Author Topic: End of season round table debate (*)  (Read 86074 times)

Online wemmick

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2015, 05:08:37 PM »
This season was all about poor management for me. Not just Rodgers or the TC committee, but the whole club.

On the back of losing Suarez, and knowing that replacing him would be impossible after Sanchez chose Arsenal, I cannot figure out why the club (Gordon, I reckon) didn't absolutely insist on a top-rated defensive coach joining the coaching staff. Knowing that replacing Suarez goals would be a challenge, and with Rogers generally having less coaching time, I thought it was kind of obvious that we would need a stellar defense to help make up the goal difference. Now, even going into this season, it was also obvious from even basic statistics that defense has been a significant weakness of Rodgers since he has been in the top flight. All of his teams in the PL have shipped too many goals to have sustained success challenging for CL places, and scoring 90+ goals every season is totally unrealistic on our budget. A defensive coach, however, was and is not outside of our budget. And after fully assembling one the world's most expensive defenses last summer, a defensive coach might have guaranteed a return on that investment. Sadly it did not. I won't even venture to call Moreno and Lovren poor buys because I've never seen a Liverpool side with less spatial organization than this season.

Even with the 3-4-3 run, when we had 5 at the back in defense, the spatial organization of the side didn't improve. We had more bodies behind the ball against counter-attacks, but that isn't the same as being properly organized. I think the only game this season where I saw us play with an organized defense was the second half against Southampton. This run also coincided with Rodgers making half the squad redundant, including most of the new players, in order to have some semblance of defensive solidity. To my mind this was an ineffective solution. If my junior manager made half of his/her staff redundant as a short-term solution to achieve minimum results, I would likely fire or demote them. It's a rookie mistake, and suggests poor management rather than bad hiring, even if things go well for a while. That's not a call for Rogers to be sacked, but it has been a lesson learned through experience. Half of the squad this season had no recognizable role, and despite great effort and on-field bickering, never did find a proper role within the squad. That, too, is poor management. Players can perform a variety of functions within a squad, so designating a clear role is paramount. Otherwise, players revert to what they know, which I think it was we witnessed this season. 11 individuals playing their own game, reverting to what they know, because they don't have a clear and consistent direction from the manager. That is probably partly down to Rodgers having less time to coach, but also down to the fact that he doesn't trust his squad to fulfill their roles. You don't always have the luxury in life of choosing all of your employees, but that's not an excuse for paying them to do nothing and not still not achieving decent results over 38 games (never mind Europe). 

That seems to me what we have been left with now that the season is over. A manager who doesn't trust his players, players who don't trust their manager, and a senior-level manager that doesn't help his junior manager, and doesn't insist and make executive decisions when they need to be made irrespective of what the junior manager thinks. The decision-making at the club has been appalling this season. So much so, that I'm willing to give the players a free pass. They played like shit half the time, but in my experience employees work like shit if their managers make consistently bad decisions. This piss poor season is on Gordon and Rodgers.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 01:05:57 PM by wemmick »

Offline Mamadou

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2015, 05:22:06 PM »
for the first time since i'm a Liverpool fan, i'm not looking forward to the next season... at least not while Ayre and Rodgers are in charge.  Liverpool isn't an opportunity to fulfil your careerist appetites.  I believe it's more than that...
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 08:28:34 PM by Mamadou »
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2015, 05:23:21 PM »
I wasn't saying I disagreed with you and wasn't necessarily aiming it at you, just using your paragraph as a starting point!

Oh right, I see.


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Offline CHOPPER

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2015, 05:26:29 PM »
We all dream of a team with character
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2015, 05:32:00 PM »
We all dream of a team with character

There's bad puns, good puns and great puns

That's up there with the finest

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Offline faisfais

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2015, 05:33:51 PM »
We all dream of a team with character

That was EPIC!  :wellin

Offline Qston

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2015, 05:57:32 PM »
My two penneths worth.....Chopper has summed it perfectly for me in another locked thread. Character. We haven`t shown anywhere near enough this season and frankly at times last season. Losing carragher and now gerrard we have lost two men who displayed that all important attribute in bucket loads. We can debate the relative merits of the transfers from last summer until the cows come home but one thing that has stood out above all else is the fact that heads drop too easily, getting a foot in, showing some real determination and generally displaying some guts has been sadly lacking. For me our best performance this season was away at Chelsea in the cup because we showed some real fight. As with fans of most clubs you can forgive a lot if you have shown some bottle and some fight.

I have said in other threads and at various times that changing the manager isn`t necessarily the answer. I know that other managers are potentially available this summer and the quality of those managers is right up there. There is also unlikely to be another summer like it for a while where such top drawer managers are available but I don`t see that as the panacea that others do. A new manager wouldn`t necessarily be able to get anything more out of the players, wouldn`t necessarily have systems and tactics that are any better that what Rodgers shows and would also have the same gambles on transfers....although I am still none the wiser on the much discussed transfer committee.

I think we have also to some extent suffered the perfect storm this season. One of the big transfers from last summer has not been properly fit all season (lallana) and when he has been fully fit has shown some glimpses of what we bought him for. He has also shown some glimpses of some character and fight. We have also had one of the best strikers in the country out injured for most of the season and whatever the debate about back up it is not all the managers fault.

What this boils down to for me is transfers and the first thing on the list of things to look at alongside ability is character. Players who will lead by example, who will show some fight and not throw their toys out of the pram at the first sight of something they don`t quite like despite earning sums of money that are incomprehensible to most of us. The likes of Balotelli, Sterling and probably some others who have either shown no fight or have acted like petulant children should be shown the door. I am unequivocal about that and don`t care about the "modern football" argument. The sort of attitude that has been shown is unacceptable for my club and they should not be pandered to. I also think that this has added to the general problems towards the end of this season. No one can tell me that the pantomime that sterling and his agent have created hasn`t had some effect on the dressing room - it is bound to. Deal with the problem - simple - get rid and replace with players who at least are prepared to show some fight and are not going to cause the club embarrassment.

The season has been so disappointing for so many reasons but I also take some positives from it. We do have some very good albeit very young players. Coutinho has continued his progress and is fast becoming world class. Ibe has come into the squad and shown he has what it takes. Sakho has shown that he could be a real defensive stalwart. Can has shown some fight and ability. It is not all doom and gloom as the media would love to have us all believe - they love it when we turn in on ourselves.

I say we back the manager. I say we take another look at our transfer strategy and I say we get some players in that show above all else some guts and character.

I feel better for that.
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Offline Not A Scouser

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2015, 06:28:21 PM »
I am probably pathologically optimistic, so take that into account. 

This season was a poor one, but not a disastrous one, and with mitigating circumstances and some plain errors.  I'm a big believer in "par" as a benchmark (but not as a goal) but this par is subject to other influences.  We have the fifth amount of money, 5th wages etc., you've seen it all before, our goal was 4th and we finished 6th.  That's not good enough without some mitigating factors.

I want to divide up the season between coaching and squad matters (transfers) and I want to do that because that is where I see the main issue with the football side of the club.  Everyone from the most ignorant fan to Brendan Rodgers knows that with Sturridge's injury we had no strikers worthy of the name.  You can coach a lot of things, but apparently putting the ball in the back of the net isn't one of them.  There was absolutely no shortage of people who predicted this at the beginning of the season, so this is simply a mistake by whoever is in charge of transfers.  The original targets looked fine, but ending up with Balotelli is a disgrace, particularly when the coach didn't want him. 

While Lovren (who Rodgers wanted) was extremely poor in the first half of the season (but improved somewhat later on) at least we had enough cover in players who have shown they can defend before.  I don't think it reasonable to decide whether the young players (Can through Markovic) can be determined to be successes or failures until they hit the ages at which players generally play regularly at top teams.

The transfer committee is not working, at least not in the short term.  The players Rodgers has particularly wanted (Borini through Lovren) have been poor.  The players Rodgers didn't want have also been unsuccessful.  The only successful ones have been those who we don't know what Rodgers wanted, probably because the transfer committee as a whole agreed upon that player (Sturridge, Coutinho.)  As I said above, I don't think we can judge the young players yet (maybe Markovic, Origi, and Ibe become the best attacking quartet in England?  Maybe they end up playing for Aston Villa?)

