When does Brendan Rodgers’ future become a problem for FSG?

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Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have seemingly expressed their faith in Brendan Rodgers to transform the team’s fortunes, but Ben Twelves asks at what point does the Reds boss’ future become a concern to the owners?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 13, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers looks dejected against Aston Villa during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

 

It has been reported by well sourced Liverpool reporters that despite the severity of the situation Liverpool now find themselves in, Rodgers’ future as manager is not being considered.

The same problems continue to haunt Rodgers’ side – who as it is widely known have had the worst start to a season since Graeme Souness was in charge in 1992/93 – and though the same mistakes continue to be made by players and management alike, Fenway Sports Group are said to be completely committed to the man they brought to Merseyside in 2012.

However, the current state of affairs is far from ideal and while for the time being Rodgers retains the trust of those in power, when does it become a genuine concern to the Anfield elite?

 

Immediate Pressure

Liverpool face a kind run of games before a hectic and challenging Christmas period, with extremely winnable league matches against Stoke, Leicester and Sunderland next in the Premier League, but coming away with maximum points from those games is something much easier said than done recently.

Rodgers and his team also have the small matter of fighting for their Champions League survival beginning on Wednesday night against Ludogorets, and a negative outcome would end an extremely disappointing European campaign earlier than hoped following such a battle to return.

This isn’t just a patchy period of form and the Liverpool boss has failed to show signs of improvement in recent months; persisting with players and systems that just aren’t working and these factors may come into play if the miserable displays continue.

The refusal to change anything has put an increased pressure on immediate results, and if the worst scenario happened and The Reds did crash out of Europe and failed to improve their poor form in the Premier League after these fixtures, it would certainly become a lot harder for the club’s owners to refuse to entertain any thoughts of a premature exit for Rodgers.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 25, 2012: Liverpool's owner John W. Henry and wife Linda Pizzuti during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg against Manchester City at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Failure to make required changes and deliver an upturn in results over the next games could see the season become a total write-off, and if Liverpool continued languishing in the bottom half, FSG could be left with no choice other than having to commence discussions and hold crisis talks as early as mid-December.

 

End of the Season

The stance taken from the powers-that-be, however, is that Rodgers will be backed regardless of how things pan out this season, and that he will be given the chance to transform fortunes on the pitch.

It’s perhaps a courageous and refreshing approach, and such is the job that he has done since arriving at Anfield, most supporters will be pleased to hear that the Northern Irishman will be given an opportunity to prove that he is still the right man for the job.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 26, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates after his side's 2-1 victory over Sunderland during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is far from an ideal situation but it’s certainly a salvageable one when looking at how much could change should Rodgers actually rectify it – by playing the right players, dropping the under-performing ones and making the necessary tactical adjustments.

But Rodgers must act before his future becomes a conversation for FSG despite their unwavering support, and that means accepting that he’s made a mistake signing Dejan Lovren, accepting Martin Skrtel and Glen Johnson should no longer start and accepting Steven Gerrard cannot function at the top of his game, nor play 90 minutes continually.

Some of the overlooked errors are rectifiable which is in the Reds boss’ favour and should he show that he does recognise the issues and act – making positive and brave decisions made in the best interests of the team rather than persisting with what isn’t working – there’s a chance that we could yet see an improvement in both performances and results, vindicating FSG in their decision in the process.

 

Conclusion

The future does look bleak currently and should the decline continue at the current rate with nothing changing, it is hard to see the club’s owners tolerating such a backward shift regardless of their current stance over the manager’s position.

It is commendable to want to stand by their chosen man, and it is only right that all the good work Rodgers has done isn’t forgotten. It is also still very much there to turn around for Rodgers, but if he doesn’t succeed, FSG’s patience and loyalty could be tested sooner rather than later.

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