Rodgers needs time at Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers

It seems incredible the number of Liverpool fans who want manager Brendan Rodgers to leave the club. Nobody can deny that Liverpool have had a bad first 3 months of the season, but after everything Rodgers has done for the club, he has shown enough ability to suggest that he will put things right.

It is not exactly a revelatory idea that Liverpool miss Luis Suarez from last season. The stark reality is that any team will struggle greatly without a player of his quality. Suarez scored 31 goals last season, and even if you take away his goals, his overall contribution to the team – technical quality, aggression, work rate, standards set in training, fear factor created, ability to command more than one marker thus creating space for other players – was massive. When you lose that, any team will struggle.

This blog would argue that Brendan Rodgers helped Luis Suarez become a world-class player. It is not Rodgers’ fault that Suarez wanted to play for Barcelona, because that would have been the case regardless of who the manager was. Finding some form of replacement for Suarez is a process that will take time, and the key to it is stability.

That is not to say that Brendan Rodgers is faultless. This season, he has been far too supportive of Steven Gerrard, a player who is at the root of Liverpool’s defensive deficiencies. The back-line has come under much criticism of late, with a lot of the goals conceded being down to individual errors. These errors would not be happening if Liverpool’s midfield gave the defence sufficient protection at important times. Gerrard lacks the physical capabilities to shield the defence.

Brendan Rodgers wants to build a side that is quick, fluid and dynamic when they have the ball, and Gerrard does not suit that aim either. Occasionally, he might be able to pick a precise, long range pass when he’s given time and space, but Liverpool were at their best last season when they moved the ball quickly through midfield. That is how they need to start playing again, if they want to compete at the top end of the table.

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