It appears that some football managers cannot instill character on their sides when it’s needed most. This is with regards to football in competitive leagues and not in leagues where one team is known to monopolize the league.
Let’s talk about Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers and the three cases where his teams have failed to cut it when it mattered most although they were blowing hot at the time.
I know some folks may want to mention his adventures with Celtic in the Scottish League.
Well, I don’t see this as a major achievement. After all, it has been either Celtic or Rangers for the title in past decades. Any good manager will win the Scottish League with Celtic, and this goes to say that Rodgers is quite a decent manager. I’m not undermining him.
Regardless, some significant flops by his teams when the going gets tough have to be analyzed. And this is with regards to his time in the Premier League with Liverpool and now Leicester City.
Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool – 2013/14 Season
Liverpool were favorites for the title in the 2013/14 season with 3 games to go. The Reds had their destiny in their hands and were looking to end their Premier League trophy drought with Brendan Rodgers at the helm.
They welcomed Chelsea at Anfield in a game where a draw would be good enough to keep them going in their quest for the title.
The Blues were under the management of Jose Mourinho, and it was a no-brainer that the Portuguese would come with a defensive approach.
Brendan Rodgers should have prepped his team for this but this was not the case as the Reds threw caution to the wind and came out all guns blazing against the Blues.
The results were some defensive errors starting from a Gerrard slip which gifted Demba Ba with the opener for Chelsea. The Blues eventually won 2 nil and kept a clean sheet in a game where everyone thought they would be slaughtered.
Liverpool went on to draw 3 all in the next game against Crystal Palace away from home although they were overwhelming favorites.
This effectively gifted Manchester City the title as they were on a run. The Rodgers’ led side didn’t have the character to go all the way that season.
Brendan Rodgers and Leicester City – 2019/20
Leicester City were amazing under Rodgers last season and many thought another fairytale season was on the cards.
However, they faltered towards the end of the season and had to fight for a place in the top 4 on the last matchday of the season.
They welcomed Manchester United to the King Power Stadium in a game where all three points would guarantee them a place in the UEFA Champions League.
However, they fell short and weren’t good enough on the day. They didn’t have the strength of character to go all the way even at home.
They eventually fell to a 2 nil loss to Man United and had to settle for the Europa League. This is another instance of a lack of character in a team managed by Brendan Rodgers.
Brendan Rodgers – Liverpool vs Leicester – 2020/21
Leicester City have started the 2020/21 season in style. They’ve won away games against Leeds United, Arsenal, and Manchester City, and all was set for a possible upset against an injury-ravaged Liverpool side on matchday 9 of the 2020/21 season.
They had won all their away games before the day and with the injury worries in the Reds camp, it was expected that the Foxes would at least steal a point.
However, they were thrashed 3 nil by the Reds at Anfield and had to relinquish the top spot to Tottenham Hotspur. They currently sit 4th on the table.
They’ve started well this season, but with the lack of character under Brendan Rodgers, they may still fall short again of a place in the top 4 when the going gets tough.
Therefore, Brendan Rodgers must work on this aspect of his teams in a more competitive league.