Brendan Rodgers can't win thanks to Suarez departure

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Spare a thought for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool FC.

You would think him to be in an enviable position. His side finished runners-up last year in the Premier League and looked likely to win the title up to the last few games; and he is likely to have £100million to spend on strengthening his squad.

He also doesn't have the distraction and headache that Luis Suarez brought to the party. But even in departing Suarez has left a massive problem for Rodgers.

Rodgers to struggle?

Rodgers can only improve on last year's performance by actually winning the Premier League. Given the continuing strength of Manchester City, the spending and reinforcement of Chelsea and Arsenal and the experience and determination of their respective managers to do well; plus the likely resurgence to some degree of Manchester United under Louis van Gaal, you can see his problem.

Add to this the relatively new kids at the top of the Premier League in Roberto Martinez and Mauricio Pochettino, whose potential remain largely uncharted, and a potential nightmare scenario emerges for the Northern Irishman.

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In some ways having to replace Suarez was probably the last thing he needed. He only has to look at Tottenham and Gareth Bale last season to see the potential difficulties and, on a like for like basis Suarez is at least as difficult to replace as the Welshman was. Spurs blatantly failed to use the Bale transfer money wisely and Villas-Boas paid for that with his job.

I am sure Rodgers won't make the same mistakes and suffer the same fate - but how does he replace Suarez?

Replacing Suarez

Tottenham's mistake was going for quantity in terms of using the windfall, perhaps above quality, and the performance of some of the signings have reflected this. Rodgers is being criticised in some quarters for going down a similar road with four players signed already - Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Emre Can and Rickie Lambert - for around £60million.

The club also seem to be linked with just about everyone who becomes available or makes any sort of noise about moving. But none of the players they have signed so far (nor any of those they are seriously linked with) look like an adequate replacement for the departed Uruguayan. Markovic and Lallana even seem to be vying for the same position which seems a rather strange way to splash £45million.

Perhaps Rodgers has already decided that he can't find a straight replacement for Suarez and is looking to create a different strategic approach with new personnel. He has successfully deployed Sturridge, Sterling, Henderson and, to a lesser degree, Coutinho to good effect in recent times.

With more pressure games in the Champions League and a squad that looked paper-thin and reliant on a core first team to an unsustainable degree, perhaps he is getting it right.

Unfortunately he is going to come under a great deal of scrutiny until his judgement proves sound - or not so sound. If the season doesn't start well, and the new signings struggle, Rodgers' ability to take Liverpool on to honours without Suarez might be seriously drawn into question.

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