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End of season round table debate (*)

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Hinesy:
This was written after the last game of the season

My simple question is this: Is Brendan the right manager for the job?

This last game, irrespective of when it came, is significant. Scores like that aren't simply a bad day at the office. But was it players not playing well, or badly set up? Were they 'on holiday' or were they actually making a point by not playing for the manager? Has he lost a dressing room?

My thoughts are this, based on simple logic: I can't believe every player on that pitch dislikes Rodgers, and/or won't 'play' for him. Also we lost out on the Europa slot, and I think footballers want to play in Europe. Some of them may even have bonus contracts for European football. Also professional pride must surely set in. And maybe even if one or two don't like him, apart from Gerrard, there are no natural leaders on that pitch. Henderson isn't one. The rest are not 'heavyweight' enough. Possibly Lucas and Skrtel are the two longest serving but its not that.

So what then? Can was terrible in defence today yet he's played there often now and not been that bad. In fact I'm fairly sure that team has played together before and not been that lacklustre, even if not the exact line up then close enough. Stoke always give is a good game and a couple of goals were defence nonsense but I think there was a definite lack of vim, energy, momentum, in the side.
There was no recognised striker, and a light weight feel to the midfield but we lack a Hamann anyway, and Stoke made us pay.

Henderson really needs to improve his quick instant reaction thought process, his intelligence isn't good enough to see the best pass at speed. So he needs to play somewhere where he has more time on the ball. Is Rodgers asking too much of him too soon?

Gerrard leaving: Could that have been a factor, end of era stuff? It was, last week at Anfield, in fact the same game was played last week and the same problems.

Should Rodgers have played Sterling instead of playing hardball? Surely his main intention is to get the best results, irrespective of politics; perhaps he thought he could've done both this week, but knowing how Stoke played earlier at ours, he can't have been na´ve enough to think it was a dead rubber?

I really don't know. He wasn't the messiah last season and he's not the devil this season. For him is the argument we've been hocked and held back by losing Suarez and Sturridge's injuries. Against is the fact we knew this would happen. For him was the potential of Mario. Against him was er Mario. For him is the two semi finals and a miss by Lallana against Utd at home that he would've should've buried, these margins are tight, against him is the lack of tactical progression. That last accusation was aimed at Pellegrini after playing us and Barcelona, he still didn't change, is Rodgers as obstinate?

Either way, its been a shite season, and I think the best way I can sum it up is that not all of it is his fault, but some of it is. Is that bit enough to give him another season or get someone else in? I really don't know.

John C:
There's only one circumstance I'd want Brendan to go immediately and that's the thought of appointing Klopp & him bringing men-machines with him. Footballers drilled to win, stalwarts that don't necessarily have any affiliation with the club but possess a collective energy and ability to grind results with passion. It may change the complexion of our club but we need something to lift this fucking jinx now.

Otherwise there's nobody else I'd replace him with currently, its too risky. I'd give him until November/December and if things remain the same then it would be intolerable and the inevitable risk would have to be taken. But Brendan does need to change, its all very well people saying he shows flexibility with his selections, shapes & formations - but half the time it's bewildering.

If they sack him & brought Rafa back I'd be a tad excited but very, very, very apprehensive. But I really don't think that is an option anyway.

It doesn't feel that the Reds are in a good place at the moment, I'm not sure 2 great goal-scorers would be the panacea, we may need a big fix but its getting the timing right.

Col:

--- Quote from: John C on May 24, 2015, 08:19:21 pm ---There's only one circumstance I'd want Brendan to go immediately and that's the thought of appointing Klopp & him bringing men-machines with him. Footballers drilled to win, stalwarts that don't necessarily have any affiliation with the club but possess a collective energy and ability to grind results with passion. It may change the complexion of our club but we need something to lift this fucking jinx now.

Otherwise there's nobody else I'd replace him with currently, its too risky. I'd give him until November/December and if things remain the same then it would be intolerable and the inevitable risk would have to be taken. But Brendan does need to change, its all very well people saying he shows flexibility with his selections, shapes & formations - but half the time it's bewildering.

If they sack him & brought Rafa back I'd be a tad excited but very, very, very apprehensive. But I really don't think that is an option anyway.

It doesn't feel that the Reds are in a good place at the moment, I'm not sure 2 great goal-scorers would be the panacea, we may need a big fix but its getting the timing right.

--- End quote ---

It's a huge question of "if not Brendan then who?" at the moment.

Like many, I think, should the possibility be there to bring Klopp in, then it's an opportunity we can't pass up - but firing Rodgers without having his replacement already set to sign would be a disaster. The worst thing we could do right now would be to get caught up in a managerial merry-go-round, and end up with someone who doesn't fit the club's vision and philosophy.

That, however, brings up a whole new set of questions...

What exactly are Liverpool's philosophies? Are they actually defined for reference within the club anywhere? Who's deciding on them, prioritising them, reinforcing them, holding everyone to their standards?

For me, for too long, we've been a ship without a rudder - we employ people, both coaches and playing staff, who we think can do a good job, without hiring and signing people specifically to fulfill a particular role within a particular system which adheres to our particular demands and philosophies.

Everybody wants Liverpool to be an aggressive, attacking side, who play with flair, dynamism, and an absolute will to win.

Liverpool appointed Roy Hodgson.

