25 Apr 2015

Ex-Red blasts: €20m Liverpool star was 'non-existent' against West Brom. Blame Rodgers?

Once again, Liverpool have blown it. The Reds' chances of finishing in the top four look increasingly slim after today's mediocre performance against West Brom, and once again, it's Mario Balotelli who's (unfairly) getting it in the neck.

Analysing Liverpool's abject performance against the Baggies, ex-Red Phil Babb singled out Balotelli for specific criticism. He told LFC.com:

"The main thing that was missing was that focal point in attack, Mario Balotelli [Cost: €20m] was non-existent.

"Too easy to mark; lost possession too many times, and drifted out to the flanks too many times. I want to see him in the box".

I'm no fan of Balotelli, but this criticism is misplaced; it's clearly Rodgers who deserves to carry the can for Liverpool's failure to beat - or even score against - West Brom:

* How many times: Balotelli IS NOT A LONE STRIKER! Everyone seems to know this except Rodgers, yet he persists with playing the Italian in that role despite the fact he's consistently ineffective there.

* It really is beyond a joke now. The tactic of playing Balotelli up-front alone failed in the first half of the season, and it's failed every time he's played there since, including against Aston Villa last week, yet Rodgers keeps making the same mistake.

* Why didn't Sterling play up-front? He's the obvious solution whilst Sturridge is out, and he's played there to great effect this season. That cuts no ice with Rodgers, it seems, who continues to make baffling tactical choices.

* It's the same story in central midfield; Gerrard should never be played in a midfield two, yet Rodgers did exactly that again today, even though he had other viable options in the squad.

In my view, when Rodgers makes decision like these, he is quite literally sabotaging Liverpool's forward progress. LFC desperately needed to win today's game to stay in the Champions League race, but Rodgers totally blew it with his stubborn refusal to learn from past mistakes.

I'm not in favour of sacking Rodgers at the end of the season, but if he keeps making decisions like this then he'll only have himself to blame if FSG end up giving him the red card at the end of the season.



  1. Spot on Jamie, Brendan is all over the place with hs tactics the last month and hs players are not playing freely. Too tense out there

  2. Not a fan of sacking Rodgers, but we need to invest in the squad to improve and I can't trust him with a single dolla, let alone millions.
    As a side note, I just read that Benitez reached his 7th European semi final in 12 years. Quite a consistent record, and it seems that he is always delivering throphies :)

  3. At the top of the season, we played with a back 4, with Gerard in midfield and a lone striker (occasionally Balotelli). It didn't work, we didn't play well and we struggled to score goals. Fast forward several months, when we desperately need goals to make the top 4 (Rodgers has acknowledged this himself) and we resort to the same tactics. Never mind sabotaging Liverpool's forward progress, is Rodgers deliberately trying to sabotage his position as Liverpool manager? Why wait till the 70th minute to make a change?

    More significantly, match after match we are seeing how badly the transfer committee have let everyone down. The owners, the fans, the existing squad and the new recruits. How can we expect our best players to stay if we don't recruit appropriately? As Jaimie has said, it has been really unfair to Balotelli to acquire his services and then ask him to play in a manner that is alien to him.

    The transfer committee needs to go and so should Rodgers if the owners can't see him taking us forward. Not because of failure to reach our targets but because he cannot acquire the quality of player we need to reach the next level.

  4. I kind of agree with a lot of your sentiment there Jamie, but rather than lay the blame at Rodgers door, the cynical side of me feels it may have been a shop window exercise today. Likely dictated by the powers that be, the same powers who insisted Balotelli was signed in the first place, - clearly Brendan did not want him. Probably the same deal with Johnson and Borini. Stick them all on the pitch in the hope they perform and bolster their value for the summer.
    Either way 100% agree it's tantamount to prematurely throwing the towel in.

  5. And he was out of work for 2 of those so 7 in 10 really

  6. I thought Rodgers did invest in the squad last summer...it`s time for 3 or 4 BIG NAME PLAYERS....but with no Champions League to offer (again...blew it this season !!!)...who the hell will come to LFC now.???...totally blown it in not adequately replacing Suarez...all that money wasted...another Tottenham accomplished in the transfer market !!!!!!

  7. I just can't get my head around that, not your comment but the whole BR debate; we nearly won the league last season - should of won the league last season. - Not just won it but we played teams off the pitch on a regular basis.
    So, the retort will be 'Suarez!!!' or possibly even saurez, but in my simple mind, and accounting we've since improved our one weak point - defence, surely we just need one great player again and the title's assured. Imagine if we get two or even three great players, unstoppable we will be.
    The next retort will again reference Suarez and his world class ability and not finding it growing on trees, but surely it's worth a look? Surely that's an easier route than a new manager, whole new team and another god awful phase of 'transistion'
    Again, not aimed as a dig at you David, only in reply and recognising we all want to 'go again' - 2015/16 YNWA

  8. I am one of Rodgers biggest critics and I truly believe that if this guy is not removed from his position.....then we could be in for a torrid time. This is now no joking matter, we require the best that is on offer, we may have a opportunity to get a decent manager in who commands respect and does not take any nonsense from players who do not give 100%.

    It's ovious that we need top quality players bringing to this club. Do you think for one moment they will come here with a manager who is clueless tactically inept, arrogant and commands zero respect. If supporters can see this....why can't John Henry and co see it. Lack of football knowledge or being poorly advised by people who suppsibly know whats required to be a top club.

    Just sick and tired of seeing the IMPOSTER still applying that he is the right man for the job, embarrassing listening to his continually excuses. Quite simply Rodgers the Deluded One, is not what we need or want.

  9. He has been doing it all season. Then you think he learnt from it and then he does it again. It always only worked for him when the particular player got injured and he had no other option then. And once the player is back from injury it goes back to normal. But the worse is as you said we are not progressing at all. I don't believe Brendan is a good enough to take us to the next level. He does the same mistakes all over again and again.

  10. It`s time for Brendon to walk the talk...not talk,talk,talk....too much unnecessary praising of the team performance (or complete lack there of as with the baggies game)......5 games to go....put up and shut up with the over lavishing praises where not warranted Brendon....as with the players,your`e paid big money to perform !!

  11. Really? I would advise to change the comment. Rodgers failed tactically to win the league last season and his tactics didn't work this year either. He didn't learn and Liverpool did not progress. He looks like he doesn't know what he is doing.

  12. Benitez or Kloop in the summer. Sooner the better

  13. I would love to think Liverpool only need one good player to win the title,but we have to many average players that B.R brought in to assure that willn't happen.Suarez made B.R look like a dream manager for a season,but now his gone B.R had to prove himself and he's failed miserably.LFC need proven managers who have most of the answers when needed,that comes with experience and B.R hasn't got that.

  14. I can't see another manager, except maybe a few who's names I refuse to acknowledge at this time having that draw to immediately bring in a different level of player, certainly not the names being touted as available at present, such as Klopp.
    I can however see a repeat of the last three or so years if we jump ship and I'd prefer the steady progress I feel we're getting with Brendan, boring as that sounds it will do for me.

  15. Failed to win the league or did amazingly well (beyond all expectations) to get us into a position to even challenge?

  16. I can't see another manager, except maybe a few who's names I refuse to acknowledge having that draw to immediately bring in a different level of player, certainly not the names being touted as available at present
    I can however see a repeat of the last three or so seasons if we jump ship and I'd prefer the steady progress I feel we're getting with Brendan, boring as that sounds it will do for me.

  17. I did reply twice so apologies if it appears later, currently undergoing moderation. Was slightly long winded anyway.
    A simpler way of explaining my thinking is this - how different would/could this season of been with the addition of Sanchez - one player. Add in a fit Sturridge too.
    If you agree the above may have seen us challenging then you may see my hopes for next season can be viable.

  18. I agree that Rodgers is not the best so if we get a new manager would that mean another 3yrs in transition ?

  19. How could it not do?

  20. I agree that Rodgers is not the best so if we get a new manager would that mean another 3yrs in transition ? so what do we do ? twist or stick ?

  21. I am a big fan of Benitez because he takes no shit from management or players.

  22. Rafa is an absolute legend and I remember him sitting on the side of the pitch in Istanbul like it was yesterday, love the bloke.
    Can't see his return negating another period of transition though and not guaranteed to bring any greater success than Brendan either.

  23. I agree but at least he knows how to get a point when required (Chelsea)

  24. He was hardly a lone striker. Liverpool were playing 2-4-4 for most of the match.

    I thought the system was fine. Liverpool made enough chances to win the game twice. The tactics saw us totally dominate the entire match, it was absurdly one-sided.

    But if the players aren't going to put the ball in the net, what can you do? Balotelli's position wasn't a problem. His refusal to engage the opposition centre half, more so. Every time with only one or two exceptions I've seen him play for Liverpool he looks like he's playing a pre-season friendly.

    Was great to see Lallana back, such quality and creativity. He's been a big miss.