Liverpool face a tricky situation with their manager, but things need to change

Brendan Rodgers 2

It's right that Brendan Rodgers's future comes under scrutiny, but it must be done with respect and the club's entire strategy needs to also be considered.

Even after a couple of days of reflection, it's hard to consider watching Liverpool's implosion against Stoke City as anything other than out of body experience. It was simply stunning at the Britannia Stadium, as the Potters raced into a 5-0 lead in the first half.

Inevitably there are questions for the manager Brendan Rodgers to answer - and rightly so. These things just don't happen to Liverpool Football Club - at least not for 50 years. The fact it was a poor send off for one of the club's greatest ever players in Steven Gerrard made it all the more disappointing.

As I have said before, changes need to be made at Liverpool Football Club. Signing good players with potential seems to make sense as a business model, but football clubs are not an ordinary business. If there were one or two ready-made players - marquee players if you like - brought into the club alongside them, then it would make a lot more sense.

The thing is, one can't really discuss the manager's position without looking at how the club is operating as a whole, including the aforementioned transfer policy. But if we do focus on the manager, there is probably a lot to pick apart.

There is his change of tactics - having started the season with a poor system, only to revert back to it late in the campaign when his 3-4-2-1 formation was worked out in late March and early April by both Manchester United and Arsenal. The 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 from the start of the season was slow and pedestrian. The Reds were static during both phases of the season they used it.

Then there is the playing of players out of position. It was to be applauded when he reverted to three at the back to try and add some solidity to the side, and giving certain players licence to roam - but one particular example will irk supporters. Emre Can has never looked comfortable at right-back, he has looked continuously exposed in that position, yet Rodgers persisted with the 21-year-old in that position before he was subbed after a nightmare first half at the Britannia Stadium.

One looks back to the previous season and wonders what has gone wrong. There is a lack of energy about Liverpool, they don't go flying out of the traps after teams and almost finish sides off before a quarter of the game has passed. That needs to be rediscovered.

There is also the lack of bottle on the big stage - ever since the defeat to Chelsea at Anfield that cost them their chance of lifting the Premier League title, it seems to have had a damaging effect on the side that they haven't really recovered from. Games against Basel, Manchester United and Aston Villa across the season showed that Liverpool really didn't show up when it mattered, when there was a great opportunity for the side.

Then there's Rodgers. He hasn't exactly helped himself with a lot of his comments to the media, about himself, the club, or indeed other clubs. So much so that even if he says something that's clearly tongue in cheek, he is constantly ridiculed for it.

Even with all of the reflection that has come from the debacle on Sunday, it's hard to decide whether he is the right man to take Liverpool forward. I've heard several comments suggesting that a 6-1 defeat to Stoke City is what 'untenable' looks like, and it is hard to disagree.

I'm usually a believer in giving a man another season to turn things around but this feels like a crucial point for Liverpool, otherwise there are going to be more and more years in the wilderness. If he is to be replaced, it needs to be a manager with pedigree that comes in and he needs to be lined up. In all honesty, it's hard to see the current ownership going in that direction - though fans will probably dream of appointing someone of the calibre of Jurgen Klopp and Diego Simeone, though one questions if that is realistic.

Regardless of the outcome of the summer with regard to Rodgers's future, one finds it hard to take pleasure if he is to lose his job. The man at least deserves respect for coming closer than any other manager in a generation to delivering the club its first Premier League title in an environment that's incredibly competitive and seems more and more of a closed shop towards the top.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch