Have Liverpool finally turned a corner?

Liverpool earned their biggest Premier League win of the season, beating Swansea City 4-1 at Anfield on Monday night. The Reds scored four goals for the first time this campaign, while having 21 shots in the 90 minutes. It sealed back-to-back league wins, and saw Liverpool climb up the table to 8th.

“It was a great performance against a very good side. I felt for the big part of the game we dominated. The work-rate was outstanding and we were really exciting going forward. It was about getting back to performing well and getting ideas that will help the players play how we want to play. Tonight we were convincing. We have to keep that intensity and work-rate,” said Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool certainly looked like the side of 2013/14 playing at Anfield with sheer intensity showing an unwavering pursuit for goals. The likes of Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana didn’t give Swansea a second of rest all evening, and Rodgers was delighted to see his tactics paying off. But the question is, have Liverpool turned a corner? Or is it a false dawn?

While Liverpool’s narrow win against Burnley was far from convincing, there was no doubt of their dominance over Swansea this time around. The Reds seized the initiative early on in the game, and City never fully recovered. Defensive errors will irk Rodgers, but he will be buoyed by the attacking performance on display, as it replicated last season’s showings on home soil.

The Merseyside outfit are five points off a top-four place, and have a run of favourable games to come – Leicester City, Sunderland and Aston Villa – that could see them picking up maximum points. Recent results have been much-improved, and a selection of particular games played in the league this season gives reason to believe that the Reds can maintain their upturn in form.

Rodgers is getting the best of winger Raheem Sterling by playing him through the middle for Liverpool (3 goals from Liverpool’s last four games) where he receives more of the ball. The likes of summer signings Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic and Alberto Moreno are starting to find their feet at the club, and things seem to be clicking on Merseyside.

Maximum points from their next three Premier League games is certainly possible, and would see the Reds close to a European place. Given how disappointing their start to the season was, is it too early to suggest Liverpool have turned a corner?

Would it be fair to sack Brendan Rodgers?

A lot is being said about Liverpool this season after their disappointing start in the Premier League. Manager Brendan Rodgers finds himself under a lot of pressure as the Reds have completely crumbled. On the weekend, Crystal Palace deservedly beat them 3-1 at Selhurst Park, which was the Reds’ third consecutive league defeat.

The result left them 18 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea after just 12 games, while having lost the same amount of games as they did during the entirely of last season. It’s not surprising odds for Rodgers to be sacked are being slashed currently, but is it fair?

Last season, the Merseyside outfit surprised everybody by finishing just two points of Premier League winners Manchester City, and leading the table between March and April. Liverpool went on an incredible 11-match winning streak to have the title in their hands with three games to go. Brendan Rodgers’ men had 80 points from 35 games, and three more wins against Chelsea (home), Crystal Palace (away) and Newcastle (home) would have sealed the crown for the Reds, but they blew it losing to Chelsea and drawing to Palace.

Despite the failure, Rodgers took a lot of credit from supporters for their blistering attacking style at Anfield, taking the lead in the majority of home games in the first-half, and scoring over 100 goals in 38 games in the process. Champions League football returned to Anfield, which was always the objective before a ball was even kicked, but now expectations skyrocketed after last season.

Fast-forward six months and now a host of supporters want him out. The defensive problem is something that hasn’t been fixed, despite Rodgers spending money on a centre-back, left-back, and right-back in the summer. He certainly can’t be accused of ignoring the clear problems of his side, considering Liverpool shipped 50 goals in the Premier League last season, but their fast decline has fans wondering if 2013/14 was to be their best hopes of winning the league.

It’s incredible harsh for supporters to turn so quickly on a manager who has gone closer than many of his predecessors. Prior to Brendan Rodgers’ arrival at Liverpool, the Merseyside club hadn’t finished in the top-two of the Premier League for five years. After their runners-up medal in 2008/09, Liverpool posted finishes of 7th, 6th, 8th, and 7th. Their second-place in 2013/14 is made all the more incredible considering the stiff competition they faced from strong Chelsea & Arsenal sides.

It took 38 games for people to credit Rodgers for turning Liverpool around and make them a Champions League team again. Is it right to consider him a failed manager just 12 games later?

How can Rodgers go from hero to zero in six months? Are the supporters expecting too much too soon from a side that have only registered one top-four finish in the last five years? Does Rodgers deserve more faith?