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5 reasons why Brendan Rodgers is not the right man to manage Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers is the first Liverpool manager since the 1950s to not to lift a trophy in his first three years in charge.

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Top 5 / Top 10 20 May 2015, 13:31 IST
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Rodgers is quickly losing the backing of a vast majority of Liverpool fans

As the curtains close on the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League season, Liverpool once again find themselves outside the Champions League spots after a brief return to the elite competition. The current season was the best chance for Liverpool to push for back-to-back Top 4 finishes, but the club couldn’t make good use of the money they amassed from the sale of their talisman Luis Suarez.

The manner in which Liverpool crashed out of Europe, performed in the league and failed to win any trophy for the third season running has raised questions over the ability of Brendan Rodgers as a manager. Is he good enough to lead a club of Liverpool’s stature? Was the second-place finish Liverpool obtained under Rodgers in 2013/14 a flash in the pan? Was it down the brilliance of Suarez and Daniel Sturridge?

Is the Irishman the right person to lead Liverpool back to their glory days? Well, the opinion on the matter even divides the Liverpool fans and a vast majority feel that his time at the club is up. If so, then there is a need to explain why he is not the right man for the job. 

1) Poor transfer strategy

Over the course of three seasons under Rodgers, Liverpool have signed 24 players for a whopping £211,550,000! How many of these 24 players turned out to be successful? So far, the only one that can be called a success without splitting opinions is Philippe Coutinho. In addition to Coutinho, Sturridge has also performed well for the Reds, but the Englishman has spent more time on the treatment table than on the field since he joined the club.

The jury is still out on players like Sakho, Emre Can and Simon Mignolet, but the rest of the signings have either flopped terribly or haven’t done justice to the ridiculous fee Liverpool paid for them or haven’t yet featured for the first team to even judge them.

Philippe Coutinho is probably the only transfer Liverpool fans would unanimously call a success 

Rodgers isn’t a manager who has won a major trophy to back him up and when you add the lack of Champions League football to that, Liverpool ceases to be an attraction for quality players. This is one of the reasons why the club have consistently lost out on their transfer targets to other clubs.

During the Rodgers era, Liverpool have sold many top class players and fan favourites like Suarez, Daniel Agger, Pepe Reina and Dirk Kuyt. But they failed to replace them with other players of similar quality. In fact, Liverpool replaced the prolific Suarez by buying Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert and wasted the rest of the money from the transfer by opting for quantity over quality.

Some may argue that Rodgers doesn’t decide all the transfers, but since Liverpool don’t have a Director of Football, he has a huge role in deciding which players who come in. 


2) Tactical naivety

Brendan Rodgers is too arrogant to change his tactics, and if he does change something there is the possibility that he will stick to the same tactic irrespective of the opposition. Some of the best examples of his naivety can be picked out from the current season.

Brendan Rodgers was tactically beaten by Tim Sherwood in the FA Cup semi-final

The Irishman persisted with Gerrard as a defensive midfielder for a long period even though it was clear that the veteran was not capable of performing in that role. Fans wanted to see Lucas Leiva, but Rodgers stuck with Gerrard and only brought in Lucas once the club had lost too many games. Interestingly, Liverpool’s results saw massive improvement with that change.

In the second half of the season, Liverpool saw their form improve after they switched to a back-three. Rodgers used the same formation over and over again irrespective of the opposition and it became increasingly obvious that the formation gave the opposition better chances if they played down the wings.

Liverpool stuck with the formation for their crucial game against Manchester United and played into their hands. Despite the embarrassing defeat against United, Rodgers stuck with the same formation for their next league game against Arsenal and paid the price by losing 4-1.

A manager’s strength and grit usually comes out when his team is a goal behind or when the opposition defend in numbers, but Rodgers has consistently failed when either scenario occurs. 


3) Performance against other big clubs

Manchester United managed a relatively easy double against Liverpool this season

To play with the best in Europe, the first step towards is beating the best in your league and not surprisingly Liverpool’s record against direct rivals hasn’t been great. Rodgers’ record against the current top four in league matches alone during his tenure speaks for itself.

 

Played

Won

Drawn

Loss

GF

GA

Win %

Chelsea

6

0

3

3

6

10

0

Man City

6

2

2

2

11

12

33.3%

Man Utd

6

2

0

4

7

9

33.3%

Arsenal

6

1

2

3

10

13

16.6%

Rodgers has never beaten Chelsea as Liverpool’s manager. Two of the three draws he managed against them was before Jose Mourinho became Chelsea’s manager and the third was recently in a game which mattered very little to Chelsea as they had already wrapped up the title.

Rodgers’ record against Liverpool’s biggest rivals, Manchester United, is pathetic. The two wins under Liverpool’s belt came in the last season when Manchester United were at their worst. On all other occasions, the Reds have come out second best to their biggest rivals.

Against Arsenal, Liverpool managed just one win and it was a memorable 5-1 win at Anfield. But considering the overall results one has to wonder if that result was nothing but an accident. 

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