Is it possible to be both surprised and yet unsurprised?
After a derby that failed to live up to the hype, in which both Liverpool's failure to score goals and fragility at the back were exposed, Brendan Rodgers has parted company with Liverpool FC.
This is unsurprising because the football Liverpool have been playing has got worse in quality and there are too many holes in a very expensive backline. Yet, Rodgers' termination is also surprising. In a world where results matter, Reds fans like to think that their club is different. It isn't.
Still, it is a little surprising that a manager should be sacked so early on in the season - particularly hours after a game on a Sunday.
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Fenway Sports Group must have a replacement
They have shown here, once again, that they are not afraid to make the big decisions. Jurgen Klopp was instantly made favourite to take over, but Carlo Ancelotti and Frank de Boer are close behind. Any one of those big names would get the full backing immediately of the Kop and they would inherit a talented group of individuals who have struggled to play together as a team. Liverpool has struggled in both defence and attack this season despite heavy investment.
Reds fans will feel a little disappointed at the timing of Rodgers' sacking but will be excited to see who the incoming boss will be and what he'll bring to the table. Rodgers employed several different formations during his time at the club and that is one of the things fans will be eager to see - the system.
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A regular formation is needed and one of the biggest jobs awaiting the new man will be fitting Liverpool's creative players into a balanced system. Liverpool are very attack-heavy on the books, yet without too many wide players. Philppe Coutinho, Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino, Divock Origi, Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke all play in the centre. That leaves only Jordon Ibe and Alberto Moreno as players who can provide genuine width. It will be very interesting to see the starting XI and the formation when Spurs welcome Liverpool on 17 October.
Liverpool will have a new manager by then, one would assume. One player who is probably happy with this is Jose Enrique. He was out of favour with Rodgers and may now get a second chance to prove his worth.
Was sacking Rodgers the right move?
If ever a decision in football split opinion, it's this one. From a Liverpool fan's viewpoint, I would say it is the right move. I would, however, say this with a heavy heart. It is always a sad time when a manager is sacked. I don't think it was based purely on results but was somewhat down to the standard of performances and enthusiasm of the players.
Quality football had all but disappeared from Anfield and fans have a right to demand more. It would appear that Rodgers was given a stay of execution in the post-season review and his time simply ran out.
Losses to West Ham and Manchester United were gutless and the draws in Europe were equally dismal. From Fenway's point of view, they have pulled the plug before the season became a write-off. Liverpool had simply not been good enough and the players were not performing anywhere near the level expected, nor demanded of them. Unfortunately in football, it is the manager who ultimately pays the price.
Liverpool fans: Who would you like to see replace Brendan Rodgers? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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