ACCORDING to reports, Brendan Rodgers has been sent for.
As a fan of Al Pacino, this reminds me of the film Donnie Brasco. If you haven’t seen it, and don’t understand the term in that context, a potted history is coming. If you have or are aware of Mafioso lexicon, feel free to skip a few paragraphs, I’ll be along in a minute.
The film tells the true life story of Joseph Pistone, an undercover FBI agent who, from 1976-1981, successfully infiltrated the Mafia and brought dozens of high end arrests. Adopting the pseudonym of ‘Donnie,’ he was befriended by and vouched for by Benjamin ‘Lefty Guns’ Ruggerio – a soldier/hitman for the Bonanno family.
At the end of the film with the deception revealed, Lefty (Pacino) is ‘sent for.’ Earlier, he explains that this involves a summons to a mandatory meeting by your immediate superior. Giving it a miss would involve a manhunt, ending in a grisly death. Attending it usually ends in ritualistic execution. There are few pluses in either scenario. Lefty sums it up thus: When they send for you, you go in alive, you come out dead, and it’s your best friend that does it.”
By the end of the film, Donnie has become his best friend, then his worst nightmare. Lefty expects a summons and one duly arrives. The final scene is heartbreaking. We see him take off his jewellery so at least his common law wife will have something to sell when he’s gone, kiss her goodbye and unemotionally leave his apartment for the final time. He has to pay for a unwitting breach of omerta. Someone always has to pay.
Brendan Rodgers has been sent for by FSG.
Okay, it’s a bit of leap from Mafioso murderer to Brendan Rodgers, but bearing in mind the fate of his predecessor in May 2012, he may have an uncomfortable night’s sleep ahead.
That isn’t to say, as some claim, that a sacking is inevitable. Annual appraisals are commonplace and no doubt Brendan attended a similar shindig last year, with his overloads lavishing him with praise, but the tone this time will be very, very different. Where he had delivered a second-place finish and a season nobody saw coming, he now has to talk about wasted millions, no trophies and, worst of all to the owners, the very real prospect of a top six rather than top-four finish.
The questions will be darker and much more critical.
It seems unlikely that he will go. FSG will not want to be seen to have backed the wrong horse and there’s still plenty of credit in the bank from 2013-14. While there will undoubtedly be more furrowed Bostonian brows, any punishment will likely be metered out by a restriction of his power rather than outright expulsion. After all, a fifth/sixth finish does not necessarily mean he won’t make a concerted attack on the league title next season.
Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool are usually unstable — either rampant or dormant — but many would have said the same when he led the club from seventh to second. Then again, two Cup finals were not enough to save Dalglish so there will always be speculation. The difference is that Rodgers is their man, their appointment and they have always been swayed by his hopes and dreams.
Businessmen like targets. They like KPIs, graphs and things they can measure. Each season will have a theme. The watchword of year on was ‘progress’. The second was madness, joyous, exhilarating and tragedy, so this term could easily be sold as a natural drop off giving the heights of 2014 — a levelling off of the first two seasons. The ‘meh’ season. A blip, albeit an expensive one.
Fenway would do well to analyse their own performance while they’re at it. The recruitment policy has been an absolute mess from start to finish, but they’ve been prepared to splash the cash. They knew they had a windfall coming when the Suarez circus left town and were unlucky not to have an extra £10-15m in the kitty, having hoped to spark a bidding war between the Spanish and Catalan giants.
Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder put paid to that and saw Madrid walk away, shaking their heads, so the fee began and ended at the release clause. That must have rankled with them. One of the greatest players in the world, yes — one hell of an asset — but a PR nightmare waiting to happen. This wasn’t new to them. They’d had similar problems in their own sport with Manny Ramirez and his sour departure from the Red Sox. Manny was more of a puncher than a biter, but an equal pain in the arse.
They were willing to spend to replace Suarez. Alexis Sanchez and Barcelona were offered a sizeable sum but the lad wasn’t playing ball (for us, at any rate). These things happen. Bob Paisley couldn’t persuade the Laudrup family to bring Michael in and we were a much bigger deal back then. FSG were forced to proceed to Plan B.
