Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 6th 2015 Contents A41
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SAM scored two goals
to help San Juan
North to a 2-0 win
over Speyside in the
Football League, on
"If they tell you
they don t trust
me, that is the only
thing that can make
me resign. The only
says he will only walk
away from the club if
his players want him
Call: 623 8870-9
(Ext: 2213, 2711,
There are two schools of thought
regarding how Brendan
Rodgers will be remembered at Liv-
Was he the progressive coach who
led one of the most exhilarating teams
in a generation to within a Steven
Gerrard slip of the English league title,
and needed time to build another?
Or the opportunist who simply rode
the wave when Luis Suarez embarked
on one of the most prolific scoring
sprees ever seen in the Premier
League, and wasn t up to the big job
of reviving a great footballing insti-
The decision of Liverpool s Amer-
ican owners to fire Rodgers---via a
trans-Atlantic phone call soon after
Sunday s Merseyside derby---robs us
of the chance to find out who the real
Brendan Rodgers was.
It shouldn t come as a surprise,
Short-termism has gripped the Pre-
mier League to such an extent that
Eddie Howe, the coach at
Bournemouth, is now the second
longest-serving manager (at two years,
356 days) in the division, after Arse-
nal s Arsene Wenger.
Young or inexperienced managers
given a mandate to rebuild a big club
need immediate success to satisfy the
money-men. Otherwise, they are out.
David Moyes had 10 months at
Manchester United after Alex Fergu-
son s retirement before getting sacked
Andre Villas-Boas got even less time
at Chelsea in 2011-12. Rodgers was
handed a new long-term contract
before the start of last season, after
being voted Manager of the Year in
England, and then entrusted to spend
around $120 million this offseason to
overhaul the playing squad.
Eight league games into the season,
he s gone.
"I am, of course, incredibly disap-
pointed to be leaving Liverpool,"
Rodgers said in a statement yesterday.
"It has been both an honour and a
privilege to manage one of the game s
great clubs for the last three years."
Fenway Sports Group, which also
owns the Boston Red Sox, felt they
simply couldn t wait any longer. They
trumpeted Rodgers, a protege of Jose
Mourinho, as a "forward-thinking
coach at the forefront of a generation
of young managers" when he joined
and only last summer talked about
placing their trust in him "to deliver
the vision we share for Liverpool."
It seems FSG will turn to a manager
with pedigree in a bid for instant suc-
cess, with Juergen Klopp---the former
Borussia Dortmund coach---widely
regarded in the British media as the
favorite for the job. Manchester City,
United, Chelsea and Arsenal all have
established managers at the helm and
Liverpool will follow suit.
The experiment with Rodgers has
failed, FSG believes, but are they being
Harnessing the extravagant talents
of Suarez and building an attacking
team around him, Rodgers brought
joy and renewed hope to Liverpool
and its supporters in that magical few
months at the start of 2014 when the
club nearly won a first championship
FSG wanted "attacking, relentless
football" when they hired Rodgers and
they got it. Liverpool finished two
points behind Manchester City that
year, when it felt like the glory days
of the 1970s and 1980s returned to
Few managers would have been able
to cope with what happened the fol-
lowing summer, when Suarez was sold
and fellow striker Daniel Sturridge
was struck down with the first of a
string of injuries that caused him to
miss most of the season.
That deprived Rodgers of his main
goal threat for last season, which start-
ed slowly, picked up for a three-month
spell when Rodgers experimented with
new formations, and ended badly with
a final-day 6-1 loss at Stoke.
He has been given little time this
season to reconstruct a team struck
by the not inconsiderable losses of
iconic midfielder Steven Gerrard and
its most highly rated young player,
Raheem Sterling, over the summer.
Is eight league games enough of a
chance after overhauling the team?
"The current squad is one in tran-
sition," Rodgers said---or maybe
protested---in yesterday s statement.
Rodgers is highly rated and was
being spoken of as a potential England
manager before Liverpool s slump.
Maybe his tactical tinkering went too
far at times, but he was a proactive
manager at a club battling to find
something different to keep pace with
the modern-day heavyweights of the
Anfield hadn t yet turned on
Rodgers, despite the jeers toward the
team after recent poor results. He also
was operating within the parameters
of FSG s transfer committee system
that didn t give him full control of
Rodgers raised expectations to an
unrealistic level with that title bid in
He ended up paying for that 18
months later but, at 42, there could
be plenty more to come from him.
LONDON---Chelsea manager Jose
Mourinho was charged by England's
Football Association yesterday for
accusing Premier League referees of
being biased against his team, hours
after he was given public backing by the
club following its disappointing start to
Speaking after Saturday's 3-1 loss to
Southampton at Stamford Bridge,
Mourinho said referees "are afraid to
give decisions for Chelsea."
The FA said in a statement that
Mourinho's remarks constitute improper
conduct as they imply bias, and bring the
game into disrepute. Mourinho has until
Thursday to respond to the charge.
Earlier, Chelsea took the unusual step
of publicly endorsing Mourinho, with the
team languishing in 16th place in the 20-
team Premier League after winning two
of its first eight games. Chelsea has also
lost one of its first two group games in
the Champions League.
Mourinho charged by FA after Chelsea backing
Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers before the English Premier League soccer
match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park Stadium, Liverpool,
England, Sunday. AP PHOTO
...that's the Brendan Rodgers question
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