last summer

  • Tommy says:

    Rodgers continual favourtism and stubborness in picking Allen shows me he is not learning

    I don’t think he ever will. He is not a top manager. Suarez will leave and we will be 6th or 7th again next season

    We are wasting our time and money on Rodgers . He is not delivering and he never will

    • Morgan says:

      Calm down Tommy lad, stubbornness is not necessarily a negative characteristic, Rafa could dig his heals in; old red nose refused to do bbc interviews for years, and king kenny is more stubborn than they all (probably what got him the sack!) Those three won trophies in spades between then once they got going, so it can’t be that bad a trait. As for Suarez going and Rogers never delivering, well if UTD can loose their star player I suppose any team can. Time will tell if Rogers is going to deliver, what I will say is this for me the style of football we are playing is befitting a team the stature of Liverpool football club. I also think it’s right and desirable that we bring youth players through – they are more likely to understand and feel affinity with the community than only having 22/23 big money career footballers on the books; not everyone needs to have been a boyhood fan but not having any of our own is not good, I don’t think it’s healthy the soul of any club. Since Christmas we’ve started to find the onion bag smashing most of the weaker teams and going in the right direction against those in the CL spots. The thing is we can’t afford to change managers like our socks it costs a tump of money and it hinders continuity so love him or loth him I think we need to stick NOT twist when it comes to the incumbent, and having been at some of our famous wins down the years if we can get behind our manager then we might be pleasantly surprised at what we can achieve together. C’mon the redmen

      • Liam says:

        Morgan your talking nonsense .football doesn’t work like that.
        You get a good manager he wins games- you keep him
        You get a poor manager – he doesnt win games – you can’t afford to jeep him

        Rodgers is useless. He has won nothing achieved nothing. Signed rubbish. He is not good
        Wake up .having patience does not mean he will bring success

  • Liam says:

    Quite a few Rodgers apologizers on here today. I’m presuming a lot of it is one guy multi-posting. This one guy is saying the exact same things under different names. Childish really

  • terry says:

    BR didn’t do anything to deserve the Liverpool managers job , and does not deserve any more time
    He has been found out. If he is given 50 years he still won’t bring any success

  • realistic says:

    Fooooooolzzzzz

    Rodgers is a complete failure

    We will waste years on this no hoper and then we will have to start again

    Mid table mediocrity for next two years

    Get used to it . Deluded idiots

  • Eds says:

    I think Rodgers has done exceptionally well. I am surprised at how people degrade him in these forums. He only needs five points from a total 21 remaining points to equal Dalglish’s premiership performance last season. The team is the second best scoring team in the league, which is an accomplishment considering how we have struggled to score goals since Torres left for Chelsea. This he has accomplished with a very thin squad mostly consisting of junior players and has spent much less than the 50m that KD spent half of on Carroll. While we can give most of the credit for scoring goals to Suarez, Gerrard’s brilliance(and most recently Coutinho, Henderson), some of that has to go to BR for introducing the kind of play that allows these players to flourish. Lay off BR and give him a chance, no one was born great, all the great managers had humble beginnings from which they were able to rise and achieve great things. While I may be wrong, I believe Rodgers is the man for the job and he will prove all the naysayers wrong soon.

    • Morgan says:

      Good comment Eds, you want to watch that mind doesn’t go down to well here common sense – like a french kiss in a family reunion. Some of these posters cant be watching the match, they are suspended in an LFC version of Ashes to Ashes where Liverpool managers are sacked if they don’t win the league every May – WAKEY WAKEY! Programmes finished now lads. Up the Redmen

  • Dan says:

    Rodgers has to go. He is all talk but no success. Totally useless .another dreadful season next if we don’t bin him

  • Niall says:

    Rodgers is just a fat irish barman . He wont achieve anything

  • liverbaby says:

    Rodgers does not learn , surely his incessant selection of the useless Allen and Borini are testament to that

    Henderson being left out and his ridiculous system that has destroyed our defence shows Rodgers to be a very second rate manager

  • Craig says:

    Loads of haters on here. Especially laim, he just says the same thing ” he’s won nothing, you dont understand football and sack him. Even when the people above post thought out well informed comments. I think rodgers will sort out the defence in the summer and suarez will stay, alonso would be a dream cum true.
    Oh and laim, its not one person posting multi comments its just more fans with common sense.

  • Terry Mac says:

    Rodgers is an abomination of a manager. Should not get a job at any premier team let alone a giant club like Liverpool

    Reading had the right idea. They realized Rodgers is just spoofer

Comments are closed.