5 things Brendan Rodgers must do to salvage Liverpool's ailing campaign
- Brendan Rodgers: The Pressure mounts… From being the league leaders last Christmas to a lowly 10th position this one, from comparisons with ...
Brendan Rodgers: The Pressure mounts...From being the league leaders last Christmas to a lowly 10th position this one, from comparisons with the legendary Bill Shankly to being next in line for a sacking -- what a difference a year makes. A slip and then the fall, sigh. Playing the most sizzling, exuberant brand of football Brendan Rodgers guided Liverpool within inches of their maiden title triumph in only his second season in-charge of the club. He was young, attack oriented and definitely one destined for success. Naturally comparisons were rife with some of very best in the business, most notably the iconic manager Bill Shankly who had took charge of Liverpool when they were in the second division and rebuilt them into a major force in English and European football.Fast forward six months though, and he is tipped to be in line to lose his job sometime before the next season. It has been a disappointing, almost frustrating season at Anfield. Stuck languishing in the middle of the top half and bottom half of the table in tenth position with 22 points from 17 games, a whole 20 points adrift of table leaders Chelsea just about sums it up.Rodgers is coming in for criticism from all angles, be it his tactics, substitutions or even his man-management skills. There is no dearth of question marks and Rodgers finds himself with plenty to do. He can now no longer ignore the issues in front of him and failure to make necessary changes at this stage may lead to paying for it with his job seem a genuine possibility.A big task awaits the Northern Irishman but here are five things he can begin with to salvage his team's fortunes -- and his job.
#1 End the Goalkeeping Farce
A penalty save on debut, the first of three consecutive clean sheets, dislodging the previous number one – you couldn’t have written a much better script even if you’d tried. Simon Mignolet started off with a bang in a Liverpool shirt. His first four months at the club were a resounding success, but that, alas, was the end of it. A career that began so promisingly could be on the verge of a premature end.
Mignolet impressed greatly with his shot-stopping ability even during his Sunderland days but even there were doubts over his ability to command the area and organise the defence ahead of him. These weaknesses have been exposed time-and-time again with soft goals being conceded from inside the box. To his credit Mignolet makes some great saves at vital moments but his aversion to crosses and set-piece frailties are problems which often results in sloppy errors at the back costing more than just a goal.
As underwhelming as Mignolet had been, dropping him for Brad Jones was utter madness. To his credit Jones has been a loyal No. 2 for years but his quality is questionable. With Brendan Rodgers giving to contradictory statements in the press, and pressing on with Jones in the lineup, Liverpool need not one but two decent quality goalkeepers as a matter of urgency. Ahoy, January!