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Welcome to Liverpool Rodgers – It’s Top Four or the Door?

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Top four may not be a divine right for any club in the premier league given the competition has increased immensely over the past few years. Still the Manchester clubs remain clear favorites, Blue side with their versatile squad plus cash and Red side with their stability. Chelsea have already secured highly rated Belgian Hazard and are in pursuit of signing another hot prospect in the form of Porto’s Hulk to make sure they do not fall out of champions league places next season. Tottenham may lose star players looking for CL football and have a weakened squad, on the contrary Arsenal will attract stars to aim for the top again.

Where does this leave Liverpool and their new manager Brendan Rodgers? Having failed to finish in top four for the past three seasons, reds have not been able to sign top quality players and for worst have lost their stars as well. Since Benitez left the club in 2010, the club has been falling down and every season looked more like a mid-table side than a champions league contender.

Brendan Rodgers has impressed the footballing world with his Swansea team playing beautiful football last season, out-passing not only top opponents in the premier league but their passing accuracy has been right up there with the very best teams across Europe.

Team

Passing Accuracy 2011-2012

Barcelona

89.20%

Bayern Munich

87.20%

Manchester City

86.20%

Real Madrid

85.50%

Chelsea

85.50%

Swansea

85.20%

AC Milan

85.10%

One may say that even under Dalglish Liverpool at times played eye catching football only to end up drawing or losing most of the times. Poor finishing, luck, take your pick but one of the main reasons behind their failure was losing the ball far too often crucially in the midfield. That is where Brendan Rodgers has to step up and make sure the players do not lose the ball and pass it well. His thoughts are clear:

“I like to control games. I like to be responsible for our own destiny. If you are better than your opponent with the ball you have a 79 per cent chance of winning the game. For me it is quite logical. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, if you don’t have the ball you can’t score.” – Rodgers

Swansea’s quality of football was evident that he showed last season against the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and new employers Liverpool. Controlling possession, not losing the ball, working through diverse channels, continuing pressure ultimately means guiding the play and are the basics of Tiki-Taka football.

“My template for everything is organization. With the ball you have to know the movement patterns, the rotation, the fluidity and positioning of the team.” – Rodgers

Over the years Liverpool have relied too heavily on two or three players and even spending around 50 million on midfielders last season, still Steven Gerrard, now 32, remains their best midfielder. For Liverpool to be successful, Rodgers has to demolish this over reliance and get everyone involved in the system. For that he must have sufficient cash to spend and authority to implement his methods.

Whether or not Rodgers’ methodology is a success at Liverpool is the major question. The fans cannot start expecting that reds will be playing like Barcelona next season. Tiki-Taka football cannot be adopted perfectly in just a single season and combined with players who do not have calmness on the ball, it can be virtually impossible.  The passing game became Swansea’s tradition long before Rodgers actually joined them. Sousa and Martinez laid the foundation that Rodgers successfully kept alive and did wonders last season. Eventually it will take time, whether it will be on his side, remains to be seen.

Having earned himself a job many fancied, Brendan Rodgers surely knows the task on hand is one of the hardest in English football. Although Liverpool owners did claim that they have long terms plan with Rodgers in charge but certain aspects should be clear to the new manager. He may have agreed compensation with Fenway Sports Group but he should never forget the major agreement i.e. failing to qualify for Champions League may as well cost him his job or should I say will cost him the job.

Comments (8)

  1. Most of the English media is trying to misguide readers & protect Dalglish. Let’s agree on this – KD was not sacked & the new Manager (BR) ‘ll not be sacked, if LFC fails to qualify for CL.

    FSG could realize that it was a wrong decision to appoint KD for long-term, he was way past his expiary to be a successful modern manager. His purchases were horrible, his tactis was too predictable & unidimentional, & his gameplan was confusing. To play sky-hoof English game, he spent 55mn for 2 English garbage & then hardly played them together.

    KD was given enough indication of what’s coming in future, could have steped down with dignity, by he became too confident & complecent from the Media support & unconditional hype so called LFC Fan gang. Not everyday someone is sacked for ur fault (Those transfer howlers were KDs purchase, but DC was made a scapegoat)

    I don’t think, even a repeat of 8th position could be sufficient, if the team plays quality, atractive, fast & attacking football; if right player is purchase at right price & players are played on their merit/position; I honestly believe, league position ‘ll be any issue for BR. Since ’10, in 3 years, we have gone so much down that, 3 more years for now on is not good enough to reach a stage of beating MU 1-4, or Real 4-0 within a week or so.

  2. Your point about reliabilityon Gerrard is a good one and also your opinion about winning the midfield and not losing the ball is also very nice. The mistake I felt Dalglish made was substituting a raw talent as Aquilani for an under-construction talent as Henderson and Downing. I hope he will learn and face reality bcos even in barca, a quality player like Xavi or Iniesta cannot be replaced by an upcomming figure. He needs to bring back Pacheco and also give Amoo, sterling the chance to prove themselves just like welbeck did for Man U.

  3. Your point about reliability on Gerrard is a good one and also your opinion about winning the midfield and not losing the ball is also very nice. The mistake I felt Dalglish made was substituting a raw talent as Aquilani for an under-construction talent as Henderson and Downing. I hope he will learn and face reality bcos even in barca, quality players like Xavi & Iniesta cannot be replaced by upcomming figures. He needs to bring back Pacheco and also give Amoo & Sterling the chance to prove themselves just like welbeck did for Man U.

  4. So you work for Fenway then? How can you put a statement like ‘will cost him his job’? Defeatist stupidity. The fact is that the owners know it won’t be overnight but they want to see some progress towards that goal. Don’t we all? Ridiculously negative article.

  5. Failing to qualify for the Champions League will cost him his job? No, it will not. Just as it did not cost Dalglish his job.

    Producing the worst league campaign in a generation, combined with the lack of any clear direction on the pitch and the mess that he made of things off of the pitch are what cost Dalglish his job.

    I’ve no doubt that Rodgers will be given the time to implement his methods throughout the squad, as long as he doesn’t make an absolute arse of himself as Hodgson and Dalglish did. And I don’t expect him to repeat their mistakes.

    • Jay, hope you’re still backing rodgers at the end of the season. If you couldn’t see what Kenny was doing you must be daft. The football that Kenny was was getting the team to play was far better than gerrard, benitez and hodgson. But then again what is the point wasting time with people like you. You’d be better off supporting Chelsea or man city.

  6. Jim, you joking isn’t it? well, anyway i think that Brendan Rodgers will do better than Kenny Dalglish,even if he doesn’t qualify for the champions league,he’ll do a decent job i think with good attacking football.

  7. Sign more south american or spanish players who have grown up playing close passing and intelligent game instead of English men who mostly know how to thump a perfect long ball up the pitch.

    He will have the authority to implement his methods, just hope he signs quality players and by that i obv mean they shouldnt be english