Brendan Rodgers: Too small-time for Liverpool

Has Brendan Rodgers taken Liverpool as far as he can, or can he overcome this season's challenges?

Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa was made worse for fans by Brendan Rodgers' comments after it.

The Northern Irishman told SkySports his players were overawed by the Wembley contest, explaining: "We looked as if maybe the occasion and the energy got to us a bit today."

For a club of Liverpool's size and stature, that is not good enough - and are the sort of comments Liverpool fans would have mocked David Moyes for making at Manchester United last season.

Rodgers is coming to the end of his third campaign at Liverpool, and this year is looking like an abject failure.

The Luis Suarez money has been by and large spent on flops, with Dejan Lovren, Lazar Markovic and Mario Balotelli looking anything but Liverpool players so far in their short careers at the club.

It was Brendan Rodgers' first trip to Wembley with Liverpool, and with the shadow of Jurgen Klopp on the horizon, there is no guarantee he gets another chance.

After the club's 4-1 hammering at the hands of Arsenal a fortnight ago, it is perhaps fortunate for the Reds they are not subjected to the ignominy of such a scoreline in a final.

Rodgers' comments about his side being overawed, are whether he likes it or not, a reflection of the side he has created. Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal may not be popular among Liverpool fans, but could you imagine either of them making similar remarks?

It fits in with Liverpool's struggles in the Champions League, being bossed at Anfield by Real Madrid, and scoring only five goals in six matches as they went out at the group stage. Their Europa League follow-up was just as drab, eliminated by Besiktas on penalties.

Much of this is connected to Liverpool's failure to sign top quality players last summer. Liverpool qualified for the Champions League, yet bought Europa League standard players at best. Set to miss out on the top four this season, it is a huge missed opportunity.

The FA Cup defeat rams this home, and Rodgers' comments underlines his part in failing to attract big names last summer.

It may be time for him to be asked to step aside and let Jurgen Klopp come in and get to work.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch