Friday 24 November 2017

Liverpool make contact with Carlo Ancelotti as Brendan Rodgers faces the sack

Real Madrid's coach Carlo Ancelotti
Real Madrid's coach Carlo Ancelotti

Liverpool have reportedly made contact with Carlo Ancelotti amid increasing speculation that Brendan Rodgers is running out of time at Anfield.

Rodgers and Liverpool have made a poor start to the season, winning just two of their opening six games while going down to a pathetic 3-0 home defeat to West Ham United as well as losing 3-1 to arch rivals Manchester United.

The Anfield side have lacked any cutting edge and are struggling to carve out many chances with just four goals to their name so far.

Now, according to reports in Italy, some of the decision makers at Anfield are losing patience with Rodgers although there are still people at the club who want to give the Irishman more time to turn it around.

This news comes on the back of a planned anti-Rodgers protest by one group of Liverpool fans.

The Liverpool fans' account, which boasts over 120,000 Twitter followers, has called on fans to 'dress like Klopp' against Aston Villa on Saturday to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with Brendan Rodgers' reign.

Brendan Rodgers.jpg
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield

The former Borussia Dortmund manager was rumoured to be a potential target for Liverpool when the clubs' board held crunch talks with Brendan Rodgers over his future, however those rumours were later denied by club officials.

Rodgers came under fire from ex-Reds skipper, Jamie Carragher, who said he was 'obsessed with playing 4-3-3' after Liverpool's Premier League defeat to Manchester United.

"I don't understand this obsession with playing 4-3-3," Carragher said. "Brendan Rodgers came to the club wanting to play 4-3-3 and it didn't work," Carragher said.

"The great season they had was with two strikers and how they got them into the team is down to the manager. They've got a lot of strikers, no wide players, and he continues to play 4-3-3."

Rodgers recently admitted Liverpool are suffering from an 'identity crisis', but vowed to reverse a prolonged period of sterile performances.

Meanwhile, Gary McAllister believes Liverpool's players should be thriving under the growing pressure at Anfield.

Former Reds midfielder McAllister, now Rodgers' first-team coach, feels the team need to step up and deliver.

The 50-year-old said: "There is always pressure when results don't go well at a club like Liverpool. It has not changed since the days I played here.

"A couple of poor results and the heat is on, you are under the microscope. Players have got to thrive under that pressure. That is the thing that drives you. You have got to grow and cope with the demands of playing here."

Christian Benteke scores against Manchester United

Striker Christian Benteke will miss the Capital One Cup third-round tie against Carlisle at Anfield with a hamstring injury.

The Belgium international was withdrawn at half-time during Sunday's draw with Norwich and was due to undergo an MRI scan to determine the extent of the problem.

Captain Jordan Henderson has had successful surgery on his broken foot and could be out for up to eight weeks.

McAllister, speaking at a press conference to preview the game on Rodgers' behalf, said: "We need to give the fans something to shout about. It is ideal to get a little run going.

"But we are thoroughly aware it is not going to be easy. They are not going to come here and roll over."

Carlisle manager Keith Curle has confirmed Derek Asamoah will start up front after being left out of the squad for the 2-2 draw at York to save him for a major role against the Reds.

Curle will hope centre-half Troy Archibald-Henville is available again after making his first-team comeback against the Minstermen, while fellow defender David Atkinson is pushing for a recall after hamstring trouble.

On-loan Newcastle playmaker Alex Gilliead could make the second appearance of his professional career after impressing with two assists on his debut for the Cumbrians.

He will look to supply the top scorer in English football, Jabo Ibehre, who is relishing the chance to walk out at Anfield for the first time on Wednesday night.

Ibehre has netted 10 times in 11 appearances since joining Carlisle on a free transfer in the summer - the 32-year-old's ninth club in a 15-year career.

In his decade-and-a-half around the lower leagues he has never before stepped out at Anfield, and Ibehre is looking forward to the moment.

"It is a great tie for us at a fantastic stadium," he said.

"I have never been there myself but the history there is awesome and everyone knows that so I am pleased for everyone at the club and I can't wait to walk out there and be part of that atmosphere.

"I'm pleased with everything that has gone on so far, I'm really enjoying it here.

"The football that we are trying to play is pass the ball and play. It is fun, we are enjoying ourselves out there."

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