The fixtures list published this morning will mean that if Brendan Rodgers is to remain manager of Liverpool his team needs to start the Premier League season in a winning fashion; something that has not always been achieved previously.
There are two ways to look at this scenario, an opening game to Stoke City immediately allows Rodgers to rectify pain, embarrassment and a substandard performance on the last day of the season.
Then by achieving results in the next two away games to Arsenal and Manchester United, he will have put himself in a more secure place and allow some points to be dropped against Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City.
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The other way to look at this scenario is, whilst at times last season there were glimmers of hope and potential recovery into a Champions League position, a poor points haul in these opening away games will mean the chance of a top four finish will be over by November 21.
The recruitment of a striker before the season starts is now absolutely crucial as the away fixtures will not allow momentum to be built up against lesser teams.
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Another key piece of work is to ensure that the players who arrived last year, with twelve months under their belts, are now fully integrated into the Squad and confidence that has been drained from certain individual players is now fully restored.
The away fixtures at the start of the season are fixtures Rodgers would not have wished for. I cannot see Rodgers surviving a poor start and FSG would have no other option but to take action and with the back room staff being replaced logic dictates that the manager’s position would be next.
Hopefully, Rodgers has enjoyed his summer break because with the likes of the Raheem Sterling saga, Daniel Sturridge’s injury, Mario Balotelli being Mario Balotelli, the manager needs to start work quickly and make sure the attention is wholly focused on a good start.
Based on the known problems at the club, as of today without a proven goal scorer who will start every game, if Rodgers manages to get the team firing from the start of the season, get results against the top four finishers of last year, the achievement will be far greater than finishing second in season 2013/14.
After which, If he manages to achieve this, he must surely command the respect that seems to be seeping away from Liverpool supporters at the moment.
You could never criticise Rodgers for a lack of self-belief and he will need to stand firm in the toughest test of his career so far.
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