Brendan Rodgers’ ambition for Liverpool is impressive. He’s recently outlined his vision for the club, a set of ideas that he accumulated over 15 years. Liverpool need that kind of youthful enthusiasm at their club, but will supporters afford Rodgers the time?
Rodgers has already been greeted with crude remarks about his lack of experience, and the club are viewed as shopping in the bargain bins for a manager. But really, what do Liverpool fans expect? Their history will only take them so far, and the mess that was left behind by the Hicks/Gillett reign was one that very few wanted to touch.
The club have done very little in a very long time. Arsenal fans get the full whack every season at not having won a trophy in however long, but Liverpool have experienced a greater fall since they last won the FA Cup. And really, how many are going to remember King Kenny’s phenomenal run in the League Cup in 10 years time? A run that culminated in a difficult final against a much lesser team.
Liverpool fans really shouldn’t be too demanding of a Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola-type figure – it’s not going to happen. The new owners were looking at realistic candidates. And while I don’t believe Roberto Martinez was the right man for the Liverpool job, Rodgers does appear to have something different about him.
His outline for the club is one that looks to expand on a number of levels. Importantly, the youth system needs to continue to flourish. We’ve seen a number of players brought up from the academy over the past couple of seasons, and the new manager obviously wants to see more.
Rodgers also wants the playing style of the team to be a little more open and adventurous. The quality of certain players may come into question, but Rodgers has done well with fewer resources at his previous club.
And above all, trophies need to be won. He describes this as “the bigger picture,” with all the other factors weighing in to a long-term successful future.
And really, should Liverpool fans be so dismissive of a manager who wants to take them club onto a new level? The club haven’t been consistently relevant in the title picture since…well, I can’t even remember. And the only manager to even get them close to the Premier League title was chased out of town not too long after. Rafa Benitez had a good squad with a number of excellent players. Poor buys were scattered around, but Alex Ferguson was hardly driven out of Old Trafford for his less than stellar buys.
And then there’s King Kenny, the man who apparently can do no wrong in the red half of Merseyside, but to everyone else was failing considerably.
Do we start with the poor performances on the pitch? No, instead lets look that the purchases that were made during his short stint in charge. The club clearly had the money to build a successful squad, and even one that the current manager could do a lot with. But instead, ridiculous amounts of cash were thrown around aimlessly for no end product, from Stewart Downing to the unimpressive Jordan Henderson, who is barely an improvement on the former.
Whether it was Dalglish who gave the go ahead on these deals or another figure at the club, the team were performing badly and had thrown a lot of money away.
Considering the diminishing status of the club over the past few years, the club should regard themselves as lucky to have a manager who wants to stick around for the foreseeable future. He might not be everyone’s pick, but he’s showing a real level of determination to bring some glory back to the club. It’s a better option than going for short-term, stop-starts with older managers who will only be around for one to two seasons.
There’s a no nonsense attitude from Rodgers. He’s also not blinded into thinking the club’s former glory will warrant them a place in the top four; it will take time and a considerable amount of effort.
But for now, the supporters should be a little more welcoming to a manager who could bring some genuine excitement to Anfield. There is little reason to dismiss Rodgers yet, as like their new manager, Liverpool need to take a number of steps forward to be one of the big guns in the English football again.