What Brendan Rodgers has shown as a coach is that with certain players he can make them dramatically better.  None of Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho, or Henderson where anything special before he got a hold of them and now they would all at least make the squad of the better teams in the world.  You'll notice these are all attacking talents.

Brendan Rodgers has also shown that he can organize teams offensively and defensively as we have seen during the giant swings in results.  Liverpool went on runs where they were very good defensively, and last year were awesome offensively.  The trouble is that Rodgers has never managed both at the same time.  He can play defensive football when he has no strikers, and attacking football when he does,but it seems clear that so far he cannot do both.  You have to be able to do both to succeed at a high level, and I don't know yet if Rodgers can do that with the right personnel.  I hope we find out next year with a proven goal scorer and Sturridge and the plethora of defending players he has (I think all of Skrtel, Lovren, Sakho, Can, henderson, Lucas could be part of a very good defensive team) and if he cannot, then he isn't good enough.

I think a fair amount of the doom and gloom comes from the timing of the results.  If the string of results at the end of the season had taken place earlier and we had finished the season in a mediocre fashion then I think there would be less alarm.  Psychologically people give more weight to things that just happened than things more distant in time.  Heads dropped dramatically after the Manchester Utd. game.  There was momentum and excitement, with hope to achieve the season's goal against the odds, and then it all crashed to pieces.  Once hope was gone the players just didn't put the effort in.  You might hate that, but I've never had a big problem with highly competitive people who stop caring when thee is nothing to play for.  I am concerned about the rumblings in the dressing room.

I also try to remember that this is a long term plan that started from a very poor position.  The team is very young, our finances (which is an unfortunately large part of the reality of football) are improving dramatically, the stadium is expanding, we have youth products coming through, the team is very young.  there's a lot of good things happening in terms of the long term, with consequences that affect the short term.

Overall I think that Rodgers has shown himself to be a good coach with the good chance that he might become a great coach.  He is not a manager, someone that can be trusted to best the competition in terms of finding personnel, and his role in that part of the game should consist of him describing exactly the sort of player he wants, to someone who can understand what those qualities are. Rodgers needs a Director of Football, just like FSG wanted from the start. If he can't handle that he needs to be replaced.

There should be some sort of committee when looking at transfers, but it should report to a football man who understands the overall philosophy of the club, and the concept of a budget (determined by his bosses).

My main concern for the club is that players now view Liverpool as a smaller club, an actual accurate portrayal of our present situation.  Unless the football side of the club can significantly outperform some of the best football people in the world (Rodgers has to be 20% better than Arsene Wenger or Mourinho) then our best players will consistently leave for clubs that are bigger right now.

I really hope for a three at the back and two proper strikers up top system for next year to see if Rodgers can put it all together.  If he can then this team will be very good indeed.  If he can't then it will be the disappointment of par for the foreseeable future.

Offline Butcher Knife Roberto

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2015, 06:32:10 PM »
We all dream of a team with character

The irony of it being that we appear to have a manager who actually does have character. It's a pity then that the team didn't appear to be playing the same game as Brendan. The capitulation of the team was nothing short of a disaster - no one can argue that for those 15 or so games in the middle we could have toasted anyone. It was right back there with the best of last season, albeit with slightly fewer goals.

I've been harsh on Brendan over the last few days, and will probably look back on some comments with a bit of a red face in the days and weeks to come. But when a team does collapse in the way we did the finger does have to get pointed in the manager's direction. We all know that football is a confidence game - you only need to look at Stoke on Sunday. Everything they touched turned to goals. Same as in the doing we dished out to Arsenal at Anfield last season. It was a massacre, a decent Arsenal team couldn't live with us. Did the Man United and Arsenal defeats really have such a negative effect, or was the writing on the wall in the lead up to those games? We clawed our way out of the shit earlier in the season, with Mignolet being dropped and then becoming resurgent again being one great example. Why could it not happen again, especially against the so called 'lesser' teams like Hull, Palace and so on during the run-in?

In hindsight, I don't think the manager or FSG can shoulder too much of the blame here, although they have plenty they need to held to account over - transfers, utterly jurassic timeframes when it comes to contracts, allowing Gerrard to leave when he's top scorer et al. There have to be direct questions asked of the players. Do they have confidence in the manager? Do they actually know what it means to play for Liverpool Football Club? Do they give a shit beyond their pay cheques? I can count on one hand the number of players who can walk away at the end of this season and say they've done a good job. The buck rightly stops with the manager when it comes to setting the team up, tactics, all that stuff, and Brendan has made some proper fuck ups this year. He's also played some blinders. The execution of instructions however, and the technical ability of the players, is down to them entirely in my view. Raheem Sterling, pining for a move to a bigger club, thinking he's the big cheese, missing sitters from 3 yards out and out-scored for the season by a 34 year old who is apparently past his best. Not the behaviour of a £4M player let alone a £40M one. Far, far too many brain farts in defence. A midfield lacking in future leadership. It's time the players actually came out and admitted they haven't been good enough, rather than seeking to jump ship or hang a decent guy like Brendan Rodgers out to dry with inept, limp and frankly embarrassing performances in the last 9 or so games.

So it all begs the question, would a new manager make the current crop of players perform any better? I honestly don't know. Does the squad need a hug or a slap and a total clear out? Again, I don't know. It all has the feeling of a rudderless ship, and a progressive slipping back from the top 4. As another poster pointed out, Chelsea went out and bought what they needed, not a horde of 'potential' and a hope that some might work out. City were City, chucking money around left, right and centre. United bust the transfer record, again. They also made the top 4 with a donkey of a squad in comparison to anything they've had over the past 20 years (I give you Phil fucking Jones!). And Arsenal were just Arsenal, 17 consecutive years in the Champions League spots and a chance to retain the FA Cup. Given the availability of 2 world class managers in Ancelotti and Klopp (forget Rafa), the timing couldn't be worse for Brendan Rodgers. The temptation surely must be there for FSG to make the change, but at what cost? 2-3 more seasons of transition? Or do they give Brendan the chance to correct some things, clear out some serious dead wood, and hit the Premier League with the confidence of 2013-2014?

One thing is for sure; whoever the manager is will need our full and noisy support next season. If it's Brendan then I'll happily eat my words and back him up. But if it's going wrong again then FSG need to be ruthless, and fast. Likewise, if we have a new guy we need to support him. It's what we're known for after all, and what sets us apart from other clubs. Bollocks to this season, it's over, and thank fuck. Roll on next year.

Offline Black Bull Nova

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2015, 07:54:08 PM »
I think the sacking of Kenny showed the ruthlessness of FSG, after all we'd won something and were just short of winning two cups in the same season. Despite that they appear to be less ruthless when it is their own decisions which are called into question (at least that's how it feels). Truth is that Brendan is probably the 4th best option available to us right now and when you rule out Rafa (Madrid), Ancelloti (Back) and Klopp (6 months off) he's probably the best option we have. You could think of other managers but they would be just as much a gamble as keeping Brendan and probably cost more in new players.

We've gone from poor, season 1, to fantastic, season 2 to piss poor, season 3 and that makes rational analysis difficult. What makes season 3 worse is the way it ended, there was no character, no upward trajectory at the end which might leave you feeling any optimism. Most people just wanted the season to finish after Utd, Arsenal and Villa, I wish to god it had because Stoke just drained the blood from most people's bodies. Never has a relatively meaningless game (it was to them) had such an effect on a set of fans. Last year we saw the best football in my life (including the glory days) but Stoke saw the worst performance anyone can remember, what a contrast and hence the conflicting thoughts in the heads of many.

We've talked about playing all season without strikers but we had 5, one injured mainly, one out on loan, £30m quids worth of fit ones indeed, strikers who had goalscoring records, champions medals, fresh from world cups. Southampton, with Rodriguez out and Lambert gone, had no-one we'd ever heard of, we pipped them by 2 points and mighty Swansea, who have to sell what appears to be their only striker each year were one win against us away from knocking us down to 7th, where we were 2 years ago.

I don't think the players we have are bad, no-one was really complaining back in August really, but there has been a malaise at the club all season, made worse once the Sterling saga kicked off. At the end of the day that malaise rests on one persons shoulders, the manager. No-one else is able to set the backdrop to the team and energise them into fulfilling their potential, that's why Klopp appears to be so attractive, he has the vitality which we've lacking all season, that missing ingredient.

