Tomorrow Liverpool return to playing underneath the arch of the 'new' Wembley in the FA Cup Semi Final against Aston Villa. Awaiting the winners of this match will be Reading or Arsenal - back there on 30th May. This will be our fourth match in four seasons at Wembley - the other three all being back in 2012.
The 2014/15 season for the reds has certainly been a strange one. League form before Christmas can only be described as a shambles, knocked out of the Champions League at the group stages and then subsequently straight out of the Europa League at the first hurdle - beaten by Besiktas. Admittedly we did lose a world class player last summer and our main striker has suffered lengthy injuries.
It is however in the domestic cups where our season seems to have faired a lot better. Liverpool reached the semi-final of the League Cup but were sadly beaten by eventual winners Chelsea (despite being the better team over two legs) and now we're into the Semi Final of the FA Cup.
Back in 2012 under Kenny Dalglish the reds won silverware - the League Cup was won but the reds also reached the final of the FA Cup weeks later. The League form that year was disappointing - in part due to new young players and signings making their way into the team trying to bed in. The club also suffered with injuries and lengthy suspensions to our best player did not help the stability and consistency of the squad. The reds finished in 8th position on just 52 points and scored only 47 goals in that League campaign. This was some 17 points behind Tottenham who finished in 4th position in the final Champions League qualification spot and it was our worst position in the League since 1994.
FSG had seen enough, they sacked Dalglish, despite him winning silverware and reaching two cup finals that season, even knocking out that seasons League Champions (Manchester City) along the way in the Semi Final of the League Cup. John Henry later stated 'winning the FA Cup wouldn't have saved him'.
Dalglish from the period of January 2011 to his departure in May 2012 had spent £111M on new players. The most expensive signing of course being Andy Carroll at £35 million.
Roll on some three years later and the redmen under Rodgers are currently in 5th position in the League and some 4 points behind the last place for Champions League qualification.
The question we all have to wonder now is, Will Rodgers still be here next season if a top four position isn't secured regardless of what happens in the FA Cup?
Rodgers hasn't tasted success as a manager of Liverpool, however he did bring us close to winning our first League title in 24 years last season with some breathtaking attacking flowing football that we hadn't seen for years, scoring some 101 goals along the way. He espouses a style of play that shows 'possession is key' in a Spanish style ‘tiki-taka’ system since his time at Liverpool. Unfortunately one of the main issues that we've had is the conceding of too many goals during his tenure.
Many players have been signed to shore up the defence that includes a goalkeeper as well as more defensive minded midfielders who have proved simply not good enough. Some ridiculous amounts have also been paid for these signings. Some people may use the excuse 'yes but they're only young' and 'yes but this is a different league to what they're usually used to' but I personally don't agree with excuses as lame as that. If a player isn't good enough he isn't good enough, end of!
Rodgers has spent in total £205 million since he took over from Dalglish. Adam Lallana being the most expensive at £25 million from Southampton.
My view is that regardless of Champions League qualification or not winning the FA Cup we should stick with Rodgers. Some fans won't agree with me on this but do we want to turn into a club along the lines of Chelsea or Manchester City who hand out P45's on a regular basis?
But will FSG trust Rodgers in the summer with more money for transfers, whilst missing out on Champions League football and the money that goes with it?
Time will tell but will we be back to square one as we were in the pre-season and summer of 2012. I certainly hope not!