The last time Liverpool won a league title my Mum and Dad hadn’t even conceived me yet. Yet because of their occasional European success we still regard Liverpool as one of the biggest clubs in the world let alone England. Liverpool are a club with tremendous history and an incredible fan base, they are a big club within their own right and have established themselves the right way.
However in recent seasons we have seen a steady decline in the great Liverpool Football Club, with a combination of questionable signings, poor managerial appointments and controversy in all corners of the football club. We now come to the 9th Liverpool managerial appointment since Liverpool last won the league in 1991, when King Kenny had a far more successful tenure at the club than his most recent one, in which he established himself as a Liverpool managing legend. 8 managers Since Kenny have failed to deliver Liverpool a league title and have allowed arch enemies Man United to dominate English football since Sir Alex Ferguson took charge at Old Trafford.
The question is will Brendan Rogers be the man to restore pride to the red side of Merseyside and end all the years of hurt and put aside the recent few years of disappointment. Not much to ask from a 39 year old man who has only been managing since 2008.
I am a big fan of Brendan Rogers’ style of football, watching Swansea this season was a joy to behold (apart from the game where they beat Arsenal at our own game at the Liberty). Brendan Rogers, as well as Paul Lambert showed Championship clubs that you can come to the Premier League and survive playing great football. Not only did both Swansea and Norwich survive but they finished comfortably in mid table.
Every Liverpool fan I have spoken to has signalled their excitement over the appointment of Rogers, I too would share their excitement if I was a Liverpool supporter. It is a fresh approach from Liverpool, someone young who they will be looking to build a team that will be competing year in year out. The last few Liverpool managerial appointments have been clutching at straws, Hodgson and Dalglish both employed to restore confidence and support from the fans, relying on experience and know how. Rogers will not give Liverpool experience or know how, but what he will give them is fresh ideas and an opportunity to start again, something that Liverpool should have done as soon as Rafa Benitez left.
This appointment will not work however if Liverpool fans expect results right away and pile on the pressure. I would go as far as saying a top 6 finish for Liverpool next season would be a fantastic achievement for Rogers. Liverpool will not be blessed with huge amounts of funds to spend in the transfer market and have lost a lot of their player pull, therefore they will be relying on either the players they’ve got or using their scouting network for relative unknown players. Something Liverpool have got wrong in the past few years, hence the departure of Damien Commoli was the poor standard of signings they were announcing. If Brendan Rogers can attract the right names to the club and the right players to suit his style of play, then things could work out well for Liverpool.
If for example Liverpool start off poorly and the fans are already getting on the back of Brendan then I can’t see this appointment working, Liverpool fans will have to be patient and not bite off more than they can chew. The reality is that this Liverpool team is not strong enough to compete for the title, the sooner Liverpool fans come to terms with this and lower their standards for the time being, then the better things are likely to work out.
Brendan Rogers has said he only took the job on the promise that he would have complete control over transfers in and out of the club. The Liverpool Board have always had plans of introducing a director of football to possibly conduct transfers on the clubs behalf, Louis Van Gaal was the man who was destined for the job. However with Rogers’ appointment, I’m unsure as to whether Van Gaal will be part of the plan for Liverpool. I have always been of the idea that a manager is at his best when he has full control over who comes in and out of the club, working with other people can lead to disaster, the slightest misunderstanding could lead to the wrong players being signed.
The first job for Brendan Rogers will be to try and get the best out of the squad he already has. That means making the most of the poor signings made in the previous regime of players like Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing. This is never easy as a manager, working with players that wouldn’t necessarily be involved in your plans if you had the choice, however the financial implications dictate otherwise for the time being, unless the club are able to shift them or of course Rogers manages to turn these players into world class footballers.
Rogers will need to keep Suarez, Agger and Skrtel at the club this season, all 3 players have been linked with moves away from the club but Liverpool will need to keep hold of their few world class players. Keeping these players attracts names to the club, that without them they would not be able to attract. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether players will support the managers appointment, so only time will tell if Rogers is able to have a positive impact on the players at the club.
Mourinho saw something in Rogers when appointing him as part of the Chelsea backroom staff and So do I. I firmly believe that Rogers is the right man to steer Liverpool in the direction of success, as long as Liverpool fans and the board stick by him in what is due to be a rocky first few seasons at the club. I firmly believe this will be the case, I think Liverpool have finally wised up to the idea that they need to start over with a fresh approach and will need be patient.
Thanks for reading.