In our book about last season I discussed mad results. That mad results were a thing these days. It was in the context of Spurs 0 Liverpool 5. Villas Boas got sacked after that game. Rightly.
My argument was that some sides have mad results in their DNA and others don’t. That United lose 1-6 to City and Ferguson ensured it never happened again. But Arsenal started to collect these results, losing 8-2 a few years back to United and losing 6-3, 5-1 and whatever Chelsea did to them last season. I’ve had a drink here. Doing what I can.
These results, I said, should make any manager’s position untenable. That happens, you lose like that, there needs to be consequences.
There needs to be consequences. Were this March and we were second I’d be arguing this kind of thing was untenable. If there aren’t going to be consequences then you have to be completely certain.
For me there would be consequences. Here and now, driving away from the Britannia, there should be consequences.
This is heartbreaking. Rodgers has had happen to him what happened to good men Benitez and Houllier. He’s had it at 100 mph. Come in, got settled, got playing, nearly won the league, wheels fallen off.
We can talk about how and why but…
In fact let’s talk about how and why because how and why are part of how this happens. For the last week I’ve been thinking about the end of season thing we tend to do. The end of season thing reviewing a manager and a season. Liverpool Football Club find themselves where they are because they decided not to try and win the league but because they decided to just come fourth. They decided that fourth would do. They came second and then felt they could consolidate backwards.
Football clubs are like sharks. They have to move forward or they die. And what we have on our hands here…
This isn’t just Brendan Rodgers’s fault. This in fact isn’t Brendan Rodgers’s fault at all. This is a dreadful strategic move, something grey bearded when impetuosity had won the day. Long-term planning in opposition to footballing reality. You should always press home any advantage. You should always move forward. Look at Stoke first half today. Look at Chelsea last summer. Always move forward.
It was a backward step when a football team had done what it had done with a mentality of no backward steps. A mentality embedded by Liverpool’s manager — Brendan Rodgers. You play and you play and you play. You never take a backward step.
Liverpool made three or four of them and it was compounded when Sturridge’s leg fell off. Suddenly a manager laughing his head off at Spurs was knocked sideways. Liverpool had had all the jokes and left themselves with a kitchen sink drama by mid September.
And yet, I was going to say, there was more than enough credit in the bank. There had been swashbuckling last season and some problem solving this. There had been a reality realigned last and one reimposed this. There had been more hope, more buzz, more bounce than I’d ever seen this city have last season. And there was flatness this.
But there was credit in the bank. Having credit in the bank is a thing. An important thing. Having set fire to this mad place with too much expectation and too little money, having said you should never accept the reality, having said you, we can all do it, having had a football team in his image doing that, he had credit in the bank.
But then, 6-1 at Stoke. 6-1 at Stoke.
Regardless of this, of these words written as we pull away from Stoke it needs to be done tonight. Either way. Staying or going let’s circle some wagons and focus back on what needs to be focused on. Winning the league at all costs. Unrelenting effort towards doing that one thing. Do whatever has to be done tonight. Do the next thing immediately.
There are two things here. Two things are untenable. One is losing 6-1 at Stoke. Absolutely untenable. The other is not trying, not straining every sinew, not needing to win the league title more than anything in the world. From top to bottom. In everything you do. Everything you need. Everything you are. Making those sacrifices as a football club.
You know I need you more than I want you.
And I want you for all time.
You know that. You feel that. You know I need you more than want you. You know I want you for all time. Is that the case in Chapel Street? Is that the case in Boston? Sacrificing everything? Because we will sacrifice everything. Sacrifice everything.
Me, I’d give the manager a little cuddle. I’d give him a little kiss. I’d pat his cheek. I’d say all the best. I’d go for a sing song with him. Because while there should be consequences those consequences shouldn’t be celebrated other than in the right way. A cuddle, a kiss and all the best. You came closer than anyone else. You came the closest. Let’s do some karaoke.
All the best, mate.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo