Football

Brendan Rodgers will be sacked before Mauricio Pochettino

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The question of which manager would be sacked in the Premier League might have had a different answer prior to matchday seven. Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool were both underperforming in the league and questions were being asked as to whether Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers were the right men for their respective jobs.

In fact, it is Chelsea who need to improve the most at the moment. A 2-2 draw with 19th place Newcastle is not good enough for a title-defence campaign, though Roman Abramovich will give Jose Mourinho more time after the success Mourinho has brought. The pressure is really on the managers who have failed to deliver - like Pochettino and Rodgers.

Liverpool and Spurs have not added any trophies to their cabinets since each manager's arrival. The Reds were inches from a Premier League title two seasons ago, but it slipped away in the home stretch and Liverpool fans were disappointed yet again.

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The year following their title challenge they had a very disappointing Champions League campaign, followed by a very early exit to Besiktas in the Europa League.

Spurs have had similar disappointments in Europe after being pegged as the favorites to win the Europa League multiple times in the past few years. Unlike the boys from Merseyside, however, they have failed to break the top four in recent seasons, which is sure to be below Daniel Levy's expectations.

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The seventh round of fixtures brought wins for both teams; however, one victory was far more impressive than the other. Liverpool took a lead against Aston Villa but ended up winning 3-2 in another example of their crippled defence failing to stop sub-standard attacks. A brace from Daniel Sturridge is a promising sign for Rodgers' men, but their back four looks completely lost.

Spurs finding their form

Spurs, on the other end of the spectrum, brought the leaders Manchester City to their knees at White Hart Lane. Harry Kane's first goal of the season added to an Erik Lamela goal and two goals from the Spurs defenders to win the game 4-1 against the Citizens, bringing Spurs into fifth place. 

The Tottenham defence has looked shaky at times this season as well, but their instability is nowhere the level of Liverpool at the moment. In three of their last four league matches they have conceded two or more goals, and that is nowhere near top five form.

The part that must be more frustrating for Liverpool fans is that Brendan Rodgers spent big on talent in the 2015 summer but failed to replace the glaring weaknesses in their squad, like Dejan Lovren. 

The Spurs attack, while slow at first, has started to kick into gear in recent weeks. This victory over Manchester City was their third in a row, and they have now conceded one goal and scored six in their last three matches. The arrival of Son Heung-Min has added a new dynamic to the team, and their flair players are no longer required to do the dirty work in the opposition's final third. 

The attacking midfield looks much more functional, but the most important improvement is Harry Kane finally breaking his duck. Their English talisman has looked void of confidence and incapable of finishing a chance in recent weeks, so getting off the mark will give him a huge boost. Regardless of how many goals Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld can score, the lack of a prolific striker will sink Spurs like the Titanic.

Liverpool still not clicking

Contrary to the men from White Hart Lane, Liverpool's system looks incomplete and it takes some serious detective work to understand just what their in-game objectives are. Their attack thrives on a complete forward, capable of moving defenses with the ball at his feet and playing others in. At the moment they have a target man who cannot dribble as their main forward and a handful of central players knocking balls forward to him from out wide. 

The Reds' Welsh tactician probably thought he had his wing options covered last season, with Raheem Sterling, Lazar Markovic and Jordon Ibe looking like two of England's hottest young stars. Sterling has since left, putting a big hole in Liverpool's team. Markovic was played out of position and grew unhappy in Merseyside, and Ibe has failed to set the league alight, leaving him with multiple central attacking midfielders and two strikers incapable of playing Luis Suarez's role. 

There is no doubt that players like Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge should be in their first team - but a lot of the players who currently have starting roles should be changed around. Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana are being wasted at Anfield at the moment and Rodgers seems to be too stubborn to change his system in order to fit in this hugely expensive talent.

Which manager will be sacked first?

So who will have to go first? Both teams have just picked up a win but nobody is sure where they will end up at the end of the season.

MY ANSWER: Brendan Rogers.

Brendan Rodgers does not look capable of turning this poor start around, in all honesty. The tactics are naive and the defense is completely at sea most of the time.

The full-backs push far too forward for such a weak partnership in the center, and the central players are not defensive enough to cover for them.

Adding to that, the width is not present in the team and the strikers are not talented enough to provide assists for their teammates.

Rodgers OUT.

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Topics:
Mauricio Pochettino
Premier League
Liverpool
Tottenham Hotspur
Brendan Rodgers
Football

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