There something about why he chose 6 months off, at a time when (relatively) big clubs are casting their large chequebooks about (West Ham, Newcastle and Sunderland, all in the richest 20 clubs in the world) it is a strange thing to do to rule out the opportunities. It would be mad if a £250m club like Liverpool had not had some discreet discussions although, given Ian Ayre's track record I doubt discreet has ever applied.

We have to do what is best for Liverpool which is, not panicking and taking ill judged decisions (we'll leave that to Mike Ashley) but at the same time, in order for us to ever rise into the top 4 again on a regular basis, the next decision this club takes will define us for years to come, we can't miss opportunities to improve ourselves if they ever come along. Brendan, for now, but he must be made aware that the club is more important than his job security.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 07:57:29 PM by Black Bull Nova »
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Offline FlashingBlade

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Re: End of season round table debate
« Reply #50 on: May 27, 2015, 08:25:03 PM »
Let me say I’ve never ‘warmed’ to Rogers…Houllier, Benitez, soon as they arrived and I heard them speak I thought , ‘yeah, they’re Liverpool Managers’…(With Kenny there was already love…as for Hodgson, well, lets draw a discreet veil over that and ignore)…but Rogers got my back up with the implication he was going to bring a ‘ quality passing game’ to Liverpool ….this fella didn’t know the club he was joining….he just didn’t make me feel right and I was still angry how Kenny was treated, but, I knew time would be the issue, he was manager of Liverpool and deserved the time to make his mark.

At that moment  my mantra was  ( and still is) , we are now run by owners who will run the club to a tight financial model ( ignoring the age old and modern wisdom “ he who spendith the most , winnith the most trophies”) and have a manager who will be learning his trade at Liverpool Football Club. We are an experiment!

Last year Rogers  brought some of the most exhilarating football ever witnessed at Anfield and deserved all the credit he received..but it was flawed, defence was a weakness. The non-addressing of the defensive issue was key to this season because we couldn’t build on the previous seasons performance  as that that was built on Blitzkrieg not solid defence and with the loss of Suarez , Sturridge injuries’s and sadly Gerrard coming to his natural end…..this season was always at risk to expose that…especially with a transfer policy that delivered too  little  ( but with some promise), yet , again, Rogers showed pragmatism , he looked hard and it took time but he came up with a defensive solution , meanwhile the attack floundered due to the poor transfer window.... but up to the United game, whilst not happy , there was still enough to be optimistic about……then something happened…two disappointing non combative performances against Untied and Arsenal, the disgraceful Semi….the wheels came off ending with one of the worst results in our history. A question remains why?

If Rogers is to remain ( and on balance probably the option to be taken)  he must learn from his mistakes and fast, he must have learned that the fight is as important as the fancy, character is essential, this is a ‘young squad’ and he needs to install that fight in them, passion is an overused commodity in football , but we are deficient in it. Defence will make or break you and it needs to be consistent, two good performance out of three won’t do and goals….less dithering and more direction in front of goal. In football terms, we have some good players…but we need some character infused in them so I’d have Sami Hyppia on the coaching staff.

I feel Rogers has had too much to do on too many fronts, he's at a club whose ambitions ( or at least the fans) will never cease to be the best, but we are without the financial clout to attract the very best , yet we are measured against the best teams and our rown history ,  Rogers must realise that now , he wont get a second poor season.

No longer having Gerrard…or Suarez to your armoury is a huge blow and the need to  have young players deliver to the same level of  what more experienced ones are in other teams are is an unrealistic expectation…but…but there are positives throughout the team… I still don’t warm to the guy, but he’s done enough to suggest there’s better  to come, but this will only happen if he makes the right decisions over the next 12 months …..someone said to me the worst thing you can do as a modern Liverpool Manager is finish second, cos if you don’t win it over the next two seasons your out and this I fear it true, but Rogers retention for next season is on balance, the right decision….just.

You may not agree with any of the above, but you’d be hard pressed to disagree with this, Rogers may have had money like previous managers, he may have had great players, good luck and bad luck…..but what he hasn’t had this year which no other Liverpool Manager has gone without from Shankly to Kenny the second time…..is a passionate , atmospheric  and noisy Anfield Crowd…..not one of myth, but one several times a season could see the writing on the wall in a game, whether we are losing , drawing or struggling and lift the team…put fear or doubt into the opposition, this is something that in reality only manifests itself a few times a season…maybe inspiring the team to a draw here or a win there….maybe, maybe putting a couple of more points on the board when they where needed. This year has seen the most pathetic support at Anfield I have borne witness too since I started going to the game in 1969. On this score we have given Rogers and team no help whatsoever.
 
For next season to improve to an acceptable level there needs to be dramatic change in mindsets of the ownership (unlikely), the management (hopefully) and  the players ( who some how have been excused in the recent debacle)  ..the fans?...all we can do is hope..or is that all?... We need revolution! ( no not time for evolution) The great work by the fans groups now needs to be focussed closer at home and those day trippers who are here at the desire of the owners be given short shrift from fellow fans at the game, We need  Anfield to be a scary place for away teams to visit…and we start by putting our house in order.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 09:10:30 PM by FlashingBlade »

Offline Garcepticon

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Re: End of season proper debate :FOR IN HERE ONLY (for now anyway)
« Reply #51 on: May 27, 2015, 08:45:10 PM »
It was the best time in the season to lose 6-1. We can now reflect on the impressive season Rodgers has had. Take away some of the systemic problems over which he has debatable control;

losing Suarez,
losing Sturridge,
losing Gerrard,
losing the keeper and Sterling to circumstances which are out of his control; and,
working with a dysfunctional management structure.

I honestly believe three or four managers in world football get more out of the squad in the season, and none of those are sure things to do so.

A summer away from the pressures of the job will do him a world of good. He hasn't lost his touch, keep faith.

Offline elliotsmith101

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #52 on: May 27, 2015, 09:05:25 PM »
I hate how much people's thinking about this club can change in one season. The amazing highs of last season, to the dreadful lows of this season.

I think we need to keep ourselves grounded. Our opinions are dragged up and down by the media.

We're not a mess. We're a little embarrassed cos' we got our hopes up a lot after a great season, and didn't realise how much it would hurt when we lost our best player and fell.

We've got a good, young squad with technically gifted players that need to develop. We've got a good, young manager with (some of) the right ideas and every season he is learning. We chose to employ a young manager who hadn't won anything. Who said he was perfect?

We need to ignore the media circus and back our club. Back our manager. Back our young team, who need to learn what it's like to be inspired by the kop. They'll make the best transfers possible, but they can't make players that want to play in CL or in London play in Liverpool in the Europa league. That's not in anybody's hands.

Footballs great cos' when things are good, you can get right carried away and everything is rosy. What's not so great is having to listen to all the taunts, the media headlines when its going shite. Reacting to them creates the problem, when the reality is we need to support our club and be positive. That's what we're here for.

Offline Harinder

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #53 on: May 27, 2015, 09:06:13 PM »
It's a starred topic for a reason folks. Try not to go with one liners where applicable and add to the debate rather than detract  :wave
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Offline MolbyLovesGravlax

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #54 on: May 27, 2015, 09:20:56 PM »
For me we are a dangerous juncture because I can't say you can look at any area of this club and have real faith in where we are going.
I don't have faith the players have what it takes, in ability or mentality, to get us where we should be going.
I don't have faith in the manager, and his very insular coaching setup, to have the know how to get us where we should be going.
I don't have faith in the structure in place to identify, acquire and keep/sell players to improve us continualy to get us to where we should be going.
I don't have faith in the ownership group to have the boldness to really evaluate the flaws in their plan and its execution to change things to get us to where we should be going.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope I have a whole dozen eggs on my face this time next year.
But right now faith is lacking and that is the real lifeblood of football.
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Offline stockdam

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #55 on: May 27, 2015, 09:26:23 PM »
Ok so I am a Rodgers fan and I believe that at times we have played better football than I have seen us play for many years. However this season has been poor and if he gets sacked then I totally understand. Once we hit the big games then we folded; a half decent run in would have secured fourth and to be frank we looked like relegation fodder for a large part of the season. Rodgers' team either plays great football or gets turned over by a team that fights harder. Forget about how the rest of the club has been run, Rodgers has enough players at his disposal to beat Villa, Crystal Palace, Hull etc. and certainly should not ship 5 goals in 45 minutes against Stoke. I cannot find any excuses for some of the performances.

