A 1-1 draw at Goodison Park on Sunday was not enough to save Brendan Rodgers who was sacked within an hour of the final whistle.
Speculation had been mounting about the future of Rodgers at Anfield following an indifferent start to the season. The draw leaves Liverpool in tenth position in the Premier League, six points behind leaders Manchester City. They have recently struggled to overcome Carlisle on penalties in the Capital One Cup before a dismal 1-1 draw in the Europa League at home to FC Sion in midweek.
Rodgers took over at Anfield in June 2012 and led Liverpool to second place in the Premiership in 2013-14. They were ahead of Manchester City with three games remaining but a disastrous home defeat against Chelsea and an astonishing collapse from 3-0 up at Crystal Palace consigned them to the runners-up spot.
Rodgers had recently claimed that there was “hysteria” about Liverpool and he clearly believed that it was media generated. Last month’s 3-2 win over Aston Villa was their first in six matches, although Rodgers pointed out that they had lost fewer games than Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal. He insisted that a second busy summer in the transfer market meant that new players needed time to blend in but was confident that the results would come.
Perhaps the turning point in the club’s fortunes was the departure of Luis Suarez following his biting incident in the World Cup. Liverpool sold the Uruguayan to Barcelona and Rodgers re-invested the money on rebuilding the side. The signing of Mario Balotelli proved to be misguided and Daniel Sturridge was repeatedly side-lined through injury. Liverpool’s season fizzled out tamely with an FA Cup semi-final defeat to Aston Villa and a humiliating 6-1 defeat at Stoke in the Premiership where they finished sixth
American Owners Fenway Sports Group gave Rodgers their backing and he invested £80 million in the summer on new players. Christian Benteke, Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino, Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez signed for the Reds with Raheem Sterling departing to Manchester City. Captain Steven Gerrard also left at the end of the season to play in America and was critical of Rodgers, particularly in his approach to the vital home game with Chelsea in 2014.
Rumors have been circulating over the past couple of weeks that the search had already started for a successor to Rodgers. Jurgen Klopp is the leading candidate and is odds-on favorite with the bookmakers to be named the new coach.