Brendan Rodgers Must Be Axed After Liverpool's Poor Season
Steven Gerrard should not be allowed to leave Liverpool in its hour of need.
It’s not the first time I’ve said this but after Sunday’s humiliating 6-1 loss to Stoke City perhaps someone somewhere at Anfield or, more pertinently, in Boston, Mass., will take notice.
While it's probably too late to do anything about Gerrard’s Los Angeles exile but money still talks in the MLS and the Fenway Sports Group should throw a bucket load of cash at the LA Galaxy to prevent the only man capable of restoring some sort of pride and dignity to Liverpool Football Club from riding off into the sunset strip.
Sunday’s loss wasn’t at the hands of a Chelsea or Arsenal or a Manchester club. This was Stoke City; an honest, hard-working side but hardly a Rolls Royce of the EPL.
More like a Ford Transit.
In my opinion, this season has found Brendan Rodgers out. He is technically and strategically naïve, his transfer dealings have been disastrous (Rickie Lambert? Mario Balotelli?) and for one reason or the other he has alienated the heart of the team – Gerrard and Raheem Sterling.
His failure to secure Liverpool a place in next year’s Champions League means he is unlikely to bring any superstars in to turn things around and made it odds on Sterling will depart to a team that will offer him a role on European football’s premier stage.
Let’s not forget, Luis Suarez was gifted to Rodgers by Kenny Dalglish. He couldn’t handle the Uruguayan any more than he could handle Balotelli or Sterling. I’ll tell you who he can handle, Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson, but these are not the players who are going to save Liverpool.
Rodgers should be asked to leave to carry on his managerial education with a lesser club. Pick any side in the bottom half of the EPL and he could probably improve them; he’s just not ready for the top four.
Gerrard is way too professional to complain about Rodgers but the Irishman did not give Liverpool’s talisman the respect he deserved earlier in the season when he was buried on the bench. Garrard’s hand was forced; he wasn’t offered a future role with Liverpool and is too proud a man to hang around waiting for something to turn up.
Look at Liverpool’s arch enemy in Manchester and see what Louis van Gaal is doing with Ryan Giggs, the player most closely associated with the club’s modern glory years. He has taken him under his wing and few doubt Giggs will one day become manager.
Gerrard’s not the player he was. Anyone who has watched the team the last year or two can see that. But he IS Liverpool. He should be made player-manager with someone like Dalglish as his mentor/football director. There's not time to waste. He can learn on the job.
Jamie Carragher was pushed out when he, too, should have been kept close to home in a role that would have used his vast experience rather than discarded it. Football clubs like Liverpool thrive on continuity; it’s what makes them great.
Rodgers’ tinkering with tactics confused even his better players. When Bill Shankly ruled Liverpool practices largely involved 5-a-sides but he had a nose for a great player and then he trusted them to perform.
Steven Gerrard is a treasure that cannot be squandered. If it’s too late to stop him going to LA then every effort must be made to get him back to Anfield the very moment it's’ contractually possible.
Otherwise, and don’t think this can’t happen, you’ll blink and Gerrard will be back in the EPL sitting alongside Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
And his beloved Liverpool will be playing in the Championship, the equivalent league to the one Shankly found the club playing in all those years ago.