IRELAND legend Ronnie Whelan has admitted he “would not be surprised” to see Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers lose his job a matter of months into the Premier League season.
The new campaign begins on Saturday, with Liverpool opening away to Stoke on Sunday, the scene of last season’s humiliating 6-1 defeat for the Reds on the final day of last season.
Liverpool travel to Arsenal, Manchester United, Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City in their first 13 games of the league season, with bookmakers listing Rodgers as the favourite to be the first Premier League manager to be sacked this season.
And Whelan, who played for Liverpool between 1979 and 1994, agrees that Antrim native Rodgers is in a vulnerable position, particularly as the club underachieved under his stewardship last term.
“Liverpool have to play seven of their top rivals away from home before Christmas and to say that the fixture computer has not been kind to Rodgers in as an understatement,” said the 53-year-old in his column for the Independent.ie.
“He will be in the spotlight like never before for the opening months of this campaign and if things do not run for him, I would not be surprised to see [principal owner] John Henry and his pals take action.”
Liverpool fell well short of their aim to finish in the top four of the Premier League last season, and Whelan expects no different this term. He added: “I don't expect Liverpool to be in the top four shake-up this time either though I have some hope that they might surprise me.”