21 Jun 2012

Revealed: The 3 FSG targets Brendan Rodgers will be judged against. Achievable?

With a new manager at Anfield and a return to the club's pass and move football philosophy (hopefully) on the way, it's an exciting time for Liverpool fans at the moment. Understandably, some fans remain skeptical about Brendan Rodgers' appointment, and given the club's failure to qualify for the Champions League three years in a row, how will FSG judge Rodgers' performance over the next year?

Kenny Dalglish won the Carling Cup and got to FA Cup final but couldn't deliver Champions League football, which led to his contract being terminated. Will Rodgers be judged against the same goal in his first season? If the club's accounts are anything to go by, Rodgers' main goal will also be Champions League qualification.

Since FSG bought Liverpool, the club's success on the field has been measured against three performance indicators, and these were restated again in the latest club accounts:

LFC Accounts snippet

Liverpool FC

The same goals were outlined in last year's accounts, and there's no reason to believe that Rodgers won't be measured against these performance indicators during the upcoming season.

Clearly, the most important goal of the three (from the manager's perspective) is ''Performance against target of continuing qualification for the Champions League'.

After Dalglish's sacking, it appears that Champions League qualification is the be all and end all, but I would argue that there is a distinction to be made. The key phrase is 'performance against target'; last season, Liverpool's league 'performance against target' was atrocious - the club never looked like qualifying for the Champions League, and Dalglish failed to mount a consistent, credible challenge for a top four place.

However, if Rodgers fails make the top four in his first season, I don't believe he will suffer the same fate as Kenny Dalglish, as long as he ensures that Liverpool:

* Put in a credible, sustained challenge for a top 4 place.
* The club is there or thereabouts at the end of the season.

For example, if Liverpool finish fifth, three points off fourth place, then that would arguably constitute positive 'performance against the target of continued qualification for the Champions League'.

After finishing 17 points behind 4th place Spurs last season, missing out on fourth by 3-6 points would be a de facto improvement anyway, and I'm sure FSG would be happy with that. Indeed, Ian Ayre suggested as much recently:

"The important thing will be to see progress and that means different things. Everyone will want to see that we are going in the right direction and are moving up the table, achieving more, playing the right sort of football.

"As long as you believe week-to-week, month-to-month, season-to-season you are building on something then people will be given time. There is a difference between that and feeling you are not moving forward".

Under Dalglish, there was regression in the league, not progress, and finishing the season with 14 defeats, thirty-seven points off the top (and seventeen points off fourth place) starkly illustrates that.

The real question is this: what happens if Rodgers has a similarly miserable league season, and finishes - for the sake of argument - 8th, eighteen points off 4th place? That would constitute poor 'performance against target' yet again, but how would FSG respond? Would they stick with Rodgers...or would they sack him?

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. I once remember hearing Roy Evans or maybe souness say that any manager who loses 10 league matches at.lfc.should get the sack. Tbh I'm still for that, Ferguson quote u don't deserve to win the league losing more than 5. I do. Think br will get time, but if loses 10 before March then
    ? Marks

  2. L F C players are too big for their boots and Brendan must kick out the main culprits - from now on they work hard or disappear - that red shirt will have to be earned - I think he will sell quite a few

  3. he should be sacked if he doesnot make us reach 4th in the first season itself. nothing less than 4th place should  accepted.

  4. The squad as it is isn't good enough for the CL places.

    If FSG want CL qualification, they need to give Rodgers money to buy the players he thinks can achieve it.

    As good a manager as he is, it's unfair for them to turn round and tell him to take a squad that scraped 8th last season and turn it into one of the best in the league.

    I think the fans and most other people involved in English football would find it extremely harsh if FSG didn't give him funds and then sacked him at the end of the season for not getting 4th.

    Either the immediate goals need to change or FSG have to back him like they did with KK/ Commolli

  5. What a stupid comment!!

  6. I honestly don't think it will take as long as everybody makes out to turn the team around (do people really think that we are so unsuited to adapting to a 433/4231 formation again, and have we really been playing like Stoke such that Rodger's approach shall be so foreign to us??) but only set moderate targets nevertheless

    First season; add 12 points onto the total while new players are being embedded into the squad, and others adapt to expectations further - 64 points minimum (just turn 4 of those home losses into victories!).