There was no Plan B. We ended up with Rickie Lambert (hardly an FSG choice), Mario Balotelli (hardly a Brendan choice if his public slatings are anything to go by) and the return of Fabio Borini (nobody’s choice). If the owners want to point the finger at Brendan, he could quite rightly point to the lack of a marquee signing (that he actually wanted) in the forward line.
FSG could equally state that the money was there, but it was spent on unimaginative signings — his signings — who he himself refused to play for half of the season. This is a failing on all fronts, not just the manager’s.
If the Crystal Palace defeat forced the owners to launch a root and branch investigation of the club, the semi-final may be the final word. FSG are, by their own admission, not football men so let’s hope they don’t understand the lop-sidedness of that starting 11. By preferred role, then…
Midfielder Centre Back Centre Back
Midfielder Midfielder Midfielder Midfielder Full Back
Midfielder Midfielder Midfielder
And this is with Ibe cup-tied.
Seven midfielders starting. Ten tackles, five fouls. No strikers until the second half and one of those brought on to turn the game in injury time.
How did Liverpool come to this in 11 months? How the near mighty have fallen. It’s not just the manager though. No one comes out of this with anything resembling credit.
But will FSG view themselves as equally culpable? They should do. If the Southampton signings were Brendan’s folly, what about the transfer committee’s deals, even with Brendan’s veto? Hardly glowing.
Emre Can may be the darling of the Reds but he is yet to be trusted in his preferred role. Why, exactly? He only found himself in a back three because we’d either tried everyone else or bombed out other candidates altogether.
Blame may be apportioned, rightly or wrongly, in either direction but only one party has the power to sack the other. Signings are one thing but the deployment of the players is the manager’s sole responsibility and this season has seen makeshift full backs, a refusal to play the strikers, an embarrassing European campaign and a season with few highs.
Yes, we lost Suarez but that was always going to happen at some point. Yes, we lost Sturridge but injury-prone players get injured. We all love a bit of madness at times but changing your formation twice in your season-saving game and still losing to a lower to mid-table team is pretty damning. Maybe not worthy of a sacking in some eyes, but deserving of a formidable bollocking.
I don’t think this season spells the end for Brendan. For a start there is no obvious replacement. Klopp can love Liverpool all he wants but there will be plenty of Champions League teams requiring his services, so who are the owners’ likely candidates? Rafa comes with baggage, maybe Koeman but who else? Given the make-up and philosophy of the owners there is always Eddie Howe and Garry Monk. Would they be an upgrade? If they are they’re unlikely ones.
2 – Liverpool have failed to progress for only the second time in their last 10 FA Cup semi-finals. Shocked.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 19, 2015
Brendan thinks there is nobody better to lead the club. Admirable chutzpah or further evidence of a Walter Mitty syndrome? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
What we don’t need is the ‘will they/won’t they’ days that followed the 2012 FA Cup final. FSG have to emphatically state that Brendan is their man or have reams of evidence that his replacement is the man to move us on. Umming and ahhing gets us nowhere.
What is necessary are six massive performances on the pitch. A statement to take to the owners, to all of us. Maybe even some brave decisions. The players are letting Liverpool down; the manager is letting Liverpool down. the owners are letting Liverpool down and in-house bickering — something this club excels at — gets us nowhere, so let’s at least end this miserable season on a high. Maybe even play some players in their preferred places. Throw in the odd tackle. That sort of thing.
This is also a time for a young lad to pound on the manager’s door, point at the first team and say ‘I can do better than them. Now it’s my time’. I’d love to see that. Something ballsy to counteract the absolute apology we saw on Sunday.
Liverpool need to be brave now. Liverpool need to stop fighting, blaming each other and sitting in factions, fighting a war of attrition with its own custodians. Be it change or the same order, Liverpool need to get around a table and decide what needs to be done now, not later.
