6. The soundbites – “You train dogs, you educate football players.” “I treat every player at this club like my son.” “Stay behind the ball. You’re not the one bombing on for fun, you’re not going to be like Cafu.” That last one was said to young full-back Jon Flanagan, and while it’s quite hilarious when taken out of context, the fly-0n-the-wall documentary Being:Liverpool did expose the fairly naff David Brent-esque managerial techniques of Rodgers. Of course, you could argue that he did not ask for the documentary to be made and it’s quite unbelievable that the club’s owners saw this as anything other than an instrument that could only apply more pressure to a new manager working under difficult circumstances. We never see behind closed doors how any other managers talks to their players, but at the same time, nobody really made Rodgers say those things. The ‘son’ line above he offered directly to camera in a one-on-one interview. There’s always been a suspicion that he likes the sound of his own voice a little too much, and we’ve seen little evidence to contradict that just yet.

7. Leave the experimenting for pre-season – Liverpool played four friendly matches this season, three of them before their first game against FC Gomel, but progress was hindered by the fact that most of the key players were returning late to training after being given some time to rest after their exertions at Euro 2012. Nevertheless, the sign of Stewart Downing being absolutely torn apart by Aaron Lennon in the first 15 minutes of Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane at left-back, when the side had recognised left-back Jose Enrique playing in Downing’s position on the left wing was preventable. Rodgers stated after the game that he’s looking for more ‘solutions’ due to the ‘shallowness of the group’, and he’s clearly trying to get every last drop of versatility out of what he’s already got, which is understandable, but Downing shouldn’t be making his debut in the position over ten games into a new season. He probably won’t win you the game on the left wing, but he can sure lose it for you at left-back.

8. The need to close games out – Liverpool have performed well by and large this season, but they’ve struggled to secure the results that they’ve deserved due to a certain tactical naivety from the players. They’ve let leads slip against Manchester City, Manchester United and Udinese all at home, while the late draw they suffered courtesy of a fantastic strike from Elsad Zveroti─ç during the Young Boys game means they now travel to their final fixture in Italy needing to avoid defeat to stand a chance of going through to the next round.

9. Use home advantage more – In the league so far this season, Liverpool have picked up nine points from a possible 21 at Anfield, while in the Europa League, they’ve picked up just four from a possible nine. Anfield used to be a fortress for the club, but the nervy atmosphere around the ground during most games now is palpable and it must be having an effect on the team; returning the club back to its glory days, or even where they were five years ago under Rafa Benitez will live and die by how difficult they make the historic ground for visiting teams to play at once more.

10. Over-reliance on one player – Before it was Steven Gerrard, then briefly it was Gerrard and Fernando Torres and now it’s down to Luis Suarez. Discussing the captain’s lack of goal threat this season today, Rodgers stated: “He’s carried this club for nearly 13 years and it’s about time there was more than Steven picking up the baton of responsibility. There are others that we want to step up to the plate and get the goals.” It’s a fair assessment and certain players can go into hiding under the increased amount of pressure; not making forward runs, choosing to pass it backwards or sideways and simply following leadership rather than trying to be a leading figure. The best thing Rodgers can do over the coming months is try and find players on the continent or at home to try and sign who will help share the burden out. The Uruguayan has been directly involved in 12 of the team’s 18 league goals this term and has been superb throughout, but he will not be able to carry the burden alone forever and the club are just one injury away from a campaign with only mid-table obscurity and a decent cup run to look forward to.

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  • ken
    1 year ago

    its hard when refs are so bad against you even down to other teams getting free kicks for nothing when we getting into the box,when you have had so many pens brushed away and teams getting them for nothink against you why cant br keep going on about it they change matches.

    Reply
    • mark c
      1 year ago

      yep agree ,sometimes you need certain decisions to go your way in games just look at man united ,on so many occasions they get that decision for them to either to get back in the game or win it , we dont ,and decisions going for you specially when they are blatantly obvious can win you matches and build confidence in a squad, if a ref can give spurs a free kick out out side the box for a foul then he sure as hell should give gerrard a penalty for a similiar foul in the box , but when we need decisions to go our way they dont ,liverpool are a team that lacks confidence at times and winning games gets you confidence ,and praising your players for their performance despite a loss is positive

      Reply
  • Pete Spencer
    1 year ago

    Good article. #11 would be his keenness to use youth, sometimes earlier than would normally expect at a club this size. This is the least experienced side I’ve seen at Anfield in over 30 years of watching. Is that cos these guys won’t question BR or does he believe they have more to prove and less to lose?

    We have had some poor decisions, not sure it’s a lot worse than other clubs. Wigan will point to a throw-in they should’ve had before we scored against them, but that cancelled out throw-in we should’ve got against Everton when they scored. We’ve still missed more chances than we’ve had penalty decisions turned down

    Reply
  • abdul
    1 year ago

    Strongly agree with point 1and point 4. Rodgers keeps blaming the owners instead of himself for spending poorly in the transfers. Borini looks like a 1million dollar striker not 10. Allen looks average Joe. I don’t see much improvement between this side and Kenny’s side. We are looking more like swansea(bottom four team) than a top four team. I feel embarrassed whenever Rodgers proudly compares swansea to LFC. I feel embarrassed to be lfc fan when Rodgers is so proud of his draws. Are you in your right mind Rodgers? You are now managing is LIVERPOOL not swansea!

    Reply
  • abdul
    1 year ago

    Looks like we going for a strong finish like swansea under Rodgers, fighting for to be top among the bottom four. Nowadays 20mins through the first half and i can no longer stand watching LFC matches because they are not going to score and just aimlessly pass the ball. What’s the point of passing the ball if you can’t finish off your passing game. Its embarrassing times to be lfc fan now

    Reply

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