    Second season; add another 12 points onto the previous total as team is further moulded to Rodger's desire - 76 points.

    Third season; make the most difficult step of aspiring to challenge at the top - +82 points.

  7. By Rodger's third season, Carroll, Henderson, Lucas Coates and hopefully other new quality signings (Sigurdson, Johnson, Sturridge, Capoue etc??) should be peaking, while Suarez, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson etc should be just holding onto their primes (or have been sold for big bucks and replaced), and the likes of Suso, Sterling, Coady, Wisdom etc will hopefully be coming along as good young players also, giving us the foundation to mount a challenge.

    And by then Downing will be in his 30's. He isn't good enough to push the team forwards now, and will be past it by the time we're ready to challenge again, so we should get rid and reinvest now in better, younger players, before his value starts dropping even further... 

    (btw there are always exceptional circumstances to be considered though, so the point totals were only indicative of progress that could realistically (and easily) be attained, rather than what I'd expect to see Rodgers sacked for failing to hit).

  8. Terrancemukoviya6:08 pm, June 21, 2012

    thats stupid and inconsiderate!!!what if he finishes 5th,& 2 points off top 4??he'll clearly deserve another season, than 2 bring another coach who might lead us back 2 8th!i think BR must b judged according 2 the teams progress(is it going up or down) under him.

  9. Terrancemukoviya6:10 pm, June 21, 2012

    i totally agree with u man.

  10. dude it i said it in a sarcastic way cause jaimie kanwar always writes articles on whom we should sack. i was just frustrated that even before BR has started managing a game ppl are already talkin about whether he should be sacked or not!! jus frustrated dude nothin else

  11. Terrancemukoviya6:33 pm, June 21, 2012

    KK got what he was asking for:

    1.he bought a load of average players & tried 2 turn them into world class b4 thinking about top 4 finish.

    2.the was very ignorant & rude,4 he thought that since he was being called a king,he should listen 2 no1

    3.he benched world class players(bellamy,maxi,kuyt) who helped him get a full contract at the club for his low-midaverage class flops.

    4.his tactics were childish!he waited until the last 15 or even less minutes to make a sub,even when someone is clearly underperforming. 

    5.he made his flops feel lyk its easy to get a jersey at LFC because no matter how poor they play,they will always try again on the next game 

    6.he never wanted to admit that he had made weak signings by giving them chances after chances only trying to prove to the world that he had made the right signings (in other words, he put his signings ahead of the club.)

    my dear LFC fans, i believe that if BR manages to overcome KD's weaknesses,he will be a success at the club.YNNNWA!!!!!

  12. we have to improve on last season's home form, personally i dont think we can be as bad again this season

  13. and as unlucky as last season i think stoke scored 4 more goals then liverpool hit the post last season

  14. Performance against continual qualification for CL
    This requires consistency from the players and the players fit for purpose.
    This can be done on limited financing but for me the manager whom has a PHD in this area is Arsene Wenger.
    You cannot qualify if you don't have strength and depth.

    Attendance versus capacity
    Perhaps Ian Ayre you may care to enlighten us on how you intend to increase it redeployment, new ground, ground share?????.
    This record has been playing for so long it's worn out

    You cannot expect to qualify when you spend Chardonay money and expect Champagne quality.
    If BR has been installed to spend peanuts to get results then this will horribly backfire against FSG.
    If there intention was to install him and allow him to make a marquee signing and supplement that with up and coming talent then that is a realistic aim.

    IMO Jaimie I regard this site both informative and authoratative even though I don't agree with everything you say.
    What do you think will happen to FSG if they fail to provide adequate funds to BR and have unrealistic expectations?
    Will they pay the ultimate price for their folly or will we be stuck with another bunch of Americans whom think they know how to run a PL franchise.

  15. Ray I hope you are right. i think that his new "tiki-takka pass and move style of foot-ball will only be successful if we bring in a couple of new technically gifted players. As much as i love our guys some of them lack any kind of  creativity. If we want to play beautiful foot-ball we need to bring in a different class of foot-baller from what we have now. That's all i am saying.