Listen: TAW Unwrapped: The Manager Question
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The tactical genius comment was unfortunate, he could’ve been cleverer but he didn’t mean anything much by that so the outrage was a bit over the top
But didn’t like him dumbing down expectations with the being on par comment, contradicts everything he said at the start of the season with buying players who are hungry and ready to challenge for the title, win a trophy, blah blah. Dare I say a bit Hodgson to talk the club down to cover for himself.
I don’t understand the “won’t sack him but restrict his power” part. So he has no say in transfers now? Doesn’t that just make it even worse? If it doesn’t work out next season then there’s even more ammunition for him to complain to the press and he’s done enough of that this season
Something’s gotta give with the TC and him, I can’t see how the current setup continues unless FSG are stupid
It’s an interesting one. There is another angle to this that as fans we are maybe too close to the club to see.
My assessment is that the press and others in football outside LFC rate Rodgers quite highly. Ignoring how much of his standing is earned and how much is smoke and mirrors, I think it’s the case that whilst there are plenty of LFC fans who think of him as damaged goods, that is not a perception shared in the wider football world.
Last season’s achievements are tainted for us by the ultimate, heartbreaking failure to win the title. To a dispassionate observer it was a monumental achievement to take our team from 7th to 2nd and in the process play one of the most exhilarating brands of football the EPL has seen, including summary dispatching of teams with far greater resources that we have. Rodgers got the very best out of Suarez in a season which started with him being made to train in the reserves, and has unquestionably been central to the development of some of the country’s brightest, youngest stars. This season will be seen by many as nothing more than a natural correction especially in light of Suarez’s departure, Rodgers’ main striker’s injuries and Gerrard’s dwindling influence. Put it this way: if Rodgers comes on the market in the summer, I don’t think he’ll have too many problems getting another job, and a pretty high-profile one at that.
If FSG do decide to neuter Rodgers’ power in any way, they shouldn’t rule out the possibility of his telling them to fuck right off. If in the meantime Klopp rolls up at City, Madrid, Milan or anywhere else other than LFC, FSG could find themselves consulting 2012’s managerial shortlist.
Loads of my non-Liverpool football fans have been mocking him for a long time in front of me even after last season, calling him a bullshit artist and all that. I don’t subscribe to all that but he really doesn’t help himself at times when he talks
There’s a time to just flat bat one or let it go through to the keeper but he has to just keep saying things that end up working against him.
Yes, I should have clarified that I don’t think his stock is as high in the eyes of opposition fans, but even that tends not to be for football reasons. It’s to do with the Brent-isms, etc..
He does sometimes come out with stuff I rather he wouldn’t, but for a guy who has only been managing at the top level for 3 years I think he could be cut a but more slack than he is. It’s not as if he’s coming out with stuff that is disgracing the club, or owt.
Definitely for football reasons now, been a laughing stock for them this season…
And here’s the point: should the Liverpool Football Club have a manager who is still green in quite a few areas and still learning his trade? It’d be fine if we are absolutely nowhere and need a rebuild, but if we can get better and a more seasoned manager then we should. But even suggesting we should be after Klopp seems to rile so many Liverpool fans for some reason
We must know different people, Dora. I know there are LFC fans who regard fifth and two semis as under-achievement, but the idea that opposition fans would regard a manager who delivers that level of performance as a “laughing stock” is one I find difficult to believe.
Are you sure you’re not projecting?
And Dora, there’s an inherent contradiction in your criticisms of Rodgers and championing of Klopp. You insist on the one hand that Rodgers cannot possibly be right for a club of our stature and heritage, yet you advocate the hire of a (very good) manager whose success has come turning a German also-ran with limited budget into champions. However fantastic an achievement that was, Klopp’s experience of working with one of the world’s biggest football brands (one that is too big for Rodgers, apparently), is zero. If you’re consistent, you ought to be suggesting Ancelotti, not a guy who has never worked with a club of Liverpool’s standing in world football, not a guy who has only ever spent more than 15mill on a player once in his managerial career.
As I say, these aren’t my arguments against bringing in Klopp; they’re your own…assuming you’re being consistent about not wanting a manager of LFC who is still learning on the job. Such a minimum criterion gives you about half-a-dozen managers globally to choose from, and Klopp isn’t one of them.
Well that’s your problem dora, maybe it’s you that they are mocking. Any rival fans I know worry very much about facing an in form Rodgers team. Don’t be letting your own inadequacies blind you to the good work Brendan has done.
Save your snide personal digs, big man. Just because you are the blinkered one doesn’t mean the rest of the world is
We’ve been the laughing stock, particularly the manager, since we spent 120 mil and started worse than Hodgson. I am sure they’re quaking in their boots facing us right now. Maybe you’re the problem and not anyone else if you can’t get your head outta your ass enough to see the world
Well is was bumptious at best given his press briefings: i.e. he told the press he was a tactical genius and they printed it. I like Brendan, but he really doesn’t help himself sometimes.
My reading of his comments was that he was saying that press had been calling him tactical genius a couple of months ago, they were now questioning whether he should keep his job, and he didn’t pay much attention either way.
This wasn’t Brendan calling himself a tactical genius. I don’t think Brendan is a modest man, but he is not as shameless as that.
No, my point was that he gave a series of interviews in which he portrayed himself as a tactical genius so shouldn’t be surprised when they print the story: it’s called briefing.
He still has the power of veto on transfers so they could assess his Southampton signings and restrict that veto.
Then it’d just be the same ol’ crap, if those players he has no say in signing or not signing don’t perform or he doesn’t play them (he has a history of not playing some committee signings), then if we do poorly in the league he’ll yet again shift the blame to the TC for enforcing a transfer policy or players he doesn’t want on him
Either give him full control or make him be happy not to have it, latter is probably never possible. So if you give him the former, can you trust him with the cash? If they can’t (which is why they have the TC), then he shouldn’t be manager, coz it’s a waste of Rodgers’ time the club’s time and everyone’s time
Yes, time to circle wagons.
I also agree with the basic point that now is the time to have players playing in the positions they were bought for. However, you can defend the selection against Villa simply on the basis this was the team (barring Gerrard for Lallana) and formation that beat City. It wasn’t the absurd punt that some have retrospectively tried to paint it. I certainly wasn’t sitting there at 5-to-3 on Sunday thinking ‘the boss has blown it’. If others were, kudos to them.
Likewise, but I think the frustration comes from his having abandoned the formation and won a game earlier in the week. Players are flexible, but there’s only so much information they can take on board. Having said that, we could have played W-M and still lost: the players just didn’t show up on the day.
Yep, I get that. One criticism that could be justifiably made of Rodgers is that he does over-analyse things sometimes with the result that he tries to be too clever. You can almost see him in his office scheming for the semi-final as he contemplates reverting to 3-4-3:
“There’s no way those Brummie bastards will be expecting this!”
Yes, and there’s a reason for that, Brendan: it’s because it’s totally fucking unnecessary.
Ha! I suspect it was a little different. More that he wasn’t prepared to give up on the formation yet despite it’s being exposed by United and Arsenal. I can see why too, we were horribly open at times against Newcastle: like last season without the goal threat. The three has made us look more solid but it’s still a work in progress, and it works a lot better with Sakho in it.
And it was Aston Villa, a EPL team in form, not Crawley Town.
We have American corporate customers who are data driven. Decisions are always based on data and there’s little room for sentimentality in US business culture. Last year’s gains are ignored very often. The curve is expected to be upwards. I fully expect Brendan to go if there is any further slip up between now and the end of the season. He may already be fighting to secure his tenure by trying to capitalise on the English press’s good will towards him.
FSG are data drive, I am sure. They will know Chelsea’s rapid turnover of managers has yielded outstanding results. Sure, they will know the investment has been massive in player recruitment, but they’ll also know the affect managers have. They won’t be sentimental at all.
If revenue is at stake, potential investors wobbling because of the team’s performance this season he’ll go.
A loss to Hull at the weekend and the temperature will go up another notch. I don’t expect the lads to lose because they’ll be playing for pride.
The best thing Rogers can do is to beat Chelsea in the run in as part of a strong showing.
