Liverpool FC make the short trip to France to take on Bordeaux in their opening Europa League game, hoping to banish the memories of their painful double loss in the league at the hands of West Ham and Manchester United. The game presents the perfect opportunity for manager Brendan Rodgers to assert that he still remains the right man for the job.
A poll on the popular Liverpool FC website Thisisanfield.com saw more than 33000 fans cast their vote, with 90% in favour of sacking Brendan Rodgers after the loss at Old Trafford. It was not the loss that prompted the Redsa fans to call for the managera s head, but rather the manner in which the defeat came about.
Liverpool FC set up to defend at Old Trafford and it was not until they were a goal behind that the team sparked to life. The football on display can be best described as a anti-Rodgers’, if the words he said when he first took over at Anfield are to be taken seriously. a Death by footballa was what Rodgers promised.
The performance at Old Trafford for many was the last straw after a poor 14-15 season and the uninspiring 3-0 loss to West Ham at Anfield earlier this season.
However, Brendan Rodgers is far from finished, and there is a good reason for it.
The weekend saw him miss three of his best passers in the team in Coutinho, Allen and Henderson. The side were also without Adam Lallana, a player that Rodgers almost regularly uses when fit, and for good reason considering his performances in the 13-14 season. Also, it is fair to say that a lot of what Liverpool do in the final third goes through Coutinho.
And while the fans are right in blasting the sidea s tepid display at the weekend, to say that this is how the team is going to play throughout the season and cite that as the reason for sacking Rodgers is wrong given the number of his key players missing.
The game against Bordeaux presents a perfect chance for the manager to respond to some of his criticism. He has said all the right things in the build-up to the game, stating that while teams sometimes lose, the manner of the last two defeats is unacceptable.
Rodgers needs to give the voice back to the fans with his passionate words as he often used to do in his first three seasons, and his words in the build-up to the game are a positive sign.
Bordeaux are not in the best form at the momnet, having won just one of their opening five Ligue 1 games. They can, however, still be a dangerous team, evidenced by their come-from-behind draw against Paris Saint-Germain last weekend. However, the French outfit are missing up to six players through injury.
The swashbuckling football of 13-14 that saw the Reds attack relentlessly has raised expectations among the Anfield faithful and it is Rodgers who built it by promising attacking football and a patient, passing game. Rodgers can make a statement by setting out a team that will attack Bordeaux from the outset and press relentlessly.
Bordeaux are there for the taking and suggestions that the Reds will start with Ibe, Moreno, Origi, Coutinho and Lallana are encouraging.
Jamie Carragher said in his review of the game on Monday Night Football on Sky Sports that playing a wide inside forward was the way forward for Liverpool FC, and the inexperience of Joe Gomez meant Danny Ings was not able to play the role well. The time needed for the new players to adapt is only natural, but the pressure is mounting on Rodgers.
Before the pressure becomes so much that Rodgers is surrounded by negativity, he must ensure that he wins this battle of hearts and minds to deliver what he is capable of and show everyone he is the right man for the top job at Anfield.