  16. Coady will not be at lfc he is awful what is the big fascination with him Adjoran is 3 time the player he is and he won't make it

  17. i think that BR should be sacked if he does not get into the top five in his first season . If you look at Arsenal for example Wenger has been criticized for a lot of things but he has managed to keep his job for so long because he has always managed a top 4 finish. If Arsenal ever finishes in 8th place a lot of people will call for Wenger's head that's for sure. The champions league is the holy grail of modern day foot-ball. Everyone one is looking for it and very few actually ever find it.

     Rodgers was brought in specifically to challenge for the domestic title and bring us back to champions league football . I think if BR brings in the right people with the budget he is given to spend there is no need why we can't deliver a top 4 or 5 finish again.A known fact is that owners will take more from a manager who delivers than from one who doesn't. He will get more support when needed in the form of cash to spend , and if god forbid there is any kind of embarrassing scandal involving the manager the owners will back him up to the hilt. Everybody loves a winner , especially the owners.

  18. Brian -Ormskirk9:37 pm, June 21, 2012

    Stupid comment !

  19. it is
    tottenham who finished wont be the same with harry redknapp and i think modric and/or bale will leave 

  20. 4th???? is that the height of your ambition? that is an arsenal-esque comment. get agrip of yourself, that is the type of pathetic comment i expect from modern no nothings.

  21. what if he gets 6th 3pts off 4th

  22. christ almighty!!! the 'no nothings' are out in force today. get a life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23.  I do not understand this topic. The same is with new owners. They yet have to prove themselves how serious they are,as I think they brought club to make money. LFC is all about trophies,top 4 is not in question,targert is always winning the league,no matter which conditions or circumstances are onside or outside the pitch. If Brendan doesnt succeed,its their fault because they picked him. Its all about ambitions. I dont think we need major reinforcements,probably 3-4 quality players to challenge for everything we participate. Now we see Rafas singnigs growed up like Dani,Skrt or Luk,Andy and Hendo are better for one season,so  I hope BR will take the glory.

  24. Non financial? Top 4 finish is utterly financial.

    I hate talk of KPIs, reminds me of work. Yuck!!

  25. Good question Jamie, i had been thinking along the same lines re Rodgers and FSG, the fact is IF we actually perform siminarly this coming season or worse god forbid then our owners will have one hell of a problem on their hands, AND just like with Chelsea there simply are no guarantee's with any manager we get onboard....

    Much will rest on who we offload in terms of players and who we bring in, if we can out those players holding us back and have a keen and hungry squad for the season then i think we'll be fine, in fact we'll be better than fine but if we don't get it right in this window it definitely could all go tits up, like it did for Roy and Kenny....

  26. that would be too close to the finish that Kenny had. He himself came to Liverpool under the guise as someone who had the master-plan to unlock Liverpool's full potential. Now he has to prove it. He has his work cut out for him that's for sure. He has to introduce players who may or may not have the ability to play his quick pass and move foot-ball to the new strategy and bring in the right people who can come in and make a difference right away.  Rodgers has the gift of gab and he was able to convince Henry and Werner that he was the man to take the club forward . He has no choice but to out do Kenny or he risks losing the owners confidence.

  27. Chib:thats all that needs to be said.

  28. I don't think Ayre is making it up, I believe what he said: we need to see the team getting better in a consistent and controllable fashion. There will always be limits on that i.e. sometimes you just can't control what happens in a game, but what we did have control of we didn't take. The team was let down by the team, not entirely by bad luck or difficult circumstances. I very much agree that the first team simply did not show progress under Kenny and his protests to the  contrary where thoroughly unconvincing. He spent the money, got the targets he wanted and had a full season to display something that would show everyone that we were on the right track. Perhaps you could say that longer was needed but I just don't see how. A full season of football is a long time, plenty enough in my view to have your team at least show promise and improvement. Our best football was towards the start of the year and honestly it just felt worse the longer we went on. That's what really hit home for me when evaluating how well Kenny was doing. We were a decent team in the first few months but as confidence dropped then so did our performances. Why would this next season have been different?

