Liverpool v Aston Villa Football Betting Tips 26-09-2015
If I had to put my house on any manager in the Premiership to be able to climb out of this hole then it would be Brendan Rodgers.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not prepared to follow a blind man into the darkness and go caving with him at midnight but for sheer self belief and strength of mind you have to concede that Rodgers has a steely determination about him where others would wilt under the pressure.
Recall the rabbit in the headlights look that David Moyes perfected at Manchester United as everything unravelled before his widened, shocked eyes.
Or the classic “face-palm” that Roy Hodgson employed as if trying to conjure up a new reality in front of him to replace the nightmare that he fell into during his ill fated reign as Liverpool manager?
Remember the self doubt that wracked Martin Jol's every utterance as his Fulham team slid to five defeats in a row and he was mercifully put out of his misery.
Rodgers Does Not Look And Sound Defeatist
If he did then he would be gone already. It his strength of “character” that he bangs on about endlessly that is prolonging his stay as manager.
It was only four weeks ago that the Liverpool fans were singing Rodgers name as they tamed Arsenal at the Emirates with a first half performance of real verve and energy. Alarmingly we've seen nothing of the sort since and the folded arms and boos that were on display against Carlisle indicate how quickly performances have degenerated.
But even the best teams can struggle against lower division opposition. They raise their game and what they lack in technique is made up for in hard graft. Beating a team who have ten men in the box is always a difficult proposition.
I'm Not Excusing The Premiership Results Though
Although I would say that the Stoke game was a complete freak with every single one of their shots flying into the back of the net. The same with West Ham, they have the highest strike rate in the Premiership at the moment.
It is the drip drip of poor performances that has turned the tide against the Liverpool manager and if there was ever to be a match or a time when he had his King Canute moment then this game is it.
A draw or loss will not save him from the wrath of fans who have witnessed a transfer policy that appears to be completely bonkers. Constant shuffling of formations and tactics to go along with the changing “philosophy” in which way the game should be played.
The sands have shifted once too often and Rodgers stands on the precipice. His previous Lieutenants have already been given their marching orders and he stands alone. Only a win will save him from the baying crowd.
You can sympathise with some of the bad hands he has been dealt, losing Suarez, the injury to Sturridge but one suspects that he has overplayed his good ones. Good players have moved on who have cited Rodgers as the reason they left. Three envelopes in a drawer was not the style of management they were willing to buy into.
There is no doubt in my mind that Rodgers is well suited to management, he just doesn't know half of what he thinks he does and at 42 he still has a hell of a lot to learn.
Whether he learns the rest of his craft at Liverpool to complete his education and make him one of the greats is now with the Gods. I'm of the belief that if Rodgers sees this period through and defies the odds then it will be the making of him.
Is Brendan Rodgers Lucky?
Margaret Thatcher had a great saying when she was Prime Minister on making ministerial appointments - “Yes, But is he lucky?”. She valued luck just as she valued ability, how will the dice fall on Saturday?
Fortunately for Rodgers the decisions are taken out of his hands. The derided Lovren is sidelined with a foot injury so he won't be able to play him again in another misguided attempt to restore confidence to a player who clearly needs some time out.
£32.5 Million pound man Benteke is also out with a hamstring so playing a front man who thrives on his physical presence in combination with a team that don't know how to play to his strengths is also a non starter.
Instead we will see an in form Danny Ings playing in tandem with Sturridge who will be making his second start since coming back from injury. Is this the time when the strike-force clicks and Moreno, Clyne and Coutinho supply the badly needed ammunition? Has Daniel Sturridge arrived back just in time to save the managers skin?
This is Custers last stand. Liverpool fans should be hoping that things finally come good for the team and we make progress because the alternative – spunking six million in compensation up the wall or whatever it is and engaging in another round of “transition” is just unthinkable.
As for the betting – Liverpool fans should bet on Villa winning or drawing this game because you'll need to avoid the twitter-sphere meltdown and kick back with a nice bottle of single malt for the rest of the afternoon if they do.
Aston Villa to Win Or Draw is 31/20 £20 Returns £51. Enough for a Glenfiddich.