He is one of a number of solid shouts for players that look old before their time. We also have the final words on lovely D-Beck and a rejection of end of season playoffs...
That's one opinion, but others give their thanks to the man. We also have ideas for a relegation playoff, happy memories of the season and a defence of Liverpool's campaign...
If you have anything to say on any subject, mail us at email@example.com
Going To Plan
To all the Liverpool fans getting upset about Rodgers saying he thinks you can finish second this season...he meant on Merseyside. And his plan is coming together nicely.
Come On Hughton...
Can someone please tell me what is wrong with Chris Hughton? Does this man have no ambition?
Norwich are four points off fourth place, surely he should be on record telling fans they are going for second place?
Stop Being Whiny Little Bitches
After the inevitable fall-out from the weekend's disappointments, I feel a few things need to be made clear. Firstly, the mailbox yesterday did not represent all Liverpool fans. Now, I was disappointed as anyone else with the Villa game, defensively we were shocking and the attack was impotent. I don't for one minute think Rodgers is infallible, he has made mistakes as any manager will, and his weekend comments were ill-advised at best. However, I said before the start of the season I don't care where we finish this year.
Why? Well, the squad is pretty dire to be fair, too many players who aren't anywhere near a good enough standard and nowhere near enough creativity, guile etc. A new manager also needs time to settle in. The team is broadly playing okay, some poor performances and a lack of finishing (shock), but not too bad. If by the end of next season we don't look like moving forward then he goes, but not a moment before.
If you have a major issue with Rodgers, as some seemingly do, have some conviction and complain no matter what the result. Don't wait for every bad result then start screaming from the rooftops how unhappy you are and the result is evidence of your superior foresight. You don't sound big, you don't sound clever, you all just sound like whiny little bitches.
...Hennogs, I suppose you were calling for Benitez out when we lost 3-1 at home to Villa in 2009? Barely a few months after we'd come second.
The fact is, Liverpool got two points in the first five games of Rodgers' Liverpool career, while they adapted to what is a hugely different style of play. Since then, Liverpool have gained 20 points from 12 games, which is actually pretty good, and is top-six form. 'Regardless of the quality of players at our disposal...'. What players are these? Suarez? An aging Gerrard? Lucas who has been injured for all but four games of the season? The only real strength is the back four and since we beat Norwich 5-2 Liverpool conceded a mere six goals in nine games until West Ham put two past us and Villa three, so he's actually sorted the back four out pretty well. Tell me, how on earth is a manager culpable for a dubious penalty, an own goal (the goals conceeded against West Ham), a goalkeeper letting a ball be side-footed into his near post from 20 yards, or the same goalkeeper diving over the ball (the first two against Villa). Yes, Liverpool were probably playing high up the pitch for the third goal on his orders, but would you really be happy with a manager shutting up shop while 2-0 down at home so they don't conceed another goal, and just taking the 2-0 loss?
Alex (sick of whining plastic spoilt brats), LFC
As Long As He Learns...
The Rafa fact is, kneejerk Liverpool fans, that Rodgers is actually allowed to make mistakes. No he actually is.
What he's not allowed to do is not learn from them.
If against Fulham he plays Downing at LB, which obviously doesn't work, whilst having three actual defenders on the bench....
If against Fulham he plays a central midfielder down the left wing...
If against Fulham he doesn't give Sahin a look at over Allen at some point in the game...
Then fair enough have a pop at him but if it's just a case of Liverpool playing like s***e and being beaten by a better team on the day, don't write in blaming Rodgers like everything was rosie posie before he showed up. This time last year we were no better than we are now, the year before that ditto and the year before that is barely comparable because of all the off-field crap going on with the two cowboys.
If we'd have beat Villa you, yes YOU, would be banging on about how he's right we're gonna finish second (ha) and how great we are.
It's called supporting through thick and thin...you're just coming across as the thick bit.
Tony, watching some cobblers on the box
Maybe Brendan Was Just Testing
At the risk of being hammered for, as a Liverpool fan, being too lenient on Brendan Rodgers and, perhaps, far too calm about the club's current table position, a theory on Rodgers' second-place proclamation: Is it not worth considering that Rodgers wanted to further the building process when he had the chance, by testing his team's mental and emotional capacity to handle expectations?
On paper, I think it's fair to say LFC are at least as good as their position in the standings, though probably not too much better. Rodgers' comments about aiming for second might have been hasty or a bit fantastic, but perhaps in that moment, with January looming and plenty of players - Downing, Sterling (albeit for a different reason), Reina, to name a few - on questionable or wavering form at the moment, Rodgers saw an opportunity to test his squad while he's still got the freedom from pressure to do so. Raise expectations a little bit and see who responds and how. It's a worthwhile question to ask, as it's still quite unclear who has a place in the immediate stages of his Anfield rebuild (Lucas, Suarez duh, Johnson, Skrtel/Agger) and who might need to be shipped out or spend a little bit more time at the fringes, polishing their trade (Sterling and Shelvey both come to mind here).
