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Liverpool have £215m worth of reasons to worry about the future

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and his team-mates jog in the rain at the Bernabeu Stadium ahead of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and his team-mates jog in the rain at the Bernabeu Stadium ahead of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Getty Images

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and his team-mates jog in the rain at the Bernabeu Stadium ahead of their Champions League clash with Real Madrid. Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

ANY time you see a small aeroplane dragging a banner across the sky above a football stadium, harsh words about the idiot who spent his money on such nonsense are usually appropriate.

But the man who kicked off a 'Rodgers Out' campaign with a promise to take to the air with his protest hit the nail on the head when he wondered about the £215m the Liverpool boss has spent since he took over from Kenny Dalglish.

It's the elephant in the room which Rodgers' fans haven't been able to deal with in any meaningful way and every game Dejan Lovren and Lazar Markovic play it seems to underline the fact that he bought duds.

He asked for time at yesterday's pre-match briefing in Madrid, suggesting that his new faces need to adjust before they can be judged but fans have good reason to be sceptical.

Many of the players he paid hard cash for have disappeared into the reserves without a trace, something which has become a bit of a tradition at Anfield stretching back to Gerard Houllier's days.

Patience has always been the way at Anfield but it has been sorely tested for many years and rumblings among the faithful have been growing. The flying banner is just a symptom of that.

But Mr Cessna is not the man Rodgers needs to be worried about. John W Henry is the one he needs to keep an eye on.

At the moment, they are joined at the hip. Henry has been fully supportive of Rodgers' decision to buy young and talented players and to build for the future.

In fact, he may even have insisted on the policy. When he arrived at Anfield, Henry was appalled by the wage scale he found. He announced that his first task was a clean-out.

Many left but under Rodgers, as many have arrived and the Kop has yet to see any real benefit.

By the looks of things, Luis Suarez wasn't just papering over cracks. He was holding up the building.

For fans it is very difficult to watch Mario Balotelli's pouting self-regard and imagine a season ahead which will bring anything but heartache.

It is equally difficult to see Rodgers' expensive signings helping him much and that will be used as a stick to beat him with more and more if results do not improve.

If Henry is really committed to the long haul with Rodgers and doesn't panic, he will stand by his man. Liverpool have been lagging behind the biggest clubs in Europe for many years and one madcap tilt at a title doesn't mean much in the Champions League arena.

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But Henry is a businessman too and if he does his sums, there isn't much on show at the moment to balance the £215m investment the club has made.

To add further toil to an already messy situation, it looks like it will fall to Rodgers to shepherd Steven Gerrard out the door, a moment which had to come eventually but will not be easy to finesse, particularly if Liverpool fail to qualify for the Champions League next season.

Gerrard played a clever game when he went public with the fact that he has had no talks with Anfield about a contract extension and heaped pressure on Rodgers and Henry to come up with a deal.

His timing was right, given the fact that it in another few months, Liverpool fans might see it as a good thing to jettison a player whose legs are gone.

Rodgers has some big decisions to make as he looks to keep his players fresh for two big games in a week.

With Chelsea's visit on Saturday looming Rodgers could look to rest key players including Gerrard and defender Dejan Lovren who have played every minute of all 10 league and three Champions League matches.


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