Brendan Rodgers may be out, but his impact won’t be so quickly forgotten
By Dave Turner (@DTurnerSports)
Rodgers is gone, but be careful what you wish for.
Plenty of Liverpool fans, including myself, were ready for a change. Another slow start to the season left much to be desired at Anfield.
Finally, after yet another uninspiring 1-1 draw, this time in the Merseyside Derby, the writing on the wall was finally realized. The Northern Irishman was relieved of his duties.
Brendan Rodgers will be remembered for many of the team’s shortcomings over his tenure. From the disastrous finish of the 2014-2015 season that saw Steven Gerrard sent off into the sunset with a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Stoke City, to their late 2013-2014 defeat against Chelsea that could have resulted in a Premier League title.
Whatever the case may be, the expulsion of Rodgers will not soon be forgotten. What no new manager can change, or at least impact with any hastened effort, is the lack of cohesiveness on this roster. Even without the former Swansea boss in charge, his roster moves have backed the club into a corner.
Rodgers leaves Liverpool with a group of players that haven’t fit well together since the departure of Luis Suarez. Suarez and his electric play certainly covered up the warts on this roster. Christian Benteke, the big transfer window coup by Rodgers this summer, hasn’t seemed to work well, yet. The enigmatic Danny Ings has filled in more than admirably for Benteke in his absence, leading to questions as to whether or not Benteke would deserve a start over Ings once he is match fit once again.
The list goes on and on, with big-money signings failing to make a major impact. Adam Lallana – a solid player, but not for the £25 million fee. Dejan Lovren, £20 million and can’t insert himself into the lineup for any extended period of time. Dare we even begin to think about the £16 million paid for Mario Balotelli?
It would be unfair to completely write off the £32 million for Benteke or the £29 million for Roberto Firmino, but neither have done enough yet to justify the hefty price tag. The roster is undoubtedly underachieving, but one can make the case that the lack of prudent signings and money spent trying to convert players to other positions on the pitch has resulted in poor performances. Especially in the wake of losing Steven Gerrard and the experience and leadership that he brought, the Reds have struggled mightily to find any sort of consistency.
Rodgers is gone, but the worst may be yet to come.
Whether it ends up being Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti or some other unknown manager, they will have their work cut out for them. The pressure of creating a winner out of this club may very well take some time, with a few transfer windows needed in order for the new manager to acquire the type of player necessary to compete for some hardware.
Patience is not something that we as Liverpool fans have ever had over the past few seasons. But, as 2005 begins to look smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror, the pressure is mounting by the day. The truth is, it may take a few seasons before things begin to click once again. In the meantime the pressure will continue to build on whoever takes over as manager to quickly turn things around. Perhaps it will take at least one more managerial change before the club begins to play championship-caliber football again, if the soon-to-be-hired boss isn’t ready to stick it out for the long haul.
With reports that FSG is looking to sell the team, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over Anfield. A new manager and perhaps new ownership will need to prove that they have the deep pockets and resiliency to do whats right, both for the short and long term.
Rodgers is gone, now he can’t be the scapegoat anymore.
Now, the impetus is solely on the players, can someone else win with Rodgers’ lineup? No longer can the supporters and media alike blame the man at the helm for the club’s shortcomings. This team will have to forge on with the spotlight shining brightly on the players. How confident can anyone be that this group has what it takes to finish top-four in the EPL or make a deep run in the Europa league?
Let this be a cautionary tale that the next move by FSG has to be one that sets this team in the right direction not just for the remainder of this season, but for years to come. Another misstep at this juncture could put this club farther away from contention than they’ve ever been.
Rodgers is gone, but his impact on this team will be remembered through this season and on, whether we’d like to remember it or not.