Brendan Rodgers returns to Anfield in need of a spark to brighten Leicester’s grim winter
Even without the wave of Omicron sweeping through the country, it is unlikely that Jurgen Klopp would select anywhere near his strongest side for Liverpool’s Carabao Cup quarter-final against Leicester City tonight. The competition is low down on the German’s priorities. infoguidenigeria
Just don’t mention the words ‘weakened team’ around the Kop when Brendan Rodgers is in town. One of the 48-year-old’s lowest points during his tenure at Anfield came from a decision to field a substandard XI. In Rodgers’ infamous case it was not in either of the domestic cups. It was in the Champions League against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu.
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In a conversation last week, a senior football executive cited Rodgers’ decision to send a sub-par team to the Spanish capital as one of the reasons the Leicester manager will never get another job with a so-called ‘Big Six’ club. That seemed a tad unfair. In each of his two full seasons at the King Power Stadium, Rodgers has led the team to fifth place in the Premier League and last season he picked up a trophy, the FA Cup.
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His name has been thrown into the equation whenever there is a swirl of speculation about one of England’s prime jobs. The only ‘Big Six’ position he has not been linked with in the six years since he departed Anfield is Liverpool’s. Most recently, Newcastle United sniffed around the Leicester boss. jamb result
Leicester need to bolster their defence and, in ideal circumstances, they would be looking to offload some of the fringe players. Buying is going to be difficult in the pandemic-affected market, especially with the prospect of a top-four challenge receding with every game. Moving players out will be almost as tough.
Anfield is probably the last place that Rodgers needed to visit tonight. It was in front of the Kop that his ambition soared and the Premier League trophy was almost in his grasp. Then it slipped away as he was undone by hubris and an inability to organise his defence. After the title near-miss in 2013-14, Rodgers’ decisions got stranger, culminating in the weakened team fiasco. You can throw away a domestic cup game and no one will care, but for Liverpool to surrender so meekly to Real was a serious error of judgement.
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