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Brendan Rodgers: One Final Chance to Redeem Himself at Liverpool

24/04/2015 17:42 BST | Updated 24/06/2015 10:59 BST

Top of the Premier League, 16 games unbeaten. Soaring towards the Premier League title. That was Liverpool, one year ago this week.

But their dreams came to an end on 27 April, 2014. Jose Mourinho came to Anfield and had all the answers. Steven Gerrard slipped, Demba Ba scored, Liverpool's championship bid crumbled and the 'Special One' has taken their position at the top. The difference is Chelsea will get the job done.

For his former protégé and current Reds boss Brendan Rodgers, life has taken a different path. Liverpool sold want-away striker Luis Suarez to Barcelona, lost Daniel Sturridge to injury for a large chunk of this season and haven't been able to scale former heights. Things haven't been easy for him.

But in spite of that, Rodgers has continually shot himself in the foot. He fielded a second string side against Real Madrid in this year's Champions League group stages. Needless to say, Liverpool lost at the home of the reigning European champions in November.

He'd undermined all of his hard work from last season, seemingly putting all of his eggs in one basket. Basel broke that basket and eliminated Liverpool from the tournament one month later. As it stands, Liverpool aren't even going to return to Europe's premier club competition. They're seven points away from the top four and have failed to redeem themselves in two domestic cup semi-finals.

Aston Villa were the latest club to pile on Rodgers' misery, beating Liverpool 2-1 in the FA Cup semi-final. They will battle Arsenal at Wembley on 30 May. That day is Gerrard's 35th birthday and one that was meant to be the perfect send off for the long-serving Liverpool captain. He'll not get his hands on the cup.

Following the Villa defeat, Rodgers set a new record - albeit an unwanted one. The Northern Irishman has become the first Liverpool manager since the 1950s not to win a trophy in his first three seasons in charge. Seeing such a statistic begs the question: is Brendan Rodgers in danger of losing his job?

At the moment, it appears not. That's even while Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp fancies a seat in a Premier League dug out. Klopp and Manchester City (while the timing could well marry up this summer) doesn't fit; it's not to the style of the 47-year-old. He craves passionate support, because he's a passionate guy. Liverpool supporters trump City in that department.

But Rodgers stands in the way of the German, ready for another crack of the whip next season. However, the pressure is on. And the microscope will be on Rodgers more than ever this summer.

It's the opportunity for Liverpool to build the foundations of next season, but he'll be at a disadvantage from the off. It's unlikely they'll reach the top four, and that will immediately set them behind the four teams above them in the player purchasing stakes. Inevitably, Rodgers may be forced to look elsewhere, unless he can steal in on the likes of Memphis Depay and Miralem Pjanic.

Rodgers' record in the transfer market over the last three years is horrific. While he's had a number of people on the Liverpool board watching over him, Rodgers has still managed to spend £216million on players. That's mind-blowing. And especially bad when you consider how many players have succeeded at Anfield since the 42-year-old signed them.

Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge, Emre Can. There's not too many others you'd consider rousing successes since joining the Reds. But contrast that to the ones he's got wrong: Dejan Lovren, Mario Balotelli, Iago Aspas, Fabio Borini, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic. There's more too. And sure, some of them could still turn things around, but the signs aren't encouraging.

Rodgers cannot afford to waste money this summer. He needs to tie down Jordan Henderson and either keep hold of or maximise profit on Raheem Sterling and spend what he's given shrewdly. Another season of terrible business and subsequent below par form should not be tolerated.

He needs to make the right signings, establish a settled side, shift out the Anfield deadwood and think over his plans on how to take the club forward. While he's still got the majority of supporters on his side, the numbers are dwindling.

Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, history has repeated itself... again. A season of hope created last year has been followed by a term failure. And even while Brendan Rodgers will get another opportunity to set things right, it could be his last chance if he doesn't succeed.

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