Liverpool are undergoing turbulent times. The Reds are getting ready to visit Manchester United on Sunday and pressure couldn’t be higher on Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool side. After getting out of the Champions League prematurely, Rodgers’ Liverpool go into this game in the hopes of lifting themselves from the sub-par ninth spot.
With a disappointing season not showing signs of getting better, Rodgers has naturally been under the limelight and rumors of his sacking are doing rounds. Former Liverpool player and present football pundit Stan Collymore said, writing for Bleacher Report that John W. Henry, Liverpool’s owner, tried to sack the manager a couple of times already, but was talked out of it by Ian Ayre and some other former Liverpool players he said: “I heard two weeks ago that John Henry has tried to sack Brendan Rodgers a couple of times already. He was persuaded not to by Ian Ayre and a couple of club legends, who were sought out for their counsel.”
According to another Sports Journalist, Duncan Castles (writer for The Times, among other football publications), FSG are looking for replacements for Rodgers. He said in an interview, “It doesn’t look good for Brendan Rodgers. What I know is that there has been contact with alternatives to replace him for at least a month now. It looks to me as though Fenway Sports Group are getting themselves in a position where if they need to make a change of managers, they have the alternatives ready. The fact that they are looking,means that Rodgers’ job is not safe”.
Speaking to the media before the crucial game against Manchester United, Rodgers was naturally posed with questions about Liverpool’s woeful season, the player’s performances and his own safety as the manager. The Northern Irishman remained calm and said that he is now more determined than ever to succeed with the club.
“Manchester United have won five in a row … and are still getting hammered (by the media). People are paid to be critical but all we can do is concentrate on what’s happening inside our football club. As my teams have shown we will get better as the season progresses. I am more determined to succeed. You want to be at a club with this kind of expectancy.”
“I think the message from me is clear: I don’t think there would be anyone better to do the job here,” he said.
“Seven months ago we nearly won the title unexpectedly, I had time to work with players and we took them beyond where the club has been in a long time.
“This has been a difficult start with new players, less coaching time, young players; we are virtually starting again. I don’t think there is anybody better equipped to deal with that having been here for the last two and a half years and experienced what this club is about and seeing what we get from the players whenever we are at our best. Criticism comes with the territory when you don’t win games. Football is very short term. The same people who are criticising me now were maybe saying I couldn’t do anything wrong six or seven months ago. That is the way football works. You have to accept that as a manager and fight even harder to bring success. This period has ensured I will do that for sure.”
Speaking about the players and their weak form, Rodgers said, “The players know what’s expected of them. It’s Liverpool Football Club. it’s one of the biggest football clubs in the world. But we want them to perform consistently, which hasn’t been evident this season for whatever reason. But they are a brilliant group. We want them to play without fear”.
Rodgers needs to get his players and his tactics sorted out as soon as possible, else top 4, which is now the club’s biggest priority for the season, might become too distant an objective.