By: Aakash Munjal
Brendan Rodgers: Didn’t he earn two more seasons?
A year ago, all of us, including myself, were raving about how good Brendan has been for Liverpool Football Club. A year ago, Liverpool were chasing Manchester City for the Premier League Crown, only to drop points in must win games – to Chelsea at home and then to Crystal Palace. Interesting thing is that both these games, if you ask me, were a testimonial of the lack of shrewdness and game management of Brendan’s team. Knowing Chelsea so well, they chased the game a little too much for my liking and allowed Chelsea counter attack. And at Crystal Palace, they threw away a 3 goal lead; guess they were focusing on scoring more to reduce the goal difference.
But, this season was always supposed to be a test of Brendan’s complete management, much more than just of Shrewdness and Game Management. If I may say and if that’s how Liverpool owners wants to see Brendan’s time at Liverpool, he did learn from his mistakes and in the second half of this season, Liverpool showed pretty good resolve in terms of game management. From 14th Dec 2014 (when they lost to Manchester United) until 22nd March (when they lost to United again), in 13 games, Liverpool won a lot of games and they enjoyed clean sheets 8 times, many of them were wins by 1 goal margin.
But the season was supposed to test Brendan in totality and not just game management. After the departure of Suarez, all eyes were on the club, as to how it will use the money received, to fill the gaps. A gap that was never filled! The biggest problem, that persisted thru out the season. And that one factor is the single biggest reason why Brendan could be in trouble or at least that’s debatable now.
You cannot doubt his ability to manage the big names in the club (though I am still shocked and disgusted at how they dealt with Gerrard, but that has become a debate of its own). He brought the best out of both Suarez and Sturridge last season and these two literally took the club to the top.
Tactically, most of the times, except and sadly at crucial times this season (when it has been a disaster), he has been lauded. But until now, no one in the club is sure of one formation or combination. The team suffered from this.
The best thing he brought to the club is the kind of football which the fans admired, especially the last season. It was fast and exciting; sometimes the game was over in first 20 minutes. Best thing was, we still looked for more goals!
For me, it comes down to how he or the club management or more precisely the famous “transfer committee” performed this season.
Millions were spent on either above average players or punts. Ricky Lambert looked at Ok at times and tired other times. Most frustrating for me, he was barely used! You bought someone, who might well be playing his last years in the game and you don’t let him play! Fabio Borini never looked like a proper Premier League Striker. And Mario Balotelli? Did Brendan really think he can manage what Jose Mourinho and Mancini couldn’t? Well, if he thought so, he now knows. And at a very heavy cost. Mario was the biggest mistake of his managerial career according to me.
Should he be replaced, if he can be replaced by someone who has the capability to take Liverpool upwards, or should he be given a season, with a better, stronger transfer market performance?
Did you see those goals from Sergio Aguero yesterday? That’s what Suarez used to do for Liverpool last season. We need strikers like him to suit Brendan’s style of play.
I believe, if he makes better recruitment decisions this summer, if Liverpool owners give him the money to buy real, quality strikers, we can reach Top 4 next season.