Following Liverpool’s crushing semi-final defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley, they will end another season without silverware. In turn, as another trophy slipped through his fingertips, Brendan Rodgers will finish his third season as the Kop manager without a trophy, the first time a manager as suffered such ignominy since the 1950’s.
With Liverpool looking certain to miss out on top four, as well as leaving their trophy cabinet no fuller than it was 12 months ago, serious questions are being asked of their manager. For all of the free flowing, cavalier football that bought them so close to their first title in 20 years, a cup win of any variety remains elusive.
Will the Rodgers’ reign be remembered as a barren one?
The Anfield fans are ones that demand success, they have a culture of winning tournaments; even in their league drought they have consistently managed to win tournaments, so for all of the good work Rodgers has done, patience may run thin from his own supporters.
Rodgers and the ‘transfer committee’ gambled big last summer, spending vast sums of money in order to replace the irreplaceable Luis Suarez. Many of their signings whilst the Northern Irishman have been in charge have proven to be failures, the amount of accountability the manager takes for these transfer blunders is unknown, but his reputation is certainly being damaged by their performances on the field.
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has recently come out and defended the current boss stating that one game doesn’t define your career, but as Rodgers is beginning to find out, that one result on a sun-soaked Wembley may prove to be the most pivotal one of his Liverpool reign.
The 42 year old has arguably made his job even harder than it was before; a club crippled by expectation for so long had them again risen to the sky following on from their heroic near miss last term. Many felt that this season they could and probably should go one better, however, the side that he currently possesses is around about where it should be. They are the fifth or sixth best team in the division and that’s exactly where they find themselves.
The counter-argument to sacking a manager is always the dearth of available replacements on the market; however, Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he will be leaving Borussia Dortmund now means there is a name and a face who fans can dream of seeing in the technical area.
There are six games to go in what will prove to be an underwhelming campaign for the Merseysiders, Rodgers will be hoping that every one of those games he sees his side perform to a high level to guarantee he will be given a summer extension. Sacking the manager at this point does seem implausible but the nature of modern day football and the demand for instant success may prove to be his downfall.
He may have one summer left to build a side capable of lifting a trophy of any sort, his Liverpool reign must be punctuated by success. He has done so much, it would be a shame to look back on his spell as a failure, but there is a monkey on his back and it is growing heavier with every passing trophy mishap.