“A loss to Hull at the weekend and the temperature will go up another notch”
I suspect it will, because we’re at West Brom.
If revenue is at stake, potential investors wobbling because of the team’s performance this season he’ll go.
Considering the drop in revenue from missing CL next year, I’d say his position is Pretty tenuous.
‘They will know Chelsea’s rapid turnover of managers has yielded outstanding results’.
But it hasn’t. If they’d kept either Mourinho or Carlo on they’d have won more trophies. They’ve wasted time and money in the interim.
when BR faces the music out in Boston in a few weeks when the dust has settled on this car crash of a season They won’t have a clue what he is on about when he says I’ve played full backs in midfield , midfielders at centre half , forwards at wing back and Brad Jones you can just see Werner an Big John looking bemused and scratching their heads ,BR will baffle them with bullshit and get another go .
My opinion is that Brendan is a “dead man walking”. His only chance to survive is CL qualification and that’s not likely.
FSG will look at the failure in the two European competitions and no qualification as abysmal failure and I think will want to move on. Failure at the semi stage in the 2 cup comps will just be seen as confirmation of failure on all fronts.
I think our owners have a lot more intelligence than most or our fans. Thanfully.
I didn’t find a place for it in the piece but if anyone’s curious the real Lefty was intercepted by the FBI in the way to his meeting. He died in jail years later.
Thanks for that Karl,I was starting to panic.I mean the very thought of him being called to Boston just to be shot had me wanting to retract every criticism I’d ever harboured about him.
But he’s just going be jailed you say? Well, that’s alright then isn’t it?
Love this genre. Carlito’s Way, Miller’s Crossing and the rest.
‘The Untouchables’ is the reason I broke up with my first serious girlfriend. I loved it when it first came out (not so keen now) and after making her watch the video for the 3rd time she went into a rant about how crap it was. I knew then she wasn’t the girl for me.
Totally agree with the last part..LFC must win the next 5 or 6 games…the attitude of the team will be under scrutiny & will also give us an idea of who really cares about playing for LFC..if we lose 3 or more then I think it’s reasonable to ask questions of Rodgers ability to take us to a higher level…we have some fine talent in the under 21’s…Wilson, Yesil, Kent, Rossiter, Williams or Sinclair…the thing is when do we give them a chance….?? After Sunday anyone who puts in a shift should get it….the list of players who should not get a chance is growing…Johnson, Enriqué…I could go on…Stevie should take Carra’s exa
Klopp at anfield next season ? FORGETTABOUTIT! as usual great piece Karl btw Donnie Brasco: My Undercover Life in the Mafia best mafia book i’ve read
Ha!, yes much better than the film,
I wander if Brendan survives will he be driving around with a big tiger or was it lion sticking out of his porsche, and Pascoe will be teasing him, Brenno thought He was gonna get whacked!
State of Grace, King Of New York, American Me, Crime Inc- 70’s ITV series on the Mafia, Cocaine Cowboys… some more slept on titles.
Love the book. Apart from the rat bit.
loved all them, cc was brilliant you know there was a follow up? cc2 good too try thief (violent steets) with james caan sorry boys karl started it
Yeah Have seen Thief, also liked fairly recent mini series Thief. Caan was also in the Gambler original version, much better. seen CC 2 yes, the Godmother, she didn’t play. American Gangster?
Kinda leads on to movie about Gary Web, ‘Kill The Messenger’ only average though) journo who uncovered CIA,s links to introducing Base rock Cocaine into Oakland through Freeway Rick to fund Contra’s in Nicaragua.
Nice to go off topic, Liverpool this, Liverpool that, blah, blah…
Nice article here. The team is a mess at the moment. I obviously dearly hope the lads will beat West Brom this weekend but this is all so painful. It’s deja vu but only from a few months ago. The nice run in the middle of the season seems like a mirage now. The team feels the way it did back in October, when I wouldn’t have backed them to beat a secondary school team.
I agree with Jon Buscall above; FSG won’t blink if they think he has to go. I am worried about the team long term, though… if they replace BR with someone else but insist on this Transfer Committee rubbish… they’ll be missing one of their central problems.
