James Lawton: Time for Fenway to back Brendan Rodgers if Liverpool are serious about renaissance

Rodgers can only yearn for the striking potential of other teams

If anyone is listening back in America, someone with a minimum understanding of the challenge facing the man who has been entrusted with the job of reviving Liverpool, a message of some urgency needs to be absorbed very quickly.

It is that if Brendan Rodgers has recently been displaying signs of extreme frustration he has a very good reason.

He is plainly a man who understands what is required at Anfield. He knows how Liverpool should be playing and yesterday we again had evidence that he has implanted in the dressing room a powerful and at times thrilling sense of how to go about it. But it will be no good until he is given the means not to finish the job – that will surely take more than one foray into the next transfer window – but move it forward with a degree of certainty that so much of his team's work deserved.

They should have pulverised Newcastle United and you have to believe they would have done so if Rodgers had not been left so short of resources in front of goal.

It's true he has the resident genius of Luis Suarez – and whoever said that the foibles of the Uruguayan's nature ever disguised quite outstanding ability – but around the man who took his goal superbly yesterday, there is a collective failure to properly support his thrust and his astonishing control that is becoming an open-ended nightmare.

Shortly after Suarez erupted so brilliantly under the 70-yard ball of Jose Enrique to score the equaliser after 67 minutes, he produced skill almost as prodigious to lay on the easiest opportunities for Jonjo Shelvey. The response was poor and entirely in keeping with the pattern of Liverpool's campaign. Suarez is keeping it alive – yesterday's was his 10th goal of the season and his fifth in his last five Premier League games – and the idea of another suspension, the risk of which he is apparently incapable of avoiding, is surely the permanent shadow over his manager's professional life. The American owners, who are so proud of the way they returned the Boston Red Sox to some of their old glory, need to understand they have left their football manager without an asset which would be the death of any baseball field manager's hopes of a successful season.

The Fenway Sports Group, appalled by the profligacy of their first significant journey into the transfer market, have simply left their man without a bull-pen. Whatever devastation worked by the lead pitcher Suarez, Liverpool remain devoid of anything like a corps of clean-up men.

Yesterday Suarez just about completely destroyed the composure created by Yohan Cabaye's beautifully struck goal – one that for a while threatened to deliver Newcastle their first Premier League victory at Anfield in 18 years. But it was a breakthrough that lacked the underpinning of significant support. Steven Gerrard offers the threat of a dynamic intervention, Raheem Sterling continues to offer waspish brilliance, but elsewhere Rodgers can only yearn for the kind of striking potential much more evenly distributed in a team like, say, Newcastle.

In the wait for the kind of transfer moves Rodgers so desperately needed in the summer after his decision that Andy Carroll had no place in the football that he believed represented Liverpool's best chance of renewal, it is possible only to see the point made by the iconic Ian St John recently.

The man who shaped with Roger Hunt the tradition that delivered such finishers as John Toshack, Kevin Keegan, Ian Rush, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen, said that watching the football on which Rodgers made his name was so much easier on his nervous system than anything he had seen in many years – and this was quite separate from the team's position in the league.

Yesterday Liverpool opened with an impressive surge that was something more than prettiness for its own sake but of course it would have been betrayed yet again but for Suarez's superb resolve to produce so much of the best of himself.

Curiously, some believe that to condemn the player for the copious evidence of the other side of his nature is to also disregard his potential to cement his place as one of the most gifted players in the history of the club. His work yesterday was stunning even by his own impressive standards of virtuosity. He tormented Fabricio Coloccini to the point of distraction – and the earning of a sure-fire red card. His movement unhinged the entire Newcastle defence in a few lacerating strides.

He was the player around whom any manager could hope to build an empire. However, one player never made a significant football team and it is something the Americans really need to understand. The need to put bodies into that empty bull-pen.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments