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Brendan Rodgers – A review of his time at Liverpool

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The manager has been sacked by Reds bosses after a 1-1 draw with Everton.

After just over 3 years at Anfield, Brendan Rodgers has left Liverpool.

Despite achieving a respectable 1-1 draw against rivals Everton, FSG have decided enough is enough and they have given Rodgers his marching orders.

He hasn’t started the 2015/16 season in the best form and the club have suffered a series of bad results recently, against the likes of West Ham and FC Sion in the Europa League.

However, it hasn’t always been this way at Anfield – in fact, Rodgers took the Reds agonisingly close to a first ever Premier League title back in the 2013/14 campaign, only to miss out at the death.

In this article, I’ll be taking a look at his time in charge of Liverpool. I’ll look at his best results from each season, the transfers he made and what the season was like in general.

2012/13 Season

Transfers

Rodgers immediately made an impact in the transfers department. There was a rather large clear-out when he first joined, with a number of previous first-team regulars leaving the club. Nine players left permanently – including Dirk Kuyt, Maxi Rodriguez and Fabio Aurelio – while Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing were loaned out.

Coming into the club were two players who have since had a huge positive impact on the club – Daniel Sturridge and Phillipe Coutinho. The latter has been one of Liverpool’s best players for the past two seasons, while the former has been one of their top goalscorers when he hasn’t been sat on the sidelines through injury. He also signed Joe Allen from his former club Swansea.

That isn’t to say all of his transfers in the first year were successful – Rodgers also spent a combined £12.4m on Fabio Borini and Oussama Assaidi.

Results

He didn’t get off to a great start as Liverpool manager, losing his first league game 3-0 against West Brom. However, in his second game he snatched a point against Man City in a 2-2 draw and his first win as boss came in a 5-2 victory over Norwich at the end of September.

The Reds then went on an eight game unbeaten run, claiming draws against Chelsea and Everton along the way. The run was halted with defeat against Spurs and they also then went on to lose against Aston Villa, Man United and Stoke in the following two months.

At the end of January and early February time, they claimed two valuable points against Arsenal and Man City with both games ending 2-2. However, they then lost to West Brom but after that defeat, they would lose just once more all season and the Reds ended the season on an eight-game unbeaten run.

Liverpool ended the year in 7th place and didn’t manage to win any other silverware. They were also eliminated from the Europa League by Zenit in the round of 32.

In general, the season was one of consolidation but also slight progress.

It was wrong to expect Brendan to have much of an impact on his first season. He was still making his mark on the team and it would take time to instill his beliefs and methods into the club and to bring in his players that he wanted.

However, slight progress was made. The Reds finished a place higher in the league than the previous year under Kenny Dalglish and they went on two eight-game unbeaten runs during the season, which is no mean feat. Plus, he also signed two players who remain two of the Reds best players now.

2013/14 Season

Transfers

This season brought a lot less impressive transfers from the Liverpool boss. He did bring in Simon Mignolet and Mamadou Sakho, again another two players who remain key players in the Reds side today, but he also signed Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas, who have failed to have much of an impact at Anfield.

In addition, long-serving keeper Pepe Reina was sent out on loan to Napoli and Jamie Carragher left the club (albeit because he retired).

Results

This was, by far, Brendan Rodgers best season at the helm and also one of Liverpool’s best seasons for some time, despite a lack of silverware.

The Reds were eliminated early on in both the FA Cup and League Cup but in the league they thrived. In their opening five games, they only lost once and beat Man United at Anfield. After going unbeaten for five more games, their run was halted by Arsenal who beat them 2-0. After another loss against Hull, things began to pick up.

The Reds only lost two of their next six, winning four and only losing the two games to Man City and Chelsea away from home.

From the 1st January, the club were in wonderland. They went unbeaten for a whopping 16 games over four months, winning 14 and drawing two. They even beat Everton, Arsenal and Man United during this magnificent run! However, when it came down to securing the title, the Reds succumbed to the pressure and failed to capitalize. They lost to Chelsea and then could only snatch a point against Crystal Palace, despite leading in that game. Despite beating Newcastle on the final day, the league was sealed.

Despite missing out, it was a memorable season for the Anfield side.

Liverpool finished second and came so agonisingly close to a first Premier League title only for the Reds to mess up right at the death. It was still a fantastic season to be a fan of the Anfield club, with Brendan Rodgers bringing the club back to the days of Champions League football and challenging for the title.

It was the year of the SAS, Sturridge and Suarez, the year of hope of a first Premier League title and a year that will never be forgotten by many Liverpool fans.

2014/15 Season

Transfers

It was another summer of players who have proved to be average for the Reds so far. Most notably, Adam Lallana made the move to Anfield but he has yet to have much of an impact, while fellow Southampton teammates Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren also joined the club. They too have not lived up to expectations, with the former even now having been sold on to West Brom.

Emre Can and Alberto Moreno were arguably the best purchases for Liverpool.

As for who left, there were a few big names who decided to leave the Reds permanently. Pepe Reina and Daniel Agger, who had been at the club for years, both decided it was time to move on and the Anfield side’s top goalscorer in 2013/14 – Luis Suarez – also packed his bags and moved to Spain.

Results

It wasn’t the type of season that many fans wanted and hoped for after the success of the previous campaign. Once again, the club were eliminated early on in both the FA Cup and League Cup and their return to the Champions League was ended much quicker than they would have liked, with the Reds bowing out in the Group Stages. They did finish 3rd though and managed to snatch a Europa League place, only to then be eliminated in the Round of 32 in that competition as well.

In the league, they started poorly as well. They lost three of their opening six games and then followed up a fairly good October with a terrible November.

After a loss to Man United in December, their fortunes began to change. They went on to draw 2-2 with Arsenal and then followed up that result by winning 10 of their next twelve games and drawing the other two. Could they challenge for the title again in the late stages of the season?

It turned out that they couldn’t. Back-to-back losses to Arsenal and Man United sent them crashing back down to Earth and after winning just two of their remaining seven games, the Reds finished 6th place in the table. It wasn’t as good as the previous year, but it was still an improvement on the year before that, when Rodgers led them to 7th.

All-in-all, it was another average season for the club, with no silverware or league glory.

Liverpool went another year without winning any silverware and they couldn’t reach the heroic highs of the 2013/14 campaign. At the beginning of the season and at the end, the results weren’t good enough either.

 

And that has ultimately resulted in the sacking of Rodgers, with some of these bad results continuing into this season so far.

However, if you take a look at the bigger picture, was it right to sack him? He did spend a lot of money on players who ended up flops but he also signed the likes of Sturridge and Coutinho for the club.

Yes, he didn’t win any silverware during his time at the club but – despite everything that has happened in these past few weeks and over the course of some bad results in these past few seasons, I have no doubt that some LFC fans will remember him fondly just for that one season when he ‘Made Them Dream.’

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