The stories at Liverpool just keep getting more ridiculous. According to the Mirror, Brendan Rodgers has now given Pepe Reina until January to secure his position at Anfield. The Reds manager is desperate to get his recruitment schedule sorted ahead of time for the January window and is viewing Reina’s place with some scrutiny.
Reports have suggested that Reina is struggling to adapt to Rodgers system that relies heavily on possession and Reina building plays from the back. The Spaniard has had a couple of shaky performances at the beginning of this campaign leading to his role being questioned.
Reina arrived from Villareal in 2006 for £6m and has been a faithful servant to Liverpool, helping them to a European Cup final and a FA Cup victory in his first two years at the club. Yet Brendan Rodgers is not ruling out the possibility of selling the Spaniard if his poor form continues with Michel Vorm, Rodgers’ former keeper at Swansea, his preferred replacement.
After failing in the transfer window due to several communication errors within the club, Liverpool have a lot of internal issues to resolve before they can implement their transfer policy again in January. Admittedly, the squad also needs to be significantly strengthened in January in several departments. Yet for me ridding of Pepe Reina is something that can only be seen as a step back for the club.
Yes Reina has had a slow start to this season but let’s not forget what he has achieved at the club. The Spaniard has been a consistent component in a Liverpool side that has significantly changed from the team he joined in 2006. He has won three golden gloves since arriving in the Premier League and is considered as one of the first names on the team sheet at Anfield.
What completely baffles me is that Rodgers has already highlighted the issue with Reina – a significant lack of competition for the Spaniard. If Rodgers wants to get his goalkeeper back to his old form he simply needs to introduce a young keeper who can challenge Reina for his position – Everton target Jack Butland could be a potential option although there are many others.
However, Rodgers has proceeded to act in a different manner. Rather than provide a challenge for Reina with the introduction of a new keeper in January, the Northern Irishman has appeared to offer his keeper an ultimatum, not the first one he has handed out since his arrival on Merseyside. Telling your keeper who is considered one of the best worldwide that he has to prove himself or he is out is not the way to encourage better performances in my mind, especially with someone who has served Liverpool as loyally as Reina has.
Here is another example of Rodgers’ throwing out ultimatums, something he has been keen on doing since leaving Swansea. Understandably Reina needs some challenge to draw out the best in him yet Rodgers should carry out such actions by his acquisitions and work on the field, not through press releases.
To be short and sweet losing Reina would simply make Liverpool’s life harder not simpler. Hopefully someone in the club’s hierarchy would step in if he tried to remove the Spaniard.