I think the decision is probably a lot simpler than people think.
(Maybe) Sound Klopp out, he says no, decision made. Rodgers stays. Move along.
I’d be intrigued to hear alternative scenarios.
I doubt it will be predicated on Klopp’s availability, tbh.
Has Brendan met the targets set for him at start of season? If NO, then goodbye.
Could be as simple as that.
Has Brendan met the targets set for him at start of season? If NO, then goodbye.
There were three targets, at least that Brendan mentioned publicly. He failed to meet any of them.
Someone looking at things holistically (and sensibly) will realise Liverpool’s failures are not all down to Rodgers. Ok, he was slow to change what was a losing system but the reality is this –
This season has been wank because we failed in the summer.
There are more people at the club as well as Rodgers who have to share the blame for that and I’m sure FSG will be well aware of that.
Yeah, get Klopp if we can. Anything else is just knee jerk.
That’s just the thing. I’m all for giving BR another year, even though I don’t believe in him, if we can’t get Klopp. But any one that thinks BR is a better manager is bonkers. Regardless of the manager debate, this summer will really show FSG’s true ambitions. Are they satisfied with Europa League? Will they nut up and do what’s required to make CL consistently?
I would be surprised if the decision is based on whether the season’s targets have been met or not. If FSG’s business model just looks at year on year targets, then it doesn’t really makes sense to have given him an improved 4 year contract last year – unless of course, there were pages and pages of performance related clauses in the conract.
You do realize what happens if we don’t finish in the top 4, right? The balance sheet takes a huge hit because of no CL money. It also confirms to any possible big names, whether young or established, that BR still isn’t ready for prime-time.
And replace him with whom? That’s the question that until answered makes his dismissal highly unlikely. Personally, I think they would replace him with Klopp but under NO circumstances would they replace him with someone like Gary Monk. It’d be like saying Borini’s not good enough we should get Jozy Altidore instead (and pay up £15m in contract fee’s on top).
Bearing in mind Rodgers has proved himself to be a good manager, a replacement would have to be much better. I can’t think of any other fit after Klopp who would work within our policies, is available, would come to us and is noticeably better than Rodgers.
Let’s not forget Rodgers hasn’t been as bad as some like to say. He’s not a manager who’s at the end of the road. He’s 1/3 to be manager next season for a reason. William Hill has Klopp at 10/1, then the obligatory Rafa at 10’s then De Boer and Koeman at 14’s and 16’s respectively. Next in line is Harry Redknapp, Carragher and Gerrard all at less than 20’s. Without a credible replacement then they won’t sack him. He doesn’t deserve it either. Either Rodgers or Klopp will be manager next season and I’ll make no secret of the fact I’m 100% confident it’ll be Rodgers.
Sacking a manager is not a magic wand to success!
After all, a fifth/sixth finish does not necessarily mean he won’t make a concerted attack on the league title next season.
So who is the Suarez-esque figure we’re bringing in? Is Origi going to turn into another Suarez right away?
Businessmen like targets.
And FSG set three of them, that I’m aware of. Brendan failed to meet any of the three. We didn’t make the last 16 of the Champions League, which we would have made if we could beat Basel at home. It’s doubtful, unless City suffers a massive choke job, of making CL next year, which was the 2nd goal. The third goal was winning a trophy, any trophy this year. And we all know how that went.
They knew they had a windfall coming when the Suarez circus left town and were unlucky not to have an extra £10-15m in the kitty, having hoped to spark a bidding war between the Spanish and Catalan giants.
And we would have spent it how?
I don’t think this season spells the end for Brendan. For a start there is no obvious replacement. Klopp can love Liverpool all he wants but there will be plenty of Champions League teams requiring his services, so who are the owners’ likely candidates?
What squads will have openings? Ancelotti saved his job this week. Will City go for Klopp or wait a year for Pep? Italy is the only other likely place. Why would he go to Milan or Inter right now? They’re both farther away than we are.
we are going to become Newcastle or West Brom with fans shouting for the manager to be sacked every year.
