Open Letter to Brendan Rodgers from a Liverpool Fan
Let me be honest with you. Never did I think it would happen this soon, yet it has. We need to BREAK-UP (There I said it and it feels nice).
No, the 6-1 demolition at the hands of the Potters on the final day of the season has not caused this knee-jerk reaction. It was just the tipping point. It’s the malaise that has spread over the past year that frightens me. We (and I speak for the rest of the supporters too) have gone from a season filled with pure ecstasy, joy and pleasure to a season which was full of disappointment, frustration and more importantly embarrassment.
Where is the progressive, adaptive and the master tactician who was the toast of the Premier League last season? Where is the manager who had the ability to inspire and exude brilliance from his players? What happened to the manager who almost guided us to the cusp of something unimaginable last season?
See, these are questions that are running through our heads for the last year and have only intensified with each passing week. A strong connection for the past one and half years has been reduced to absolute estrangement this season. We dared to dream that this was it. This was the relationship that we had been waiting for. This was what would have brought success for us. Alas, how wrong were we!
The malaise started right from the time El Pistolero (Luis Suarez) walked out the Shankly Gates. I understood this was going to be the season that would be a period of transition, as it’s always difficult to replace a freak genius like Suarez even with a truck load of money we received for him. With the lure of Champions League to offer, we needed to capture a couple of big names to fill the void left by the Uruguayan. Alas, the transfer committee and you didn’t (Mistake no.1).
There was a lesson to be learnt from the travesty that engulfed North London when Gareth Bale left for the Galacticos (Real Madrid). Yet, you and the transfer committee chose to ignore it. We ended up signing players who had the potential to succeed but not proven potential. You had a blunder blueprint to refer from Tottenham Hotspur which you chose to ignore. For all the justification of having a strong first team and a squad, we can only boast of Emre Can and probably Alberto Moreno being the only successes in the long list of players who came in.
However, this wasn’t one of the biggest mistakes of the season. It is the adamancy and the stubbornness (Mistake no.2) on your part throughout that has left us on the brink. Players were continuously played out of positions (classic case of Can’s failures towards the end of the season) while some players didn’t even feature for the side (Javier Manquillo was a regular on the bench in the second half of the season and Borini has been a regular spectator in front of the TV set throughout the season).
This season we managed only 52 goals, the same amount scored by SAS last season and half of the overall total from last season. It’s a fact that Sturridge missed most of the season due to injury, but we had 3 strikers on the bench who were scarcely used. Big Mario’s arrival on the Merseyside was met with skepticism, rightly so due to his erratic nature. However, it’s a known fact that for him to be successful he needs to have a support of a strike partner.
Apart from our best performance at the White Hart Lane where we played two strikers, you never provided a platform for Balotelli to flourish in a Red shirt. Rigidity on your part in not changing the system to accommodate Balotelli’s qualities is a primary reason for his failure.
Our porous defense has become even more so this season. Perhaps in Dejan Lovren we have the worst signing across Europe. Your principles lie in the strength of the defense from where the game needs to be controlled. However, a department which failed us last season continued doing so even this time around. An opportunity to address this with a defensive coach was an option, yet stubbornness in controlling every aspect saw the side suffer.
You did turn things around Christmas after a horror first half of the season. A switch in formation and tactics yielded a 14 match unbeaten run and it seemed the team had turned a corner. There were glaring problems but somehow you seemed to have fixed it. Oh, how we fell on our backsides.
The most damning statistic of this season was the fact that the team went missing in big games. The abject capitulation at the hands of Aston Villa in the semi-finals of the FA cup was perhaps the lowest point. However, we have the horror story at the Britannia to compete with it. After back-to-back defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal, the team has dished out incompetent, gutless and shambolic displays right till the end.
The players fought for each other and for the team last season, but this time around the sense of togetherness seems extinct. Known to be one of the best people managers in Europe, it’s a pity that you have failed to inspire the players (Mistake no. 3).
All the progression and positivity of last season has turned into regression and mediocrity this year. You had lost the support of the Anfield faithful for some time now; slowly it feels you are losing it from the players too. You had famously quoted during your appointment, “Judge me in three years’ time from now”. Well, the time has come and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture.
We haven’t won anything in the past 3 years and are nowhere close to achieving anything spectacular in the future. I can envision the dark days of Roy Hodgson’s regime.
As you have always mentioned, nobody is bigger than the club. I have always been your supporter, but the club rightly needs a new man and a new vision as I do not want to imagine further dark years.
The time is right to part ways. You will always remain in our hearts as the one who almost guided us to the Holy Grail.
A Liverpool fan through and through