Well, it finally happened. Brendan Rodgers has been pushed out of his job as Liverpool’s manager to make way for the more exciting Jürgen Klopp. Before I launch into my opinion on this coaching change, I would like to congratulate Wales and Northern Ireland on qualifying for Euro 2016. I would also like to apologize to the non-Liverpool fans out there because this week’s column is entirely about my beloved Reds.
As you may know, I was a big fan of Brendan. From the moment that he arrived, I knew that things would change for Liverpool. For a little while there, it actually looked like Liverpool would win the league and that management had made a genius decision in hiring the unknown Northern Irishman. Of course, it all went to pieces — most notably with Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip up against Chelsea that cost the Reds the championship — and Liverpool never really recovered.
Last season, Liverpool was incredibly inconsistent and it showed: there was the disastrous UEFA campaign, followed by the incredible 13-game unbeaten streak that ultimately led nowhere. Furthermore, the signings made throughout the season left most feeling disgruntled. Luis Suarez had left, Mario Balotelli proved to be a spectacular flop, and the raid on Southampton was unfruitful. By the end of the season, many were calling for Brendan’s head.
Still, I refused to give up on him. This past summer saw Liverpool spend another 75 million pounds on the likes of Christian Benteke — James Milner was a free transfer — and the club said good riddance to the troublesome and overrated Raheem Sterling. Publicly, at least, the Fenway Sports Group was behind Brendan. It looked as though things could turn around.
However, as we all have seen, the 2015 season has not gotten off to a good start for Liverpool. While it is not horrific and I at least take comfort in the fact that we are above the defending champion Chelsea, the fan base is rightfully upset that so much money has been spent with very little to show for it. It immediately became clear that this would very likely be Brendan’s last season in charge, although I hoped that he would at least be given some time to turn things around.
Ultimately, this was not meant to be. Following a rather lackluster Merseyside Derby against cross-town rival Everton that ended in a tie, Liverpool is currently in 10th place. I remained optimistic that things would get better. After all, I have a poster in my room that tells me to “keep calm and support Liverpool whatever happens.” Imagine my surprise, then, when my friend texted me an hour after the game to tell me that Brendan Rodgers had been fired.
I was appalled. While I knew deep down that the day when Brendan would be let go was coming, I never expected it to happen in such a drastic way. I thought for sure that his job was safe until the winter break. That would have been the nice thing to do. What was the point, then, of letting him spend so much money this summer if he wasn’t going to get the chance to turn things around?
I know that I am one of the few fans who is actually sorry to see Brendan Rodgers go. It is true that Liverpool needed to shake things up if we want to be competitive because things cannot continue on in the way that they have. I disagree with the manner in which Brendan Rodgers was let go. I think he did some good things for Liverpool, but most importantly I am a firm believer in always standing behind the manager, no matter what.
Thank you Brendan, for what you put into our club. You poured your heart and soul into Liverpool and I’m sorry that it had to end like this. You’ll Never Walk Alone.
That being said, I am very excited to see what Jürgen Klopp will bring to Liverpool. His time at Borussia Dortmund was enthralling to watch as we saw a mediocre team become a great rival to Bayern Munich. Jürgen will be the breath of fresh air that Liverpool needs. It looks to be promising: at his introductory press conference, Jürgen claimed to “the normal one,” in a subtle dig at Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s moniker of “the special one.” I know that the eyes of the soccer world will be upon Liverpool, as they take on Tottenham in Jürgen Klopp’s first game in charge on October 17. Here’s to the future, because really, it can’t get much worse.
Vanessa Craige is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. The Beautiful Game appears every other Tuesday.