I think Rodgers is learning his trade in real time in front of our eyes and to be honest I have big doubts. He is a good coach but is he good enough if we are to move on?

Now some comments for FSG. They have been duped completely by the Rodgers rhetoric. I think they were convinced that he could run the football side of the club by himself and for me he is currently out of his depth and believes his own hype. He needs a very good support team and I think this is where FSG messed up. I know that this won't happen but just imagine Ancelotti in the background advising Rodgers and taking a lot of the load of him. Maybe if Carlo wants time off for surgery then he could still do a part time role as DoF; sorry I'm just exploring fantasy.

One part of me says that Rodgers has messed up and needs to spend time learning at a smaller team but then again other than Klopp or Ancelotti I don't see any better alternatives.

So my best solution is to take a lot of the work load off Rodgers and give him a world class DoF that can work wonders with him.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 11:39:52 PM by stockdam »
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Offline Keith Lard

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #56 on: May 27, 2015, 09:29:55 PM »
Quite simply, I want us to be patient and keep the faith. Brendan Rodgers is a fine young manager. This has not been his finest season, but next season we should reap the benefits of him learning from his mistakes. I just firmly believe he is the right man for the job, and the harsh judgements on him are symptomatic of the success now culture in society today. Nothing good happens without patience, a clear vision, and allowance for mistakes.

I think the same applies to our players. I think a lot of them will cause surprises next season. The likes of Balotelli should be motivated as their careers at the top level will be under threat. We have talent in the squad and we will make some quality additions in the off season.

I am quietly optimistic. I have a very deep belief that we will be a huge surprise package next season.
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Offline Les Willis

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #57 on: May 27, 2015, 09:43:05 PM »
I'm another that's inclined to keep the faith with Brendan and at least give him one more go at getting us somewhere. It all fell to bits horribly towards the end of the season and the whole season has been disappointing - yet we still weren't that far off top four (until we lost to Man U). There were too many players that didn't quite click this season. Sturridge being out for most of the season made a substantial difference, but Balotelli not showing his better qualities didn't help. Also, Gerrard's star has faded this season and this happened a lot quicker than many of us could have imagined. I love him to bits, but that had a big impact in games as he just couldn't attain the levels that he previously showed.

I think that next season, without Gerrard's influence (good or bad), it will be time for other players to step up another level. Brendan also needs to be able to adapt his systems to the players he has. It's going to be a difficult start to the season and Brendan will be under pressure from the off, but he deserves one more crack at it.

Offline jonnyrich

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #58 on: May 27, 2015, 09:49:46 PM »
Ok so I am a Rodgers fan and I believe that at times we have played better football than I have seen us play for many years. However this season has been poor and if he gets sacked then I totally understand. Once we hit the big games then we folded; a half decent run in would have secured fourth and to be frank we looked like relegation fodder for a large part of the season. Rodgers' team either plays great football or gets turned over by a team that fights harder. Forget about how the rest of the club has been run, Rodgers has enough players at his disposal to beat Villa, Crystal Palace, Hull etc. and certainly should not ship 5 goals in 45 minutes against Stoke. I cannot find any excuses for some of the performances.

I think Rodgers is learning his trade in real time in front of our eyes and to be honest I have big doubts. He is a good coach but is he good enough if we are to move on?

Now some comments for FSG. They have been duped completely by the Rodgers rhetoric. I think they were convinced that he could run the football side of the club by himself and for me he is currently out if his depth and believes his own hype. He needs a very good support team and I think this is where FSG messed up. I know that this won't happen but just imagine Ancelotti in the background advising Rodgers and taking a lot of the load of him. Maybe if Carlo wants time off for surgery then he could still do a part time role as DoF; sorry I'm just exploring fantasy.

One part of me says that Rodgers has messed up and needs to spend time learning at a smaller team but then again other than Klopp or Ancelotti I don't see any better alternatives.

So my best solution is to take a lot of the work load off Rodgers and give him a world class DoF that can work wonders with him.

Totally agree with this, I hope that the board give him this option as a like it or lump it. How the hell Pascoe is there as well I don't know.

Offline Djimi Smicer34

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #59 on: May 27, 2015, 09:57:03 PM »
My opinion is that if FSG back him then that should be through anything and everything.  None of this "give him until Christmas" nonsense, there is no justification in writing off another season and spending what looks like another hefty amount of money this summer on Rodgers' players if they're going to pull the trigger if things go tits up by the end of this year.

If there are any doubts in the owners' minds then my view is that a change has to be made and that if it is Rodgers could have no complaints.  I really like him and think he can still become a top class manager but for me the credit from last year is gone.  Modern football has a short memory and having usurped Chelsea, Arsenal and United last season we now sit behind Spurs with Southampton and Swansea close on our tails.  Its not good enough, we blew it and I really think another poor season might make widen the gap to such an extent that it would be extremely difficult for us to claw our way back into contention.

Its very easy to be seduced by the idea of Klopp as our manager; I think he and Liverpool would be a perfect match.  But I want Rodgers to be a success here, if we sever ties then I think he will be at another top club eventually.  We just aren't in a position to allow him patience to learn on the job, he has to deliver from this point on. 

Its stick or twist time, either Rodgers is without doubt our man for the long-term or there needs to be a change.  That's for FSG to decide.

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2015, 09:58:14 PM »
Totally agree with this, I hope that the board give him this option as a like it or lump it. How the hell Pascoe is there as well I don't know.

I can totally see why FSG would sack Rodgers but the one glimmer of hope is that the team were playing the best football in the league just after Christmas. If he stays then FSG must totally reorganise the support team. I don't want to name anyone but the club needs a clear out of people who are not good enough.

If he stays then Rodgers must hit the ground running next year. He needs to understand that being beaten at home by Crystal Palace and then Stoke by 5 goals can never be acceptable and he must learn how to setup a team that is very difficult to score against. Good defences are much cheaper than world class attackers and you certainly do not need world class attackers to beat Stoke.
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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2015, 09:59:02 PM »
I hope that the board give him this option as a like it or lump it.

Well if the rumors about monchi being in town are true then i think that's how the meeting will go down. 

Offline naka

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2015, 10:01:48 PM »
Horrible year for me
I am not a br fan and actually think he is a bluffer on the Harry redknapp scale
The season started poorly and we all hoped that the run would help us but alas poor decisions and the continuing playing of Johnson and lovren as well as the ostracism of manquillo / Lucas/ balotelli( you pick)hasn't helped.
For me the surrender to Madrid  and away to basil and the awful performance In the champions league as well as Europa league leave br with no credibility with me.
I was born in 68 the 70s and 80s were great years for me when we had class.
I don't think BR has any class sorry.

Offline edeyj

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2015, 10:04:45 PM »
The case for the defence......or not!

12/13 - 43 PL goals conceded.
13/14 - 50 PL goals conceded.
14/15 - 48 PL goals conceded.

This is why, in my view, we need to look for a replacement for the manager.

The best sides are built on a solid defence and we have not had that under Brendan. We got away with it in 13/14 because we had a lethal attacking force. However, even then we were found out in the end.

To compound this we bought Lovren, Moreno and Manquillo (loan) none of whom have helped our defensive cause. So much so that we end up relying on midfielders to undertake defensive duties. And to complete the picture Brendan will not entertain any specialist coaching help in this area.

If we continue to ship goals at this rate then we surely will only ever reach our "par" of 5th or worse. I don't deny that we need better strikers but our defence needs a complete overhaul.

So, is Brendan capable....I think not.

The case for the defence rests.

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #64 on: May 27, 2015, 10:13:32 PM »
6   Liverpool   38   18   8   12   52   48   4   62


Sure 4th if you add 20+ more goals, but is 4th our all now like Spurs?
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Offline Gnurglan

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #65 on: May 27, 2015, 10:16:43 PM »
The less said about the Stoke game, the better. It's the worst performance I can remember. For the last 30 years. Enough said.

Season? I'm gonna start with last summer. I had one real concern. That we brought in so many new players in a World Cup year. It was bound to have an effect. Many new players. Expensive players. To come to a team that finished 2nd. The balance in the group, the hierarchy we had, was naturally affected. In a World Cup year, there's less time to form the group. And that's when we chose to add many new players. Not a good idea.

