Facing an Uphill Task at Anfield?

Liverpool’s quest for success has led to them appointing former Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers this summer. After only a season in the top flight and with no European experience, Rodgers was a surprise choice for many so how much work does he have to do to make Liverpool a success again?

After a disappointing season where 8th place represented their worst league finish since 1994, the situation couldn’t be much worse for the Northern Irishman. The gap between Liverpool and the big boys is widening ever further and even their European qualification is tainted by having to play in the dreaded Thursday night UEFA Europa League. Their league form is bound to suffer and it’ll be a steep learning curve for the new manager. To make matters worse the squad he’s inherited is lacking quality throughout team with only Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez good enough to get in any of their rivals’ first XIs. It would appear he’s got his work cut out but Rodgers has signed a three year contract and he believes that should give him enough time to introduce his methods.

“This is long-term, that was important to me, to come into a project over a number of years.

“For me, the attraction is to defend the principles of this great club — offensive football with tactical discipline and to retain the values of the club.

“That was the attraction, along with the history of the club.

Rodgers clearly understands the challenge he’s undertaken for the Anfield job is particularly sought after. With names like Pep Guardiola and Fabio Capello apparently being overlooked, placing such an inexperienced man in charge is a clear sign of faith from the Fenway Sports Group but he remains confident of working his magic.

“We might not be ready for the title but the process begins today.

“It’s a new cycle and that is something that we will work towards in the years to come.”

If Rodgers is to revamp Liverpool’s fading ambitions then the main stumbling block would appear to be the owners’ level of patience. After all Rodgers blended a group of relative unknowns into an attractive passing unit at Swansea and Liverpool’s current squad is far better on paper than the Welsh side. If Rodgers can persuade his new cohorts to follow his ideas then there’s no reason why the Reds can’t improve on last season. Merely improving on last season is perhaps the minimum requirement given how disappointed fans were with their league form but re-establishing themselves above Everton would be a good start and help convince the owners they’re on the right track.

Their chances of success will be greatly improved if Rodgers is given money to enhance his squad and time to implement his philosophy. Realistically Liverpool need a new centre back, striker and some decent wingers but as many as 7 of the current first team plus the majority of their squad needs to be replaced if they’re ever going to compete with the top 4 again. It will require large sums of money to attract the calibre of player needed and fans will also have to tolerate the time it takes for them to settle in. The Northern Irishman insists Liverpool can challenge for major honours but has warned fans it may take time before his philosophy comes to fruition.

“It is going to take time for how I want to play and the philosophy I want to introduce to happen.

“But we will make our first steps and, hopefully over the next couple of years, we will be ready to challenge and ready to compete.”

The job is evidently doable but will Rodgers be given enough money to revamp the squad and then subsequently have enough time to shape them into the decent side?

There’s a lot of work to do but three years isn’t a lot of time to do it and the increasingly competitive Premier League has seen managers like Andre Villas-Boas come and go because they’ve failed to gather momentum early on. Rodgers will have to contend with these factors if he’s to be a success but he proved himself last season with the Swans and Liverpool supporters seem willing to give him a chance.

The pressure at Anfield is a huge step up from the Liberty Stadium and Rodgers is facing a major transformation if he’s to remodel his new side into title challengers. Some clever signings and a strong start could see Liverpool return to their rightful place at the top but another year of overpriced flops and poor league form will leave Rodgers walking alone in Merseyside after another false dawn.

Do you think Rodgers will be given enough time to be a success at Anfield? Are Liverpool making a mistake appointing an inexperienced manager? How long will it be before Liverpool at challenging for the league again?

Let me know your views and opinions by following me on twitter – Tweet me @Alex_Churcher

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