The point is, Rodgers lost little (one football match) by ramping up the pressure on a makeshift team that's handled pressure incredibly poorly since long before he arrived in Liverpool. In return, he might have gotten some of the answers he was looking for on individual players and positions, as he starts to draw up scouting assignments and wish lists both for January and the coming summer, since I think we can all agree this is going to take more than ten months.
Zach, America (so what do I know anyway?)
What Is Rodgers, Really?
Picture this: you have a friend who is a great inventor/entrepreneur and comes up with a fantastic idea. He needs people to help him out design it, build it, market it, etc. You're part of the team. The thing becomes a fantastic success around the world. Your mate, the great inventor, doesn't mind sharing the credit around. In the eyes of the world, you are too an essential part of the success. You start believing that you played an essential part, in fact, just as important as your mate who came up with the whole thing in the first place.
At some stage, you have a disagreement with your mate. Or you get bored. Or maybe he gets bored. Anyway, you split. You think you can do it without him. After all, you were an essential part too, right? So you leave, and you try and re-create the success you've had when your mate was the brain of the operation. And, of course, you fail. Without your mate, you're nothing. You may have understood the idea, the concept, and were comfortable managing its success, but there's no way you could re-design and build it from scratch on your own.
Well, this is Brendan Rodgers. Comfortable doing it at Swansea, where other men (Roberto Martinez and others) designed and built it. Absolutely unable to re-create it on his own in a new environment.
Maybe a lesson for those who think Pep Guardiola would be an instant success wherever he goes...
Mike, CFC, exiled in Auckland
Onwards And Upswards For Villa
It was only a matter of time before our performances on the pitch lead to wins and points on the board. We're now six games unbeaten and have won half of them. We've got two proper goalscorers playing with confidence and finding the back of the net. All the while doing this with the youngest team we've ever fielded in the Premier League.
I was given a choice a few weeks back, go to Anfield for the Liverpool game or head back to Dublin for 12 Pubs o' Christmas. I chose the latter. I am regretting that decision now. Especially as my mate, a Liverpool fan, was at the game and boy would it have been delicious winding him up post match. I really hate Liverpool FC (doesn't everybody?) almost as much as I hate Small Heath.
But back to Villa, it is just so exciting to see these young Villans tearing it up now. With the knowledge that the better they do, the less we need to sign. Once we get rid of the high paid and not needed deadweight and ship on Darren Bent we should have a very very low wage bill. With a low wage bill we can then get back to buying players to fill the gaps and strengthen the team. But do it sustainable now.
I think a special mention needs to go to our defence, since the criminal ref decisions in our 5-0 loss to City we've only conceded three goals in six matches, at a time when an experienced player Dunne is sidelined long term, it's great to see our back five do so well. Then of course we're running out of superlatives for the Belgian Beast Benteke. I fear his time with Villa could be shortlived if he continues to be unplayable up front.
Excitement and optimism abounds now round Villa Park. Long may it continue.
Swalllowing Words On RVP
Another entertaining performance by UTD at the weekend; brilliant going forward, a bit dozy at the back. Cleverley, Jones and Smalling all played really well. It's the first time I've seen Phil Jones live up to the hype since he's joined. He's had a lot of injuries and some really clumsy moments but on Saturday he was strong, energetic and very good with his distribution. Would be good for him to find a permanent position though - probably centre-back.
I, probably like many didn't think signing the injury prone 29-year-old with two good seasons to his name was a wise decision at the start of the season but that is one of the many reasons I'm not a manager. RVP is everything UTD fans hoped Berbatov would be (relating back to all the talk about Berbatov last week) - great touch, holds the ball up really well, rarely gives it away, scores goals, sets up goals and unlike Berbatov uses his energy to create unlikely chances e.g. the third goal on Saturday. I never saw Berbatov make a run like that once for UTD with an end product as well. That change/improvement - Berbatov for RVP - could be the simplest answer as to why the destination of the title will probably change this season and at the time I just thought it was a big waste of money!
Also, Jack Colback played brilliantly for Sunderland.
