Back in September 2010, Roy Hodgson’s Liverpool were struggling in the bottom half of the table before League Two Northampton turned up to embarrass the Premier League giants at Anfield in the League Cup.
Hodgson was not immediately run out of town by Liverpool’s owners in the wake of that penalty-shoot out defeat, though overseeing such a poor result led to a wave of dissatisfaction from the club’s supporters and by early January the former Fulham boss had left by mutual consent.
Five years down the line and the current Liverpool manager is also feeling the pinch, with the Reds languishing in 13th after six league matches, winless in five across all competitions, and facing another potential banana skin.
Should Brendan Rodgers’ side lose to League Two Carlisle at Anfield in the Capital One Cup third round, by whatever means, it could well rate as a similarly seminal moment in his increasingly scrutinised Reds tenure.
The Cumbrians are 13/2 to qualify for the fourth round at Liverpool’s expense.
A stuttering start to his fourth campaign at the helm was guaranteed to see the wolves gathering at Rodgers’ door following three barren years and two summer’s of heavy investment in his playing sqaud.
Unfortunately for the Northern Irishman, the results have dropped off a ledge since two rather fortuitous opening wins, putting strong winds in the sails of his growing fleet of detractors.
Although there were more encouraging signs following a tactical adjustment in the home top-flight draw against Norwich last time out, Rodgers is still at the sharp end of the next Premier League manager to leave market, at 2/1.
Just to intensify the perception the walls are closing in on Rodgers, the man who is widely being earmarked to take the reins from him in the event he loses his job, is rumoured to be visiting Anfield for the next Premier League game.
The last thing Rodgers needs is to be 2-0 down to Aston Villa on Saturday before looking up to see Jurgen Klopp beaming down at him with that zany grin of his from the stands.
Undoubtedly, the Capital One Cup third round has never carried more significance for Liverpool’s current manager.
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