Saturday told us everything about you…

Date published: Monday 14th September 2015 9:32

Forget all the faux intellectual talk of philosophy, those 90 minutes on Saturday showed you don’t know what you’re doing, silly man. It’s time to go now, Brendan.

Come on, that’s enough now, Brendan. It’s stopped being funny.

There was a moment about 18 months ago when it was hard to tell if Brendan Rodgers was a genius or a clown, or possible a genius clown. He’s been a lot of fun for us, but now there’s something dreadful and crushing about watching him go about his job, endlessly dressing up ineptitude as intellectual philosophy.

Many managers get a period of luck in their career, a period when they can do no wrong. It’s usually not because they’re doing anything massively different, more often it’s because a couple of players hit good form, or you accidentally hit on a new formation and the luck goes your way for a bit. Brendan had his luck with Luis Suarez but managed to convince himself that it wasn’t luck, it was an expression of his own brilliance – a combination of exceptional analysis, man-management and deep thinking.

To talk about football in the way that Brendan Rodgers talks about football, you have to be successful, otherwise you look stupid. Rodgers’ inability to match his pseudo-intellectualising with results says one thing and one thing only: I am deluded and I don’t know what I’m doing. Okay, so that’s two things.

And it was obvious from the way Liverpool played at Old Trafford that fundamentally he doesn’t know what he’s doing, unless being awful is his aim. Daniel Storey masterfully highlighted all of the flaws in Liverpool’s play in 16 Conclusions – the shocking thing was that Rodgers couldn’t even see any of this before, during, or after the match. I genuinely believe he is more occupied with thinking up a metaphysical riddle to utter at the post-match conference, solely in order to look brainy to thick people and to himself.

Some managers know when they’re lost, they know when they’ve signed the wrong players, they know when their tactics are hopeless and wrong, but Rodgers doesn’t. He still thinks he’s bloody great. Maybe he thinks he’s creating a hybrid physical expression of mathematics and poetry. He is certainly prone to talking like a man who is divorced entirely from reality. It is as though everything he says has been generated by a piece of software as a satire on the way air-headed, white-toothed motivational speakers go on, dressing up simple things in long-winded ways, so as to make out there’s more wisdom to it. Brendan, nobody is impressed anymore.

Even when saying really basic things about a footballer, he makes it sound weird. Talking of playing Danny Ings he said: “He’s a threat to the goal.” Why doesn’t he just say he’s a goal threat? Or that he might score. Ings isn’t a threat to the goal – his threat is to score a goal. I know it’s not a big thing, but such embellishment is illustrative of how his mind works. “I’m not one who chops and changes the philosophy – that’s something inherent in you,” is more classic Rodgers nonsense. First, it’s not true, for all the reasons Daniel says in 16 conclusions, but read the sentence again – it doesn’t actually make any sense. It should read “I don’t chop and change my philosophy – that’s something inherent in me,” and even then, you might argue the last two words are superfluous.

His whole aim with such uncomfortable, clunky expressions is to aggrandise himself. He refers to ‘the philosophy’ as though it is a grand concept like Marxism or quantum physics. And by saying that not chopping and changing is some sort of inherent character trait is just obvious nonsense. How you decide your team will play football is not a trait you’re given at birth. And anyway, whatever your philosophy is and from wherever it derives, if it leads to performances like Saturdays, it’s manifestly the wrong bloody philosophy.

But it’s all so typical of the man. His whole Liverpool tenure has been defined by all of these ridiculous hostages to fortune. He’s the only man in football who manages to put one foot in a bucket whilst slipping on a banana skin and shooting himself in the other foot.

Being thoughtful and clever is good, but only if you ARE thoughtful and clever. If you’re not thoughtful and clever but have merely just convinced yourself that you are – because everyone else you know has the intellect of gravy – you just end up making a fool of yourself. You’d think he’d have realised this by now, but he hasn’t. And he hasn’t because he believes in it and doesn’t realise that what surely used to be a pseudo-intellectual affectation has now become an entire consciousness.

His failures are well documented and extensive but it boils down to this: Brendan, look at the team, look at who they are and how they play. That tells us everything about you. Saturday told us everything about you. You can’t dress it up as a philosophy and you’re making yourself look stupid by doing so.

I wish you were actually just talking rubbish in order to get the sack and a huge pay-off. But you’re not, are you? You believe in the nonsense.

Brendan, it’s over or, to put it in terms you might better understand, the project demands a more progressive, dynamic individual, vis-a-vis interpersonal and inspirational one-on-one motivational and organisational skills, on both a macro and a micro level…and because of playing Dejan Lovren too, you big divvy.

John Nicholson

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