2014/15 has certainly been a season to forget for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool. Be it through their distinct domestic shortcomings this term, failure to assert themselves in the Champions League – or the overall disappointment of not living up to last year’s heroics – change is being called for at Anfield this summer, and swiftly at that.
As a result, several rumours have begun to circulate of late, placing Rodgers’ future at the club in a somewhat murkier light than usual in the run up to the new season. The Northern Irishman is nonetheless likely to remain in charge of Liverpool as 2015/16 begins, but for how long remains anyone’s guess at the moment…
So then, does the 42-year-old former Chelsea coach still deserve more time at Anfield, or does his potential departure from the Reds seem nothing but inevitable in the cold light of day?
A discussion such as this one always remains tricky to decipher, for the problems at Liverpool have certainly not been exclusive to Brendan Rodgers this season. First and foremost, his players have simply lacked the same level of enthusiasm and determination that aided their cause all so well last season.
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The usual Red’s regulars seemingly failed to deal with the added responsibility of playing European football this season, looking uncharacteristically slow and lethargic as the 2014/15 campaign played out. With the likes of Raheem Sterling also being reportedly tempted by moves away this term – it seems not everyone on board the ship at Anfield have been pulling in the right direction in recent months.
Rodgers has also paid witness to some rather unfortunate luck throughout the course of this season. Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems simply couldn’t have arrived at a worse moment for the Liverpool boss, as with Luis Suarez publically moving on from the Premier League last summer, the current Reds manager was left to perform without last season’s two main recognised strikers available for selection.
The Suarez/Sturridge partnership of 2013/14 ultimately proved the defining reason behind Liverpool’s progress last year, and without such a deadly weapon on board, the long standing Premier League club have looked a complete shadow of their former selves.
Having said that however, any manager in the English game has to deal with unlucky situations and unfortunate scenarios – that’s just the way it goes. If Brendan Rodgers still has to blame bad luck as the main reason why his side failed to perform this season, then something really is seriously wrong behind the scenes at Anfield.
Whether or not the Liverpool manager himself, or his respective scouting department, are truly to blame for what took place last summer – the Red’s transfer activity in the run up to the 2014/15 campaign ultimately failed rather dramatically with all things considered. The players were seemingly not good enough, the expectations placed on their heads were largely overvalued, and as for the obscene amount of money wasted at the club throughout the summer window, it seems Liverpool simply received more cash than they truly knew what to do with after selling Luis Suarez to Barcelona.
The likes of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren – whilst likely still possessing a great deal of the potential that got them signed at Anfield in the first place – were never going to perform after the club clearly over spent on their services. These a good players for sure, but they are simply not in the world class category that Liverpool need to re-establish themselves in the modern era. Mario Balotelli’s ill-fated move also proved a gamble for Rodgers that has truly backfired in hindsight.
Away from the transfer market however, Liverpool’s Northern Irish boss has also looked somewhat baffled on the touchlines this season when it comes to tactics and being able to guarantee the three points. Rodgers has seemingly never settled on a preferred formation this year, opting to play a whole manner of different names in the striking department, but subsequently causing his side to lack consistency on a week-to-week basis.
He therefore seems like a mere former Swansea City boss who maybe made the step forward to Liverpool slightly prematurely. The success his side achieved last campaign was down to Luis Suarez above all else – yet as the Reds need to build on the progress made in the last few years rather than detract from it – the Anfield hierarchy ultimately have no choice but to stick with Rodgers and hope for the best next season.
He still offers the club a certain potential as a young, up and coming manager, but if the results don’t come in early next term, the Liverpool faithful may end up losing patience with Brendan Rodgers indefinitely.