Liverpool Football Club and their traditionally loyal following are perhaps the one Premier League outfit most significantly dreading the often unwanted international break this week.
After a frustratingly lack-lustre performance from the Reds last time out – a game in which Liverpool embarrassingly lost by three goals at home to West Ham United – usual domestic league proceedings simply can’t come back around quickly enough in and around Anfield at the minute.
Brendan Rodgers therefore faces his immediate return to the 2015/16 campaign under a cloud of increased speculation. In the cold light of day, the former Swansea boss has seemingly always had his credentials questioned at Liverpool, for he is undoubtedly yet to convince the rest of the Premier League of the promise he supposedly offers on Merseyside.
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So then, although no coach can really be called into question after only four games of any given season, is Brendan Rodgers perhaps the luckiest manager to still be operating within the English top-flight?
The answer could well be, yes…but before the near successful 2013/14 campaign gets brought up in defence of the current Reds boss, it must be known that Luis Suarez was the man pulling all the strings that season, and certainly not Brendan Rodgers if we’re really being honest with ourselves.
Let’s face it, the prospect of Liverpool offering their once illustrious managerial post to a man whose best achievements in the Premier League came whilst overseeing Swansea City, would have been laughed off if such a notion had been suggested at Anfield ten years ago. Within the last decade or so however, the Reds have somewhat seen their status deplete with every passing season.
Rafa Benitez was arguably the last recognised manager worthy of leading Liverpool to greater domestic heights. Less than convincing spells under the ill-fated reigns of both Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish subsequently dragged the club further and further away from the untouchable reputation Liverpool once held on these here shores – arguably turning the Reds from solid title challengers, into nothing more than Europa League hopefuls.
In such a seemingly cruel time bracket for the determined Merseysiders, the overall standard of player at Anfield has unquestionably dropped in recent years. Even though he didn’t start the somewhat alarming trend within his current club, Brendan Rodgers has certainly contributed to such a notion with the signing of players such as Iago Aspas, Ally Cissokho and Rickie Lambert in past windows.
The former Swansea City boss has also failed dramatically in regards to spending big money at Anfield however, for the expensive likes of Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Mario Balotelli and Joe Allen have ultimately looked nowhere near worthy of their initially hefty price-tags. For one reason or another, it seems as if Brendan Rodgers is pretty clueless in the transfer market, even if the likes of Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino nevertheless turn up the goods this season.
Yes, the signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have obviously been positive ones, but do they make up for all the relevant mistakes Rodgers has made on the transfer scene? Of course not…
When it comes to doing the business tactically out on the pitch as well as in the boardroom behind the scenes at Anfield, Rodgers has also looked rather inept so far throughout his Reds career. His side’s poor showing against West Ham acts as the perfect case in point – for although Liverpool had a whole manner of supposedly exciting stars to contend with that day – the team looked equally short of ideas up-top as well as continuing their incredibly shaky form at the back.
Defensive security has been a major problem for the Northern Irishman ever since first stepping foot in Merseyside. Although the Anfield faithful readily issue their support to players such as Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren (when he’s not freely giving away goals that is), such defenders ultimately aren’t good enough for Liverpool if they really want to be aiming higher in the league.
It therefore seems as if Brendan Rodgers is not only lucky to still be in the job at Liverpool as it currently stands, but he was also very fortunate to be handed the managerial post at Anfield in the first place. This is a man who seemingly rode the wave of success developed by Roberto Martinez at Swansea and found himself in the dug-out at Liverpool before he even knew it.
Rodgers has simply looked out of his depth throughout his time on Merseyside, and if his team continue to lack that cutting edge across the 2015/16 campaign, the 42-year-old coach may be one of the first managerial casualties of the new season with all things considered.
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