Bye Bye Brendan: Early Season EPL Manager Drama

Former Liverpool manager Rodgers

We aren’t very far into the new Premier League season, but we have already seen 2 managerial changes. Brendan Rodgers is out at Liverpool, while Dick Advocaat has quit after less than a year at Sunderland. Neither was particularly surprising, but let’s take a look at what led us to this point.

Brendan Rodgers came to Liverpool in the summer of 2012, succeeding Kenny Dalglish. He had all the credentials and endorsements that had plenty excited. His first season started abysmally, but the team eventually came around and ended up in 7th place. Not exactly what Reds fans were hoping for, but the improvement at the end of the season kept them optimistic about Rodgers.

The 2013/14 campaign went awfully well, staying in the top 4 for all but one matchday. They had the title within their grasp, but a loss to Chelsea and a draw with Crystal Palace allowed Manchester City to claim the title in the final weeks. The heartbreak is understandable, but the club had been playing extremely well, including an 11-game win streak between February and April. But there is a certain amount of disappointment that never goes away when you are that close to a title. The season did garner Rodgers a new contract extension.

Then came last season, Stevie Gerrard’s swan song tour. It also happened to be a pretty disappointing send-off season. The club battled midtable mediocrity while battling injuries and distractions. They ended up in 6th, which isn’t good enough for the fans at Liverpool. After Mario Balotelli’s failures, the fans were restless, putting some real pressure on Rodgers to perform. Rodgers was retained, although the pressure was mounting.

This all led up to the past few months. Rodgers must have known that leash was pretty short, considering how vocal Reds fans are about their feelings. 3 wins in 8 matches was enough for Liverpool to pull the plug on Rodgers. He ended his Liverpool managerial career with a 50% win rate, which is pretty good. The administration has said that they will hire a new manager before the next game, so look for hiring news quickly.

former Sunderland coach Dick Advocaat

Image: PA

As for Sunderland, Dick Advocaat had seen enough. After less than a year on the job, the Dutch manager has quit, with some pretty daunting words about the team. He said the Sunderland squad is simply not good enough to avoid a relegation scrap. Advocaat has a laundry list of teams that he has managed, never staying more than a few years at any particular job. So the fact that he is leaving is not surprising, rather the timing.

His tenure was so short that it is hard to get a handle on what the expectations were for him at the club. Essentially he has been a placeholder, which doesn’t bode well for Sunderland, considering they don’t want to have another relegation battle. Either way, he is gone, and Sunderland are starting over once again.

As for replacements, both clubs have been making some waves. Liverpool has been after Jurgen Klopp for quite awhile, but now the former Borussia Dortmund manager is making his way to work out a 3-year deal with the club. Klopp to the Kop seems to be happening, so Reds fans can rest easy knowing they are in good hands.

As for Sunderland, there are a couple of options that have allegedly been approached. David Moyes was a flat “No,” rejecting a chance to return to the Premier League. There are 2 men who are leading with oddsmakers to take the job, Sam Allardyce and Nigel Pearson. Allardyce was at West Ham last season, failing to get an extension after leading the club to 12th place in the Premier League. He has had a few controversies over the years, but plenty of managing experience in the Prem that might do Sunderland some good. Nigel Pearson is the other name that is popping up. The name might sound familiar, as he was the entertaining manager of Leicester City last season. Pearson helped lead the Foxes out of the relegation zone keeping them in the Premier League. He was fired after some offseason clashes with club management, and a scandal including his son.

Both teams will need to get going, before falling to far on the table. Recovery starts now, and these hires will be critically important.

 

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About the author: Dominic Habjan

 

I am a contributor to SoccerPro’s blogs, and truly enjoy writing about the World’s Game. I support Sporting KC, US National Team, and Slovenian National Team. I follow the Premier League but don’t necessarily have a favorite club. I am an avid sports fan, but prefer college to professional leagues in every sport with exception to soccer. I love the Mizzou Tigers, KC Royals, and KC Chiefs. Outside sports I enjoy movies, music, and musical theatre.

Website: https://www.soccerpro.com

 

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