Brendan Rodgers' time is not up yet
REAL MADRID v LIVERPOOL
(Tomorrow, 3.45am, SingTel mio TV Ch 111)
The disquiet at Anfield swells with every mediocre performance.
The man who took Liverpool to such heights last season now bears the brunt of the criticism.
Little could Brendan Rodgers imagine that just five months after leading Liverpool to second place in the English Premier League, he is facing calls for his head by the same people who only recently hailed him as the club's saviour.
Fickleness is nothing new in football.
But even the Liverpool manager must be taken aback at how swiftly some supporters are turning against him.
As the Reds prepare for tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) visit of the Santiago Bernabeu in a Champions League clash they can ill-afford to lose, many Liverpool fans are bracing themselves for a rout.
If a 3-0 loss was all they could muster at Anfield, then what chance of any other outcome in Real Madrid's backyard?
It's a reflection of the pessimism that engulfs the Merseyside club.
Real will almost certainly stroll it the way they did in their visit to Anfield.
And the way things stand, Liverpool will be locked in a three-way battle with Ludogorets and Basel for the second qualifying spot in Group B.
In the Premiership, they are seventh in the table, behind the usual suspects, but what rankles fans is that they are also trailing unfancied sides such as Southampton, West Ham and Swansea.
Rodgers' critics would have you believe that the wheels have fallen off at Liverpool, that last term was a flash in the pan and not a breakthrough campaign as initially thought.
The Northern Irishman cited the loss of Luis Suarez and niggling injuries to Daniel Sturridge, who have made only three league appearances, as reasons for their struggles.
"It's not rocket science," he said.
Last season, Liverpool could boast of not one, but the two most prolific scorers in the Premier League.
Suarez's 31 strikes and Sturridge's 21 account for more than half of the 101 goals the team managed.
The slew of new players has not hit the ground running either.
Striker Mario Balotelli is finding it hard to thrive in Liverpool's playing system, while the likes of winger Lazar Markovic and fullback Alberto Moreno are struggling to cope with the pace and power of the English game.
As a result, Liverpool's defence still looks in shambles, but more crucially, the attack looks nowhere near the gold standard set in the previous term.
Having made a massive leap, the club have now stumbled back several steps, instead of pushing on just as the fans are hoping.
But in Rodgers, Liverpool are investing in a vision, not a quick-fix solution.
Without the financial might to match the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City, that may be the only sound policy to adopt.
The 41-year-old believes the route to success lies in shrewd buys and a productive youth academy.
It is why the Reds have not splashed a huge portion of their budget on the likes of Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao. In any case, Liverpool won't find players of that calibre particularly inclined to move to Merseyside.
He has in the past revealed an admiration for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, and the approach he is taking looks somewhat similar.
But, trying to spot talents, preferably young and relatively cheap, can be risky business. And academy products take years to develop and mature.
Rodgers is working against football's primal enemy: Time.
You would like to think that the man has earned himself that at the very least.
He took Liverpool closer to a Premiership title than any other manager, and got them into the Champions League for the first time since 2009.
And he did it through a brand of attacking football that had the romantics purring, and even rivals green with envy.
All parties must end someday.
But in Rodgers' case, his time is simply not up yet.