Forget the whole Gillette and Hicks thing for a minute, and think about that. Liverpool employed Roy Hodgson. Roy Hodgson wouldn't recognize a pass-and-move style of football if his team of Koncheskys and Poulsens lost 9-0 to one. Gillette and Hicks ripped the core philosophies out of this club, and we got Hodgeball.

FSG thankfully rid us of Hodgeball, but never really restored those philosophies.

They tried a quick fix with Kenny, and the placebo effect worked for a while, then we got found out. Brendan came in, with a reputation of a good young manager, keen to possess the ball, and with a desire to improve on his impressive year at Swansea.

He was young, talented, and full of potential, but he never knew how to win. The first season, a(nother) transitional season, was good in bursts, but disappointing overall. The second season was an emotional rollercoaster - almost epic, but resulting in epic failure. The two best forwards in the league carried the club as close to a title as I can ever remember seeing.

Then, FSGs own philosophies started to come through. Suarez left, and money was reinvested - but instead of signing players specifically to fill roles in the club that would allow for success in accordance with "The Liverpool Way", players were brought in who *might* fit the bill, but would almost certainly retain resale value. The wage bill was kept as low as possible, probably with an eye on the older players in the group whose earnings now far outweighed their contribution, and the term "potential" became the buzz word.

Brendan Rodgers, the head coach of one of the most storied clubs in the world, had potential. He was not a winner, but he might be some day.
Players were brought in - Emre Can, Lazar Markovic, Alberto Moreno, Javi Manquillo, who all had potential, but were not capable of driving the team forwards immediately. The four Premier-League proven players brought in, only one of whom has actually won anything in England, all flopped unreservedly.

Liverpool currently have a potentially great coach, with a potentially great team, who are presided over by an absent ownership team and a CEO who should be in boardrooms lobbying for sponsorship deals instead of running a football club.


It all feels very much thrown-together, still, after almost 5 years of FSG ownership.


Who is in charge of the football side of things? A sponsorship salesman.
Who's the first-team coach? A guy with lots of talent, lots of potential, but little experience and no trophies to his name at first-team level.
Who's the new captain going to be? Nobody knows, because nobody can see any character within the group.
Who's going to get the goals? I don't have an answer for that one.


A change of manager now, unless it's absolutely spot-on, could lead to even more years of transition. The club needs to redefine and re-emphasise its philosophies, and recruit people throughout the club who fit into those tenats.

Liverpool need a football man running the football club, and one who can help deliver the philosophies and structure the club needs. This is almost the most important appointment that needs to be made in the immediate future.

Should the manager be replaced, he needs to be replaced by a person who not only fits the club's desired tenats, but who knows how to win, too. There should be no more opportunity for a Liverpool manager to learn on the job.

Finally, every player bought should be bought to fill a particular role within one or two systems which comply with the way the club intends to play. Whether it's the manager picking the players out, or a director of football, it is completely vital that we are buying players who fit, and players who understand how to win.


Do Liverpool fire Rodgers now? Perhaps.
Would it be just? Honestly, probably.
Would it be the right thing to do? If the other things around the club aren't addressed at the same time, it more-than-likely actually won't really matter. This club is losing its identity, and it isn't just the manager's fault.

The absentee owners, the upper management, the transfer committee, the manager, the players and the coaching staff all need to take their fair share of the blame.

The positive side of this is that we've been left with a good, young squad. The potential could come good under the right guidance.

If FSG believe they've found someone better than Rodgers to bring it out of them, then they should bring that person in - but changing for the sake of changing would be pointless, especially if the other stuff isn't sorted out too.

Hinesy:
Brilliant post.

No666:

--- Quote ---Then, FSGs own philosophies started to come through. Suarez left, and money was reinvested - but instead of signing players specifically to fill roles in the club that would allow for success in accordance with "The Liverpool Way", players were brought in who *might* fit the bill, but would almost certainly retain resale value. The wage bill was kept as low as possible, probably with an eye on the older players in the group whose earnings now far outweighed their contribution, and the term "potential" became the buzz word.

--- End quote ---
As I've posted elsewhere I don't think FSG's own philosophies did come through - at least not unadulterated. The problem - from day one - was that they thought they knew what they needed to do to fix Liverpool but they lacked confidence. They have flip-flopped wildly. Comolli. Rodgers says no DoF. Move to Transfer Committee. Rodgers does well for one season with one of the best strikers in the world in the team backed by one of the best midfielders in the world having a late swan song and they indulge him by spending a huge percentage of our transfer budget on the two "premier proven" players he wants.
For Christ's Sake - you are people who are impressed by dossiers - have faith in your own bloody blueprint and stick to it! If the manager's ego has taken a boost from a freak finish and a tooth job, put him back in his box and remind him how f*cking lucky he is to be managing this great historic ('destination') club.
& surely it is the MD's job to point out the fault lines - the inevitable consequences of watering down a strategy?
FSG appointed an inexperienced but talented manager who then wanted players with some experience of the Premier League; what they probably should have done was the complete opposite. Particularly as their chosen MD lacks experience, gravitas, wisdom and knowledge of the game.
FSG promised us smart management. They have given us flip-flopping naivetÚ and clumsiness.
Today's result was unacceptable and by my own analysis may only have been partly Rodgers's fault. But - if Klopp is willing to come - today should have made a change inevitable.

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