It was July 2012, Fenway Sports Group, principle owners of Liverpool FC decided to sack Kenny Dalgish. The owners then had the choice to appoint Frank de Boer while he was available, but FSG decided to appoint Brendan Rodgers. The selection of Rodgers was based on his Swansea performance in the Premier League, the season after promoting the Welsh side to Premier League.
Selecting a young manager showed that the owners wanted a long-term solution for the club in terms of stability in managerial section of the club. The squad was fairly young and a young manager to compliment with it.
The first season of Rodgers was all about Brendan adapting to a club of such high expectations and making his philosophies imposed on the players. Brendan’s philosophy was all about total football and playing out from back-line with short passes which is popularly known as tiki-taka nowadays.
The first season was a bit shaky with Liverpool getting knocked out early in all cup competitions. In some games though, Liverpool showed glimpse of brilliance of that passing game and so even though Liverpool finished 7th in the league, he was not in any sort of pressure. In that season, he signed Coutinho and Sturridge in January which showed intent that he is here for longer time.
Now in 2013-14 season, Liverpool made 8 signings, Simon Mignolet and Mamadou Sakho were noticeable ones. Liverpool started the season with three wins and were on their way. The deadly strike partnership of Suarez and Sturridge was just unstoppable and Liverpool went on to score 101 goals which was a record number of goals scored by Liverpool in any season of the Barclay’s Premier League. But they even conceded 50 goals which was a cause of concern. It showed that Liverpool missed out on the title due to their defensive errors.
Rodgers was named manager of the year in that season and it looked like Liverpool have got a young, dynamic manager for long term here.
Now the summer of 14-15 season, Suarez was banned for 10 games for the infamous biting incident which took place in world cup when he bit Italy defender Chiellini, he was eventually sold to Barcelona for a whopping fee of 75 million. Liverpool had loads of money to spend and champions league football to look forward to, but Brendan and transfer committee’s fatalities, like buying young players with higher price and not the players who have European and Premier League reputation was annoying for the fans. The main talking point of this summer’s transfer market was the signing of Mario Balotelli which was done on deadline. This season was all about adapting without Luis Suarez and injury prone Daniel Sturridge.
Balotelli, Lambert and Borini, the remaining strikers never lived up to the expectations. Defensive liabilities combined and made the season even more worse and Champions League first round exit was just running salt to injury. Brendan Rodgers struggled massively in this phase, he chopped and changed a lot and by December Liverpool were as low as 13th in the league.
Brendan changed a bit and went for three at the back and it paid dividends for some time. But results like FA Cup semifinal and last league game against Stoke showed that Brendan Rodgers struggle was not completely over and defensive liabilities continue to haunt them.
Liverpool finished 6th in premier league and again without any trophy. It was now three years without a trophy for Rodgers and Liverpool.
Steven Gerrard left the club and left Liverpool with many problems to deal with.
It was supposed that Brendan will be sacked in this summer but due to unavailability of Klopp and Ancelotti (front runners to replace Rodgers) in summer made FSG to think about the sacking. So they decided to keep him on with undercover title of “caretaker” manager.
Brendan got a lifeline season to rectify mistakes but same mistakes were repeated and eventually Klopp declared himself available for the job, ending his sabbatical period and FSG sacked Brendan Rodgers after the Merseyside Derby.
So now we move on to the life without Brendan Rodgers and probably a life with either Klopp or Ancelotti.