The search for the next Liverpool manager is over, as the club have agreed a compensation with Swansea City for their manager Brendan Rodgers. The 39-year-old is expected sign a three-year contract with the Anfield club and his appointment is likely to be officially confirmed within 24 hours.
Liverpool finished eighth in the league and sacked Kenny Dalglish just after the season finished. The Reds finished 17 points away from a Champions League qualification spot, but won the League Cup and reached the FA Cup final. On the other hand, Rodgers guided his Swansea side to an impressive eleventh position finish in their debut campaign in the top flight, including a 1-0 win over Liverpool on the final day.
Brendan Rodgers will be unveiled in press conference at Anfield on Friday and here we explain why the Northern Irishman could be a great appointment for the Reds.
1. Will be given time by the owners
When the new Liverpool owners, FSG took over the club in October 2010 Roy Hodgson was already the manager at that time and so they had no choice but to stick with him. When the current England manager was sacked in January last year, the Liverpool fans called for Kenny Dalglish as their man to replace the former Fulham boss, and so to please the fans, the owners appointed the King. But now after sacking Dalglish, the owners have chosen their man and Rodgers is completely their choice and not forced upon by anyone.
Rodgers’ main objective would be to rebuild the club and take them back to their glory days, but the owners would surely know that it can’t be achieved in a season or two. It would take time and unlike the Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich, FSG would completely stick with him and give him their complete support during his time at Anfield.
2. Will bring back the ‘Pass and Move’ football
The Koptites love talking about their old days when they were the most dominant team in England during the 70s and 80s. Why were they so dominant during those days? It’s mainly because of the philosophy and way of working that defined the club both on and off the field. Off the pitch: it was Bill Shankly’s vision he had for Liverpool. He saw beyond the football club and decided use the city’s characteristics to define the culture of the club and make it one of the best in the world. On the pitch: it was the ‘pass and move’ football which meant playing football where possession was prized. There is no doubt Brendan Rodgers gets his teams playing that kind of football.
Rodgers grew up watching the great Liverpool teams that completely dominated England football and the Northern Irish coach is the great admirer of ‘The Liverpool Way’. In an interview, the former Reading boss said: “That Liverpool was a truly great side. It was two-touch football. Pass move pass move.” This will be music to the ears of the older Liverpool fans, who saw their club go from the best-football playing team in the country to the physical and defensive play under Gerard Houllier. While Rafa Benitez’s teams played better football than the Houllier’s, the Spaniard still used more defensive tactics against the big teams and would settle for a draw against them rather than going for the win. Roy Hodgson’s short reign saw similar football to his two predecessors. Kenny Dalglish brought back the pass and move philosophy when he returned for his second stint but his team found it difficult to get the right results and in his last match they were complete dominated by Rodgers’ Swansea. Now the Anfield faithful would be delighted to watch their team boss oppositions once again.
3. Can get the Right results without spending Much
Rodgers is one of those managers who doesn’t need money to get the right results from his team. Swansea got promoted to the Premier League last summer by winning the Championship playoffs. It was obvious that the Swans won’t be spending a lot during the summer and with a net spend of just around £10m, Rodgers constructed a team that was capable of beating the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and even Arsenal and also finishing eleventh in their debut season in the Premier League.
As we have seen last summer, the Liverpool owners aren’t shy of spending money but after Dalglish failing to provide with the right results they will be reluctant to spend the same amount of money this season. Rodgers is perhaps the right man who can spot talented and hungry for success players who are normally overlooked by other managers and develop them into top quality players. The same way he has developed the likes of Leon Britton, Scott Sinclair, Nathan Dyer, Angel Rangel, Michel Vorm and the latest of them Gylfi Sigurðsson – who has had an outstanding loan spell with Swansea and could follow his former boss to Anfield.
4. Represents the Future of the club
Kenny Dalglish when stated he would take two cup finals over a top-four league finish just showed how much football had change since his time. Dalglish came back after almost 11 years out of management and surely a lot of things had changed in football – like the environment surrounding the game, the arrival of top foreign players and rival managers and most importantly increase in the media scrutiny – since his past glory days. The demands are very high especially at a top club like Liverpool and there were some indications that the pressure was getting the better of Dalglish and he was still living in the past.
Rodgers at the age of 39 represents the future of British football management. He has learned his trade under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and has also traveled the continent to learn from different football cultures where the ball is treated as a special prize. The to-be new Reds boss is a huge fan of the Barca’s tiki-taka style of football and he recently said: “The example of the Barcelona model was a great influence and inspiration to me. When I was at the Chelsea academy that was how my players would play, with that high, aggressive press, combined with the ability to keep the ball.” Many pundits across England think he could be a very shrewd appointment for the club and I am sure the Liverpool fans will certainly hope so.