After Liverpool’s season came to a crashing halt courtesy of Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-finals, there isn’t a whole lot to play for. The Anfield faithful have lost all realistic hope of a Champions League spot and Europa qualification is no big deal these days.
So, the club that looked to have the title all but sewn up this time last year is now staring into the abyss. And maybe Brendan Rodgers is, too. Who really knows?
One thing you can guarantee, though, is that if he stays, he’ll be making big changes in the summer. And if these are as unsuccessful as last summer’s dealings, he’ll surely be given the heave-ho by Liverpool’s owner.
Big changes to come at Anfield?
But Rodgers is no fool and Liverpool may well surprise a few people next season by coming back a lot stronger. And that could be good news for value-seeking punters looking to profit from Liverpool’s 15/1 odds for next season. Further wholesale changes will go one way or the other and Rodgers will have learned from past mistakes. It wouldn’t be too difficult to see things going awry at Anfield, and Rodgers being sacked before Christmas. But it could be the opposite scenario and those long odds will be a distant memory if so.
Whether that then goes on Liverpool at long odds, or for a more reasonable top-four finishing position is up to each individual. But one thing is for sure, Liverpool will be the dark horses / unknown quantities next season. They could even be a greater unknown quantity than any of the other four teams of the traditional big five.
Remember, Liverpool’s is a young squad. Steven Gerrard will also have departed next season, so there’ll be no shadow of the former great hanging over the club. Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli will surely be a distant bad dream and will have moved on to cause problems elsewhere.
But who’ll go with him? Rumours abound around Raheem Sterling and as many as ten players could be leaving the Anfield outfit at the end of the season, according to some media reports. Defenders Glen Johnson and Martin Skrtel, both now 30, along with 34-year-old Kolo Toure, look odds-on to be leaving when the season is over.
If the reports are right and the changes are in as big numbers as is being mooted, then Anfield will be one of the most exciting grounds in the country to keep an eye on next year with correspondingly anomalous results. Whether these will be for better or for worse remains to be seen.