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Monday Kickoff: Rodgers feeling the heat; Reus sidelined again; and more


Photo by Guy Rhodes/ USA TODAY SPORTS



The world of soccer is an extremely results-driven business, and Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool have struggled to get results.

After sputtering to a fourth consecutive defeat this weekend, Rodgers admitted that he understands that his job is on the line as Liverpool continue their decline all the way to 12th in the Premier League.

“I’m not arrogant enough to think that I will be in a job through anything,” Rodgers said. “Any manager will tell you that you have to win games and you have to get results, especially after how we’ve been developing as a football club. But I have a great communication line with the owners. We’ve been honest enough with each other but ultimately you have to get results. You have to perform. In my first year when we weren’t maybe getting the results we were performing well.

“Owners and directors and chairmen and chief executives have to see development on the field. Barring this period, our development has been very good and fast. But there’s no doubt as a manager you have to get results. That will support the confidence to the owners, and you take it from there. I will only ever do my best. The best has seen us develop well. Now I need to fight even harder. And take the responsibility because as manager full responsibility comes down to me. Any pressure comes on to me.”

Here are more news and notes to kickoff your Monday morning:


After missing the World Cup and a stretch of Bundesliga action due to an ankle injury, Marco Reus is once again set for a spell on the sidelines.

Borussia Dortmund announced Sunday that Reus is set to be out of action until January after suffering a torn ligament in his right ankle. Reus had previously been sidelined with a pair of right ankle injuries, prompting club chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke to ask “How much bad luck can you have?”.

Reus’ return will likely come following the Bundesliga’ winter break, which runs from Dec. 20 to Jan. 31 for BVB.


Riding the wave of a World Cup victory, Manuel Neuer once again has the chance to be recognized as the world’s best goalkeeper.

Neuer is among five goalkeepers shortlisted for the FIFA FIFPro World XI 2014, as the Bayern Munich goalkeeper is joined by Claudio Bravo, Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas and Thibaut Courtois.

The German goalkeeper was included in last year’s World XI, while this year’s full 55-man short list is set to be released Dec. 1.


Cruzeiro defeated Golas, 2-1, to claim their second straight Brazilian league title. (REPORT)

Real Madrid are set to participate in July’s International Champions Cup in Melbourne, Australia. (REPORT)

VFB Stuttgart’s Armin Veh has resigned from his position as the club’s manager. (REPORT)

Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen missed training Sunday, casting doubts over the date of his club debut. (REPORT)

What do Liverpool need to do to get out of their slump? How will BVB fare without Reus again? Who do you think is the world’s best goalkeeper?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Just breaking Will Packwood has been loaned out until Jan. 1 to League One Colchester. Hopefully this will give him the playing time he needs. Since he is only on a one year contract with Birmingham, my guess is that there is a real possibility he leaves BCFC in January…..

  2. Damn it Armin Veh. He wasn’t getting results, and didn’t know how to best play the players he had, but we were at least stable, and now we’re pretty much screwed for the rest of the season. Unless VfB already had someone else lined up, in which case, we’re slightly less screwed, but still pretty much SOL. At least there’s the winter break coming up to train with the new guy if he’s in soon enough

  3. All too often when adding a number of new faces to a squad, its overlooked how hard it is to gel the newly acquired talent with the current pool. Especially when expectations are higher than the year before. As a neutral, I like Rodgers. Would be bummed to see him ousted and hopes he gets another year to right the ship because I do think he’s capable.

    @Bryan: ..and yea, I have no idea either. Maybe it’s like the All-Star voting in basketball based purely on reputation rather than results because that’s a joke.

    • Rodgers has shown me very little besides excuses. By modern standards, he has had plenty of time to get acquainted with his resources, the most successful of which continue to be holdovers from prevous regimes. Admittedly he was forced to sell Suarez but his transfer activity otherwise has been at best uninspired ($22 million for Joe Allen?), and he can’t seem to decide who his best XI are at all.

      I agree that the “off with his head” mentality has become all-too-prevalent, and perhaps he willl come good. But I’m just not seeing the genius at this point– when was the last “signature performance” from this Liverpool side? Even their occasional wins feel like accidents.

      • I haven’t read or interpreted the excuses you’re referring to. In fact, I think Rogers is fairly honest and straight forward. Based on interviews, that behind the scenes documentary Fox had a couple years ago on Liverpool and his general personality is why I like him. There may be more skilled managers, but man-management is something I think he can excel at as he isn’t a divisive person.

        The not seeing the genius mentality is what often leads to dismissals. Premature or otherwise. If I recall correctly, he also started off slowly in his first year and was able to guide them to an eventual Top 4 finish in his second year. This is the reason I think he needs another year.

        Again, I’m an extreme neutral and don’t follow the club extensively, so this is more of my passing observation. No exact science, I just like the guy.

      • Nothing wrong with that. I’d pretty much agree that I’d rather see Liverpool stick with him, and let his ideas at least play out. I don’t have much belief that it will go well, but unless they have somebody else waiting in the wings with better ideas, I can’t say they should fire him.

        For me, I’m most disappointed in his transfer activity, over which he has enviable discretion. For all his much ballyhooed man-management skills, he seems to sell players moments after expressing his unconditional faith in them (the FSC “Being Liverpool” special you mention had no shortage of “I have faith in you, Jonjo” sequences right before he offloaded the guy to Swansea). He then goes on to buy uninspired mercenaries like Balotelli, which was still not as confusing as Rickie Lambert . I don’t really see a vision in all of it.

        Perhaps as much as anything seems to have become mired in the “Gerrard and 10 others” mentality that may very well be beyond his control. Gerrard still has something in the tank, but I don’t see how a manager can really mold a unique and new identity for the squad while he is there. I guess I could say I’m curious what Rodgers would do if he could really have a clean slate in this regard.

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