Get ready for some melodrama – if results go against him, there is a genuine case to be made for Brendan Rodgers no longer being employed by Liverpool Football Club by the time the clock strikes midnight and 2015 begins.
Seriously, hear me out.
After another lacklustre performance on Saturday at home to Sunderland, last year’s runners up now sit in ninth place. Having spent a colossal £116 million in the summer, the Reds are already 15 points off the pace and already seem highly unlikely to even make the top four.
On paper, things look extremely bleak for Liverpool. But what is perhaps most worrying is that it’s not just on paper that things look depressing. This Liverpool side simply doesn’t seem capable of performing any better than they are right now, and this must be a constant cause of anxiety for Brendan Rodgers.
You see, this is his fault. His fault, and no one else’s.
It is true that Rodgers almost certainly did not sanction the departure of Luis Suarez, but he has certainly presided over the reaction to that signing, and Liverpool’s current form suggests that the Northern Irishman’s reaction simply wasn’t good enough. Rather than going after a player of Suarez’s ilk, Rodgers bought a collection of slightly better than average Premier League players, along with a few unknowns. The results have not been pretty.
You may be wondering: “Okay, I get that Liverpool are doing badly, but could Rodgers really lose his job over this?”. Allow me to explain.
Next Sunday, the Reds will face Man United at Old Trafford in one of the biggest games of the season for both clubs. Always a thorny fixture, this year there will be extra motivation for a United side who were embarrassed in front of their home support in last season’s corresponding derby. Should United emerge victorious from this clash, two things are likely to have been illustrated: first, that United are on the way back up; second, Liverpool are no longer at the level they were at last season. The second of these will not reflect well on Rodgers.
Following their clash with United, the Reds will then take on Arsenal at Anfield, once again knowing that a loss would clearly indicate just how far they have fallen. If we cast our minds back to last season, we’ll remember a rampaging Liverpool team tearing the Gunners apart and winning this fixture 5-1. Anything less than that will be another clear indication of the deterioration of Rodgers’ charges.
These two games are crucial for the Liverpool boss. If he was to lose both, and maroon his team further behind the leaders, the heat on the manager would likely increase, and could genuinely cost him his job. All the best, Brendan.