Brendan Rodgers feels the heat after FA Cup failureby Jack Kitson / 20 April 2015, 09:33Tweet
Steven Gerrard's hopes of a fairytale ending to his Liverpool career were ruptured on Sunday after his beloved club were stunned by Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final. The former England skipper had dreams of hoisting the coveted trophy on his 35th birthday - which happens to be on the same day as this season's FA Cup Final - however, Liverpool's surprise exit has ended this romantic narrative.
Critics have been quick to point the finger of blame at boss Brendan Rodgers, who frequently tampered with Liverpool's formation during the Wembley showdown. The Reds' surprise exit at the hands of Villa, means that the Ulsterman has become the first Reds gaffer since Phil Taylor (1956/59) to fail to win silverware in his first three seasons at Anfield, with the club's last trophy the 2011/12 League Cup, under Dalglish.
Rodgers has frequently been slated for his summer signings, many of whom have failed to make a significant impact at Anfield, while the on-going furor surrounding Raheem Sterling's future isn't helping matters. Furthermore, the club's failure to raise their game in the big matches this season has ultimately cost them dear, although they still linger onto hopes of finishing in the top-4.
However, these hopes were hampered on Sunday after they slipped seven points behind 4th-place Man City, who beat West Ham 2-0 at the Etihad. The Reds, who have a game in hand on City, now have six matches remaining to usurp their rivals, although four of those fixtures are on the road. Bookmakers Ladbrokes now price Rodgers' troops as the 13/2 outside to finish in the Champions League spots for the second season running, while Citu and Man Utd have very short odds of around 1/25.
Jurgen Klopp's availability this summer has fuelled speculation that the charistmatic German will be on his way to the Premier League. Rumours are rife that the Borussia Dortmund legend will be on his way to Man City, however Rodgers' increasingly vulnerable position at Anfield, means a managerial switch-up on Merseyside is not out of the question, albeit unlikey.
Liverpool's Remaining Fixtures
- West Brom (a)
- Hull (a)
- QPR (h)
- Chelsea (a)
- Crystal Palace (h)
- Stoke (a)