With Suarez sold, my hope was that we'd be able to get Sturridge to 20 league goals and a new striker to 15 league goals. I never expected us to find another 30-goal player. I expected another part of the plan to be that we'd spread the goals. More goals from midfielders. That we chose to go with different types of strikers, that wasn't a real concern for me. I expected the midfielders to carry a heavier burden. As it turned out, we abandoned what worked. And we abandoned the idea of using Balotelli and Lambert. So we had nothing. Our strikers' output was extremely poor. Without looking, I'm sure our best striker would rank as the leading striker with the least goals in the entire PL. So we went from the best to the worst. I think Suarez and Sturridge scored 52 goals last season. That's what the entire team managed this season.

We ended up on 18-8-12. Normally, 20 wins should take you to a top four spot, or very close. 25 wins takes you to a title challenge. Our losses to Hull, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Crystal Palace (x2) cost us the CL spot. I did a breakdown of this a couple of weeks ago. We had very good results vs teams 5-10 and a good vs teams 16-20. We were weak against 1-4 and 11-15. Meaning, it's perfectly possible for us to get a CL spot, but we blew it. We didn't overachieve.

Signings? Very, very disappointing. IMO only Can is a guaranteed first team player. That's in defence, where he had a nightmare of a game vs Stoke. That's our best signing. For 100M+. Lallana had a decent outcome too, but if Sterling, Coutinho and Sturridge are fit, I don't think he makes the first eleven. Overall, it's quite frankly useless. People may think it's too harsh, but we're talking elite sports. We're a side striving to become the best of the best. If we can't get a leading first team player for 100M, we need to call it like it is. It's a disaster. There's really no excuse for such a shocking result.

So what to do?
On the positive side, I'd say we know what the problem is. It's our goalscoring. Add a player with 15 league goals and we'd have reached top four. With that view, give Rodgers another season (and sign him a quality striker of his choice asap).

I have to say though, that I'm sceptical if we should give him another year. I like him. I like his positive approach. It's constructive and if we get it right, we'll be very, very good. The problem is we've done so many mistakes this last season. And my impression is the energy is gone from the team. We've been running on empty. The last two games show what I mean. The belief is gone. We're now at a special point. Gerrard is off. There is no obvious leading player in our side now. We've fallen to pieces. It feels like a new start. And perhaps we should also get that fresh start with a new manager. I know which one I'd like. I'd try and get the man that is leaving Real Madrid.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 10:18:27 PM by Gnurglan »

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Offline The Playmaker

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End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #66 on: May 27, 2015, 10:20:29 PM »
Is Brendan the right manager for the job?

If you had asked this question at the end of last season, I doubt many would have said he wasn’t. Sure, there were questions over things, no doubt. But we’d just finished second and had played some of the best football we’ve seen, home and away. We had come within touching distance of lifting the Premier League. But every season is different and now is a time to reflect on what we saw over the whole of this season. The fact is, as the manager of the club, Brendan has to take some responsibility.

At best, Brendan is getting one more season – and he should value that. If he has a slow start then we all know that he will fighting for his job. I want him to succeed here because I want the club to succeed. I wouldn’t say that I’ve warmed to him, nor do I dislike him. Fenway Sports Group made a bold, and arguably brave decision in appointing him as our manager after letting Kenny Dalglish leave.

The key is that Brendan learns from the mistakes that he has made and puts them right next season, if he is given the chance. Brendan has to grab the chance and lead the club into a season where we can dream again; a season where we have direction, a genuine plan, ambition and one where we play to win. We need to be a team that is more than the sum of its parts. I want to see a Liverpool team that doesn't hide, no matter what.

The League

This season has been a hangover that the club simply couldn’t shift. Even when we went on that run earlier this year, the performances were ok. Nothing special. The team went on a good run of results and gave themselves a reasonable chance of getting fourth place. There hasn’t been many standout performances as a team, and the fact that we were in that situation in the first place was disappointing. Brendan and the team deserves some credit for that upturn in form and results. Because after that defeat at Old Trafford, we looked dead and buried.

In an ideal world, we would have finished 6th last season and 2nd this season. The drop off in points and goals scored has been huge. But after witnessing what unfolded in the summer, I think most of us were just hopeful of a top four finish. Given our recent finishes in the Premier League, finishing 6th wasn’t unusual. But serious questions must be asked over how we spent our money last summer. We can all sit and yearn for Luis Suarez but the fact is, there was enough money to go into the market and sign at least one decent striker. The club didn’t do that. Nobody could have predicted that Daniel Sturridge would be out for as long as he has, but we knew he was going to get some injuries. The rest of our selection hasn't done well enough and Brendan lost confidence in them.

Probably the most disappointing thing from our league campaign is that we were presented with chances (even after the defeats to Manchester United and Arsenal) to claim fourth. I had a quick look earlier and we were only in the top four once this season, and that was after matchday one! But the team did have chances and didn't take them. The team didn't score enough goals this season and they've conceded far too many in the process. 9 of those came in our last two games against Crystal Palace and Stoke City. So despite Simon Mignolet keeping an impressive amount of clean sheets; we are still conceding too many goals. The amount of goals we've conceded are what you would expect from teams fighting relegation. It isn't good enough and not resolving this problem will continue to cost us.

European football and domestic cups.

The team, manager and the club didn’t cope well with European football at all. It did coincide with the team being genuinely woeful in just about every department. Given the group we had, I think most of us fancied a chance to finish second. I sure did and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was wrong. I was excited about the return to European football and maybe I got caught up in that. But I did expect us to get out of the group stage. I didn't expect us to finish above Real Madrid, of course not. The less said about the Europa League, the better.

We reached two semi-finals in the domestic cup competitions. I thought we matched Chelsea in the League Cup but we couldn’t get over the line, so to speak. In the FA Cup, it was another semi-final but we lost to a rampant Aston Villa side. Lots of questions have been asked since about our mentality. Brendan pretty much admitted that the occasion may have got to some of our players. That is worrying.

Summary

The season didn't start too well. We found our way for a while and then the end of the season was a return to what we had seen earlier on. After that fantastic run earlier in the year, it looked like everything was back on track – and the team had given themselves a chance to get back into the top four. Yet, after that defeat to Manchester United, we’ve not looked the same and comments about the team 'giving up' seem fair enough.

The 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in our final home league game of the season, followed by the 6-1 away defeat to Stoke City on the final day will haunt Brendan. He looked broken after the Stoke City game. The last performance was lifeless. The team selection wasn't great and probably summed up how wrong the club had got it last summer. Without Sterling, Brendan didn't even bother to start a striker. I will not accept excuses of people already being on their holiday.

The attitudes of some of our players that day shows why we’ve not finished in the top four, in my opinion. When points are being played for, you don't say things like: "on a day like today, the result doesn't matter." Yet, Rickie Lambert said something similar. Yes, it was the final game for Steven Gerrard at Anfield. But it was a Premier League match for crying out loud. We have signed some people that are used to playing lower down the league – and don’t have that ambition or quality to progress further. I’m not expecting everyone to be rooting for Brendan, but if they are, then they sure have a funny way of showing it.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 10:42:31 AM by The Playmaker »

Offline Asam

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2015, 10:37:05 PM »

We have defenders who are easily intimidated, a midfield that is easily outfought and a forward line that looks to one player for goals and he's mostly injured, there is a complete lack of controlled aggression in the team and too many of our players seem OK with not winning, the players being played out of position and the lack of fighting spirit/motivation is down to the manager, how can we go from a team that simply blew almost every team away within 30 minutes at Anfield to one so flaccid?

We need a new Spine, and a new spirit, looking at our transfers I honestly don't know how anyone can be confident that we will get it right, unless Ayre is also told in not uncertain terms that his neck is on the line as well- so how about we establish some basic rules:

- We focus on adding goals to the team as #1 priority, movement, intelligence, finishing and technique are the key attributes

- We add a powerful midfield presence to bring some authority into our pansy midfield

- We add a dominant, centre back 

- We add a quality Right Back

- We add a quality Backup 'Keeper

- We don't spend money on squad players, we sign first team players first and foremost,  no more £4-8M signings that are sold 12 months later at a loss. We give our best youngsters the chance to play

- We don't sign players who don't fit into our style of play, no more immobile centre forwards or slow as fuck Centre backs signed for huge fees.

