Branding Rodgers worked miracles last year and correctly won plenty of praise from almost everyone. He took Liverpool to the edge of glory and even without a trophy seventh to second is certainly not to be sniffed at, especially as due to our finishing position we are back in the Champions League. All this is very commendable but what won him the most praise were his man management skills and his work with the players, individuals made huge improvements. Jordan Henderson has risen from a make weight in a low scale transfer deal to an indispensable, vice captain of the team, Raheem Sterling has made similar improvements seeing him reach the heights of unofficial best teenager in Europe, Sturridge was seen by many as a huge risk when purchased and look at his standing for club and country now even Suarez did far better under Rodgers than under other managers at Liverpool and remember he was training alone at the start of the season. Undoubtedly great man management skills from the manager.
So what has happened this year I'm not noticing huge improvements in any of our players I'm seeing the opposite, several players seem to be going in the opposite direction or have been seriously over rated by the management when we spent big on them in the summer. Lovren and Sakho roughly twenty million each and neither setting the world alight, actually it's worse they both actually look like total jokes not just once but again and again, they have gone backwards this year. Mignolet was never the best keeper especially not for Liverpool but this year he looks totally shot, bereft of confidence and bottle also appears to have gone backwards this year. Gerrard very good last year, very poor this it's gone beyond a bad start now and our manager is still doing nothing about it, big step backwards this year, Coutinho very disappointing this year after looking like he was on the verge of breaking in to the world class bracket, another who has taken a step backwards although he does look to be stepping up to the plate a bit more recently. New signings Lambert, Balotelli, Markovic and Lallana have also been short of what we were promised or expected. With all the above I'm not seeing any signs of the famed Rodgers man management in fact occasionally I'm now seeing he opposite.
Sometimes now in post match press interviews we are starting to hear excuses, we have a lot of injuries etc. Not what we want to here, I suggest that last year he would have been doing everything to take the criticism away from the players and trying to increase the confidence at every opportunity, things appear to be a little more of a back covering exercise at the minute.
Recently Rodgers has openly criticised Balotelli giving him two months to prove himself or suggesting that he will be on his way. I'm certain this is not the best way to handle a player who we all know does not react well to criticism. Everybody can see that Mario plays better with a partner yet he is consistently being asked to play in a format that doesn't suit him and is then criticised by his manager when it doesn't work, again a little bit of covering your back going on. Now I'm certain Balotelli needs criticism from time to time and Rodgers knows far better than me how to manage a team and individuals but surely behind closed doors in this situation.
I don't want to criticise to much, I love Rodgers, I think what he has achieved for us is miraculous, we forget to quickly what a terrible state we were in. There is no way we should consider replacing him. He has just maybe took his eye off the ball a little, let's get back to fighting with your life for Liverpool rather than announcing in press conferences that you would one day like to manage in Spain, forget that, we want to hear Liverpool is the most important and nothing else matters.