Monday 18 December 2017

Brendan gives Klopp a dig out

Rodgers' revelation of Jurgen chinwag smacks of desperation

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp went to the house of outgoing boss Brendan Rodgers for a chat when he took over at Anfield last October
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp went to the house of outgoing boss Brendan Rodgers for a chat when he took over at Anfield last October

Liverpool fans must be delighted to hear that Brendan Rodgers emptied his mind for Jurgen Klopp in a fireside chat, hoping to impart wisdom and advice to the new pied-piper.

Brendan wants a job. He doesn't need a job because he got a load of cash from Liverpool on the way out the door and could play golf for the rest of his life if he wanted to.

But he needs a job because he has a point to prove so he's been out and about in the media offering opinions on all sorts. Someone should really have a word. The more he talks, the less credible he becomes.

"I remember when Klopp first got the job and we sat down and we spoke. We sat and had a chat at my house," Rodgers said. "He's a good guy. Whatever help he needed going into the job, I was there for that 150%."

Not 100% but 150%.

He was clearly bursting to discuss Cristian Benteke with Klopp and put in a nice provisional ball against the unlikely possibility that he will someday morph into a goal machine as opposed to the decent striker he is. Note the use of the royal 'we'.

"We felt at that time that Christian was up there in terms of goals to games. We felt that he was someone that we didn't have in the squad." It's almost as if he's standing on the touchline with Klopp, making the calls.

And more: "The problem now is the patience element. There doesn't seem to be time," he said.

"We talk about patience. An example is Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich and he wouldn't have got the patience in the Premier League that he did in the Bundesliga and now look at him," he added.

It isn't a stretch to think that Rodgers is really talking about Rodgers and his belief that he deserved a bit more patience from the Fenway Sports Group.

It's even possible to sustain a reasonable argument backing him up given Klopp's less than stellar results to date. Would Rodgers have done any better with Liverpool's lightweight squad? He was doing no worse when he got the chop.

The problem is, it was the squad Rodgers assembled even if he had to run the names through the Anfield committee and didn't always get what he wanted.

Klopp will get rid of many of them or reduce them to squad fodder while he brings in better players which he will undoubtedly strive to do.

He's doing his best to keep smiling but he is dealing with the same problems Rodgers and a string of managers at Anfield have had to grapple with and he knows he must find a new defence, more midfield options and at least one more striker with a prolific CV at the top level.

If he doesn't get the freedom to pick his own men which he needs, Klopp is self-possessed enough to pack his bags and head for his pick of big clubs across Europe.

That's where Rodgers fell down. He talked the talk from the moment he arrived at Anfield but he had nothing in the bank after a career with Watford, Reading and Swansea and didn't have enough authority to insist on full control.

To hear him talk now, you'd think he was up there on the same level with Klopp. He spins a picture of a meeting between equals at his gaff when it was anything but that. For a start, he was sitting with his replacement.

Klopp has medals and a huge reputation in the game. Rodgers is only trotting after him.

Brendan's best bet would be to say very little for a while and let his wild and unlikely tilt at the title with Luis Suarez be the abiding memory of his time as Liverpool manager.

Club owners only respond to success and that was as close as he got to it in three seasons. It was mighty close too.

He should also pay someone to lock up him up in a quiet room if Liverpool manage to win the League Cup in case he is overcome with the urge to do a John Terry and turn up for the photo shoot.

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