Liverpool has been one of the most active football clubs-if not the most active football club-throughout this summer's transfer window. So far, the football club has signed James Milner, Danny Ings, Nathaniel Clyne, Joe Gomez, Adam Bogdan, and Roberto Firmino, and you can bet that manager Brendan Rodgers will be looking for at least one more major signing to replace the outgoing Raheem Sterling. But the on-the-field squad isn't the only thing that Rodgers has been shaking up at Liverpool FC. On the contrary, the coach has also been making changes to his backroom team, sacking assistant manager Colin Pascoe and first team coach Mike Marsh, and replacing them with new blood. But will Brendan Rodgers new backroom team enable the squad to fight for the Premier League top spot?
Make or Break
It's clear what Rodgers is shooting for: since taking control of the Reds in 2012, Rodgers has led the squad to their highest finish this decade (a runner-up placement in 2013 2014), but he's also finished outside of the Premier League top five twice (in 2013 and 2015, respectively). His teams have also largely underperformed in cup and continental play.
In other words, the 2015 2016 season could be something of a "make or break" run for Rodgers. If he pushes his team back into title contention, or makes a strong bid for the FA Cup or Europa League title, then his coaching position at Anfield will be reaffirmed. If his soccer squad falls short of expectations once again, though, then he could be out of chances at Liverpool.
As a result, Brendan Rodgers appears to be going for broke this season, mixing things up both on and off the field. The question is, will all of the changes, both squad and backroom, help the Reds finally end their English title draught, which stretches back to 1990? Or will the shifts hurt the growth that's gone on at Anfield since Rodgers first arrived three years ago?
The New Backroom Team
Evidently, Rodgers thinks that a new backroom team is his best shot at melding the existing talent at Liverpool with the incoming transfers. Pascoe, who followed Rodgers to Liverpool from Swansea City, will be replaced by Sean O'Driscoll. Meanwhile Marsh, who came to Liverpool as an Academy coach in 2009 and rose up the ranks to become first-team coach, will be replaced by Gary McAllister.
O'Driscoll comes to Liverpool with considerable management experience. Most recently, he was the head coach of England's U-19 squad. However, he's been coaching professional soccer since 2000, working lengthy stints at Bournemouth (2000 to 2006) and Doncaster Rovers (2006 to 2011), as well as briefer appointments at Crawley Town, Nottingham Forest, and Bristol City. He's actually been managing teams for considerably longer than Rodgers, and will bring an air of veteran experience to that backroom team that Pascoe (who has never held a head coaching position) simply didn't have.
Gary McAllister, meanwhile, is very comparable to the departing Mike Marsh as a first team coach. Both men played at Liverpool during their senior careers-Marsh from 1987 to 1993 and McAllister from 2000 to 2002, both as midfielders-and both have some head coaching experience.
McCallister's coaching career has been something of an "on again, off again" pursuit since he ended his career in the early 2000s. From 2002 to 2004, he was a player-manager at Coventry City, and in 2008, he coached a brief stint at Leeds United. He was also the caretaker manager at Aston Villa for a few weeks in spring of 2011, but has been mostly absent from the limelight for several years now.
A Deliberate Decision
Originally, rumors were swirling that Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh were the "fall guys" for Liverpool's disappointing 2014 2015 season, taking the blame that should have been assigned to Brendan Rodgers. Some disgruntled fans believed that Liverpool owners had forced Rodgers to fire his coaching staff if he wanted to stay at Anfield.
Instead, Brendan says that the decision to sack Pascoe and Marsh was a deliberate one that he made himself.
"I decided to make a change," Rodgers said in a press conference, adding that Colin and Mike were "two fantastic guys" that were "great professionals" and "very supportive."
"I just felt the need to move in a different direction and the decision was purely made by myself," he explained.
What do you think of the decision? Will O'Driscoll and McAllister help to solve the problems at Liverpool? Or should Brendan Rodgers have been the man to pay for the club's dodgy 2014 2015 season? Connect with Soccer Box on social media to share your opinion! You can find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and other social networks. You can also stop by our online store and pick up a new Liverpool training kit 2015 2016, to support Liverpool during the upcoming season!