A slow start to the new season was widely anticipated by most Liverpool fans. A holistic change was brought to the squad during the summer transfer window with captain Steven Gerrard departing and young gun Raheem Sterling agitating a successful move to Manchester City. Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers brought in as many as nine new players, including Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino. But with only two wins from their first six games – scoring only four goals and conceding seven in the process – Rodgers is quickly running out of excuses.
Last weekend, Liverpool was held to a 1-1 draw against newly promoted Norwich – a club that was brutally exposed by the Reds and condemned to the Championship the season before. But the Canaries found out that this Liverpool has nothing in common with the one once led by Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge. They do not possess the same attacking flair as they once did with poor passes in the final third, and no-one in a red shirt stood out to terrify the visitors. Danny Ings and the return of Sturridge were the main solace for Rodgers, but he may not have the opportunity to see the best of Sturridge again since he is now ranked the most likely manager to be sacked next.
Considering the instant impact of some clubs’ summer recruits like Anthony Martial and Dimitri Payet, Rodgers’ transfer decisions look somewhat confused. He brought in Firmino, who played mostly in the middle rather than the flanks in Germany, but with Philipe Coutinho standing firmly in the No.10 position it’s worth wondering whether there were better ways to spend that £30 million. Rodgers won the backing of the board, even after a humiliating 6-1 defeat against Stoke in the final match of the 2014/15 season, but the way he has spent on players that can barely break into the first team is a major concern.
Rodgers now seems little more than a dead man walking. Owners the Fenway Sports Group showed great tolerance in allowing him to carry on into the new season and even after such poor start the board is still reluctant to replace him. But many fans are tired of hearing words like “philosophy” while the performance shows little sign of improvement. The Reds need a change and quickly. Rodgers’ tactical naivety has been exposed again and again during his tenure and his decision making in the transfer market baffling. Without an instant solution, Liverpool will continue rapid fall from a top club to an also-ran.