Sports / Soccer

Reds give Rodgers the boot

By Agence France Presse In Liverpool (China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-06 08:33

Liverpool has begun its search for a new manager, but whoever comes in must grapple with many of the issues that caused problems for Brendan Rodgers, who was fired after Sunday's 1-1 draw with Everton in the Merseyside derby.

The result left the Reds 10th in the Premier League.

After a moribund conclusion to the previous campaign, the writing was on the wall for Rodgers, and the club's fortunes were not deemed to have improved sufficiently for owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) to stand by their man.

Owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon dismissed Rodgers immediately after Sunday's match.

"They have got to get the feel-good factor within the club, which we haven't had for a while now, and maybe that might have tipped the balance with the owners," said former Reds striker John Aldridge.

On recent evidence, the case for Rodgers to have been given more time was not without holes. The manager had maintained his players were "giving him everything," but the staleness of recent displays - which had yielded just one win in nine games - suggests they will benefit from a managerial reboot.

However, it is significant that the US-based ownership group will expect Liverpool's new boss to reinvigorate and rejuvenate an underperforming squad, rather than rip things up and start again.

In other words, it will be a repetition of when they gave Rodgers the keys to Anfield three years ago.

Loyal to their strategy, FSG will seek an experienced coach, prepared to get his hands dirty in the development of players rather than one who provides a quick fix.

That would appear to make charismatic former Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp the leading candidate.

Ajax manager Frank de Boer could also come under consideration, but it would take a revision of FSG philosophy for an elder statesman such as former Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti to be targeted.

FSG needs Rodgers' replacement to be a success to vindicate their approach, or face the prospect that they will become the focus of supporters' wrath. The cracks have appeared already.

Those with their fingers on the pulse at Anfield - former defender Jamie Carragher among them - have taken a swipe at FSG's running of the club in the wake of Rodgers' departure.

"They've made a lot of decisions that simply haven't worked," said Carragher, who highlighted the firing of Damien Comolli and Kenny Dalglish, as well as the failings of the club's transfer committee.

"At this moment the owners' track record in making decisions for Liverpool over the last two or three years has not been good enough. It is miles off. What are these owners of the club going to do to get Liverpool back where they need to be?"

It is hard to disagree with Carragher's assertion that the five-time European champion has become a club seemingly in a permanent state of transition during Rodgers' spell in charge.

Although he had been swimming against the tide, Rodgers can count himself unfortunate. Any manager would have found it difficult to replace talents of the caliber of Luis Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard, not least when transfer decisions were made by committee.

Reds give Rodgers the boot

(China Daily 10/06/2015 page11)

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