When Brendan Rodgers took over from Kenny Dalglish during the summer, many Liverpool fans believed that he would be the man to lead the Anfield outfit back to the Champions League after a two season hiatus.
But after three matches where they have claimed only a single point and a disappointing end to the transfer window it seems that the former Swansea boss and the club’s supporters will have to wait for at least another year before they reach the top table of European football again.
Their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal highlighted a number of areas that need improving whilst Rodgers’ passing style of play is not proving as effective as it was in South Wales.
It is spending power, though, that seems to be the main reason as to why the red side of Merseyside may fail to finish in the top four this time around.
Dalglish was given almost unrivalled amounts of money to spend in his 18 months with the club as the likes of Luis Suarez, Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing were brought in on big-money deals.
Suarez apart, these transfers failed to pay off and eventually cost the Scotsman his job, and it seems owner John W. Henry does not want to risk making the same mistake with his new manager.
Joe Allen was brought in for a fee of around £15million, but the remainder of Rodgers’ signings have been for much less money than what his predecessor was given at the same time last year.
The biggest sign that Henry is unwilling to spend as much as last season came on transfer deadline day when the club could not agree a fee with Fulham for Clint Dempsey. The American eventually signed for Spurs for a fee of £6million; an amount that would not ordinarily be out of Liverpool’s budget.
With Carroll joining West Ham on loan, Rodgers has been left short of attacking options and has arguably been let down by his chairman who he believed would offer the funds needed to bring in a replacement.
The American was not forthcoming though, and this has left Rodgers answering difficult questions about what his side can achieve this season.
Henry has written a public letter to the Liverpool supporters which stresses his disappointment at not landing a new forward, but in the long run it may well be Rodgers, and not Henry himself, that will be blamed if the Reds fail in their quest for a top four finish.