- All Liverpool players must be dynamic, aggressive with a never say die spirit, we expect quality and mentality, we don't sign nice footballers who are happy to lose and get 0 yellow cards a season.

Let's start building a team of winners instead of Nice guys

Offline b_joseph

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #68 on: May 27, 2015, 10:52:39 PM »
For me..first and foremost, the cult of manager is over. In this country we have this weird thing with managers and captains but those days are over now. The unfortunate part is that too many are hanging on to it...so we have a situations where a coach of ours has gone 3 years without winning anything ( yes, we were close last year but being very hungry and being slightly hungry still leaves you hungry ).
4 teams in the semis of the CL this season..their coaches had a combined 6 years of tenure at their respective clubs and one of them has gone already...and 2 of them no fewer than 2 years ago were not seen as great coaches at all and here they are looking at possible trebles.
Changing coaches doesnt set you back...being poorly ran and having too many good but not very very good players and having a potential genius at 20 and not getting him signed up to a long term extension. Those things set you back.


The most important thing is to have really good players...this season , we didnt have really good players where it matters the most and that is in the opposition penalty area.
So you can go one of two ways...
1) Get some boss players for that job and then judge your coach
2) Reduce your expectations and settle for 5th and 6th...keep your coach and just keep raking in the money while having the rare..very very rare exceptional season.

Nobody wants the 2nd option but what are we doing to change that?


Ultimately, IMO, if he stays or goes, it doesnt change the main issues with this football club from top to bottom. Klopp is better but Klopp with no goalscorers wont conjure up a magic formula...same with Rafa...Ancelotti and whoever else.
Plenty of coaches are better than Bren..coaches that are known and unkown..fancied and unfancied. But until the entire club start acting and working like a club determined to be the best, you cant out blame on the people beneath them when things dont go to our expectations/hopes and dreams.

The question isnt whether BR is good enough..the questions are whether FSG are good enough? or Are they interested enough? Do they wake up with a rabid determination to make our club better?
You cant give an absolute positive answer to any of those.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 10:56:53 PM by b_joseph »

Offline stockdam

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #69 on: May 27, 2015, 11:04:10 PM »
I don't think adding goals to the team is the simple answer. Yes that us an area we need to strengthen but we also need to toughen up in defence. Scoring 15 more goals is achievable and conceding 10 less is also within reason. That would put us firmly in the top 4.

A couple of good strikers could score 10 to 15 goals each and an overall improvement in how we defend shouldn't be that hard for a decent manager.

I would like to aim higher but  a regular top 4 place isn't that difficult to achieve if we get our act together. This year we could have strolled to 4th but we lost our way completely.
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Offline L8_WHUFC

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2015, 11:16:08 PM »
Out of all the good posts on your end of season round up, from a sort of unbiased view (I've lived in L8 for for a long time now), this part of the early post from Col sticks out for me

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.

The bold bit seems not just potential, but likely (imo)

(My football brain has been firmly locked into hope more than reason since John Lyall left my team, so feel free to discount this post as you see fit)


Offline Gnurglan

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2015, 11:21:18 PM »
The question isnt whether BR is good enough..the questions are whether FSG are good enough? or Are they interested enough? Do they wake up with a rabid determination to make our club better?
You cant give an absolute positive answer to any of those.

We need to work together. At all levels. This season is what it is because no-one at the club (players, manager staff, support staff) did a good enough job. There are certain players that I'd give a 'pass', or better, but as a group, our players don't get a 'pass'. For example, I think Gerrard, despite not being this leading figure we're used to, did a good job. He finished as our top scorer. He kept his normal level of goalscoring.

But I don't think we should question FSG too much. I think that's an easy way out. We don't need to go to them for answers. The answers are within our own four walls. Lots of football decisions have been strange or direct poor this last year. If I was FSG, I'd be very, very tempted to jump right in and interfere. I'm not convinced that's what we want. But they have every right to do that, when the outcome is like this. It's been amateur hour on a very, very big budget. We shouldn't be surprised if they said "playtime is over". And that could put us in some real trouble. It might be what the club needs, but it could become quite painful for a season or two. Not because they'd want to wreck us, but because we can't continue like this and something has got to change.

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Offline Gnurglan

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2015, 11:29:35 PM »
I don't think adding goals to the team is the simple answer. Yes that us an area we need to strengthen but we also need to toughen up in defence. Scoring 15 more goals is achievable and conceding 10 less is also within reason. That would put us firmly in the top 4.

A couple of good strikers could score 10 to 15 goals each and an overall improvement in how we defend shouldn't be that hard for a decent manager.

I would like to aim higher but  a regular top 4 place isn't that difficult to achieve if we get our act together. This year we could have strolled to 4th but we lost our way completely.

I like this. Add 15 goals, concede 10 less. Would make a world of difference. It's possible, even realistic. And it wouldn't have to cost fantasy money. I mean, it's a couple of goals less against Leicester, QPR and a few more against Stoke and we're almost there with the defensive game.

        * * * * * *


"The key isn't the system itself, but how the players adapt on the pitch. It doesn't matter if it's 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, it's the role of the players that counts." Rafa Benitez

Offline The Playmaker

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #73 on: May 27, 2015, 11:41:44 PM »
I like this. Add 15 goals, concede 10 less. Would make a world of difference. It's possible, even realistic. And it wouldn't have to cost fantasy money. I mean, it's a couple of goals less against Leicester, QPR and a few more against Stoke and we're almost there with the defensive game.
Well, we conceded nine goals in our last two league games. So you're right, we're not far off. In my eyes, we shouldn't be conceding more than forty goals in a league season. There is a real problem with our defensive game and it cannot be ignored any longer. We can't throw money at that area either, or make excuses. More than enough has been invested on the defence. We aren't likely to have players available to us next season to score over 80 goals in the league. So we need to tighten up in defence, be more organised, compact and defend a lot better than what we have. This goes for the entire team. A failure to do so, and we're not likely to get into the top four.

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #74 on: May 27, 2015, 11:50:25 PM »

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.


You bring up a lot of good points, but I selected the above to comment on. This is really important for me.

The older I get, the less I find myself accepting excuses when we're talking elite sports. It is not kindergarten. It's a very, very tough environment. It's not for everyone and we need to accept it for what it is. A manager coming to LFC does not come to a place where he tries his way and hopes for the best. He's there to compete with some of the best sides in the world. In the PL and in Europe. That's his task. If he can't do that, there will be dozens prepared to take his place. We expect a LOT, because that's how it is. We do it because we've seen some of the best. We know what it takes.

This doesn't mean I don't like Rodgers. It's not about the individual. Not everyone succeeds. I respect him for what he's done and what he's been trying to do. I really do.

The LFC job is not a place to learn. It's a place to perform. Whether you're a player or a manager, that's what it is. A place to perform. Find a way to do it, or find a different club.

I think we have a problem with this. Once again, we coulld go back to our signings last summer. What did we expect from those players? Nothing. At least not a great deal. We were forgiving. It's next season. We say patience, we talk about youth. No! If you're a LFC player in the first team squad, you're there to perform. I understand that we can't expect Ibe to be playing like Messi. That's OK. But on the other hand, I do expect a 20M signing like Markovic to play a much, much bigger role than Ibe. And I expect a player like Lallana or Balotelli to lead the way. In the way that suits them. I don't expect them to maybe make the first eleven, if they hit a bit of form. And I expect the club to take action and ensure we only keep players that merit a place at the club.

LFC are not a charity and needs to stop being run like a place where everyone gets to stay.

        * * * * * *


"The key isn't the system itself, but how the players adapt on the pitch. It doesn't matter if it's 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, it's the role of the players that counts." Rafa Benitez

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #75 on: May 28, 2015, 12:00:34 AM »
For all his talk early on about his philosophy and way of playing the game, Rodgers has created a situation where we play nothing like his stated model.  In fact, we played our best football under him when we were the furthest from his template.

Death by football, retaining possession of the ball regardless of the situation requires an expansive approach.  Players making the pitch large with runs in behind and holding width.  We saw him play sterling up top to provide the stretch in behind and wing backs emloyed to create the width.  I could understand why he did that.

But.... Playing and forcing passes at transition isn't possession based football, although I concede it can be effective as we saw last season when you have players able to exploit 1v1s and 2v2s.  However, when you don't have these players, and you combine it with forced passes which concede possession when the team is spread out makes you incredibly vulnerable to counter attacks.