Too many of our fans lack ‘Perspective’ mate.
Because we want a manager held accountable for failing to meet set standards?
No, because you don’t see the bigger picture.
Which is that we’re falling further behind?
So what do we do? Close our eyes and tap our heels together three times and hope we win the league? No, we deal with the issues that are making us fall further behind. There’s a bigger picture than saying ‘sack the manager’ or ‘we’re falling further behind’. If we don’t deal with those then we’ll be sacking managers every 3 years. A perpetual cycle of hope, realisation and disappointment.
P.s If we can get better then I’m all in favour of sacking a manager at any time. What I’m not into is – we didn’t make our goals so sack the boss. Was he given the tools is a good place to start looking for answers and if you can’t find any then look no further than the mirror.
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. All I’m saying is that Rodgers should not get a free pass. If I was king, Klopp would be here as soon as the season ends. So I hope FSG does what is necessary because I believe Klopp would come here if FSG met his demands. It would also show FSG’s true ambitions. If Klopp doesn’t come here, for what ever reason, I’m all for giving Rodgers until Christmas. LFC needs to finish in the top 4 next year. Who would get knocked out? My guess is City, since they’ll likely have a lot of turnover this summer. Realize that all this driven by Klopp being available. If he wasn’t available, I wouldn’t be making the case that Rodgers has failed. I’d be disappointed, certainly. But who else is out there? Frank de Boer? I’m not as keen on him as some others here.
That’s fair enough mate. I think a lot of people are excited about the potential of Klopp coming. I’d be excited because I think he alone could attract players. My point is simply I don’t like scapegoats. Doesn’t work for me because it doesn’t get to the heart of the fundamental problems and if you don’t get to the heart of them then they get repeated.
Colin Pascoe on the phone to Boston, Tom Werner:’He’s gone, he’s gone, We couldn’t do nothing about it, that’s that’
Pascoe crying, kicks phone box, turns to Mike Marsh, ‘they whacked him they fucking whacked him, I can’t fucking believe it’
“Rafa rafael rafa rafael rafa rafael rafael Benitez”
Brenden has only ever won a playoff final in his career, he has no league legacy or European pedigree to call upon. If FSG want to make the top 4 or challenge in Europe over the next couple of years then Rafa is the man.
This is a big 6 games for Rodgers !! He has to win at least 5 and hope his bum chum Jose has already won the league by then and on klopp he would be a great choice if BR gets the chop as he will get the kop going an he knows the German league inside out he could bring in some top-class players ie Ruis but that would be a ask ?
Great article by the way.
The Villa debacle was depressing on many levels. The most obvious truth is that the players underperformed or “didn’t turn up” to use football parlance. Who’s responsible for that? The players. Who’s accountable for that? The Manager. Maybe the players’ and Manager’s confidence were dented by badly implemented plans against the Mancs and the Arse, but our players and team are better than the Villa (they weren’t on that day) – and it’s the Manager’s job to convince the players to believe that and then go out there and smash them. Tinkering with formations can (not always) undermine confidence further. Last season we blasted teams away, typically inside 30 minutes, before their counterparts had even contemplated tinkering to react. The Villa players (inspired by a cocky passionate and sometimes deluded Manager) grabbed the opportunity and the impetus before we could – most embodied by Delph. Gerrard used to do that, often it seemed in every game. Last season, Suarez ignited that – Sturridge, Sterling, Henderson and even Gerrard followed. It seems this season, the players’ confidence has to collectively click into gear before we can repeat last year in single performances. The personal confidence of Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling is too fragile to rely on – unlike Suarez, Gerrard and Carragher previously. But everything I am describing can be affected by one person – the Manager. Perhaps the Mafia interrogation needs to be focused on his ability to inspire a fragile group of players to believe in themselves, not his tactical smartness. You can’t necessarily address the former through the latter. It’s becoming clear who was inspiring the team last year against the big boys. Looking round the dressing room must’ve achieved more than “listening up”.
A strong finish is crucial for confidence all round.