Brendan Rodgers’ position as Liverpool manager could come under further scrutiny in the coming weeks with six very tough fixtures ahead.
Rodgers may have came out fighting after the win over Aston Villa last week, but a draw with FC Sion on Thursday means his side won just one of the four home games against Norwich, Villa, Carlisle and Sion – with a goal difference across those games of +1.
The Reds travel to Goodison Park on Sunday and a defeat there would leave them four points behind their Merseyside rivals going into the international break.
Liverpool’s Next 6 Premier League Games:
Will Brendan Rodgers still be in charge of Liverpool after these 6 games?
We put the question to some of the This Is Anfield writers….
HENRY JACKSON: No chance for me. I think he may even be gone after the Everton game if that goes horribly wrong, and there are just too many tricky matches in that run for him to get through. I feel as though FSG are just waiting for one or two more poor results.
NEIL POOLE: Yes, Rodgers will still be in charge once these games have been done and dusted, and regardless of the outcome. I don’t trust FSG to act promptly or decisively. As long as no unanimous decision can be made by the board on either Rodgers’ tenure or a suitable predecessor I fear the malaise will linger on until the new year and when the season is beyond saving. Then we’ll probably sack Rodgers and replace him with Garry Monk or Eddie Howe. Can’t wait.
MAX MUNTON: Yes. The club have implemented a model based on potential over experience in hope of building success, from an emphasis on signing young players to appointing an up-and-coming manager. This approach appears to have resulted in the club lacking leadership, which in turn has given the team limited direction to progress. In how they spent £77 million and the promotion of Pepijn Lijnders, with his passion in youth development, in the summer, the club showed no signs in parting with this model. It would therefore be difficult to anticipate an immediate shift of philosophy, model overhaul and managerial change being made over the next six games.
Regarding recent quotes, Brendan Rodgers and his players are, like any other high-profile employee in football, paid to spin positivity, so must be taken with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless, scrutiny will always be rife in the sport and industry.
ALEX MALONE: I don’t think he will, and I won’t be disappointed if he isn’t. As usual, one good result and Rodgers finds his voice again. Unfortunately, his words almost always come back to bite him in the arse. Hiding away after being unable to beat a League 2 side after 120 minutes, only to come back mouthing off after a win against a very poor Villa side is a little bit embarrassing to be honest. It was yet another game which exposed his clueless approach to defensive stability.There is no conspiracy. Mourinho is taking just as much flack from the press because he currently deserves it.
The fact is, we’ve scored 7 goals in 7 games… the lowest in the top 12. We’ve conceded 9… only Leicester and Norwich in the top 12 have conceded more, and they’ve scored 15 and 11 respectively. You have to go down to 15th to find a worse goal difference.
The game which made my mind up that the job was beyond him was the Old Trafford game. It was the most spineless performance I can ever remember from a Liverpool team against that lot. Before a ball was kicked, his approach was that of a defeatist. Setting a team up anywhere to “not lose” a game, rather than win it is not – or should not be – the Liverpool way.. ever. It was inexcusable and unforgiveable. We need a manager whose team does its talking on the pitch.
Video: Rodgers’ Pre-Everton Press Conference
PAUL McCABE: I think Brendan Rodgers knows his time is up. He has the look of a defeated man, even though he’s come out with some fighting words, and it looks as it’s all gotten too much. In fact, such is the criticism of Rodgers, and his every word, I’d contend the owners might be doing the beleaguered manager a favour by letting him go.
I can’t see him being in charge after the six games, and you could say he’s been unlucky enough to be faced with the toughest run of away fixtures to begin a season… in living memory. When your luck’s out, it’s out.
It’s looking like he’ll need to mastermind something truly magical (always within the realms of possibility if Coutinho and Sturridge stay fit and play to the peak of their abilities), and it’s hard to envision it.
It’s been an incredibly difficult start to the season; that would be the case for any manager, let alone one who presided over a calamitous climax to the previous season.
If Rodgers does go soon, I’d prefer it to feel a little bit better than it does now: for all parties. It’s a sideshow and an acrimonious one at that. I wasn’t particularly affected by his post-match comments. He has a point. Whether it was the right time to bring up the “frenzy”, he’s right that it exists. He backs himself (some say hubris is his downfall) but that’s what I want to see in every Liverpool manager AND player. I hope the next manager backs himself too, and can get more people on his side.
It has to stop ending like this.
AARON CUTLER: No. To be fair to Brendan he has been dealt a rough hand when it comes to the fixture list. Our upcoming away games are the stuff of nightmares, while the two home encounters are anything but straightforward. Liverpool could conceivably go between now and the middle of November without a league win. If they do manage to stem the tide and put points on the board you cannot help but feel it would be a temporary revival. All signs point to a changing of the guard, with fan apathy the thing that will ultimately ‘do’ for Brendan. FSG must shoulder some of the blame here.
A sizeable percentage of the fan-base had clearly turned at the end of last season, meaning that was the time to usher in a new dawn. Instead they shied away from the biggest of calls, foolishly hoping dissatisfaction would subside. It was a cop out, like putting a sticking plaster over a gaping wound. Lo and behold we saw open revolt at the first sign of trouble. Indeed this whole episode, as regrettable as it may seem, was inevitable.
TOM McMAHON: No, I think the writing is on the wall for Rodgers (he knows this too, judging by his latest press conferences) unless he can defy all odds and pull out some big away wins in conjunction with some fantastic performances . He simply won’t be able to build momentum to shift the pressure off him, a promising win at home will likely follow with points being dropped away. The context of the difficult away’s will likely go out the window, and all attention will shift to Rodgers and the two world-class managers reportedly waiting in the wings.
JACK LUSBY: Rodgers got incredibly carried away after the win over Aston Villa, but there are clear signs that his Liverpool side are improving—not least thanks to the return of Daniel Sturridge, as well as the manager reverting to a three-man defensive system. This six-game stretch is a considerable test of Rodgers’ credentials, and I can’t see the Reds getting too many wins—barring Chelsea, every side is in good form, and you can never bet against Jose Mourinho’s side at Stamford Bridge.
Will Rodgers still be Liverpool manager after this run of games? On recent evidence, I’d imagine FSG are willing to stick with him until at least Christmas, so unless there’s a spectacular failure amongst these results I can’t see Rodgers being replaced just yet—whether it is a sensible decision or not. Villa has restored some optimism, however, so let’s hope we can get at least 10 points from 18.