Pool need a new plan, not a new coach
It has been a miserable and depressing end to the season for all Liverpool fans – but I am not among those who believe this is a moment to hit the panic button and get rid of manager Brendan Rodgers.
It was inevitable that Rodgers would come under fire after a display that was truly awful against Aston Villa at Wembley. On a day when so much was at stake, the display offered up by Liverpool was not good enough, it’s as simple as that.
While the manager always takes his share of the blame for a season that now looks set to finish in disappointing fashion, it is all too easy to say get Rodgers out and bring in a new face to get things moving forward again.
Liverpool wasted a fortune paying off failing managers in Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish in double-quick time before they appointed Rodgers almost three years ago, so paying off another manager is not a sensible use of money.
What the club might need to do, however, is look at the overall structure that is in operation at Liverpool right now because I don’t think it is a formula that will bring success back to the club any time soon.
Liverpool’s owners have a policy of buying young players with big potential and honing their talents to the point where their value increases and they are an asset to the club.
That is a plan you expect from a selling club, but it should not be a direction my old club need to head in.
You need a mix of youthful signings and the recruitment of some more experienced performers to get the right balance in a squad and, while the likes of Emre Can, Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho have proved to be good investments, there have been a lot of mistakes in the transfer market too.
I look at the impact Robin van Persie had when Manchester United signed him a few years back.
He came in from Arsenal, won them the Premier League in his first season and even though his sell-on value now is minimal as he approaches the end of his career, he paid back the investment in him with his goals and the trophy success he engineered.
That is what Liverpool need now. A couple of top class and proven performers who can take them from where they are now and on to the next level, with my hope being that the club will appreciate they need to tweak the way they are going about their transfer business if they are to keep up with their rivals.
Manchester United will spend big again this summer, as will Manchester City and Chelsea and you can probably expect Arsenal to add another big name signing to their squad as the top four teams in the Premier League strengthen yet again ahead of next season.
That means Liverpool need to give Rodgers and this Anfield transfer committee £50m and maybe even more than that to go out and sign the players he needs to give his squad a cutting edge that has been so badly lacking for most of this season.
Rodgers did well to change his tactics a little and inspired a surge in form for Liverpool a few weeks back, but that proved to be a false dawn and the lack of goals in the team has come back to haunt them once more, with Daniel Sturridge out injured again.
With Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson leaving this summer, two of the biggest earners at the club will be gone and that should free up some space on the wage bill, with
Rodgers and Liverpool needing to get it right in the transfer market if they are to get back on track next season.
Rodgers doesn’t need me to tell him that he will be under pressure to deliver, but let’s give the manager a chance to prove he can bounce back from adversity.