Too funny to fire him

Too funny to fire him
PHOTO: Reuters

The message to Liverpool's owners is unequivocal. Please do not sack Brendan Rodgers.

He's the comedy gift who keeps on giving. He's the George Bush of the English Premier League.

If the Reds fire him, then we'll have to make do with Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

Van Gaal is that eccentric uncle in the coffee shop with the bouffant, seventies hair and Mourinho is the growling one who talks to himself in the corner, but they're not in Rodgers' league.

Obviously, the temptation to sack the Reds boss must be overwhelming.

He's just one interview away from wearing a dunce cap and chasing parked cars.

Liverpool fans are embarrassed in the way relatives get embarrassed at a wedding where Uncle Tay starts the evening well, but ends the night criticising his own family while singing Frank Sinatra's My Way and peeing in a plant pot.

Rodgers is an ongoing anecdote with fresh punchlines every week.

After Liverpool struggled to draw at home to FC Sion in the Europa League on Thursday, the first thing neutrals did, once they'd finished laughing, was to look up FC Sion.

The Swiss side had lost the previous week to FC Vaduz who, at the time, were rock bottom of a distinctly average league.

Rodgers has spent more than £250 million ($543m), whereas FC Sion cost five euros and a couple of Toblerones.

Stereotype

That's an unfair stereotype about the Swiss nation. Toblerones are expensive.

In fact, the Swiss chocolate is so costly, stiff and static, it's truly a wonder Rodgers doesn't sign one and stick it in midfield.

But the world certainly knows of FC Sion now.

Indeed, it's only a matter of time before children who follow lesser leagues sit bewildered when the Europa League draw is made, before turning to friends and asking: "Liverpool? Who are they? We'd better Google them. What do you mean they've won five European Cups? Stop looking at spoof sites."

But the real fun to be had with Rodgers is listening to his stand-up routines after each hopeless performance. After the FC Sion match, he said he was looking forward to tonight's derby against Everton and relishing the ongoing rebuilding job.

Devastated post-World War II cities were rebuilt faster than Liverpool's squad. No one would want Rodgers as a building contractor.

He'd come in to repair a kitchen sink leak, replace every fixture and fitting in the apartment while constantly reminding you why he's such a genius for replacing every fixture and fitting in the apartment.

Then he'd tell you why his fixtures and fittings are superior to those used by other contractors - it's just that they're not smart enough to see what he's doing.

And three years later, there would still be bags of cement everywhere. The apartment's a mess and most of the fixtures and fittings don't work properly.

Oh, and the kitchen sink still leaks.

And still, the priceless manager refuses to see what the root cause of the problem might be.

At every press conference, he looks more like one of those deluded X-Factor contestants who truly believe they have the voice of Beyonce, when it's plainly obvious to everyone else that they produce the kind of noise rivalled only by a goose farting in the fog.

Every morning, they sing in the shower and hear Taylor Swift. Every morning, Rodgers looks in the mirror and sees Bob Paisley.

Right now, Liverpool might be better off with Taylor Swift.

But the Reds can't sack him, not now.

He's become the terrible X-Factor contestant of football management, allowing giggling families to gather around the TV and say: "Eh, quick, it's that one who thinks he's a manager.

"He makes all these jokes about transition and rebuilding. He's hilarious."

It's hard not to chuckle when Rodgers says, quite sincerely, that he's the right man to manage such a big club.

Ah, bless him. He still thinks Liverpool are a big club.

npsports@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on October 04, 2015.
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