    That's what Rodgers will be up against. He'll have a grace period, certainly the first half of the season could be considered a write-off. Totally new tactics and new faces in the team will mean we'll struggle and I fully expect to get to Christmas in no better than 7th or 8th place. Lot's of draws and very few goals. But the improvement, week by week and month by month, should be clear to see. There will be blips, unexplainable losses and moments where things don't work but I totally expect the standard to be about improvement, not immediate results.
    I actually don't think pushing for a CL spot will be part of what Rodgers is evaluated against in his first year. I don't think it's realistic. All he'll have to do is better than last season and show a constant state of improvement. Finishing 7th in the league should not mean undue pressure on Rodgers, not as an indicator on it's own. Play good football, show that the team is constantly improving and end the season showing that if things continue to get better then we'll be back in the top the next year. 

  29. It's so obvious...as long as BR manages to clear all the British garbage which Liverpool have plenty,then Liverpool have a chance...

  30. I'm not saying that Coady will necessarily be a star player, but I could easily see him filling in as backup DM for a very good team. Everybody in the team doesn't need to be world class for you to have a world class team (e.g. Busquets really isn't all that), and I'd happily see cheap youngsters promoted from our reserves fill out squad roles, rather than expensive imports from elsewhere, as has been the policy over recent years.

    Fwiw, I don't really rate Adjoran that highly anyway.

  31. Not all British. All the deadwood. Gerrard and Bellamy still have it in them not forgetting the youth team 

  32. only downing adam and spearing needs to go and maybe carragher used for a coaching role

  33. me either but people think are "proper" second string is the dogs do da's and it isn't. Flanno Kelly and Sterling have in effect made that step up (especially Kelly) but the next one is going to have to be beter than them! Wisdom will make the big time i think and maybe Suso but after that i can't see the next one from the second string can you?

  34. i think i can help. Most of Kenny's signings were British and were garbage who lack any kind of real technical foot-ball abilities. No disrespect meant to all British foot-ballers but being honest here when it comes down to these special few they are lacking in many areas. They are just over priced average players whom the naive American owners signed off on because they trusted their manager. That being said the only real British talent that came in under Kenny was Bellamy. Gerrard wasn't signed under Kenny and we all know he is a real talent. Henderson played better for Sunderland, Carroll is only just beginning  to learn about himself as a foot-baller, hope this self discovery keeps on going. Adams was much better for Blackpool and failed to repeat that form that made him attractive to kenny. We all know about Downing. Spearing will only make the first team when the first team players die in a plane crash or  something. Wasn't brought in by kenny and can not demand the respect he wants in the first team

  35. I agree with you and do tend to worry with the overhyping of our kids. I still want to see some of them given an opportunity to step up though, not because I think they're the best kids around, but because many of the senior players haven't been too much better, while taking up significantly higher wages and offering little scope for growth.

    tbh I thought, and have argued many times, that our reserves were in better shape several years ago, when the likes of Pacheco, Nemeth, San Jose, Mavinga, Plessis etc were around, but they've all moved on w/o getting a look in, so hopefully this lot will get a bit more luck...

  36. they cam 3rd in the next gen series last year

  37. im english and im 16 years old and if it wasnt for the fact that im living away from liverpool i think i can break in liverpool team as cover for lucas i have my own tagline

    i tackle like lucas drive like gerrard and dive like suarez

  38. well at least when i see spearing play i think i can play for liverpool he makes me look like messi

  39. We were the beneficiaries of technicalities offering us opportunities to progress, without needing to earn it with on pitch results.

    btw I'm well aware that results shouldn't be the be all and end all when evaluating the talent/potential of young players but the results weren't as good as you may believe from just looking at a headline like that...

  40. Mr. Point of View8:10 pm, June 22, 2012

    My Judge will be

    try keep star player...dont ne a feeder club

    manage to lift up performance from those so called flop

    had some decent game to convince fsg new stadium project

  41. Some of the comments on here make me laugh. Roll on Aug 2nd and the new BR era, i'll back this manager like i back every other new manager and with some sense of optimisim i know it wont be our year this year but i know we'll be alot better than last and if i see progress in the league this year i will be so looking forward to what BR can do in his second season.