Brendan Rodgers made the decision to swap Swansea for Liverpool last summer and with Liverpool looking set to miss out on the top 6 again, it is time to assess whether progress has been made.
The easiest way to assess this would be to just look at the league table. Last season Liverpool finished 8th, with a total of 52 points. With just 4 games left of this term, they need 1 point to equal that tally. They ‘should’ finish 7th, so maybe it could be argued little progress has been made.
The Reds have been more prolific in front of goal. They have already scored 14 more goals this season being mainly down to the improvement in goals of controversial striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan has netted 23 times in the Premier League this season, 12 more than his previous best of 11. Is this down to the change in playing style of Rodgers?
Defensively, the club has already shipped 2 more goals than last season and with 4 games to go, this is likely to increase. Rodgers hasn’t brought in any signings at the back for the Anfield club and perhaps this is an area will look to improve on this summer as arguably no progress has been made here.
Rodgers signings have been a mixed bag.
Out of his ex-Swansea connectections, £10.5 million was spent of Fabio Borini and for a return of 1 goal and only 10 appearances seems as if he has been an expensive flop. £15 million for Joe Allen, despite playing 30 times this season, still seems an over the top price, but at the age of just 22, he has time to develop into a good player for the club.
For just £3 million, it would be wrong to judge Oussama Assaidi on the same scale. He has been on the fringes of the first team for most of the season and is yet to make any kind of impact.
Daniel Sturridge is proving to be a good bit of business by Rodgers. Signing in January for £12 million he has started to build a good understanding with Luis Suarez, scoring 5 goals in 10 games. His impressive cameo against Chelsea at the weekend shows the potential the boy has.
Perhaps where Liverpool fans will be most happy will be what Rodgers has been able to do with existing players. Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson are starting to look like the players Liverpool has thought they’d signed. Both players have scored and set up more goals this season, which ultimately, a player will be judged on.
Another positive for Rodgers has been his ability to get club talisman Steven Gerrard play regularly, and regularly well. His total of 9 league goals is as many as he has scored since 2009/10, and as many as he had scored in his previous 2 seasons.
Progress or not?
Perhaps Liverpool have not made as much progress in the league as they would have liked to, but the signs are promising for Brendan Rodgers. His ability to get some of his key players playing well has been vital in their season. Perhaps the club need to look at improving defensively next season and with Jamie Carragher retiring in the summer, it would seem likely a few defenders will come into the club. His former Swansea captain Ashley Williams has been linked heavily with the club.
After a poor start to the season, Rodgers will hope his Liverpool team can spring out of the blocks next time around as they look to fight to get back into the top 4 of the Premier League.
But for fans of Liverpool, the signs are promising.