4 May 2015

[Guest-Post] Revealed: The reason why Liverpool will never be champions under Rodgers

[GUEST POST] The inability of Liverpool FC to close out the 2013/2014 season as champions surprised many fans, especially those of us that remember the great LFC teams of the 70s and 80s. A Paisley, Fagan, or Dalglish team at the top of the league with a few games left probably would've gone on to be champions, but Rodgers' Liverpool team continues to fail at the final hurdle. Why? The history of management success in the Premier League offers a clue as to what needs to change.

Compared to the season prior to his arrival, there is no doubt that Liverpool have improved under Rodgers, but it seems that his Liverpool teams always seem to buckle under pressure.

As this season underlines yet again, Rodgers has assembled a team of 'nearly men', who seem to lack the mental fortitude to stay the course.

Liverpool folded under pressure when odds-on to win the league last season, and the team failed to impress in two cup semi-finals this season.

Interestingly, Kenny Dalglish took a team in far worse shape to two cup finals, winning one of them. Would King Kenny have gone on to win the league last season?

So, what's the problem? In my view, the experience and/or trophy-winning ability of the manager is the key thing that separates Liverpool from the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. Consider the following:

* The top four teams in the Premier League have managers who are proven winners, and each one of these managers guided a team to a domestic league title prior to joining their current team.

* Mourinho, Wenger, Pellegrini, and Van Gaal honed their management skills and a winning mentality before making the move to the top European leagues.

* Interestingly, the league wins prior to joining their current teams were in smaller leagues (Ligue 1, Eredivisie, Chilean League).

* It is also notable that the team currently outperforming all expectations in the league (Southampton), also has a manager with a strong track record of prior management success.

Consider some of the other managers who have delivered success in the premier league.

- Sir Alex Ferguson had three league titles, five domestic cup titles and two European trophies before he came to England.

- Kenny Dalglish took an average Blackburn team to the Premier League title (we all know his prior achievements).

- Roberto Mancini had won Serie A and Coppa Italia three times before winning the Premier League.

- Carlo Ancelotti had won the Champions League twice and Serie A once before winning the Premier League.

The reality is obvious: No manager has won the Premier League without having first won another domestic league.

I am a fan of Rodgers, and I believe he was right man for Liverpool back in 2012, but he is arguably not equipped to build a title winning team.

Liverpool simply do have the leadership required to improve performances significantly, and unless things change, the club will find it increasingly difficult to maintain a top-four presence, and/or win the league.

In order to move forward, the data suggests that the club needs to be infused with a winning mentality, and that comes from from:

* Hiring proven winners to lead the club, and:

* Signing proven winners for the first eleven.

I'd love to see Rodgers stay, but putting sentimentality aside, it seems clear that Liverpool's 25-year league drought will not end until the club appoints a manager with a track-record of winning trophies.

Should Liverpool stick with Rodgers, or try and find a manager who fits the required profile for success?

Author: Mark Chrystal | Follow Mark on Twitter: @mkjchrysta


  1. Absolutely right, Rodgers is Not a winner and never will be.

  2. No manager has won the Premier League without having first won another domestic league.

    Could it be that managers that won it were better than others? Had better wages to offer hence better players? Refs at their pocket maybe? All of that?
    The question is can Brendan *become* top manager, we knew he wasn't one upon his arrival, didn't we?

  3. so you were against his appiontment from day one?

  4. If it is really true that Klopp is going to be available, why the hell aren't the Liverpool hierarchy busting their nuts to land him? Sadly, Liverpool just make one blunder after another and it's been that way for a long time now. As for winning the league last season, I can truthfully say with my hand on my heart that at no time did I expect them to do it. It was obvious that one slip up would do them - LFC fans were foolishly counting their chickens. No honours of any kind with Rodgers at the helm.

  5. The real question is: Have any of these managers written a 180 page dossier?

    In all seriousness though, what I noticed is that every notable manager comes in with a way of doing things, of winning.

    For example, take Mourinho. He doesn't give to bloody shits if his team plays the most goddamn boring match in the world. Many criticize his lack of ambition to play entertaining football.

    But here's the catch; that's how Chelsea wins. Play to get what you need. 3 points or 1.

    It really doesn't even have to do anything with tactics or game plan. It can be the type of players you want in your squad as well, etc.

    Now, take a look at BR. Does he have a way of winning?

