SPORTSDESK COMMENT: Rodgers had to go and Dick falls on sword
There were two unsurprising managerial exits in the Premier League this week.
Brendan Rodgers was clearly on borrowed time at Liverpool and should have gone in the summer, while Dick Advocaat must be left regretting the U-turn he performed in the summer when agreeing to take the Sunderland job on again.
While I believe Rodgers could yet succeed at the top level, I think he was tragically let down by the signings he and the so-called ‘committee’ made during his tenure.
The one good season he enjoyed, when they were a Steven Gerrard slip away from winning the title, saw Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all underperforming, while he had a flying Luis Suarez plus Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling in full flow.
Whether or not he agreed to sign the likes of Dejan Lovren, Lazar Markovic, Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert, Iago Aspas, Fabio Borini, Tiago Ilori - and to a lesser extent Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno, Divock Origi and Joe Allen, will remain unknown.
But he was the manager and if he didn’t want to be judged by those signings as he ultimately has, he should’ve walked.
When a manager is in charge of a club for over a couple of seasons, you can start to get a feel for if they’re developing the club, whether they’re standing still or going backwards, and Liverpool weren’t progressing.
If you spend around £300million, regardless of how much you bring in, you should be seeing signs of development, and there were none at Anfield.
They’ve gone for former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, and if anyone can rejevinate the sleeping giants of British football, it’s the charismatic German.
He built a superb squad at Dortmund and toppled the dominant Bayern Munich team, and although he’s far from proven himself in the longer-term, he’s a good appointment for Liverpool.
Up at Sunderland, Advocaat clearly knew the team was only going one way - to the Championship.
The best they’re going to be able to bring in looks like a Nigel Pearson, Sam Allardyce or Sean Dyche.
There has to be something going on behind the scenes up there.
They have a good stadium, training ground facilities and a decent following yet they are perennial strugglers.
They look doomed to relegation this year unless someone can come in and, yet again, work wonders at The Stadium of Light.
It’s clear Ellis Short wants to sell up and obviously he’s reluctant to spend money in the mean time, but if he doesn’t invest in a decent manager and some new additions in January the club will plummet from the Premier League and their value will also take a hit too.