Who could tell at the end of the last season that Brendan Rodgers would be at the exit doors of Anfield just six months from that time? Welshman, whose sensational PL success was as close as a moment needed to slip, is under intense pressure after yet another serious defeat - after losing to Basel and getting knocked out from ECL in midweek, Brendan Rodgers’ side suffered a heavy defeat against rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford. We bring you five reasons for inconceivably rapid downfall of, as it looked like not so long ago, one of the most promising young managers in Premier league.
1) EXIT OF LUIS SUAREZ
In this very moment, a question could be raised: did Liverpool do everything in their power to maintain Luis Suarez at the club? The Uruguayan was getting increasingly unpopular person in England - and, very often, he could have blamed himself for that discomfort - but was he that unpopular to sell him to Barcelona? We could remind of the stories about his potential transfer through the last season - as it could be heard, he conditioned his staying at the club by getting into the ECL. And they did so, they have even fought for the title in the end. Whether the club, including Rodgers, haven’t stood in defense of their, by far, best player, or thought they could replace him quite easily with money they get for him - it was a wrong or pretty bad decision. And Brendan Rodgers definitely bears the blame.
2) SIGNING MARIO BALOTELLI
And that leads us to second factor. What’s done is done - Suarez is out and he needs a proper replacement. Or two. Or three… Well, Brendan Rodgers gone for all of that. He chose quantity over quality, at least it’s better for him to say that in his defense, because bringing Mario Balotelli as a replacement for Luis Suarez is a decision of not a clear-minded person. The Italian was ineffective, lazy, unreliable and simply destructive for the team at such a degree that it gets obvious for just five minutes of watching some Liverpool game. He can’t, as well, play as a wing-forward neither is capable of creating chances for his teammates. Suarez may have been biting, but Balotelli is toothless. Rodgers thought he could get the talent out of the eccentric Italian. He was wrong.
3) QUANTITY OVER QUALITY
Liverpool spent more than 100 million pounds in the summer, bringing eight players. It looked like a plus that they haven’t signed a world-class player, but a group of an acknowledged Premier League or European players. The idea was probably that a compact team would annul an exit of one of the five best players in the world, so the team wouldn’t be dependent of one player, as they did in the last season. Oh, they were so wrong. And, actually, the guilt for that is on Brendan Rodgers’ back - he was choosing the players and whether he misjudged their quality or their ability to adapt to his ideas, it was his fault. Neither of signed player yet confirmed CL-quality and it was pretty obvious in a game against Basel, not Real Madrid, but Swiss opponent. Irony is that Rodgers left out a kind of a player he now needs the most - prolific striker. Devon Origi was bought from Lille but stayed in the same club on a year-long spell. It seems like one of the most important things to do in winter is to bring the Belgian to Anfield six months earlier than defined.
4) SLOW AND UNCREATIVE MIDFIELD
Suarez was not just scoring goals in the last season, he was creating chances. He could assist, dribble and make space - or all of that in the same attack - for the rest of the team, including two or three central midfielders. Henderson revived his seemingly gone career, Gerrard oriented to a role of deep-lying midfielder and even Lucas Leiva seemed useful from to time. However, their positive displays were deeply influenced by Suarez’s power to do their job as well. Since Luis is gone, midfield looks like as it should look by performances of the players - slow and immobile. It is uncertain why Rodgers is not going for the one player who has some offensive potential and who was, actually, brought in the summer for almost ten million pounds, Emre Can. Rodgers made a mistake by not signing a proper central-midfielder and Liverpool is paying the price.
5) LOVREN IS NOT A SOLUTION
Looking from this point, Southampton board could feel they’ve made a job of the century by selling three of their best players to Liverpool. One of them, Dejan Lovren, was rated for a round price of twenty millions. In a confirmation of a deal, Rodgers spoke highly of Lovren and suggested he may bring leadership to the team, since that quality was lacking after the retiring of long-term captain Jamie Carragher. And Lovren made himself believing in that misapprehension. On the field, however, Liverpool’s back line was shaky, unstable and error-prone. Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel are able to make a lot of damage in just a few seconds, Lovren is not covering them up neither is playing on a level from last season and Rodgers didn’t get the commander of defense he was looking for.