    None that I have seen so far. He never came in with a plan, or a certain philosophy.

    ''Build our club for the future'' is the closest thing I say he has, but does he even abide by it? When was the last time you saw Sinclair or even Ojo in a game? Ibe is a step closer to what we need but that's all it is.

    If Rodgers wants to stay, he needs to know what he wants to do, not just going with whatever happens and hoping we win, because that was the sum of our last season.

  6. Everyone has to start from somewhere....wwenger wasnt the finished article when he joined arsenal

  7. How do we know we aren't nuts to land him? We've had more rumors linked to Klopp than most other clubs, even rumors of direct contact between the club and Klopp over potential negotiations. While those might not be true, I find it hard to believe that these rumors would be produced with no interest at all. Backing the current manager to finish strong doesn't make his job safe past the end of the season.

  8. Solution! We can "loan" BR off to Celtic and win there first! Then we'll be set to win the EPL, right?

  9. I have to disagree with the article writer that it is not a prerequisite for a manager to have a history of success in order for him to become a title winner. There have been several pre premiership managers who did not have a history of success as a manager, and went on to win a League title, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan, Howard Wilkinson, Howard Kendall and there are probably more.
    As for Brendan, whether we like it or not, the last three years have been a learning curve for him; and I believe that if he gets a further year we will get to see if he has taken any of the lessons on board.
    A vast majority of supporters will argue that Liverpool has never been, nor should be a vehicle for training a manager, but unfortunately the reality is, that is what has happened for the tenure of Brendan Rodgers to date at Liverpool. For me he should be given the opportunity in the coming year to see if the 'poor buys' come good, Markovich, Loveren, Llalana and Ballotelli. There is a good chance that at least two of these players will come good and that would be in line with most premiership managers purchase success rate. In his second year at Liverpool BR finished second and played some of the most exciting football seen since the days of Dalglish's first stint as manager, for this reason and this reason alone IMO BR deserves his fourth year.

  10. We've been waiting for far too long for a league title, we know for sure he has miles to go before he develops that winning mentality, strategies that could overcome teams that read out his own and finally convincing quality & proven players to come to Liverpool. BR has already been given three years and we didn't win anything. Last year against Chelsea he opted for an all out pressing game as he does always and they counter attacked judiciously. Any other quality manger in that situation with strikers like Suarez and Sturridge at their disposal would've certainly changed the tempo and attacked at opportune moments after seeing the other side parking the bus. The result was we lost to Chelsea and couldn't win PL. this year too been the same, against Swansea we all saw how badly our back 3 defence was attacked through the wings yet he went with same strategy against the scums and we lost. So how long do you want us wait to see our beloved team winning trophies ? Enough, FSG should go for Klopp or Rafa this summer.

  11. Excellent article, thank you.

    BR is becoming a bit of a myth to me, it's clear that when he seems to make positive changes he then reverts back to what didn't work when things go sour. That annoys me.

    The lack of previous experience does concern me. But I do think that our fans still expect too much of this team. A lot of us still think we are the Liverpool from the 70 & 80's.

    Also the poor signings of the past regimes have not helped and we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

    If BR does go and we get in a world class replacement like Simeone, Klopp etc.. Then I will be all for it, but I do think that BR of given time will make this team a winning team...however time is not on his side so we'll see.

    Let's buy PROVEN quality this summer and not potentials.

  12. Agreed. If we went with that mentality of 'never winning the league without winning a previous league', then no manager would ever have won their first title.

    Do people think Daglish was a better manager (in his second spell) than Rodgers simply because he won the Carling Cup (against Cardiff on penalties)?

  13. rotchie the red11:54 pm, May 04, 2015

    klopp has failed this year and has decided to leave a sinking ship, if he had stayed would Borussia Dortmund fans want him sacked and replaced by Rafa I wonder, and Rafa who was well known for not knowing what his best team was for a long time would still change it after it would win and even drove one of the best players we ever had out of the club into the arms of real madrid, and before he left there were a lot of calls for his head, short memories.

  14. Liverpool 0 - Arsenal 2,, Arsenal won the league at Anfield, where does that leave your argument.

  15. rotchie the red12:07 am, May 05, 2015

    King Kenny inherited a great team in his first spell with us, and as for his spell at blackburn, it wasnt an average team at that time, he was given an open check book and had some of the big names in english football at the time, one good season with them really, they didnt do much after that and what about his stint at newcastle, not much success there either....still a hero of mine though.

