Liverpool have no immediate plans to replace manager Brendan Rodgers, but he may need to get off to a solid start when the new season begins.
After leading the Reds to the brink of their first league title since 1990 last term, the Northern Irish coach was given the objective of a top-four finish this time round. This was a target set with a degree of realism after running Manchester City so close, due to the departure of star player Luis Suarez to Barcelona and the task of bedding in a number of new arrivals.
These arrivals have largely been disappointing, particularly the £16million gamble on Mario Balotelli who scored just one league goal since joining from Milan. Other big-money flops include Dejan Lovren, who impressed at Southampton last season but seemed anything but a £20million defender this, and young Lazar Markovic who cost a similar fee but failed to show his Benfica form.
A good run of results at the turn of the year put a top-four place well within sights, but they failed to recover from the 2-1 home defeat to Manchester United in March. This put Louis van Gaal’s side in pole position to pinch the final UEFA Champions League place, and Liverpool would go on to lose four more matches against Arsenal, Hull City, Crystal Palace and, last weekend, Stoke City.
That last defeat was an embarrassing 6-1 reverse, after which the future of Rodgers was widely speculated upon. But according to The Independent, the club’s owners have no immediate plans to replace the former Swansea City coach, who is expected to fly out to Boston in the coming weeks to face what has been described as a robust and thorough review of the campaign.
Should Rodgers still be in the dugout when the new season begins, it would appear imperative his side get off to a flying start. Klopp, who has been mentioned in some quarters as a potential successor at Anfield, is taking a six-month sabbatical following his decision to leave Borussia Dortmund. And by the time this is up, he may well be on the radar of the Merseyside club.
Are Liverpool right to stand by Brendan Rodgers, or will they live to regret it if they don’t make a move to appoint Jurgen Klopp now that the German is available?