Rodgers’ Rocky Road?

In an interview published on the club’s official website yesterday, new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said:

“The first game I look for is the first game, and I won’t look much further than that, to be honest”.

With the release of the fixture list today for the 2012/13 season, it appears that Rodgers may need to look beyond the first fixture sooner rather than later after all. 

After a testing trip to The Hawthorns on the opening weekend, where West Brom will be managed for the first time competitively by their new boss Steve Clarke (who, as a recently departed Liverpool coach, will surely have a point to prove, notwithstanding the fact that it is his first game as a full-time manager), the Reds then have to take on Manchester City and Arsenal at Anfield.

With Manchester United providing the third home opposition of the season in September, Rodgers faces the very real prospect of waiting until at least October for his first home win in the Premier League. Of course, if Liverpool can pick up some good results in those early matches, the Ulsterman will get any doubting fans onside very quickly, and I’m sure he’ll view this period as an opportunity to demonstrate what he and his Liverpool team are about, rather than as an immediate potential threat to his position.

Liverpool will be aiming for at least nineteen wins, in order to be in the mix for Champions League football in 2013/14; a look at next season’s fixture list below, with the points earned from last season’s corresponding fixtures included too, shows there are lots of opportunities to improve on the results from the previous campaign. No month features more than two wins to replicate, and only four of the ten months bettered the 1.79 points per game needed to be finish around fourth in the league last season:

AUGUST – 2.00 points per game (ppg).

West Brom (A) 3
Manchester City (H) 1

SEPTEMBER – 1.00 ppg

Arsenal (H) 0
Sunderland (A) 0
Manchester United (H) 1
Norwich City (A) 3

OCTOBER – 2.33 ppg

Stoke City (H) 1
Reading (H) 3 (replaced Bolton)
Everton (A) 3

NOVEMBER – 1.2 ppg

Newcastle United (H) 3
Chelsea (A) 3
Wigan Athletic (H) 0
Swansea City (A) 0
Tottenham (A) 0

DECEMBER – 0.83 ppg

Southampton (H) 1 (replaced Blackburn)
West Ham (A) 3 (replaced Wolves)
Aston Villa (H) 1
Fulham (H) 0
Stoke City (A) 0
QPR (A) 0

JANUARY 2013 – 1.25 ppg

Sunderland (H) 1
Manchester United (A) 0
Norwich City (H) 1
Arsenal (A) 3

FEBRUARY – 0.33 ppg

Manchester City (A) 0
West Brom (H) 0
Swansea City (H) 1

MARCH – 2.00 ppg

Wigan Athletic (A) 1
Tottenham (H) 1
Southampton (A) 3 (replaced Blackburn)
Aston Villa (A) 3

APRIL – 1.5 ppg

West Ham (H) 3 (replaced Wolves)
Reading (A) 0 (replaced Bolton)
Chelsea (H) 3
Newcastle United (A) 0

MAY – 2.00 ppg

Everton (H) 3
Fulham (A) 0
QPR (H) 3

November and December seem to be the months where the most ground could be made up on last season, as losses to the likes of Wigan, Swansea, Fulham and QPR last season can hopefully be avenged.

If Rodgers can get the home form in order (and after just six wins at Anfield in the league last season, that should be one of his key priorities), then the run-in looks reasonably favourable, with the last away game against one of the big teams taking place at the Etihad Stadium on February 2nd. Here’s to Liverpool charging through the run-in to a top four finish.

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3 thoughts on “Rodgers’ Rocky Road?

  1. Pingback: Daniel Sturridge: In Numbers | Bass Tuned To Red

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  3. Pingback: Second Half Of 2013/14 Looks Key For Liverpool | Bass Tuned To Red

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