  16. Would like to point out that pellegrini never win the Chilean league title, he won the cup, but did win the Ecuadorian serie a and won 2 Argentine titles with San Lorenzo and river plate, maybe needing a little bit more homework before the next article lol no offence

  17. Mike Aitcheson1:10 am, May 05, 2015

    It's hardly a surprise that the four richest clubs hired title winning managers for their title tilts- Why would they not do so when they had all that money at their disposal?

    Out of all of them, NONE came from nowhere ( say 7th or 8th) to win the title without first becoming disproportionately rich compared to their peers first. Blackburn had Jack Walker's money and could blow almost any team away financially. City and Chelsea had petro dollars backing their tilts and don't compare to our current situation particularly.

    If BR had enough money to buy up the very best talent, I'm sure he would have won last year also. Whilst I'm happy to admit that Mourinho is a brilliant manager, Chelsea bought world class players for years. Same with Manu and City
    Only arsenal have bucked this trend, and even they have been nowhere near the PL for over 10 years until- you've guessed it- they became one of the richest, most profitable clubs in the PL..
    By this reasoning NO manager would ever win their first title, since by definition, they hadn't done so previously...

  18. My God I'd buy u a drink if I ever met the author of this post. More true words have never been spoken unless telling a dead man he's dead of course. I've been screaming out these same thoughts for only God knows how long everywhere I could
    If we want to win the league we must hire a league winner. It as simple as abc.

  19. Yes I was. Since I heard his name I knew things were going down hill. His naivety at times is overwhelming. What we basically done is give a kid the keys to a 19th century rolls- royce. Did we really expect him to pull out trees. I'd suffer him if he went out and won a league anywhere, hell even the championship(still a league ). At least then he'd have won something.

  20. Sorry, but I am not having anything of that winning trophies first shit, because it
    has to start somewhere anyway ... of course, you have to manage a team
    capable of winning the league or the european cups.

    It seems like Brendan Rodgers lacks some sort of ruthlessness. All top managers display it if needed, even though in different ways, but he doesn't do it at all (so far) ...

    You never see him angry (even if he is entitled to it), you never hear him question the commitment of his players (when he definately should), you don't get the feeling he is well respected and to some extend feared by the players (he acts and speaks more as a friend about his players than as their manager).

    Always describing mediocre team performances as outstanding, praising the team for showing determination and never being shy of mentioning, how hard the boys have fought and given everything they got.

    Better stop it with the "nice guy" approach as it won't get him to the level where he surely wants to see himself.

    He just needs to become a leader, our leader!! He either rises to the challenge, or will ultimately fail.

  21. He knew how to hold on and win games. He knew when he had to close up shop. We beat city and man u to that final if I'm not mistaken.

  22. You do realize there was nobody better out there at that moment? And that he got us where he got us last season?

  23. Well Mr. Rodgers had been talking a lot and he seems a little too comfortable.

  24. Rafa is a winner and no matter what he done or will do he'll keep doing what he does best which is win trophies with or without lfc. No doubt

  25. What BR says has no reflection on what the administration thinks.

    Hopefully he leaves quietly, Klopp is brought in, and he's given plenty of time to work his magic. I have a feeling that won't be the case though....

  26. Rafa is a billion light years away in terms of managers. He didn't get a chance. Lvg was available
    I think hiddenk was available. Ancelotti would have loved a chance. You get the idea wanted a manager who would be a positive influence on the young team they wanted. Even they saw his inexperience as a problem,that's why they tried to get in lvg as technical director and rodgers refused. They were after a Young manager to build a young team and one might say theyve got that young team now.

  27. Please God I hope he does leave quietly. Cuz then he'd be good enough to get a good job somewhere notable even napoli might look at him or even Milan because he'd have a bit of dignity left. If he stubbornly stays and fails all his positives performances of last year will be gifted to suarez.

  28. Ancelotti would've loved the chance?!? You're having a laugh.. Another joke is that Rafa didn't get the chance.. Van Gaal- yeah, but he is considered to be somewhat of a liability, and would've cost us much more I suppose. And yes a young manager with a plan they wanted and got one. A three year plan to to take us forward and back to CL. we were in cl year before schedule, might not be there when we were supposed to, But highly likely to get there next season. Some of the players he 'developed' were sold for good money, some are now worth much more than when they were brought, some showed they'll come good, some became no more than pricey squad players, for some there is still time and some flopped. Overall, it ain't that good, but it ain't that bad either, speccialy taking in consideration what Logan would describe as excuses, but were real and hard obstacles. I am not saying he is a great manager, but if I was the owner I wouldn't be too quick to sack him, not even for Klop.

  29. Rodgers has been handed over 200 million to spend on players since he came to Liverpool... don't tell me he has hasn't been given money!!
    Benitez could only dream of this kind of support during his time here.
    He was left to fund his transfers with Champions League money he had to earn first.
    Yet he still managed to bring in world class talent.

    What fantastic players has Rodgers brought in with the money he was given? Name them.

  30. To cut it short Liverpool do not currently have the experience or the quality in its playing ranks to win the title .
    Nor does the club have in what it offers money wise or CL wise or even geographically to pull the big names they need.
    My qualm is people fail to see the above and my assessment of the team at the beginning of the season was 5th to 7th and thats where we are, some people expect too much.

  31. At least his team reached a cup final by beating Bayern Munich who are at the top of the table.

  32. BR never had the CV worth of becoming a Liverpool Manager back in 2012 in the first place. He is the first Liverpool manager since 1950 to not win a trophy in his first 3 years. I actually liked BR of first season when he bought on Suso against manure very early on in the game......trying different things. But sadly this season he has shown his inexperience many times which has cost us top 4 place. There is no surety that he will achieve anything next season. One more year of experimenting and giving him money and then sacking him in December if the owners are not satisfied will complicate our Club's problems even more. We should go all out to get Klopp if not get Rafa these managers can attract big names (something BR cannt) and are far more experienced also won numerous Trophies.

  33. And yes he's been quoted as being intrested in the job when he was in psg. The fans at Madrid have still not really warmed up to him and if he's driven out of Madrid I don't see why he wouldn't have loved the chance.
    It's sad people think lfc can't atttact top managers even people like u.
    We are one of the biggest clubs in the world not in terms of success but in income generation. We are sleeping giant and almost any manager in the world would love to stir us up. The only thing keeping them away are the owners. By that I mean their criteria of what they want.

  34. Transfer fees are only half of it. LFC can afford to pay 25 million for lallana and pay him 60-70 thousand a week. If they buy a world class player for the same amount but have to pay him 150-200 thousands a week, who is more expensive over the course of their contract? When operating under FFP there is more to think about than just transfer fees.

  35. I have said this before 1 point is better than 0 points, So lets hope he at least goes out for a point against Chelsea, Park the bus and try and hit them on the break like they did to us, 4 at the back with 2 defensive midfielders.

  36. Borini and Brad Jones are BIG mates , and with Jones getting a new contract maybe Borini will change his mind and stay .!

  37. Suarez got Liverpool into 2nd place last year

    With his energy and desire to win he inspired his
    team mates to play above themselves !

  38. Mike Aitcheson6:18 am, May 05, 2015

    I'm sick of hearing this stuff about how everything was Suarez last year. Sturridge scored 21 goals and had a further 7 assists- did Suarez do that too?
    When we did really well last year it was not the manager, it was the player(s)(Suarez, who somehow failed to do the same under Kenny)
    This year, when things have gone badly, it's suddenly not the players, it's the manager (Rodgers is now clueless)
    You want it both ways.

  39. Mike Aitcheson6:37 am, May 05, 2015

    Sturridge. Coutinho. Even Mignolet is going to win the Golden Glove. I think Lallana or Markovic will prove good buys, or at least one of them. Sakho also. players rafa bought like Lucas took 3 years to start producing. hendo similarly took 3 years.
    Rafa lost his golden touch in 2007, the last trophy was long gone before he left. Don't forget we were already in the CL and there was no Man City. He spent big money on rubbish too. Keane £20m Aquilani £19m Babel £11.5m Dossena £7m Johnson £17m Riera £9m. Cavaleri. Deggen. Voranin. Nunez. Kyrakos. NGog the list goes on and on. Good buysin that period? Masch and Skrtyl. That ws pretty big money back then
    And don't forget Rodgers has sold over £125m of players too. he didn't get £200m EXTRA. Our squad is still worth £100m+ LESS than our rivals

  40. I think Rogers needs more time,,,last year when we were almost at the crossing line i would have loved to have heard all these comments..Yikes if we have won i wonder if all those "i knew he was a bad manager"comments would still be out..
    Fergie took about 3 years to get it right, and i am sure most of those others mentioned too a while as well so lets not bring proven records into the equation when it cannot be compared....
    The problem is the suqad, even the best managers will battle with the squad at hand (and Fergie saw a sinking ship and bailed)
    LFC players are not up to the best at the moment, they will be but not right now....its our scouting stratergy, the boardroom has a bit too much influence (i assume) in buying players and the game sufferes..
    Football is a great game and irrespective of who you support you want the best for the game....

