LIVERPOOL AND BRENDAN RODGERS: THE BIG QUESTIONS ANSWERED #1 | The Anfield Wrap

Football - FA Premier League - Liverpool FC v Norwich City FCTHE WALLS are closing on Brendan Rodgers. Most bookies make him 6-4 favourite to be the first Premier League manager sacked and, however you pitch it, Liverpool’s recent performances and results simply haven’t been good enough. The Reds’ record since losing at Anfield to Manchester United in March is P18 W5 D5 L8. And those wins were chalked up against Newcastle, QPR, Stoke, Bournemouth and Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup. Further, 18 times in the past 20 matches Liverpool have failed to score more than one goal. Should Rodgers have been sacked in the summer? Should he be sacked now? Can he turn it all around? We asked Anfield Wrap regulars for their verdict.

ROY HENDERSON — @royhendo

1. Should Liverpool have sacked Brendan Rodgers in the summer?

I think so, yeah. I thought so at the time and I still think so now — people were always gonna be baying for blood at the first hint of things not going well, let alone a genuinely poor spell of form.

2. Should Brendan Rodgers be sacked now?

Probably, yeah. Although there’s an argument that, given the leeway he’s supposedly been given to sign players and direct operations that he should be given time to bed those things in. That’s all fine in theory, but the momentum of fan opinions is past its tipping point, I think, and once that happens, it tends to be a fait accompli. What’s clear now is that Liverpool, to implement a long term plan in a joined up way, need a strong talented Director Of Football in place, and managers who consistently fit the template set from there. We’ll churn managers and I think we have to if we’re gonna retain the kind of ideas above our station that keep the club in any way special.

3. Are you confident Brendan Rodgers can turn things around at Liverpool?
No, I’m not. I think he’s a good manager but he’s reacting now, and I can’t see how he can project the kind of authority he needs to turn things around and consistently win games. If he does manage it, it will be maybe the biggest achievement of his career, because it’s a task that’s proven impossible for more illustrious managers than he. Regardless, it’s not a popular view, but he will go on to have a very good career in the game — he’s young and this experience will stand him in good stead.

Football - Liverpool FC Preseason Tour 2015 - Day 1KARL COPPACK — @thecenci

1. Should Liverpool have sacked Brendan Rodgers in the summer?

Yes. Not for the league position as such but just for the lack of planning. The refusal to play strikers, Wembley, the inability to see that Swansea (and therefore others) had worked out the 3-4-3 and punished us, and, of course, the absolute lack of direction at the 6-1. What’s more Brendan clearly felt that Stoke was the final straw and would accept his fate. The owners sacking the backroom staff was frankly ludicrous. Stoke was the perfect time for a clean break and they’ve all missed it.

2. Should Brendan Rodgers be sacked now?

I think that ship has sailed. It should have been Stoke and now we’ve spent the money and are six games in I can’t see why they’d sack them. You could say that if things get worse he’d have to go but the owners thought 6-1 wasn’t bad enough so there are two answers here. Should he be sacked – yes, I think so. Will he be? I doubt it. FSG are only interested in May, not September.

3. Are you confident Brendan Rodgers can turn things around at Liverpool?

No, I’m afraid not. I don’t mean this maliciously but there is still no cohesive plan on the pitch. We seem to be chopping and changing until something works and once that’s found out we undergo another period of finding the next new answer.

I think the manager has talent but I’d rather he wasn’t learning with our money and the confidence of our players. Again, nothing malicious but I don’t thiink this is going anywhere.

European Football - UEFA Europa League - Group Stage Group B - FC Girondins de Bordeaux v Liverpool FCSTEVE GRAVES — @steve_graves

1. Should Liverpool have sacked Brendan Rodgers in the summer?

There was a call to be made, but on balance I didn’t think so. It wasn’t a sentimental or soft argument, but a pragmatic one based on what Liverpool needed — a massive points and goals swing. The club had a man in place who’d presided over exactly that. Many fans seem to underestimate, perhaps deliberately, how extraordinary 2013-14 was.

2. Should Brendan Rodgers be sacked now?

This season’s results alone constitute a slow start rather than a sacking offence, but stretched across the end of last season things have not been good enough. There’s basically been no fun, and when the fun stops what else is there? I think we’re in wait-and-see territory.

3. Are you confident Brendan Rodgers can turn things around at Liverpool?

Unlike a lot of people I really want him to. It’s mainly down to the habit of wanting Liverpool to win at football, which I find quite hard to kick. Against Norwich it felt like a little bit of creativity had come back and it looked plausible that Liverpool might score more than one goal in a game at some point in the future. He also probably deserves a run of games with a fit Daniel Sturridge, but ‘deserve’ is a basically a meaningless word in football.

Football - Liverpool FC Preseason Tour 2015 - HJK Helsinki v Liverpool FCIAN SALMON — @IanRSalmon

1. Should Liverpool have sacked Brendan Rodgers in the summer?

Yes. Simple as. End of. Want more? Okay. I sat in a studio at the top of the tower on the Monday morning after the Stoke game and demanded answers — demanded to know how we we’re nearly 24 hours on and Brendan Rodgers hadn’t been sacked yet, demanded to know how and why a loss of that magnitude with that little fight on the shoulders of the run that had started with the loss to Manchester United at home was not deemed to be gross misconduct.

