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Actually Mel there is quite a bit in that I do agree with, although maybe not your final conclusion.
Yes Brendan is a good manager, and the jury is still out on whether he can be more than that. But with the jury out it’s hard to predict the verdict either way, as someone who can reach no higher than the levels he's already attained, or if he can go beyond that to where we want to be and feel we should be.
I'm wondering if similar comments were made when other managers who had success at lower levels in the game, such as Shanks in the lower leagues, or SAF with success in Scotland, and whether after less than a full season in charge of much bigger clubs, they could rise beyond their past best.
For me, and I think many others a fair hearing is what should happen before passing judgment. Now how long that hearing should be maybe different for some, but I do think a single full season is the minimum, and more if progress can be measured as the project unfolds.
I'd also agree the side is very fragile at times, and does not handle adversity well. My disappointment and criticism for the match against WBA was not the loss of 3 points, not the performance for the vast majority of the match, but the apparent capitulation in the last 10 minutes or so when things went against us. And, as you say it’s not the first time it’s happened.
But the question is why, and what realistically a manager can do about it. For me the reason is mental, and BR does have the responsibility to ensure his team goes out with the correct frame of mind. But one good pep talk is not the solution, but a series of conversations over a long period of time to build up a team, re-enforce things when they go right, and addressing issues when they don't.
But to be perfectly frank I'm not sure what a manager can do when his team has shown the right tactical, technical, and mental attributes for 80 minutes, to correct things when they slip in the last 10 minutes of a match. I mean it’s not like you can call a time out, get the lads in a huddle and try again!
So while we need to see more mental strength throughout matches from the lads, and BR has responsibility in building up that mental strength, I'd not read too much into single matches. Rather I'd look to see what happens after the manager has had a chance to show his influence. That is, how we react to adversity in the next fixture. We sprang back well after the embarrassing loss to Villa, and it’s a similar reaction I'm looking for going forward.
All teams slip now and again, the best managers make sure it does not happen often (consistency), and ensure the reaction to those defeats actually strengthen rather than weaken the squad. But as I said before, for me the jury is still out on both these counts when it comes to BR.
Maybe just maybe all those who're knocking BR myself included could be wrong.. and BR turns out to be another Shankley, AF...
However the decision on whether he stays heren't ours to make.. maybe FSG see in BR a possible legend?
- 2 Replies to LFC_Armchair_Supporter
Mel, I think you raise some very good, valid and factual points, many of which, we are all aware of, as is Rodgers, the players and fans everywhere, and we cannot hide from them. But, that's the harsh reality of the situation, which I think seems to be finally resonating through everyone, that this is all just bigger than Rodgers, the new players, the new style, the youth etc etc. It's a complete overhaul of everything about the club, and there is only so much that can be accomplished at once, or in a first season under such circumstances.
Me saying that may make me seem or come across as an apologist, but I'm not, I'm gutted by the WBA result, perhaps more than any this season, because I saw it coming a mile away, and no matter what we did that day, it was happening, sure enough the corner on 80" and bang, game set match..
That said, it may be simplistic, but if there was ever a game that turned on 1-2 plays, ones not made... Gerrard taking his PK, or Borini poking home his chance.. Maybe we're up 1-0, maybe 2-0 and everyone's dancing in the streets that we're turning the corner, but then that takes a negative because we're dancing after beating West Brom (who spent a nice piece of time 3rd in the table).. I think every game deserves it's own focus, not matter who it is.. QPR held City 0-0, Norwich beat United 1-0, Southampton beat United 3-1... We've beaten those three winners 14-2 in 4 fixtures, with 2 of them left to play..
I hate the fact we've not won "vs a side ahead in the table" but the irony is, if we beat Swans Sunday, and that counts as our first, and we move to 7th, within range of our neighbors for 6th. We play Everton, Spurs and Chelsea all at Anfield, and while I won't say we will, nor even suggest so, we certainly could win all 3, perhaps 2/3 and end up 6th close to 5th, and all this bad stuff goes right out the window..
I do agree that we appear very fragile mentally, and emotionally, and I have no problem putting some of that on Rodgers, but he isn't having them for biscuits and tea at halftime, and for a majority of the season he was working with Sterling, Jonjo, Allen, Suso, Wisdom and Henderson all as regular fixtures in the team, and Jordan/Allen aside, they're kids. They really are kids, learning a trade in a game for men.. And, I don't think enough gets put on the players who should take more responsibility and play professionally like they're capable of.. Name your list.. Again it may be the American thing, but we lay it all on our players.. Downing, Enrique and Henderson were hung to dry by Rodgers publically (which I love), and each has not only come out and said it angered them, but gave them a kick up the back side.. and they've been our 3 most improved players.. Can we give BR credit there, or did he just start the fire? Mourinho and Ferguson do that stuff all the time, and their players will run through a brick wall for them, but both started somewhere.. Aberdeen and Porto, yes ?
Not sure how much anyone looks or gets involved, but Daniel Agger and Jonjo Shelvey were absolutely slaughtered, and attacked verbally with words I'd never repeat on twitter after the match... Did they play bad enough to warrant it? Yes, but does it warrant the words and things said to them? No.. But Agger came straight out and said, he thanked the fans for letting him know with a smiley face, and said it simply wasn't good enough for LFC.
More of that from the players, and Rodgers won't get stuck in the post game quandries where we dominate an opponent, and draw, let alone lose.. He can teach tactics, he can improve mentality, he can toughen them up (some) but he can't give them HEART.. and so, we need some to go, and some to come and wear their heart on their sleeve like Stevie, Carra, Lucas and Suarez..