  41. They did not form a partnership until the early twentieth century Eolls and Royce that is not Liverbrodge

  42. So it's either Steve McLaren or Neil Lennon for the job then............... We can all choose the certain examples to back up our argument :)

  43. I would rather Jones he hardly plays and we cant sell him for much Borini has got to stop holidaying though.

  44. In my opinion lambert was bought for training purposes our defenders were so poor at set pieces bringing lambert to work the defence every day. Thats only eeason i can think he was bought

  45. If you believe the papers Brendan Rodgers has written down every single striker from every league in europe. Maybe thats the tactic, there has to be a gem in there somewhere :-)

  46. Plenty of money and plenty of time especially if you believe Suarez that the club were well aware he wanted to go prior to WC.

  47. Agreed something did.Either Transfer committee went behind his back and signed a player or rodgers had no other target lined up once Sanchez decided London was for him. either way it doesnt look good for BR.

  48. ha ha very the like the "lets swap Lambert for Benteke in a straight swap deal" yes cause Villa will be all over that :-)

  49. I you can remember from last season, at times we had real trouble against teams from lower end of the table that had scored an early goal and sat lines deep and fighting vigorously against our attacks. In those games we lacked a real penetration despite of Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling in the line-up. Only way to attack that seemed to have some effect was to chip lobs to the box and hope someone would hit those in. As a result we saw Skrtel playing almost as a center forward during the last few minutes of those games.

    My impression has been that Lambert was acquired primarily for that exact purpose; to give us an outlet to turn those difficult games in the dying minutes. So generally Lambert was brought to give us tactical versatility. Unfortunately, though we lost Suarez and for most part of the season Sturridge too. Thus, Sterling could not sustain our energetic pressing and speed-penetration alone. As a result the tactical versatility that Lambert would have brought has been nullified for the most parts as we have not been capable of playing as we did in the last season.

  50. You're the one who brought up the fact that it's about this one game.

    According to you, if we win, he stays, and if we lose, he leaves.

    As it relates to the rest of your thoughts, finishing second last year was quite the accomplishment.

    Considering we spend the 5th most on wages in the league, and there is a sizable gap in wage bills between us and 4th.

    Simply put, we are not the club we used to be, and until we bring in more revenue, we won't be able consistently attain top 4.

  51. I agree.

    Just as with the relegation example I gave before, if Rodgers' goal this year was to qualify for Champions League and we fail, then he needs to be held accountable.

    The question is whether that accountability means firing. And if it doesn't mean firing, what are the ramifications for failure?

    And in my opinion, the only way he gets fired is if the owners feel they can get a better manager in here to replace him.

  52. Of course we had a chance, I was being sarcastic ;-)

    Manu are still awful but unfortunately so are we.

  53. I said if he wins at least he would be less of a suffer. At least for once he had bucked one trend of not winning when we meet Chelsea. That will be progress at least one less losing streak.
    And about revenue. I remember Tottenham finishing above us on a lesser budget. I remember us earning the most tv money last year from performances on a lesser budget. Revenue is all relative. It'd not as if we've never earned more. We can do it again.

  54. You said if he wins you're all for another season of him, and if they batter us then even the most avid Brendan supporter can't continue to suffer this man. Those are your words in the first post I initially responded to yesterday. And my initial response was predicated on the idea that our manager's fate should not be decided by the result of one game.

    And as it relates to revenue, I was referring to consistency in performance. We all saw how we outperformed teams last year even though their rosters cost more. And we are all seeing how those teams are outperforming us yet as usual this year. There may be the odd year where a smaller budgeted team succeeds over a larger budgeted team, but those are the exception, not the rule.

  55. Swoop DS as well, good quality player with limited playing time equal nothing, don't think that DO will make a direct impact for us, sign a quality striker for next season is enough