Obviously no answers were forthcoming. I’m okay with that, I get the fact that I’m a customer and have no right to answers on how owners run their businesses and as the summer progressed, I calmed. The new signings appeared to be of Brendan’s making, the coaching changes seemed to make sense. It seemed clear that FSG had accepted the extenuating circumstances argument from last season; that the loss of Luis Suarez, followed by the injury to Daniel Sturridge, compounded by the wrong signings, the wrong policy on transfers were an insurmountable issue. They were giving Rodgers another chance, I might as well, mightn’t I?

The two unconvincing 1-0 wins didn’t persuade me either way. The draw with Arsenal showed me that there was the possibility that we may be able to combine attacking invention with defensive fortitude.

Then the wheels fell off.

2. Should Brendan Rodgers be sacked now?

Yes. Simple as. End of. Yes, a million times yes. The Arsenal performance starts to look as though the first half was more about their failings than our invention, the second more about survival than resilience. The loss to West Ham was embarrassing, the reliance on the 4-2-3-1 that failed so badly last season before changing to three at the back looked limited in its thinking; the fact that it wasn’t changed looked like a man who had run out of ideas.

The performance at Old Trafford was humiliating. That they were as bad as us is neither here nor there; United were there for the taking and we made no attempt to take them.

The Norwich game is actually an improvement on both of those, the 3-4-1-2 much more fluid, the desire to move forward more evident but the refusal to recognise the fact that James Milner was having a thoroughly abject game and instead substitute the much more effective Lucas is poor judgement at best.

The loss of Benteke at half time is unfortunate, the loss of Henderson for two months could not be forecast; Brendan is having moments of ill fortune but he no longer looks like a man who can solve those moments. Our inability to convert chances on the day may not be his fault, our continued failure to deal with corners has to lie — partially at least — at his door.

3. Are you confident Brendan Rodgers can turn things around at Liverpool?

No. He looks to have run out of solutions. He no longer appears to have the wherewithal to provoke passion in his players; that Danny Ings’ appetite and attitude stands out so much from everybody else on the pitch speaks volumes about Ings’ own desire and highlights the fact that such passion has been missing so often this season.

Football - FA Premier League - Hull City FC v Liverpool FCDAVE MARTINEZ — @DMARTINEZ_85

1. Should Liverpool have sacked Brendan Rodgers in the summer?

Yes. I believed at the time that he should have gone in the summer. Not necessarily because I thought it was impossible for him to bounce back from last season or that I think he’s a ‘fraud’, but because I felt that there were superior replacements available and not many other top clubs were seeking a new manager at the time.

It’s not often that managers with CVs as impressive as Carlo Ancelotti’s and Jurgen Klopp’s are on the market with so few realistic options for their next port of call. Usually when a top coach leaves one big club his next move is already lined up well in advance, but that wasn’t the case with several highly-rated managers this summer and I felt we should have taken advantage of that unique situation and acquired a more proven leader while we had the opportunity to do so.

It may have been a little harsh on Brendan to get rid just 12 months after he nearly won the league for us but Liverpool Football Club should always be moving forward and if a better option is available on or off the pitch we should always be looking to take it.

2. Should Brendan Rodgers be sacked now?

Yes.

Seasons can get away from you quickly and this one is already threatening to do so. While I still held out some hope that Brendan could make a decent fist of the season when it began, what has been served up thus far has seen what little confidence I had left evaporate.

The manager was backed well in the summer in terms of money and acquiring his preferred transfer targets, but we’re nearly a sixth of the way through the league campaign and the absence of a clear plan for success is alarmingly evident.

Despite getting the players he wanted Rodgers is still scratching around for a system that works and it feels like he’s already been reduced to throwing shit at a wall and just hoping something sticks. Players are in and out of the team, playing out of position, formations are changing several times per game and the lack of clarity is startlingly reminiscent of the dreadful last few months of 2014-15.

My fear going into this season was that we would struggle early on, the fan base would turn against Rodgers completely and we would have to make a change midway through because his position had become untenable. If we’re honest, that’s happened already.

Ninety per cent of the fans want him gone, we’re stumbling from system to system, game to game and dropping points all over the shop. If this continues for another six weeks or so then any chance of a top-four finish will be gone and the season will be a write off before Santa has come down the chimney.

Why not make the change now when it seems almost certain that we will have to do it later on anyway? Why delay the inevitable?

3. Are you confident Brendan Rodgers can turn things around at Liverpool?

No.

I imagine that the counter argument people who want the manager to stay will use is that Rodgers has to be given more time because he was backed by FSG with such conviction in the summer.

The problem with that line of thinking is that, despite that significant backing, he’s getting next to nothing out of a pretty talented group of players. The Premier League is almost uniformly dreadful at the moment in terms of quality and no one will convince me that a top manager couldn’t turn this Liverpool squad into something more than it currently is and take advantage of that fact. Have you seen the state of Manchester United? They’re second in the table! SECOND!

Before I end this I should add that, from a personal point of view, I’m hoping a new manager comes in soon for more selfish reasons than those listed above.

Frankly I’m tired of football right now. I’m absolutely, positively fucking bored of this season already. I’m fed up of watching us play crap football. I’ve had enough of seeing (and participating in) the constant bickering on social media about the manager.

I’m bored of the over the top personal attacks on him and his teeth or his love life. I’m bored of it all and just want the club to be managed by someone who has the backing of almost everyone again so we can just get back to concentrating on the football.

Even if we win our next five or six games you know that as soon as Liverpool lose again the knives will be out. The furore around his overuse of the word ‘outstanding’ will resurface. So too the digs about his new girlfriend.

A large portion of the fanbase basically despise Brendan Rodgers and the only way you come back from that if you’re him is by achieving a minor miracle on the pitch.

Sadly, the chances of that happening seem remote.

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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda-Photo

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