Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Brendan Rodgers: Why Liverpool sacked their manager

Brendan Rodgers was sacked as Liverpool manager after travelling from the brink of history to Anfield oblivion in the space of 18 months.
On 27 April 2014, Rodgers was being carried along on a crest of euphoria that looked certain to make him the first Liverpool manager to win the title in 24 years.
A 2-0 loss to Chelsea, including the infamous slip from Steven Gerrard, started a chain of events that ended with his dismissal an hour after the 1-1 Merseyside derby draw with Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday.
So how did it go so wrong for a manager who seemed to have a glittering Anfield future in front of him?

The committee's fatal transfer flaws

At the heart of Rodgers's demise at Liverpool was a failed, flawed recruitment policy that saw nearly £292m spent since the 42-year-old's arrival in the summer of 2012 - but most of the world-class talent he possessed walk out of the door.
And to add to the dysfunctional decline Rodgers presided over was Liverpool's infamous "transfer committee", the group that led the club's buying strategy and was responsible for far more failures than successes.
The committee consists (or we should now say consisted) of Rodgers, scouts Dave Fallows and Barry Hunter, the man in charge of analysis Michael Edwards, owners Fenway Sports Group's (FSG) Anfield representative Mike Gordon and chief executive Ian Ayre.
They sought value, often in young and unproven players who could be considered versatile - although in many cases jacks of all trades who were masters of none.
Twenty-three players were signed on permanent deals during Rodgers's reign. How many were unqualified successes?
Play media
Rodgers was dead man walking - Shearer
Certainly Brazilian Philippe Coutinho at £8.5m from Inter Milan and Daniel Sturridge at £12m from Chelsea until he was struck down by a run of injuries that have wrecked his last 12 months.
After that you are struggling and some have been out-and-out flops, particularly the £20m spent on defender Dejan Lovren and the same sum spent on Lazar Markovic, who is out on loan at Fenerbahce after one unfulfilling season.
By targeting potential rather than the finished product, Liverpool have tried to navigate a route around a transfer system that can simply not be circumnavigated.
It also daubed a grey area on Liverpool's policy. Who was ultimately responsible? Rodgers said he had the final word but in many senses he was beholden to member of this committee whose track record suggests they were simply not up to the task of finding players for a club of Liverpool's ambition.
It certainly gives Rodgers a get-out when he can point, with justification, to the fact that Liverpool's struggles were not all down to him.
The other edge of this sword was that during this time of financial waste on an industrial scale, Liverpool saw the world-class Luis Suarez leave for Barcelona in a £75m deal, Raheem Sterling off to Manchester City for £49m and Gerrard quit Anfield to move to LA Galaxy. Transfer double jeopardy.

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