You can play an expansive style effectively, but you can't afford to play risky passes unless you can do it in a way that kills the ball if it doesn't come off.  We've had so many possession losses in bad areas this season, we could have conceded even more goals.

I wrote on here a few years ago (the system is the king) about his philosophy and what we'd likely see in his recruitment of players, and largely we've seen that transpire.  But what we haven't seen is the development of the cohesion between the players.  That's my biggest disappointment.  There aren't any clear signs that the players have the level of understanding for the style to work, and it isn't the style I identify with Liverpool anyway.

What I really like to see in a Liverpool team is a midfield that controls the pitch.  Good on the ball, but tough and tactically savvy when out of possession.  This should be combined with a compact set up when out of possession and a high press that maintained territorial advantages.  This means that when possession is regained you're in a position to capitalise.

I happen to know of a manager who is out of contract who embodies that approach.


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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #76 on: May 28, 2015, 12:00:35 AM »
Yes our defence isn't as bad as the figures would appear. Two 0-0 draws at the end of the year would have secured 5th place and it would have been pretty easy to concede about 5 goals less over the season. Hard work on defensive coaching would sort that out and it's not unreasonable to expect our defence to concede in the mid to high 30s.

Add two strikers who can get 10 or so goals each (Sturridge should be back) and we're right up fighting for 3rd or 4th.

However Southampton could also add to their strike force and improve so don't rule them out.

Keep Sturridge, Skrtel, Sakho and Lucas fit and we will do much better. Sterling and Gerrard leaving will put a dent in our goals for total but add some fire power and things will look a lot better. If Balotelli stays then he is also capable of scoring a decent amount.

So the team is in better shape than I thought a couple of days ago and it isn't quite as bad as most people think.

Pirlo anyone? Could be a player who could fit right in.
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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #77 on: May 28, 2015, 12:11:18 AM »
I'd feel much better about Brendan if he did show that he's learning from his mistakes. To me he looks more confused with every game. And if indeed he has lost some of the players then what? A clear out at clearance prices? Yeah, that's gonna fly with the investor guys.

Though it shouldn't be taken as an excuse to have a go at BR, last year was almost the perfect storm. We will probably never again have not one, but TWO strikers at such a high level clicking at the same time without "distractions"(CL or EL footie), and two of the "big five" clubs in the league in transition.

We'll find out how "ruthless" (AHEM) the investors are.

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #78 on: May 28, 2015, 12:27:05 AM »
I've never really warmed to Brendan. Even though at times we were scintillating last season. I think this is perhaps because how I view what Liverpool's classic style is, seems so different to what at times we've played. For all his talk, his philosophy in practice seems slippery, compared to his theory. For me, the great Liverpool sides were sturdy counter-attacking sides with the ability to mix it up in attack. The 78/79 team being a classic example. They conceded sixteen goals in a 42 game season, while scoring 85. Sixteen. We conceded that many in our final eight games. My biggest gripe with Rodgers has been his inability to fix the most glaring problem: the defence. Yes, Mignolet led the league in clean sheets, but we never looked defensively sure unlike say Chelsea. You knew we'd likely concede at some point and we'd have to pray we'd score more. Under Rodgers, we have conceded 43, 50 and 47 goals per season. That's an average of 1.13, 1.31 and 1.23 goals against per game.

If you were to look at the ten worst Liverpool defences based on goals against per game since Shankly's arrival, you would have the following

1964/1965 - 1.59 (Shankly - Final Position 7th) - 13th Best Defence in 1st Div. - Won FA Cup/Fairs Cup Semi-Finalist
1962/1963 - 1.40 (Shankly - Final Position: 8th - * 1st year began in Division 1) - 4th Best Defence in 1st Div.
2013/2014 - 1.31 (Rodgers - Final Position: 7th - 8th Best Defence in PL)
1992/1993 - 1.309 (Souness - Final Position: 6th - 10th Best Defence in PL)
1993/1994 - 1.309 (Souness - Final Position: 8th - 12th Best Defence in PL)
1998/1999 - 1.28 (Evans/Houllier - Final Position:7th - 10th Best Defence in PL)
2014/2015 - 1.23 (Rodgers - Final Position: 6th - 8th Best Defence in PL)
2011/2012 - 1.15 (Dalglish - Final Position: 8th - 4th Best Defence in PL) - Won League Cup, got to FA Cup Final
2012/2013 - 1.13 (Rodgers - Final Position: 7th - 8th Best Defence in PL)
1966/1967 - 1.11 (Shankly - Final Position: 7th - 6th Best Defence in First Division)

1964/65 is the worst season defensively. The club got off to an awful start and were 19th after losing to Man Utd on Halloween. But results improved and we ended up beating Leeds in the FA Cup Final and getting to the Fairs Cup semi-finals. Had we not won the FA Cup, history might have been different. Incidentally, we won the league the following year with the best defence in the league. In 1966/67, Shankly had credit in the bank for winning the league and FA Cup in the prior two seasons. Dalglish won the League Cup in 2011/12 and got us to the FA Cup Final and we had the 4th best defence in the league that season. The Evans/Houllier season was an odd one. The Souness years were terrible in both defence and attack. And then we come to Brendan, under whom we've never had better than the 8th best defence in the league under him. Even last season, was one of the worst Liverpool defences ever.

For me, Brendan won't change in that aspect. And that's a problem, because as much as goals win you titles, defences are the key difference maker, as seen in 2013/14. Brendan in all likelihood won't change his ways. He's not ruthless enough to have a Shanks Watford/Red Star Belgrade moment. The summer signings with hindsight were pretty poor (talent-wise) and expensive (in terms of cost). Lallana was often injured, Moreno started brightly, but was barely used at times later on. Lovren was great in pre-season and short in understanding of his defensive role. Markovic devoid of any confidence and then exiled to the stands, alongside Manquillo. When Balotelli wasn't ill, he was unable to hit the net and Lambert couldn't get off the bench. I think for many of those players, Brendan's man management/lack of rotation was evident. Even Can failed to get a nod in the opening games, despite the fact we clearly needed someone like him. Lucas too.

To be fair to Brendan, Sturridge getting injured for pretty much the entire season was a disaster, albeit arguably one that could have been rectified by showing more faith in some of the summer signings. It's one thing saying you have no forwards for the last game of the season, due to injuries, it's another to do a Harry Redknapp-esque thing of starting Lallana up front to seemingly prove a point, when Balotelli, Lambert, or even Markovic could have had a go. Personally, I wasn't a fan of the Gerrard retirement tour either, which seemed to be a complete distraction and could have been handled better by a more ruthless manager. We played some of our best and most fluid stuff, when he wasn't playing, yet he was always thrown back into a starting role when fit. Dropping Mignolet ended up working a trick, but it sounds like it was Simon's missus, not Rodgers, Steve Peters or the coaching staff, that seemed to be responsible for uncovering his gnawing flaw and helped rectify it. One could only imagine how much worse this season could have gotten if Mignolet's form did not revive.

The positives this year for me were Coutinho, Sterling for a portion of the season, Mignolet for the latter half and some 3-5-2. Rodgers managed to use the latter to good effect, but strangely seemed to have felt he'd figured it all out, dropped the formation and watched as we stunk up the final few months of the season. The biggest problem for me this season were the litany of substandard results against poor opposition:

Villa (H) 0-1 L
West Ham (A) 3-1 L
Hull (H) 0-0 D
Newcastle (A) 1-0 L
Crystal Palace (A) 3-1 L
Ludogerets (A) 2-2 D
Sunderland (H) 0-0 D
Leicester (H) 2-2 D
Bolton (H)  0-0  D (we had to come from behind in the replay)
Blackburn (H) 0-0 D
Aston Villa (N) 2-1 L
West Brom (A) 0-0 D
Hull (A) 1-0 L
Crystal Palace (H) 1-3 L
Stoke (A) 6-1 L

I was expecting a challenge for fourth this season. Last year, was an anomaly with Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City all changing their managers and playing poor at various times. Liverpool probably has the opportunity for a realistic title challenge once every five years with the two petro-clubs. But we have to take advantage of the breaks. We didn't build upon that even though Man Utd, despite blowing millions on Falcao and Di Maria, were abysmal for long stretches of the year. The cup campaigns were dire, except for a Chelsea League Cup semi-final, which we got ourselves up for, but still lost.

The less said about our European campaign the better. We had a group that was passable. We could and should have finished 2nd. Sending a reserve squad to the Bernabeu, so we could concentrate on 4th in the league is something akin to what Martin O'Neill did with Aston Villa against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Cup a few years back. Even more ridiculous was opting to drop most of those players, who performed admirably in that game. The fact we struggled against Basel and Ludogerets was poor. And yet, even in the Europa League, a tournament which provides the winner entry to the CL, Rodgers opted to concentrate on the league, rather than something which was likely just as, if not more, attainable. We lost to Man Utd. We lost to Beşiktaş, who themselves got knocked out by Club Brugge.

So what can Brendan do to turn it around? I'm not sure, he can to be honest, especially after a Stoke game, in which most of the players didn't look like they were arsed. He seems to have massively veered each season from his original philosophy. The final fixtures of 2014/15 were routinely bad. In my opinion, not being psychologically up for a FA Cup semi-final (in his view) is not up to the historical standard of this club. Making Gerrard the pivot of most of your plans and then subbing him against Chelsea (when you were still mathematically in the race for 4th) so that their fans could send him off was pathetic. Then again, we couldn't even get ourselves up for the game for either the Palace or Stoke fixtures. And then of course, there was the Sterling transfer saga. I think cashing in on him is the best option. You can't have a 20 year old dictating terms, because long-term it would destroy the club. Losing Gerrard for me isn't as big of a deal, at least in terms of what goes on on-the-pitch, based on his current form. I remember when  Thierry Henry left Arsenal, Fabregas said it liberated some of the players, as they didn't feel obliged to pass it to Henry.

Personally, I would replace Rodgers and initiate the DoF model that FSG wanted in the first place. I don't have a big problem with the idea of the transfer committee as some do. Most clubs probably have something similar, but because of who were are it's advertised and click-bait for some. I think adopting a more continental model is the way to go and recruiting based on specific playing philosophy is the way to go. It will be more efficient and cheaper in the long-run. While criticism is acceptable, the over the top anti-FSG rhetoric is tiresome as well. They've given Rodgers plenty of time, money and patience. They've largely stuck to the maxim of signing the checks. I'm sure not too many would have been complaining about them had we got 7 points out of 9 in our final three games in 2013/14. They're damned if they do and damned if they don't for some people, because of who they are and what they represent.

If they keep Rodgers, it's because they (rightly or wrongly) view this season as a blip brought on by injuries and poor form. I'd argue last season was a blip. I don't think we should be compared with the Red Sox, and I know people like to claim they do this and that, but they kept John Farrell despite being one of the worst teams in baseball. He was the guy they wanted long-term (Valentine was Larry Lucchino hire), he got them a World Series and they stuck by him. Perhaps, in that sense, they view Rodgers as a good long-term fit. Ideally, in my opinion, we'd be looking at Klopp, De Boer or Emery. We don't need a perfect transfer window (as those who every year claim this is The Most Important Window in Liverpool's History™), but we need the right blend. We almost won the league with Albert Riera huffing and puffing his way through a 60 minute appearance and Aly Cissokho popping up here and there. Will we do it next year? Probably not. But unless Brendan can radically apply himself and change some of his ways, I wouldn't be surprised if he's no longer here by next January.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 12:29:04 AM by rafathegaffa83 »

Offline 007.lankyguy

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #79 on: May 28, 2015, 12:42:02 AM »
I broadly agree with the basic crux of Col's excellent post and I think he makes a great deal of sense in regard to the structure of the club and where many of our problems lie. When a club has no identity then, when faced with a problematic situation like we have right now because of how this season has gone, it is difficult to really know how to move forward and what our basis is for moving forward. Our identity currently seems to be non-existent, both on and off the pitch and getting it right on the pitch does not solve the underlying problem, nor does (maybe related to that) getting rid of Rodgers for a different manager. There needs to be some sort of change at a deeper level; I don't know how drastic that needs to be, just that there needs to be some clearer direction and this summer will be very important in terms of that. What happens with Rodgers? If he stays, will his role change in any way and if so, how? If Rodgers is replaced, will we bring in a manager/coach who will have similarities in system to him or will we bring in someone who plays a vastly different game? What is going to be done with the TC (which I'm more in favour of than most on here, I think, though not stringently so by any means)? What is going to happen with Ayre (whose role seems reduced anyway now)? What are the owners' plans for moving forward and are they going to change their own general and public image in any way, something that in my opinion is intrinsically linked with club strategy and philosophy? These and other questions are very important right now and I think discussions of Rodgers should be, in some way, tempered by this, with an eye on the bigger picture.

Now, in regards to the question about Rodgers' future with us, I'm a bit unsure of what I think is the right thing to do. I think we all look at managers and coaches with our own preconceived view of what is important in a coach and what persuades us that someone is worth pursuing with. I look largely at the tactical idea - what is the overriding system/style of play, how and how well does he implement this, how well does he setup the team to control a match (in whatever way is his preferred method/style/system), how does he adapt and develop the team tactically in the short term and the long term, does he get the most out of the players with his tactical ideas and decisions? Obviously, this isn't the only criteria I base my opinion on at all but if I'm impressed with the philosophy of a coach and can see the way he's cohesively building a system and progressing it, I'm far, far more likely to consider him worth sticking with when things go wrong. For example, I remember commenting to someone almost two years ago now that even if Klopp finished mid-table every season, I'd still consider him one of the best coaches around. Ok, I was making a bit of an exaggeration but I think my point stands - he had created a great system of play at Dortmund at that point, one that took the breath away at times, that was good to watch, intense, coordinated, high tempo, aggressive. A manager who can implement his philosophy like that is a special manager. It's why I have a huge amount of respect for Simeone and his Atletico side and will happily watch them, unlike many other football fans - he managed to get them to control space amazingly well and extremely efficiently, better than anyone else in Europe and without the resources of many of those clubs. For that alone, someone like Simeone deserves respect, even disregarding his La Liga trophy.

So for me, after three years, a number of my questions are related to how Rodgers measures on that scale. Does he have a clear system of play? Is he implementing it well and finding ways to progress it? Does he and how does he exert control in a match? What's his in-game management like? Most importantly, is he getting the best out of the players with his tactical decisions and specific focuses?

Most of my answers to these arrive vaguely or even negatively. I know what his philosophy on football is but there's no doubt that he's changed many aspects of his ideal system and style since he came in (and yes, I'm treating philosophy and system as linked but not synonymous terms, nor am I talking about formation when I use the word system). That's not a negative on its own - you can have a philosophy about how to coach, what your focus is as a coach, what types players you like, how you prefer to control games and yet still change your overall tactical system radically. I don't think Rodgers has changed his philosophy one bit but what he was doing initially with us was clearly different to what he was doing last season and in fact the second half of his first season. He was playing with the same ideas on how football should be played, what he wanted to see from players, the way he viewed games, and yet clearly made changes as Sturridge and Coutinho arrived. He made some very interesting adjustments to the system and bore the rewards of that.

This season though, it's been very hard to say that he's implementing a cohesive system and identity. That's been a huge part of the problem both in the opening months and the last few weeks of the season. He deserves credit for a pragmatic change in shape in mid-December and for our run in the following two or three months subsequent to that. Yet it took him too long to find a base when we really poor earlier in the season (even the fact we seemed to have lost it in the first place is a line in the 'against' column). Then when we start dropping off badly in the last six-eight weeks of the season, a lack of identity becomes a big problem again. I'm not saying the two managers are comparable but we even had some sort of identity under Hodgson when we were doing poorly - it may have been a poor one and one that was badly implemented but at least there was one. I think it might be the case with Rodgers that when the team is struggling for form, he might struggle for a while to correct this issue effectively but that when he gets a team flying, he is good at maintaining it. Unfortunately when you finish sixth and finish the season the way we did, you have to be good at the former and I'd have my concerns about that going into next season.

I might write some more on this tomorrow because I'm close to falling asleep right now writing this out (those two things might be related....) and I do have some more things to expand on here, especially tactically, but I will say that if there are realistic alternatives that are a clear step or two up from Rodgers then I'd be open to letting him go. If not or if there are fair doubts over whether those potential candidates would come then I'd keep Rodgers for another season, with more restricted say on individual transfers (though a definite say on style, assets and positions needed).
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