Conclusions From QPR v Fulham
As I know demand from QPR fans for content is high (ahem), here are 16 conclusions from QPR - Fulham from a QPR perspective:
* Over the three previous games we'd been telling ourselves that things were getting better because at least the players looked like they were trying now. In reality, whilst we'd definitely improved, we still lacked a bit of quality, had failed to beat three teams all in close proximity to us in the table and against Wigan had been lucky to get a point. However, on Saturday not only did we win, but were by some distance the better side. Stronger in every department, even during the final minutes the belief still seemed to be there that we were always going to get the result. Everyone trying harder may have kept us up, however playing quality football is far more likely to be successful. On Saturday the players showed they can do that.
* That's not to say simply getting the win wasn't important. In the week Paul Finney on the Open All R's podcast said we no longer had a monkey on our back but the entire zoo. That's gone now, let's kick on.
* Redknapp was brought in for his man-management skills and the best example of this succeeding is already apparent in SWP. The very definition of a confidence player, SWP hasn't really settled during his time with us and has had the crowd on his back a lot. Redknapp comes in, SWP gets a spring in his step, a couple of much improved performances and a deserved ovation when he went off on Saturday.
* As much as the players appear to like Redknapp, with every player putting 100% in, with many of them smiling whilst playing and with stories gradually coming out of what life was like under the previous administration, it's got to be a long time before anyone hires Mark Hughes again.
* On the subject of popularity, Stephen Mbia didn't exactly endear himself to fans by saying he thought he was signing for Glasgow Rangers when he first came and then getting sent off at Arsenal. Since coming back from the ban though, he's shown the quality he has and also seems to have taken the club to heart as after the match on Saturday he was the last man on the pitch and also climbed into the crowd to give his shirt to a kid he'd promised it to. We've got ourselves a player here.
* Having players who actually want to play for the club is a no-brainer but is finally being implemented. For the last few weeks we've had Bosingwa, someone who really couldn't care less about the club. Was replaced by Onuoha this week and the result was a solid, hard working back line.
* Ryan Nelsen is a class act, but to see where our defence has gone wrong this season all we needed to do was to look at the mistakes of last year with Clint Hill. We came up, dropped him, shipped him out on loan and descended the table, Hill was subsequently recalled and despite only 22 appearances was voted fans and players 'Player of the season'. So what did we do? Drop him this season and the current disaster ensued. Hill and Nelsen were both superb on Saturday and have the potential to form a formidable partnership.
* Our defence was also helped by the game plan. By pressuring Schwarzer on his kicks and by having a solid midfield trio to stop Fulham coming through the middle they were forced into sending a lot of long balls forward. With Hill, Nelsen and Onuoha all superior in the air to Rodallega and Berbatov, until the deflected goal and the sending of Hangeland forward, we never looked in trouble.
* On the subject of Berbatov, whilst I know he's talented I wouldn't want him in my team. 90 minutes of looking disinterested offset by the odd moment of brilliance would be far too infuriating to watch. At least when Taarabt gets criticised it's for trying to do too much.
* Taarabt - what a player and what a finish for that second goal. Adel, please don't go to South Africa in January, we need you more.
* One other word on our neighbours - what an unpleasant player Sidwell is. Little skill and just goes about the pitch kicking people.
* Of course he was able to get away with it thanks to the all-round weak refereeing of Martin Atkinson. Made it clear his aim for the afternoon was to not have to make a decision, so no surprise to see him laughing along with Sidwell after a foul on SWP that at best was a rugby tackle, at worst sexual assault. Sidwell was eventually booked for about his fourth serious foul of the day, but cloggers like him will be around as long as referees allow consistent fouling.
* When January rolls around we desperately need a striker. Cisse still divides opinion (which is my polite way of saying he needs to work harder and to look more interested when there isn't obvious glory to be had) and after him we're short. With the squad we've got we're low on goals, but get a striker and we could be good enough to stay up.
* 40% of our points this season have come against either Fulham or Chelsea.
* I was a season ticket holder for 11 years but then have been out of the UK for the past four (shameless plug: www.worldwidebikeride.com) - I've been to three home games in the last eight months and we've won all three. Glossing over the fact I was at the 1-6 Chelsea away game last year, I'm happy to be paid to attend all Loftus Road matches as the club's official good luck charm.
* Will we stay up? I genuinely don't know, however if you'd have asked me to answer before Saturday's game it would have been an unequivocal 'no'. If nothing else, for one glorious week until next Saturday, we at least once again have hope.
Ten Things I Miss About Drogba
I miss Drogba's super goals
I miss Drogba's chest controls
I miss Drogba's free kick whip
I miss Drogba's sportsmanship
I miss Drogba's super effort
I miss Drogba's big game record
I miss Drogba wearing blue
I miss Drogba's golden shoe
I miss Drogba when he thrives
And even miss the way he dives