Can Brendan Rodgers achieve success with Liverpool?

Brendan Rodgers Liverpool FC manager

When Liverpool sacked Kenny Dalglish last summer and brought in Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers as replacement I think everyone in the football world was a little shocked, even the fans were a little concerned that Rodgers wasn’t the best choice of manager to replace King Kenny at that time.

The Merseyside club struggled in the Premier League last season and they finished eighth which was their lowest league position since 1994. Even though they won the League Cup and got to the final of The FA cup, their poor league form led to the sacking of Dalglish when the season finished. Rodgers was unveiled as the new manager at Anfield on the June 1st after meeting with Liverpool owners to establish a long-term plan at the club and he has wasted no time in putting that into action.

His long term plan is to:

  • Buy two or three players over the next few transfer windows to avoid one big spend this summer, enabling Liverpool to recover some of their financial losses
  • Dedicate more focus on developing the youth team so they don’t have to spend huge amounts strengthening the squad
  • Introduce a different tactical approach and style of play which leaves no weaknesses within the team – he is a fan of fast-paced football and a tika-taka type of play and feels he can introduce this at Anfield
  • Rebuild the defence
  • Introduce younger players to the starting XI

Over the last eight months there has definitely been a visible change in the way Liverpool have played. They have suffered injury problems but yet they have still managed to keep in good form and they have definitely played better this year than under Dalglish. They are currently seventh in the league and if the results go in their favour they could still very much be in the race for European football next season.

One of the biggest changes fans will have noticed is Liverpool’s performances against the clubs lower down the table and results have improved immensely compared to last season. They achieved high scoring results against Norwich (5-2), Fulham (4-0), Wigan, QPR and Sunderland (3-0) and there was a distinct change in attitude of the players in these games – they are no longer playing assuming they are going to win – instead they play for the three points.

He bought young fresh talent in the form of Nuri Sahin, Fabio Borini, Oussama Assaidi, Samed Yesil, Daniel Sturridge, Joe Allen and Phillipe Coutinho who are all under the age of 24, and introduced academy product Raheem Sterling to the squad this season which has rejuvenated the tired look that Liverpool possessed last year. The young players are all fast paced which fits into Rodgers proposed change in style of play with extra attention to the attacking aspect of their game.

The Reds boss admits he spent more than he wanted to in the last two transfer windows and admitted even though it was a necessity he doesn’t want to spend that amount again. He has been given £20million to spend this summer and a fair bit of that will be strengthening up the defence after club legend Jamie Carragher retires in May.

In doing some research on whether fans thought Brendan Rodgers could achieve success in the next 2-3 years with his long-term vision, I asked Simon Donegan, a long term fan of The Reds what he thought.

“Rodgers can do it, but will the fans give him time? The old Liverpool had it right throughout the club at all levels. The last few managers have spent too much.

“The future is with the youth and money is needed to extend the ground. Clubs like City, Chelsea and Manchester United will not be allowed to operate with their debts the way they are, if UEFA get their way.

“It is important we get that right again. Brendan has got to get a squad that believes in him and will play for him. There is still some deadwood to move out. I am going to have to be patient because he still has a lot to learn.”

Brendan Rodgers has been one of the most discussed managers in football this season and it is easy to see why. They might not be winning every game and they still have some way to go but Rodgers has certainly made a difference this year. If he continues with his philosophy then it’s easy to see Anfield rocking again in the coming years.

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